Actually I have two favourite genres. Both to read and to write. These are Crime and Horror. Not always together, but is there really a dividing line? A crime is committed. A spirit seeks revenge from beyond the grave. Well, it has been done.
But let's separate the two. Firstly Crime. The fascination with Crime stories. Not that what you write about is something you would wish upon yourself. Or to actually commit a crime. There's the Whodunnit, The Agatha Christie /Inspector Morse style crime novels, where the story unfolds mostly via the detective.
My style of crime writing is more in the modus operandi of an involvement with the bad guy. The criminal. I'm not a Whodunnit writer. A crime is committed. The detective is called in to solve it. I prefer to write about the perpetrator of said crime. Who his family are. His relationship with his girlfriend/wife, or ex-wife. In Stalking Aidan, The Devil in Soho and Progeny of a Killer we meet ex-offender Aidan McRaney. Because of his good looks and his sexy Irish accent, this young man is already a hit with my female readers. He's not such a bad guy that he's unsympathetic. He's simply drawn unwittingly into the criminal underworld, mainly because he carries a big chip on his shoulder. He blames his father and the rest of the world in general, for uprooting him from his beloved Ireland at the age of nine.
Speaking personally, I love the anti- hero. The crossover between actual villain and the man or woman trying to be good, but never quite making the grade. My books have their anti-heroines too, such as Verdi Benson in Stalking Aidan. With her husband, Charlie, jailed for armed robbery and her son Terry blown up in Aidan's car, ex-prostitute Verdi is no stranger to guns. She can blow away anyone who crosses her. With the promise of sex ad infinitum, she twists our hero, the hapless Aidan, around her little finger. But Aidan is no pushover. He can be hard, and knows his way around weaponry equally as good as any soldier. Then there's LJ, Lorna Jane Allardyce, in Progeny of a Killer. LJ is an expert shot, so much so she's even published a book about Tactical Weapons Training, and is Aidan's partner in their war against terrorism.
Getting inside the mind of a criminal. Why he or she does what they do? Does their desire to kill stem from an isolated, but nefarious incident in their past? Laying dormant, but materialising years later as a criminal vocation?
This then is my contribution to the Crime genre. No hard and fast rules. The anti-hero answers to no one. He doesn't have to concern himself about catching a crook or that the Chief Constable will have his head if he lets one go. Anti-heroes and villains have always fascinated me in books and movies. That's why I love writing about them.
I grew up reading Horror and the Occult from my early years. Probably from the first time I could read. Or was it because of my father's tales told, and re-told, to me during the long winter evenings? In fact, as a teenager, I devoured as much literature as I possibly could on the Occult.
I recollect sending for certain books relative to Witchcraft when I was almost enticed into a Witch’s Coven myself. Only my dad decided it wasn't for me.
My love for this genre began with the true accounts of ghostly apparitions on haunted highways, to spectral chain-rattling wraiths in gloomy castles. For me to love the genre, which stemmed from my all-time favourite writer Mr Elliott O'Donnell, who recounted his nights spent in various Haunted Houses in books such as The Screaming Skulls. I suppose my love of the genre began also with the writer Dennis Wheatley. Who has, with his incomparable story of Black Magic and the Occult, inspired my latest work, One Night In Hell. It tell the story of a young psychic, Freya Monroe, who had once practiced witchcraft as a High Priestess in a coven called the Hecate Circle. Because of her inherent powers, the Circle want her back in order to resurrect their leader, the satanist Dante LeVey. However Freya, who's first husband Richard was found burned to death at the wheel of his car while the rest of the interior remained untouched, is reluctant. Fearing that she will lose the love of her present husband, who has no idea that she had once practiced Black Magic.
Horror and horror movies are a fascination of mine. In One Night In Hell we meet Goethe, aka Danny McCluskey, who adopts the name of the author of Faustus - man who allegedly sold his soul to the Devil. Goethe is a vicious little serial killer, who believes the murders of young girls will ensure the satanist LeVey will use him as the host body on his resurrection.
Here then is a fine line between Crime and Horror. My favourite genres, both of which embody violence.
I live in Thatcham in Berkshire, and work part time in a local care home. I spend the rest of my day writing, and have published five books online. The inspiration for my novels comes largely from the movies I watch, and from writers such as Jack Higgins and Gerald Seymour. I love all things Irish. I listen to old country and Irish country music while I write. Also old Methodist hymns. The music is conducive to scene setting, in which I often lose myself.
Jean's website: jmshorney.wordpress.com