Prepare to be scared out of your wits. Red Eye is the killer YA series from Stripes Publishing featuring a fusion of pop culture and current fears from award-winning authors and rising stars that give horror a frighteningly contemporary makeover. In Fir, Sharon Gosling turns to Scandinavian legends and a psychological horror that will make your blood freeze.
Set in an isolated corner of Sweden, Fir combines insanity with the disturbing mysteries of an old plantation house and its ancient forests. It is a close, atmospheric horror story that will chill the reader to the bone.
Being cut off from civilization by the harsh Swedish winter is bad enough, but it gets worse when the snows come early and all links between the Strombergs and the outside world cease. With only a grudging housekeeper and increasingly withdrawn parents for company, there is nothing to do but to explore.
But things start to get even more unsettling, there are figures in the ancient pine forests and they’re closing in. With only four walls between them and the evil that’s outside, the family has nothing to do but watch and wait for the snow to melt. But soon it becomes clear that the danger within the old plantation house is greater than what lies outside…
“I love being scared…I was very excited at the prospect of reading horror in a book.”
– Zoe Sugg, on her selection of a Red Eye title for Zoella Book Club
FIR blends psychological thriller and a strong first-person narrative that vividly captures the oppressive and terrifying mythology of the varulv, and an isolated setting reminiscent of the Roanoke legends. Perfect for fans of American Horror Story, and the writing of Juno Dawson, Dawn Kurtagich and Stephen King.
My name is Sharon Gosling and I write middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as non-fiction books about the making of television and film. My newest book is a horror novel called FIR, which is set in dense timber forest in northern Sweden.
What was your favourite book as a teenager?
I read a lot of detective fiction as a teenager. The one that really stuck with me was called The Pledge, by a German writer called Friedrich Dürrenmatt. It’s about a detective who becomes obsessed with solving a child murder case – so obsessed that it destroys him. Years later, too late to help him or to bring the murderer to justice, his theories are proven right. The book ends with him sitting at the same point on the same road he’s been sitting at for decades, still waiting for the murderer, even though the culprit is long dead. The story has such a sense of quiet, insidious horror and despair which is far more realistic – and therefore far more disturbing – than if the murderer had been neatly caught and locked up. There are so many things in this world that we can’t change because we’re just too late. That’s pretty horrifying, for me.
Is there a book that you wish you wrote?
So many. But it’s been Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls for a while now. That one really blew me away.
What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
That’s really hard to pinpoint but I’ve just re-watched the BBC’s ‘Shakespeare Retold’ adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing and I loved that. Sarah Parish and Damian Lewis are great casting as Beatrice and Benedick and Billie Piper’s Hero does exactly what I always wanted her to tell Claudio to do (“Marry you now? Not in a million years!” Ha!).
What’s different about writing Non-Fiction and YA Fiction?
They won’t let me just make stuff up when I’m writing non-fiction. It’s so unfair.
What are your Fandom favourites?
For some reason I don’t tend towards writing romance, but I am a massive shipper. For example (and this will show my age now) but as far as TV goes, how did Janeway and Chakotay not end up together? I mean seriously. How? Twenty years on and that still bites. (BTW, did I mention I’m also a hopeless geek?)
Favourite place in the world?
My desk when I’m writing well.
What song would you listen to when writing Fir?
I actually can’t listen to music at all when I’m writing, I find it too distracting. I do go for a walk at lunchtime and blast music into my ears to give my brain a break, though. I think the song I probably listened to the most during walks while I was writing Fir was Kaleo’s ‘Way Down We Go’.
What motto do you live your life by?
It’s not really a motto but I love this Florence Foster Jenkins quote: “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” All you can do is what you love, as well as you are able.
What’s the most fun thing about writing Horror?
Creeping myself out!
About the Author
Sharon Gosling has previously written middle-grade fiction The Diamond Thief, which won the Redbridge Children’s Award in 2014, The Ruby Airship and The Sapphire Cutlass for Curious Fox, and official TV tie-in titles for the popular CBBC series, Wolf Blood. Sharon writes books and articles about television and film, and has written, produced and directed audio dramas. FIR is her first book for teens. Sharon lives in a small village near Carlisle, in Cumbria.