Author: Adam Vine
Narrator: Kevin Meyer
Length: 9h 46m
Publisher: Lilydog Books⎮2017
Release date: Jan. 16, 2017
Some secrets should stay buried.... College student Drew Brady never wanted the power to spy on his friends. But late one night, he finds a box of old Polaroids buried under his house that can change to show him whatever he desires, and Drew finds himself with the power to watch the people around him without them ever knowing. Yet as Drew falls deeper into the rabbit hole of jealousy and despair, he begins having strange visions of the students who lived at the house 20 years ago and the gruesome fates they met after moving out. He finds evidence of a stalker who may be living on the property. The line between reality and nightmare blurs. Drew realizes there is something under the house that is manipulating him through the pictures, an eldritch, not-quite-dead thing that will drive him to do unspeakable evil if he doesn't look away.... A blistering horror story, Lurk is unlike anything you've ever heard.
A devoted Midwesterner, raised in rural Wisconsin and transplanted to Tulsa, Oklahoma over three decades ago. A career-long voice-over and music radio guy, my iPhone playlist ranges from Alice Cooper and Waylon Jennings to Twenty One Pilots and The Zac Brown Band. Favorite reads are dominated by political biographies (Lincoln, Truman, Kennedy)...and Stephen King. And now Adam Vine...'cause day-um that Drew Brady is one twisted mother!
How did you come up with the title?
Lurk began as a short novella titled “The Pictures Under Sunny Hill,” about a depressed college student who finds a box of Polaroids buried under his house that change to let him spy on his friends. I realized as I was writing that the story worked better as a novel, so I used the old name for Part One, and started calling my early drafts of the full-length story Lurk. I liked it, so it stuck. At one point an agent tried to get me to change the name to The Lurker... I didn’t end up working with her.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My fiction tends to be about fringe characters, because they interest me. Lurk is a study of madness told from the point of view of an unreliable (and sometimes unlikable) narrator; you are seeing his psychological downward spiral through his own eyes. I knew when I was writing certain scenes that they would make many readers uncomfortable. That was deliberate. This book is an examination of a type of mentality that I see becoming exceedingly common in the age of internet and social media oversaturation, which can lead to us having unhealthy ideas about the lives of others. My primary goal in this story is to scare and entertain, but I also wanted to say something about one of the more dangerous pitfalls of modern life.
What books have most influenced your life?
My top three are The Shining, Blood Meridian, and Book of the New Sun.
What book are you reading now?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I usually don’t find out about new authors until they’ve been published for half a decade or more. I’m one of those people who are just perpetually behind the times. “New-ish” horror authors who really scared me lately are Josh Malerman, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, and Ania Ahlborn.
What are your current projects?
I just released a book: Corruption, Book One of the Corruption Cycle. It is the first book in a dark fantasy duology, so a fair departure from Lurk, which is psychological horror. The elevator pitch for Corruption is, The Wizard of Oz set in Eastern Europe, but with more sex, booze, snowy apocalypses, and a time-traveling sorcerer.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have the next book already finished.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! You can check it out here:
The first chapter is also free to read on my website:
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My first rule is to be honest. One of the major themes in Lurk is depression, and some of the depictions of that can be pretty raw. This is the approach I take in all of my writing, whether it’s about an icky subject or a pleasant one, because I don’t believe in self-censorship. Self-censorship is synonymous with half-assing it. If I’m going to write about something, I’m really going to write about it. That means not softening the dark or ugly parts.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is Gene Wolfe. Each of his books is a labyrinth; they are full of unexpected twists, you can’t trust anyone, and many times you do not really get a full understanding of the story until your second or third reading. Wolfe is by far my biggest influence.
Do you travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I travel quite a bit for my job, though. I’m a professional writer and designer in the video game industry. I’m currently based in Germany, which is the fourth country I’ve lived in.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Putting the first word on a blank page. After that, it’s apple pie.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
With Lurk, I was really trying to put myself deep in the shoes of a person much different than myself, to examine a certain mentality with no holds barred. I had some tangential experience: I was a college student once, I partied probably more than I should have, I’ve struggled with bouts with depression since I was a teenager, but a Drew Brady-type, I am not. The hardest part about writing people different than you is the fear that you won’t get it all right. My antidote for this was to say f*** it and just write. I added and subtracted a lot in the later drafts. But leaping over that initial hurdle of recognizing the other is big, and it doesn’t necessarily get easier with practice.
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