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Literary Stalker: Model Villages, Metacrime & Möbius Strips

Roger ponders the infinite tunnel of models within models – a black hole in village life

In this fourteen-minute film, I visit the model village at Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds and use it to talk about the metafictional elements in Literary Stalker and other books and films. This model village is a particularly fine example of the art, completed in 1937 after five years of work. It is most interesting because – as the model stands within the actual village – it has a model of itself, which in turn has a model, and so on, creating an infinite regression. This has been a source of awe to me, ever since I first visited the model at the age of twelve or thirteen in the 1960s.

I refer to the model to illustrate the infinite regression of novels-within-novels in Literary Stalker, comparing it to the movie Synecdoche, New York, which does a similar thing. I also look at the Möbius strip narrative devices in Literary Stalker together with my previous book The Mad Artist, again making comparisons to books and films, such Finnegans Wake, Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway – and the rabbit-hole reality bending of The Matrix. The third element of the talk touches on the genre of ‘metacrime’ and Literary Stalker, and I mention other simpatico works by writers including Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Flann O’Brien, Cameron McCabe, Joe Hill and Dennis Potter.

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Literary Stalker Blog Tour Finale

All good things come to an end, and sadly that’s true of the terrific Literary Stalker Blog Tour with Confessions of a Reviewer. Confessions themselves have hosted the final stops, which include a two-part in-depth interview with myself and a review of the novel. Big thanks to Nev Murray and the rest of the team for the excellent hard work in putting the tour together, other social media publicity and the concluding pieces. I would strongly recommend Confessions if you are considering publicity for a horror-related book.

The first part of the interview covers early influences, my writing and TV careers and the evolution of ‘mad artistry’. And the second part looks into the ideas behind Literary Stalker, metacrime and metahorror and also the challenge of a straight author creating a gay narrator, drawing on novels such as Queer by William Burroughs and From Blue to Black by Joel Lane. Then there are some more revelations of social media debacles in the ‘Ten Confessions’ section.

From the review:

There are a lot of references to movie plots and murder scenes, as you would imagine when the main character is murdering people just like in his favourite movies. This part I enjoyed because having watched most of the movies mentioned, it was easy to relate to them…It is full of a darker kind of humour and on occasions, a certain Britishness comes through in the story and it certainly lends an extra flavour to it.

Read more:

Confessions Interview Part One

Confessions Interview Part Two

Confessions Review

Terror Tree Review of Literary Stalker

Watch Nick! He’s a real loose cannon. You never know how he’s going to take umbrage and react. And if you annoy him too much on social media, it might be curtains. His fictional alter ego Jago might even come off the page and enter the real world to get you – like Freddy in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare! Ha! Ha! Ha!


 

Such sentiments as the above are becoming commonplace in reviews of Literary Stalker. Read the latest on the current blog tour from Terror Tree, with big thanks to Yvonne Davies.


 

The majority of us live on social media and it is one of the best ways to spread the word about what you are doing. But what happens when an innocent comment is taken the wrong way or someone does not like your work. Nick Chatterton, an Indie author uses his personal experience on social media to pen The Facebook Murders.

Nick is an aspiring author, working the horror scenes whilst connecting with other authors and a major user of social media. Having published a few short stories, he was looking for that next big novel. An idea came to him when he re-watched Theatre of Blood and the novel was born. Using Jago as Nick’s main character showed how vindictive and petty Nick was. How he fixated on certain Facebook comments and wanted to seek revenge. However he had a dark side which showed itself when he was conjuring up the murders, whilst they were based on scenes from films, you could feel his blood lust and knew he enjoyed them too much.

Read more on Terror Tree

Literary Stalker, Metacrime and Metafilm

Guest post for The Haunted Reading Room, which travels the meta-road from highbrow Borges and Martin Amis to the popular culture of Wes Craven’s Scream series and Joe Hill’s stories, relating it to the writing of Literary Stalker. Thanks to Mallory Heart for hosting.


