TIH 469: Will Carver on Suicide Thursday, The Daves Next Door, and Crop Circle Theories

TIH 469 Will Carver on Suicide Thursday, The Daves Next Door, and Crop Circle Theories

In this podcast, Will Carver talks about Suicide Thursday, The Daves Next Door, crop circle theories, and much more.

About Will Carver

Will Carver is the author of books such as Suicide Thursday, Good SamaritansNothing Important Happened Today, and Psycopaths Anonymous.

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Michael David Wilson 0:28

Welcome to This Is Horror Podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson. And every episode alongside my co host we chat were masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now today's guest is will cover. He returns to the podcast for the second time this year. And he returns because he has got a new book out suicide Thursday. It is absolutely fantastic. I do urge that you go out and you preorder that right now. And he's also released the Daves next door. Another fantastic book. So even though we spoke to him eight months ago, he's already released another two books. So he will cover it's getting pretty prolific, he'll be giving the likes of Stephen Graham Jones a run for his money. And I know in the intro, I said we talk to masters of horror. But actually we'll cover is a master of crime fiction but it's pretty unique in the way that I would say offers like Jack, Paula Nick, and Yan Niven and Bret Easton Ellis to name but a few that difficult to actually pinpoint into a genre. So we'll kind of blend social commentary horror, crime thriller, is just a fantastic, unique writer. He's also with a fantastic publishing house, a render books. So if you haven't checked out on a render title, do look into them as well, because they are doing fantastic work. Now, as with a lot of our podcast conversations, this is a two parter. And in this part, we do dip in to suicide Thursday, we talk about Twin Peaks, David de Cavani, crop circle theories, and a lot lot more. If you want to be listening to the whole conversation in one go, then you can do that via our Patreon, which is patreon.com. Forward slash This Is Horror. That is also a way that you can submit questions to the podcast. But as you will find out in part two, there are people like Chris Hooli, who try and sabotage the Patreon without even paying money. So unbelievable little reference to a joke for the next episode. Is that good podcasting? For part one to have a reference to part two? I don't know. But if you want to hear that, you do have to listen to the next episode. And instead of me rambling on, let's just go for a quick advert break.

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Michael David Wilson 4:41

Okay, well without further ado, it is well Carver on dare says Hara Well, welcome back to This Is Horror.

Will Carver 4:55

Hello. Thanks for having me. I feel like I was only here a minute ago.

Michael David Wilson 4:59

Yeah. It does feel like it was only yesterday. But in fact, if the website is telling the truth, it was eight months ago already.

Will Carver 5:09

Wowza. Wow. I could have nearly had a child in that time.

Michael David Wilson 5:14

Yeah. Yeah. And as far as you're aware, did you?

Will Carver 5:20

I mean, it could be dotted all over the country. No. No, I didn't know.

Michael David Wilson 5:31

I've derailed it before we've even really asked the question. This is what happens when I co host with Dan.

Will Carver 5:40

Bad Influence.

Dan Howarth 5:42

I'm not even said anything yet.

Will Carver 5:46

It's your presence.

Michael David Wilson 5:51

This cheeky corruptive or

Dan Howarth 5:55

sour? We live up north, you should try.

Michael David Wilson 5:59

Yeah. So I mean, in those eight months, what have been the biggest changes for you both personally and professionally?

Will Carver 6:09

Oh, gosh. Well, you might I don't know if it's been picked up. But we're having like an extension on the house. And there's guys outside taking down the scaffolding today. Perfect timing. They were supposed to be Wednesday. They thought oh, no will come when he's recording something. So yeah, that's been disruptive. They'd like it on a personal level, just like knocking through walls, the house is in complete disarray. And that kind of affects the writing a bit because I don't know I like to, before I start writing something, I like to make sure everything's tidy. And in place that it's that my mind is tidy, as well, you know, so that's been going on, but I still have still written. I can't think eight months. What have I written in eight months? I've probably written another book. Yeah, I have.

Michael David Wilson 6:57

Yeah. I did a little bit on here already.

Will Carver 7:02

I know. I'm just trying. I'm just trying to think what I've done. I think obviously, I was finishing off suicide Thursday, which is out this month, blimey, this month, in a few weeks, and then I've kind of half written something else that I just wanted to do for myself, just to take a break from, you know, everything I'm scheduled to do. And then I two, three days ago, I started writing a sequel to The Beresford. Because that's kind of like a TV thing that was happening. That was like the interest. I think the last time we spoke that's kind of coming off now. And it's in development. So I was like, oh, yeah, let's let's write sequel.

Michael David Wilson 7:44

Yeah, yeah. That sounds pretty exciting. And I mean, I wonder in terms of having like, such a lot of chaos going on with the scaffolding and all of that. I mean, do you normally right, in silence Do you normally write to music? And so has that logistically created a complication to or do you have very good noise cancelling headphones?

Will Carver 8:15

All of those I sometimes I need it to be absolutely deathly silent. But a lot of the time Yeah, I have. I've got like, yeah, noise cancelling headphones, and I whacked some, some music on with something that doesn't have lyrics. Yeah. And yeah, and then just disappear into my head for a bit. So it's been all right, really. I mean, you go to cafes, you learn to tune out like, you know, mothers meetings and kids screaming and whatever. Old people falling over, whatever you tune in,

Dan Howarth 8:49

I find that a very interesting statement from you. Well, because having read your books, I would have imagined that you're the type who's like, grinding his teeth and right in the horrific deaths of those around you who distracting you? Well, I

Will Carver 9:02

yeah, I do. I do that sometimes. And I, I, you know, I used to work selling computers for a living when I when I finished university, and I met a lot of truly heinous people that I've kind of, I've hung on to them, and I use them quite a lot in the books or not, if that gets me in trouble. I make them all up.

