Roll up, roll up! Time to introduce a new interview to you all! Well, he's not new, the guy has actually been writing for a long time, but he's new to the blog. Hopefully you'll read on, like the sound of his awesome work - of which it really is very awesome, and go one-click his books!
For all you horror mad maniacs out there, this one is for you :-)
Born and raised in Suffolk, England, I started reading at an early age. I could always be found with a book in my hands, devouring as many pages as possible. I can recall writing stories from a young age, but it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I first thought about writing a book.
At the time I was on holiday in Spain, and the resort we stayed in effectively shut down for a couple of hours every afternoon for the traditional ‘Siesta’. The problem with that was I am not the sort of person who can sit still for that long, and so I grabbed a pad of paper and decided that I was going to write a book.
I worked on it day and night, and eventually, I had done it. I had written a 50,000 word novel. It was, of course, utterly useless, never edited, and is now thankfully lost from this world. However, I had done it. I had written something. The sparks were there, and it didn’t take long for the fire to be lit.
It took another five years before I was ready to actually look at putting things out into the world, and so I signed up for a writing course, started writing short stories and submitting them to magazines. After almost one hundred rejections from various different avenues, a relocation from the UK to the Netherlands and the birth of two children, I finally managed to put together a collection of short stories that were self-published, promoted for a week and then pulled, because the editing in them was so poor, I dreaded the thought that people would pay money to read it.
In the mean time I had started working on a novel, which hovered aimlessly between several different genres, unable to decide what it actually was. It remained that way for some time, and it wasn’t until I had read, re-read and then read again, the Books of Blood by Clive Barker, that I finally understood what it was that I wanted to do with my writing.
I didn’t just want to write books, I didn’t do it because I wanted money or recognition. I did it because I wanted to create. I wanted to stretch boundaries and make people uncomfortable. My work had always had a darker tone to it, but when I actually settled down and thought horror, I realized I had found my home.
Twelve months later I had a 90,000 word novel in the hands of a professional editor. I was over the moon and after initially self-publishing (again) I was approached by a publisher and signed up for the entire trilogy I had planned.
Highway to Hell was my first novel, and its sequel, Trials and Tribulations was published little over a year later.
I have also written three short story collections, titled, The Musings of a Hideous Mind: Volumes I, II, & III. These are currently being edited and hopefully will be available by the end of the year.
The Diaries of the Damned, was my first foray into Zombie fiction. It is 100,000 words (300 pages), and I am delighted with the way it came out. With all of my work I try to create a different angle for the story. They say that every story has already been told, but I refuse to believe that. There is always a new angle, even the most overused stories can be tweaked and approached from a fresh perspective to appear as something new.
The premise behind Diaries of the Damned is that we follow a group of survivors as they are being ferried out of the UK. Talking to a journalist, people start telling him their stories, and he soon realizes that not only did they all survive, but they all learned something along the way. Putting the stories together they and uncover the truth behind the zombie outbreak.
I don’t want to give anything else away, after all, I need people to buy the book, but just understand that even when the dead rise, the evil nature of man will still be the greatest darkness in the world.
My most recent publication is an old school vampire tale. Blood of the Tainted. I know the vampire genre is very possibly over-saturated at the moment, it was a tale I had to write. It is a throwback to the ´good old days´ when vampires were evil, blood sucking villains.
I am often asked why I chose horror, but the honest answer to that, is that I didn’t. Horror chose me. Everything I have ever written has been naturally dark, and so it was the natural place for my work to fit. I have already mentioned the Books of Blood, but I cannot understate the influence that Clive Barker has had on my writing. I have learned more about horror from reading his work than from any craft book.
That being said, I do not necessarily class myself as a horror writer, as I feel the label of a genre is a dangerous thing, as it can limit us. A writer should have no limits, no boundaries. A story should be allowed to go as far as it needs in order to tell the tale. Anything, when handled in the correct manner, can be written, and it is my goal as a writer to ensure that every piece I publish makes people think outside of the standard horror box.
To scare a reader when they have the book open is great, but to haunt them after they have closed it, is even better. Horror should be an experience, and I hope that is what I deliver with my work.
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What do you do when you’re not writing about the end of days or things that go bump in the night?
When I am forced to enter the real world, I am either working my way towards insanity at my day job. I am a product owner for a software company in the aviation industry. It is a new role and one I am learning as I go. I worked my way into it rather than having the necessary qualifications to belong there. If you see what I mean. It is a challenge, and I love every second of it.
I also have 4 (and a half) children, with my fifth child (and fourth boy) due this September. So they certainly keep me busy, especially my youngest. He is 2 and a real monster. If there is trouble, he will find it and do it twice, just to make sure if gets done properly. Whether it is throwing something, climbing on or in something, or hiding things, like out passports at the bottom of the laundry basket.
Tell me about your latest book, something unusual if possible.
My most recently published novel is a classic vampire tale. An old school horror, where the blood is sucked for the fun of the kill rather than any lovesick puppy nonsense. No sparkles, not century old vampires hanging around in high school doting on the head cheerleader. My vampire is ancient, he is hungry and he is looking for the place he wants to call home.
I wanted to make my own mark on the vampire genre however, and so I wrote my own lore for the majority of it. I kept some of the traditional elements, but for the rest, I gave it all my own twist.
I can’t say what exactly, I mean, that would spoil the surprise. I can however, provide you with a link and hopefully, the curiosity to see for yourselves what it is I have created.
BLOOD OF THE TAINTED BOOK COVER, BLURB & TEASER CHAPTER
What are you working on next and when can we expect it?
My latest novel is something a little different to the things I have done before. I wrote the novel by hand, for a start, and it started off as a little fun short, and soon twisted into something much larger, which resembled very little of the original story.
It is a twisted tale of parallel dimensions, monsters, conspiracies and cover ups, mad scientists and human experimentation. It is dark and disturbing and truly delightful.
I am hoping to have it ready in the next few weeks, and then I will be sending it over to a publisher that I have been watching for a while now. Please cross your fingers for me.
Are you a prepper with an apocalypse plan in place, or are you just going to wing it?
I am and I am not. I have planned most of my novels, at least in part, before sitting down to write them, but along the way I get swept up in the thrill of the experience and soon leave my plan for dust. I find myself writing things and thinking, that makes no sense at all and make plans to edit it out, only to get to a point near the end that perfectly pulls that earlier piece into play.
I’m not sure what that makes me, but that is something I saw about myself in a lot of walks of life ha!
What’s your apocalypse/horror song?
It’s gotta be Hellraiser by Motorhead
What aspects of writing do you find the hardest?
The parts of writing that I find the hardest are often the parts I also find the most rewarding. Editing is a perfect example. I hate editing, and I am sure every writer does. Not only does it means we have to be attentive to the finer points of the craft, understanding the rules that we can break, but only at certain times, but we must also come face to face with the first draft. See our writing in its pure, raw form. It is a tough prospect but once you have it finished, once it is edited and starting to take shape, you feel a great sense of reward and relief.
Similarly, as soon as I begin to think I understand a certain component of the craft, two new things come along to push me back down. It is a crazy game, it is addictive and I am but a whore to its call.
BLOOD OF THE TAINTED PROMO ART & PURCHASE LINKS
Happy reading my little book whores!
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