I’ve known Philip McCormac for many years, since we met in a pre-internet horror writers’ critique group.
The group folded but Phil remains a family friend. In days gone by my son almost worshipped Phil not only for his sense of humour, but for his inability to pass an ice cream shop without making a purchase!
Phil has written many westerns under a variety of pen names, as well as thrillers and an American Civil War novel.
His latest novel - Bridge of Blood – explores yet another area - contemporary Northern Ireland. So, what was it that drove Phil to write his latest novel?
Here’s what he told me when I asked:
I got my first writing successes with short horror stories so I am pleased to be associated with Greyhart and grateful to them for publishing my supernatural horror novel BRIDGE OF BLOOD and taking me back to my roots.
The incident of the slaughter on the bridge over the River Bann at Portadown is an historical fact. In 1641 there was a rebellion in Ireland against the English settlers and many atrocities were committed on both sides. The story intrigued me and it was while reading accounts of the massacre that the idea of a novel began to take place.
The times were savage and we look back and shudder to think of the barbarity of the age. But consider our own time. The Balkans, the Middle East and Rwanda in Africa to mention but a few - the fighting and slaughter go on and on. Nothing much has changed. I suddenly thought: what drives people to commit such violent acts?
What if there was a malevolent presence spitefully pervading peoples’ minds and making them act in such a manner? So I selected one such demon from amongst the profusion of these supernatural beings – Laldaboth. [For your own curiosity Google him]. It’s there all right and maybe watching you right now. I advise you not to encourage it too much.
I introduce this demon in the prologue where he is inciting the rebels to commit atrocities against their captives. It is imprisoned by a priest in a holy vessel called a ciborium. We move into the present day where a set of circumstances lead to the release of Laldaboth. Gleefully it sets about creating mischief and mayhem.
Bridge of Blood is available from Grayhart Press.