Inspiration Engines: Brian Fatah Steele discusses the inspirations behind his latest book ‘Bleed Away The Sky’

Inspiration Engines

Brian Fatah Steele

Influences come from everywhere, from writers like Clive Barker and Warren Ellis, to artists like Russ Mills and music like The Glitch Mob. Everything churns and swirls in my head, then gets seasoned with new inspiration. For instance, my latest book Bleed Away the Sky was all started by a single sentence.

Mommy doesn’t bleed her own blood.”

My girlfriend had a nightmare and recalled that line from it. I found it fascinating. An entire story began to form around that line, a line I kept and used as the opening sentence in the novel. I wanted the main character, a sort of heroine, strong but sad, so I ended up writing the whole book to the music of Lana Del Rey. It created the perfect atmosphere. From there I built a mythology with an ancient lineage of blood magic, a secret society supported by governments and corporations, and cosmic monstrosities tearing their way into our world from other dimensions.

It comes from my love of everything as varied as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brian Lumley, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Supernatural, and James Rollins. I saw no reason why I couldn’t write a cosmic horror novel with a strong urban fantasy element. Comic book adventures are just a part of me as the darkness I find in horror.

I did the same in my last novel, There is Darkness in Every Room, blending cosmic horror with sci-fi adventure. I’m doing the same with my next novel, too. I had some missteps with my first few titles back in the day, trying to find my voice. I think that happens with a lot of authors. Maybe it takes some time for creativity to coalesce into a certain clarity. It wasn’t like I was ever writing for the market before, but I had never truly been writing for me. Now I’m taking everything on the table, all the things that interest me, and throwing them down. Now these works are representative of me.

I’m drawn to big, ridiculous, epic tales. Stories with gods and monsters and people with super powers. Audrey’s ancestry in Bleed Away the Sky was modeled directly on the quote above. I wanted to tie it into something beyond her scope of understanding, something threatening. From there we had the antagonists of the novel, of which there are a variety. With a background in fine arts, I was able to do some sketches until I found concepts I liked. Hopefully you’ll get to meet them all when you read the book. There’s our little secret cabal members, along with a few other key characters. Some of them were harder to pin down than others, but one in particular took a long time to get just right.

Bleed Away the Sky is a novel I’m quite proud of and there’s a lot of who I am in this book. It’s a story about young woman trying to outrun her destiny, cosmic abominations, and secret cabals. It’s also a story about a woman’s right to choose, mental health, identity, and family.

Audrey Darrow lost her mother when she was a child. Now, her absent father has passed away and Elliot, the half-brother she never knew, wants to connect with the only family he has left on an impromptu cross-country road trip.

Soon after the journey begins, she learns that her mother belonged to an ancient line of women — women who held powers they used to seal and protect our realm from an onslaught of nightmarish entities — and Audrey is the last of them. 

Now a mystic cabal is determined to force her into her role, while a parade of otherworldly creatures attempt to kill her in order to end her line forever. Audrey must decide how to deal with the strange blood in her lineage, and about whether the world is worth saving or not… before it’s too late

You can buy Bleed Away The Sky from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Brian Fatah Steele

Brian Fatah Steele has been writing various types of dark fiction for over ten years, from horror to urban fantasy and science fiction. Growing up hooked on comic books and monster movies, he gravitates towards anything imaginative and dynamic. Steele originally went to school for fine arts but finds himself far more fulfilled now by storytelling.

His work has appeared in such places as 4POCALYPSE, BLOOD TYPE, DEATH’S REALM, THE IDOLATERS OF CTHULHU, PAYING THE FERRYMAN, CTHULHU LIES DREAMING, and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated DARK VISIONS, VOL.1. Along with his sci-fi/horror novel THERE IS DARKNESS IN EVERY ROOM (Sinister Grin Press), his own self-published titles include the urban fantasy novel IN BLEED COUNTRY, the post-mythic novella collection FURTHER THAN FATE, and the dark sci-fi collection BRUTAL STARLIGHT.

Steele lives in Ohio with a few cats and survives on a diet of coffee and cigarettes. He spends his time still dabbling in visual art, vowing to fix up his house, acting as a part-time chaos entity, spending too many hours watching television, and probably working on his next writing project.

You can follow Brian on Twitter @brian_f_steele

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