J.B.Forsyth lives with his wife and three children in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. He is the author of the ABSENCE fantasy novels and their spin-off series TALES OF THE WESTLAND. Other works include TWISTED, a short story series set in and around Scarborough. As our Author of the Day, he tells us about his book, Absence: Whispers and Shadow.
Please give us a short introduction to what Absence: Whispers and Shadow is about.
Lured by whispers to a frightening encounter with a strange creature, Della is forced onto a dangerous path that will change her forever. In a world of ghosts and spirit demons, who can she trust? The boy whose sister haunts the lake? Or the enigmatic exorcist whose order she spent most of her life running from?
Tell us more about Della. What makes her tick?
With her dangerous secret and complex backstory, Della was a pleasure to write. There were so many directions I could take her and the problem was always trimming her down. Della ticks with a deep connection to nature and the secret she shares with her uncle. But mostly she ticks with an ever-present fear of being found out.
Why Fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
I grew up reading fantasy and more recently horror which helped me with the darker aspects of the Absence series. My favorite book would have to be Stephen King’s The Dark Tower which blends these genres perfectly.
Do you have a set of rules for the world?
Yes. The Five Disciplines of Detection, Scour, Draw, Containment and purge were the framework for all spirit interactions and the exorcists’ heinous Witch Laws allowed me to build a world rife with fear and suspicion.
This is part of a series. How do the books tie in with one another?
The second book Absence: Mist and Shadow is the concluding part to the main story. My Tales of the Westland books are short story collections set in the same world, some of which include the main characters. Stories of superstition, greed, and cruelty abound and there is much to learn about the lives of everyday people. As an example, there’s a story called Witchling – about a hideous doll that circulates amongst a community who believe it to be a harbinger of bad luck.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
I tend to incubate my ideas before setting them down, so staring at a blank screen had never been a problem. I hit blocks like everyone else, but the hard work is usually done in my head while dozing in the sun or riding my bike. I never sit down to write without something in mind, even if it’s just a snippet of dialogue or a new turn of phrase.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on Twisted: Volume Five – a collection of horror-fantasy stories set in Scarborough.
Where can your readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My Amazon page showcases both my Absence and Twisted series and if anyone wants to interact with me, I’m currently open for questions on Goodreads.