Welcome, JK James, to the Lovers of Paranormal Book of the Month club. As you know, Concealed in the Darkness was one of the books selected to be read as a group. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write your book?
1. Tell us about your book?
Concealed in the Darkness is about a young man coming of age and faced with hardships that only get harder when world of the paranormal, that has always followed him, reaches into his world and turns everything upside down. Things escalate to a point where he can no longer avoid and hide from it, but is forced to confront it and by doing so learns the secrets hiding in the darkness.
2. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I found keeping and holding the flow was the most difficult. It's very hard to hold and maintain a reader's attention when you have to fill in important details for the story. You risk making things boring. In the first version of this book, the first three chapters included background information to help explain things that were happening throughout the book. I found doing that to be a mistake because adding too much detail painted too much of a picture and made it harder for the reader to relate to the characters and what they were experiencing. There was much learning behind this writing.
3. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The very first chapter I got a kick out of telling. It was a story my mother used to tell me about what happened to her when she was a little girl living in an old farm house. I made several changes to the story to allow the reader to better relate and also to help it tie into the whole book.
4. How do you develop your plots and characters?
Developing the plots and characters was the easy part. Most horror themes are works of fiction and reflections of the author's nightmares, but this one is different. This one is based off real events that happened in the lives of several people. I took these experiences and put them together into one story. It's a bit horrifying when you're reading about an attack by a spectral entity and realize that this actually happened to someone. It's not made up.
This book is based on what lies out there in the unseen world that is able to interact with our own world. Able to touch our lives and not in very pleasant ways. Things that are able to manifest themselves to us in a real physical manner, as real as everything else, and get into our heads in a hidden way that makes us question our sanity.
How often do we pretend we didn't see the shadow move in the corner of our eye. We try to brush off the feeling of something behind us making chills run down our spine. We don't want anyone to know we think we seen something in the darkened room. Even heard it whispering to us.
Every culture throughout history mentions these things. They've always been with us. But why do they seem to hate us. Why do they reach into our world and try to rip it apart.
I hope this book will get under everyone's skin because it doesn't tell of a made up monster chasing you in the woods waiting for you to fall down. This is about the thing you already know about that watches you sleep. The thing you cannot hide from.
5. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I had to rewrite the book several times. I learned that I can't just tell the story as is. I must insert hooks to immediately grab and hold the reader's attention and believe or not, the original version of it had a very different ending. I had to change it because it apparently made some people angry. They didn't like the psychological tragedy I had in store for them. I toned some things down so the reader could at least turn off some of their lights at night...but not all of them.
6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Don't so quickly dismiss the things that go bump in the night. We can't all be consistently suffering from mass disillusion for thousands of years across every culture and people in the World. Every religion and culture mentions these things that hide in the shadows of the darkness. Even the skeptic shivers with goose pimples and nonchalantly looks over their shoulder. Something's there, we can't explain it but we also can't deny it.
7. What books have most influenced your life?
I think the book that influenced me the most was a book I read when I was around 11 or 12 years old. It wasn't even in the genre I read so regularly Today. It was “The Boy Who Sailed Around The World Alone.” This book taught me that perseverance always wins the day and never to give up on your dreams.
8. What are your future project(s)?
I have several projects I am currently working on. All of them deal with the paranormal and unseen things. Of course, in my usual twisted way I can't just make up a story. I have to use things that everyone seems to already question and believe in. Even worse, things that can trace back into history and relate to every culture. I don't discriminate when I scare, I must horrify everyone regardless of their background and beliefs.
9. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn't be an author, I would love to be an artist. I used to do oil paintings and murals, but I found myself literally being the starving artist. My art changed and became more about dark fantasy and macabre. After people became too afraid to come into the same room my paintings were in, I figured it would be best to not tell the stories in pictures but by words.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your LoP readers?
Stay loyal to the genre, we have so many things hidden in the Cimmerian shade of your mind to show you.
Thank you, JK, and thanks for answering all our questions. I hope Lovers of Paranormal members will feel free to post additional questions in the thread below, and if they have the chance, to grab a copy of Concealed in Darkness and join us in the BOTM thread HERE:
Concealed in the Darkness By J.K. James is available at these following locations:
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