City’s darkest corners provide horror inspiration

David E Gates with his new book, The Wretched, which was inspired by Portsmouth
David E Gates with his new book, The Wretched, which was inspired by Portsmouth
Traffic gridlock around City Hospital hours before Royal visit. ENGEMN00120121128102456

LETTER OF THE DAY: Nightmare scenario for our city

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DAVID E GATES’ childhood spent exploring the forbidden places close to where he lived has been used as inspiration for his new horror novel.

David grew up in Stamshaw, Portsmouth, and has spent a lifetime writing short stories, scripts and books.

His latest offering is a horror which draws from the city’s landscape and its folklore.

The Wretched follows a teenage boy who, while grappling with the onset of puberty, explores forbidden areas of his home town and in turn has to battle an evil-seeking vengeance which stalks him, his friends and his family.

David said: ‘I loved to explore the harbours, scrapyards and dockyards that were in and around Portsmouth, sometimes trespassing into those sites to further my own sense of adventure.

‘Not knowing how dangerous the sites we explored could be was part of the innocence of youth.

‘It seemed fitting that a story filled with memories of my teenage years, albeit embellished with fictional aspects, should be set in and around the areas I grew up in.

‘Some of the locations are now long gone. Others have been developed and are unrecognisable as the places I once knew.’

David has published a number of books and most recently won best Horror Novel Logline in 2016 for The Roots of Evil, and took silver in the AuthorsDB 2016 cover contest for The Ghost of Clothes.

Previously, David has written film reviews for Starburst and Samhain magazines and interviewed Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett and James Herbert.

He self-published his first book, Access Denied, at the end of 2013.

He plans to add to this list and said: ‘I’m currently working on a full-length novel called The Climbing Frame, publishing a movie script, producing a short film, developing the sequels to The Roots of Evil and putting together another collection of short stories and poems.’

David’s books can be ordered from online booksellers.

Alternatively, visit the author’s blog at