Coming early 2020: A Night in Ruin, a supernatural thriller by S.C. Barrus

A Night in Ruin, a supernatural thriller by S.C. Barrus, who happens to be me, will be released by Q1 of 2020.

About the book

There are strange and otherworldly creatures struggling for survival in our world. This one haunts and devours eyes.

In the middle of the night, in a mansion on the city outskirts, a wealthy recluse wakes with a ghostly worm-like creature haunting his eye. It seems to have come from a recently unearthed collection of ancient books bound in human skin.

Willem is an unhinged detective of the supernatural. Dr. Florence is a brilliant physician with a secret addiction. With the help of a little blackmail, the unlikely pair investigate this disturbing phenomena. But the creature isn’t what it first appeared and if it’s not destroyed tonight it will spread like a pestilence.

A Night in Ruin novel cover
*Not official cover design

Release date

Formerly titled The Peculiar Case of the Luminous Eye, it’s still a bit too early to nail down an exact release date for A Night in Ruin. But the gears are in motion and you can expect A Night in Ruin to be released by the end of Q1.

Patrons can read the entire novella now in early access on the S.C. Barrus Patreon page where it’s still titled The Peculiar Case of the Luminous Eye. Part 1 is available free for all, so read the preview today.

Check back often for frequent publishing updates

I’m documenting the entire publishing process here on this blog. Check back often for deep dives every step of the way. Next week I’ll share an in-depth post on how I researched, brainstormed, and landed on the new title.

Meanwhile, Patrons get further access to more frequent updates where I share even more behind the scenes info as soon as it’s available. Patrons are informed first and more often with early announcements, frequent sneak peeks, and posts such as this list of 50+ alternate titles I brainstormed for A Night in Ruin.

And there’s more on the way

A Night in Ruin has sneaked into my release schedule but there are more books in the works. Grim Curio is still deep in the editing phase, and the long-awaited The Gin Thief: Episode 2 will have its day in the sun in the coming months. Things are heating up! I can’t wait to start getting these projects into your hands.

Announcing Discovering Aberration: Revised Edition (and how to get it for free)

Not long ago I announced I was done writing the first draft of Grim Curio. Now it’s time for me to switch gears while I give GC to beta readers and confidants for feedback. I’ll come back to it in a few months, but til then I have a few other projects lined up.

As many of you already know, the next project on my slate is writing the long overdue The Gin Thief: Episode 2. So long overdue, in fact, that I need a refresher on the subject material. So I’m rereading Discovering Aberration and The Gin Thief: E1. Which leads me to the meat of this post…

Discovering Aberration: Revised Edition coming soon!

That’s right. I’m giving DA some love this year. The biggest criticisms it received were around mistakes in proofreading. So while I read through it, I’m revising and re-releasing it. In fact, I’m already 20% of the way through it.

What is the goal with this revision?

My plan is to keep my touch as light as possible while addressing it’s issues. It wont turn into a full rewrite. The structure and plot will remain identical. Instead, my goal is to simply clean up sections that need it, trim some of the fat, and fix errors.

Why are you revising it?

Simple, it’s weaknesses are holding it back. Initially the novel released to pretty strong sales, but they have declined to a trickle. I’ve tried to diagnose the issues and believe they are as follows:

  • Reviews that focus on poor proofreading
  • A convoluted first scene in chapter 1
  • A cover that doesn’t match its genre (possibly, will know after I address the issues above)
  • My own hesitation to sell a book with known errors

I need to address these if I don’t want DA to end up holding my career back. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be better.

Will it get a new cover? 

I don’t know yet. I love Discovering Aberration‘s cover. The team at The Book Designers did a fantastic job. They followed all my instructions and created a work of art. I have no complaints about the cover itself or their work.

But…. I’ve now been in publishing for a few years, and I’ve learned a lot I didn’t know then. In this case, the cover I told them to make DA doesn’t look like other books in its genre and that may be affecting sales. It’s likely that a new cover which better matches steampunk best sellers will entice more readers to give it a chance.

It’s a tough question, and potentially one with an expensive answer. Not sure what I’m going to do anything with the cover, time will tell I guess.

Will this delay The Gin Thief: Episode 2?

Just a bit. But as I said, I’m keeping my touch light and in just over a week and a half I’m 20% through it. I’m not rewriting, I’m cleaning up. So the delay should be minimal. I need to read through the book anyway to immerse myself back into that universe, and in the end this will be the best thing for my writing career. TGT: E2 is coming, and this is part of the process.

When will the revised edition be released?

Don’t know. I’ve given up with release dates. I’ve never once made an accurate prediction, so I’m not trying anymore. It’ll be released as soon as it’s done, hopefully not long. My goal is to have both DA: RE and TGT: E2 out by the end of the year. Is that goal realistic? I don’t know, but it’s what I’m shooting for.


If you want to receive a FREE copy of Discovering Aberration: Revised Edition upon its release, sign up for my mailing list. When it’s out, I’ll be gifting every one of my mailing list subscribers a free digital copy.