Tuesday, April 12, 2011

George Straatman – A Quarter Century Novelist

George Straatman, author of The Converging Trilogy, spent twenty-five years creating a vast world of horror and the supernatural. On a personal note, a quarter of a century boggles my mind. I bitch and moan if it takes me long than three months to finish at least a draft of a complete story. Twenty-five years, now that's dedication.

The best news is the trilogy is complete. The final novel, The Converging: Closures in Blood, is now available.


The Converging: Closures in Blood is the concluding volume of George Straatman’s epic Converging horror trilogy. Though rooted firmly in the horror/supernatural thriller genre, Closures in Blood is a skilful weaving of intense action and compelling drama that will stand as a fitting finale to this dark and richly imagined tale.

Closures in Blood is a frenetic roller coaster ride into darkest depths of the Converging universe…a place where the vile and the righteous will find a grim measure or resolution in the explosive conclusion to this master work of dark horror.

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!


It can also be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Apple and Smashwords.


1. What are the primary themes of this final segment?
As the title would imply, the novel’s plot revolves around putting a measure of closure to the story elements that have bridged the trilogy. By the conclusion of this novel, all of the primary characters who have populated the world of the Converging will have found a sense of resolution by the novel’s closing page. In addition to this, the story deals with the protagonist’s search for personal redemption and atonement for her culpability in Cynara Saravic’s twisted tapestry of evil.

2. Is there one common theme that ties the three segments of the trilogy together?

This is first and foremost, a horror trilogy and its roots are fixed deep in the dark soil of the supernatural thriller genre, but really, the story transcends the genre to become more of an intense drama about one woman’s thirty-five years search for a degree of normalcy after the foundations of her life have been eradicated by cataclysm events. Elizabeth’s painful and often tragic journey is really a metaphor for perseverance and a sustained belief in the compelling power of hope. The horror elements merely serve as a vehicle through which this story is told.

3. How long did it take to complete the full Converging cycle?

The full cycle took twenty-five years to write from the first moment I took up a pen and began the first page of the original novel until the moment I decided that I was happy with the end product of Closures in Blood. The characters of the story become constant companions of sorts…who I’ve come to care about and develop an emotional attachment to.

4. The first two novels were characterized by intense and dark horror…that could often be considered disturbing…does this atmosphere prevail in the final installment?

Most definitely…I’ve attempted to infuse the novel with a pervasive sense of desperation in which Elizabeth’s search for David Stillman is undertaken against a frenetic background of terror and incessant pursuit. The central concept of the Converging has always been about a wide array of forces coming together at one juncture in time with catastrophic results and Closures in Blood is fraught with this element. I wanted the story to unfold like an avalanche…or more correctly, a convergence of avalanches…all coming together with a brutally violent finality. Every character in this novel is much like a piece of an intricate jigsaw puzzle…the commonality of each of these pieces is Elizabeth Simpson, who serves as the lens through which they are all focused…with extremely explosive results. This novel certainly serves up the most diverse collection of characters of the series…and this diversity adds to the volatility of the plot.

5. Was there a single facet of this story that would stand out as the most difficult to write?

The segment of the story that dealt with the teenage runaway, Cassandra Jasic was perhaps one of the most difficult that I’ve ever written…the scene in which she reveals the story of the abuse she suffered as a child was difficult to write…and equally difficult to read. Ultimately, horror is an emotional response and Cassandra Jasic’s hellish ordeal goes a long way toward justifying the depth of psychosis she demonstrates in the story. The tone of segments such as this one is critical…an author has to be attuned to the need for presenting this type of material in a way that does not make it gratuitous or even worse…appears to condone the actions being depicted.

6. With the conclusion of this series, is there any one character with whom you feel most connected?

Though I’ve enjoyed all of my characters immensely and feel a strong affinity for each, I would say that Elizabeth Simpson is the individual for whom I have the most empathy…I often reflect on the things that she endured over the course of the three novels and I’m suffused by a profound sense of sadness. Cynara Saravic presented me with the most perplexing technical challenges as a character, but Elizabeth Simpson is the one who resonates emotionally through the trilogy…her closure is, for me, the most emotionally poignant.

  1. Are the any specific moral concepts contained within this final novel?

It would be difficult to write a two thousand page story without inculcating some personal philosophy into the fabric of the story…The story is violent and bloody, but beneath this, there resonates a subtle judgment on the nature of this violence. The story also holds an implied statement on the nature of seduction and the way that an individual’s personal prejudices can ensnare them into accepting things that both dangerous and illogical. This subtext is most clearly demonstrated by the characters of Gregor Ingram and Contayza Prowzi, whose inherent prejudices allow them to be deceived into seeing Elizabeth Simpson as the ultimate manifestation of evil.
Elizabeth Simpson takes center stage in this novel and it is through her that I have implicitly conveyed my own personal view on violence and moral integrity…Through all of her travails and loss, Elizabeth retains an inviolable sense of dignity and grace and vehemently refuses to succumb to the more primal urges that drive many of the novel’s other characters…she comes closest to representing my own perspective on the treatment of violence in art.

  1. With the conclusion of the trilogy…have we seen the last of Elizabeth and Cynara?

As mentioned earlier…this cycle had a twenty-five year creative life. In that time, I have transitioned from a horror novelist to a fantasy novelist…a genre with the broadest creative potential. Still, it would be impossible to invest so much creative and emotional energy into characters such as Cynara and Elizabeth and not have a strong bond with both. The Converging as a concept has definitely run its course, but I have tinkered with the idea of writing a novel that tells the story of the demon Cynara Saravic and her life through the years between her disappearance in 1850 to her appearance in the fictitious town where the first novel takes place in the 1970s. As for the trilogy’s primary protagonist, Elizabeth Simpson, I have developed a plot outline for a novel that would take place some years after the events chronicled in the epilogue of Closures in Blood. Both of these notions are in the formative stages and whether they will germinate into full novels, only time will tell. My primary focus over the next few years will be on development of my fantasy cycle – Journey through the Land of Shades.

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