Today I am interviewing Simon Bestwick, author of the Black Road series of novels, and his latest book, The Feast of All Souls.
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DJ: Hey Simon! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Simon Bestwick: Hi there. Sure – I’m based in the North-West of England. I grew up in Manchester and lived in Salford until a couple of years ago, until I moved to Liverpool with my then-girlfriend. Now I still live around Merseyside, on the Wirral. And the girlfriend? Reader, I married her…
The Feast Of All Souls is my fifth novel; I’ve also published four story collections and a chapbook. Most of my work tends to fall into the horror category, with occasional forays into urban fantasy, dystopian/post-apocalyptic SF, and crime.
DJ: What is The Feast of All Souls about?
Simon: It’s about 400 pages long. Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s about Alice Collier, who moves back to Crawbeck, a part of Salford where she used to live, when her marriage breaks up following the death of her daughter Emily. Strange things start happening in the house she moves into: ghostly children, a mysterious figure in red, and sometimes when she looks out of the windows or goes out through the door, the world outside the house is a different one – somewhere far in the past. Because she’s had mental health issues since losing her daughter, she’s afraid she’s going mad, and eventually contacts an old boyfriend, John Revell, who’s a paranormal investigator, in the hope of getting to the bottom of things. And that’s when stuff gets really weird.
Meanwhile, there’s another storyline, from nearly two hundred years earlier, in the same location: Mary Carson, on her own following the death of her father, comes to Springcross House in Crawbeck to work as a secretary to a mill-owner called Arodias Thorne. She gets drawn into a relationship with him – and all of this connects both with what Alice is going through in the present day and with the various legends and bits of folklore that have surrounded Crawbeck for centuries. Continue reading