What first attracted you to horror writing?
I had always had an interest in all things scary and had been reading horror film magazines by the age of eight. Then my mom took me to Disneyland and I went to The Haunted Mansion! It changed my life. I begged her to buy the album for me before we left the park.
I listened to it over and over until it was scratched and warped. I thought there must be others like me who like scary stories so I started trying to write myself. I wrote a two page ghost story and one of the teachers in my grade school was impressed and he read it to the class.
After class all the kids were like, “wow you wrote that!” That was the beginning.
Probably my plays for the live theatre. Ironically all of those are comedies and British farces. I grew up in the sixties loving all things British – James Bond, The Avengers, The Beatles, Benny Hill. But my new novel An Apple For Zoe – The Forsaken is starting to get a lot of attention with some good reviews. It began as one novel and as I was at page 250 I realised there were a ton of questions unanswered and a lot more story still to tell, so I decided then, it was going to have to become a trilogy. That excited me, because I was just getting to know my characters and I wanted to spend a lot more time with them.
What are you working on now?
Book two of the trilogy An Apple For Zoe – The Wicked.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Of course everyone says Stephen King, but he’s become sort of our Grandaddy. Just like so many bands started bands because of The Beatles. Most horror writers cut their teeth on Stephen King. But I love also William Peter Blatty and Richard Matheson, especially his book Hell House. I love to read true crime and Robert Graysmith tops my list with Zodiac.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Oh give me those psychological chills baby! That is what I love most in a film or book. There is nothing spookier than reading and suddenly feeling the need to get up and check the door to be sure it’s locked. When I was a teen I went backpacking for a week and stupidly brought this book with me called, The Day of The Animals. The back of the book says: “For years we’ve hunted them…now it’s their turn.” Every single bird, or noise I heard, had me on edge all week. Psychological to me is always so much scarier because all the scares are magnified in your mind, that’s what makes Jaws a scary film, because we couldn’t see the shark ripping that girl to bits in the beginning but we sure imagined it.
Why should people read your work?
Because they need some fresh new scares, and while I don’t usually go for the gore, I know how to rip the heart from an innocent bystander. Also, I’m giving everyone a break from vampires and werewolves. My goal is to be a name people think of when they think ‘horror novel’.
Recommend a book.
Hungry For You by A.M. Harte. It’s about zombies and zombie love…I know but hear me out. I don’t care for zombies I just don’t, but she put together a book of short stories with a fresh new twist and there is one story in particular that actually scared me called Dead Man’s Rose. I’ve got chills just thinking about it now!