Henry Gilman has spent years trying to separate himself from his father’s legacy of murder and insanity. Now he has the chance – all he has to do is figure out who’s been killing people in Innsmouth. Then he’ll be a hero and win the heart of the woman he loves, Flora Marsh. But soon he’s caught in a web of danger, with the undead stalking the streets at night, a terrible monster lurking below the city, and a prophecy of destruction about to come true. In the process, his actions cause unwanted consequences and to save Flora he has to do the very thing he’s spent his life trying to avoid: follow his father’s footsteps into madness.
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About the Author
He is actively involved in various professional writers’ organizations, including serving as a mentor and library liaison, and he conducts writing programs for young adults at local libraries and schools.
As a child, his favorite playground was a 17th-century cemetery, which many people feel explains a lot. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/jgfaherty, www.facebook.com/jgfaherty, and www.jgfaherty.com.
What is the book about?
At its heart, Sins of the Father is a love story. It reimagines the Frankenstein mythos in Victorian New England, with a Lovecraftian twist. But it’s about one man trying to overcome his father’s terrible legacy and build a proper life for himself and the woman he loves. Only to find himself following his father’s footsteps in order to save her.
What are the underlying themes?
Love, loss, and breaking free from you parents’ shadows – things that are timeless.
Did you base your characters on anyone you knew?
Not the characters, but rather the archetypes. We all know someone who has been saddled with the poor luck to have parents who were cold and distant, or who didn’t abide by the law. And we all know someone (or maybe are that someone) who always feels second best to his or her friends. Someone who suffers through unrequited love and will do anything to make it realized. This is a book about a man trying to be a hero, rather than a book about a hero trying to save the day.
Who influenced you most in the writing of the book?
Mary Shelley and HP Lovecraft.
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
Don’t quit your day job and never give up. Writing can be hard and frustrating and take you down several notches just when you think you’re rising up. But it’s also rewarding when it works. Like anything else, it takes a lot of hard work and for every best seller you see, remember there are thousands of books that aren’t getting read. Writing is not for the timid of heart or the easily offended.
Do you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I always write in silence. I find voices and music very disruptive to my concentration. But when I am editing, after the first draft is done, then I like to have music in the background, usually something that fits the mood of the book. Often that’s dark 1980s new wave (Morrissey, The Cure, etc.), or soundtracks with no singing, like Richard Christy’s Blaze soundtracks. Other times it’s heavy metal or even the blues.
Did you find it hard to write? Or harder to edit your own work?
For me, it’s always harder to write. I constantly think that what I’m writing is no good, and I start and stop a lot, trying out different angles, scenes, plot twists, etc. Editing is actually fun for me – I enjoy going back and tightening things, fixing things, and adding details.
What was it like to be edited by someone else?
Well, it’s always helpful. I’ve worked with some great editors, including the team here at Flame Tree, and I also have beta readers who look at everything before I submit, so really, I work with at least 5 editors for every book. A good writer has to be able to take constructive criticism, see things through other eyes, and also know when to recognize that someone didn’t ‘get it.’ And in that case, sit back and try to figure out if it was them, or it was you, the writer. Did you not convey something as clearly as you thought?
I never consider a book done until it’s in print, so editing is always important and welcome for me.
What are you writing now?
Good question. I’m always working on 2-3 different things. I’m kind of scatter-brained that way. Right now it’s a short story (SF-horror), a novella (horror), and a novel (YA horror). We’ll see which one finishes first or if I end up writing something else entirely!