Stuart Conover (SC): First off I’d love if you could share with my readers what your upcoming novel ‘Shadows Over Somerset’ is about?
The back cover copy reads: What secrets lurk in the heart of Cairnwood Manor?
Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. But very soon he finds himself drawn into the strange and esoteric world of werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to 14th Century Scotland.
In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance…and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.
SC: What research did you use to help set the mood and location?
The research was easy. These are all real places, with the exception of the Manor itself. The vast majority of scenes were all culled from my own personal experiences. There’s an old adage that one should “write what they know”. Well, I did. I just dialed it up to 11 here and there.
SC: Who are your favorite characters in the novel and without any spoilers what make them special for you?
There are a lot of characters I really enjoyed writing about in Shadows. If I had to pick one, it would probably be the alchemist William Stuart Townsend, who has a bigger role in Keepers of the Dead, but is still memorable in Shadows. I just loved the cadence of his voice. His was a great head to climb inside.
I’m also quite fond of John Whitefeather, who is loosely based on a couple of different people I had the pleasure of befriending when I spent some time in the desert with the Hopi and Navajo.
SC: In your novel does the world know of the existence of vampires, werewolves, and witches or are they a complete surprise when your main character comes across them?
While much of the cast is well aware of the existence of the supernatural, there are a plenty, including the main protagonist, who are thrust unwillingly into this violent and exotic shadow world.
SC: Do you plan on continuing the ‘Shadows Over Somerset’ series?
I do indeed. Keepers of the Dead and Shadow of the Wolf will follow along shortly, and some of these characters will also appear in another series I’m writing, in the novel called Born Again.
SC: What initially drew you to writing in the horror genre and what has kept you in it?
It’s been a lifelong interest of mine, an interest that has never waned. I guess you could trace it back to campfire tales I heard as a child, stories from the mountains and backwoods of the Ozarks where my family is from.
I also took to the Universal Monsters quite early, and I was an obsessive fan of Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker, and late night horror films hosted by Sammy Terry on WTTV 4 out of Indianapolis.
SC: How has your real life experiences factored into your writing?
I’ve been investigating the paranormal since I was a kid. I formed my first ghost hunting team, The Monster Club, in the third grade. Years later, in 1983, I started The Nightstalkers of Indiana, a group I’m still very active with. More than a few experiences I’ve had with these groups have found their way into my fiction. It’s the nature of the beast.
SC: What are your thoughts on traditional publishing and self-publishing?
It’s all muddied now, isn’t it? I try not worry myself over it. Traditional or Self-Published, it still comes down to the writing. Write to the best of your ability. Get it out there the same. If you have the time and inclination to do the publishing part yourself, then more power to you. If your time is short, well, you’d better have someone in the trenches for you.
SC: Do you have a certain routine when writing for getting yourself in the mood and mindset?
I used to more than now. In the beginning it was all about the witching hour, with candles and incense burning, and some grim soundtrack playing for ambiance. I’d still prefer to write that way, but now I’m forced to capture writing time whenever and wherever I can.
SC: Do you have any advice for other writers who are writing in or who want to write in the genre?
Read everything. Write every day. Find your voice and embrace it. Always remember that rejection is a learning experience and an important part of the dance.
SC: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I let the story lead me. I’ve never been able to stick to an outline. I enjoy the sense of discovery that facing a blank page offers.
SC: How do your novels relate to one another? For any carryover how do you personally keep track of information for continuity?
I tend to write in one universe, with everything interconnected. My brain is wired in such a way that it all makes sense and I’m able to just pick up the ball and run with it.
SC: You’ve worked on short stories, novels, and comics. How have your experiences with the different formats been?
I love writing in all three mediums, but each is its own unique creature. Short stories are a sprint. Novels are a marathon. And comics are a sack race.
SC: Do you have any other information for my readers who may be interested in finding out more about you or your writing?
Certainly. You can stop by my website at occultdetective.com or follow me on twitter at twitter.com/occultdetective
Author: Bob Freeman
Featured Book: Shadows Over Somerset
About Bob Freeman: Bob Freeman doesn’t just write and draw occult detectives, he’s also a card carrying paranormal adventurer who founded Nightstalkers of Indiana in 1983.
A lifelong student of witchcraft, magic, and religion, Bob’s studies are reflected in his art, both as an author and illustrator.
Bob lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.
He can be found online at occultdetective.com
Shadows Over Somerset Book Synopsis: Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.
In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance… and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.
Shadows Over Somerset is the first Cairnwood Manor Novel.
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