CASTLE OF SORROWS: My EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Okay, I know I omitted the the from the blog post title, but the rhythm was better without it, okay? And if you’re really so hung up on articles in titles, I’ll point you to THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and ask you how often the the is uttered there, and—

You say the the?

Never mind.

A great movie, with or without the the
A great movie, with or without the the

Moving on, I guess now would be a good time to mention the fact that THE SORROWS will eventually blossom into a trilogy. I have a rough mental outline for how the third book will begin and end (as well as a title I like), though as always, I’ll keep an open mind and let the story find its way to a proper conclusion.

But what about this one?

My EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
My EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

It’s the longest novel I’ve written at 123,000 words. It was much longer than that, but I had to cut a great deal of material to meet the necessary word count. I mention that not because I’m mad or anything—I love the novel in its current state—but because there’s a whole subplot I had to omit. I won’t say much about this now, but I will say two things about the subplot: a) the novel is just as good without it—just different, and b) I still love the subplot because it was inspired by T.E.D. Klein’s amazing novella PETEY. But then again, a lot of what I write is inspired by Klein, so you could say his shadow still looms over CASTLE OF SORROWS even without the subplot.

One of the finest novella collections of all time
One of the finest novella collections of all time

But what’s in the novel is incredibly dark. It’s so dark that I sat there on many days and shook my head at what I’d written. I nearly cut several scenes and paragraphs because they were so violent or depraved or shocking in other ways (Do you read Code?), but then I thought to myself, Wimp.

And I left them in.

I certainly believe in restraint, but sometimes horror is best when there are no cutaways. In CASTLE OF SORROWS, the camera rarely cuts away from the action. And that action is sometimes really, really disturbing.

Which brings me to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Luke and Vader…Ben and Gabriel
Luke and Vader…Ben and Gabriel

Those of you who are fans of trilogies know that the second story often contains several distinct elements. A fractured fellowship. A darker tone. A less triumphant resolution and the realization that the evil was never really vanquished after all. And, of course, a serious toll on the good guys.

All of the above holds true in CASTLE. So if you’re looking for something sweet or uplifting, this book ain’t it.

You can purchase CASTLE OF SORROWS here or here, but the best deal is right here at the Samhain store, where the ebook is only $4.55, and the paperback is $8.50 after you apply the PAPERBACK50 code at checkout.

Where it all began...
Where it all began…

I’ll tell you more about the novel soon, but for now, the above will suffice. I’m proud of it, I think it shows a progression in my storytelling, and above all, I think it’s really a spooky yarn.

Just don’t expect to feel happy when it ends.

3 thoughts on “CASTLE OF SORROWS: My EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

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