#Interview with Gemma Farrow (@CandleSkull), #Author of “Beneath the Willow”

Gemma FarrowAuthor Name: Gemma Farrow

Current Book in Review cycle or Hall of fame: Beneath the Willow

When was it written?

It was first written as flash-fiction for Twisted Dreams Magazine in 2011. When a friend said I should consider publishing on Amazon Kindle, Beneath the Willow was the story I thought would be the best one to put out there. I re-wrote and lengthened it in 2013 and published it May that same year.

200 word Synopsis of that work?

Thomas loves Keziah. He’ll do anything for her…at least he believes that. But all it takes is one shattering moment to change a belief; a few nights is more than enough to kill the belief completely. The world Thomas knows changes violently one night when he gets a phone call. It’s Keziah. She’s hurt. She’s scared. She needs him. He gets Keziah home, but the horror has only just begun.
From that moment a darkling world embraces him. Keziah believes she has been bitten by a vampire. Thomas doesn’t believe it. At first. But when one belief dies, it’s usually because a new one is forming. As he fights to discount her story, Thomas tries to nurse her back to health, but it isn’t working. He can no longer ignore the truth. Keziah isn’t solely Keziah anymore. Heartbroken, maddened and hollow, Thomas has to make a difficult choice. Accept what his girlfriend has become or turn against her. Both choices demand a high price, but which is Thomas willing to pay?

What inspired you to write this book?

The idea came to me of a woman begging her lover not to bury her deep. I didn’t immediately sit down to write it as I had no idea what this scene meant. It kept coming back to me, and I thought: Maybe she’s a recently bitten victim of a vampire, and part of the process of the transformation is to be buried…but not too deep. It gave me that delicious tingle I always get when I’m onto a good idea. I also wanted the lover to be the main focus of the story as it’s always the vampire that is given center stage. I wanted the horror real but believable, and the best way to achieve that was through Thomas’s eyes. So, with that rough idea pinned, I set to writing Don’t Bury Me Deep, which later was re-titled Beneath the Willow for Kindle.

What books have most influenced your life/writing?

Strangely there’s only a select few. The first one is The Long Walk by Stephen King. Through that book I was introduced to how emotion can be a force to be used in horror, without simply relying on the horror itself. The Devils of D-Day by Graham Masterton, this book is an example of brilliant horror and psychological war-fare on the reader. And The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Ramsay Campbell because it expressed how a well-placed phrase or piece of description could instil horror without over-writing or dense prose. These books terrified me, kept me riveted and in the case of The Long Walk made me cry.

Which other Writer/Author would you consider a mentor?

Those Mentioned above and the late, great James Herbert.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently entertaining my favorite Detective Sherlock Holmes.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes. I’ve been with a few writing groups, but my favorite has to be Book Review Depot for its quality batch of writers. Including three who delivered brilliant, imaginatively created and character driven works: Julie Cooper for her zombie series, Tom Tinney for his sci-fi book Threads and Nicolas Wilson for his twisted Banksters.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes. Getting to know my characters, the things they’ll do and those things they won’t do. It’s weird saying that because readers may think you write what you want, but much of it comes down to how the characters are. And these characters are also forming and developing in the readers mind, so making them stay true is often tricky.

Who designed the cover?

Richard. K. Green.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part was getting the sequence right. Beneath the Willow is structured in past and present form. I needed to make sure the flash-backs fused well with the present time-line.

What are your current projects?

I’m close to finishing my first full-length book. It revolves around another familiar creature of myth, but with a big difference. The story is a combination of monster, madness and emotional isolation even though you’re in a room full of people, so to speak. I love exploring madness, and with this book I get the chance to do it with one of my favorite creatures.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. I write solely to share my nightmares with you. I have many. Each is very personal to me, and when I write my stories and send them out into the world, I can only hope that you, the reader, will find something in them that may resonate with you. Because although it is horror, it can hold a wealth of truth in its symbolism.

If a character in your book could order anything they want from a restaurant, what would it be and who would it be? (oh, and why?)

Dry cereal, if they stocked it. Thomas would order it. You’ll find out the answer if you check out Beneath the Willow.

Facebook page: I don’t yet have a dedicated page for my book. But you can find me here: https://www.facebook.com/gemma.farrow1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandleSkull

Website: http://www.trinityhanging.blogspot.co.uk/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112482483988408596545/posts

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