What first attracted you to horror writing?
I never really considered myself a horror writer exclusively – I like to think of myself as an author of dark speculative fiction, which can range from fantasy to horror to science fiction. In fact if you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I would have told you that I hated horror (I scare easily), and that I never read or write any! It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve begun experimenting with horror as a genre, first by writing little drabbles on my blog, and then working my way up to writing a full-length anthology.
I think what attracted me to the genre is that it gives me the chance to explore the fundamentals of human nature. You are most yourself in an extreme situation; your true colours shine through when it’s a question of life and death. Horror is about testing these limits, pushing past the boundaries, and there’s something very satisfying in exploring these kinds of situations.
I would hesitate to describe any of my work as notable, but perhaps the best one to point out at the moment is Hungry For You, an anthology of delicious zombie love stories which take a hard look at love and death, because at the end of the day, what else is there to write about?
The collection is a study of extremes, from all-enduring love to twisted relationships, from traditional brain-eating zombies to thinking, sentient creatures. Perhaps my favourite description of the book is from one of my reviewers, Lauren Smith (from Violin in a Void) who said: “Hungry For You makes zombies less scary, more revolting, but also morbidly fascinating. It’s smart and spunky, bringing together horror, tragedy, romance and dark humour.”
What are you working on now?
I’m currently polishing off my first novel, Above Ground, which will be published September of this year. It’s a dystopian science fantasy set in a world where humans live underground and the infected – vampires, werewolves, etc – live on the surface. I’ve been working on this novel for two years now and am very excited to have the end in sight!
Above Ground is more of an adventure story, but never fear, I haven’t forgotten about my horror fans! As a matter of fact, I’m also working on DarkSight, a horror novella which will launch in February of next year. The story follows Maeve, an Irish small-town girl who moves to London only to realise she can see demons… and now they can see her.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
I have very much enjoyed works by Zoe E Whitten; I’d recommend checking out her very creepy Haunting Sins.
I respect Lori Titus, who is not only a great author, but also the editor of Flashes in the Dark, a horror flash fiction ezine. With regards to her novels, I’d specifically recommend her zombie western Lazarus.
Finally, for those of you who are fans of shorts stories, be sure to check out Adam Maxwell’s Chills, Kills & Snowflakes, which you can download for free on his website.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Psychological chills, hands down! Only because I have a delicate stomach and can’t handle the gore.
Why should people read your work?
Because it’s unlike anything you’ll have come across before. Because it’s about humanity and inner struggles, and the fight for survival. And lastly, and most importantly, because I’ll love you forever and ever if you do.
Recommend a book.
Other than the three titles I mentioned, I’d like to recommend The Antithesis by Terra Whiteman – a science fantasy about heaven, hell, and the jury that holds them together. It’s gritty, dark, and utterly addictive.