Dan Howarth 9:29

leads me onto a direct question about your latest book if it's okay to jump into that. So suicides Thursday. So I was thinking about this when I was reading it. And I guess the question is like the portrait, I've got to be careful what I say here because I work in an office currently. And who was it that traumatized you so much? I mean, your portrayal of office life is so hateful yet accurate. It's and I know that that's not your current role, is it? So I'm just wondering, you know, can you expect And some more about how office life kind of scarred you in that way and informed You're right. And because it is absolutely on point so much of what you write about that kind of environment.

Will Carver 10:09

Yes. Well, I mean, when I finished university, I went and worked for Dell computers, massive computer company. And it was, is odd because you could kind of walk past your manager in the hallway, and they don't know who you are, there's so many people. So that that was, that was quite an experience. I remember I was on holiday, once in, I was in Singapore at the time, and my manager called me because they needed to get into my computer. And he needed my password. And my password was Dell is hell. And I had to tell him, so he could get in and get a file off it. But But actually, that wasn't too bad. It was I then I moved to a much smaller company. And that's kind of where I think I've got all of all of the stuff I use in in, in suicide Thursday, it was a very small office, dark and damp with bars on the windows. And yeah, it was just it was run very badly. And the you know, the managing director was who isn't exactly the the guy in in suicide, there's a but he did have like a glass office that you could like, all the walls are made out of glass, and he would sit there with his feet up all day just talking on the phone doing God knows what. And then he'd come out and shout at us and then go back in. Yeah, so that's, that's where a lot of the do true office comes from. I'm not gonna say the name of the company, they're gone. Now. They went bust, funnily enough.

Dan Howarth 11:45

Yeah, I'm sure that some of the stragglers still remain in that sector as well don't make so I'm sure you could be tracked down by some of those people, if worse came to worst. But well, I mean, in terms of so insert, in terms of what you kind of wrote in suicide Thursday, is that something that you kind of personally went through the soul crushing office life? And did that inform your decisions to kind of become a writer and you know, write as prolifically as you currently do?

Will Carver 12:15

I used to, on my lunch break, when I worked there. I used to go out into my car and either read a book, or take a laptop, and I was trying to write a book. And they all just thought I was a weirdo. Like one because I read why would you read books? There's movies, you know? So yeah, I mean, it was like a little piece of me was dying every day that I was working there. Because it wasn't what I wanted to do. And I was trying so hard to, to write all the time, any time any, any chance, I got to squeeze in something. And so I spent a lot of time in my car and my lunch and, and writing or reading. Yeah, I think I think it helped me, you know, because it it just pushed me I hated it. So, so much. I mean, I've never, never had so much money in my life as when I was doing that. But I was miserable.

Dan Howarth 13:11

Yeah, it's a difficult it's difficult compromise, isn't it? I mean, I remember a similar kind of thing. When I was working at one of my old jobs on a like the canteen was quite open plan. And I was doing one of my biannual rereads of Fight Club. Yeah. And this bloke I didn't even know came over to me when films are made.

Will Carver 13:31

I mean, yes. Good.

Dan Howarth 13:32

How long have you got apart?

Will Carver 13:35

Yeah, well, yeah, I know, people don't don't quite understand us. All right, you know, but, you know, we have to talk about it.

Dan Howarth 13:44

You can you can see that I clearly don't want to engage with you right now, mate. Can you just let me get on with my own life for half an hour while I sandwich? What

Will Carver 13:51

is that thing that people think that when you're reading, they can just come and interrupt you and talk to you? It's like, I'm actually doing something, you know, the stock wouldn't go up someone in the cinema and say, Well, how are you doing? You know, why they come up to me? I'm sitting on a bench or whatever reading.

Michael David Wilson 14:07

Yeah, yeah. See, so

Dan Howarth 14:08

some of my office hatred will come out now. Because it's when people come up to and go, I know you're on your lunch. Yeah, she can fuck off. And

Will Carver 14:18

yeah, yeah. Well, that's it like you get those people who kind of they, they work through their lunch every day, and they think they're being really productive. And, and obviously, there's a guy in suicide Thursday, who gets into work early every day, and he's always the last one to leave. But he's, he's not actually doing anything. And, I mean, yeah, there was a guy like that where I work but there's, there's people like that in every office. I think that you know, that they want to portray that they're, they're, you know, deeply involved in they love the company, but really, they're, they're not doing anything. Yeah, it's frustrating.

Dan Howarth 14:55

I was just gonna say he was the one of the characters that really like struck a chord. I just thought That was that particular character was so accurate of the kind of company men or women in some cases that you find in these places. It's like, you know, cut me and I believe, you know, Dell computers. Yeah, Dell computers don't care about you, Paul.

Will Carver 15:15

You are. You are replaceable tomorrow. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think I think anyone who's worked in an office who likes suicide Thursday, because it? Yeah, I tried to capture, capture that as well as I can.

