Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Curious Mystery of the Haunted Mansion

With my first book of Victorian mystery and science fiction in the hands of publishers and agents across the realm, I've been working on all sorts of side projects whilst I await that magnificent, rare gem that is the Acceptance Letter. Regular visitors to my Facebook page will know that I've recently turned in a short Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and I'm currently working on some more science fiction short stories for the Black Library.

However, a good friend recently gave me the idea of writing a second novel; not only to submit to agents to help get the ball rolling a bit faster, but also to practise the craft of novel-writing, exploring different genres and plot structures. I've taken his advice. You see, I'd already started the second book in my Victorian series - I have a plot that I'm very happy with, and a first chapter that's quite well polished. But until book one has been snapped up by a publisher, book two seems a rather distant prospect. With that in mind, I've decided to embrace this 'modern day' era, which has so often been a source of confusion to me as a time-travelling 19th century gent: I'm going to write a contemporary horror novel.

Today has been the first day of plotting and research, and my head is already swimming with ideas. But the thing that's really got the creative juices flowing is the research about locations. The websites I've uncovered today about the phenomenon of Urban Exploration have been immensely illuminating. All of the pictures attached to this post are from genuine urban explorations.

The pictures of abandoned, creepy old houses, asylums, factories and prisons that these intrepid (and sometimes daft) explorers have taken is the stuff of dreams (or nightmares) for a writer. It's astonishing just how many derelict mansions and such like are scattered around the British Isles; some of them are in a very sorry state, but others are probably worthy of a field trip to fill in the all-important details of my story.

Of course, I'll probably have to find someone willing to come on a jaunt to an abandoned and potentially haunted house, but I'm sure there'll be no shortage of volunteers. a Victorian such as myself has no shortage of companions with the requisite resolve and stiff upper lip!

I'm not sure whether the creepy old place in my story is going to be a residential or public building, or even if it'll be a real or imagined place; but you can be damned it'll have a dark history, a sinister secret, and at least one inhabitant who isn't of this earth. While the location is key to making the tale scary, the biggest challenge I'll be facing is how to make the traditional haunted house horror story surprising. Watch this space!


  1. I hope and wish those novels,tales,short stories can be published soon and I have the opportunity of reading them.

    I must say i prefer literature set in victorian
    England.I really like victorian period art and architecture in nineteenth century but good luck with your new ideas and story.

    Could you share the link where did you find those photos?It is nice to find people with common tastes.:)

    Sorry for my possible mistakes in writting.


    1. Thanks for your support, Chelo. And don't worry - your English is better than my Spanish. Aunque todavía puedo recordar un poco de español. (That was probably wrong :-D)

      There are lots of urban exploration sites out there, but the best I've found are these: and

      I will never stop loving the Victorian era, but what I like about the new concept is that it centres on a lovely old building that has fallen into disrepair. Hopefully it'll be a study of how buildings resonate with the good and bad things that people do within.