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Promo Props and Wounds
Some people are good for DIY projects, others not so much. They’ve always been my friend, however, and this proved no different when it came to making a prop for the Shadow Fabric mythos. Indeed, as it was, this particular prop ended up being on the front cover of my best-selling debut novel THE SHADOW FABRIC.
I’m talking about the Hourglass.
I knew from the outset I wanted to jump on the convention scene, so figured I should have something more than a fortress of novels on the table. I needed something that would snatch people’s attention.
And now after two years, it still accompanies me.
To date, all the stories in the Shadow Fabric mythos are set in modern-day England, and often feature artefacts from the 1600s. Some were used against the darkness, while others created it. For promo purposes, I’ve had to make them because they don’t exist. Believe me, if they did, then the human race would be screwed.
In my latest release, HELL CAT OF THE HOLT, the Hourglass does not feature. However, the Shadow Fabric itself does, and without the Hourglass, the Fabric couldn’t exist.
As I’ve already said, give me any DIY project and I’m happy, and so the construction of the Hourglass began. First, I bought a standard hourglass with a basic metal body – which I soon pulled to pieces. Then, I went to a charity shop and purchased an antique table. At home, it was time to break it apart and play, all the while constructing the mythos Hourglass in my mind-canvas – you know, that place in which us writers use imaginary crayons.
I spent so much time cradling a cup of tea and staring at the sawn-up pieces
Incidentally, this is much the same process in which I build my stories: I stare at my scribbled notes while sipping tea, building it in my head.
In the mythos I’ve created, the Hourglass is approximately 350 years old, so I had to make it look its age. Not only did I deliberately scratch the glass bulbs and hack apart the wood, but I had to rough up a leather belt to make a harness.
Sure, this isn’t your typical hourglass, though I suspect you’ve most likely already guessed that.
An artefact that does feature in HELL CAT OF THE HOLT is the Witchblade, a sacrificial blade again from the 1600s. In fact, it has now featured in a number of short stories since the Shadow Fabric mythos unravelled to the extent it now has.
When it came to making this knife – a prop I certainly cannot take to conventions! – I had to buy an ornate blade with dragon wings.
I have always been keen in making things, yet whatever the project – in both the case of Hourglass and Witchblade, certainly – my enthusiasm does not come without penalty.
While antiquing the leather belt for the Hourglass harness, I slipped with the powertool (yeah, I was using a drill bit to make the damn thing look 350 years old). I managed to scuff the back of my hand – luckily I didn’t drill straight through.
As for the knife? Sawing off the wings?Yeah, so I stabbed myself.
Nothing like a bit of blood to go with a horror prop.
How do you guys fare up to DIY projects? Care to share any horror stories where you’ve wounded yourself?
HELL CAT OF THE HOLT – a novella in the Shadow Fabric mythos
Available from Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/2ruB1u
Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel THE SHADOW FABRIC is closely followed by the popular short story collection SINISTER STITCHES and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.
Mark’s 2017 release HELL CAT OF THE HOLT further explores the Shadow Fabric mythos with ghosts and black cat legends.
The dystopian sci-fi short story collection CHAOS HALO 1.0: ALPHA BETA GAMMA
KILL is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.
For one of Mark’s FREE stories go to: www.markcassell.com
Or visit the website: www.theshadowfabric.co.uk
About Mark Cassell
Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, is closely followed by the popular short story collection, Sinister Stitches, and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.
The dystopian sci-fi short story collection, Chaos Halo 1.0: Alpha Beta Gamma Kill, is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.
His work has been compared with British horror authors such as James Herbert, Clive Barker, Dennis Wheatley, and Brian Lumley. Also, his influences spread over to the US where he admits to having been first inspired by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, and H P Lovecraft.
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