Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SPOTLIGHT - Greg Chapman author of The Noctuary

Join Greg Chapman, author of the horror novella The Noctuary as he virtually tours the blogosphere in December 2011 on his first tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About the Book...
Struggling writer Simon Ryan’s life has gone to Hell.

Shadows are pouring into his reality and his words are not his own anymore. He has been chosen to become a scribe for some of the worst creatures of the Underworld – the ones whose sole purpose is to torment human souls – The Dark Muses.

As Simon writes, he falls deeper into the abyss and before long he has no sense of what is real. With the help of another scribe, old and mutilated, Simon comes to discover that his writing can mould people and places –- that he can write things out of existence.

To become a scribe Simon has to pass a test and the Muses offer him a chance to rewrite his horrible past.

All he has to decide is how the story ends….

About the Author...
Greg Chapman is an emerging dark fiction author from Australia.

In 2009 he was selected in the Australian Horror Writers Association’s Mentor Program under the tutelage of Melbourne author Brett McBean.

Since then he has had short stories published in The Absent Willow Review, Trembles Magazine and Morpheus Tales and Eclecticism.

Damnation Books published his first novella “Torment” in March 2011 and will release his second, “The Noctuary” in December 2011.

Apart from his writing ability, Chapman is also an accomplished horror artist with publication credits in Midnight Echo Magazine and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. He is currently illustrating a graphic novel for horror authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, to be published by McFarland in early 2012.

You can find him on the web at

In Greg's Own Words...

First or third?
Many novels and short stories are written in either third person or first person, with the majority leaning towards the former.

Third person is considered the norm; it’s that omnipresent god-like narrator who is able to see everything going on and get inside the characters heads at the same time.

Most of my short stories, especially my first novella, Torment, was written in third person. My latest book however, The Noctuary, was written in first person.

First person is where the central character IS the narrator, he/she tells the story as it goes along. We can see what he sees, smells, hears, tastes and feels. While the reader can also experience these sensations from the third person narrator, first person, IMHO allows the writer a bit more freedom because you get to see how those sensations FEEL to the central character.

In The Noctuary, the protagonist, Simon Ryan, is writing a journal, but (and this is the surreal part), he is experiencing the events he is writing at the same time. Later on in the tale, he gets to rewrite his past and again writes it as it happens. By using first person I was able to delve deep into Simon’s psyche and in fact his very soul – which is essentially the whole crux of the story.

The only restricting aspect to first person is that the narrator – in this case, Simon – can’t get inside anyone else’s head. He can only stay inside his own thoughts. 

By using first person I was able to create a sense of unreality to the words Simon was using. He is an author so I needed him to have a strong authorial voice and I couldn’t capture that in third person. The sense of unreality also added to the mystery of the story and hopefully compelled the reader to follow Simon on his journey.

Some writers frown on first person writing, because it is considered lazy and in the majority of cases they’re right, but sometimes the first person is the best fit for the story.

Consider for example Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne. King used first person narration to wonderful effect. The story reads like a monologue with only Dolores’ voice to carry the novel. There are no chapter breaks, no paragraph spaces – just the mind and mannerisms of the protagonist spilling out onto the page.

Still authors are constantly tempted to step outside the rules of first and third, instead choosing more challenging narrative modes like epistolary, where the tale is told in letters (like Bram Stoker’s Dracula for example). Others can combine several modes and some can even break the Fourth Wall, where the author – through his main protagonist – converses directly with the reader. Horror author Clive Barker did this in the first line of one of his most recent novels, Mister B. Gone.

I might just break the Fourth Wall myself one of these days.

**  Thank you kindly Greg for stopping by The Marsh and sharing yourself my readers and was graciously groovy of you and we enjoyed having you~!!  May your journey be successful on all paths you are lead Greg~!!  **