Michael David Wilson 15:32

Yeah, I know, the characters and the things you were talking about are completely relatable. And I think as well, you're talking about, you know, personally, you go into you car to either write or read. I mean, anyone who's a writer and has worked in an office can relate to that. I mean, as soon as it was lunchtime, when I had an office job, it's like, right, get as far away from the actual office as I can. So I can do some writing. And I know that, Dan, I don't know, if you still do, but certainly often used to go to the library. It's like, let's go, you know, out of the building and surround myself with literature.

Dan Howarth 16:13

Absolutely. I won't work anywhere that doesn't have a library over the road. That's, that's my one stipulation of finding a new job. So last three jobs I've had literally over the street and I just backpack on CLA a lot. And just straight over to the library to do some writing.

Will Carver 16:30

Well, imagine, imagine you in a in an interview, like, what's the proximity?

Dan Howarth 16:37

Library? Salary? not bothered? Where's the library? Yeah,

Michael David Wilson 16:41

exactly. So organize these already scoped out all the libraries in the area before the interview, there is no fucking interview if there isn't a library. Right? I could have seen suicides Thursday, we have the protagonist, Eli, who has written 733 first chapters. So I wonder, what is your record for first chapters?

Will Carver 17:15

I don't know I am. So this book was the first book I ever wrote. Back, I don't know in 2002, maybe I started writing this. It was originally called first chapter, I had this idea because I think I was this is when I decided at university, I was gonna write a novel. And I was trying to come up with ideas. And I wrote the first chapter, and I wrote another one. And I thought, oh, wouldn't it be interesting if there was a writer who could only write first chapters? So that's kind of that's where it came from myself. I don't know how many I've written 50. I had because I had to write I had to write some for for the book because just to get a flavor of Eli, and you know that they're not necessarily related to the story, but they are some of his first chapter I thought that would be, that'd be a cool thing to do. I mean, I liked the idea of maybe just having loads of his first chapters tell somehow tell a story. But that was, that was too hard. Right?

Michael David Wilson 18:20

Right. No, I was gonna ask if any of the lines first chapters were first chapters from older works of yours that didn't get any further?

Will Carver 18:32

Yes. So the second part, there's a, there's a chapter, a first chapter of a book called Fielding, where the guy his like, his parents create him within a crop circle. And they don't age and he, and he does. That was that was an idea I had while I was at university because I, I made a documentary about crop circles and the crop circle community. I got really into it. And I don't know where that idea came from. Oh, no, I don't know where the idea came from. I interviewed someone. And they told me that they were, I think they told me they were in their parents were in a crop circle. They were in a field as a crop circle formed and one of them went deaf. I thought that is brilliant. And then and then I added kind of, and they don't age. on it. I riff on it a bit. So yeah, that was a first chapter idea that that I did have that but that never went anywhere. It just stayed kind of in a file on my desktop for a rainy day, and then I, I adjusted it so that it fit so that it fit the story of it.

Michael David Wilson 19:42

Yeah. And you said you got really into the crop circle community. So what are some little known facts about the crop circle community?

Will Carver 19:54

Well, you know, they're real. They're really good bunch. I think there was something came out on the news that there was these two guys, these two old men who were making all of the crop circles, like they they came out saying, We're the people making all the crop circles, it's not aliens or balls of light or whatever. These two guys would like a plank, and some wood, and they kind of step on it and push down all the crops and form these shapes. And I mean, that's kind of bullshit, because there's only like four hours of darkness at the time of year when these crop circles form. And these old men couldn't have made, you know, some nights there are like eight and they're across the country. It's like, there's no way these guys are. And so they kind of kind of said, Yeah, we're making no, but we do about 80% of them. And, and the community I worked with were like, that's fine. If they do, where are the other 20% coming from? And I just thought, it's such a such a great way to look at things that they're not the one saying they're all made by aliens or balls of light. They're saying, what about the ones that aren't made by these two old men? And I just think they're real level kind of community. But there's there is also some weird, weird shit going on. I mean, some videos they showed me, that would just just blew my mind of stuff over like circles being formed. One guy gave me a video and he said the guy, he got it off. He made it public. And then he disappeared. And they've never seen him again. They hired a private investigator to find out where he was. And the guy just disappeared off the face of the earth. So yeah, I mean, it was, it was really interesting. They were a lovely, kind of geeky bunch really. But interesting as hell.

Dan Howarth 21:49

Have you have you read the perfect golden circle by Benjamin Meyers. That's a book that might well appeal to you. It's about what happened. We make crop circles. It's kind of like detectorists in a novel. Yeah. Yes. I listened to it on the audio book on Audible. Those it was really good, actually is. It's just kind of quite a charming portrayal of the people in this community. I think you'd probably really enjoy that based on what you've just been saying.

Will Carver 22:14

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I'll give that I look up. Yeah, I just, oh, well, I love anything like that. I mean, just, you know, I think everything i i write eventually, if you look far enough back, I'm influenced by either the X Files or Twin Peaks. And I think, you know, I'm kind of into all that. esoteric stuff like unexplained things. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 22:41

Yeah. Are you so into twin peaks that you referenced it in? Hinton Harlow was the population of the town.

