Thursday, 3 July 2014

Writing Blog Hop: Author - Jack Rollins

I have been asked to take part in my first Writing Blog Hop. For those who don’t know, this is a bit like a relay between authors, where each writer answers a set of questions, then signposts to other author blogs. They do the same and on it goes.

The author who tagged me is Stuart Keane, writer of “The Cusomer is Always…” and “All or Nothing” (which is currently being eyed for mainstream publication). You can find out more about Stuart and his work at his website or on Goodreads

Now on to my bit.

1. What Am I Working On?

Several projects at once, in fact. The closest to release is a novella called The Séance which I aim to make available as an e-book this summer. The story is set in Victorian London, but is separate from the Dr Blessing series. Simultaneously, I am working on 2 stories connected to Dr Blessing. I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read the first 3 parts, but I’ll give away a couple of hints: London between the Rapture and Christmas… And we have to go right to the beginning before we can get to the end…

2. How Does My Work Differ From Other’s In Its Genre?

The Dr Blessing stories are based in the horror genre, but, particularly with Dr Blessing’s Rapture (the second part of the series) I wanted to play with things a bit and add more of a sense of Victorian adventure, or thriller, along with some traditional horror aspects.
As the series has a blood-drinking monster at its core, it would be too easy to peddle out just another vampire story, but even vampire fiction has changed over the years. I have avoided the erotic, romantic, “vampires can live among us and be our boyfriends” stuff, by sticking to a simple principle: the creature in my stories is a malevolent, heartless being who will (literally) chew up anyone in its way. No romance. No sparkling in the sunlight. The creature is evil and out for survival by any means.

I think the creepy, gas-lit, foggy London setting helps to take the reader away from the familiar, and takes horror back to basics. Beyond that, I try not to simply throw gore at my readers, although there is naturally some bloodshed; I try to serve something more disturbing, something lingering, something that will make you wonder about it later and hopefully, something you will read again and find all of the little set-ups and connections that were there all along…

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I wouldn't say that I will always write horror; I follow specific ideas as they come. I think, for example, I have at least one contemporary thriller and three westerns in me, if I turn my attention to them. If a good sci-fi idea occurred to me, I would follow it up, but there is not a strong desire in me to concoct a sci-fi story. I have steam-punk niggling away in the back of my mind as something I might try one day.

My current and recent works stem from my fascination with Victorian life and there is something classic about horror stories set in that time that really gets my imagination going. I have a contemporary story/series that has been gestating for a long time and while I think of it as horror, it could be considered a supernatural thriller, urban fantasy or dark fantasy. Essentially I write what I believe and hope will be a good, entertaining story no matter what the genre. It’s difficult to explain… I just get an idea, follow it and build upon it, and it just sort of… writes itself.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

It all depends on the project. I have consciously tried to work in different ways over time. For example, there are stories I have written straight through from start to finish with very little planning, and there are others I have planned meticulously, act by act, chapter by chapter. Some parts of the story I will type directly, and other parts are notes, then handwritten sections, and then these join the typed material when ready. There are times that I have focussed on set-pieces first and then connected the dots and there are whole projects that have ground to a halt as I tried to find the time to get some research done… Then comes the re-reading and rewriting and the tuning up. I try to leave each draft for about a month if I can and around draft 3 or 4, I have to let go of the story and prep it for launch.

Well, that concludes the questions, and so I have to hand over to my nominated author (I hope he's still up for doing this!). Beneath my nomination I have have posted some additional info, including some promo information for those who are yet to get into the Dr Blessing series and who might like to give it a try as well as all the other ways to get involved.

My nominated authors are:
Terry M. West and David Basnett.

Terry is a well known and prolific author, filmmaker, actor and artist. He has written several books in the young adult field (most notably the graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire) and he has also written several horror short stories as well as the horror/thriller novel, Dreg.

Terry's Blog, Confessions of a Darkly Disturbed Ink Slinger is here:

David is another horror writer based in Northumberland, like myself. He has written a young adult horror trilogy: Eve Of The Damned, Island Of The Dead and The Shadow Of Life, based on the young members of a vampire hunting organisation known as De Omori. David also happens to be a friend of mine, and some eagle-eyes readers have spotted that although his stories and mine are separated by over 100 years, they are connected.

David's website is here:

Over to you, gents.

Additional Shoutout
Another horror writer, nominated by Stuart Keane, has put up his blog hop entry too, check out Kyle Scott and his work here:

More info on Jack Rollins:

The first part of the Dr Blessing series, “Dr Blessing’s Curse, Or, The Baby In The Bell-Jar” will be free for download as an e-book from Amazon from 4th July 2014 to 6th July 2014.

Alternatively all 3 parts are available in one volume, “The Cabinet of Dr Blessing” as an e-book on Amazon, and as a paperback.

There are lots of ways to get in touch and get involved – many of my readers and supporters already do, receiving updates and info on upcoming projects, links to other writers, promos, etc.

I would like you to enjoy my work, and if you do like it, please leave a review telling others about it.

The next best thing is for Facebook users to Like my page: where I post up to date info on all of my work.

Those who use Twitter, I would like you to follow me @jackrollins9280, and if you drop me a message saying you read the blog, I’ll know you are a real person and I’ll even follow you back!

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