Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your horror/thriller novel, Rosie Shadow! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Louise Worthington: Thank you! I think ancient objects and places have a kind of scar tissue, a memory of its past, which can get under people's skin. Places which have seen horror and death like medieval prisons and yew trees in graveyards inspired me to write the story.
The book’s premise:
Clare seems to have everything going for her: a beloved boyfriend in Lennie, an understanding boss, and a great job giving tours at Her Majesty’s Prison Shortbury, now a tourist attraction. Then, Lennie is killed in a bizarre car accident with an ancient yew tree. Clare’s world is further shattered when she finds Lennie has a six-year-old child - Rosie - whom he was visiting just before his accident.
Rosie isn’t just any child. Destruction follows Rosie, and now Clare wonders if there is more to Lennie’s death than what she sees.
But the evil doesn’t stop with Rosie. Archie, Clare’s boss at the prison, happens to be an undead creature who keeps all of his secrets in the medieval dungeon located in Ward D beneath the prison. On the surface, everything appears normal. Only in dark corners, alone with the nightmares, does the evil seep through.
BD: What can you tell us about your creative process in bringing this story and its characters to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
LW: A visit to a couple of prisons, including one which recently became a visitor attraction, certainly gave me some ideas. I've read quite a bit of Gothic literature (lots by Edgar Allan Poe), and I'm a fan of Stephen King and Ania Ahlborn, among others, so reading certainly influences my writing. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver left its mark.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavours to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Rosie Shadow’s story will connect with and impact readers?
LW: Hot on the heels of #WiHM, I'm chuffed to self-publish this horror novel, to feature a strong female protagonist, and touch on the challenges of motherhood. Rosie and her father Archie are pure evil, and the reviews I've received so far talk about how they have emotionally connected with the adult female characters - which is fantastic!
BD: What makes Red Escape Publishing the perfect home for this book?
LW: Red Escape Publishing is the name of my self-publishing imprint. It is early days for the brand, but I hope the name itself gives readers an idea of the dark side it leans towards to provide escape, chills, and enjoyment in atmospheric novels.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novel into subsequent novels or other entertainment mediums if given the opportunity?
LW: Definitely! I'm currently writing the second book in the Black Tongue Series! One review mentioned the story would make a great film - that would be amazing!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
LW: Yes, there are lots! There are three psychological thrillers coming in 2021. Willow Weeps told from two perspectives including a misjudged young offender, The Entrepreneur which is "Big Brother meets The Apprentice" focused on the theme of murderabilia, and the first in the Glass Minds Series, Dr. Glass which is based around the dark psychological themes of Stockholm Syndrome and maternal filicide.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Rosie Shadow and your other work?
LW: I'd love for your readers to reach out. Here are the links to my website (louiseworthington.co.uk), Amazon author and Goodreads page, and social media. Thank you for having me over!