By Basil Sands
Rock Star wannabe Kane Pryce is a reluctant Ghost Buster with attitude. Following on the heals of SOUL TRAPPER F.J. Lennon’s new book, DEVIL’S GATE keeps the story going with a wild eyed flare for supernatural mystery, action, and rock and roll.
The author recently sat down for an interview.
Tell us a little about your new book DEVIL’S GATE.
DEVIL’S GATE is part ghost story, party murder mystery, part rock and roll fable. The novel opens roughly a year after the events of the first novel SOUL TRAPPER. Kane Pryce has sworn off ghost hunting to focus on his budding music career. But when his sometime partner in the paranormal, Ned Ross, approaches him with a potentially lucrative case involving Pasadena’s haunted Colorado Street Bridge, aka Suicide Bridge, Kane reenters the realm of the paranormal. Kane and Ned begin an intense investigation to uncover what dark forces lure hopeless victims to leap from the bridge and what power keeps their souls trapped there. As Kane unlocks the bridge’s secrets and begins to unravel a real life murder mystery, he is thrust into an adventure that goes far beyond the bridge. It’s a journey that takes him into the shadowy world of the occult, the seedy underbelly of the Hollywood music scene, face-to-face with a real killer, and into the shattered minds of suicide victims. By novel’s end, Kane’s own soul hangs in the balance.
Have you always been into ghost stories?
Yes. The house I grew up in was paranormally active, so ghost stories weren’t just fictional tales in our home. I saw and heard things I couldn’t explain at a very early age, so that piqued my curiosity. I also grew up near Saint Vincent College (where I eventually attended college). It’s a very old Benedictine monastery and liberal arts college–and a very haunted place. I heard countless ghost stories that fascinated me directly from priests who were friends of the family. I continue to investigate haunted locations. So, yes, I’ve always believed in, and been drawn to, the paranormal. I don’t just write ghost stories, I live them.
What would you say was your main influence for the stories you write?
I’ve had many influences, both personal and professional. On a personal level, I had a college professor named Dr. William Snyder who recognized that I had some writing ability during my freshman year and encouraged me to develop it. It was a real boost at a pivotal moment in my life. Those kind of mentor experiences are so critical to finding your place in life. On a professional level, I’ve always admired Larry McMurtry’s ability to create characters so real they feel like your friends. I read LONESOME DOVE when I was in my early twenties and decided then and there that I would try to become a fiction writer. That novel was the game changer for me. And Stephen King is such a huge influence on me not only as a creator of a vast archive of unforgettable paranormal-themed content, but as a living example of the writing craft. He is prolific beyond measure and gives all writers a road map of what it takes to succeed–write every day, keep improving, and don’t give up.
Your main character Kane Pryce, is a musician. How about you? Play any instruments?
Not really. I have a couple of guitars, have taken my share of lessons, and have tried my best, but I just “can’t feel it deep enough in my bone marrow”, as Kane says in SOUL TRAPPER. I recognize and accept my limitations. Luckily, though, I get to live my guitar fantasies through Kane.
On a side note, what’s your favorite ghost or horror movie?
THE CHANGELING, starring George C. Scott, had a big impact on my when I was a teenager. It’s a subtle story about a real ghost, not a terror or gore-fest. There are shades of THE CHANGELING in my first novel, SOUL TRAPPER. THE EXORCIST was, and still, is the most terrifying movie in my opinion. I still get chills watching that one. Again, it had a strong impact on what I’m writing today–demons, angels, and ghosts. And I have always loved, and been haunted by, THE SHINING.
Any more books in the series coming?
Absolutely. The third book in the Kane Pryce series is tentatively titled HELLFIRE. Kane will uncover the origins of the Soul Trap as well as a long-standing and far-reaching conspiracy grounded in the occult. The entire series will be comprised of either six or seven novels.
F.J. Lennon is a novelist and independent interactive executive producer and designer. He is the author of SOUL TRAPPER and DEVIL’S GATE, the first two installments in the Kane Pryce trilogy of novels. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in the development of numerous original computer games and educational software titles. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two daughters.
To learn more about the author, please visit his website.