Friday, June 19, 2015

Interview With Lori Titus

The Bell House
by Lori Titus
166 pages
$4.99 Kindle version

I thoroughly enjoyed this story...I never knew what to expect at any point and that made it all the more thrilling. This is not your typical haunted house story, and the suspense is incredible. Titus does an excellent job of luring in readers with a love triangle involving brothers. The connections from one generation of the Bell family to the next added fuel to the fire, literally. Families have drama as it is, but when you involve curses and ghosts, you have the seemingly unstoppable force of the Bell house.

The Bell House is full of dark family secrets and angry spirits, pitting the living against the dead…one of the most frightening novels of 2015. Titus has taken the horror genre to a truly terrifying level. After reading her new novel, I invited the author to the Lair:

Author Lori Titus
Q. Do you feel like you specifically write for the horror genre, or do you just write whatever story is in your head?

It seems that horror is what I have in mind! I can start off with any kind of story, but sooner or later, some kind of paranormal thing creeps in. I think on some level I have a fascination with things that are unexplained. But I also find that I can use it in a way to explain or make people think about real problems that go on in the world. Horror is a safe place to explore topics that would otherwise be taboo or uncomfortable, and I love that aspect of it.

Q. Do you have a specific message that want you want to get across to readers in The Bell House, or do you simply wish to entertain?

Well, my goal is always to entertain, but this one definitely has a moral.

My message in The Bell House was the importance of stories: the things that our loved ones and family say about us, the things we believe about ourselves, and the ideas that we believe about the world around us.  What we believe makes the difference between being a survivor or a victim.
Sometimes the most powerful stories are the ones that remain untold, gathering bitterness and grief under the surface. The inner stories, secrets, and unspoken beliefs we keep in our heads can uplift or destroy.

Diana’s life could have been changed in a positive way by choosing to be open to her son, her sister, and other people in her life. Travis believed that an ability that could have been thought of as a talent or a blessing was a curse. The negative consequences of their choices had a lot to do with perspective and the fact that they believed in the power of curses and negative entities.

Q. Who or what do you see as the influences on your writing?

I have a lot of influences, but as I mature, I realize that it’s not just the authors I read, but things that
I see in the world around me. I am more in tune with what people say, and images that I see in the media.  When you look around, there are horrific happenings going on in the world, and many of these topics can be explored in fiction. The early inspirations: Poe, Rod Sterling, King, Koontz, will always be favorites.

Q. Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself that, leaving you to wonder where that came from?

Lazarus was definitely one of those stories that frightened me. That novella might have ended up being a full length novel, but I had started having nightmares by the time I was halfway through. It is still one of my favorites though, and I have plans to revisit that world and those characters again. It was a story idea that came to me fully formed, with plot, names, and atmosphere all intact. I still don’t understand how it happens that way.

Q. What do you think draws people to horror stories?

Horror stories are a thrill. It’s a vicarious way into danger that is still safe. And horror, when it’s done right always includes a bit of mystery too, so that the reader has some surprises in store. It’s all about engaging the reader with one thing while another is also going on, like a shell game. I think readers enjoy stories that pull them into the action.

Q. Do you have any upcoming appearances or other novels that you would like to tell us about?

I am very excited about my upcoming projects. I’m not sure when it will be released, because I’m currently working on the first draft, but the next novel is titled The Creed of Cain. It’s about a different group of people in the fictional town of Chrysalis, South Carolina, the same place that The Bell House occurs in. I can’t say too much about it, but the story deals with religious fanaticism and murder.

I encourage horror fans to add The Bell House to their reading lists.

As always,

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