Friday, March 23, 2018

A Book Inspired By A Monstrous Holiday

For a long time, I've been intrigued by famous authors and their writing groups, like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and their group of Inklings. How did they meet one another, how often did they get together, what did they discuss? I wish I could listen in on one of their meetings, even though they took place years ago. But as much as the Inklings intrigued me, another group of writers captivated me even more.

This group shared a holiday in Lake Geneva, Switzerland in 1816, during a year that had no summer. A volcanic eruption caused snow to fall around the globe, so much that thousands froze to death in their beds—during the summer. In the midst of this, a group of brilliant minds felt their holiday was ruined by the horrible weather. They grew restless when they couldn't go outdoors and explore the nearby glaciers and castles. So, one of them challenged the others to write a ghost story. This group included Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Polidori, Claire Claremont and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (soon to Mary Shelley.)

As a result, a new genre of fiction was born: science fiction. Mary Godwin wrote Frankenstein. Meanwhile, John Polidori wrote the first vampire story ever, based on local legends—a story that would later inspire Bram Stoker to pen Dracula.

Imagine being there when everyone was writing new stories about horrible monsters.

Now imagine this: What if their stories were based on something that really happened? What if this new science that Mary and John were interested in—Galvanism—could really raise the dead? And what if the local legends of vampires were true and the foul weather drove these creatures down from the Alps, wild and hungry?

This was the basis for my new series, which begins with SHADE: A Re-imagining of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The first novella releases on May 1st and here are some early 5-star reviews:

"This is a nailbiting, teeth clenching, scream inducing, not blinking, afraid of the dark and anything moving in it read that hooked me from the start."—5-Star Amazon Review

"Merrie takes the reader on a Gothic horror thrill ride through Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin's eyes that ends in a heart-stopping cliffhanger. I can't wait to read the rest of the story!"—5-Star Amazon Review

"Shade hit the ground running from page 1. It is a truly disturbing gothic horror story with some romance thrown in for good measure."—5-Star Amazon Review

A short description of the book:
200 years ago, a young woman and a young man changed the world with their stories. They also fell in love. Then they had to kill the creature they raised from the dead to survive...

You can also read an excerpt here on my website.

What classic horror stories do you love? Comment below for a chance to win a free advance digital copy of SHADE: A RE-IMAGINING OF MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN. GIVEAWAY will end on Thursday, March 29th and will be announced on this blog post, so check back to see if you won!


Kim Falconer said...

Merrie, this sounds fantastic!

I've already pre-ordered but will say that Bram Stoker's Dracula and all the zillion derivatives are on my love list. And Wilde's Dorian Gray. Yes!

Merrie Destefano said...

Hi, Kim! Thanks so much for pre-ordering Shade! All great choices! I love all the old classic monster movies, like Frankenstein and Dracula. But I also loved THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM with Vincent Price, a tale by one of my favorite American Romantic poets, Edgar Allan Poe. He was a contemporary of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley. 😀💖😀 I think I must love work from that period in time!

Kim Falconer said...

I read the Pit and the Pendulum in High School and it was terrifying.

Masterful horror.

Thanks for reminding me. I reread Thehe Raven for a Uni project ten years ago. I think it might be time for more Poe, but I'm reading Shade first!