I’m very excited to feature in this Book Tour with Storytellers on Tour! I read and reviewed Once Upon a Lane by Duncan Wilson back in October 2020 and now we are excited to share this awesome Suburban Gothic novel with a wider audience.
I’m on the next to last day of this tour but, go check out the other tour stops and get ready for The Encore Here.
“There once was a lane, filled with well-tended lawns and well-fostered friendships, of well-appointed houses all neat and tidy and those that live within, of stories and mysteries that manifest for only fleeting moments for the few who pay attention. This is one such tale. A tale about pleasant people, about the lives they live, about their wants and dreams, about their loves and losses, their joys and hates, about their days and nights in the company of cherished companions in the houses they call home. In this tale of the happy little lives of blissful simple folk, there are monsters, to be sure. But this is not the story of monsters, this is not the tale of their evil deeds, this is the tale of those they make suffer. In this tale, the monsters have no names. The monsters do not deserve names.”
A character driven slice-of-life story that follows the humble lives of the residents of a suburban neighborhood as they live and love, and about the house with the dead yard, a vacant lot, that sits among their homes, inert and immobile, yet intimidating and terrifying to any who look at it too long. The children of the lane are not the only ones who are fearful of the anomaly in their midst. Every adult upon the lane wonders why the structure still stands, with no known owner and no reason to be. The lingering question is not who owns the house, but why no one ever goes in or comes out, and why there are such ghastly noises emanating from within. Day by day, the happy people of the lane go about their tasks and trials, and day by day, the house with the dead yard seems a little more ominous, a little more intrusive, and a little less ignorable than before.
Because I’ve already reviewed, I decided to interview Duncan! Get to know him and his book here:
Title: Once Upon A Lane
Author: Duncan Wilson
Release: November 2019
Genre: Horror, Slice-of-life, Paranormal, Suburban Gothic
I read and reviewed your book, Once Upon A Lane a while back. Can you tell me why you decided to write a story with such an abstract concept?
The story of the lane evolved organically as I introduced the residents, as each interacted with their neighbors and added their personality and history to the life of the lane. It seemed only natural that the lane would be the center of the story, a synthesis of all the people that made it special, the homes they diligently maintained, their friends and children and beloved pets, even the lawns and gardens they nurtured contributed to the identity of this little community and how it dealt with change, with tragedy, and how it tried to ignore the shadows at the edges and the festering flaw in its midst. I chose to tell the story of the lane because it was a story that spoke to the very core of society as a living, breathing entity and how it adapts to the influences around it.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Once Upon A Lane was written over the course of a year while I was writing several short stories and novellas. It took another year of editing and formatting before I published. My forthcoming novel, The Great River of the Abyss, was written over two months, but has spent two years in editing and formatting, and will be published near the end of this year. At any time, I have multiple novels, novellas, and dozens of short stories in some stage of writing, so the time it takes can vary greatly from story to story.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Like all writers, I spend a lot of time reading and studying the world around me. I am also a bit of a foodie, and spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, or the fields harvesting fruits and berries.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself while creating your books?
How much poetry I tend to weave into my prose. This was highlighted when we were recording the audiobook versions, and my narrator had to take a few passes to properly perform the more rhythmic segments.
What do you think makes a good story?
Almost anything can make a good story if well told. There are topics that would seem far too dull or esoteric to form a compelling narrative, yet time and again I find stories that paint such subjects in vibrant colors and passionate passages. I think the most important aspect to storytelling is to tell a story that can move you. If you cannot invoke emotion, if you cannot manifest interest, if you cannot compel investment in yourself for your story, it is that much more difficult to affect your readers.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
My earliest memories are of creating stories, usually with my brothers, then alone on paper as I got older. I have always wanted to tell tales, simply reading them was never enough.
What are you reading now?
Unsurprisingly for a bookworm, I am in the middle of several books at once. Currently E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, Flavius Josephus’ The Jewish War, Bob Hope’s Have Tux Will Travel, and an unpublished first draft from a fellow writer. My brother and I are reading Terry Pratchett’s Bromeliad Trilogy together.
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Duncan Wilson has been writing since childhood, having fallen in love with the written word at a very early age. Having spent his formative years in various libraries, he can bore his friends on a variety of subjects. Inspired by the natural world and the splendors of the heavens, he writes primarily science fiction and paranormal stories. He has a novel and two novellas published on Amazon and Smashwords, and an additional novella and several short stories published on Patreon.