A black star shall rise.

Inspired by the Rust Belt and Lovecraftian mythos, I.N. Morgan brings a new spin on modern cosmic horror in her debut novel, Storm-Star.

Ash Jagerhund thought he found the answers to the questions that have plagued him all these years since his mother disappeared. A phone call from a stranger leads him to Rust Springs, Ohio: a quaint town with a dark secret. Violence, corruption, and misery unfold as he finds out about a local cult and the pasts of new friends. Will he find the truth or will it destroy him in the process?

Available Now in Digital and Print

Storm-Star cosmic horror novel by I N Morgan

About Storm-Star

Ash Jagerhund is down on his luck. Fired from his roadkill clean-up job and behind rent, he gets a call from a mysterious, long lost relative who encourages him to leave Cleveland for Rust Springs, a town in the grips of a rash of violent killings. Eager to start a new life he takes the offer but gets more than he bargained for when it becomes known that a cult is operating in Rust Springs, and that the identity of the killer is closer to him than he thinks.

How does Storm-Star contribute to the cosmic horror genre?

Writing cosmic horror requires weaving fear of the unknowable into the narrative. Aspects of the genre include unspeakable terrors, anxiety over arcane knowledge, and the sense of alienation. Ash has been a loner all of his life and finds himself even more alone in Rust Springs, struggling to fit in and form connections. There are other characters that face alienation, either from society or something they force upon themselves. Incomprehension and sanity is another aspect. As Ash progresses in figuring out what is going on in Rust Springs, he discovers somethings that he wishes that he didn’t know. Other characters come face to face with other maddening situations regarding the cult and the horror they spawn.

Storm-Star brings another spin to cosmic horror by making it a more personal story. Ash is targeted by his own inner demons and struggles as he comes to term with his past and what terrible future is in store for him. With the arrival of the cult, even more tragedy and fear strike the once quiet Rust Springs.

“This is a fantastic dark fantasy book. The further I got into the book, I found it harder and harder to put down as I wanted to find out what happened next. I can’t wait to read the next book from this outstanding author!”

An interview with I.N. Morgan, author of Storm-Star

Tell us your name.

I.N. Morgan

Tell us a bit about your book.

Storm-Star is my debut cosmic horror novel. I started writing it around 2014-2015 and published it in Sept. 2019. I’m very proud to have produced a novel and self published. It feels like I achieved a childhood dream of mine!

What can you tell us about some of the protagonists/antagonists of Storm-Star?

Ash Jagerhund is the main character; a down on his luck young man who moves to Rust Springs to turn a new leaf.

He meets characters like his uncle, Jasper, and Attila and Daisy, some locals who take a liking to him.

The antagonists are a shady cult that have taken residence in the rural areas outside of Rust Springs. Very nasty folks who aren’t afraid to kill to get what they desire.

There’s also Mullen and Vasquez, two detectives that are trying to solve the mystery of the the Rust Spring Ripper.

What was it that sparked the idea for Storm-Star?

I feel like I wanted to get back into writing and started with some short stories that would be prototypes for characters in Storm-Star. Then I felt like I should start on getting on writing a novel, something I aspired to do when I was younger.

I took inspiration from living in Dayton, Ohio and some horror genres I like. I also took some inspiration from world mythology, like Norse myth.

Do you have any inspirations (other authors, other works) that helped inspire Storm-Star?

Lovecraft to an extent. He has some really bizarre gods and cults that I find interesting to me.

Shapeshifters interest me as well, like werewolves and such.

Why did you decide to write a cosmic horror story?

I like the mythic and esoteric nature of the cosmic horror genre. Plus, it’s very mind-bending so it’s not like traditional ghost or monster stories.

It can be a good allegory for other things in our reality. In my case the self destructive nature of hate and the terrors of being blood related to despicable people.

Did you have to do much research for Storm-Star?

Yes! Mainly into various criminal activity such as hate groups and drug manufacturing. I didn’t expect to look up how to grow and harvest weed or recipes for meth but the things writers do for accuracy.

Do you prefer to outline your novel from start to finish, or do you start and just see where the story goes?

I do a bit of both, like with Storm-Star I had a good feel of where I wanted to take the story but I winged it in certain instances in the book. Sometimes you just gotta go where it feels right at the moment.

Don’t underestimate outlining though. It’ll make sure you’re on track. Think of it like a road map. Follow the path but if you find an interesting tourist attraction, its fine to go off script.

Which writer or writers had the largest effect on your writing style/narrative?

Elmore Leonard has a certain writing style that I gravitate towards. Witty dialogue and unique characters that surprise you. Hero or villain, you love his complex characters and what they offer to the story. I highly recommend that people watch Justified, one of the best TV adaptions of his work.

It’s a horrible thing to ask a creator, but ‘where do you get your ideas’?

I’m big into mythology and inspired by different people and places in my life. So far, I think I relate to the “fish out of water” beat where a protagonist finds themselves in strange places and situations.

Do you have a particular writing regimen or discipline to keep you working and motivated?

I try to hold myself to working everyday on a project. I usually don’t care about a word count target but as long as you commit to writing something everyday, it adds up.

Any additional information that could help a young, aspiring writer with their first book?

It’s mainly about determination and being motivated enough to stay on track.

Also, ALWAYS HIRE AN EDITOR. A good author always has an editor or two in their roster to help refine the story into the best I can be.