What first attracted you to horror writing?
I think it was to do with moods and atmospheres. I liked that sensation of being spooked by things not quite seen, both in film and books. One of the first horror films I saw – Night of the Demon – was all about the panic that gripped the characters (and the viewer) as something awful, but offscreen (until the unfortunate ending), came for them. It terrified me.
That’s not really for me to say, but I’d point to One and Loss of Separation. They’re the most personal of my novels.
What are you working on now?
I’m planning a novel set in France, loosely connected to my previous ex-pat stories The Owl and Rain. It’s about a writer.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Tessier, T.E.D. Klein, HP Lovecraft, MR James.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Psychological chills, by a long way. I know I’ve painted some pretty red scenes in my own books, but they’re done with restraint, believe me. Less is more, descriptively and content-wise.
Why should people read your work?
Again, this isn’t really a question for me, but I hope it would have plenty to do with good stories, sympathetic characters and well-crafted sentences.
Recommend a book.
I’ll recommend the one I’ve just finished. Trauma by Patrick McGrath. A brilliant novel by a brilliant writer.