Will Carver 22:49

I did. I did. I did. I must have done 30 Twin Peaks references in that I even the names of, of the chapters. There's one call there was a chapter in there. It's just called How's Annie, which is not the last thing that said in the last episode. Oh, yeah. The hot fish in the percolator? I use that as well. That's like, the first line. One of the first one that Yeah, yeah. So there's loads in that book. But yeah, I do. I just, I can't help but put these little easter eggs in. I love it. And there's loads. There's loads in in suicide Thursday as well. I have, you know, don't want to spoil anything. But Maeve from psychopaths anonymous shows. Has a little cameo is great, because I just, she's just my favorite character. So it's great to get her get her in it. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 23:41

Yeah, I think that Maeve is a bit of a carver fan favorite, it seems you know, talking to other readers that everyone loves maybe maybe not a role model as such, but certainly very entertaining character.

Will Carver 23:55

I have a lot of female readers who who who love her and you know you shouldn't but but you do. I don't I don't know how to explain that. But But yeah, she she definitely struck a chord with with read

Michael David Wilson 24:12

with a female in particular, maybe you know, she's doing things and vicariously they're getting to do the things they wanted to do through Maeve.

Will Carver 24:21

I think yeah, I think you're right. I think you're right, I think and you know, the male readers liked her as well. Even though they shouldn't get She's dangerous but

Dan Howarth 24:30

yeah, this there's really something about her though. Like she kind of like fizzes on the page every time she's on there. And I think maybe I'm sure my kind of, you know, ignorance of books I've not read but there is a bit of a shortage of those kind of female anti heroes. She's almost like a Steven stealthbox kind of character who's female. I'm not sure if you've read any John Evans books, but um, but yeah, like she just hasn't That kind of vibe about her. And I think that does make quite unique because you don't often see, you know, that kind of cast or that type of character in a female form really and infection, or at least I've not come across

Will Carver 25:14

and nonfiction as well, if you look at all the, the kind of serial killer psychopath documentaries and things that get made and, and and fiction, you know, that dharma thing that was made was massive. But there's, you know, I can only think of alien warned us as as like a female version and I think yeah, I think there is there's there's a lack of it isn't there? But that's because in real life there isn't there

Michael David Wilson 25:43

to well, mate, maybe. But as you're saying that it's making me think as a female serial killer is just a hell of a lot better at it than the male ones. So we're saying all that there's not many of them know, there's just not many of them to get caught. And well, that's there's many female serial killers that does a lot bloody better at their job.

Will Carver 26:03

I think I think that is it. Yeah, yeah, they're just better at it.

Michael David Wilson 26:10

But I still want to go back to the crop circles, because we've got these two men claiming that they do an 80% of them. But what are some of the theories that people have for the other 20%? And in your time researching things, what would you speculate could perhaps be the reason for 20% of these scrubs, crop circles?

Will Carver 26:38

I don't know. But I have seen, I have seen things. So the video that I was sent was, it was just like a dark night and this ball of light comes down. Over this field swirls around in a circle as it does everything all the crop lays down in a circle, and then the the ball of light goes off. And the guy who who filmed it, that that disappeared. Yeah, he didn't have like back then they didn't have like cool editing equipment that he could use. And he basically filmed it and gave it to someone. And they then examined this, this footage, and they zoomed in on the ball of light. And within the light, you can see other balls within it kind of spinning round. And they're saying like he had no time to edit something together and put special effects in in the time that it took for the crop circle to be formed. To then giving him giving them the video, I thought. I mean, that is crazy. I mean, I haven't seen any balls of light or anything. But I did. I went to interview a couple of crop circle enthusiasts at this crop circle pub in near Salisbury. And when I went there, a crop circle of formed the, the, like an hour or so before and they were like, Oh, do you want to come down there, we'll do the interview there. And so yeah, took all the camera equipment and went down there. And it was in a field of like oilseed rape, which is like the sticks are like, like celery. So like, you know, if you've ever tried to bend celery, you can't always snaps. And this, this crop circle, all all of the stalks in it were bent down, they weren't, they weren't snaps, it wasn't a guy with a plank of wood. You know, because if you'd used a plank of wood, all of the all of the stocks would have snapped, but they'd all bent and there was some scientists there who suggested that it in order for that to happen, it had to have been heated up really quickly. And that and that would cause them to bend rather than break. And I just thought I don't have an explanation for that. And they didn't either. So yeah, I think no one knows. And I think that's why they they meet and talk about it and it but they don't say that they know they don't think it is anything. They just don't know what it is. And they and they look into it.

Michael David Wilson 29:18

Yeah, so that their whole kind of purpose is to almost try and unravel this bizarre mystery and find out what's going on.

Will Carver 29:28

Yeah, exactly that. Yeah, they don't know if they if they did know that. They'd be happy. I mean, they wouldn't have anything to do. But But yeah, like it's the it's the skeptics that are all like no, it's they they're definite that it's just too old guys with with planks whereas, whereas the people who believe it and are interested, then they're not saying anything for definite and I quite liked that about the community that they weren't just a bunch of kind of conspiracy theorists or anything like that, I'll tell you that when we went to that crop circle the the camera equipment wouldn't work inside it. I thought that was weird as well. Yeah, we could film we could film outside, we could literally, we could film outside it as soon as you went inside that none of the equipment work.

Michael David Wilson 30:17

Yeah. And the interesting thing or something like that is, you know, there could conceivably be for scientific or do some other kind of supernatural or what have you. explanation?

Will Carver 30:31

Yeah, definitely. I mean, yeah, it could be it could be something to do with. I know, something under the earth or something electric. You know, I don't know. You know, we know that. Like, sometimes our phones cut out and things and yeah, so. But it was just really interesting.

