Author Brett McBean knows exactly where to strike with his new novel The Invasion. The Invasion is not a supernatural story. However, it does deliver a powerful punch exploring the realm of home invasions, which in my opinion can be terrifying more than any supernatural story. McBean took a good amount of time describing the residence and creating a memorable character out of it. McBean does not over-saturate his character development; he leaves us just enough insight about the family and friends to have sympathy when the real terror begins. The Invasion is the first book that I have read from McBean, and it certainly will not be the last. McBean knows exactly how to attack our psyche delivering scares every step of the way, and he takes his readers to a traumatizing realm, and I enjoyed every minute of it! This novel comes with the highest of recommends for anyone looking for a read that will screw with your head and has you begging for more.
- Print Length: 235 pages
- Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
- Publication Date: May 15, 2016
The Invasion, Synopsis:
It was supposed to be a quiet end to a long day: five close-knit family and friends settling in for some much-needed sleep after coming together for an early Christmas party.
Instead, it’s the beginning of a shocking night of brutality when six intruders break into the sprawling residence of Debra Hillsboro, a middle-aged romance novelist with a fierce devotion to her loved ones and a strong kinship with her home of almost thirty years.
Armed with smartphones and a modern brand of madness, the intruders – an internet-age cult disconnected from humanity and addicted to causing fear and mayhem – have come to the secluded property for one purpose: to terrorize, and ultimately kill, everyone inside all while filming their heinous crimes.
Outnumbered and cut off from the outside world, the terrified occupants find themselves trapped in a fight for survival as a once place of safety is turned into a deadly maze of darkened rooms and forbidding hallways. On this sweltering summer night, they must somehow find a way to escape before the cult turns the beloved home into a house for the dead.
About The Author
Brett McBean is an award-winning horror and thriller author. His books, which include The Mother, The Last Motel and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game, have been published in Australia, the U.S., and Germany.
He’s been nominated for the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Ned Kelly awards, and he won the 2011 Australian Shadows Award for his collection, Tales of Sin and Madness.
He lives in Melbourne with his wife, daughter and German shepherd.
Check Out Brett McBean’s Website To Find Out More.
Praise for Brett McBean
“McBean’s voice is one that should be heard – a hint of Laymon and Koontz, yet distinctly his own.” —Brian Keene, author of The Rising and Terminal
“Brett McBean is as brash and brutal as a young Jack Ketchum. He visits the dark rooms inside us all.” —Scott Nicholson, author of The Manor and The Farm
“The Invasion, by Brett McBean, is a startlingly bleak home invasion story, but one that is wonderfully written. McBean relies on his characters and atmosphere to bring the biggest scares, along with the frightening threat of home invasion that many readers will bring to the reading all by themselves.” -Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Convergence.
iHorror Interview With Author Brett McBean:
iHorror: Can you please tell us about yourself and also where you are from?
Brett McBean: I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia; a child of the ‘80s. A product of Mattel, John Hughes movies, and Jason, Freddy, and Michael. I first wanted to be a cartoonist, then a horror movie make-up effects artist: Tom Savini was my hero when I was around eleven. I started playing the drums around that time and by the end of high school, I had made my decision to be in the music industry. Or a drum teacher as a backup if my aspirations of being another Mitch Mitchell didn’t work out. It turned out I preferred writing dark fiction rather than playing drums, and I’ve been writing and publishing now for over fifteen years, and live on the outskirts of Melbourne city with my beautiful wife and daughter. I’m addicted to chocolate and love good bourbon.
iH: Can you tell us how you got started on The Invasion? Any inspirations?
BM: Some ideas for stories are like dandelion petals, floating in the air just waiting to be caught, unknown to the writer until the moment the writer reaches out and grasps it. Others are like bubbling magma, simmering below for a long time until finally, when it becomes too hot and can no longer be held back, it breaks free. The Invasion was one of the latter ideas. The thought of home invasion, the fear and terror it brings, has both fascinated and frightened me ever since I was a boy. It’s also an idea that was long simmering in my head, as I think exploring one’s fear is crucial when writing horror fiction. I thought a novel detailing a home invasion, from the time the intruders break in, until the end, would make for a chilling read. And unlike the movies, there hasn’t been many novels dealing with this subject matter, so, considering my morbid fascination with the crime, I thought I’d take a crack at writing one.
