Welcome to the first entry in my blog – A Torch in the Dark. Aptly named, I feel, as I’ll be shining a light on all of the brilliant dark fiction novels and authors I love (and think that you will, too). I’ll be interviewing authors, offering reviews and my thoughts on books, and of course, sharing updates on my own work.
Who am I, and why would you care?
I’m Dean. You’ve probably worked that out, as it’s in the URL, and splattered all over each page as many times as it took to satisfy Google. You probably also know, by now, that I write horror and paranormal thrillers. But let’s go a little deeper, shall we?
I’ve always loved to read and write. My first memory of loving reading was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. My tastes may have changed a little since then, but my passion hasn’t.
Of course, as a four-year-old boy, I didn’t do a lot of writing. That started in year six of primary school (when I was about ten years old). We had an English teacher who was incredibly passionate, and it was obvious he really cared about his pupils. I’ve many fond memories of him (Mr Casson, if you’re out there, let me know – I’ll buy you a pint), the most treasured being when he wrote “another cracker from the pen of Dean Bryant” on my creative writing homework. It sparked the joy or writing that has only grown since.
The Stairwell is my first full length novel. I wrote it over two years, primarily with my father. He lives on the other side of the country, so every few weeks we’d spend a weekend together. We’d get up early, have a nice English breakfast, then get to writing. By the end of the day, which passed so quickly, we’d find that we’d each written thousands and thousands of words.
I didn’t expect that my first book would get published. I fully intended to publish it myself, in fact, convinced, full of self-doubt, that any publisher would be interested in something that I had written. Despite all the praise I had received from others on my writing, it didn’t seem like something that would happen to me.
I first heard about Darkstroke from a fellow published Author, Michelle Cook, author of Tipping Point (whom I hope will appears on A Torch in the Dark soon!). She’d recently signed with them herself, so I thought I’d get in touch with her to inquire about her experiences with them. She only had good things to say, so, I went for it. I submitted a synopsis of my book, and the first three chapters. A week or two later, they requested the whole book. Another couple of weeks later, and we’d arranged a Zoom call meeting (I’m sure many of you are familiar with Zoom in this current COVID-19 era!). I was over the moon when they informed me they loved my book and wanted to sign me.
I’m quite a big fan of gin. I’m subscribed to the Gin Club, a monthly subscription service where every month they send you a premium, craft bottle of gin, as well as a few other treats to go with it. My favourite is a delightful London dry called Marylebone. For those of you not from London, Marlebone is a large train station in London. The gin is distilled in an old disused tunnel under a train track. The result is a lot more pleasant than that image my offer. Anyway, I’d been keeping enough for one large measure for months, saving it for something worthy of drinking it to. Of course, news that I was being published was a perfect occasion!
Thanks for taking the time to read my first post in A Torch in the Dark. I promise that not every post will be about me! Before you go, I feel I should let you know that The Stairwell is available for preorder now. It’s coming out on the 30th of October, just in time for Halloween…