Michael David Wilson 30:49

I just think as human beings we are endlessly fascinated by the unexplainable. I mean, that's why the extra house was so damn popular.

Will Carver 30:59

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. I think. Yeah, because we want answers, don't we? That's that's the thing.

Dan Howarth 31:08

Yeah, I definitely think you had a very strong Fox Mulder vibe back then. Well, I'm getting that that kind of impression from you.

Will Carver 31:15

Or he's he was everything to me. Still is a bit he still is a bit. I've just, honestly I just I love David to coffee and in everything. He was in Twin Peaks, too, for for a few episodes. And then, obviously after that, Californication where he plays that's it. I just love Hank moody. He's, what a character.

Michael David Wilson 31:37

Have you read his novels?

Will Carver 31:40

No, I you kind of I want to and I don't, you know, I want to keep Fox Mulder perfect. But I think you know, he's a smart dude. So yeah, I don't see why, why they wouldn't be good. Have you?

Michael David Wilson 31:54

I haven't yet for similar reasons to you. But I know our friends that the now defunct podcast booked podcasts, they've read his books, and they actually got to interview him. So nice spoke with David the company. Do I spoke with

Will Carver 32:11

Fox Mulder? Oh, that's amazing.

Michael David Wilson 32:17

But I mean, my understanding is that they enjoyed the book that they read of his and they've they are men of discerning tastes. So yeah, maybe we've all just got to check it out. I know. He's got like, I think five or six books now.

Will Carver 32:36

He's quite the renaissance man. Actually. He liked like tours, doing music and things now as well. He's like in a band.

Michael David Wilson 32:42

Yeah. Maybe we've got to get him on. This Is Horror. We've got to read the books, and then invite him onto the show.

Will Carver 32:52

Oh, yeah. Do that and invite me on so I can ask him questions that we great. Yeah. Well, yeah.

Michael David Wilson 33:00

I mean, you haven't gone as far as to say him, but I think it's implied that he is in fact your hero.

Will Carver 33:08

Yes, I've got I've got a soft spot for him. I think. Yeah. It makes me feel things.

Dan Howarth 33:18

I was just gonna say sticking on like The X Files theme. Have you ever thought of like exploring like that kind of supernatural kind of, you know, overtly kind of horror stylings or themes or plots within any of your novels or?

Will Carver 33:33

Well, yeah, I have my first series, the January David's series. I mean, the detective kind of he sees a cryptic version of a crime that's going to be committed 24 hours before it does. So I can I, you know, I think that's that counts are supernatural. Even though I tried to kind of pass it off as intuition, rather than kind of visions because readers were getting annoyed that it had supernatural elements. That No, no, it's not supernatural. Please buy the next one. Yes. So So I have Yeah, I love all of that stuff. So. So yeah. And I mean, if you look at the Beresford as well, I mean, that's that's pushing. pushing things. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, you can tell that I'm interested in it because it always sneaks in in some way and hints and hollow you know, evil, you know, I think so. Yeah. I do it all the time, in fact, and I hadn't realized

Dan Howarth 34:33

I would do I would say that your books are kind of almost filler software called horror. I would probably categorize those books that you've mentioned us. The Dave's next door. Oh, yeah. forgot that. Kind of falls into that as

Will Carver 34:48

well. Yeah. God, you know, I, I'd forgotten that that I'd have had a book out this year already. The days next door. It just kind of came in and went Yeah, I think yeah, philosophical horror. I like that. Yeah. They're always trying to put me into some kind of pigeon hole. And no, no one's found one yet. So maybe you're onto something. I'll pass that on.

Dan Howarth 35:12

Yeah, no problem, I only charge a small fee. So

Will Carver 35:17

good, I'll let them know. And, and they and you have to be within a certain distance of a library or you will explode.

Dan Howarth 35:26

Yeah, thank you. I only have one specific need. I'm glad you've you've picked up on it. I think that's one of the reasons why we were so keen to get you back though lows, you know, Michael saying at the start is eight months since you've been back on but I mean, in that time, you know, you've you've released to, you know, really quite different books as well. What is it that kind of brings you to the to the desk when you sit down to write an idea, because clearly, you've got loads of them swirling around. So what what, you know, what kind of marks each book out as the next one that you want to pursue? Because, you know, each each one has a different, different kind of feel to it and a different a different way in which you're kind of taking your writing in kind of experimental, different ways.

Will Carver 36:13

Yeah, I think all of my books start with me, just being pissed off about something I've said this before, like, I'll just, I'll get annoyed with, you know, something that's happened on the news or, you know, something I've read about religion or, or something someone's posted online on social media, that's kind of that triggers me. But usually, when I'm finding this now that I've kind of put a few books out in a row is that it's always the book that I've written before. You know, I'm partway through and and it sparks an idea for me. And then I write the next book about about that. So each previous book kind of informs the next one. And I think, obviously, when I wrote, what was it a hint and holo, and I was thinking about, I was talking about evil, evil is my narrator. And I started thinking about what was good and what was evil. And what was important and what people really want from from life. And that kind of then informed the Beresford where it was all about, what are our deepest desires and dreams? And what would we what is how low would we go to obtain those things. And then I think that whatever I was writing in that then made me think of the next book. And I think I took that to, to the extreme with the Dave's next door. And, you know, what we perceive as, as evil. And, and I was, I was just really, I wanted to talk about, like, what, what we see as evil and and with the terrorist character in the days next door, I wanted him talking directly to the reader set saying, you know, I never mentioned what he looked like. And then at one point, he says, Are you picturing me as, like a 20 year old Muslim man? And I wanted to kind of, because we have these kind of preconceptions, don't worry that that that a terrorist might look that way. And really, you know, a lot of terrorism that goes on our, you know, white men with guns, but you know, in America, there's more, there's more there than there are people blowing up, you know, tubes and things. So yeah, I think I think that came from, from the bears. But what is good, what is evil? What do we see? As evil? And how do we see it? So? So yeah, a lot of the time, it's just, I'll finish a book, and thank God that sparked an idea in my head, and then I sit down and write the next one.

