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Author Interview with Barrymore Tebbs, author of The Haunting at Blackwood Hall!

Please help me welcome author Barrymore Tebbs to Reading with Holly! :)

Holly: Hi Barrymore! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Barrymore Tebbs: My name is Barrymore Tebbs. I’m a fifty-something rock and roll refugee. I’m an avid photographer on the local indie rock music scene in Cincinnati, as well as a PhotoShop artist which has come in handy designing the covers of my books. I’ve written off and on for many years, but only with recent advances in self publishing have I begun to put my stories into print.

Holly: Can you tell us a little bit about The Haunting at Blackwood Hall?

Barrymore Tebbs: The Haunting at Blackwood Hall was inspired by my interest in the Spiritualist movement of the 19th Century. Some of the mediums were quite theatrical in their performances, like Madame Lovely at the beginning of my book. But also, the drawing room séance was a place for women’s voices to be heard in an era when they were otherwise not encouraged to speak out publicly.

Holly: Where can we purchase it?

Barrymore Tebbs: It’s available in eBook form at Amazon and at Barnes and

Holly: Do you think you may ever go into another genre?

Barrymore Tebbs: If you strip the Gothic elements and atmosphere out of my stories, what you have are psychological thrillers. I can see myself writing a more mainstream thriller in the future. Also, I’ve tinkered with the style of the hard-boiled, noir mysteries of the 40s and 50s and will probably write something in that vein at some point.

Holly: Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Barrymore Tebbs: In writing The Haunting at Blackwood Hall I tried to recreate the style of the Gothic Romances of the 1960s and 70s. The works of Victoria Holt were a direct inspiration, particularly her novel Kirkland Revels. I paid homage to various Gothic Romance writers throughout the book as well.

Holly: Do you think you will have a follow up book to this novel or is it just a stand-alone novel?

Barrymore Tebbs: I actually set out to write a prequel but it turned very quickly into the novella Black Valentines, although it bears no relation to The Haunting at Blackwood Hall. The prequel could still happen, because there are events referenced which happen ten years prior to the time of the story which could easily be fleshed out into their own book.

Holly: Why this genre(s)?

Barrymore Tebbs: Gothic has been in remission for a number of years. In mainstream publishing it naturally evolved into paranormal fiction. Through Indie Publishing there is a small but growing revival. There are a number of writers diligently writing Gothic Romance. Most of my books lean more toward Gothic Horror, but with The Haunting at Blackwood Hall I wanted to throw my hat into the Gothic Romance ring. As a man firmly rooted in the 21st Century, it was a challenge to write in the first person voice of a female living well over a century ago.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Barrymore Tebbs: If you like old Gothic movies and TV shows, stories with spooky settings, old dark houses, stormy nights, ghosts, witchcraft, Tarot cards and Ouija boards, you ought to feel right at home inside the virtual pages of one of my books.

Holly: What is your favorite part of writing?

Barrymore Tebbs: My favorite part of writing isn’t the writing, it’s the point when I have created a story and know it so intimately that I can verbally tell it to a friend in about fifteen minutes and watch their facial reactions. That’s when I know I am on the right track.

Random Quickies! 

Holly: Favorite book?

Barrymore Tebbs: The Exorcist.

Holly: Favorite book to movie?

Barrymore Tebbs: Shutter Island.  A perfect example of Psychological Gothic.

Holly: Cats or dogs?

Barrymore Tebbs: Dogs! I have a three-year-old Boston Terrier named Buster.

Holly: TV Shows or Movies?

Barrymore Tebbs: Dark Shadows (original), True Blood, and Mad Men.

Title: The Haunting at Blackwood Hall
Author: Barrymore Tebbs
Genre: Historical fiction, Paranormal, Thriller, Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Publisher: self-published
Words: approx. 63,000


Book Description

Blackwood Hall is a house shrouded in silence. Nine-year-old Alice Fenn communicates only through her music. Jonathan Fenn and his sister Judith guard a terrifying family secret. The servants refuse to discuss the mysterious disappearance of a former governess. A drawing room séance attempts to make contact with the spirit of Elizabeth Blackwood. And when a diabolic madman holds the residents of Blackwood Hall hostage to an insidious reign of terror, governess Claire Ashby finds herself in a living nightmare of drug addiction, pagan rituals, and murder.

In the tradition of the great Gothic Romances, The Haunting at Blackwood Hall is a thrilling ghost story brimming with bold new twists on the beloved conventions of a bygone era.

It was early, but I felt myself growing sleepier by the moment. I hadn’t been given laudanum since I was a child, and the effects were completely foreign to me. My vision grew dim, and I found I could barely hold up my head. Alice, bless her heart, came to me and pecked me lightly on the cheek, then made an effort of drawing a blanket over me.
I fell into a strange and troubled sleep. I dreamed of a line of monks marching solemnly through the ruined abbey by moonlight. Their torches cast dancing shadows against the crumbling stone walls. Then, I saw a rider on horseback, a proud black stallion which I recognized as Nigel Kent’s mount, only the face of the rider was an ugly, twisted visage like the face on Alice’s doll. Alice was there as well, and her mother came and took her by the hand and the two of them disappeared behind a stone arch and Alice was lost to me forever.
I struggled up from the nightmare and looked about the room. Alice was asleep and the fire had died down low. It must have been the dead of night. But I distinctly heard the sound of the door handle turning, and when the person on the other side of the door realized it was locked, the handle began to shake and rattle so loudly and with such force I thought the door would be torn asunder.
“Stop it! Stop it!” I yelled, and with great difficulty I hauled myself from the bed. The moment I was on my feet the shaking of the door ceased abruptly. I went to the door and laid my ear against it. I listened for a moment, but heard neither dog nor man on the other side of the door.
Satisfied that what I had heard was only a figment of my imagination, or the remnants of that horrid nightmare clinging tenaciously to my mind, I turned to go back to bed…
…And distinctly heard the sound of footsteps running down the hall.


Barrymore Tebbs is a photographer and writer living in Cincinati, Ohio. His writing draws on a long Gothic tradition from the cult TV classic Dark Shadows and Hammer Films, to 20th Century Gothic writers known for deep psychological undercurrents such as Shirley Jackson, Daphne Du Maurier, and Thomas Tryon, to create the Psychological Gothic, all served with a liberal dose of black humor. Very black.  He is the author of Night of the Pentagram, The Yellow Scarf, and the psychological thriller Black Valentines.

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