I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy of Dane’s latest book which is a novella and screenplay. I thought it would be nice to get to know the man behind the book, so I asked him a few questions and he was kind enough to answer them for me:
Do you enjoy reading?
Of course! I actually run my own book blog – SocialBookshelves.com – where I review every book that I’ve read (over 1,000 so far) and interview other authors. It’s been ranked in Vuelio’s list of the top 10 UK literature sites and in Feedspot’s list of the 100 best book blogs on the planet.
Who is/are your writing inspiration(s)?
I’m inspired by the world around me, as well as by my indie author friends who sacrifice their social lives and their sanity to keep on releasing badass books. I’m also inspired by famous/historical authors – most notably Graham Greene, Charles Bukowski and Terry Pratchett – but I don’t really compare myself to them. They’re dead, I’m not.
How old were you when you started creative writing?
I’ve been writing bits and bobs for as long as I can remember, but I started taking writing seriously when I was fourteen or so. I moved from writing songs and lyrics to keeping a journal and writing poetry, then moved on to short fiction and eventually full-length novels and non-fiction.
Are you signed with a publisher or do you self publish?
My first couple of books were published by a hybrid publisher called Booktrope. Sadly, Booktrope went out of business, so I signed up with Dragon Moon Press – an indie publisher – to re-release my first book, No Rest for the Wicked. The rest are all self-published. I imagine I’ll continue to self-publish unless I get offered a deal with a mainstream publisher.
How many books have you released?
Five are on general sale, but there are around a dozen more that I’ve previously written and had printed. None of them are available now though – I just printed copies to share with family and friends. A few of them will be edited and re-released, but most won’t see the light of day.
What is next on the agenda for you?
More work! I’m currently gearing up to release Subject Verb Object: An Anthology of New Writing, and I’m also working on a series of detective novels. On top of all of that, I’m super busy at the moment as while I’m working a full-time marketing job. I’m also transitioning to working part time in that role so that I can focus on freelance writing. In March, as well as my 42.5 hours a week at the day job, I have an additional 70 hours to squeeze in throughout the month for my freelance work, as well as my usual reading, writing and reviewing. It’s all go, go, go!
Now onto the review!
Come On Up To The House is a story about the Jersey family who move into a new house that has an eerie feeling about it. this is discovered by Darran, who is your typical teenager.
When the Jersey family first move in, they are approached by a strange old man who is their neighbour. He warns them of strange goings on in the house and he tries to persuade them to get out whilst they can, to no avail. The history of the house is that the previous occupant’s teenage son James committed suicide there and it seems like he never really left.
Darran begins seeing visions of brutal scenes which he puts down to bad dreams. Over time these visions become worse and more gory, until eventually they become a regular occurrence that he becomes accustomed to. The ever growing strange behaviour of Darran (which is influenced by James) puts a strain on the family and throughout the book you see them start to unravel.
The book is pretty fast paced and you find yourself being divulged into the story pretty quickly. I like this, because sometimes when a build up is the intention, it can make the read sluggish.
The novella was easy to follow, with enough complexity to keep the story interesting until the end. I enjoyed the story line and although horror is not a firm favourite of mine, I still got enjoyment out of the book.
As I mentioned previously, this book is both a novella and a screenplay. I think this is a cool idea and I haven’t read a lot of screenplays, so it was fun and different.
The first thought that came to mind when reading this book is that Dane is wonderfully descriptive with his writing, which made the book all the more realistic. If this were to be turned into a short film, I would definitely be interested in watching it. As the entity isn’t your typical jump-scare ghost, the story is interesting enough for me to look past the gore and want to see what happens at the end.
If you enjoy horror and shock factor, with a fast paced story and action from start to finish, then I would recommend this novella to you. Although it is definitely not for someone faint of heart as it is filled with gore and profanity. With that being said I found it to be an entertaining read with some cool twists, realistic characters and overall a worthwhile read.
I’d like to thank Dane for giving me this opportunity and wish him all the best for any future endeavours.
You can find all of Dane’s titles here.