By Michael Doran
Wesburn author and illustrator, David Schembri, has released his second book of short-stories, Beneath the Ferny Tree. This follows his 2014 work, Unearthly Fables, and continues his work in the horror genre.
“Horror is my default setting when I write a story and at times I border on sci-fi and satire,” he said. “The new book is a collection of self-contained stories with a connecting piece of poetry.”
“I have been living in Wesburn with my wife for the last 16 years or so. We both love the wide-open spaces of the Yarra Valley and that’s why we left the city to settle here.
“We were city people but with the beauty of the landscape as a backdrop we thought we could really grow as a couple up here, and we are still growing.”
He said that he gets his inspiration for the horror stories from a variety of places, including his own dreams. “The ideas vary a lot and often come to me from bad things I read or movies I watch. Also I get ideas from history I have read about and become hooked on as a subject.”
In Beneath the Ferny Tree one of the stories is about the African slave trade to the Americas and leaves the reader to discover where the monsters lay on the slaver ship riding the high seas of the Atlantic.
There is a story around the horror of war-torn Germany and another is based in a futuristic prison where the main character is haunted by his past and desperate for a chance at redemption.
“I write horror stories but they are not about the sort of chainsaw-wielding madman a lot of people associate with horror. Often the stories are premised on the element of building fear and suspense into the emotion of the story.”