Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Shawn Van Horn, Author of Dark Thoughts

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Today we are interviewing Shawn Van Horn, author of a horror/supernatural thriller titled "Dark Thoughts," part of the Dark Testament Saga.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an American author who loves darker, gritty stories. Horror, Dark fantasy, paranormal and sci fi are all favorite genres of mine. I’ve always had an overactive imagination and one day decided to start writing out my ideas! I enjoy entertaining and have no intention of apologizing for what I write. I seek to get an audience engaged whether it’s through a love of my stories or hate. The point is that they feel something. I’m also very social. I’m always up for a good chat or debate. I’m an avid gamer as well. When I’m not writing or playing with my daughter, you can find me online exploring those worlds too.

Describe the plot of your new book, “Dark Thoughts,” in a few sentences.
Manson Digby suffers severe head trauma giving him Amnesia. He no longer knows who he was before the accident and suffers from dark and violent thoughts and dreams. He wonders if these horrific ideas in his head are side effects of his injury or something sinister deep within himself. He goes on a journey with a mysterious companion named Lucy to discover who or what he is and a destiny far greater than he could ever imagine.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
That’s a good question. I think someone who appreciates a story that does not have to be bound to a stereotypical “happy ending” Those who are not easily offended by the warping of certain beliefs and ideals will appreciate it the most.

Tell us about the protagonist, Manson Digby.
Manson experienced a trauma that left him mentally scarred. He feels alone, angry and at times, fear of his situation. He’s suffering while going through an existential crisis. Who is he and what is his purpose in life? To an extent he does not even feel human. That is what his journey is all about. Discovering his nature, his destiny and determining what to do with the truths he finds. You as the reader will experience this process of uncovering his life through his eyes. You will know what he feels and exactly what he is thinking. You will see his dreams, his desires and thoughts. Manson Digby is fractured and the readers will witness him struggle to pick up the pieces.

After Manson’s injury, he is plagued by violent thoughts and dark dreams. I’m sure he experiences quite a chaotic mix of emotions, from guilt to worry, trying to interpret these thoughts. Can you tell us more about his thought process when he first experiences his new mental state?
Manson does not know what to do with himself or what to think. His dreams are of a horrific realm and violence is always in the back of his mind. I wouldn’t say he necessarily feels guilt. Confusion though is his first natural reaction to his state. Once he begins to adjust though, fear of his past and alienation from those around him take over. He is kept away from the world by Father Alvarez and this only makes his fear grow into eventual anger. That is where the story picks up. He is in a very cold, angry state.
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Author Shawn Van Horn.

What can you share with us about Manson’s companion, Lucy?
The question should be “Do I WANT to share anything about Lucy?” Lucy is a real mystery to Manson. She appears to him as a stranger passing by but he instantly feels a connection to her. This makes him curious because he hasn’t shared a connection with anyone else. Lucy instantly commits to him which furthers suspicion in Manson’s mind.

What inspirations contributed to this book?
That is hard to answer. I have always wanted to write something like this, though the story did evolve beyond what I could have ever imagined. When writing, I thought about my old psychology classes from high school, horror novels such as the Shining, the Bible (don’t ask.)

What got you interested in the horror/supernatural genre?
I love horror movies and games. Resident Evil(Except 5 and 6), the Outlast series, Ghost stories and demons have always excited me so to have the opportunity to put something with at least some of those elements on paper was always a goal. Movies and video games, got to love them!

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
None come readily to mind as far as my physical style. I kind of just did it as I went along. I’m sure avid readers out there will find someone to compare me too though. I will then have to check that person’s work out if I haven’t already

Who was your favorite character to write?
Manson himself, hands down. 

What genre do you read most frequently?
Horror and Sci Fi.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
My storytelling has become more clear. When I first started, I realized I rambled a lot. After going through the painful edits and re writes, I find that I am able to tell something much more substantial. 

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To complete The Dark Testament Sage, build my Grand Archives series up and do a paranormal series. I wouldn’t mind getting hired to write novels based in a video game universe either.

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
Shock from those who know me personally but in an entertaining way. Honestly it is doing better than I thought it would. I’m delighted at how invested people have gotten into the saga. It makes me more eager to start book 2.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Writers block. I hate it when I have good days while writing a story then go a week with nothing

How'd you deal with it? 
I just sat on the story and would lock myself away and think. The ideas on how to move forward eventually come to me. It is the waiting that sucks.

How many books do you have planned for the Dark Testament Saga? When can readers expect the next book to be released?
5 books for this particular series. Book 2 should come out late 2020 or early 2021. It really depends on when I finish my current novel I am working on in my other series. I only like to work on one at a time to stay focused.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
It may shock you. It may anger you. It may thrill you. The point is not to write what society wants. It is to write what I want. I do not care about political correctness or topics that may be taboo. Be ready to feel a mix of emotions as you journey with Manson and his quest of self-discovery. Be ready to get introduced to a world far larger than you can imagine. Let the Dark Testament Saga begin.

An excerpt from "Dark Thoughts":
A rocky spire stood directly ahead; it was looming into the night sky. Its various windows projected a soft-orange dancing flame. I walked towards the tower. As I got closer, I heard a cry from within. The sadness and despair in there was like music to my ears. I know that whoever is the victim of their torture deserved the treatment. I approached the entrance and a silhouette appeared in the doorway. Its sleek thin form is smooth against the glow of the fire. The silhouette appears feminine with an hourglass-like shape. Her hand gently starts at her shoulder and glides down her body with fingers sliding across her breasts. I cannot see her face, but her voice, soft like music, asks, “Is it finally time my love?” I sensed her excitement and began to smile. I suddenly awaken; cold sweat is sticking to my body. This was the third time in the four weeks since my accident that I have had a dream in this desolate world, but it was the first time that I saw her…
More Information
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