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Interview with Russell Mardell, author of Bleeker Hill

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Bleeker Hill is a dystopian horror novel set in a near future United Kingdom. The country has fallen to chaos and anarchy with gangs ruling territories through violence and fear. Trying to establish some form of law and order and to forge a path to a new country, are the mysterious Party, a group with their own agenda who will stop at nothing to achieve their aims.

Following an attack on their headquarters a small band of Party members flee across the country looking to hide out in a safe house deep in the forests of Bleeker Hill. As they near their destination though, it soon becomes clear that they are not alone, and Bleeker Hill may not be as safe as they thought.

As night draws in the group are forced to confront dangerous tensions amongst themselves, as well as the dark history of Bleeker Hill itself.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Although it is clearly aimed at horror fans, it would also appeal to readers of dystopian fiction.

Who is the main character in this story? Tell us about him or her.
Sullivan is a convict, originally jailed before the country fell to anarchy, who now finds himself in a world he doesn’t recognise or understand, and one he doesn’t feel he belongs in. Having been convicted for defending his family from an intruder, he is consumed with thoughts of his wife and child who he has now been separated from. He is recruited by ‘The Party’ and joins them on their journey to Bleeker Hill. A good man at odds with the dubious moralities of the others, he is an outsider from the group, and it is only when they stumble across a wild and terrified girl, Mia, trapped in the forest around Bleeker Hill, that Sullivan forms any strong feelings for anyone, looking upon her as a father figure, desperate to keep her safe from the horrors of Bleeker Hill and ‘the Party.’

You’ve not told us anything specific about the threat, but we’re already feeling a tiny tingle of terror. We’re guessing that’s how you want your readers to feel.
Scared and satisfied!

Is there anything else we need to know before we press the Buy button?
The name Bleeker has vague ties to a short story called ‘Four Doors Down’ that is in my collection of short fiction ‘Silent Bombs Falling on Green Grass.’ People who have read that story will no doubt recognise a few elements in ‘Bleeker Hill‘.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
My previous novel ‘Stone Bleeding‘, although completely different in tone, does set up the dystopian world that Bleeker Hill is set in, so there are extra things that readers of both can get from each novel.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in the South West of England and I originally trained in film production in London and have written and directed some short films. Film is very much still my first love and something I am looking to continue my work in. I also worked in independent theatre for many years, writing and occasionally directing stage plays.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
My website is www.russellmardell.co.uk.

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
I have a facebook page  and am also on Twitter @russellmardell. I’m also on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4495636.Russell_Mardell.

What’s next?
I have a couple of new ideas for novels, maybe some short stories. A lot will depend on the response to Bleeker Hill as there could potentially be a follow up to that. At the moment though it’s a lot of marketing!

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