The next week sees the publication of Gary McMahon's Beyond Here Lies Nothing, the third book in the excellent Concrete Grove trilogy.
Imagine a place where all your nightmares become real. Think of dark urban streets where crime, debt and violence are not the only things to fear. Picture a housing project that is a gateway to somewhere else, a realm where ghosts and monsters stir hungrily in the shadows. Welcome to the Concrete Grove. It knows where you live...
Gary McMahon’s chilling trilogy shows us a Britain many of us will recognise, while whispering of the terrible and arcane presences clawing against the boundaries of our reality…
We talked to Gary about wrapping up the series and why he feels it's the best thing he's ever written...
* Tell us a bit about Beyond Here Lies Nothing and why people should buy it.
Beyond Here Lies Nothing was a tough book to write. As well as being the final instalment in the trilogy, I felt that it needed to work as a story on its own terms. It took me a long time to work out the rhythm of the novel, but once I did it really started to sing. At the heart of the book is a man who is trying to work out his own story – his place in the world, his path, his purpose. I think that’s what breathes life into the whole novel. Everything else springs from there. It’s about identity, love, loss, chaos, and the worlds we all hide deep inside our hearts.
You should buy it because I put everything into writing it. I can’t be more honest than that!
* The book brings the Concrete Grove trilogy to a close – how do you feel now that it’s been completed?
I feel a strange combination of intense pride and profound loss. I’ve spent so long working on the novels, so much time inside that universe, that it was a wrench to leave it all behind. But at the same time, I felt that the time was right to move on and work on something completely different.
* What are your favourite horror tropes or clichés? Do you riff on any of them in this series?
I’m rather fond of werewolves, but there haven’t been many really good werewolf novels written that I’m aware of. I guess the main trope I riff on in the Concrete Grove novels is that of the hidden world, the alternative reality that coexists alongside our own. I use ghosts, too. Ghosts are pretty much a constant in my fiction. I’m a big ghost fan.
* Why should people pick up the whole series?
I honestly think that I’ve written the best books I possibly could. I’ve put everything that I love about genre fiction into the trilogy. Each book works as a standalone story, but reading all three will reward you with so much more depth, reveal the overall story arc, and allow you to explore the people and the places I’ve written about.
* What’s next work-wise for you?
I’m currently working on my next novel, The Quiet Room. It’s a ghost story – a haunted house novel, I suppose, but using a hook that I don’t think has been done before. I don’t want to say much more in case I jinx it. After that, there’s another ghost story called The Bones of You, which has been commissioned by an acclaimed US publisher. See – I told you I liked ghosts, didn’t I?
Beyond Here Lies Nothing
By Gary McMahon
Horror returns 28th August (US & Can) and 13th September (UK)
£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-020-7
$8.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-021-4
Available as an ebook