Local Sittingbourne Author – Stacey Dighton

Stacey Dighton is a local author with a taste for the macabre. Drawing inspiration from the masters of horror, he crafts dark and chilling tales about monsters and humans and the thin line between.


CommunityAd chatted with Stacey Dighton about his inspirations and aspirations.


Can you tell our readers a bit about your books?

I have three books – two novels and a short story collection. My novels (Pale Face and the Raven and The Hawk and the Raven) focus on a Detective Inspector called Luke Raven who has these supernatural clairvoyant abilities that enable him to see details of impending murders through his nightmares.

The first in the series (Pale Face) sees him up against a pale faced serial killer who is encouraged to commit murder by a demon he believes is using him almost like a puppet master, and The Hawk is a standalone story that continues on from the first book, pitting Raven against a serial cannibal and an organisation known as The Legion. Both books are horror-crime stories with a hint of fantasy and some pretty dark humour.


How did you come up with your protagonist, Luke Raven?

With the first book I wrote the villain first and then knew I needed a strong, uniquely gifted but flawed hero to be a counterpoint. I wrote the dream sequence first and it was only really partway through writing that section of the book that I realised this dream was actually a premonition of some pretty bad things that were about to happen. That gave me the clairvoyant spin and then everything else was worked out from there. As I say, he is a flawed character but he also has a really human and sympathetic side to him which I think readers have really connected with.


Has Sittingbourne influenced the setting or stories at all?

I didn’t want to set the story in this area as I thought it would be too close to home, but certainly the small town feel of Sittingbourne (although it’s not really a small town any more) seeps into Westhampton – the fictional setting of my book. My family and I travel to the south coast a lot which is why I set the story there, but there’s no doubt that some of the locations and characters are influenced by people and places that are local to Sittingbourne. The pub for example (the Golden Swan) is a mixture of a number of pubs that we’ve frequented in town – both past and present.


What are the three books that have influenced you the most?

Well, there’s been so many, but if I had to whittle it down to three, I would say It by Stephen King, Velocity by Dean Koontz, and Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy. They’re my three today but they could all change at any moment depending on what I read next. My wife and I always have books on the go.


Are there any other projects on your literary horizons?

Firstly, I’m finishing up on an audiobook version of The Hawk and the Raven which I decided to self-narrate. That should be out fairly shortly. That’s been really fun to do but much more difficult than you would think.

And, secondly, I’m halfway through my next novel – a horror-fantasy set in a small community in Cornwall. It follows a fractious family who visit the area on a week-long holiday and are drawn into a surreptitious cult as well as a criminal enterprise that threatens to tear their already stretched relationships apart. Think Midsommar meets Deliverance meets Doc Martin. It’s called The Rotting Place and I’m hoping to get it out to the public by mid-2022.


Stacey Dighton’s books are available online on Amazon, and you can also find them (and him) through his website.

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