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Originally, a significant portion of my historical content was located in Apex Predator’s first act.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.