Michael David Wilson 38:57

Yeah. The character in the day is next door. I mean, you gave yourself the challenge of having him only ask questions throughout the entire novel. Yeah. I mean, that's got to have been a grueling process. So I mean, talk us through that initial idea. And then I mean, what what was it like in terms of the actual creation? Did you at any point regret having decided to do this?

Will Carver 39:32

Yes. i Yeah. I mean, it's, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I read a book four or five years ago, called the interrogative mood or something. And this guy just written a whole book where every sentence was a question. But it wasn't it wasn't telling a story. It was just question after question after question. And I kind of started I was like, That was a good idea here somewhere, but it was, but there's no story here. It's just random stuff all the way through. And I liked the idea that I always I always try to have sections of my books where where you talk directly to the reader and like draw them into the book or kind of knock them out of the story and make them think. And I like the idea that this this terrorist is kind of, he doesn't know whether he wants to do this thing or not. And he's, it's good that he is questioning everything. Because I feel like like the way information is disseminated. Now, you know, people don't question they see something online, they're like, oh, that's the truth. I'll go and tell someone else that and it's not. And it's such a such a big thing, the idea of being a suicide bomber, I mean, that. Forget brainwashing forget, forget everything, you still have to press that button and the things that must go through your head. And so I thought, yeah, you know, this guy should be there, questioning everything before he makes this crazy decision. And I remembered this book, and is there a way of having someone ask themselves question after question after question, but also propel the story forward? And the answer is yes, I think and when I first started doing it, I was like, these are so much fun to write, trying to do have everything as a question. And, and, and still tell a story. And then after about five of them as this is getting hard. And so I think if you, if you go back through that book, you'll see that towards the end, those chapters get shorter and shorter. Because because it is difficult. And but but also, you have that problem of it, looking like a gimmick. You know, it's like oh, what's what's the what's the gimmick in this world comic book? Oh, he's doing a chapters where they're all questions and and I don't want that because the idea behind it was to get in this the psychology of this, the suicide bomber, but also have the reader. I wanted them to read every question and answer it in their head without realizing that they were answering it as they as as as they were going along. So yeah, there they are. They were difficult to write, but they they started off quite fun.

Dan Howarth 42:31

I'll give you a lot of credit. Well, I thought that they were getting more urgent questions towards the end. That's why you were getting fewer of them.

Will Carver 42:38

Yes. Well, there was that. I mean, in the editing process, you know, it was suggested to me that I was putting too many kind of jokey bits in because I like to kind of, you know, punctuate something serious with with it with it with something like darkly comedic if I can. And I think I was doing it a bit too much towards the end, and it needed to be more urgent, as you say, because he was getting closer and closer to the to the moment of truth.

Dan Howarth 43:08

Yeah, that was that was certainly my reading of it.

Will Carver 43:11

Yeah, I think you're right. Oh,

Dan Howarth 43:13

good. That's a really.

Michael David Wilson 43:17

Yeah, I mean, I think that Dave's next door may be your most ambitious book. And I mean, it's interesting that if you go through the reviews for it, the vast majority of them essentially say, I loved it, but how the fuck do I review or even explain what happened? And I kind of think that that does capture, you know, the story and in many ways, it is perhaps a spiritual seek or turn. Nothing important happened today.

Will Carver 43:50

Yeah, lots of people have said that to me. Actually, I think I just I'd written two books before that the bears didn't psychopaths anonymous that were kind of commercially did all right. And I think I'm always looking to sabotage my own career at any any moment that I can and derail myself so you know, having to two solid books come out I just, I wanted to experiment and I've had this this idea for for a while and I'd kind of had half of it written I just I was missing something. And I was missing the two Dave characters. That's what once I got those. I was like, Yeah, I can finish this book now. But yes, it it is. I guess you're right. It does Lincoln quite well with nothing important happened today. It has a similar vibe. And again, that kind of philosophical. Yeah, lemon and that kind of damning society. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 44:59

And I mean, Yeah, as you mentioned Beresford, I mean, I would say that is your most commercial or at least your most linear novel. So it was interesting for the Dave's next door to essentially follow that one. But I mean, it's no surprise as well that the barest thread has been picked up for film, because it probably is the easiest of the lot to actually film, you know, in the sense that it is more linear it I mean, how do you even put nothing important happened today on in the cinema and have it you know, how do you recap your the feelings that it has in a book? I'm not sure that you can, it would almost have to be riffing on it rather than a direct and faithful adaptation?

