Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Author Interview: Stephen M. Irwin + Giveaway



















Please welcome today's guest author Stephen M. Irwin!  Stephen is the author of The Dead Path aka The Darkening.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

Stephen: 
I think the hints that my writing had a bit of promise began in high school (which feels around the late 1850s it was so long ago …).  My English teacher used to ask me to read my fanciful essays to the class (my stories were, in retrospect, a fairly awful blend of the absurd and the bloodthirsty – kind of Monty Python meets Kill Bill – but maybe to my classmates they were preferable to reading Ring of Bright Water). For a shy kid, being asked to read my own work to my peers was both terrifying and exhilarating, and no doubt planted strange seeds.  I went on to study film and tv production, and learned my chops writing documentaries.  About five years ago I reinvested myself in short stories, and was fortunate enough to win a few national and international competitions.  These wins encouraged me to try something longer form.  The Dead Path was hatched in an intense but pleasant three-month gap between consultancy jobs.  It’s been amazing to see a novel I wrote really just ‘to see if I could’ now being read and enjoyed around the world.  I’m currently writing my next book, entitled The Broken Ones. 

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

Stephen: 
I owe my father a debt of gratitude – it was he who took me as a boy to the council library and patiently waited while I scoured the shelves for anthologies of ghost stories.  I wasn’t the bravest kid in the world, but when it came to reading there was nothing too scary for me.  I started by enjoying the ghostly explorations of Robert Arthur’s The Three Investigators (whispering mummies, haunted castles, you know the drill) and quickly moved onto heavier stuff by Lovecraft and Wyndham and Bradbury.  I think it is Ray Bradbury who was (and probably remains) my great hero – a master of the short story, the novella, and the novel, able to create achingly beautiful prose in one paragraph, and disturb you to the core in the next (his mechanical hound in Fahrenheit 451 troubled me greatly as a teenager, and having seen clips of Boston Dynamics BigDog, it worries me even more today). There is a pile of ‘to read’ books on my bedside table, but somehow stories of the ghostly always creep their way to the top.  I’ve experienced a few events in my life that are most easily explained by a belief in spirits, so I guess I am just writing out my own fears and fascinations.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

Stephen:
  Oh, tough question.  I think it’s a toss-up between invisibility and the power to freeze time.  (I think I’ll go the latter because the first could make me sound like a closet voyeur – but really, I would only use it for good, not evil, I swear.)  I became fascinated by the idea of freezing time (or at least slowing it) when I read somewhere that we humans see a flickering fluorescent bulb as ‘stable’ at around twenty Hz, but a fly can perceive visual information ten times faster (around 200 cycles per second) so buzzing under a fluorescent bulb for a fly would be a strange, strobe-like alternating of light and dark.  How cool to be able to see the world so differently!  But I agree with Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, that with great power comes great responsibility, so instead of spending my ‘frozen’ time racing around setting people into awkward and embarrassing poses, I’d feel obliged to save baby prams from rolling under subway trains and rescuing kittens from Rottweilers.  Drag.  So maybe I’ll opt for the ability to walk through walls; for a guy who is always losing his keys, this would be a great time-saver.   

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

Stephen: 
You know, I was quietly amazed when publishers first started calling The Dead Path a horror novel.  I was thinking, ‘But it’s a supernatural thriller!  It’s a crime story with ghosts!’.  Maybe that’s why so many new fans are writing and saying either they are long-term fans of horror and The Dead Path gave them the chills of classic King or Straub; or they write and say they aren’t usually fans of horror, but this book drew them in because of the characters and the detective-like crime story.  What’s also wonderful is when readers who are well versed in esoteric knowledge of wicca think that I’ve treated magic and the mythology of The Green Man with respect (I certainly tried to).  In short, I guess the book appeals to anyone who likes a good mystery thriller, anyone who likes to enjoy a good fright, and anyone who enjoys seeing ancient mythology and magic brought into the present.  But I wouldn’t recommend The Dead Path to anyone genuinely scared of spiders … this book would be the stuff of nightmares for them!

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

Stephen: 
This is exactly the kind of question I ask myself on those rare days when I’m feeling right at the top of my game and that the world is in love with everything I’m writing!  (These are inevitably followed by 364 days of terse self-criticism and pragmatic perspective-taking.)  If The Dead Path was cast in Australia, I think Brendan Cowell (Beneath Hill 60) would make a fabulous Nicholas.  If the film were cast in the U.S., a friend of mine suggested the amazing Edward Norton, who brings truckloads of truth to every role he takes on.  I also think Sam Rockwell would make a superb Nick – he’s smart and funny, and can play self-deprecating or egotistical as needs dictate.  I think the ethereal January Jones would make a dangerously attractive Rowena Quill.






















The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin.

Do you remember the last time a book gave you the chills? The Dead Path is the ghost story we’ve been waiting for.

A haunting vision in the woods sets off a series of tragic events, leaving Nicholas Close lost amid visions of ghosts trapped in their harrowing, final moments. These uniquely ter­rifying apparitions lead him on a thrilling and suspenseful ride to confront a wicked soul, and will leave an indelible mark on lovers of high-quality suspense and horror alike.  Nicholas Close has always had an uncanny intuition, but after the death of his wife he becomes haunted, literally, by ghosts doomed to repeat their final violent moments in a chilling and endless loop. Torn by guilt and fearing for his sanity, Nicholas returns to his childhood home and is soon entangled in a dis­turbing series of disappearances and  murders—both as a sus­pect and as the next victim of the malignant evil lurking in the heart of the woods. 



