Moon Song’s brother has gone missing in the town of Blackrock, Pennsylvania.
Welcome to one of the February 11th stops on the blog tour for The Beyond by Ken Brosky with Silver Dagger Book Tours (schedule linked.) Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a Paperback From Hell … a real call-back to the 90’s horror books that I grew up on and loved. And I had this idea brewing in my head about a gateway to Hell that opens up inside a coal mine. All it needed was a solid injection of horror. So I did what, I think, any writer in this situation would do: I watched and read a lot of horror. I let the macabre wash over me until I was drenched in it. Then I got to writing.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve written a lot of mysteries, and I’ll always go back to those from time to time. But I have another horror novel bouncing around in my head. It’s almost there … I’ve been mapping out this little town in the middle of nowhere for the story to take place in. I want to make sure I get the setting just right, because I don’t want my characters to have any chance of escape.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I fleshed them all out right good. I like to fill out character questionnaires for all the main characters so I can figure out how they’d react in any situation.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in THE BEYOND?
So we’ve got three main characters. Moon Song is the sister of a coal miner who’s gone missing. She’s stubborn and feels a little protective of her brother. She wants desperately to find him, which is why she hires a PI named Ben Sawyer. Ben used to be an engineer before his family’s health issues took precedence in his life. Both his parents declined so quickly that it caused a bit of a breakdown. He works as a PI because it’s easy and he’s not quite sure whether his parents’ health issues will hit him, too. This is the hardest job he’s ever taken, and it becomes obvious that he and Moon will need help. They find it in the form of Professor Saladin, who works at the local community college. He’s experienced some weird stuff in town, and the more he digs, the weirder it gets. It isn’t long before he realizes something horrible has happened at Patriot Coal Mine.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I started with a simple premise: what if our country’s weak environmental rules accidentally opened up a gateway to another world? And from there, man oh man, it just came so easy.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really let the creative juices fly. All I could think about while writing the most intense scenes was “What would ratchet this up a notch?” I was looking for inspiration everywhere I could look. I remember renting a horror game—I think it was one of the Resident Evil games—and this monster came crashing through the wall and I thought to myself, “Yes! I’ll do that, too!” This book was fun from start to finish.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so. I have an idea for a sequel, but it’s not necessary. Everything ties up nicely at the end, which I, as a reader, prefer.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes! I realized something really important: I love writing horror. I shied away from it for ten years, trying to write “literary fiction” so I could be taken seriously. But guess what? I don’t really have anything very “literary” to say. And I never really enjoyed writing “serious fiction” to begin with. So in the future, I’m going to do it very sparingly. I’m going to write horror and mysteries and sci-fi because that’s what I love to write.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
A young Kurt Russel would be perfect for the PI named Ben Sawyer. Andrea Bang would be perfect for Moon Song. Alexander Siddig would be perfect for Professor Saladin.
How did you come up with name of this book?
It’s a callback to a famous horror movie by director Lucio Fulci. There’s even an Easter Egg or two in the novel that harkens back to the movie. I think Fulci’s “The Beyond” was probably one of the first niche horror films I saw when I was young. It’s wasn’t mainstream and the movie itself is a little wacky, but there’s a scene toward the end … holy smoke, the FX are incredible. I don’t want to spoil it. You just have to watch it to truly understand the Italian contribution to horror.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part is the chaos at the end. I think I was subconsciously channeling a little George Romero for it, because I just re-watched DAWN OF THE DEAD and it’s pretty wild how chaotic everything gets toward the end. In a moment, this little group’s bubble of protection inside the shopping mall gets popped by a bunch of jerks who show up.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
I think if you grew up watching horror movies from the 80’s and 90’s, this book is going to be a blast to read. It’s got an alternate dimension. It’s got monsters. It’s got zombies. It’s got a creepy mortician and a sinister town and a black chapel and fire and brimstone. But it’s also got a twist that you won’t be expecting … something special just for horror fans.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Oh, God. Tons. This is a rough business.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
What did you edit out of this book?
(Jenna: We don’t get HELL SNAKES?!)
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d love to sit down with Josh Malerman and talk about how he visualized BIRD BOX. That, and the sequel, both take a special level of skill.
About the Book
by Ken Brosky
Publishing 15 February 2022
Timber Ghost Press
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Page Count: 292
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Moon Song’s brother has gone missing in the town of Blackrock, Pennsylvania. Worried that her brother has slipped back into addiction and desperate for answers, Moon hires private investigator Ben Sawyer to help her uncover the truth. Together they discover what the people of Blackrock refuse to acknowledge: something terrible has happened inside the coal mine that defies all logical explanation, and it threatens the lives of every single person in town. Bodies are piling up at the funeral home, and many others have seemingly vanished.
Moon’s only hope of finding answers rests in the hands of a local professor who knows the mine’s horrible secrets. But the professor has problems of his own, and unless he can confront the creature that’s hunting him, Moon’s chances of making it out of town alive are darker than a seam of coal.
Dive into Ken Brosky’s horror-fueled nightmare and find out what’s in The Beyond!
About the Author
Ken Brosky lives and teaches in the great state of Wisconsin. In addition to having short stories published in magazines like Grotesque and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, he also writes regularly for Suspense Magazine. His favorite horror movie is John Carpenter’s The Thing, his favorite band is Nine Inch Nails, and his favorite book is Cloud Atlas.
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