THE 1ST DRAFT OF INCUBUS IS COMPLETE
“A frightening and a somewhat salacious subject matter! But was I interested in writing that kind of story?“
Well, it’s happened! after several months of will he, won’t he, I have completed the first draft of my latest supernatural horror, INCUBUS, which is about…um, well, clue in the title. Naturally, it’s a bit early to go into too much detail about the story. What I can tell you is that unlike the HAUNTED SERIES, this novel features a female lead.
INCUBUS, currently slated for release this winter 2022, is a bit of a departure from the HAUNTED SERIES. In fact, it is the first book I have written outside of the series in 4 years. (Although I have included a couple of easter eggs that are a nod to the Haunted universe. It will be very interesting to see if you notice them).
I started writing INCUBUS in 2017 after I finished the research for one of my blog posts. PARASOMNIA; THE SLEEP DEMONS AND YOU | Tony Marturano
Back then, I felt strongly that I wanted to write a shocking psychological horror. I was particularly inspired by the Italian folklore of the Ammuttadori – a ghoulish creature that visits you during the night, sits on your chest and, quite literally suffocates you to death. Like many urban myths, there are multiple geographical variations of this story. For example, some people refer to this creature as the ‘night hag’ while others have merged it with the common childhood condition of Night Terrors. (More about this in the above post).
Whatever iteration you prefer, all are rooted in the same frightening experience, Sleep Paralysis – known more specifically and technically as hypnagogia – that state between deep REM sleep and wakefulness. Sleep paralysis is a terrifying condition. Sufferers have reported waking up to a sense of complete paralysis while at the same time becoming aware of an entity stalking their room. Be that the, the Ammutadori, the old hag, the shadow people, or Incubus – a fiendish male (succubus for female) demon that lies upon its victim to engage in sexual intercourse with them.
So yes, frightening and a somewhat salacious subject matter! But I wasn’t interested in writing that kind of story. I liked the mythical terrifying creepiness of the fable that I had been told as a child without all the ‘sex stuff’. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that it had the potential to get boring fast.
Psychosis, book 1 of the series, went on to receive supernatural sequels that became No1 bestsellers.
And so, after drafting a good chunk of the manuscript, I started having an affair of my own with a different subject matter. A psychological thriller by the name of PSYCHOSIS, which as I’m sure you know by now went on to receive two NUMBER 1 BESTSELLING supernatural sequels and, of course, spawn the HAUNTED SERIES itself.
And thus, INCUBUS and I became estranged to the point where I even came close to selling the unfinished manuscript to another author as the basis for his new novel.
As it turns out, I didn’t.
Now, four years later, having completed the trilogy arc of the HAUNTED SERIES I was ready to take a break and finally go back to INCUBUS with a different perspective and the somewhat naïve belief that the manuscript was pretty much finished. All I needed to do was revise some elements, add an ending and be done in a month or so.
I was so wrong!
Four years is a long time. I looked at the manuscript and thought this is definitely no longer the story I want to tell, nor do I think it’s the story that my new readership wants to read. And thus, I set about revising and reshaping the main premise, the characters and so on. And what I believed was going to be a relatively simple process turned into a civil war between the original story and the new. Add to that a major distraction in my life that, at the time of writing this blog post, I’m still not at liberty to disclose to you.
And so, it’s been a ‘challenging’ time filled with the usual bouts of fear, self-doubt and self-loathing that, if you’re at all familiar with the foibles of being a writer, you’ll know is an occupational hazard. The important thing is having the strength to power through.
I did (just about!)
And thus, the next phase is out of my hands. The 1st draft of the manuscript has been handed over to the focus group where it’ll remain until the READER’S GROUP meeting scheduled for the end of July 2022. After which, it’ll be on with the next draft.
Will INCUBUS deliver? We’ll find out soon enough!
Until then, don’t have a nightmares!