Thursday, July 28, 2011

Diavolino Excerpt: A Guest Post by Steve Emmet

I’m often asked why I write about the paranormal. My response is that for me, a horror story simply doesn’t work unless it has a supernatural element. The things which make me shiver and pull the duvet tight around my neck are often no more than suggestions of something dark and threatening. Here’s an excerpt from my novel, Diavolino. I think my Catholic upbringing has a lot to do with it.

While millions across the world held it as a symbol of peace on earth,
Tom had always found St. Peter’s a malevolent structure. To him, the
great dome rising above Maderna’s façade looked like the head of some
mythical demon, the colonnades, clawlike, outstretched to trap the
passing quarry.
Above the roof of the Apostolic Palace he sensed movement, something
dark in the air, like giant slicks of crude oil slithering in the
night sky. He wiped the sweat from his eyes and peered up again,
standing on tiptoes as if to get closer. The blackness was calling
him—a distant voice that he strained to hear above the shouting and
singing that came from the nearby fountains.
“Who are you?” Tom spoke to the sky. “What do you want with me?”
“Are you OK, sir?”
“You don’t look well, sir.”
Tom looked at his side to see a young priest staring up at him.
“Are you OK?” the priest asked again.
Tom shook his head and glanced back to the sky above the palace.
“You won’t see His Holiness tonight, sir. Sunday. Sunday, he’ll be on
the balcony.”
“What?” asked Tom. “Yes, yes, I’m fine. Thank you. I’m fine. Sorry.”
“You need to be careful in this heat,” said the priest. “It can play
tricks on the mind. Good night.”
Yes, tricks on the mind. Tom felt all his energy drain away. His feet
were heavy and his head light. His clothes were soaked from the sweat,
and his eyes were stinging again. It was all he could do to drag
himself to Piazza Pio and collapse into a waiting taxi.
The ride was punctuated by moments of delirium; he took a brief call
from Elspeth somewhere along the way. It was hard to understand,
though, as if she spoke a language he only partially understood. Each
word he knew, but when they were put together, the significance was
Back in his room, he lay in a tepid bath and then took a cold shower.
Once again he found himself outstretched on the bed, unable to sleep.
That last call from Elspeth was preying on him. What was it she’d said
about Sima’s father?
It was a bit strange. He didn’t seem at all surprised or upset. He
just said that she needed him.
The Gulfstream was already on its way to Stansted. Tomorrow morning
Tom would meet Mohsen at Ciampino airport and take him to the Gemelli
Hospital. He fully understood Mohsen wanting to be with his daughter
at a time like this, but what did he mean by she needs me? Why hadn’t
he been shocked and upset at the news? Why wasn’t Homa coming with
him? The air conditioning hummed away, gently belching out waves of
cold air over Tom’s naked body. He didn’t find any of the answers. The
monster with the domed head and the huge claws carried him off into
the darkness before he had a chance.
~ * ~

Steve Emmett is a British author, born in Harrogate - the genteel Yorkshire spa town where Agatha Christie hid away from the world thirty-two years earlier. He studied at the prestigious Architectural
Association School of Architecture in London and built a few houses before going off the rails. He spent time in New York then returned to Yorkshire where, amongst other things, he served as an elected councilor.
He then moved back to London and worked in the real estate sector. For over twenty years he ran his own agency specializing in Italian country homes and, for almost ten years, lived by Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, the setting for Diavolino. Born at the end of the 1950s, Steve grew up on Dennis Wheatley novels and Hammer Horror films, and on many occasions started to put pen to paper.
Completely dissatisfied and unfulfilled with his career, Steve decided in 2009 that he wanted to write and began Diavolino. At the moment he is working on the sequel to Diavolino and a number of other horror projects. He has also recently launched an acting career, and is a reviewer for the New York Review of Books and Suspense Magazine. He currently lives with his partner and some rather large spiders in the Yorkshire Wolds, close to the ancient City of York.

Want to connect with Steve? You can find him at the following locations:


Diavolino is available from Amazon, Smashwords, Omnilit, B & N as well as he publisher's website: Etopia Press

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