What first attracted you to horror writing?
I have been a fan of the horror genre for as long as I can remember. When I was only six I watched King Kong with my dad and it scared me for months! From that point on I wanted to see and read more. In my youth I was reading Guy N. Smith, James Herbert and Stephen King when they were at their most influential regarding the genre. I wanted to emulate them to some extent. I wrote to Guy many years later and explained this and he was kind enough to write back thanking me. That was a high point, believe me.
Until last year, I was known for my Beatrice Beecham adventure mystery series for YA. However, the release of my zombie book, Necropolis Rising, has brought much interest to my horror writing. So much so that Necropolis Rising became a #1 bestseller on Amazon UK. It has since been signed (along with its follow up) to Dark Continents Publishing and will be launched exclusively at this years World Horror Convention.
What are you working on now?
I have several projects in production. Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II is at the story treatment stage and will be released in 2012. I’m due to start editing Horror Showcase II, an anthology featuring four authors, all of which I admire: Stuart Neild, Ian Woodhead and the formidable Garry Charles. Then I will begin co-writing the seventh book in Guy N. Smith’s Night of the Crabs franchise. Campfire Chillers, a collection of ghost and horror stories for YA’s, is at my publishers, and is due for launch at this years’ British Fantasy Society’s Fantasy Con 2011.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
I’m a huge, dribbling buffoon when it comes to John Carpenter. The guy has created some of the most memorable movies this genre has seen over the past thirty years or so. I have to say George Romero too, I watched Dawn of the Dead when I was far too young but it fuelled my desire to write the kind of zombie book Necropolis Rising was to become many years later.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
This depends on what I want to say in the story I’m writing, what will work best to convey the message. My personal taste leans toward the psychology of violence. I find the implied has more of an effect on me than the graphic. However, I love the zombie genre, so graphic works fine in context.
Why should people read your work?
I like to think that my stories have a universal appeal despite the genre in which they sit. I try to inject elements that affect the humanity in the reader and as such tune them into caring about the characters that roam through the landscapes I create.
Recommend a book.
Gnomes by Stuart Neild is one of the most original and humourous horror books I’ve read in a while.