Demain Publishing Unleash Short Sharp Shocks! Series Two
September 18th 2020 sees Demain Publishing releases the next 5 titles in their incredibly successful Short Sharp Shocks! series.
The authors involved in this latest wave of horror will be (#51) Christopher Stanley, (#52) Jess Doyle, (#53) James Marx, (#54) Lee Allen Howard & (#55) Kev Harrison
All art will again be from the incredibly talented Adrian Baldwin.
Over the next 5 days, Kendall Reviews will be revealing each title from the first batch of Season Two.
Short Sharp Shocks! #52
M.I.C.H.A.E.L.: Jess Doyle
A ouija board with a dark history has horrific consequences for everyone who comes into contact with it. An innocent young couple are just the latest victims of an all-consuming vendetta that has festered for hundreds of years.
M.I.C.H.A.E.L. traces the ouija board’s malevolent past, delves into secrets and unearths the origin of an obsessive and vengeful spirit.
(cover by Adrian Baldwin)
Jess Doyle Talks To Kendall Reviews
Kendall Reviews: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
Jess Doyle: I’m Jess. I live in North Wales. I’m happily married to Jamie, a mental health counsellor and part-time musician. I have two kids and a cat. I write dark fiction and horror. I especially love folk horror, I take a lot of inspiration from folklore and myth.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
JD: Mostly read. I love watching good films and dark and quirky tv drama. I daydream a lot of the time, I like walking in the woods and pottering around the kitchen with a glass of wine. I like photography too, particularly macro. That’s the up-close and tiny stuff, it’s like seeing a whole new world that was there all along.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
JD: The Witches (Roald Dahl). I think I must have been about eight when I read it and there are some genuinely scary moments. The child trapped in a painting used to really scare me.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
JD: I love music with a bit of darkness in it. I tend to focus on lyrics, maybe a bit more than the average music fan. I’m a big Tom Waits fan and Mule Variations is my absolute favourite. I love a song that gives me a glimpse of a really good story. I’m also a big Nick Cave fan.
I don’t listen to music while I write, I tend to get too absorbed in music and forget what I was supposed to be doing.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
JD: I have an obsessive love An American Werewolf in London. It has some genuinely frightening moments and I love horror with a bit of humour. The soundtrack is good fun and it’s endlessly quotable. Beware the moon, lads.
KR: What are you reading now?
JD: I’ve just picked up a graphic novel called The Bad Bad Place by David Hine and Mark Stafford. I don’t tend to read more than one book at a time, I feel like I’m spread over too many worlds when I try to, especially when I’m writing too.
KR: What was the last great book you read?
JD: I really fell in love with The Winter Witch trilogy by Katherine Arden. It’s dark and fairy tale inspired, which is very much my thing. It’s definitely one I’ll revisit.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
JD: I love them all but there’s something really special about a Hardback. I do read e-books but I love a book you can hold, and smell: I’m a book sniffer.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
JD: When I started writing it was short stories which I still love. So I’d have to say some of the great short horror story writers: Robert Aikman, Algernon Blackwood, Shirley Jackson. I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan too.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
JD: If it’s a short story I often just see where it takes me. Bigger projects need planning though.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
JD: I tend to do a lot of research before and during writing. I actually really love the research stage. I take a lot of inspiration from history and folklore, so reading up on it is a bit of a hobby.
KR: How would you describe your writing style?
JD: It’s pretty dark stuff and mostly folk horror. I love writing interesting female characters and I’d like to think that my brand of dark fiction isn’t without humour.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
JD: I’m trying to rediscover my writing day. I’ve got two kids so it’s been hard to find the time and space to write over lockdown and during the summer. I imagine a full writing day at the moment would involve a lot of tea-drinking and staring at the wall, at least until I get back into the swing of things.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
JD: I pretty proud of ‘Luna Too’ in The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories. It’s very me, it’s folk horror with a cat.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
JD: I crave validation, so yes.
KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?
JD: I’m a lot braver.
KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?
JD: I can’t remember who said it but ‘write the stories you want to read’.
KR: What scares you?
JD: The sea, it’s dark and deep and full of monsters.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
JD: M.I.C.H.A.E.L. is a Demain Short Sharp Shocks book. It’s a gothic horror novella and I’m really proud of it. The story begins with a ouija board and traces the history of a vengeful spirit. It gets very dark.
KR: What are you working on now?
JD: My first graphic novel script. It’s called ‘Tales of Terrig’ and it’s a very dark YA story with some horror themes. I’m very excited about it. I’m currently looking for an illustrator to work with.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.
JD: That’s difficult. How big is this island? Three people I can stand to be around full-time? Can I have a corner of the island to myself? Well, I can definitely deal with the company of a cat so I’ll have Mog the Forgetful Cat please.
I suppose from my own writing I’d choose the main character Fae from the graphic novel I mentioned earlier. I think we’d get on well, plus she’s a ghost so she can disappear from time to time.
A real-life person? Hmm…someone who interests me and seems nice. I’ll choose Audrey Niffenegger please.
So that’s a cat, a ghost and Audrey Niffenegger. I think it could work.
KR: Thank you very much Jess.
Jess Doyle is a writer of horror and dark fiction from North Wales. Her stories have been published in The Cabinet of Heed, Hypnopomp Magazine, Coffin Bell, Horror Scribes, Zeroflash and Idle Ink. Her short story “A Little Something for the Dead” was published by Bone and Ink Press and was nominated for Best of The Net. Her short story “Luna Too” was recently published in The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories. Jess’s novella “M.I.C.H.E.A.L” is available from Demain Publishing from 18th September.
You can find Jess on Twitter as @jcdoyley