Horror? Fantasy? Mystery?…and does it matter anyway?

It seems to me we get hung-up on categorising books. Some people it seems, won’t even consider buying books labelled ‘paranormal’ or even ‘dark’, yet many who do are pleasantly surprised. Why? Because mystery, intrigue and some scary bits, stimulate all of our senses — and have done for thousands of years. You think the Minoans, Mycanaeans and Greeks didn’t scare themselves witless with stories of monsters and heroes and things that went ker-thunk in the night? Well of course they did.

Human nature is unchanging and those stories are at the root of all our stories today. Stories either…


Author, publisher and former British yachting champion Karen Perkins is winning new readers world-wide with her Valkyrie Pirate Adventure series and chilling Yorkshire Ghost stories. Here she walks the literary plank and explains how her life and writing are inseparable…

What ignited your passion for writing?

In a word, people. To understand how people live in different cultures and eras, what life is,was it is like for them, and to try to understand why people do the things they do to each other.

In the Valkyrie Series – Caribbean Pirate Adventure, I explore the 17th Century Caribbean. I’m fascinated by…


A series of high-action thrillers has captured the imagination of readers around the world. Independent U.K. author David Leadbeater’s rapid-fire Matt Drake novels have readers crying out for more.

I caught-up with David and discovered that loving what you write might just be the key to readers… loving what you write!

What led you/inspired you to write high-action adventure stories? I have always loved the concept of the action hero adventure and when the opportunity arose couldn’t wait to flesh out a story and get started. It’s not just the writing, it’s living the adventure with the characters you create…


How can this be? Didn’t horror/thrillers die just after Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein? Or at the very least, when Stephen King branched out into more ‘thoughtful’ literary tales?

The answer is a resounding no. Books are still scaring you to death, keeping you awake at night and regularly sinking their genre-sharpened teeth into your jugular. The undead stumble and reach anew for you with their bony fingers, and thankfully, demons still lurk deep in your bedroom mirror.

They just wear a new cloak now and it’s called Fantasy. That’s right- all of your old favourites – the Count, Satan…


Calling a grave-digging shovel a spade.

I can remember as a child my father closing a book and saying: “Try this one son, it’ll scare the tripe out of you”. Decades later I’m still not sure where in my body tripe resides or how it was supposed to exit, but I got his drift. Inevitably he’d have been reading something Like ‘The Pigeons from Hell’ from ‘Weird Tales’ or perhaps an old H.P. Lovecraft chiller. A decade or so later of course the dead hand of Stephen King placed horror in the manicured neighbourhoods of small-town America and the world scared itself silly for the next…


About Steven Bannister

Steven Bannister is the Amazon best-selling author of ‘The Black Mystery’ series of horror thrillers — Fade to Black, Back to Black, The Black Net Black Mary, Coldharbour Lane, The Stone Baby — and the stand-alone fantasy thriller, The Unforgiver.

I write, according to my U.K. editor, “to scare the pants off people”… I cannot deny it. But my books are primarily written to entertain, so there is a mix of the macabre and a certain amount of black humour. I hope the combination is as enjoyable to read as it is to write.

As for my own story…


Book Extract: The Black Mystery Series (Book 4)

London: An advertising executive is cut-down in an underground car park. A barman is brutally slain just hours later and the prime suspect is murdered later that night. And all of the murders have occurred in just one square mile in North London. DCI Allie St Clair is once more drawn into an investigation which has all the hallmarks of The Game and it’s instigator, Mr Black. The pressure mounts as a new element intrudes- an outbreak of the dreaded Black Death. Allie St Clair, her murder investigation team and her companion Michael are hurled into a race to stop…


Book Extract: The Black Mystery Series (Book 3)

DCI Allison St Clair has cheated death- but only just. She is weakened and desperately needs rest. But something calls to her from ancient Cornwall where a sickening wave of bizarre murders has local police well out of their depth. The problem is, they just don’t know it. She has been sent on compulsory leave to recuperate from her recent ordeals, but she cannot rest. She must somehow halt the killing spree. But how? A London-based Detective Chief Inspector no matter how talented, has no jurisdiction in Cornwall. Revelations from Cornwall’s deep past are uncovered during the Midsummer Golowan Festival…


Book Extract: The Black Mystery Series (Book 2)

A new horror awakens and twelve young girls are kidnapped and imprisoned somewhere under ancient London. The Game is on again…. Young Detective Chief Inspector Allie St Clair has been through the wringer. Her life is in chaos and she is exhausted after investigating a series of brutal murders. She has confronted true evil and has had to accept that she and her family are connected to a world few can imagine. But now an ancient God has been resurrected and he has powerful allies… Allie St Clair is thrown into conflict with her Commander at New Scotland Yard as…


Book Extract: The Black Mystery Series (Book 1)

Some bonds can never be broken. Allie St. Clair doesn’t fit in at New Scotland Yard. Hailing from a background of conspicuous wealth and privilege, she is Cambridge-educated and has just been fast-tracked to be the youngest woman ever to be promoted to Acting Detective Chief Inspector at the Metropolitan Police. But she soon learns that she has far greater responsibilities. Two sickening murders in London’s wealthy suburbs set Allie St Clair and her young Murder Investigation Team at odds- and only Allie knows the true nature of the evil behind the murders. Ancient family connections to The Archangel Michael…

Steven Bannister

Author of ‘The Black Mystery’ horror thrillers. Electric guitar enthusiast, lover of coffee, Italian food + travel… www.stevenbannister.com + @SteveBannister_

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