A demonic curse whose origins lie in the early Catholic Church, a seemingly peaceful Maine wood and an escaped convict fill the pages of this suspenseful page-turner. This is a “can’t-put-it-down” book that propels you to desperately tear through the story to uncover the secrets surrounding the sinister cabin in the Maine woods where Steve and Carol expect to relax on their anniversary.
What begins as a few spooky incidents turns into a full on hunt for the truth as Steve unearths more and more about the land’s past. After a terrible accident, Steve flees a modern day witch-hunt led by local and state authorities. A frantic chase ensues to save his wife from an unknown and otherworldly threat. The short novel alternates between ancient diary entries of the land’s late owner, Steve’s disturbing historical discoveries, his attempts at survival and the search for justice by the local police. Well-written and flawlessly unfolding from start to finish, this is a haunting and nightmare-inducing ghost story. “Dante’s Cypher” is reminiscent of the works of Stephen King, most of whose tales of horror are also set in Maine. On Saturday, Feb. 7 from 12-3 p.m., Stephens will be at the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore for a meet and greet. For excerpts of the book and more information check out his website at dantescypher.tateauthor.com or follow him on Twitter @Dantes_Cypher.
Interview with T. Stephens:
GW: What began your interest in writing? Have you always enjoyed horror or do you plan to explore other genres?
TS: I have always dabbled in newspaper and magazine articles, but this was my first foray into novel writing. The story of “Dante’s Cypher” (DC) came to me in a dream, based on a place where I was staying. As for the horror question, I never intended to be a “horror” writer; it just sort of worked out that way. I describe DC as an intense, thriller-mystery with tones of horror. This is my genre for now.
GW: In your afterword of the book, you state that the setting, history, and the cypher all actually exist. Is this haunting tale completely a work of fiction or based on real events?
TS: This story is based on real events that my twisted mind grabbed hold of and made a creepy story out of.
GW: What are you currently working on?
TS: I have a few projects that I am working on. I am in negotiation to turn DC into a screenplay for movie development, which has required a lot of time and has been very exciting. I also have another novel that is in its final stages; it just has to be refined for publication. As a matter of fact, the photo-shoot for the cover was just last week, so that is very exciting also. In addition, I am doing a tremendous educational push, talking/guest lecturing with multiple universities (i.e. UConn Keene State, Fairfield), and other schools. I talk about empowerment and actively guiding your life, not just being a passenger. I find this very rewarding and self-gratifying.
GW: Who are some of your favorite authors, other than your implied respect for Stephen King?
TS: I have so many authors that I am a fan of. Lately, I haven’t had the time to read much, but I am currently reading “The Acolyte” by John T. Hitchner and am enjoying it very much.
GW: Finally, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
TS: Write! Hone your craft! Believe!