What first attracted you to horror writing?
That would be Mr James Herbert, Mr Stephen King and Mr Guy N. Smith – all fabulous and different horror novelists in their own right, and a good dollop of my formative reading years. I love extremes of emotion, and these writers provided some pretty horrific storylines for me to digest as I was growing up. I still remember my hackles rising when the guy in Pet Sematary breaks into the graveyard and starts to dig up… well, you get my point. So, extremes of emotion – experiencing them, and then trying to provoke a similar effect in others.
Depends what you mean by notable. Each novel I’ve written is one of my little babies. Spiral is special because it was my first novel, a high-tech fast-paced thriller – with elements of horror. Then there’s War Machine, my first far-future SF novel. Biohell is my insane SF zombie novel (written because of my love of Shaun of the Dead). And Kell’s Legend is my twisted take on clockwork vampires… they’re all notable to me, and I seem to have a really broad fan base.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on an SF novel called Theme Planet for Solaris Books, and also a horror/thriller called Serial Killers New York, the follow up to Serial Killers Incorporated for Anarchy Books. And my final Clockwork Vampire novel Vampire Warlords is due out next month from Angry Robot Books.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
There’s a really good crop of upcoming horror writers whom I admire. I’ve just read the ARC of Gary McMahon’s The Concrete Grove, which was superb, along with McMahon’s Rain Dogs and Pretty Little Dead Things. I also very much enjoyed The Garbage Man by Joseph D’Lacey, and have big respect for the horror works of authors such as Mark Morris (Toady was awesome), Stephen Volk, Wayne Simmons, Conrad Williams… I could go on. And on.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I enjoy both, it depends on the story. I judge each story on its own merit, and indeed put elements of both gore, psychological chills and out-and-out insanity into my own work.
Why should people read your work?
No matter what genre I’m writing in, I focus on believable characters, fast-paced narrative, twists and turns and adventure, baby, adventure! I get bored easily, and there is no greater crime than writing something which is banal. I work damned hard to make sure each book punches you in the face, kicks you in the groin and makes off with your wallet. Probably with a drooling twisted monster carrying a severed, trailing spine in its fist.
Recommend a book.
Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon – awesome.