Writing City of Shadows — a return to Horror

City of Shadows is going to be a little tonally different from Death Cult and Infernal Affairs. In fact, it’s going to feel a little more like Hell Spawn. Not because I’m going over the same ground, but because I’m going back to a horror novel.

Yes, I know I stumbled into horror the more I wrote Hell Spawn, but hey, it worked. For  Death Cult and Infernal Affairs, I was focused on my original mission — make an urban fantasy novel.

I didn’t put any thought into the tone of the books. Death Cult had a similar tone, but that was largely because of the subject matter being handled. Infernal Affairs just threw it all out the window as the larger world of demons and monsters came at Nolan in a fast and furious flurry of fighting,

With City of Shadows, oh, we’re going back to horror.

London is alive with the sound of shadows.

When Tommy Nolan was sent abroad to avoid being made a saint too soon, he thought he’d be a glorified tourist. But when an impossible prehistoric artifact the Vatican is looking at is stolen from the British Museum, they do the first thing that comes to mind — they call the cops.

But Tommy is soon convinced that the artifact is more than it seems. The crime scene looks like a war zone. The owners of the stolen merchandise eye him with suspicion. His new partner has a shady, mysterious past. The police are ready to arrest him. The city itself seems primed to explode.

Worst of all, the darkness itself is closing in on Tommy, the city, and everyone who lives there.

But Tommy isn’t one to curse the darkness. The darkness curses him.

Yeah, I had fun with this one.

You might be thinking “does this sound familiar?”  Only a little. When I wrote Infernal Affairs, I was disappointed in only one thing — that one of the tricks in the last fight scene wasn’t something that I had spread out throughout the novel. That element is where I realized that I had fallen a little too far off of the horror train.

All aboard.

Now, granted, most of this is atmospherics. But when the darkness seems to be closing in even at midday, it helps.

When the darkness itself reaches out and grabs you, that’s when we start having fun.

City of Shadows should still be only $.99 this week. Enjoy.

As you wait for the books to download to your Kindle, please join the discussion about the Dragon Awards. I’ve got the latest post updated and ready to go, and I seriously want to hear from you and your thoughts on what you enjoyed..

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