When I was born, my parents were going to call me Simon, but my three older brothers disagreed, instead pushing for me to be named after the cricketer Greg Chappell who was doing great things with the bat in 1976. The surname, Ryan, is the surname of my descendants on my mother’s side.
At one point, when I first started writing, I considered using Simon Ryan as pseudonym, because in a way it was like a second identity. Writing is very personal and using Simon Ryan as a pseudonym was a way of protecting myself. Instead Simon became a character in my latest novella The Noctuary.
Like me Simon is a writer, but that’s where the similarity ends. The Simon in The Noctuary finds he is destined to become a Scribe for some of Hell’s worst creatures; that he has to writer terror and horror into real people’s lives.
Because The Noctuary came about from me asking myself where my inspiration came from, it just made sense to give the central character the Simon name. I’ve always wondered about whether my life would have been any different if my parents stuck to their guns and named me Simon. Names have significant meaning and I feel that by giving the protagonist the Simon Ryan name, the story was able to flow and I was able to get into his head.
Perhaps there is some small aspect of Simon that connects back to me on a subconscious level – a sort of internal analysis of why I write horror, but ultimately The Noctuary is simply a story about creation, of looking into the darkest part of our soul and seeing what looks back at us.
Greg Chapman is an author of dark fiction from Australia. His latest horror novella The Noctuary was published by Damnation Books on December 1; his debut novella, Torment was published in March. He’s also had short stories published in The Absent Willow Review, Trembles Magazine, Morpheus Tales and Eclectism E-Zine. His home on the web is www.darkscrybe.blogspot.com. For more information on The Noctuary visit www.wix.com/darkscribe/thenoctuary