Interview at Chat & Spin Radio & the “real” Nightmare Asylum!

In a recent radio interview with Ron Clark at Chat and Spin Radio, a station based in Washington Tyne & Wear England, I was asked what influenced me to write my short story Nightmare Asylum.

As I have mentioned in previous interviews, I experienced a recurring dream in my twenties, which really frightened me. I do believe the nightmare was associated with visiting a relative in a couple of scary-looking mental hospitals when I was young.

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I based the design of the building in my story on the Winterton Psychiatric Hospital just outside of Sedgefield, County Durhan (see photos). I remember it was such a chilling place to visit as a child. The building initially opened as the Durham County Lunatic Asylum in 1858. It had a dark, foreboding atmosphere, and many former patients were afraid of being admitted there, including a member of my family, who was terrified of not coming back out. This was in the seventies when electric shock therapy was used for many psychiatric conditions including, paranoia, agoraphobia and even postnatal depression.

 

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It remained a place for treating mental illness until it was closed in 1996 when something very chilling was discovered. During the demolition of the building, contractors broke through into a series of underground basements tunnels and discovered hidden rooms which contained, “various preserved specimens” which had been removed from unfortunate inmates…

 

 

 

 

Interview at Chat and Spin Radio

 

A new review of ‘Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights’ by Jason Beech at ‘Messy Business’

A great new review from Jason over at Messy Business – yes, I have been there before and a lot of fun it was too!

Here’s a snippet:

Sonia Kilvington’s Nightmare Asylum and Other Deadly Delights (Close to the Bone publishing) is a creepy beast of a book – all short stories, some flash length, every one of them delving deeeeeep into the characters’ psyches. And what dark, twisted and sometimes sad minds they are. Kilvington has really dug into motivation, though sometimes I’m not sure it’s motivation but some trauma which carries characters onto the rocks against any wishes they ever had.

That sense of uncertainty pulls and pushes until disaster strikes. Even when it turns out for the best, there’s that restlessness which means the character can’t quaff a nifty glass of champagne and enjoy the rest of their lives. They’ve got a shoulder to constantly look over to see what else is on their tail.

It’s unsettling…Read More…

A Review of ‘Love Is A Grift’ by Graham Wynd

If you are looking for love; you have come to the wrong place! You certainly won’t find love, empathy and understanding in Graham Wynd’s short story collection, Love is a Grift and Other Stories of Desperation.
This is a collection of dark tales, with lust, manipulation and sexual obsessions recurring with frightening and exciting, regularity. The featured story has all the hallmarks of classic noir; seedy bars in Galway, a gullible man lead by his desire, a disposable wealthy husband, and a femme fatale who can literally charm the pants off any man she encounters. This beautiful grifter is a survivor, who is always at least one step ahead of her criminal companions, playing them for everything they are worth, before making her ultimate and timely discards. Is the lady a sociopath? Quite possibly, does she exploit her sexuality with vicious cunning; absolutely!

It was challenging to pick out individual stories as my favourites; because they are all good. But my personal preference was for ‘These Toys Are For Tough Boys’ as I loved the comedy, and the Slovenian connection. The characters are a bunch of ill-suited petty criminals operating way out of their league when they attempt a kidnapping, which goes horribly wrong – or right depending on the character’s allegiance.
On a more serious note, some of these stories show the depths to which a woman’s life can descend, when she has created her world, around a love that has become a restrictive nightmare. ‘Repetition’ and ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ are stories in which women have lost themselves to the mundane torture of their daily lives. However, as this is written by Graham Wynd, you can be sure they will find a way to extricate themselves from their soul-destroying situations.

The dystopian story ‘Rebellious Jukebox’ was a fantastic tale of life in the city of continuous noise. Imagine a world surrounded by loudspeakers and tannoys, making constant nonsensical announcements. It’s a place where only the very rich can purchase illegal earplugs. This story of torture by noise, with imprisonment and banishment for perceived infractions; has a genuine Orwellian feel to it.

I loved the classic noir, the dystopian tale and the hints of dark magic in this collection. But to return to the theme of dangerous attachments, with the concluding story, another favourite of mine, ‘Thirty Versions of Leatherette,’ – love is in this book is more often than not, a sexually charged car cash.

 

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Amazon UK

 

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A new review of Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights by K. A. Laity!

It’s a special feeling when a writer you have admired for years reviews your book! Kate Laity’s noir stories are fabulous, and to me, she is the undisputed queen of noir, so I was more than a little nervous about her review – almost too nervous to read it!

It does feel odd reading other peoples perspectives of your stories; as while you are writing them, you are so wrapped up in your own, enclosed little world of experiences and perceptions, it’s strange when someone enters your imaginary kingdom. “Mum’s off in book-land again” my daughter would say. “It’s pointless talking to her now” my husband would agree. Writers must be a nightmare to live with…

I will stop wittering now, and get on with the review, here is a snippet:

This collection of stories is shot through with a gothic ambience of darkness, disease and madness in the clinical sense. From its opening story death is always close by, reading to lay a cold hand on someone’s neck. The tales seldom wander far from the haunted corridors of the Asylum — proving you can change the name and the purpose but the horrors that happened there leave echoes that reverberate for a very long time.