 

Though Literary Stalker is primarily a psychological crime/horror novel about revenge, another important aspect is the metafictional dimension, the nested novels-within-novels and the self-conscious play with the different levels of the ‘real’ and ‘fictional’. When I mention a word like ‘metafiction’ I can almost hear the groans of some readers, expecting to get a lecture on highbrow postmodernist writing of the kind practised by Borges, Nabokov, John Barth, Doris Lessing and Martin Amis…to name but a few. Or on films by the likes of Fellini and Truffaut. Yes, all that self-referential deconstructionist stuff hardly conjures up a vision of a fluent entertaining read or watch, but still the principles of metafiction have filtered down into the mainstream somewhat, and have also reached works of popular culture.

Read more on The Haunted Reading Room

 

Now Read This: Literary Stalker

A new incisive, very positive review of Literary Stalker from Josh Hancock of Morbidly Beautiful:

 

EVERYONE’S A CRITIC—FRIGHTENING WORDS FOR THE VENGEFUL, UNSTABLE PROTAGONIST OF ROGER KEEN’S FUN AND THRILLING HORROR FICTION NOVEL “LITERARY STALKER”.

 

Buckle up for the fun, meta-rollercoaster ride that is Roger Keen’s Literary Stalker, a novel that mingles fact with fiction and fiction with fictional facts. If that sounds confusing, allow the first few chapters of this novel to wash over you slowly, and soon the story of a struggling writer who longs for revenge against his detractors will make delightfully morbid sense.

Nick Chatterton is our protagonist, a gay novelist fighting to keep his relationship with flat-mate Robin together and to compose his new book titled The Facebook Murders. If that title sounds a bit sophomoric, perhaps it’s intentionally so — for Nick is by no means the perfect hero; in fact, he’s got a big chip on his shoulder, exists on rocky ground between reality and fantasy, and believes wholeheartedly that his new novel will soon take the world by storm.

Read more on Morbidly Beautiful

 

The Real Literary Stalkers

Guest post for Morbidly Beautiful, on a subject that I’ve had in mind for some considerable time, as there is a wealth of interesting material, and it ties in well with the story in Literary Stalker.

Stephen King constructed the most famous fictional literary stalker ever, in his novel Misery. But he had several real ones too!

Find out more about the stalking of Stephen King, Peter James, James Lasdun and other authors. Morbidly Beautiful have done an excellent job with the layout, text headings and quotes, and have furnished a wealth of great photographs.


 

My novel Literary Stalker constructs a fictional scenario where a writer/fan becomes embittered by a series of negative encounters with others in the writing game, and in one particular case he tips over into becoming a stalker, heading inexorably towards bloody revenge.

In fiction, a variation on this theme has been explored most famously by Stephen King, who gave us literary stalker Annie Wilkes in Misery, and brought to life every paranoid writer’s worst nightmare. But what about in real life? Are there actual literary stalkers out there, preying on illustrious scribes? You bet there are!

Read more on Morbidly Beautiful

 

GetWordy Review of Literary Stalker

Another generous review on the Literary Stalker Blog Tour from Laura James of GetWordy. A disturbing reading experience and social media anxieties are themes that emerge, once again!


 

Where to begin. I will read anything and everything as long as the theme is somewhat disturbing – yeah ok I know that might make me kinda weird but I know what I like – and after reading the synopsis of Literary Stalker, a disturbed read is what I thought I’d get. Let me tell you, Roger didn’t disappoint in that regard at all.

Basically we follow Nick as he tries to write his great masterpiece, with an unsupportive partner and thoughts of revenge on a certain few, we are with him as this latest (& he hopes the best) work is written.

The novel Nick is writing, The Facebook Murders, is about an author, Jago,  who is planning on killing his critics and using that experience to plot his own novel. Hats off to Roger for writing a novel, within a novel, how he kept things straight in his head is beyond me, man Roger has some skill. Saying that, I was confused on occasion as I found I had to re-read bits to check whether the killings were fictional or actual but to be honest by that point I didn’t care…

Read more on GetWordy

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