A sincere Thank You to everyone who picked up a copy of The Tall Priest or took advantage of the recent promotion and snagged a free copy of The Wounded King.
Because of your support, The Tall Priest climbed higher on the Amazon charts than any of the previous Martuk Series books. And, especially in light of the minimal marketing I’d done, that’s a small, somewhat ephemeral thing worth celebrating.
Here’s hoping enough of you will like it enough to share your thoughts with a brief review. (crosses fingers)
Click. The third apartment and third story in Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast. To be honest, I’ve dragged my feet getting around to talking about the process of writing this story. I’ve hemmed and I’ve hawed and, heck, I’m still doing that now! Filling up the page with words, words, words and shifting them into sentences, all so I can put off, again, talking about this story. Fact is, out of all the tales that comprise Eidolon, this was the one I found the most difficult to write. Not the writing of it, I mean. But the psychological tunnel I needed to crawl through to bring it to life. That was the nightmare. That was what literally kept me awake at night. That’s what would – more than once, more than twice – force me from my chair and out the door to get some fresh air while the story waited, mid-sentence, for my return. Because I simply could not handle what the main character was doing. I couldn’t handle the thinking behind it, I couldn’t handle the cruelty behind it, and I couldn’t, for one second more, be the conduit for this monster to continue telling his story.
Colton Carryage. That’s the monster. Tits. Freckles. Teeth. Unnecessary. Those are his victims. These are names, predator and prey, that will stay with me for awhile. That stay with me still. And I didn’t set out to write the story I eventually wrote when I sat down. It took a sharp right into shadow and, despite my trying to turn the wheel back into the light, it insisted on going even deeper. And I certainly didn’t intend for it to be the first book my publisher needed to put a Warning Label on. But Colton’s madness, his cruelty, his insatiable need and dark desires demanded it. Not everyone’s heart or head can handle the horrible secrets that wait in Apartment 1C. Hell, I wrote the damn thing and I’m still recuperating. And that’s all I think I’m going to say about Click.
“Click” was scary because…how can I put this? It was scary because why it was happening was coming from a mindset that could never be mine. The reasoning behind the cruelty, the quiet joy taken in it, the victim’s confusion shifting into realization and then terror, the whole thing turned my stomach. Put a lump in my throat. An insistent thump, thump, thumping in my head. Sent me to bed at night drowning in violent tsunamis of bitter guilt. I actually more than once — more than twice, to be honest — stopped midsentence, stood up and stepped outside just to get away from Apartment 1C.
This is what horror should be, at least, it’s the what I like my horror to be. Not only graphic and lurid, but beautiful, jarring and unnerving as well. Weighing heavy on the mind and spirit. Violently abducting you from your safe place, shattering your comfort zone with a wrench to the skull. Applying a constant pressure on the (constantly constricting) boundaries of what is deemed socially acceptable.
This is my horror. And like a pastor in the church of horror, this is the book that I’ll be preaching to my congregation.
“Each apartment holds something truly horrifying and disconcerting. Even when fantastical elements are introduced, Winn grounds the story with grim realities. Violent and graphic, the actions and thoughts of each tenant push the boundaries of comfort. There are flourishes of intensely dark content, both physical and psychological, within the pages of this story. It never goes to Edward Lee extremes, but this is classic splatterpunk by way of early Clive Barker and Jack Ketchum with the unhinged way Robert Bloch can get under your skin.
This is truly adult horror.
A voice unlike any other, Eidolon Avenue is a masterclass effort in horror literature.”