Hello, hello my beautiful readers! I am so unbelievable thankful and appreciative of every single author that has reached out to me to be featured on Author Trending! I never expected this kind of turn out and cannot thank every single one of you enough! You all make this 100% worth it!
Now, let’s get to the goods, shall we?
Joining me today is the wonderfully talented and equally kind Conor Bredin! I am so beyond excited to talk to someone else that dabbles in the same genre that I do: HORROR! Today, we will be talking about his book, The Longest Night, which is AVAILABLE NOW! So, if you want the gory details of just what to expect from The Longest Night and a behind-the-gore peek into how he crafted this ruthless novel, keep on reading!
So, Conor. Let’s start off with a SUPER cliché question. What’s the book about?
Conor: The Longest Night is a supernatural thriller where three strangers come across three unrelated mysteries, but each mystery is tied to one new crime lord…The Occultist. It’s a book that mixes my love of Irish neolithic history, action, adventure, and a sprinkle of that sense of discovery found in The Goonies, Indiana Jones and the Uncharted video games.
Literally every time I think of The Goonies, I instantly think of the truffle shuffle. (You do, too. DON’T EVEN LIE!) So, let’s dive deeper, shall we? Where did the inspiration from this story come from?
Conor: Years ago, my boyfriend and I were talking about the future. What kind of goals and dreams we each wanted to achieve and that kind of thing. He pointed out “You keep saying ‘when I’m an author’ but you never write anymore.” He called me out. So I listened to him, just this once, and bought this book, “Ready, Steady, Novel!” that would help me plan it out. One of the steps was to list every single topic that I could think of that inspires me or that I’m passionate or interested in. I came up with a list that was three pages long! After that, the book instructed me to choose nine that I thought could inspire a book, put them into a hat, and pull three. I took out “Mysteries”, “Cults” and “Newgrange”. That was it! From there, the plot came to me nearly fully formed! As I wrote, I also wanted to make sure I was as representative as possible. I made sure it was racially diverse, that it wasn’t just straight people in it, that it would pass the Bechdel test!
Well, you know we ALL love that diversity. Now, let’s get down to the gory details here. The book deals heavily in the occult. Tell us how you tackled this subject to keep it as realistic as possible?
Conor: I made sure that all the hints of the occult throughout the book were easily explained away by the characters, and in a way that the reader would agree with. At one point in the book, a character vanishes in a white flash of light. The character who was left behind had literally just whacked their head off of the corner of a huge heavy wooden desk, and so he explains it away as a concussion or hallucination. It was one element that I wanted the reader to experience through the book. The question of if the mystical, occult, magical side of the book was really happening or not. I’d like to think I pulled it off, but at the end, the reader does get their answer!
You know I love blood. Give me ALL THE GORE! The more splatter, the better. But, there’s A LOT of death in this book. Like, A LOT! How do you tackle these violent scenes?
Conor: A lot, yes, but I’d like to think that it’s not gratuitous. Each death serves a purpose, either in a narrative sense or in a plot sense. I never wanted the deaths to be just for “shock value” as I think that devalues the characters that die. I did want each and every death to have a meaning, or a point. As for the violence, I tried to keep it as realistic as possible. When it came to the big action scenes, I often got out a sheet of paper and a few of those little green army men to make it make sense! I also used the “action-reaction-process-decision” as much as possible, so that the violence had a sense of flow. I didn’t want the characters to just be popping up and appearing all over the room or field or… wherever they end up!
“Her instincts took over and before she knew it she punched the red-haired man in the stomach, her whole body-weight behind it. (Action) His eyes bulged in shock and he made a strange rasping noise. (Reaction) He started to fall back and as he did, he grabbed Tasha’s arm (process) and pulled her down with him (decision).”
So tell us. Are you a planner or a panster?
Conor: Planner. Planner, planner, planner. I plan. I plan how I plan. I plan when I’ll plan how to plan. It comes from being a teacher in my day job I think. I’ve written one novel where I pantsed it and it was the most stressful month of my life (NaNoWriMo). Then I just gave up on it. The idea behind that novel is something I think is brilliant and will work, but I need to plan it out. For The Longest Night, I literally took over a whole room in the house. I had post-its covering the wall, all colour coded, and their height from the floor determined how much the stakes had been raised, and I even had three endings planned out. In the past I’ve used the Snowflake Pro and Campfire Pro softwares, both of which really helped me with three of the novels I’ve written (only one is published though). However, now I’m trying a different approach and am reading and following The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. I find the planning style suits me much better. I look at it like a road map. If I know where I am, where I’m going to end up, and I know all the twists and turns along the way… then I can get there much faster!
Without spoiling too much, were there any scenes that didn’t quite make it to the final edit?
Conor: Yes! Loads! I had a 4th main character! His name is David, a fifteen year old, who is completely lost and aimless. After I published The Longest Night I felt so bad for having “left him out” so I wrote a short story called The Stolen Dagger and it’s completely free to download at www.conorbredin.com/freebook! I had a whole other ending but realized soon afterwards that I couldn’t really use it, as it would have kicked off a whole other emotional arc for two of the three main characters! So instead, I took it out and made it the ending of the eventual sequel!
If there is one message you want readers to take from this book, what would that be?
Conor: You cannot achieve your goals without depending on those around you. One of the earlier drafts of the book had one character openly say “I never had friends until I met you guys.” But that was a bit on the nose, so it was scrapped pretty quickly!
Well, I seriously want to thank Conor so much for being a part of Author Trending! It has been a HUGE pleasure and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of this series! If you want to sink your teeth into The Longest Night and keep up with Conor, follow the links below!
Now, it’s GAME TIME! I want to thank all the readers who tuned in today and I, again, cannot thank everyone enough for the wonderful support and love! Until next time! Now, let’s have some fun!
It is NAME DROP time! Conor must answer each question with his first instinct. No second guessing! He gets three character choices from The Longest Night and has to answer each question with the character that best suits the situation and/or question!
His choices are: TASHA, HUNTER, KEITH
1.Most likely to kill another character?
Conor: Tasha, she doesn’t put up with anyone’s nonsense.
2.Most likely to have a one night stand?
Conor: Tasha again!
3.Which character do you identify the most with?
Conor: Hunter, by far. He’s the most like me personality wise, but he’s not my favourite character!
4.Who would you go out partying with?
Conor: KEITH!!! He’s my favourite character!
5.Who would you trust with your life?
Conor: As much of a disaster he is, Keith. He might mess things up but when it’s serious he’s exceptionally trustworthy.
6.Hardest to write?
Conor: Tasha. She’s the least like me in terms of personality, so it was hardest to make her realistic.
7.Easiest to write?
Conor: Hunter, he’s wayyyyy too like me for his own good.
8.Marry, Fuck, Kill?
Conor: None of them would Marry or F*ck me after what I’ve put them through. However: Keith, Tasha, Hunter, in that order.
9.Who has the worst temper?
Conor: Hunter! Tasha’s temper is always there simmering in the background, but Hunter’s is more explosive!
10.Who has the most skeletons in their closet?
Conor: Tasha, but you’d have to read the book to find out why!
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