What first attracted you to horror writing?
I’ve always had a dark side and showed a marked preference for horror books and movies at a young age. F. Paul Wilson’s The Keep was the first horror novel I ever read. My guidance counsellor always said I’d either be a serial killer or a horror novelist. Some days, especially after a shopping trip to Wal-Mart or a visit to the Post Office, I wonder if I made the correct choice…
What is your most notable work?
There aren’t many out there right now. I have short stories in the following anthologies: Damned If You Don’t (Triskaideka Books), M is for Monster (John Prescott), and The Book of Beltane (Hellfire Publishing). My novella, Home, was recently released from Hellfire Publishing as an ebook and paperback. The reviews of all my work have been uniformly positive so far, and I thank all of you for encouraging my behaviour. I also have a novel coming out in August from Hellfire entitled, Gothic Revival. As to my most notable work? That’s not for me to decide. That’s up to the readers who are kind enough to open up their wallets to purchase my work.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the middle of a novel entitled Noble Rot that I’m very excited about, and I can’t really tell you too much about it because the characters have taken over and are running amok – but in a good way. As a result, it is changing and evolving, and the only thing I am completely sure about at nearly three hundred pages into it, is how it is going to end. But getting there is more than half the fun, and this could be my best work yet. Right now I’m making decisions about which characters to kill off and when and how.
My favourite newcomers are Gina Ranalli, Gregory Funaro, Michael Bailey and Kaaron Warren. My favourite contemporary authors are Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, Tabitha King, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, The Mathesons (father and son), John Harwood, Susan Hill, Kit Reed, F. Paul Wilson, John Shirley. Favourite deceased authors: Shirley Jackson, Charles L. Grant, Wilkie Collins, Michael McDowell, M. R. James, and Poe, of course.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I write psychological suspense/paranormal thrillers, as I prefer to be psychologically chilled rather than covered in gore. I really detest slasher/splatter novels. Such writing seems less about the story and more about layer upon layer of blood coated shock. My work and the works of others to which I gravitate are not without this, but when it appears it is an essential part of the story, not the entire thing. But I must stress that this is a personal opinion/preference. Obviously there is a place for this sort of writing – the place just isn’t on my bookshelf. I have always preferred creepier more subtle horror. In my work, I go more for the “something isn’t quite right, but we’re not sure what it is” approach. I strive to keep my readers uneasy.
Why should people read your work?
Why not? It’s much less expensive than a movie, much less physically and mentally destructive than spending the evening in a bar, and much less frustrating than trying to watch a television show through all the omnipresent advertising. I’d say that’s a no-brainer. And not just my work either, though I’m grateful for every single reader I have. Just read! And read fiction because fiction is where the truth is.
Recommend a book.
Oh, only one?
To be self-serving, I’ll suggest that folks out there give my novella, HOME, a whirl – and to let me know what they think of it, good, bad or indifferent. I always want to hear from my readers – I love their feedback and I take it seriously and consider it carefully.
I’d recommend The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson to anyone who hasn’t read it. It is by far, in my opinion, the creepiest book ever written.
I’d also recommend Kaaron Warren’s novel, Slights and Gina Ranalli’s novella, House of Fallen Trees – two delightfully disturbing reads. If you want a terrific anthology that I have not already mentioned, try Pellucid Lunacy edited by Michael Bailey.