Check out my review of The Dead Path here.

Thank you Stephen for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Stephen M. Irwin and his books, please visit his website.






















** The Dead Path International Giveaway **

We are giving away a glow in the dark hardcover of The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post including your email address (so we may contact you if you win).  You do not have to be a follower to enter (though I always appreciate a follow!).  This giveaway is International!  Giveaway ends November 18th midnight EST.

53 comments:

  1. Thanks, count me in!

    demiandremi@gmail.com

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  2. Sounds like a great one!

    DreamyCowgirl@hotmail.com

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  3. sounds like a great book! I loved the giveaway! And the ability to freeze time sounds like a great power to have!!

    kristen_babygurl@hotmail.com

    Kristen
    My Bloody Fairy Tale

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow this soudns seriously awesome count me in for sure deff have to check his work out !


    mortalsinn@yahoo.com

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  5. Ou! Ou! count me in!! i want that book xD
    reisei.no.mizumi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am not so sure about the glow-in-the-dark cover but I suppose if it helps attract attention to the book and therefor boosts sales, thats O.K. !

    Stephen Irwin is a new author but it sounds as if he would be worth trying so please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thanks

    Carol T

    I am a Follower via GFC.

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm afraid of spiders, but I still want to read it! Please count me in for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks like a boo I'd love to read

    eva.s.black[@]gmail[.]com

    I'm a follower

    ReplyDelete
  9. i'm always up knowing a new for me author :) count me in please !

    uniquas at ymail dot com

    - a follower !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds interesting . . . count me in!

    bellasbookslut[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome giveaway! Thanks! :D

    apereiraorama @ gmail.com

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  12. Sounds awesome! I'm in need of some horror/supernatural thriller book! So please enter me. =)

    milagp1@yahoo.com.br

    ReplyDelete
  13. Always love a hauntingly exciting read, thanks for the giveaway.

    yumihamano@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like an interesting book. Count me in.

    NewUsedBorrowed@gmail.com

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  15. Sounds dark and lovely! Please count me in.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice interview thanks Stephen and E.J.
    I generally love anything with a raven (of sorts) on the cover and anything which is horror.

    Please include me in the giveaway!

    I am a follower!
    layersofthought(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great interview Stephen! E.J. Great stuff. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds awesome! Follower...

    jenbigheart(at)yahoo.com

    Jen @ I Read Banned Books.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great giveaway!
    ke7yca(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the giveaway!
    I love that cover.

    mika.apostrophe@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'll gladly throw my name in the hat.

    therabidfox[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Count me in!:)

    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  23. Would love to entered in this giveaway! lOOKS LIKE A GOOD BOOK!
    veltara(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Whoa! What a hauntingly wicked story. Bravo.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

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  25. This certainly sounds intriguing... and possibly quite capable of scaring the pants off me!!!
    suzy.turner@hotmail.com

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. This sounds like a great book. Loved the interview!

    readerrecommended@yahoo.com

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  28. Very interesting promo. I enjoyed the interview. Here is my entry hoping I win. :)

    loripescatore@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi EJ!
    Thank you for introducing me to Stephen Irwin's writing and the excellent interview.
    All the best,
    RKCharron

    ReplyDelete
  30. yay tx to open it international:D
    i subscribe your blog :)
    wulanseries at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Enjoyed the interview, and the glow in the dark cover sounds cool!

    angeldream3(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. thanks for the giveaway, sounds like a great book!

    elizabethjhoskins@gmail.com

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  33. I want that! :)

    melikesart@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. This one sounds really good. I would love to read it.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. It glows in the dark? Okay, that's definitely not the point of this interview but it IS awesome. I'd love to win this, thank you for the opportunity!

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I was going to purchase a copy of Mr. Irwin's book but maybe I'll get lucky here...:>

    I crave spooky stories that follow you around even after daylight comes and dreams (or nightmares?) end. I think this book would be the one to deliver those luscious creepy chills we all desire.

    Thanks for the terrific interview. I've now found a new author to follow. Thanks and please enter me in your contest.

    --Cecilia H.

    ceciliahATaplDOTkscoxmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a GFC follower.
    tabbylewis at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    juliecookies(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yippie, horror? I say YEAH!!!
    Thanks so ,much for this interview and giveaway!!
    I'd love to be entered.

    yvantis[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sounds like a great book!
    raoreviews(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Glow in the dark! have flippin' fun is that! I want in on this giveaway :)


    Natalie
    iwouldratherbereading@gmail.com

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  42. I love ghost stories - please drop my name in your virtual hat :)

    ~Chrizette
    baychriz at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. count me in this book sounds great

    meandi09@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Please count me in for the giveaway.

    m_koeva(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love the books featured at your site! Love to get my hands on this book.
    Glad you stopped by my blog so I knew to follow you back.

    Charlie
    bitsyblingbooks (at) gmail (dot) com
    http://www.bitsyblingbooks.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Would love to win this. Last book to give me chills was Heart Shaped Box

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  47. Count me in !

    thanks for making it international !


    raluk.93 at gmail (dot) com



    Btw ,the ability to freeze time sounds like a great power to have!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am a new follower and would love to enter this contest!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love creepy, scary books! I know that I've read many books lately that were hard to classify - fantasy?family drama?suspense?mystery?horror? - sometimes the best books are a blending of many genres. And to have a glow in the dark creepy book would be awesome! Thanks for the interview and for the chance to win!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries
    knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for the giveaway!

    bmweida at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh!! I want to win!!

    nedsped at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete