Friends, as most of you know, I’ve been working on a novel called Flesh and Fire for the last two and a half years. It’s a dark fantasy novel about a man going through a midlife crisis whose life becomes even more complicated when the former love of his life returns from the dead and requires his help escaping Hell and the demon who held her captive there. I’m happy to announce that this novel is done, almost done.
Currently the manuscript clocks in at 50,000 words which is that of a short novel. The industry standard length for a horror/dark fantasy novel is somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 words. Thankfully, I know how to expand the manuscript to this length while making the story richer, rather than bloated. The key is my villain, Samael.
He’s got a large backstory that could be its own novella (20-35,000 words). I’ve known this and kept it in mind while writing the manuscript because, frankly I wanted to tell his story last. I did this for two reasons. 1) I wanted it to be as linear as possible, and since it was so big I didn’t feel right only doing a little at a time between writing the novel’s other threads (even though Samael’s story will likely be broken up throughout the book in the final version). 2) I’m scared.
Scared, you ask? I write horror, what could possibly scare me? Um, spiders, really deep water, and vagina dentata for starters.
But, more specifically, what scares me about Samael’s story?
Next to the main thread of the novel, his is the largest so there’s some small level of intimidation, but that’s not quite it. No, friends, his story scares me because it is dark. Without giving too much away, he’s a human that grew up during the Inquisition and through a series of events he grows into something far more than human. Specifically, something demonic.
What sorts of things can happen to transform someone into a demon?
I shudder to think, and you, my friends, will have to wait until the book is released to find out.
Just know this, I’ve started his journey. I’m right there with him and it’s not pretty.
I hope I survive.