Today (December 1, 2015) is the happiest of days for a writer…release day for a new book! The Rats of Midnight, my fourth novel for Samhain Horror, is finally out today. I announced the preorder some time ago but now you can get the book in your hot little hand…from Samhain’s website, from Amazon (Kindle and paperback versions), Barnes and Noble (Nook and paperback), whatever strikes your fancy for delivery of spooky fun!
The Rats of Midnight is a departure from my previous horror books, which have tended to be strongly historical in nature (hey, I’m a historian!) The backdrop of the book is more modern: the high-tech, high-finance world of the “Silicon Forest” in Portland, Oregon in 1999-2000, the height of the dot-com boom. I used to practice at a business law firm in Oregon during this time, and I was struck by the curious dichotomy between the slick boardrooms and high-tech startups of that time, and the much older, seedier and scarier underbelly of Portland, a city whose infrastructure and social traditions date from the late Victorian era. This was what gave me the idea to explore this dichotomy in a horror novel.
The idea to do a horror novel set in this milieu, and involving rats, stems from the memory of an incident way back in the fall of 1998, when I first started practicing at that firm. I had moved into a posh high-rise apartment in the downtown area, and it was remodeled shortly after I got there. I recall one dark rainy night walking into the temporary vestibule of the elevator down in the parking garage and seeing muddy, disgusting rats scurrying for cover as I approached. This made me think about the grimy parts of Portland that remained hidden, just barely under the surface layer of cozy urban living spaces, technology and prosperity. That idea has stuck with me for nearly 20 years, and I figured it was a rich backdrop for a horror story.
This is unfortunately the last novel I’ve done with my longtime editor Don D’Auria, but I certainly enjoyed working with him on it and I hope you enjoy it as much as he did. If you’re new to my books, this one might be a great one to start with!