Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m bringing you a post about A. M. Shine’s new release, The Watchers, a perfect book for Halloween… As long as you never want to sleep ever, ever again. He’s been kind enough to join me for an interview today.
You can’t see them. But they can see you.This forest isn’t charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina’s is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.
Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn’t reach the bunker in time.
Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?
Hello and thanks for taking the time to talk to me. How are you feeling about the release of The Watchers?
I couldn’t be more excited. The release date was first confirmed in December of 2020, so I’ve been counting down to this moment for a long time. Coincidently, launch day (the 14th of October) is also my birthday. After all these years dreaming of becoming a published author, I can’t imagine a better gift.
The support for the novel has been overwhelming. I was thrilled to see the hardback appear in so many photographs around the world leading up to the blog tour. I’m relatively new to Twitter but I’m trying my best to thank everyone involved. They’re making it an unforgettable time for me.
It must be a strange time to be working on a book! But it’s a great book for Halloween. What’s your favourite spooky season read?
I’m of the opinion that everything is better during Autumn and Winter. There’s something especially spooky about cold, dark nights and flickering candlelight.
My favourite read this Halloween has been Tidepool by Nicole Willson. I loved the Gothic style of writing. And I feel as though I genuinely visited that dank little fishing village and still can’t wash the smell of it off my clothes. It really is a fantastic story.
What’s your usual writing style? Are you a planner or do you wing it a bit?
I like to do a bit of both. The basic structure and flow of each chapter will be planned out from start to finish, but the most interesting developments happen in the moment. Once the characters are fully formed in my head, I like to let them do their own thing, hopefully without too much hand holding.
What inspired this particular book, and how long was this a WIP before it came into the world?
I wrote a short story some years earlier that never left my laptop. Similar to The Watchers, it involved some hapless person getting utterly lost in a forest while delivering a caged bird. There they found themselves imprisoned in a building during the nightly hours by things amidst the trees.
The idea always haunted the back of my mind. And so, eventually I set about finding a way to turn it into a full-length novel. Unfortunately, I can’t say too much more for fear of spoiling its surprises.
My protagonist, Mina, was designed in December 2018. And then I spent the following year typing away at the novel. By Spring 2020, I felt confident enough in my manuscript to start approaching literary agents. And in April I joined forces with the one and only John Baker of Bell Lomax Moreton. That’s when all those dreams of being an author started to shift into reality.
Are you working on something different now or having a bit of a break?
I think I love writing too much to ever take a break from it. I’m currently working on my second novel, The Creeper, which is due for release in October 2022, just in time for next year’s Halloween. I’m starting to suspect that this spooky season theme is going to run through my whole career.
Finally, how would you describe The Watchers in three words?
Creepy, atmospheric, and dark.
It’s probably safer to stay in the light when you read it.
Thank you to A.M. Shine, and to the lovely people at Head of Zeus for all their hard work and time. The Watchers is out this week, and a very happy birthday to the author to go with launch day!