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The House in Wales Paperback – August 13, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Street Publishing LLC (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989285456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989285452
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

More About the Author

I thought I'd put a bit down about myself and how I came onto the idea for 'Division' and "House".

I'm married, the wrong side of forty with two kids and a cat. I hold a British passport and hail originally from the sunny shores of Colwyn Bay in North Wales.
I now live in Germany and have done since coming here as a young soldier in 1987.

Writing is like a drug; the more you write, the more you want to write. I'd written lots of short stories, poems, rhymes and song lyrics but I'd never actually tackled a full length book.
It was always on the horizon, but if I was to tackle a novel it'd have to be something that really interests me, something special. So I waited for inspiration.

Vampires were always my favourite monster, and I knew that if I was going to pen a book, then I would definitely include or write about 'the children of the night'.
The thing is, following vampire folklore could only lead to cliché and the regurgitation of the old mythology, and I wanted to do something new.
But what?

My interest in the Third Reich came about after a visit to Dachau in 1988. I'd never given much thought to the awful events that befell the German people between 1933 and 1945, and Dachau was the epiphany that ignited my fascination.
How was it possible that one of the most cultured, civilised countries in the world could stoop to such barbaric depths? I refused to believe that all Germans were purely evil, therefore there had to be another reason. So I read up on the subject, actually I read an awful lot on it in an effort to understand what happened.

On a creative level, I knew the malevolent politics, the tragedy and the confusion of the Third Reich would be the perfect vessel for any story I cared to construct. But how could I write about something in the Third Reich that hadn't already been covered?

This attempting to understand the background of the Holocaust led me onto another subject that spiked my interest, the Nazi obsession with the occult.
The Nationalist Socialist hierarchy had all sorts of fanciful notions about German Blood and Earth, the supremacy of the Aryan race and even Atlantis. However, the man who took this fascination to its greatest lengths was Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS.
The architect of the Final Solution, who caused untold misery throughout Europe was in reality a very sickly, small minded person who would sooner listen to his astrologer than his generals. The castle at Wewelsburg near Paderborn in Germany stands perfect testament to his penchant for pseudo-mythology and costumed ceremony. It was his unstinting belief in the supernatural, and all the fictitious possibilities it held, that lingered in foetus form at the back of my mind for a long time.

A couple of years ago, whilst working with a German colleague I noticed that, though his German was flawless, he had an accent that I didn't quite recognise. At first I'd placed him as being from Bavaria but the more we worked together, the more I was convinced he wasn't German.
Finally, I asked him.
His family, he told me, originally came from Transylvania.
Transylvania, I was about to learn, has a large community that uses German as its first language. These Transylvanian Germans are considered Auslandsdeutsche, or Foreign Germans, by the German government and therefore have the right to German citizenship.
His family came over to Germany at the end of the cold war.

A German colony in Transylvania.
Transylvania, the traditional home of the vampire.
It wasn't a great leap of the imagination for me to connect the Siebenberger Sachsen, (Transylvanian Saxons in English) with the vampire theme.
I had my idea and I started researching for the book as soon as I came home from work.

The idea for The House in Wales has far more mundane foundations.

The people who ran my first publishing house were looking for someone to write about a haunted house. The series "American Horror Story" and the film "The Woman in Black" had hit American audiences in a big way. American Horror Story, with its creepy characters, perverse subplots and psychotic undertones, and The Woman in Black with its eerie atmosphere and dark isolation, had turned the haunted house genre around in the public mind, putting it firmly back on the map.

I was asked if I'd like to have a go at writing something along those lines. At that time I was stumbling around the sequel for "Division". The plot was weak and missing something, (which I now have, by the way) and my fire was waning, so they couldn't have asked at a better moment.

I knew I simply couldn't copy those two films; it had to be set somewhere different, remote and unrelated. So, ingeniously, (well not really, as we'd just returned from a family holiday in my home town), I decided to set in North Wales during World War Two.

The arch villain of the story is the house keeper, Fiona Trimble, a slender, refined looking lady. My problem was how could this graceful example of womanhood force her will on the hero of the story, a seventeen year old lad from bombed out Liverpool? Surely not by womanly guile alone?
I pondered the question and liked the idea of someone weak using a large fearsome dog as their muscle. However, I didn't want to use the clichéd Rottweilers, Dobermans or German Sheepdogs, so I decided on an Irish wolfhound.
Irish wolfhounds, as lovable and as domesticated as they are, have always intimidated me by their size alone. A friend of mine shared his home with one, (he definitely didn't own it), and though he was as friendly as they come, and not particularly large for his breed, he always prompted a minute tremor of fear when he barked, (which he did to every guest before licking them to death). Which is why I used one in the story.

So, I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that Satanists, ghosts of sacrificial victims, possessed hounds, perverted house keepers, fraudulent priests and deluded policemen all join forces to make our hero and main protagonist in The House in Wales a very unhappy chap indeed. However, you'll have to read the book if you want to know how.

