Author Brian E. Niskala answers 7 Deadly Questions about his gothic tale RHINEHOTH

Written by R.A. Evans 

1. Your dark novel RHINEHOTH has all of the classic elements readers have come to expect in their gothic stories – vampires, werewolves, and the promise of salvation. yet, you’ve taken these elements and spun them in an entirely fresh way. Talk to me about Rhinehoth and what makes this dark tale different from the expected vampire / werewolf story.

With all Gothic literature, you need a fantastic scene, horror and a touch of romance; I needed my own interpretation of Gothic literature. I wanted both male and female readers to love it. For Males the horror, females a touch of romance even though this is underlining in this tale, but very much present. The vampires and werewolves add the touch of current magnetism of these character/creatures. I thought it was a perfect match in the tradition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Yet I give it a more modern flavor and twist. Most Gothic literature is old and outdated. I wanted to bring a modern setting, mixed with an ancient past to tie the two time periods together. Old generation meets new generation. Honest I wanted something that would read well and people would want to tell their friends about it. I wanted to get my name out there as a new emerging author.

Rhinehoth2. The historical references in Rhinehoth lend a great deal of credibility to the story. Was this intentional?

Of course, later in the interview I can build on how I got there. But one thing I researched is the dates of the time periods, to make sure it all flowed and held onto that chronological time clock. One thing I hated in reading anything is if you get lost. I hate being lost in a story. So if I follow history, make scenes so it is timed correctly, it will read better, flow better. One thing I made sure of, was to make sure you felt that you were right there, next to the characters to see what was happening. With historical references I wanted the novice reader to want to check historical facts out. For the seasoned reader to be “Wow! That is right!” I think it makes you take more ownership in the story and its characters.

3. The hero in this tale, Simon, isn’t necessarily guided by the strongest moral compass – the man definitely has his flaws and a very checkered past. Talk about the challenge of writing an anti-hero.

When think of this character, I wanted a man, struggling day to day, like most of us. Wrong place, wrong time, why me! Something I am sure we all have been. This poor sole ends up in prison. Bad luck, he is trapped. Aren’t most of us feeling that way now a days, gas prices high, working harder to buy less? We are all trapped one way or another. This character is presented with a possibility of being more, if he just goes for it. Again like all of us, we are what we have decided to be, through our decisions. Sure I guide this character, but aren’t we all also guided in one way or another to a greater purpose?

4. Castles are creepy no matter where they’re located, but placing Castle Rhinehoth in the middle of German’s Black Forest intensifies the creepiness. Talk about the research for Rhinehoth.

Oddly, I am a huge fan of Cuckoo clocks. I know Cuckoo clocks? Well they originate from the 1600s from the Black Forest region of Germany. This heavily wooden, mountain region seemed like a perfect landscape for the novel. Rhinehoth actually comes from Rhine, a river in Germany that runs through the Black Forest, a natural border for the Roman empire. Hoth, from the ice planet in the Empire Strikes Back, I like the association of a cold desolate place. Rhine-hoth, Rhinehoth.So from there it developed the scene, the atmosphere.

5. Any worries that in a market flooded by vampires and werewolves that your story would struggle to stand out?

Yes, always. I look at the market flooded with them, all around the paranormal romance plots. Good stuff, but too much of it. I aimed to make something darker, Gothic more grown up for that aging crowd, craving more adult situations, more violent. Also for my generation who obviously is annoyed at the young “Fang bangers” to coin an all too familiar term for a popular book/TV series. I read and watch it all, just so I can be better armed and educated on what works, what doesn’t and what it is lacking.

6. Talk to me about why you write horror.

I have always been a horror fan. My cousin, teasing me, read aloud Stephen King’s The Stand to me, actually the first chapter before I ripped it out of his hands! That was sometime in the early 80’s I think, I was young. A friend of mine got book after book that Stephen King wrote. His mom would buy one a month. I would borrow one and practically read it in one night. Upon returning it I would get another and then found myself at my local library, consuming the genre. I read everything I could find and moved into SciFi also another passion and currently finishing my second novel a SciFi/thriller called Space Cell 11. Anyhow, after I saw many styles, many continuity errors in some of what I read, I knew I could do better. Well at least make more credible stories. Not that vampires and werewolves are credible but I like trying to get the science to were a reader could say “Hey, yeah that makes sense and could happen”.

7. Where can readers go to learn more about you?

Currently I have a brief Bio on, and on my site The info. is short and to the point, but always glad to take emails at and will be more than happy to answer any questions that come my way.

About Brian

Brian was born in the Month of October, making him a natural Horror fan. He is currently working on over 20 novels in different stages of completion. His current title “Rhinehoth” has been a great seller quickly rising in the ranks of Gothic Horror genre. His passion for history and horror leads his writing to be historically accurate for the time period immersing the reader into its details. His writing is so vividly visual it reads more like a film than literature. Brian comes from some of the top Fortune 500 companies where he has managed at a senior/executive level to follow his passion for Horror film and Literature. He currently lives in sleepy Blakeslee, PA USA.

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