Inside Barry Napier’s The Bleeding Room

November’s Bloodlight continues with a look behind the idea that would eventually become The Bleeding Room, author Barry Napier’s twist on the haunted house staple.

A blend of classic myth, ghost hunting, and an ancient evil, The Bleeding Room, published by Graveside Tales, follows esteemed author Terrence Bennet as he leads a small crew of ghost hunters to Ponderbrook to investigate a house that holds a dark past for his next book.

Check out what Barry had to share about the birth of the novel, from intial idea to final printed product.

“The Bleeding Room came to mind when some friends and I were talking about local legends concerning haunted houses in the county I grew up in.  Someone had raised the question of “What sort of events have to transpire for a house to be haunted and even then, what kinda of force orchestrates it all?”  That question, coupled with the inkling of an idea I’d had for a haunted house short story about a ghost hunting team, put the building blocks in place.”

“The Bleeding Room was written over the course of 3 years and is the first time I used my “plot map” approach.  I literally flip a piece of paper to landscape and draw a straight line; the start is the first page and the end is how I want the novel to conclude. Over time, several branches will spring from the straight line, highlighting plot points and character development cues.  Of course, this often takes more and more pages. This is a process I have used for longer works ever since and has never done me wrong.”

After digging around a little, I found more info on Barry’s journey while writing the book:

  • Barry says that The Bleeding Room became one of the first books that scared himself while writing it
  • From the first draft, through a few rounds of editing and a final polishing by his publisher, The Bleeding Room went from a chunky 143,500 words to around 109,000 slim, svelte, spooky  words
  • Barry had a close scare in 2007 when he lost the USB disc that the novel was saved on. I imagine he also gained a few grey hairs during the process, but luckily he was able to resurrect the grisly tale
  • The Bleeding Room has its own microsite! Check out The Ponderbrook Archives to see some extra tidbits including articles taken from the Ponderbrook Gazette, dating back as far as 1889, journal entries from past residents, interviews and other material that documents the dark heart of this southern Virginia town.

Intrigued? With a creepy old abandoned house, dark secrets, ghosts, and an evil that is about to be awakened, be sure to pick up a copy of The Bleeding Room available in various formats:

Want to know more about Barry? November’s Bloodlight will return with a review of Barry’s short story collection, 13 Broken Nightlights. Have you read any of Barry’s books? How would you describe his writing? Which book was your favorite and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Red Tash says:

    The Bleeding Room sounds like it really pushed the author’s limits. So, what comes next? Go further out, or give yourself a break? Just curious.

    Posting a link to your site, today. Thanks for all you do.


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