So friends, you now know how they both came about, I hope you can find the time and the inclination to give them a read. Hopefully you'll enjoy them.
Thanks for giving me your time.

All the best.
Richard Rhys Jones

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany A. Harkleroad VINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
During World War II, often children were sent to live in the countryside, away from the bombing. This was especially common if they were orphans, like Danny. Sent to live with a vicar in Wales, Danny has no idea what he has gotten himself into. He has had run ins with the woman who acts as the live in maid, as well as her beastly dog. Danny tries running away, and is branded as a delinquent. When he senses there is evil in the house, no one wants to believe him, thinking he is just another troubled youth.

This book is certainly not for the faint of heart, or for anyone who is squeamish when it comes to reading about the occult. The characters are deliciously deceptive, and concentrated evil. I personally loved the back story of the Vicar. It was my favorite aspect of the book. While he is far from a good man, he was actually a victim in the whole situation.

The story moves along at a fast pace, which I enjoyed. At times, I was not sure I understood how all the pieces fit together, but they eventually all came together for me. Some of the minor characters were actually really enjoyable, like the other children in the village.

The book pulls heavily on paranormal and occult themes. There is also moderate sexuality in the story. When you combine those things together, you get a book that is probably most appropriate for adult readers who like a good scare (think a sexed up version of Stephen King). All in all I enjoyed the book. It left me feeling unsettled in the exact way a horror story should.

I received a review copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monique Lomino on October 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Danny Kelly was sent to Wales an orphan having just lost his mother. Taken in by the local reverend and his creepy housekeeper he had no idea what was in store for him, his wildest imagination could not prepare him for the events about to unfold .I love tales of the supernatural and this book was an fantastic read.From the beginning I was intrigued,I sat transfixed, not wanting to put the book down.When I tell you Richard Rhys Jones knows how to deliver an amazing piece of literature,you must believe me.He takes this story to a whole new level,ghosts,demons and occult practices,it gets dark and twisted and I loved every page.
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Format: Kindle Edition
We really don’t know what we’re in for when we begin this book. Daniel Kelly is a teenager orphaned during WWII and sent to an orphanage. When things get too dangerous there, all the kids are sent away by train and end up being placed in homes in Wales. Much to his despair, Danny is sent to live with the Reverend Gwynfor Davies and his housekeeper, Fiona Trimble.
And here is where the story begins all its strange and frightening turns. There is some sort of sordid relationship between the Reverend and Miss Trimble. The housekeeper has a dog named Astaroth that has a hellish streak of jealousy for his mistress and a strong, unexplained hatred for Danny.
And Danny is so alone. The Reverend insists he be home schooled. And a fight with some of the local kids leaves him on the outs. His only ally, a girl from the orphanage has been taken in by a family living too far away to be of much help. On the rare occasion he can speak to someone, no one believes his stories of an overbearing man of god and perverted housekeeper prone to inflicting sexual humiliation.
As the days grind on, the harshness of the Reverend, the warped cruelty of Miss Trimble and fear of Astaroth begin to take their on Danny’s mind. He begins to see and hear things coming from his closet that are not of this world. Are they related to the dark secrets being kept by Trimble and the Reverend or is his mind simply coming unraveled? Is there any way to survive being a prisoner of The House in Wales?
A frightening 5 stars, not for the weak of heart!
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By C. W. Lovatt on February 5, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I first started reading this story, I thought it might be Y/A, given the age of the protagonist, and I was envisioning a sort of Welsh version of the Hardy Boys with a harmless ghost or two thrown in for flavour. A few pages in and I changed my mind, or rather, had it changed for me. It’s about as far from Y/A as you can get, and yet, in a way, it reads like a young adult book – a sort of kids vs grownups, with all the societal challenges that youth have always had to face when dealing with their elders. However, although the challenge that the youth in this story face is suitably nefarious, it’s evil is heightened by the author’s use of adult content scenes that make it all the more real – which is to say not sugar coated for sensitive young eyes. I found that to be quite effective, and consequently rejoiced all the louder when the villains finally got what was coming to them. A pleasurable read, its style took me back to the days when I first fell in love with the written word. That, combined with a ripping good tale, is a difficult combination to beat. Well done!
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By eBook Lover on April 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't often give a book five stars but i could find absolutely no fault with this one. The story was fascinating, set in the middle of the Second World War. A boy orphaned and made homeless by the bombing in Liverpool. Nice touch to remind the reader that London was not the only city bombed during the war. Move from the city to an alien world, Wales.
Mr Jones paints a very realistic picture of a boy on the verge of manhood being tormented by those who are supposed to care for him. The doubts of one protagonist were handled well while the main villain gets nastier as the story moves on.
I said I found no fault, but one thing did seem pointless - the fact that the writer inserted text in Welsh. Yes, it was relevant to the story, but I'm sure Mr Jones could have simply said the writing was in Welsh instead of demonstrating that he knows it, i doubt many others do. But that is a very minor niggle in a fantastic story.
Bring on the next one, please Mr Jones
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