Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am 55 years old (god really), and I live in Kent, the garden of England, with my six beautiful fur babies. I work full time for the Ministry of Justice, and have an horrendously long commute each day, during which I read, and try to construct stories/chapters which I can work on at the weekend.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called: Christmas Evil, and it is a collection of 19 short horror stories which I have written over many years, all of which take place on Christmas eve (the perfect time for ghost/horror tales of darkness). I love the tradition of telling spooky tales at Christmas, ideally around an open log fire. It just sets the perfect mood.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really, I am not a superstitious individual, so I don’t have any rituals of specific items of clothing I must wear whilst I’m writing.
Finding the time to write is, for me at least, enough of a trial.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I loved the pulp horror novels of the seventies and eighties, and still read them to this day. Horror stories today often feel too complicated and more akin to psychological thrillers than good old fashioned horror. My favourite authors include: Richard Laymon, Guy N Smith, James Herbert, M.R. James, early Stephan King and Shirley Jackson.
What are you working on now?
My latest novel is about werewolves. I have a working title and am about half-way through it. As with most traditional horror, everything has already been done over and over again, so I am not trying to claim that my work is a complete original, but by the same token, I hope it ends up being an entertaining read, and an enjoyable horror romp.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am a real Luddite, and I have absolutely no media presence, so my lovely publishers (Creativia/Next Chapter) deal with all the promotional aspects of my books. In fact, they actually do everything from start to finish, so all I have to do is write, and that’s just the way I like it.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do not give up!
Self doubt is all part of the process.
Read and write whenever you can, one cannot work without the other.
Do not take criticism to heart, not everybody will appreciate your effort.
Rejection form (countless) publishers, is all part of the process, so do not be put off by it, pick yourself up and carry on.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
James Herbert once wrote something along the lines of: It is very disappointing when I see someone who is writing a book, and when I ask them how it is going, they tell me they have run out of ideas and stopped. Just keep writing, even if it is not good, you can go back and change it another day.
What are you reading now?
Cannibals by Guy N. Smith. The story is loosely based on the story of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, who was said to be the head of a 45-member clan in Scotland in the 16th century who were reportedly executed for the mass murder and cannibalization of over 1,000 people. Wes Craven’s ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ I believe was also based on this story.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Mmmnn, good one, in my mind I am usually a couple of books ahead, but I try to concentrate on the one I’m writing first before allowing my imagination to run away with me. After my Werewolf novel, I have an idea for a ‘Mummy’ story, and a similar one to the Sawney Bean idea, only mine would be set somewhere other than Scotland. Also, at some point I would like to write a sequel to my Kraken novel.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Wow, that’s a tough one!
I am going to go with Catch 22, I’ve read it many times and always find something new to laugh about each time I revisit it.
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