“The Noctuary” and the tagline: “Writer Simon Ryan is Hell’s new Scribe and the safety of our souls depends on his every word.”
2. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
The Noctuary means “night-diary” or “night journal”. The main character Simon Ryan narrates the tale as if he is writing it as it happens. I wanted to write a tale about inspiration and creation and imagined what it would be like if your “muse” suddenly appeared before you.
3. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I don’t really have a “favourite” because all the characters in The Noctuary are worthy of being invested in. Meknok, the leader of the nine Dark Muses of Hell however, was a joy to create and I put every ounce of effort into making him as sinister as possible. The central character, Simon, is such a dark soul, someone who has wholly and solely retreated into the darkest part of himself. Henry Schiller, his mentor, is all sarcasm – a “say what you really mean kind of guy”; he provides a bit of comic relief throughout this very dark book.
4. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Again, I like all the characters in the book; all of them have a vital part to play.
5. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
One thing I have done with The Noctuary is write a prelude – a sort of introduction to the book, which I will self-publish as a short story in a few weeks.
6. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
Simon Ryan’s name has a personal meaning – Simon was going to be the name my parents wanted to give me, but my brothers wanted to name me after a famous cricketer, Greg Chappell. Ryan is the ancestral name on my mother’s side.
7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I am an accomplished freelance horror artist.
8. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can visit The Noctuary website – The Noctuary or my blog - Dark Scrybe
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently completing illustrations for a non-fiction graphic novel called Witches! written by Rocky Wood and Bram Stoker Award winner Lisa Morton. It’s a graphical account of the history of the witch-trials. It will be published by McFarland in early 2012.
10. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Don’t become dejected by publisher rejections; use them as an incentive to keep writing.
11. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I also have another book called Torment – a supernatural horror tale centred around the aftermath of an exorcism. You can find it here: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723416
12. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
All of a sudden the darkness parts like a curtain and a tall, robed figure steps out, bathed in a dull light. As my eyes adjust, I glimpse the being before me. The figure is at least eight feet tall. Beneath the scorched lace of its endless robe I can see a bone-thin body wrapped tightly in pale grey skin.
Then I see its face; two orb-like eyes centred in a glistening, hairless head. Strange hieroglyphs are scattered about the face, ancient scars carved into the flesh. As I gape in horror the thing beckons me with outstretched hands.
Its fingers look sharp and menacing. As it glides closer I finally see they are not fingers at all, but rather the pointed ends of ancient quills. Bloody ink spills from each tip onto my lounge room floor.
My God, what are you? I hear myself say.
The thing smiles, revealing a toothless mouth, moist with the same foul ink.
"I am no god, Simon. I am no devil. I am purely an inspiration to lost souls. Only the privileged can bear my countenance."
I sit rigid in my chair as the creature hovers around me, observing me with its hollow eyes. I dont want to look away from it, but the entrance from whence it came lures my gaze. Beyond the curtain of night I can make out a corridor with walls made of parchment, stained and marked with every written language on Earth and others I could never comprehend. The sound of scratching, multiplied a billion times over, echoes throughout the corridor and out into my home.
Abruptly the creature blocks my view and with a wave of his spindly hand the curtain is drawn. The room plunges back into darkness.
"No, Simon, not for you - not yet."
I look back to where the creature is standing, but the darkness has blotted him out. All I hear is his voice.
"First you must master your words in this world before you can write them in mine."
Thank you Greg for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org