North Grenville native Andrew McManaman has published his first horror novel, titled Dollhouse.
It is the story of Darla, a single mother who finds herself trapped with six strangers in a house that has unbreakable windows and one door sealed shut. They have no memory of how they got there. They soon realize that the mysterious prison might be the safest place for them, as a deadly creature lurks outside.
The fast-paced novel features mystery, thriller and horror aspects as it tells a tale of survival and sacrifice.
"It’s a love letter to some really badass movies from back in the day," said McManaman, who lives in Vancouver.
He said he was inspired by 1970s and 1980s horror films, like Wes Craven’s films A Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Hills Have Eyes, and John Carpenter's The Thing and Halloween.
The book also takes a hint of inspiration from Agatha Christie's mystery novel And Then There Were None, with a similar element of what McManaman calls a "pick-off" in which, one by one, the characters are eliminated and the reader is left wondering who will be the last one remaining.
As an avid reader and film buff, McManaman wrote his first short story at a young age and his love for writing has grown. He's penned many short stories and screenplays and has even attempted writing one novel in the past.
"Everything I write is very cinematically inspired," said McManaman, adding the book reads like it could be a movie; even the cover art was inspired by a classic horror movie poster "to give a film touch to the reading experience."
Dollhouse started off as a short story years ago and then was later written as a screenplay before becoming a published novel, he said.
McManaman said he has four other novels in the works; three of them are also horror, and the fourth book is a classic crime story.
Dollhouse can be found on Popcorn Paperbacks website at popcornpaperbacks.com.
(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)
Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times