Chris Wade is an English writer and illustrator based in Leeds. Starting his writing career editing Hound Dawg Magazine, which he still writes today, Wade went on to write surreal comedy fiction books such as Cutey and the Sofaguard. Audiobooks of his work have been narrated by UK comedians Rik Mayall and Charlie Chuck. Wade’s first horror book is Promiscuville: Rise of the Dead, the first in a series of zombies epics.
What first attracted you to horror writing?
Well I started my writing career in non-fiction with books on music and film, and my fiction began as surreal comedy. But I have always loved horror, especially zombies and I always had the desire to write a really decent, chilling, character-driven zombie piece. As a younger teen I used to create zombie comics, and was mad on Romero’s classic Dead films. So the fondness was always there and when I started the Promiscuville book at the end of last year I just couldn’t stop working on it. I enjoyed it so much it makes me wonder why I hadn’t tried to write horror earlier. I just loved setting up a dark atmosphere and trying to conjure up real dread in new and interesting ways: the freedom to go all-out and shock people, to outrage them, but at the same time engage them with the characters. I love keeping the reader on edge and them not knowing what might happen next. That’s what has appealed to me writing horror.
What is your most notable work?
I don’t know really because I’ve done a big mix of stuff in the past few years, some which has been well-received and other stuff that has kind of gone under the radar, which I don’t really mind as every piece of writing is as enjoyable to work on as the next. My most read work is Hound Dawg Magazine, which is a free arts online publication that I’ve done for about 3 years. I am also known for Cutey and the Sofaguard, which is quite obscure really. I did that as an audiobook with the English comedian Rik Mayall. I also wrote a book on Malcolm McDowell that has done well since it came out over three years ago. But I am really proud of Promiscuville: Rise of the Dead. That is one of my favourite pieces at the moment.
I have been editing the audiobook version of Promiscuville, which a great actor called Brian King has been working on for me. I also just did some work on a book about The Kinks, the old sixties band and the ongoing Hound Dawg Magazine. I have been getting together some short stories and a music project too, which should all come together soonish. I am going to start a follow up to Promiscuville soon and I can’t wait!
Who do you admire in the horror world?
I most admire George A Romero. I think he’s a genius of horror. No one can touch him.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I like both to mix together if they can. I mean, Romero’s work is gory but there is a point made as well – he always gives us decent characters. Then again, The Shining is one of my favourite films and that really goes inside Jack Torrance’s head, a purely psychological horror story if there ever was one. Promiscuville actually mixes these two aspects of horror, as we don’t know whether the main female character is mad, lying or telling the truth. Psychological twists and turns keep you guessing and that’s more fun.
Why should people read your work?
I don’t know why they should read it, but it’s brilliant if they do. I hope I write unpredictable stories. I try to take the reader inside the book, while constantly wondering what’s around the corner. A recent reviewer, on a zombie website, said that they felt like they were there with the characters in Promiscuville, so I guess that’s a good thing too.
Recommend a book.
HG Well’s War of the Worlds. It really conjures up dread!
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