William Brennan Knight
March 17, 2022
Semi-Finalist in the 2021 Publishers Weekly/BookLife Prize Fiction Contest in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror category!
“Knight has crafted a disturbing, horrifying, and eloquently written novel that expertly captures the sensations of desperation, fear, and confusion.”–2021 BookLife Prize Fiction Contest.
If you had the chance to bring back a lost loved one, but the cost was the death of an innocent person at your own hand, would you do it?
In the year and a half since Jack Clausen lost his five-year-old daughter, RosaMarie, his life has fallen apart. His marriage is failing, he’s been fired from his job, and his drinking is problematic. Sitting in a local bar on a typical weekday, Jack encounters an old woman who issues a dire warning: “You must be on time and pay your debt.” Later that night in a drunken stupor, Jack ignores three phone calls from his teenage son, Bryson. After learning Bryson was calling him for help but then died from an overdose, Jack decides he cannot live with the guilt and pain of losing two children.
Depressed and despondent, Jack steps off a platform into an oncoming commuter train. At the moment before impact, someone grabs him from behind and pulls him away from danger. His rescuer is a small person with unusual features who offers Jack a way to bring his daughter and son back, but there is a high price to pay. When Jack agrees to the deal but then refuses to pay his debt, events spiral out of control, leading to series of different realities, each worse than the one he originally tampered with.
Author Guest Post – From Businessman to Author
Since I started writing horror books, it’s fascinating how some of my relationships have changed. This especially holds true for many people I’ve known for a decade or more in an entirely different context. The experience has made me recognize how many of our relationships are based entirely on the persona we project as opposed to the people we really are.
Once up a time, I owned a relatively high-profile business in the construction industry. As a result, I was involved with numerous trade groups, councils, seminars and other venues where we would meet, talk and develop business relationships that eventually evolved into friendships. This included doing normal “friendship” activities such as barbeques with the families, golf outings and fishing expeditions. While these friendships grew closer, I always believed we hung out together because we truly enjoyed spending time with each other.
Unexpectedly, a national consolidator bought my company, which gave me the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream to become a novelist. I always loved writing, as evidenced by my first novel that I wrote at sixteen. When I explained to my business “friends” what I planned on doing after I left the industry, I received a few side glances and a couple shrugs, apparently because this was a side of me they never knew about and didn’t approve of.
The real shock came when I released my first book, “The Suicide Society,” which is dystopian horror story that contains some somewhat raw and terrifying material. For me, writing style isn’t a choice. Supernatural horror is the genre that I have always found to be the most entertaining and enjoyable ever since I was a kid. I grew up on King, Koonce and Straub, and I have always been visited by more nightmares than pleasant dreams.
Slowly, as word spread amongst my business friends, and even some relatives, that I was writing horror books, I noticed they came around and called less often. Some of these relationships stopped completely. In fact, I remember one of my business friends telling me he had just purchased my book, but then I never heard from him again. As bizarre as it sounds, somehow, these people had decided that a pure work of fictional entertainment was revealing a hidden part of my personality. You know, business owner by day; axe murderer by night.
I guess intuitively, I never told anyone about my desire to be a full-time author because I knew many would react negatively to it. It still strikes me as profoundly odd how we’re often forced to conceal certain parts of our personality when we’re among a group of people we suspect would judge us harshly even when whatever it is they object to has no impact on their lives at all.
It was a lesson well learned. My advice to other writers, and everyone really, is don’t let anyone force you to hide who you really are. If that describes some of your relationships, don’t hesitate to find new friends or maybe even reconsider your profession. My new circle is much more accepting and open minded, and I have found that I enjoy their company far more than I ever did with most of my old “friends.”
William Brennan Knight is originally from Chicago and settled in Arizona in the late 1980s. In his life, he has been a father, musician and business owner. His passion for writing began early in his childhood and flourished as he grew older. He enjoys reading horror, supernatural thrillers and science fiction as well as memoirs and biographies.
Knight’s books have received praise from a variety of recognized reviewers, including the Publishers Weekly/BookLife Prize Fiction Contest (semi-finalist), Horrornews.net and Readers Favorite (5-star winner).
Knight currently lives in Southern Arizona and spends most of the summer in the mountains of New Mexico.
A big thank you to all of our hosts!
Congratulations to our prize winner Alexis T!