Storberry is scheduled for digital release in mid-August 2014.
In the small Virginia town of Storberry, the children believe the forest to be haunted. A strange wind storm cripples the town, and something wicked follows in its wake.
I began Storberry with the vague idea of a vampire story. The first blank page stared at me for a long time – a rather frightening prospect indeed. Then I found Evan Moran, Tom Kingsley, and Jen Barrows. They took me by the hand and led me into their world.
My storytelling process is free-form and organic. I do not outline. I prefer to be the story’s very first reader. For instance, I often start with a clear idea of where a storyline is headed, but find to my surprise (and delight) that it often takes unexpected turns, and ends up somewhere altogether different than where I had intended. Such was the case with Storberry and its characters.
I began with a simple question:
What would happen if a rural Virginia town was overrun by vampires?
The original inspirations for the vampires of Storberry were Nosferatu and the 1975 movie version of Salem’s Lot. Once they appeared in the story, I found that they acted in ways I did not expect. They were less conniving than the typical vampire mythos. They are pure monsters in this world. Suffice it to say, nobody will fall in love with the vampires of Storberry. Nor will they materialize as heartthrob posters in your 12-year-old daughter’s bedroom.
They won’t turn into bats and flap off into the gloaming. And you’ll need more than a few cloves of garlic from your garden to beat them.
Inspired by Classic Vampire Horror
The vampires in Storberry are creatures that inspire fear, not admiration. They’re relentless, savage, and mindlessly driven by a single need: blood. Their visage draws more from Max Schreck’s haunting portrayal in Nosferatu than the suave Count Dracula of popular culture. Indeed, fans of the Salem’s Lot TV miniseries will find an echo of their unsettling horror in the insidious menace that pervades Storberry.
Our protagonists are ordinary people, akin to the brave and resolute characters in Salem’s Lot. Evan Moran is a down-on-his-luck teacher returning to his hometown, only to find it under a terrifying spell. Tom Kingsley, a shy but brilliant teenager, is thrust into a nightmare he can’t explain. Jen Barrows, a strong-willed teenager who befriends Tom, is grappling with unimaginable horrors in a fight for survival.
These characters start as everyday people, and that’s what makes Storberry a unique vampire story. They’re unprepared for the grim reality they’re thrown into and must find strength within themselves they never knew existed. The ordinary nature of these characters enhances the horror and suspense, making the reader wonder: what would I do if this were my town, my home, my life?
The town of Storberry is a character in its own right, a quintessential small town that could be anywhere, but with an underlying darkness that seeps into every corner. Storberry may have a picturesque surface, but underneath, it’s haunted by the undead.
The vampires’ onslaught isn’t the only terror. The residents must face their own worst fears, the chaos that ensues from distrust, and the uncertainty that comes with a relentless enemy. In other words, the story examines not only the terror that monsters inspire but also the horror that humans can manifest when faced with an existential threat.
A careful reader might notice an exploration of broader themes – of community, faith, and the human capacity to withstand and overcome evil. It’s a deliciously layered narrative that offers chills, thrills, and food for thought, all in one go.
Storberry is a must-read for fans of visceral horror and psychological suspense. Its unrelenting pace, vividly drawn characters, and haunting atmosphere combine to deliver a potent and genuinely terrifying vampire novel. It invites you to step into a town seized by a horrifying menace and experience the terror firsthand. One thing is for certain: once you’ve visited Storberry, you’ll never forget it.
Mr. Barlow Resurrected
The vampires in Storberry, much like Mr. Barlow in the Salem’s Lot TV miniseries, are monstrous and malevolent, with an aura that can chill the spine. They are raw and elemental, devoid of the romanticized charm often attributed to vampires in popular culture.
Mr. Barlow is a creature of nightmare. His undead pallor, glowing eyes, and dreadful fangs make a haunting image that’s not easily forgotten. He is the embodiment of horror, a shadowy specter that sends shivers down the spine of any who dare to cross his path. The unnerving aura he exudes and the visceral fear he inspires in the town’s inhabitants have become a benchmark for vampire horror.
In Storberry, the vampires draw heavily from this visage. These are not the slick, cape-clad figures of traditional vampire lore. Instead, they are monstrous and grotesque, with an animalistic ferocity that is at once terrifying and awe-inspiring. Much like Mr. Barlow, they are not beings you can negotiate with or hope to understand – their single-minded hunger for blood is an unstoppable force that leaves ruin in its wake.
But while the monsters in Salem’s Lot use a certain amount of cunning and manipulative seduction to ensnare their victims, the vampires in Storberry are more straightforwardly savage, their actions governed by an insatiable need to feed. Their brutality is palpable, creating an atmosphere of sheer terror that harkens back to Mr. Barlow’s unsettling reign in Salem’s Lot.
Moreover, just as the arrival of Mr. Barlow brings about an oppressive atmosphere of dread in Salem’s Lot, the presence of the vampires in Storberry shrouds the town in a similar darkness. The terror in both narratives is not confined to the vampires alone; it extends to the realization that your own neighbors, the people you know and love, can become something horrifying and completely alien.
There’s no question that fans of Mr. Barlow’s chilling portrayal in Salem’s Lot will find themselves haunted by the vampires of Storberry. While they carve their own bloody path, the echoes of the masterful terror crafted in the Salem’s Lot TV miniseries reverberate throughout the narrative. In both, the vampires are not the suave seducers of the night; they are the monsters lurking in the shadows, the nightmares that make your blood run cold. Prepare to be enthralled, and terrified, by the bloodthirsty horror that awaits in Storberry.
Storberry is expected to be released in mid-August 2014, just in time for those late-summer nights when the wind howls outside your window and the shadows begin to whisper. For now, keep your garlic close, and remember: the monsters are closer than you think.
I hope you will appreciate and enjoy Storberry as a throwback novel to the days when monsters were still monsters. Make plenty of popcorn, and read it with the lights low.
Get ready for an old-fashioned trip to the Drive-In!