SP Durnin enjoys running, martial arts and practises parkour in his spare time. He loves sci-fi/horror/fantasy novels, and is utterly captivated with the idea of hungry, mobile, man-eating corpses. If a book is about zombies or some kind of apocalypse? Yeah, he’s most likely going to give it a read.
What first attracted you to horror writing?
Honestly, I simply wanted to write the type of zombie-themed story that I’d want to read myself! I hadn’t seen any like the one which was bouncing around in my brain-holder at the time, so I thought “Eh, what the hell. I’ll give it a go…”
What is your most notable work?
To date, I’d have to say Book 1 of The Crowbar Chronicles: Keep Your Crowbar Handy. That novel set the wheels a-rollin’ and smashed flat a few preconceived notions about exactly what a (quote/end quote) zombie novel should be, especially since it recently rose to become a Permuted Press bestseller.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished pre-edit work on the second book of the series Rotting to the Core so, after sending it into Permuted Press (and my awesome editor Bobbie Metevier, who didn’t lynch me after Book 1), I’m currently hip deep in production of the third novel in my literary apocalypse Assuming Room Temperature.
How much planning and research do you undertake before writing?
Ye gods and little fishes… The research.
THE RESEARCH!!! I can’t even begin to express how much research it takes to produce a factually accurate novel. If someone wants to make up factoids and info-bits out of whole cloth that’s fine, but I prefer not to do so. Virtually every single location in Books 1 and 2 exist in the real world. People can go to them, if possessed by the urge to do so! Oh! One thing of note. At this point, after researching subjects online like: water purification made easy, the symptoms of anthrax, how to build a better hydrogen cell, the pluses and minuses of .9mm vs. .45 ammunition, what does NASA use on/for the exterior of space shuttles, everyday uses for ground radar, and the internal mechanics of a fragmentation grenade? I’m reasonably certain I’ll soon be on a few ‘Alphabet Soup’ agencies watch lists, if I’m not already! Does anyone else get those strange clicks in the background on their cellphone…?
Boy, I’d love to make up something cool here, like “After appearing in that shaving cream commercial this morning, taking my .50 cal to the shooting range for the day, stopping by the bar for martinis with a few members of the local SWAT team, and rescuing a grateful, scantily-clad Playboy Bunny’s kitten down out of a tree, I went home and wrote 100 pages!”. But my life just doesn’t work that way. Yet. I’m a normal guy. I sit down wherever the laptop happens to be (home, coffee shop, bar, park, etc), and out stagger the zombies. If there happens to be two-fingers of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey in a glass within easy reach beside me, that’s always a plus.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
I like the fact that horror pushes the boundaries of not only belief, but of mental and emotional endurance. Let’s face it, the world has become a terrifyingly brutal place as-of-late. H5N1, Ebola cases cropping up willy-nilly, people being beheaded, wholesale public executions in town squares (now, in Surround Sound!) on YouTube, nations of maniacs rattling the ‘nuclear saber’ once more? Can anyone be blamed for escaping into a world of staggering corpses, vampires , werewolves , aliens, inter-dimensional time-travellers or genetically altered mutants? Horror movies and novels are like basic training for the ‘real world’ these days…
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I’m sure to receive a boat-load of hate mail over this, but all-out, brain-splattering, organ-pulping gore is my preferred flavour… Yeah, that didn’t sound so disturbing when I said it in my head. Seriously though, psychological chillers bore the living crap out of me. I know, I know. There are going to be folks out there who’ll want to tar-and-feather me for said comment, but cut me some slack here people! That’s why Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavours of ice-cream. Not everyone likes strawberry.
Why should people read your work?
Man, is it getting warm in here? Somebody crack open a window or something. It’s long been my belief that some things simply go together. Peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, sex and horror, world-ending apocalypse-level danger and sarky one liners… Hey, don’t judge! They break up the tension and add a moment of levity to an otherwise hopeless situation! Any fan of Buckaroo Banzai, Big Trouble in Little China, Shaun of the Dead, The Road Warrior, or even the classic John Carpenter move – They Live – with “Rowdy Roddy Piper” can tell you, one liners (in the right situation) can save your ass. Yeah. I know. I probably watched the Star Wars Trilogy too many times growing up. “Han Solo humour” on the brain and all that.
Recommend a book.
Just one? Jeez, where to start…?
Rather than sticking to the ones other horror authors recommend, I’ll go a bit off the beaten path here. Simon R. Green’s first novel of the Forest Kingdom series. Sarcastic, sword-swingin’, fallible, imperfect men (he rides a unicorn, think about it) and women (she makes dragons cringe, think about that!) at their very best and worst vs. an army of every damn demon you can imagine. Ever.
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