"Fans of ghost stories like The Haunting of Hill House and Hell House will love this book." - Horror Maiden
Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.
Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fateand Annabelhave in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
About the Author
Jonathan Janzgrew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novelThe Sorrows"the best horror novel of 2012."The Library Journaldeemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson'sThe Haunting of Hill Houseand Peter Straub'sGhost Story"
Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels likeThe Nightmare Girl,Wolf Land,Savage Species, andDust Devilsprompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side.
His novelChildren of the Darkreceived a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016).Children of the Darkwill soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, theSchool Library Journal, andCemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novelExorcist Fallswas released to critical acclaim.
Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz atwww.jonathanjanz.com.
What is the book about?
It’s about the tendency of men to succumb to evil, the enduring power of evil, and how a place can absorb that malevolence, a la the Overlook Hotel.
What are the underlying themes?
Did real life experiences bring about any of the plot of this tale?
Yes. I lived next to a graveyard and have always been fascinated by them. In fact, I wrote the first draft of this book in a graveyard, which is fitting. Basically, the main character is transfixed by a specific grave, and I, too, have been mesmerized by gravestones with a lot of character.
What about the setting stimulated your imagination?
The loneliness, the eeriness, the sense of age and history and secret lives.
What are some of your favorite books haunted house/Gothic books?
Early Peter Straub, Richard Matheson’s HELL HOUSE, and Shirley Jackson’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE are some of my favorites.
Who influenced you most in the writing of the book?
If I had to choose someone, it would be Peter Straub. GHOST STORY really affected me when I read it back in college. I’ve never been the same. And I believe its shadow still shows in much of my writing.
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
You will only succeed if you love it, if you burn to write. If you’re not passionate about it, you need to get out, because that passion and determination will keep you going when things go badly. And they will go badly. You’ll be rejected, you’ll be discouraged, you’ll be told you’re not good enough. You’ll likely experience soul-sucking self-doubt. But if you love it enough, you’ll stay with it. That’s how you climb. By not quitting.
Where did you write?
Like most of my novels, this one was written in my home, in my writing room. It’s an inspiring setting filled with books and an aura of magic.
Did you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I write to Baroque music. It’s the perfect fusion of mystery, passion, and energy, and listening to it, the words just flow from my fingertips to the page. It also drowns out the ambient noise that I sometimes find distracting.
What are you writing now?
At the moment I’m editing a post-apocalyptic novel (the first of a planned series) and working on the second CHILDREN OF THE DARK book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"House of Skin" is an outstanding supernatural tale that's filled with murder, obsession, possession, sex, chilling plot twists, and outstanding writing. Author Jonathan Janz has set the bar high for his next work because this novel is so hard to put down.The plot revolves around the cursed Carver family and their estate, Watermere. When Paul Carver inherits the estate from his not-so-dear departed uncle, Miles Carver, he leaves his life and girlfriend behind in Memphis and moves to Indiana. As Paul takes up residence at Watermere he begins to go through a number of life changes, the most important of which is meeting his gorgeous and strangely familiar neighbor, Julia Merrow. Paul, an aspiring author, soon finds his literary motivation from Watermere and the beautiful Julia. As he begins to find out more about his family's history, he soon realizes that he may be under the same "spell" that affected his uncle and other relatives and that Julia's past may be connected to that of his family.The story really picks up momentum as a number of suspicious disappearances and murders begin to mount up near Watermere and in the neighboring community of Shadeland. Paul soon finds himself on the top of the list of suspects because of his family name. The more he works to convince the local sheriff of his innocence, the more he begins to realize who's really behind the murders.Readers who enjoy the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, and John Saul will really enjoy this book. In "House of Skin" (Janz' 2nd major work), Janz demonstrates a real maturity as a writer by creating a deftly written plot that will continually keeps readers guessing. The outcome is a real page-turner that will keep most readers up long into the night.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Jonathan Janz, author of such notable horror novels The Sorrows, Savage Species, Dust Devils, and the newly released Castle of Sorrows, has crafted a chilling story of madness, murder, and undying supernatural hunger. Paul Carver, wannabe writer, inherits his infamous relative's fortune and Victorian estate in rural Indiana. He moves there, thinking a fresh start will help him realize his dreams of becoming a horror novelist. But little does he know that truth is stranger than fiction, and after he meets a beautiful young librarian, who holds her own dark secrets, Paul is soon drawn into a nightmarish horror that is consuming his mind, body and soul. Reminiscent of classic gothic horror with a modern slant, obviously (think of Peter Straub's Ghost Story), Janz cleverly weaves the narrative between flashback sequences involving Paul's notorious Uncle, Myles Carver, and his sadistically seductive wife, Annabel. The novel starts off a bit slowly, but quickly finds its pace midway through, to its stunning conclusion. If you haven't read Janz yet, you should check out this bright dark star of horror fiction!
I read Mr. Janz'first book (The Sorrows) a couple months ago and loved it. This one is just as good if not better. Fast, surprising and scary! A must read.