Will Carver 45:55

Yeah, I think yeah, you could be right. I mean, I've had very little interest in that one. So obviously, I think it might be a tough adaptation. But yeah, I mean, I don't I I don't know. I don't know. Even why the Beresford came out the way it did so linear because I never I never do that normally, but but it did. I just, I think I'm always thinking of how to tell a story. And and that's why all the books are so different. I think there are ways to tell certain stories that that will work better than others. And I think for the days next door, if I'd have made it kind of a linear story or told one person's story, then the next it just it wouldn't have worked. And you're gonna did I need one character? Asking questions all the way through? Yes, it did. It was the best way to capture that character. That wouldn't have worked in the Beresford. You know, I couldn't have had a job doing that because it didn't fit his character. So. So I think that's why they're all so different. And sometimes they are linear. And sometimes they're all over the place. Yeah, but also because I like to. I think, if I get away with something, I tend to want to try and push it a bit further the next time. And right, I think with the days next door, perhaps I pushed it a bit too far, I think. I don't know. It's a weird one. That's a real kind of most of my books are Marmite books. But that one really divides people.

Michael David Wilson 47:34

The day that Dave's next door is the most polarizing you'd say, I think

Will Carver 47:39

so far, but again, before that, I think it was nothing important happened today. Those two are the ones that people just think of the best thing they've ever read, or the worst thing I've ever read. So they don't mind saying saying it.

Dan Howarth 47:55

Yeah, I think in terms of the books that you've written, I think none of them are probably easy reads for different reasons. But the Dave's next door felt like the first real time perhaps that you set out a gambit to the reader in terms of making it challenging, you know, it's even the there's frontmatter At the start isn't mentioned in terrorism, and you kind of you know what you're getting into from that point. But I think in terms of some of the way that the narrative is out, as you say, asking questions throughout, it does feel very much like the first time you're almost reaching out the page grabbing somebody and going, what do you make of this? Like it almost felt confrontational in that way, which personally, I enjoyed. It has to be sir.

Will Carver 48:40

Yeah, well, I love all that. That second person stuff. I mean, it's, it's tough to do when you don't see it a lot. But I I kind of I always do it I I just I think yes, you should read for enjoyment and entertainment and escape. But I also think that you should read to, to learn and to question and to think and with that book, that's what I wanted. I didn't want someone to get caught up in the story. If you want that, you know, go and read the Beresford. It's it takes along wonderfully. And there's a nice ending. Whereas this I just all of the characters are just a bit strange and a bit wrong and not necessarily likeable. And yeah, I just want it I want the reader involved. You know, and to think and it's okay to work on a book sometimes.

Dan Howarth 49:37

Yeah, I agree. And I think sometimes people don't want to do that. I mean, we've all had days when you you know, I must admit my news consumption is right down because it's just so fucking depressing. And I think a lot of people want to go away to and this isn't, you know, badmouth in any of these genres to like a kind of cozy crime a comfortable, read almost, and I think to some extent because things are, you know, depressing when you look outside the window. And I don't just mean because I live in Birkenhead that that sometimes you you know, I think readers in general just want that peace of escapism and sometimes they're not necessarily ready to be challenged in the way that, you know, Dave's next door in particular does so maybe it will as as kind of time goes on and, and things set or maybe it'll be kind of one of those where people kind of come back to it when they're in a different headspace maybe and see kind of, you know, the message and are prepared to put the work in because, you know, as you say, it's not necessarily your most accessible book.

Will Carver 50:40

Yeah, I think you're right. I think that's why that genre is thriving at the moment, because everything is so shit and depressing. And, and not just because I look out the window and I live in Redding. It's yeah, they they want the escape. And, and it's good that there are books that you that you can escape with. But yeah, mine, not all of mine are. So, you know, I think you if you're reading my stuff, you should not expect anything. You know, don't don't go into it expecting something because it's different every time. Yeah,

Dan Howarth 51:20

I agree. And that's a big draw. You know, personally, for me as a reader, it's, you know, a lot a lot of people get kind of pissed off and you see it with like, for example, I see to us it kind of mainstream when you see like Arctic Monkeys, for example, like a lot of people getting annoyed about their more recent work because it's gone in a different direction. So their early work, but surely is somebody who is kind of, personally, I'm a fan of authors, rather than individual books, I want to see somebody's career, evolve and change and see them push themselves because generally it leads to better work. But a lot of people in the mainstream public kind of don't want that they want the Arctic Monkeys first album, try it out every single time until those guys die. They don't want to see an evolution, they don't want to see a change. They don't almost don't want to push themselves in terms of what they want to consume to some extent.

Will Carver 52:15

I think you're right. And that's why you see the same names on these bestseller lists, isn't it? Because the they know what they're getting? And that's okay. You know, I think people, people know what they're gonna get from the next. I'm not gonna mention the name whoever book, you know, and yeah, and that, and they like that, and we all like that. But but there are, there are other things out there as well. I mean, I get it though, because I have people say I started, Hinson holodeck trip or whatever. And I just wasn't in the right. I couldn't read it because everything was awful. And I didn't want to go in there. And as much as I say, it's actually a really positive book. You know, it's not, it's not about evil, it's about being good. Doesn't matter because they, they don't want to think they wanted to switch off. So I get that. Yeah, we need to I need we need we need we need the world to be a better place so they can read my dark, dismal stuff and enjoy

Dan Howarth 53:20

this, there's probably some truth in that. I mean, in terms of like pushing yourself so kind of evolving. You said that you you're writing a sequel to The Beresford. So in terms of like, you know, putting the January David books aside talking about the kind of render books the carver versus have heard it referred to Yes. This is the this be the kind of first you know, acknowledge kind of direct sequel really, unless, while psychopaths anonymous kind of following on or at least following the same characters as good Samaritans. What what do you think of the challenges of writing something that's, that's effectively, you know, various for two or one of your books, too? Do you think there's anything that's going to push you in terms of writing that book?

