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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Guest Post: B.D. Bruns (Author of In the House of Leviathan)

I'm ecstatic to introduce to you B.D. Bruns as he shares his experiences and how it shaped his writing. Thanks for stopping by!

Adventurer B. D. Bruns has traveled to over 50 countries to gather material for his bestselling books. He's won 19 national and international book awards, including three national Book of the Year awards. Bruns' first fiction book, The Gothic Shift (2014) won the International Book Awards Best Short Story Collection. He also contributes to Yahoo Travel, BBC, CNN, The Daily Beast, and The Travel Channel. 

Bruns' travel adventures span from entering the Pyramids of Giza and swimming in the Panama Canal to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and touring Torture Museums in Estonia. He has attended ceremonies from the descendants of cannibals in the South Pacific and has been consulted by a ghost tour in Malta. After residing in Dracula's hometown for several years, Bruns moved to Las Vegas with his Romanian wife, where they live with two cats, Julius and Caesar.

The Love of Old Things

Having begun my writing career as a travel writer in narrative nonfiction, sharing where I’ve been and what I’ve done was the whole point. Luckily I’ve been to fifty-plus nations and done a lot of wild things, so writing about them was easy (assuming people believed me, which sometimes they didn't!). When I recently switched to fiction I had to figure out how my experiences could benefit this new genre. Making the exercise even more interesting is that I switched from humor to horror!

Ultimately, the best kind of horror is equally dependent upon an author’s experiences and imagination. Guillermo del Toro, who brought us the scary movies Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage, was an orphan himself. Stephen King famously wrote Misery because crazy fans were overwhelming him and his poor secretary. But one need not be abducted by aliens to write a convincing horror thriller. After all, have you ever asked someone if they’ve ever seen a ghost? When researching for a book I wrote years ago (Comstock Phantoms) I interviewed dozens of people who had ghostly encounters and each story could be accurately summed up as, “I was doing whatever… AND I SAW A GHOST!” Please note that this is neither a scary statement nor even a scary premise. Of course, most people are not born storytellers, thus it circles back to imagination. 

So, really, how does personal experience fit in? Allow me to indulge in a review of mine from Midwest Book Reviews: “In the House of Leviathan neatly demonstrates the fact that the best kind of horror/thriller combination is spiced with an author's experiences: in fact, the idea for this book came to B.D. Bruns as he was sailing off the coast of Italy, and is based on his love of museums and old things.”

Indeed, I visited a thousand year old paper mill. Obviously making paper isn’t interesting enough to normal human beings to be the driving force of a thriller. But some of the things I saw in that deep, dark cellar certainly were. The area was inherently fascinating, with complex chutes and canals of stone that looked like an M.C. Escher nightmare. In the darkest corners were huge, violent shredding machines with nail-tipped wooden mallets. Rotting rag heaps had kept the air dismal and and dangerous. These interesting and surprising things hidden in the stone below ground were used to make paper for the Vatican—itself a dramatic location. 

That museum showed me a unique setting with a hundred ways to die horribly. Drowning, infection, mauling. Why choose one when I can have them all? But what would be the odds of all the worst ways to die happening at once? Well, why not stack the odds by having a conscious, negative force making worst case scenarios all the more likely? Thus was my first thriller novel born of a personal experience and a bit of imagination. 

If you want to know more about Brian and his books please visit his sites below.
Twitter: @LoveBruns
Facebook: BDBruns

Pub. Date: February 11, 2015
Publisher: World Waters
"An absorbing story that sacrifices light predictability for depth and solid development, making In the House of Leviathan a standout." - Midwest Book Review

From 3X Book of the Year winner comes an edge of the seat paranormal thriller in the exotic Amalfi coast. An exorcism was the first thought but last desire of Giuseppe. His contentment working with his sister at their ancient paper mill in 1860s Italy is shattered when he witnesses Old Man Grapaldi summoning the Devil. Omens from the sea threaten the village and bizarre, violent happenings at their mill threaten his family. With their church rocked by inner turmoil and so many good men succumbing to dark secrets, Giuseppe himself must overcome his fears and his physical handicap to save his beloved sister.

Order In the House of Leviathan

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