Filed under: Guest Posts Jun 28, 2016
Today’s guest is Hayden Thorne, whose latest book Guarding Angel is now available!
About Guardian Angel:
Guardian Angel is very much a return to my roots in that it’s historical (Victorian), gothic (yay, decay, death, and the macabre!), and fantastical (AU all the way, baby!). It’s also me diving into the deepest end of the pool in that it’s not only an adult novel — clearly a departure from my usual YA stuff — but it’s also self-published and is, by far, the longest book I’ve ever written at 132,157 words. I decided to take a break from writing and publishing gay YA fiction this year in order to help recharge my batteries and to, in a word, reboot. Once in a while, a writer finds the need for a change in scenery in order to come back to his or her preferred genre, dive in again, and then offer readers good, fresh material upon resurfacing.
At any rate, I really enjoyed writing this novel. Gothic fiction — a close second is Victorian ghost fiction – has always been one of my dearest loves and biggest creative influences, and in Guardian Angel, I played with gothic tropes while mixing up some magical elements meant to make the book a hybrid of classic gothic romance and dark fairy tales. While it was written as a stand alone, I ended it with the possibility of writing more novels set in the same world. Not necessarily a series, but more like episodic stories all taking place in a strange, darkly magical, yet progressive Europe sometime in the 19th century. Depending on how inspiration strikes next time, it might or might not happen, but the possibility is certainly left open.
And, finally, like those classic gothic tales, the horror elements in this book are all shaped not only by mystery and outwardly eerie details, but by the slow building up of tension through atmosphere and subtle dread.
When nineteen-year-old Dominic Coville’s parents die in an accident, leaving him not only alone but on the brink of poverty, he desperately searches for work and is thrilled when the post of secretary is awarded to him despite his obvious inexperience and ignorance. Mr. Wynyard Knight of Mandrake Abbey, however, gladly welcomes Dominic and earns the young man’s immediate sympathy for his fragile health as well as gratitude for the promising new life now awaiting Dominic.
Inside rock and timber, hungry shadows seek …
But unusual things soon happen and appear to focus solely on him, and Dominic begins to wonder about the true history of Mr. Knight, the strange young man haunting the third floor, and Mandrake Abbey. With the persistent and increasingly violent attempts at communication by an angry ghost shadowing his hours, Dominic struggles to unravel the mysteries of his new home. And even with the help of a handsome young gentleman who’s an aspiring supernaturalist as well as his clairvoyant sister, danger closes in far too quickly.
Then it’s only a matter of time before carefully constructed façades fall away, and the sickly, decaying underbelly of Mandrake Abbey’s centuries-old collection of stone and timber will reveal itself.
Set in an alternate England sometime before the mid-19th century, Guardian Angel weaves a tangled and dark tapestry of old magic, romance, and madness, a celebration of classic gothic fiction and its macabre sensibilities.
About Hayden Thorne:
I’ve lived most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area though I wasn’t born there (or, indeed, the USA). I’m married with no kids and three cats and am a cycling nut. I’m primarily a writer of young adult fiction, specializing in contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical genres. My books range from a superhero fantasy series to reworked and original folktales to Victorian ghost fiction. My themes are coming-of-age with a touch of romance but more on individual growth with some adventure thrown in.
My adult fiction reflects similar themes and varies considerably in terms of romantic and sexual content.
Find Hayden online at the links below!