Hello my Freaky Darlings,
Today we have Colin f. Barnes paying us a visit to tell us the story behind his new novella, Heart for the Ravens. So please give Colin a mighty big welcome.
Big thanks to Joan for hosting me on her wonderful blog today. Joan invited me along to talk about my latest release, ‘Heart for the Ravens,’ a gothic horror novella. You might be wondering who the hell I am, so here’s a quick bio and then onto what this book is about.
Colin F. Barnes is a writer of dark and daring fiction. He takes his influence from everyday life, and the weird happenings that go on in the shadowy locales of Essex in the UK. Colin likes to blend genres and is currently working on a Cyberpunk/Techthriller serial ‘The Tehcxorcist,’ which combines elements of Sci-Fi, Thriller, and Horror.
Okay. Now that you know who I am, what is Heart of the Ravens, and how did it come about?
Like most of my stories, it was quite ephemeral and I can’t quite put a finger on the initial spark of the idea. The genesis of the story was an idea for an anthology with Fox Spirit Books about a woman’s ideal companion. This led me to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I wanted to explore that idea a little more and as I thought about it, I realised the story would be too big for a short story for the anthology, so Fox Spirit asked to see a novella version.
I wanted to tell a tragic story in the mode of the 19th century gothic horror. I’ve always loved that era; the tone, the darkness, the slightly larger-than-life characters. And so my protagonist came to me. Katerina Roeslling is the daughter of a well-to-do businessman in Highgate, London. Only she isn’t your typical 19th century woman. She has an interest in books and science, specifically the radical ideas of Dr. Erasmus Darwin (Charles’ grandfather). He believed in ‘spontaneous generation,’ which was the process of bringing life to dead matter. This was also the initial influence on Mary Shelley’s use of science in Frakenstein.
So we have this curious woman with a love of science in a world that was mostly male dominated. Her quest is to find a man with a good heart: a quest not so easy in those days. It’s this quest that brings her to a solider (Willhelm), whom she thinks will be perfect for her, but a tragic twist sets off a chain of disasters that unleash a nightmare from which she is seemingly unable to escape.
The main themes I wanted to explore in this novella were: The role of women in a male society, the burgeoning, but still un-evolved scientific method, and the desire for companionship and what lengths we would go to get it.
A love of science meets a burning desire for life.
In the traditions of Poe and Shelley, Heart for the Ravens is a gothic horror story set in the 19th century following a heroine in search of a man with a good heart.
Katerina Roeslling is the daughter of a wealthy businessman and resents being treated as just another asset by her father. When she meets Willhelm, a rough-hewn, but charismatic, soldier, she thinks he is the right man for her, but he is just the start of a tragic nightmare.
Katerina has to fight her demons of guilt and grief and face her true fate at her family’s Whitby summer home ‘Ravendale.’
It is there she’ll discover what she is capable of and what continues to haunt her from the shadows.