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By Jeff Ayers

Scott Randall is a corporate VP on top of the world. To celebrate a massive new deal, he’s going to drive from Detroit to LA. But before he leaves, he makes a bad mistake. He cruelly dismisses a homeless panhandler on the street. Along the road, he swears he sees the panhandler again. Then again. And again. Soon he sees the man—who calls himself the Nightcrawler—even in his dreams. No matter how frantically he tries, Scott can’t escape his relentless pursuer. He thought he was going to LA. But the Nightcrawler has a very different destination in mind.

Mick Ridgewell’s THE NIGHTCRAWLER is guaranteed to terrify.  He answered some questions for The Big Thrill.

What sparked the idea for THE NIGHTCRAWLER?

The Nightcrawler came to me while reading ON WRITING – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Specifically the passage where SK describes how he came up with the idea for A BUICK 8. While reading this, the image of a man driving across the country came to me.  I imagined this man running into the same person over and over again.

It didn’t take long to develop a road plan from that point. Shortly after the characters took shape, the climax formed in my mind. Once I envisioned the end, it was a matter of getting the characters there.

Talk about how you were able to get an editor to look at your book.

The first step I took was to send THE NIGHTCRAWLER to all the Canadian publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts.  I received some politely worded form letters telling me THE NIGHTCRAWLER didn’t fit with their current catalog. I then uploaded THE NIGHTCRAWLER to Harper Collins website That was the best thing that could have happened. I got a lot of excellent advice on what was good and bad with my manuscript. After 11 months of revisions, and promoting THE NIGHTCRAWLER in authonomy, I earned a review from a Harper Collins editor.  I used this review to do another round of revisions.

I then began to send THE NIGHTCRAWLER to agents and editors in the USA and UK. This was the version that Don D’Auria at Samhain Horror accepted for publication.

What has been the response since it was published?

Although I don’t have any official numbers, I was thrilled to see THE NIGHTCRAWLER at the top of the best sellers list for a couple of days at Samhain’s online store for horror titles. THE NIGHTCRAWLER was well received at the Fan Expo in Toronto, where Samhain had a booth.

How do you feel about the whole E-book/print debate?

I think e-books are the way of the future. If you love to read but are not a collector then e-books are perfect.  They cost less, they don’t take up space in your house and you don’t have to go out to the bookstore to get a copy.  That said there will always be people who will prefer paper books. People who like to hold a book in their hand, to smell the freshly printed pages.  These people will stand in line to meet the author and get a signed copy. I prefer paper books, but the kids today are raised on electronic media, and these are the people who will determine the future of books.

Why do readers enjoy reading horror?

I don’t know the psychology behind it, but people like to be scared.  All you have to do is go to any amusement park to see this.  The rides designed to scare the crap out of you have the longest lines.

What’s next?

I am currently working on a vampire novel called THE EVIL NEVER DIES.  My goal is to put the monster back in vampires.  Nobody is going to invite any of these demons to the prom. There is nothing official yet, but I hope to see it released at the end of 2013.

Jeff Ayers
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