Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?
My name is Lee Murray. An AHWA member for the past five years, I’ve been writing for ten, with eight novels, nine edited works, and numerous short stories published, and a further three novels currently in press. My work is almost entirely speculative, and most of it tends to dark fiction and horror. My also cooking tends towards horror. I live with my family in the sunny Bay of Plenty where my office overlooks a cow paddock.
INTO THE SOUNDS is the second adventure in my Taine McKenna speculative thriller series, the sequel to award-winning INTO THE MIST (also a 2016 Shadows finalist), this time set in New Zealand’s southern fiords.
Here is the blurb:
On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park, where soaring peaks give way to valleys gouged from clay and rock, and icy rivers bleed into watery canyons too deep to fathom. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. But a band of mercenaries saw them first, and, hell-bent on exploiting the tribes’ survivors, they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way. As a soldier, McKenna is duty-bound to protect all New Zealanders, but after centuries of persecution will the Tūrehu allow him to help them? Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?
What inspired you to write this story?
Its publisher: the success of Into the Mist prompted the publisher to request a sequel. I hadn’t envisaged writing one, so it meant teasing a long story arc from the story threads
already existed. I tried to keep the same key elements that readers had enjoyed about the first book: an atmospheric New Zealand setting, fast-paced action, mythology, science, and a predatory primordial monster. However, it is certainly not the same story, with a bunch of new characters, plenty of dark moments, and some unexpected twists. A stand-alone, readers shouldn’t feel they have to read the first book in order to enjoy Into the Sounds, although I hope they will.
“Taine McKenna’s latest foray leads him again into the forests of New Zealand, this time accompanying a small group of conservationists evaluating the status of endangered species. But what they find goes far beyond any of their expectations and leads them to violent conflicts and a blood-thirsty band of plunderers set to exploit the new find. And something else. Something huge and voracious and virtually unbeatable. Murray does a beautiful job in combining New Zealand landscapes with strong characters, both native and otherwise. Her writing is, as always, clear and direct, especially in her handling of Maori terms readers might not be familiar with. I highly recommend this book to those interested in action, military adventure, conservation and its inherent dangers, and, perhaps most of all, tales of cryptozoology.” — World Horror Master, Michael Collings
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
If at all possible, grow a carapace.
What does the horror genre mean to you?
Horror isn’t really a genre, is it? Horror is something that transcends genre. It is anything that engenders feelings of unease, dread, disgust, or terror in a reader. Everyone feels fear at some time in their lives. It’s universal. And since people’s fears are both wide-ranging and unique, the scope of horror is just as diverse. For me, as a storyteller, there is nothing more exciting.
Who is your favourite author and why?
I can’t possibly answer this. I have too many to count. My favourite author is often the person I am currently, so right now that would be Christa Carmen, Something Borrowed, Something Bloodsoaked, Matt Bett, Shadows Beneath the Waves, and David Versace’s Mnemo’s Memory and Other Fantastic Stories. However, I will tell you that my favourite childhood horror was Pinocchio with its chilling warning to children about disobedience ‒ at the risk of having your skin sliced off and then stretched to make a drum.
Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?
INTO THE MIST and INTO THE SOUNDS can be purchased in print and ebook formats from Severed Press and online venues. Into the Mist is available on audible. Australasian Horror Writers members who would like to receive a digital ARC of either title for honest review should contact leekiwi at gmail dot com
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