For the past half-a-dozen or so posts put up over a period of three months, I had been alluding to what is to be my second book. While I have given you guys a few snippets of what it will contain here and there, I haven't given you guys the big picture, everything in one go. So that's what I am going to do now. I'm going to pull the veil off Frankenstein's Monster, so to speak.
Here's the offer: It's a short story collection which puts one Elephantiasis-afflicted foot in the horror genre and the other (thinner) foot in a whole sushi platter of other genres. I estimated it to be about 100,000 words long at the start of the project. I may have already breached that figure by a few thousand words as I am filling in any holes in the plot and description for draft 2.
So expect a whole host of genre pieces, some that are indisputably, undeniably, obviously horror with sprinklings of other genres or sub-genres while the horror in other pieces may not seem obvious at first.
I have yet to figure out a title for the collection, but all I know for sure is that I don't want it to be something as generic as 'Brian J. W. Lee's Horror Stories Volume 1'. Gee, I wonder who would name their books like that? Anyway, here's the rundown of the stories to be featured within...
Sesame Seeds (Working Title): A corporate executive discovers a renewed infestation of ants in his home, and decides to kill them on sight. Little does he know that these aren't just any kind of ants... A body horror due to infest the omnipresent Amazon stores.
Agoraphobe (Working Title): In the distant future, against the backdrop of an overpopulated Singapore which is the result of two centuries of social engineering, we follow a disenfranchised working-girl as she goes about her daily life, navigating the treacherous concrete jungle and rivers of people. Only, sometimes the most treacherous thing is the person you invite into your home... An experimental dystopic horror, projecting the future from the Amazon stores.
The Hatch: Every building has secrets, whether it is that apartment no one seems to ever want to live in, or the rooftop where no one cares to go. A mechanic discovers the secret of the office complex he works at, something he can never unsee... A psychological horror, haunting Amazon soon.
Sprint: Few of us do it. Marathons, half-marathons... Hell, some of us couldn't even manage a fun run. Now, imagine having to run for your life... In the middle of an ultra-marathon set in the jungles of Malaysia. A unique and experimental blend of sports horror, whose season starts in Amazon next quarter.
Faceless: Glade's End. An idyllic and slow village where Jacob, a new adult, whiles away his days after the conclusion of his academic pursuits and stint in the village militia. Peace is broken when his father returns from the nearby primordial woods of Restikeria Forest after going missing for four days, severely ill with an incurable disease. As he wastes away, Jacob is forced to investigate the seemingly endless forest for the cause, and perhaps even a cure. What he will find at the end of his journey may threaten his sanity, just as it has taken his father's...
The ultimate on the list in terms of genre crossing and bending, this is also the longest story to be featured. It's going to be a mouthful, but here goes... A dark science-fantasy horror adventure... Coming soon.
Cedric's Run-Off: A biomedical researcher wrongfully barred from his profession makes ends meet by volunteering to be a test subject. Things did not go right in the latest experiment, and he becomes the ocean from which a new sapient civilisation emerges... Invading Amazon next quarter.
Vinegar: A new neighbour moves in next door to Henry's, a polytechnic graduate whose life is already changing drastically. Unlike Charles, his childhood friend, this solitary neighbour is mysterious, and the day she moves in, the strong smell of vinegar invades his room from her apartment unit. There are secrets to be revealed... On Amazon.
The Facade: Written even before The Keeper of Pulau Purba, a lost manuscript found again. Penned down months before the debut novel was even conceived in its current form, The Facade was written as a Final Year Project for my graduation. Coming back to it, I found the story surprisingly worthy of publication despite flaws both in the narrative and grammar.
The Facade is a story told from the perspective of a young but successful executive on the fast track. Just when he thought his unbroken chain of successes and celebrations can never slow down, metaphorical ghosts from the past emerges to haunt him, dredging up old wounds and misgivings. A peek into an earlier Brian... To be re-graded on Amazon. (Hope I get an A instead of a B this time :D)
These short stories will be accompanied by an equal number of flash fictions for pacing and to allow readers to rest. They will have their own self-contained universes, to be glimpsed at for a brief moment.
Well, that's it for now. I've been busy editing, and the second draft will be done surprisingly soon. Other than that, my debut novel, The Keeper of Pulau Purba, is now on sale at $0.99! Here's the link: Click Me! (Or Click the Book Cover at the Side)