Over the last few weeks, I’ve posted various blogs about my latest horror/supernatural conspiracy thriller novel The Irresistible Summons, often delving into inspirations, the writing process, and so on. In this article, I’m going to talk briefly about the themes and ideas it explores, whilst as ever attempting to skirt around spoilers.
Firstly and most obviously to anyone who has read the book, there is definitely an inherent warning about the dangers of playing God. The frightening possibility of morally and spiritually catastrophic technological innovation isn’t necessarily a new theme, but here I offer my own take on a subject that has proved increasingly of interest to those with half an eye on scientific developments. I can say no more about the specifics, for fear of spoilers.
Secondly, I wanted to explore some of the more outlandish ideas contained in both the Bible and other religious texts (the Book of Enoch for instance) involving what supposedly took place between mankind and supernatural forces in the First Age, pre-Flood era. Anyone familiar with the mischief the fallen angels caused in this era will already have an idea of where my story goes.
Thirdly, in keeping with my fascination for niche religious movements, I wanted to write a protagonist from a fairly strict Messianic Jewish background. My protagonist Naomi has since turned her back on the beliefs she was brought up with. The confusion and alienation she experiences trying to come to terms with what she actually believes is a recurrent theme in much of my work.
Finally, like all good ghost stories, for all the spine-tingling spookiness, The Irresistible Summons is actually a meditation on grief and it’s potentially far-reaching effects. Many of the finest ghost stories are about comfort and catharsis, beneath all the scares, and those lofty ideals are what I aimed for in this novel.
If that all sounds terribly worthy or even preachy, it certainly wasn’t my intention to grind an axe when I wrote the story. My primary motivation was simply to write a really gripping supernatural conspiracy thriller that took gothic horror haunted house tropes and transferred them to a more modern setting. I sincerely hope readers will primarily read The Irresistible Summons to be entertained by a page-turning, nail-biting, ghostly, emotionally resonant mystery.