Sunday, 29 April 2012

Gary McMahon

This guy is good. He's very good.

I've just finished his latest book Silent Voices which is part two of a trilogy (part one is The Concrete Grove) after recently reading two of his other books - Pretty Little Dead Things and Hungry Hearts. All four titles are some of the best British horror novels I've read in a long time and it should go without saying that I'll be checking out McMahon's other works.

This post isn't just a recommendation for horror fans, though. As I've repeatedly mentioned, work on my current book has been difficult and I've put that down to not knowing the characters as well as I've known characters in previous books. Reading Silent Voices made me realise something else. I've been overthinking this book to the point of producing a stitled, dry first draft. McMahon's style comes across as quite effortless and while I don't think for a minute the work and time he put in to seeming effortless was anything less than huge, the result is what interests me. I can and do work my arse off on a book but to make the story and plot appear as smooth as McMahon does, now that's impressive.

Now that I'm in the final 15,000-20,000 words of the first draft, I'll stop overthinking it and see if I can produce something as effortless, as readable and as impressive as McMahon's books by focusing on the two most important issues of a novel: character and story.

And while I do that, have a read of McMahon's books. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Gary McMahon

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