“Exhume to Consume” was my working title for the second story in my new duology, Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation ; unfortunately, the title already belongs to a song from Carcass’s Symphonies of Sickness (which is included on this list). Like many of the pieces in my collection Darkest Hours, this new story owes something to the atmosphere and imagery of death metal and black metal. For Night Worms, I’ve listed and (very, very roughly) ranked my 100 favorite metal albums.
Watch the full video:
My upcoming short story duology, Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation, is now listed on Goodreads! The book will be released on September 27 through Demain Publishing‘s Short Sharp Shocks series. This is my first standalone publication since Darkest Hours, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
These stories both depict characters who unearth horrific, long-buried family secrets.
It was only in retrospect that I could see the connections between the two pieces. When I revisited them for publication, it struck me that they work well as companion pieces. Both plots depict unfulfilled pacts with supernatural undercurrents, both include journeys to uncover unresolved familial trauma, and both pivot around the revelation of repressed memories. I wanted to explore the relationship between setting and atmosphere in these pieces, and to depict horror within internal and physical ‘sites of trauma.’ The characters are grappling with painful memories / experiences that have held them back, consciously or unconsciously. One story focuses on a character who is the agent of her own revelations, whereas the other story sees someone whose agency is quickly and brutally taken away.
Niall and I first met as undergrads at Mount Royal University. From what I remember, we first connected through our mutual love of film, either through a course or a club of some kind. It wasn’t long before I learned that Niall was also a fiction writer, and we started exchanging excerpts from our works-in-progress. Niall’s rare, formidable talent was immediately evident to me—I saw in all his work a unique sense of humour and a mastery of pacing, plot and voice. After reading his phenomenal debut novel Only Pretty Damned (available now through NeWest Press), I reached out asking if he’d like to do a Q&A. He kindly agreed, and the dialogue below is the result of our email exchanges.