What first attracted you to horror writing?
I read Stephen King’s The Stand in sixth grade. I can’t say I understood it all at the time, but I was drawn in to both the human side of horror – the plague and the struggle to survive the aftermath – and the supernatural battle between good and evil. It was the first book I’d read where everything didn’t come out okay for the good guys, and it sent the first shivers up my spine. A year later I read Alfred Hitchcock’s Stories to Stay Awake By – at night, of course – and that clinched it; I loved those shivers, and I wanted to share.
Love Bites, a novella published by Pterotype Digital. The zombie apocalypse serves as a backdrop for the real terror of what human beings are capable of. ‘Snapshot’ is forthcoming from The Uninvited Magazine next month, a gruesome story of the perfect family.
What are you working on now?
Special Dead is the sequel to an as-yet unpublished novel Twice Shy, which follows a dead girl through the trials of junior year as a closeted zombie. Dark humour, a little undead gore, and gag-inducing teenaged angst blend together in this high school satire.
Recovery is a crime thriller coming out next year through Cogito Medias, and I’m working on the sequel with my twin brother.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Kaaron Warren, author of Slights, is a twisted genius; her manipulation of voice is outright stunning. I’ve always loved Clive Barker, even at his weirdest, and H.P. Lovecraft as well. Dan Simmons is a spectacular storyteller. The giants: Gaiman, King, Koontz, Straub, Little – they’ve all influenced my writing in one way or another.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Psychological chills, and personal ones at that. For my late-night reading, the best horror is found in oneself. The occasional demonic bloodbath or skulking serial killer is great fun, but I want to be left wondering if I’d have done the same thing as the characters, and how I’d feel about it if I had.
The horror is internal, personal, and even in a world without zombies, it should make you wonder whose side you’re on.
Recommend a book.
Perhaps my favourite horror novel of all time is Dan Simmons’s Carrion Comfort. From the opening slaughter to the last page, I had to call in sick to work to finish it in one sitting.