For my newest series, Greytown Horrors, I have returned to my home country of Ireland. Specifically, Northern Ireland with all of its colourful culture…and swearing. Lots of fucking swearing.
Dark Solstice started off as a passion project of sorts. I just wanted to write something wild and crazy set in my own culture, a comedy about two layabout characters, both of whom are as about as far from hero material as you can get. I didn’t even care if anyone outside of Ireland “got” the book. I just wanted to write an authentic tale and make myself laugh at the same time.
Lots Of Fucks Given…And Cunts Too
And then I started writing, sticking to my remit of writing in a culturally authentic voice, which meant lots of fucking swearing–including numerous instances of the C word. I don’t get, by the way, why so many people are offended by the word “cunt.” I mean, it’s just a word, but to some people (especially Americans) it’s like a good old slap to the face or a kick to the balls/vagina. Here in Ireland, especially the part where I’m from, the word cunt is used as often as the word “you” for instance. And indeed, the word you is often followed by the word cunt, as in, “You cunt.” Depending on the context and the way it’s said, it can function as a barbed term of endearment or vicious put down. Often it has no meaning at all really, and is just said for the sake of it. If nothing else, it makes for colourful conversations.
But anyway. I’m trying to say I used the world cunt a lot in the story. And “fuck”, and “frig” and lots of other swear words. I find swearing comical in the right context. It helps underline the humour already present in a scene. That’s my excuse for using it anyway, and cultural accuracy, of course. I never expected the book to be mainstream material, so what the hell, right? Or should I say, “Fuck aff, ye cunt, an’ don’ tell me how to write m’own fuckin’ book!”
Dropped Gs, Missing Letters And A Shit Ton Of Apostrophes
See that last sentence there? I initially wrote the whole book like that. No kidding. Every G was dropped from that motherfucker. And yeah, it was as distracting and annoying as it sounds. Once I’d finished the book, I went back and spent two whole fucking days changing the text to proper English and putting all those missing Gs back…and every other letter I dropped out. By the time I’d finished, I had something much less distracting, which is good for the reader obviously. And even without the dialect, I still got the Norn Iron culture across just fine. I’ll leave the dialect to Irving Welsh from now on.
But back to what I was saying a minute ago. The book grew as I wrote it, forcing me to take it more seriously. Suddenly it felt like I was writing a proper story and not the self-indulgent fun little story I started off doing. Shit had to make sense now, which required a bit more thought. Suddenly, I was invested. My planned novella grew into a full blown novel. Now I’m looking at writing another three books.
Sigh. I’ve probably lumbered myself with a series that probably won’t sell as well as my previous series. But still, I’m sure it will prove to be fun writing it. And hell, it makes a bit of money anyway. It will make more when I add more books to it.
Urban Fantasy Horror Comedy
I suggest you read the book if you like my other work. It’s dark, funny and scary at times. It’s a fun ride, even if it is done differently to my other books. It’s still urban fantasy, but with more of a horror bent.
In case you’re wondering what the book is about, here’s the blurb:
It’s one thing to believe in witches…but quite another to hunt one.
What do you do when the ghost of your dead father-in-law appears to you and tells you he was killed by a witch, and he wants you to help him get his revenge? Answer: You call him crazy and drink more wine, of course…and then you stupidly agree to help him.
My name is Fergie Thompson, and I’m now on a mission to kill a witch before she can sacrifice my ex-wife and summon a great evil into the world. Not my usual thing, witch hunting—I can barely find my keys in the morning. But my father-in-law is offering money—a lot of money.
So armed with no skills whatsoever except in drinking Buckfast wine and the ability to swing a Hurley stick, I’m dragged into a world of witchcraft, murderous ghosts and cosmic horrors as I battle to save our wee Northern Irish town, and perhaps even, the world at large.
Not sure about the ex-wife, though…she can save herself.
Trainspotting meets Lovecraft in this hilarious laugh-out-loud horror comedy/dark urban fantasy from the bestselling author of the Ethan Drake series.