S.M. Douglas

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Tag: thriller

Following Your Gut and the Writing Process

My new novel Apex Predator was published one month ago. In the intervening time I’ve had a chance to step away from the book and spend time on other activities. For instance, I enjoy discovering what other horror and werewolf enthusiasts have created. As such, followers of mine on social media will know that over the past couple of weeks I’ve been on a “historical werewolf” kick – something I can’t stop sharing with just about everyone with whom I engage.

I just can’t get enough of well-done images or stories featuring the werewolf in historical settings. This takes me back to the original point of this post – not being afraid to trust your instincts when you hit a point in the writing process where you can go in any number of directions. One of the biggest issues I confronted was where and when, if at all, to include the aspects of my book that are set in the Second World War.

For those of you who haven’t yet read Apex Predator it is mostly set in the present. However, historical matters play an important role in the book. This includes what I hope my readers will find to be an engaging look at the origins of the werewolf and how the werewolf and man interacted as rivals from the time of the Black Death to the present.

Originally, a significant portion of my historical content was located in Apex Predator’s first act. I struggled with what this meant for the book’s flow and pacing as well as the expectations it set up for the reader. Then an almost off-hand comment by my editor broke the bit of writer’s block I was fighting against.

Consequently, I went back to the material in question and reworked it so as to better tease out the historical details that provide depth to the characters and events playing out in the present. When I was finished I had crafted a more engaging work. In particular, ramping up the tension, suspense, and sense of discovery throughout the book in what early feedback is showing to be an entertaining fashion.

However, none of that would have happened if I hadn’t decided that though “killing your babies” is important in writing a tight well crafted thriller,  there are other things just as essential. Among those are creatively finding ways to present your readers with the vision that inspired you to sit down at your keyboard and begin the task of writing a novel.



Apex Predator is Available for Purchase

I am thrilled to say that my novel, Apex Predator is available for purchase in both softcover or electronic formats. Thank you to everyone who has inquired as to when it would be made available. I hope you enjoy it!

Apex Predator Cover Reveal

The publication date for my debut novel Apex Predator is quickly approaching. As I mentioned in a previous post professional help in producing a book often pays for itself. Editing and formatting services are only part of it. The cover is not a place to cut corners. To that end I am thrilled to reveal Apex Predator’s cover:


The artist I chose is Dean Samed, and I couldn’t be happier with his work. For those of you interested in learning more about Dean note that he is a UK-based illustrator / cover artist, and a specialist in the horror genre. He has illustrated the works of Stephen King, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, Graham Masterton, as well as a wide range of genre authors. Dean started freelancing at the age of 14, and throughout his young adult years, worked with promoters and record labels in urban dance music. Later, the e-publishing boom allowed him to switch focus to his first love, macabre art. As a horror specialist, he is known for his complex creature designs and sharp compositing style. He holds a First Class degree in Digital Media, and is currently undertaking his Masters in Fine Art. Dean likes to explore horror, occult, sci-fi and cyberpunk themes in his personal and commercial work.

Beyond that, Dean is responsive and professional. I enjoyed working with him and cannot recommend him enough.


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