Horror Favourites – Nick Stead

It began July 2015. Nick Stead’s debut novel, Hybrid, was released under Wild Wolf Publishing – the first in his werewolf series. Books two and three came out in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and then he took a break from the series to work on other projects, and the beast went quiet. Now, July 2020, an all-new breed of the series is being unleashed on the masses.

This series is not for the faint hearted. Stead went down the Darren Shan route of naming the character after himself, and it tells the tale of his murderous, alter-ego, beginning with the night he was bitten and turned into a werewolf at the tender age of fifteen. From that moment on, he is gripped by bestial instincts and uncontrollable rage. And it’s not just at full moon. His inner wolf seeks to gain control whenever there’s easy prey to be had, or a fight with a rival. Strong emotions call it forth and Nick must learn to keep them in check if he wishes to keep from hurting the ones he loves.

But his carnivorous urges are not the only thing he must battle. A war rages in the shadows, and for the undead, time is running out.

The re-release of Hybrid is a much more polished version of the manuscript, which has been given hundreds of hours of editing time to lift the quality of the prose to more in line with what Stead produces now, five years after the original first edition. Many passages have been tightened, while others have been completely rewritten and fleshed out where necessary, to provide a much more enjoyable read of the story so many have come to know and love in the years since it was first published.

Hybrid is available on Amazon for both Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, as well as in paperback format. More information about the Hybrid series, the author, and his other works, can be found at nick-stead.co.uk

A lifelong fan of supernatural horror and fantasy, Nick spends his days prowling the darker side of fiction, often to the scream of heavy metal guitars and the purrs of his feline companions.
Fate set him on the path of the writer at the tender age of fifteen. The journey has been much longer and harder than his teenage self ever anticipated, but seventeen years later he is still forging ahead.

Nick is best known for his Hybrid series. He has also had short stories published in various anthologies, and will soon be releasing his first non-Hybrid novel based on the true story of the Pendle witches.

Below Nick Stead takes on a journey through his favorite horror film An American Werewolf in London:

“It’s January 2004. I’ve just turned sixteen, and Mum’s finally decided I’m old enough for my first real werewolf film (other than the original Wolf Man). I sit down to watch American Werewolf in London with the lights out, my expectations high. And for the most part, the film doesn’t disappoint.

It gets off to a good start with the atmospheric beauty of the moors on a cloudy day, the howl of the wind audible in the background as Jack and David set out on that fateful trek. I’m looking at a scene that could be a number of places in Yorkshire (even though I know now the filming was done in Wales), and my heart begins to beat with excitement.

The little village they come to also feels familiar, and the Slaughtered Lamb is no different to any other country pub I’ve been in, aside from the pentangle on the walls and the level of hostility amongst the locals. Jack and David are sent packing, the villagers start to allude to some terrible secret, a monstrous howl sounds, and I’m hooked.

The flashes we get of the werewolf’s head when he attacks are far more wolfish in my memory than we actually see on film. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the look of the creature when we eventually see him clearly (more on that in a moment), but at the time it seemed like I was watching my perfect idea of a werewolf brought to life on screen, and it was the most awesome thing I’d ever seen.

Then David starts to dream of running through the woods and I’m right there with him. But it’s the moment of his first transformation that really made this movie, and I can only watch with amazement as a scene I’ve imagined so many times over the years is brought to life before my very eyes. It’s so close to the in depth transformation scene in Hybrid, and nothing short of a real werewolf is going to make me look away.

To this day, I still think the transformation in AWIL is the best one out there. It pays so much attention to detail with the bones changing beneath the skin and the gradual growth of hair across David’s body. The final look of the fully transformed werewolf isn’t my favourite (the ones in the Van Helsing movie win that one, even if the movie itself isn’t strictly what I’d deem horror). I much prefer The Howling werewolves in that respect, or ones from later films like Dog Soldiers, but it’s the combination of that transformation scene and the story that does it for me. I’ve always been fascinated by that change from human to monster, and that’s something we get in AWIL which we don’t really with the likes of The Howling. Sure, you get Bill turning into a werewolf, but the transformation of a single character isn’t the focus of the film in the same way it is in AWIL. Ditto Dog Soldiers and even Van Helsing, much as I love those werewolf designs. And it’s for this reason I’m naming AWIL my favourite horror movie.”

For more information about Nick, Hybrid, and other works visit: www.nick-stead.co.uk.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/officialnickstead/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/nick_stead
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14138888.Nick_Stead
Amazon Author Central – http://author.to/nickstead
www.hybridseries.co.uk

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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