Dark Reflections - You’ll never look at a mirror the same way again.
Dark Reflections is an evocative, mysterious story about a lost soul;
an individual who is trapped in time and space.
The story engages hefty topics like death, love and belief.
The style is edgy and minimalist with a wry sense of humour.
The language of the work is poetic and mesmerising.
If you enjoy dark works about dark characters
then Dark Reflections is definitely worth a look.
Interview with the author
I’m here with the author of Dark Reflections. Jason, can you tell us a little bit about this book?
Well, it’s difficult to say too much without giving away a lot of spoilers.
At its essence I guess this book is about a lost soul; a person who is exceedingly damaged and has to live in a world where he finds it extremely difficult to relate to people.
It’s a story about love, death and survival.
So the protagonist is something of an anti-hero?
That’s probably an understatement. I like to explore the vast array of grey that sits in between the black-and-white. This guy certainly fits into the darker shades of grey.
Is it okay if we talk about the supernatural aspects of the book?
Sure. I think I know what you’re getting at. Well, the first big secret, but one that gets revealed fairly early on is that the protagonist of the story is not human. Even though I’d prefer the reader not know that at the beginning, it’s pretty difficult to talk about the story without knowing that fact.
Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Okay, so the hero is a vampire; or at least my twist on one. But it’s important to me for people to know that this is not a run-of-the-mill vampire novel.
Most of the vampire fiction that I’ve seen in recent years is pretty trashy. In part, this book is a response to that trend.
A fairly strong response I’d say.
(Laughs). True, I wanted to go back to the origins of the vampire story and explore the animal with a different modern twist.
What sort of twist?
Well, firstly I wanted some of the aggression and horror of the original Nosferatu stories. Vampires aren’t supposed to be objects of desire; they should be objects of fear. And secondly I just had an idea which turns some of the vampire mythology on its head.
Can you tell us more about that?
No. Not without giving away key elements of the novel. I’ll just say that there are a whole range of ideas which float around about the legend and folklore of vampires. I took a few of those and took them in a completely different direction.
Okay, fair enough. So how do these themes play into the work?
Well. I think they humanise the character. They bring him down to our level. I wanted to show the gaping hole left inside the husk of a person when their soul is torn out; which is kind of what happens when you become a vampire. You’re a living dead person, and what would that look like?
So we aren’t seeing the type of superhuman vampire that you would get in say, Underworld?
No. It’s more of an organic expression. I tried to picture what it would be like for a creature who is placed outside of their time, is not supposed to be there and who operates almost entirely on instinct. But yet they’re still a person with, at least a thread of connection to humanity.
Talking about being out of their time, I really love what you did with the character’s language.
Yeah. In a lot of ways, the book is about the language. It’s about portraying a character who is living in the wrong time in history. What would it be like for a person from hundreds of years ago if they woke up today? So I really wanted to capture his outdated attitudes and language; which also serves to bring some humour to the story.
The humour in the book is quite understated, care to expand on that?
It is not primarily a comical piece. Although, I guess there are quite a lot of bits that will be funny to the right audience. You’ll miss some of the comedy if you don’t read it in the right tone I think.
How do you balance the comedy with the darkness of the book?
That’s the key I think to making it work. If it’s too funny, or just funny in the wrong way, the book will just turn into some kind of soft black comedy. So the humour has to sort of be slipped in between the black sheets as it were. The weight of his reflections on loneliness and death are the substance of the work, so you have to be careful about how you use comedy around those things.
The parts of the book that deal with death are particularly captivating; you’ve explored some dark places here.
Yes, I’ve leaned a lot on my own personal history and some of my experiences with religion and just life in general.
Some of Cornelius’ reflections on the destiny of his kind are particularly provocative. Where did you find the inspiration for that?
I dived pretty deep into the ideas about what an immortal creature would actually face if they had to live on the world way beyond the lifespan of humanity. I think I want his existential crisis to cast some light on our own. We have to deal with a different crisis of existence. In that ours is going to stop suddenly at some point in time. It’s good to explore alternatives.
The book is quite pithy, did you think about making it longer?
Not for very long. No, I didn’t see the point in simply writing more for filler. I just wrote what needed to be written and left it at that. I don’t feel the need to be tied to a word limit or chapter count. I did my days of word limits writing essays at university. The book is as long as it needs to be.
So are you trying to get the book published?
I would love to get the book published. But everything I’ve read leads me to believe that publishing houses just aren’t accepting books these days unless you’ve already proven yourself self-publishing.
So are you hoping to get a book deal in the future?
Sure, I would like to. But it’s kind of a catch 22. You have to build your own market of readers before a publisher is interested in you, but by that time you’ve got your own market of readers, so why would you be bothered with a book deal? We’ll have to wait and see I guess.
Thanks for your time, do you have any final words that you’d like to leave us with?
Yeah. Buy the book and help a struggling artist. Just kidding! I really hope that readers will enjoy this book, and I’m looking forward to writing the next one.
I’m sure they will.
Dark Reflections was published on 10 December 2021. You can purchase the book on Amazon Kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N3BR732?ref_=pe_3052080_397670860
Download the 1st 3 chapters of Dark Reflections on PDF format for free. If you enjoy them you can purchase the book on Amazon Kindle.