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 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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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…

 

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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A Wonderful review of Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights

This is my first blog review of my new book, a collection of short stories, Nightmare Asylum& Other Deadly Delights – and what a wonderful review it is! Many thanks to Lynne Amanda Piza!

Here is a snippet:

I really enjoyed this series on short stories! It so easy to pick up and read a story in between another book I’m reading to change it up, or to read while feeding the baby!

I love that about this book as it’s really convenient! Every story draws you straight in, there is no faffing, it’s straight to the point and you are set right in the middle of the action! It’s like reading a series of amazing horrors/and thrillers and just jumping to the best bits…WHO WOULDN’T LOVE THAT!

I found it really thrilling that every story wasn’t all horror, some thriller, some psychological! I really enjoyed jumping from a murder, to futuristic robots, to stalkers, to asylums, to being trapped in basements, to warnings through spiritual messages to missing people!…Read Review!

Interview at The Interrogation Room

It was great to be invited over to The Interrogation Room on the Dirty Books Blog by Tom Leins. He asked me some interesting questions about my new short story collection, Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights, and being a writer at Close To The Bone. Despite the handcuffs and the hard chair, it was an interesting experience. Tom was polite and courteous at all times – but coffee was not included…

Heres a little snippet from the interview:

Firstly, congratulations on the publication of Nightmare Asylum! How hard was it to select the stories – and indeed the running order?

I have been writing short stories for the last thirty years or more, and I have always dreamt of having my own collection. I selected my favourite stories with the strongest characters and the most unique situations for the book. Still, I wasn’t sure about the running order and wondered if I should have started it with a horror story or maybe I should have begun with a little more conventionally structured story such as ‘Women’s Work’. I am always second-guessing myself. 

Do you have a favourite story in the collection? If so, why is it your favourite?

Yes, I do! It took me about five years to write ‘Nightmare Asylum’ because I did so many drafts, trying to capture the atmosphere of a reoccurring nightmare that I had experienced in my twenties. Night after night I dreamt I was trapped in a Victorian mental asylum and nobody would believe a word I said Read Interview

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Out Today! Nightmare Asylum & other Deadly Delights!

I am delighted to say that my book has been published today and is now available for purchase in paperback and Kindle download from Amazon!

Nightmare Asylum – Despised by day, tortured by night.

A midwifery student’s life disintegrates into a terrifying nightmare, after a disturbing encounter with the notorious child killer, Evelyn Green. Dark secrets from Lydia’s past unleash a truth that conjures her fears into unspeakable horror.

Other Deadly Delights – Tales from the psychotically unsound and deadly deluded.

A stalker turns serial killer; a cleaning lady is imprisoned in the basement, there’s a prophetic warning for a woman in peril, and an android with love addiction, plus many more… a deliciously dangerous collection of short stories, ranging from psychological horror to paranormal, sci-fi and noir.

Dare you enter the nightmare Asylum?

book cover

 

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