Grad student pens horror story

JOSEPH WEITEMEYER
ARTS & LIFE EDITOR EMERITUS

David Bright knows just how hard it is to break into the literary world.

The University graduate student had his first novel, “Harbinger,” published by Hobbes End April 26 after a two-year-long process.

“It was a journey to get here,” Bright said. “It’s tough to make it in writing.”

After deciding law school was not for him, Bright decided to get his master’s degree in school counseling. This was after double majoring in history and philosophy at The University, where he first wrote “Harbinger,” two years ago.

Writing the novel while balancing schoolwork was hard enough, but the real challenge was finding an agent who could sell it to publishers.

“I’ve written five books, but it’s so hard breaking into the industry,” Bright said. “I was fortunate enough to find an agent [for “Harbinger”] after hundreds of emails.”

After finally landing an agent, finding a publisher who would sell the horror novel was equally as hard. No publisher wanted to take a chance on publishing a book in a genre dominated by Steven King.

“I had one agent call and tell me, ‘If this was the ‘90s I could have sold this book in a week,’” Bright said.

Bright never worried, though. His dream is to make it as a writer, but he did not stress about his books not being published.

“If you write because you love it, and because you’re passionate about it, the publishing stuff will follow,” Bright said.

“Harbinger” takes place in a small Pennsylvania town. When a mysterious fog cuts off all communication and leaves the town of Rowley isolated, panic and chaos among the town’s citizens erupts. They are not the only ones acting crazy. Something evil and hungry begins to butcher them.

Bright was inspired while reading the famous Steven King novel “It.”

“I started studying the writing, not just passively reading it,” Bright said.

He enjoys writing horror but would like to test the waters of the more niche genre transgressive fiction. This time around, his inspiration is infamous transgressive-fiction author Chuck Palahniuk, author of cult-classics such as “Fight Club,” “Choke” and “Pigmy.”

Bright has not finished the book, which he plans to name “Murderers Anonymous.” It is a story about a self-help group for serial killers. Bright said he is excited and believes this is his best writing yet.

“With this book, more than any other, I’m really taking my time,” Bright said.

Overwhelmed with schoolwork, Bright tried to squeeze in his writing when he could. Not a day goes by when he does not think about his characters and stories. Writing is therapeutic for him, and it keeps him on the road to his dream.

“Books are like my children,” Bright said. “I create them and I develop them from when they’re young. As you keep going it’s just more work, more work, more work. And hopefully, one day it can stand on its own.”

Contact the writer:
joseph.weitemeyer@scranton.edu

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