Descent To Hell by Nic Parker
A man forced to enter mankind’s most feared territory … a child dragged into the underworld!
When Charlie Ward’s beloved niece is kidnapped by an atrocious demon he has to find the secret gateway into the one place every human wants to stay away from: Hell!
Armed only with courage and determination Charlie has to survive in a forbidding place filled with despair and anguish. He must face challenges no mortal should ever have to undergo that threaten to destroy his very soul.
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
IA) have been an avid horror fan since early age and an avid reader, not only of horror but most genres. I was always happiest in school when I could write an essay. I wrote quite a bit for myself when I was around twenty, supernatural stories, but never thought about sending it to a publisher. At the end of my thirties – call it early midlife crisis if you like – I somehow found my writing mojo again and this time I started writing in English. I am actually German but I read so much in English and watch telly series and films in their original language that I realised my writing flows much easier in English.
Descent to Hell is a classic story. After Susie, the niece of main character Charlie Ward, has been dragged to Hell by a nefarious demon he stops at nothing to bring her back. Charlie has no children and Susie’s father has passed away and the two share a special bond. Charlie embarks on the most dangerous journey of his life, practically unprepared (because how can you prepare to go to Hades?) and he stumbles from one life-threatening situation into another, but he never gives up and is determined to find Susie. He encounters hideous demons and horrid creatures yet he also finds friends and he meets Lucifer himself, who is unlike anything Charlie expected…
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
A) I started writing the story with already most of the ideas in the back of my head, they just made it on the page as the first draft took shape. Of course many edits followed where I both filled in and dismissed scenes and I deleted about 15.000 words from the final draft. I had already prepared to self-publish until a friend of mine told me about a small publishing house that was looking for a book in English (usually they only publish for the German market) and after a meeting at the book fair in Frankfurt in autumn 2016 the deal was set and I had a publisher. Actually I have been fucking lucky.
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
A) One of my favourite books is The List of Seven by Mark Frost, exciting, creepy and some of the coolest characters ever! Also, John Connolly is one of my favourite authors in general and his Book of Lost Things remains unsurpassed. Paul Cleave’s dark thrillers, set in Christchurch, are highly recommended. Jonathan Barnes’s The Somnambulist is awesome in so many aspects. The best thriller I ever read was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, it is outstanding and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I loved The Passage by Justin Cronin though the sequels couldn’t live up to the first part. And my favourite zombie story ever is The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey – this book injected so many fresh ideas into a genre that was already (un-)dead. I recently read ‘The Troop’ by Nick Cutter and it is everything a great horror book should be: truly terrifying, appalling and gag-inducing. Cutter describes the horrors so vividly it’s sometimes hard to take and I am not squeamish at all but I wanted a barf bag more than once. Stephen King and Clive Barker are also on top of my favourite author list.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
A) As a child I was obsessed by horror and Batman comics (I am a Batfan to this day) and a weekly series called John Sinclair about a ghost hunter.
Clive Barker’s Books of Blood and Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs made a lasting impression on me. I read a lot of Dean Koontz until he got very repetitive regarding stories and I always waited for the next Stephen King, you could always rely to get creepy moments and great characters. I stopped reading his books when he started to overwrite everything but got back to reading his works again later on. Clive Barker’s Sacrament and Coldheart Canyon remain favourites until this day.
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
A) Ha, as I haven’t been published that long yet I have to say holding a physical copy of my book in my hands for the first time, that was magic though somehow I still couldn’t grasp that it had really happened. When the first reviews on Amazon came in, that moment you see that others like your story and characters – that was (and still is) an awesome experience.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
A) My husband and friends. When I told my husband I was in a critical state where I needed a lot of time to write he had my back and saw that the house along with the six moggies didn’t deteriorate completely. The friends who read early versions of the story gave me invaluable advice and told me what worked and what to skip and they encouraged me to keep on writing.
*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.