“Blood Fugue”: How a horror novel was born

Posted: October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Imagine the scene: a café, somewhere in the Midlands, two figures sit hunched over a table, plotting the publication of a horror novel.

Actually I first met Joseph D’Lacey in person at a Halloween Reading Event at Warwick University, and I first met him as a writer through his brilliant novella: “The Kill Crew”. Many others have met his macabre mind through his award winning debut, “Meat” and its eco-horror follow-up “Garbage”.

When I read “The Kill Crew”, an incredibly tightly written and stark survival story of one woman in a Zombie apocalypse, I knew this was a writer who I wanted to write for Proxima.  So I took the unusual step of approaching and asking him if he had any work for consideration.

Our meeting in the café, and ultimately the novel “Blood Fugue”, were the result of that initial contact. When Joseph first described the basic plot outline, I was immediately curious, but it wasn’t until I read the uncompromising first few pages that I knew we had a winner.

D’Lacey grabs you with a shocking opening scene that plays with every vampire seduction you’ve ever read and pushes it just that one step further. This is an eco-horror novel that takes that vampire myth and adds a new level of psychic and biological terror. The presence of nature and the dark forest are overwhelming, and yet the Fugue itself is like an invader and nature fights back through the form of Jimmy Kerrigan – a character on an astonishing journey of self-discovery.

The action is placed in an authentic rural American society.  A family of outsiders is added to the mix, a mysterious old man, a psychopathically possessed teenage girl (who dominates that first scene) and a population of characters tainted by the blood fugue infection. And, at the centre of the forest, a bizarre creature seizes its chance to infect the world.

Only one man can stop it, Jimmy Kerrigan, torn by conflict and fear. And in many ways this is a story about how he remembers who, and what, he is.

From that initial meeting in the café, we embarked on a process of cutting and re-writing designed to get the story as tight and fierce as possible. The result is a novel infused with Joseph’s brilliant prose; his descriptions and characters are both vivid and shocking. We have a narrative that mixes tension and visceral terror building to a set-piece climax of horror on a truly epic scale. As Stephen King says, “Joseph D’Lacey rocks!”

“Blood Fugue” is available for pre-order now from here, and will be on general release from 16th November.  This is what happens when a writer and an editor meet in a café.

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