In terms of inspiration, the story is heavily inspired by the murders committed by members of the Manson family in the late ‘60s. It’s a story that’s fascinated me almost as long as I’ve been fearful of someone breaking into my home. So, it seemed like a natural pairing: write a novel that delved into my fear of home invasions, while at the same time exploring my long-held fascination with the Manson family. Except, rather than do a mere recreation of the Tate-LaBianca murders, I updated the story to present-day Melbourne, and made the cult a product of the internet age, contrasting the ultra-modern, tech-savvy youths with the older, more humane protagonists.
iH: Did you do any research in preparation for The Invasion?
BM: Oh yeah, lots of research. Even though I had read Helter Skelter as a teenager, I reacquainted myself with the Manson case by re-reading Bugliosi’s famous true crime book, as well as other books, watching documentaries, and trawling the internet; basically, anything I could get my hands on. Like I said, I didn’t want to do a fictionalised account of the Tate-LaBianca murders, but I still wanted to include a lot of the facts and details of the case. I wanted to capture the dark heart of these most horrendous of murders, if not the exact appearance, and really getting into the nitty-gritty of the case was important in helping me to achieve this.
I also went to a number of open house inspections in the areas where the story takes place. I wanted to get a good feel of the types of home my main character might live in. As the house was going to be a major character in the story, with its own look, back story, even name and personality, I wanted to get the details right. I wanted the experience of reading the novel to be as authentic as possible, and so, for me, creating a house that was authentic was vital.
iH: What were the beginning years of your writing like?
BM: They were full of bliss and happy ignorance. I came to writing a little later than some. I was in my early twenties when I first sat down and started writing stories, having previously devoted my life to music. I liked playing music, but it was nothing compared to the feeling of sitting down and making up stories. The moment I started writing, it felt familiar somehow, and right. I realized that this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, not music, and that was a wonderful feeling. So those first few years were spent working on my craft, getting lots of rejection, sure, but basically just enjoying the act of writing, of creating worlds and characters with words. I made a lot of contacts during those early years, too, other writers and editors I’m still friends with to this day. The business side of writing, all the headaches and heartache that come with publishing, had yet to weigh me down. I thought, early on, it would be relatively smooth sailing. Write, get better, sell lots of books. Happy days! Oh how wrong I was…
iH: What do you love about being an author?
BM: It may be a simple, obvious answer, but I love the act of writing. I love sitting in my office with nothing but my computer and my imagination, and creating. I love seeing the book finally in print, I love meeting other authors and people who enjoy my work, but ultimately, the rush that keeps me going is the writing. The power and beauty of being able to build characters and worlds, the poetry of the language, is like a drug to me. Yes it can be hard, and when the writing isn’t going well it’s like the world is out of balance and the frustration can be debilitating. But when it does go well, which thankfully is most of the time, there’s hardly anything that brings me as much joy.
iH: Who is your favorite author and do you favor a particular genre?
BM: It’s difficult to narrow down a favourite author, as there are so many I love for so many varied reasons. I guess I would have to say Richard Laymon. I have a lot of sentimental attachment to Laymon’s books. He was the first author whose writing truly spoke to me, when I was around twelve. I loved it then, and still do love, horror that’s unflinching about showing the nastiness and griminess of violence. I love all kinds of horror, but my absolute love lies with the grittier, low budget exploitation type, the ones you feel you need to take a shower afterwards, films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Maniac, Hills Have Eyes, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. When I first read Laymon, it was like the literary equivalent of those movies. I had never read anything like it. It was like this author spoke my native language. I devoured all his books as fast I could. They say you never forget your first love, and for me, Laymon was my first literary love.
iH: I recently read that The Invasion has been optioned for film rights, this is some terrific news! How do you feel about this and was this your original plan?
BM: I’m certainly delighted that someone read the novel and saw movie-potential in it. I never write a story with the aim of it one day being turned into a movie. I dream of it, sure, as I’m a huge movie buff and think it’s a fascinating medium in which to tell stories, but I never tailor any aspect of my writing to try to appeal to movie people. I love both film and literature, but they’re very different mediums. What works in one doesn’t always translate to the other, and so I always write what’s best for the medium of prose fiction. Still, the idea of an Invasion movie is exciting, and I would love to see it happen.
Thank You for letting us pick your brain! It was definitely a treat! Best of luck in your future endeavors!
Want to know more about The Invasion? Check out the links below and be sure to check out Invasion Publicity Tour at Hook of a Book.
-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for ihorror.com and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and ten-year old daughter, who is also expressing interest in the horror genre. Ryan recently received his Master’s Degree in Psychology and hopes to some day write a novel. Ryan can be followed on twitter @Nytmare112