Friday, December 30, 2011

The Noctuary by Greg Chapman

 Today's guest is Damnation Books author, Greg Chapman, chatting about his most recent release, The Noctuary.


AUTHOR: Greg Chapman
BOOK TITLE: The Noctuary
PUBLISHER: Damnation Books

Please tell us about yourself?
I am an emerging author of dark fiction and freelance horror illustrator from Australia. I have a background in journalism and public relations, and at the moment, I write part-time.

Tell us your latest news?
I recently finished illustrating a 200 page non-fiction graphic novel called Witches! Written by Rocky Wood and Bram Stoker Award winning author Lisa Morton. It will be published by McFarland in early 2012.

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been into writing and drawing, but I didn’t really take it up until 2008. I quit my job as a newspaper reporte,r and found I had more time to think and create. My first short story was published in 2009 after completing a mentorship program with the Australian Horror Writers Association.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are some messages in there--regret and redemption--but the primary themes  revolve around creation and inspiration.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Not directly, but the main character’s name, Simon Ryan is an amalgam of the name my parents intended to give me when I was born and my mother’s ancestral surname.

What books have most influenced your life most?
All Edgar Allan Poe’s works, Books of Blood, Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, Sleepless by Graham Masterton

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I did actually have a writer as a mentor – Brett McBean, author of The Mother and the Concrete Jungle series.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Jeremy Wagner, author of The Armageddon Chord, Matthew Tait, author of Ghosts in a Desert World.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing The Noctuary was a bit surreal. It seemed to pour out of me. All I had was this one idea about a writer’s muse appearing in his life. It was a journey for me just as much as it was for the main character. I found that while writing the tale I was sort of exploring my own dark side and putting it on the page. I had to try and write it in one go, or I would have broken the flow.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read in and outside your chosen genre. Forget the rejections and write what you want to write. Try and tap into yourself and don’t be afraid to push yourself.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Damnation Books is my publisher, and this is my second book with them, the first being Torment, which was published in March. I connected through the usual channels of story market search engines.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

I have a few sites –

About the book:
Simon Ryan is Hell’s new scribe…the safety of our souls will depend on his every word.

Struggling writer Simon Ryan’s life has gone to Hell.

Shadows are pouring into his reality and his words are not his own anymore. He has been chosen to become a scribe for some of the worst creatures of the Underworld–the ones whose sole purpose is to torment human souls–The Dark Muses.

As Simon writes he falls deeper into the abyss and before long he has no sense of what is real. With the help of another scribe, old and mutilated, Simon comes to discover that his writing can mould people and places–that he can write things out of existence.

To become a scribe he has to pass a test and the Muses offer him a chance to rewrite his horrible past. All Simon has to decide is how the story ends.


I awaken to find my sheets flooded with blood. Beside me, in the half-light is a body stripped of flesh and viscera; the thighbones and teeth shine with a sickening brightness. I cry out and try to remove myself from the bed, scrambling to get the soaked sheets off my naked skin.

As the horror rises and falls in my stomach, my mind tries to interpret the grotesque scene. My eyes don’t want to look away and my mouth is mute; my tongue slack and, when I try to reanimate it, a vile taste seeps to the surface. The metallic sensation is unmistakable. I almost trip on the way to the bathroom where I promptly throw-up in the toilet. The foulness from my stomach burns my eyes and brings on a second wave of nausea–pieces of flesh, red raw from mastication, float in the bowl. Within the putrid mess is a chunk of a woman’s breast.

Oh no; oh, God. I run back into the room and force myself to look at the remains on my bed. Christina’s two-piece suit lies on the floor, along with her bra and panties, stained with flecks of blood.

My stomach erupts onto the floor again, providing more proof of the unthinkable act I perpetrated upon my agent.

As I shudder with a feverish terror, images replay in my mind – my lust towards Christina and her breast bleeding onto my tongue. I’m about to gag once more when I glimpse a shadow in the corner of my eye.

"I didn’t think you had it in you, kid," says Schiller, emerging to take in the sight of Christina’s inner most secrets.

I can’t talk. I just stare at Christina. Schiller hauls me to my feet and sits me down on the side of the bed. I feel Christina’s lightened frame shift on the bed.

"You’re only supposed to write about this shit–not live it!" he tells me.

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