I have been an aficionado of the horror genre most of my life.-George Wilhite
George Wilhite writes supernatural fiction and dark fantasy in the tradition of Poe and Lovecraft. His first book, On the Verge of Madness (June 2008, Lulu) is a short story collection that has been praised by readers and critics alike.
He is now working on his first full length novel that will further the story arc of Victor Chaldean and the Portal, the acclaimed novella from Madness. His second short story compilation, Silhouette of Darkness, isdue by the end of 2010 from Spinetinglers Publishing.
According to the limited edition preview publication of Silhouette of Darkness, the new offering will include Part III of the Raven Chronicles, another novella called A Cup of Tea, and several shorter stories revolving around the theme of “Restless Spirits and Haunted Places.”
Two of the shorts were included in the preview, The Blues in A Minor and Belong.
The Blues In A Minor
Mona is a successful music agent. Her life has been turned upside down as she must now deal with a disorder that has her waking up from a spell with no idea where she is or how she got there. One of these spells takes her to the home of Zack. Zack is a teenage blues guitarist with a talent beyond his years. The spell ends in another period of lost time with no memory of how she found the musician. These strange spells have left Mona unable to function or keep her job. She sets out to find Zack and his haunting music which results in a twist ending you won’t soon forget.
Ian is a pathetic loner struggling to get through his last years of high school. He becomes obsessed with a bathroom’s graffiti and a powerful and seductive entity he finds there. She gives him love and acceptance. However, the price of the deal is much more than he bargained for as he begins to see his new existence is more of a nightmare than the original he longed to escape.
If these two shorts are any indication of the quality to be found in Silhouette of Darkness, Wilhite’s fans are in for a dark treat. Suspense, dread, and the author’s own brand of creepiness make this a “can’t miss” collection.
About the Author
I have been an aficionado of the horror genre most of my life. The fascination began as a child, staying up and watching "Creature Features" late at night with my father. I grew up in one of the golden eras of horror films – Hammer Horror was in full swing – and as I grew older, the iconoclasts came on the scene: Carpenter, Craven and Argento. Weekends at the drive-ins (often the only venues that would show these features) were a mainstay of my early adult life.
Meanwhile, I was reading constantly (as I still do) all the masters of horror, working my way through the entire canon of Poe and Lovecraft multiple times. Harlan Ellison and EC Comics, and later Stephen King, were also a main ingredient of my literary diet. I was introduced to Tolkien and Stephen R. Donaldson at an early age as well, and also enjoy Epic Fantasy.
In college, I was a scholar of both literature and film studies, and my master's thesis was a study of the psychological state of the horror film spectator and horror novel reader.
Though I still am required to maintain full-time employment, I spend most of my spare time writing short stories, novellas, and screenplays.
A Review for On The Verge of Madness.
On the Verge of Madness by author George Wilhite is like a perfectly cooked steak...dark on the outside and a little bloody in the middle. This collection of fiction features eight very different stories, each showcasing Wilhite's considerable talent and vast knowledge of the horror genre. His work has already drawn comparison to Poe and Lovecraft. But let me tell you, Wilhite's own twisted style and warped voice is evident on every page.
The opening novella, Victor Chaldean and the Portal is worth the price of admission. Victor is desperate to solve the disappearance of his wife. After he begins to have strange visions, he seeks help from a psychologist studying the paranormal. An experimental drug takes Victor into a fractured realm, into a place trapped between life and death where he struggles to find his lost wife and each day is more convinced he is insane.
Next up is Murmurers. I settled in for a great read as Wilhite hooked me quickly with a story of an Earth all but stripped of human life. A former combat soldier and a teenage girl find a special bond after he saves her life. To survive they must trust each other and keep moving to avoid the mysterious Murmurers. The only problem for me was how quickly this one ended.
In Checks and Balances, alcoholic John breezes through the first of the twelve steps to recovery. It is step Eight - making amends with those he has hurt - with which he struggles the most. If only he could make a trade, a deal, to skip this step. But who or what would make such a bargain?
Lars kills for money. He is very good at what he does. When it comes to clothes, only the very best will do for Lars. In The Gangster's New Clothes, Wilhite attempts a short in the style of the old Twilight Zone TV show. The result is a fun, frightening tale. A second after Lars puts on his handmade suit, he finds himself facing his checkered past and, step by step, is pushed closer to insanity.
Wilhite then gives us two amazing examples of the old adage: less is more. A Plea From the Cradle and Cast of Characters are "flash fiction" at its finest. Not a word is wasted - both of these tales will quickly put a shiver up your spine if not a smile on your face.
All good things must end, and I believe Wilhite saved the best for last. A Tale of Two Moons is a Werewolf classic and could possibly explain the origin of these legendary monsters.
Masque Profane takes us beyond the "Verge of Madness," delving straight into full blown insanity. Rhonda and Jeff are happy newlyweds...or are they? Rhonda becomes obsessed with the fact that Jeff has never spent a Halloween night with her in their time together. This fixation takes Rhonda to the gathering place of a strange ritual one Halloween night. Her experience there, and later the birth of her child would one day take her to madness and a horrific murder.
In all eight of these stories, whether novella or short, the author's skill at character development, crisp dialogue and page turning suspense is forefront. He captivates the reader with intriguing characters and fine plotting without the pointless brutal violence and gratuitous sex that has become so common in horror today. I highly recommend On the Verge of Madness and I look forward to the follow up, Silhouette of Darkness. I doubt that it will be long before a major publisher signs Wilhite, as his work deserves to be on shelves next to the likes of Peter Straub and Thomas F. Monteleone. 5 Stars