As writers, our work is only limited by our own imaginations. The perceived barriers stopping us from exploring, are placed there by our own hand, free from the influence of outside forces. When we put ink to paper we have the capacity to create vast, intricate worlds, full of amazing beasts or evil foes. To travel to distant realms and have the ability to catapult our readers to unimaginable heights. We can gently submerge them in pools of harmony, or throw them into the maelstrom at will. And this, friends, is the power of the written word.
Like many authors, my love affair with books started when I was a young child. My days would be filled with wild adventures gifted to me by the choose your own adventure books known as Fighting Fantasy. These were first person game books when all you needed was a dice, pencil and the wit to do battle with the forces of evil. I can still remember running home from school, eager to embark upon another quest, in which I was the hero. Looking back with more appreciative, and adult eyes, the creators of these books were not only pioneers in the genre but the instigators of my lifelong passion regarding the power of words. The feeling of joy that enveloped me was, and still is, one of life’s greatest pleasures and is now magnified when I myself, am the provider of such tales.
It wasn’t until the early 90’s that I started to expand my reading into the realms of horror. I remember as a young man of fifteen browsing the shelves of my local bookstore, hungry to find the most horrific of stories, mesmerized by the covers depicting otherworldly beasts, hell-bent on my destruction. The likes of Dean R Koontz, Clive Barker and Shaun Hutson held captive my eagerness to devour any unimaginable story being thrust into my psyche, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
These skilled purveyors of the macabre opened my mind to the limitless possibilities within the genre and proved that I could mix fast paced action pieces with visceral horror yet still grip the reader, forcing them to turn one more page despite their weary eyes crying out for slumber. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time but it just goes to show the impact that these and many other authors had in formulating my own writing style and voice.
Now at the age of forty-one, I have finally released my first action / horror novel entitled Jackals. A fast paced and relentless hell ride for those who have an affinity with the darker side of literature. You may ask why it took me so long to unleash it upon the masses, or if I was bitten by the book bug so young, why did I wait, and the answer is, I am a great believer of timing.
As a practicing Heathen, we have a concept called Wyrd for all intents and purposes it is a kind of fate. I truly believe that it wasn’t the right time, until now. My younger years were dominated by music, all I wanted to do was play my drums and live the rock and roll lifestyle, and to a degree I was successful, but playing in a band is a team sport and I craved for something on a more personal level, desperate to show the world what I was capable of.
In 2013, I began writing my first non–fiction book swiftly followed by my second to which I received great reviews. But deep down, I knew I was warming up for my leap into the world of horror.
Years of not reading the genre had left me as a clean slate, untouched by any modern trends currently doing the rounds. So, I switched on the computer and started to write. I am lucky in the fact that when I am writing, my mind races at one hundred miles per hour and it’s like I am watching a film and my fingers are just explaining what I see. Sometimes I see the frame in slow motion with the ability to pause, giving me the opportunity to really dissect the sequence. Maybe other authors work in the same way or maybe I seem a little crazy explaining my creative process, but rest assured it is the most joyful experience to be able to see your ideas come to life, characters start to breathe, enemies begin to scowl and as you get further into the story your heart beats a little faster.
Sometimes I only have the basic idea, happy to let the story grow organically and to forge its own path and sometimes I have to give it some serious contemplation regarding direction. Regardless of how it manifests, I personally find the process almost Zen like.
To me, writing is art, and as with all forms of art, I demand unbridled passion and dominant intensity. I want to feel something deep within, to feel transported from the banality of modern living. In music, I require emotion and unrelenting power. This could come from a sweeping piece of epic classical or from the harshest drone of black metal, all that matters is the feeling generated at an atomic level.
For me horror is the purest form of expression, the most adaptable and intense kind of written word. It taps into our primal fears then forces us to face that which truly scares us. It can make us feel sick, yet intoxicated at the same time, and has the ability to bring the hardest of us to our knees.
Some of you may enjoy the extreme horror end of the spectrum while others prefer the supernatural ghost story. For me, I enjoy exploring the primitive nature of man whilst adding a dash of gun toting action.
Words are a powerful weapon my friend, some would go as far as to call them magic. They can set us free or have the ability to enslave us.
That’s why they call it spelling.
About the Author:
Stuart R Brogan is a former nightclub bouncer and unwaveringly proud Heathen who loves nothing more than expanding people’s minds with Pagan related Non-Fiction or blowing people’s brains out with fast paced, gut wrenching, thrilling horrors.
Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years, Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing, Aliens, Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.
Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury, UK with his long-suffering wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”