Good morning everyone!
What a joy to see you all!
Today I have an extra special treat for you all. The brilliantly wonderful Padraig Kenny has stopped by my blog today in celebration of his new book, The Shadows of Rookhaven, to talk about the inspirations behind the book.
I know, I’m sure all of you have been invited into this world before and we are all so excited to be back!
Shadows are gathering over Rookhaven.
It is the time of The Great Configuration, a once in a hundred years event. Family and monsters descend on Rookhaven from all over the country to take part. But amid the guests there is an interloper. One who is disguised and has an eye on their destruction. Meanwhile Mirabelle – part human, part monster – discovers that to those from outside Rookhaven she is not considered family at all . . . and, forced to search further afield for knowledge of her true history, she risks everything – and everyone.
It’s a strange thing thinking about inspirations for the Rookhaven because when I write I try not to think too much, if that makes sense. I like to make all my writing decisions as instinctive as possible. Although in the case of the flowers in Rookhaven there are clear influences from The Day of the Triffids through to The Little Shop of Horrors and an old sci-fi short story I read when I was nine which was about a jungle planet filled with man eating plants.
A lot of people say the Rookhaven family reminds them in some way of the Addams Family, but for me they’re like any family who are allegedly “monstrous” with strange abilities. I’m thinking of the X Men in that regard, and I suppose a lot of other superhero comics I’ve read along with a lot of horror movies have been absorbed and what came out in the mix was this strange, creepy, but hopefully recognisably human family.
Music is a huge inspiration for me. I’ve spoken before how I was looking for a very specific mood for The Monsters of Rookhaven, and a song by Irish singer Hilary Woods called Inhaler helped me write that book. There was nothing so specific for The Shadows of Rookhaven, but I was listening to a lot of dark ambient music which helped me get in the right mood.
There’s a machine in the book called the Vulsifier. It came about I think because of my fascination with weird fantastical machines the likes of which you might see in a Terry Gilliam movie, something made of tubes and lights and brass. As for the name I have no idea where that came from. The name came first, and I saw the machine instantly. Like I said, I try not to think too much, but as soon as the name and image popped into my head I knew what the machine did and why it was dangerous. I have no idea how this came about. Again it’s something that came from not consciously thinking too much about the story. Sometimes inspiration is something you can pinpoint, sometimes it isn’t. It’s a strange and wonderful process.
The Shadows of Rookhaven, publishing in hardback on 30th September 2021.
I am so so excited to dive back into this world and be with these characters and this spooky world! I hope you are too!
As I’m closing out the blog tour, this is a great time to remind you to check out the rest of the blog tour (details below) AND get yourself a copy of this – it promises to be INCREDIBLE.
A massive thanks to Padraig and to the publishers, Macmillan, for inviting me to be on this blog tour!