Viking Warlords & A Spooky Tunnel in the Woods – The Ideas & Inspiration Behind The Cundy

As with Emergence and Cribbins, I brought the horror back to my hometown in my fourth supernatural suspense novel, The Cundy.

But first thing’s first, what is the cundy?

It’s a water conduit. A concrete tunnel that runs beneath Horden’s coast road. In the thick of the dene, it’s surrounded by nature and wildlife. I used to play inside the cundy as a kid, scaring myself silly because its innards are beyond dark.

Since I began writing horror, I always thought the cundy was too good of an opportunity not to create a story around. I briefly mentioned it in Emergence, but kept coming back to the idea that it needed a full story of its own. Cue The Cundy.

But what could I do to flesh out a story about a spooky tunnel in the woods? It needed something more. Something unexpected.

As it was, I’d been reading some local history and discovered that in the 900s, the pagan Danish King Reignwald descended on our northern shores and took over most of the land. He awarded Scula, one of his Viking warlords, East Durham, which includes Horden.

Now I do love Norse mythology and I thought this could make a really interesting link. Scula the ferocious warlord and his ancient gods tied with a man-made tunnel that sits in the dene which was formed millennia ago. So many possibilities to explore.

Perfect!

The Cundy centres around main character Sullivan Carter (some of you might have noticed that his name was mentioned in Cribbins, as was John Gimmerick’s from Emergence) – but more on that later. It’s a brooding, yet nostalgic coming-of-age tale set in the 90s, which sets the scene and explains why Sully is the way he is.

As I set out writing, I knew The Cundy would open the door for an entire series – even though I’d vowed never to work on a series again! Straight away I just felt like I was onto something really special with Sully, and that his story would span the length of multiple books. And it was this excitement for the project that made me throw caution to the wind and write ‘Book One’ on the cover.

The Cundy can absolutely be read as a standalone novel, though. There’s no cliff hanger ending. You’ll be pleased to know that each subsequent book in the series will be a fully formed, individual story too. 

I pointed out that Sullivan Carter from The Cundy and John Gimmerick from Emergence were both mentioned in my third supernatural suspense novel, Cribbins. The idea behind this was that since Sophie Harrington from Cribbins is also from Horden, it created a perfect opportunity to link all three characters so they might feature together in a future story. How cool would that be?

It might not be for some time yet, however, as I have quite a few projects on the go already, including the follow-up to The Cundy.

The Weeper is based a year after the events of The Cundy, and sees Sully battling against ghosts, as well as something even scarier that lives in the woods and has been preying on the residents of Horden, killing them in the grisliest of ways. I can’t wait to share it with you. If you enjoyed The Cundy, you’ll love The Weeper.

The Cundy is currently on promotion for 99c / 99p. Grab it now if you haven’t already.

AMAZON * KOBO * APPLE * BARNES & NOBLE * GOOGLE PLAY

R. H. Dixon is a horror enthusiast who, when not escaping into the fantastical realms of fiction, lives in the northeast of England with her husband and two whippets. She is an active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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