The Secret of Montrose Hall by Adam Steel
The Secret of Montrose Hall is a gripping horror novel by author Adam Steel. Adam has drawn upon a plethora of personal experiences to write his second novel. It is the growing tension surrounding global politics that inspired this second body of work from Adam.
Adam wanted to escape modern life and really bring about a revival of the classic murder mystery. The isolated mansion entitled Montrose Hall is of course the perfect fictional setting for such a tale. The aim was to make the story relatable for the reader. It covers issues that the reader can sympathise with.
A fantastic mystery horrifying consequences for those who love a mystery and a bit of horror combined!
We had the opportunity to ask Adam a few more questions about his book and the writing process.
1) Tell us more about the book and the unique topics it covers.
The topic of genetics appears throughout the story with the lineage of the main character, Evelin. She carries a genetic anomaly through inheritance that has a few surprising and unforeseen effects that shape and weave into the story.
My first novel (Utopia: A Dark Thriller), was an epic tale and it was of a parody of society in a future apocalyptic settings. However, for my second novel, The Secret of Montrose Hall, I wanted to work on a much smaller and more claustrophobic scale with the setting being primarily around an isolated mansion. The Secret of Montrose Hall was inspired by the recent rise in global and political tensions that could escalate into global conflict and the 100th year anniversary of the start of World War One.
3) Does your personal experience and background influence the novel?
Yes. I have been an undergraduate at University and am quite (perhaps too) familiar with the student mentality. The Connor character is actually based off an amalgamation of the traits that I encountered in some real people that I have met and these shall remain nameless. Also, I have visited many National Trust mansions and castles in Devon where the story is based and so there’s an influence there. My mother was raised on a council estate and recounted to me stories of her upbringing. I used that information to reconstruct Evelin’s childhood and backstory. As for Connor and Evelin’s experiences with social services, as portrayed by their characters in the novel, the writing is influenced by some of my own experiences with the social services system.
4) What has been the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
I think by far the most difficult part was getting the different dates and timelines to match up. When you have different characters in different settings all performing different actions it can be a challenge getting them all to where they need to be at the correct times and that the other characters are reacting to their actions properly. That’s always a challenge.
5) What has been the most rewarding aspect of the writing process?
I think in this story it was being able to get into the characters minds and explore their innermost thoughts. That’s always an exciting place to explore as every person has a different coping mechanism.
6) Can you describe one key part of the book to hook a potential reader in?
Without giving too much away, I think it’s fair to say that the question everyone wants answered in the story is what exactly is lurking beneath the mansion. The reveal of what’s actually down there and the implications that revelation brings should come as a startling surprise that leads to a great payoff.
7) What will fans of the genre enjoy or really relate to?
I’ve tried to get away from modern life in this story with the main setting being very isolated: much like classic murder mystery settings. It’s a nice return to an established genre, but with a very different story and twists than the typical mystery in a mansion tale. The story has some really interesting surprises with some far-reaching consequences. It approaches a number of issues that people should be able to relate to such as the vulnerability of the main character, the idea that people can look inside of themselves, recognising their flaws and facing their actions and be able to change.
I think mystery fans will enjoy the chase to find the truth and the pursuit of a mystery with horrifying consequences.