Women wronged — and most often the men who wronged them (this is gothic horror after all) — figure prominently in this collection. Read more…

 

Meet the Author ∼ A New Interview by Camilla Downs

I have a new interview at Meet the Authors today! Camilla Downs interviews writers from all around the world on her exciting blog. This interview is in-depth and I am a lot more forthcoming than usual…

Here is a snippet:

Today we travel to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus to chat with Sonia Kilvington about how becoming a journalist, teaching ESL, being accused of stealing, and The Invisible Man come together as part of Sonia’s past and present life.

In which genre do you write?

I write in many different genres as I like to challenge myself, and I don’t want my writing to be predictable. I began writing murder mysteries and have two books with a detective, who moved out to Cyprus at the same time as I did! Over the last couple of years, I have concentrated upon writing short stories, in noir, crime, psychological horror and a couple of ghost stories. To push my boundaries, I decided to write a science fiction story, and I came up with the idea of infusing human emotions into a ‘companion android’ who would not have the emotional intelligence to control or understand them. The story is called ‘Perfect Love,’ and it’s the best thing I ever have written. Its included in my short story collection; Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights.

Can you tell me something interesting about your career path – were you always a writer? Read more…

 

Out Today! ‘Man Of The World’ by Paul D. Brazill ∼ Book Review

Congratulations on the publication day of ‘Man Of The World’ to Mr Paul. D. Brazill!

They say there are some jobs it is impossible to retire from, and being a hitman is definitely one of them, especially if you are an ex-soldier with a temperament more situated to violence and the settling of old scores.

Tommy Bennett has reached an age where he is searching for a quieter existence and believes he may find a more restful pace of life back up north in his native Seatown. But ghosts from his past lurk in the shadows and old friends with dark memories bring new chaos into his life.

With an extraordinary past working in covert operations as well as dishing out his own type of justice for friends with cash to spare and grudges to settle; it seems  that Tommy is more afraid of a visit to the doctor’s surgery than tackling hard men from his past,

‘You know, I’ve mellowed over the years,’ I said. ‘I really have. I lay off the booze for long periods of time. I drink bloody coconut water. I recycle. I even stopped smoking after half a century of sucking on them foul cancer sticks. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, guaranteed to wind me fucking up, it’s if someone pisses down my back and tries to tell me it’s raining.’

His rehabilitation is short-lived, and it’s not long before Tommy is propping up bars all over Europe while laying low, after taking out a notorious self-styled, east end Mafiosi amongst many, many others…

It’s an action-packed tale, with vivid, eccentric characters, and plenty of comic dialogue to keep you amused!

 

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 Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com

 

 

 

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Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 3

Reading Jason Beech’s latest short story collection, ‘Bullets, Teeth & Fists 3, I got a lot than I’d bargained for. I was looking forward to some fast-paced crime stories that packed a punch, but there is substantially more depth and breadth to this book. The collection includes tales of psychological horror, despair, a stalker and life after a zombie apocalypse. Talk about something for everyone!

Quite a few of the stories are narrated by woman, which can be a really bad thing, with some male writers. But that was definitely not the case here, as, in these torrid tales, the women are tough as well as vulnerable and demonstrate a level of emotional complexity, that was completely unexpected. Not that you would trust any of these devious creatures for a single second – especially with a gun…

All of the stories had something different and to offer. Jason Beech is a natural storyteller; his tales have wonderfully unexpected twists, a disturbing sense of wry humour and characters that jump right off the page. I did have a couple of favourites, although there were so many great ones it was difficult to choose. I can never resist a supernatural story, and ‘Edna’ was beautifully plotted and intense. ‘The Tip-Off’ was a first-class crime story with an unexpected twist, and ‘Look at Him’ could break your heart if you’d let it!

An excellent read for short story lovers – highly recommended!

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 Jason on Amazon UK      Jason on Amazon.com

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Echoes Of The Asylum By Sonia Kilvington ∼ Katrina’s Blog

I was a guest at Katrina Hart’s lovely blog yesterday, where I was asked about my writing influences for my short story collection, Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights.

Many thanks to Katrina for inviting me onto her writing and book blog to share my thoughts on writing inspiration and muses!

Here is a snippet: 

Echoes Of The Asylum By Sonia Kilvington

The strongest influence on my writing, and the inspiration behind my short story ‘Winter Baby,’ in ‘Nightmare Asylum’ was the amazingly talented, Helen Dunmore. Her writing is beautiful and dark; it is uncompromising in its willingness to explore what it feels like to face a severe threat, only to discover, that the most deadly danger of all, is already lingering, malevolently, inside of you! Her characters often seem to be on the verge of disintegration, and so are many of mine.

The lead story ‘Nightmare Asylum,’ is based upon a reoccurring dream… Read More 

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Amazon.com

Amazon UK

 

Book Cover Reveal – Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights

Book photo

I am delighted to reveal the cover of my story collection Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights, which will be published by Close To The Bone, in February! It is a collection ranging from psychological horror to paranormal, sci-fi and noir.
Obviously, I am very excited to have my own collection, and it’s been an enjoyable experience working with the publishing team at Close To The Bone! Many thanks to Craig Douglas for this amazingly creepy and atmospheric cover!

I will post more details when they are as soon as they are available!

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