Will Carver 54:04

I am struggling you know, I, I kind of wanted there's there's this whole part of the barriers for building in the first book like we it focuses on kind of six apartments down at the bottom that are a separate area of the Beresford, which is a huge building on the other on the other side of that part and and I just I want to tell the story of that side. I know that much. But obviously with the original bears that I had, that's such a cool hook with that someone dies and then 60 seconds later another person moves in. So this I don't think is going to be as high concept as as some of my other books. And I'm enjoying that because it is something a bit again a bit different. Am I pushing myself like I did with the days? No, but Yeah, it will be different. And but I am struggling with it or not. But I quite like that at the beginning when I'm because because something will click eventually and it kind of did yesterday. Yeah, so yeah, I mean, I can't say too much about a year because I'm not 100% sure of where it's where it's going. Yeah, but it's but it's nice. I think there's probably a third book in that I quite like having a trilogy of books. You know, I like that the January David ones are a trilogy and, and kind of the first three random ones could be like a very loose trilogy. So I think I think and I like the birds, but it's real fun. It's fun to write because it's, it's obscure and weird, but like, it is just in a fun way. I think. I think like you said, it's my most commercial book. And I'm thinking of this second one in in more of a commercial way. And I don't normally do that. I just think I just think how am I going to tell this story? And I'm trying to I'm trying to pull myself back like 10%, you know, not put too much of my of my strangeness in it, because I think I think it's a different kind of book and a different kind of series.

Michael David Wilson 56:22

You said that you don't know where it's going. So in terms of mapping out the sequel to The Beresford, I mean, have you done much in terms of the planning stage? Or is it very much you've got an idea and you're running with it to see what will happen.

Will Carver 56:41

So I know I've written I've written the opening, and I've written the ending. I know what how it ends. And so this will this will happen before, what happens in the original Beresford book. And I know, I know what happens in each half. I just I don't know, I feel there's just one. There's one thing that needs that needs to click. So I know why I'm writing it. I know what I want to write. And I know the stories that I want to put in it and the characters. I just I just don't know why yet.

Michael David Wilson 57:16

Yeah, yeah, I know, you cry and kind of finish it. So the release of the film and the book can coincide. And I mean, on that note, do you have a timeframe in terms of when the film might be completed might be available?

Will Carver 57:36

Well, no, I mean, these things, these things take a while. So it's I mean, it's it's, it's a TV series rather than film. So it's just it's just in development. They've got a you know, we've got a writer, and I've spoken with him and stuff. And it's just it's getting studios on board and things now, so no, I'm not, I'm not I'm not doing that. I just know that this comes out next November. So I really need to have it finished by kind of April. So that proofs can go out and things. So, you know, I've got six months to write it. Yeah. So that's all I'm thinking. That's what I'm thinking about at the moment.

Michael David Wilson 58:13

Is that another render book?

Will Carver 58:16

It is yes, it is. It's my Oh, what is it my sixth my eighth surrender book. Maybe? Yeah, it will be my eighth surrender book. Yeah. Wow. Crazy. Yeah, I slowed down a bit. I was I did like two a year for for the last couple of years. And then I'm just doing one next year. Because it's so important, you know, with with the the TV stuff happening. I just, I really need to get it right. I need to get this right. Because if that takes off, I want the sequel to be as good or better than the first one. And so I said like, I just want to do one this year, so I can really focus on it. So yeah.

Michael David Wilson 58:59

Yeah, yeah. And in terms of getting in a more commercial mindset, I mean, what kind of things have you had to do you said that you've had to rein back some of the strangeness but are there other things that you've had to do? Or does it almost require a different mind shift and mindset?

Will Carver 59:22

It definitely does. I think I just, I don't know, I have to rein myself in. You almost turn off all my writerly instincts. Because I tend to I'll find a thread interesting, and then I end up taking it somewhere that that is only interesting to me, I think right? And I want it to be interesting to more people than me. So yeah, it's not I you know, it's not I'm not selling out. I'm not off writing for Mills and Boons novels a year I just, I've just tried to kind of keep it accessible. Like Like you said, the Paris video is is easily my most accessible book. And so I want the second one to be the same.

Michael David Wilson 1:00:09

Yeah. And in terms of accessibility, and in terms of these challenging books, I mean, have you seen that reflected in the sales? I mean, is the Beresford your most popular in terms of sales as the day of sales kind of dipped? Because of how challenging it is? Or is in fact this question, one where a renders like, don't talk about that smell you want to make public?

Will Carver 1:00:38

Yeah, well, I'm sure I would get to hold off. But I'll say it anyway. I think no, I think my I think eventually, the Beresford will be my best selling a render book. But at the moment, it's I mean, I guess it's weird at the moment is kind of good Samaritans. And nothing important happened today. But they've been out longer. So of course, if sold more. But they tend to I think, I think good Samaritans does very well, because people read that they'll read whatever I'm publishing now. And they go back to the beginning. So I think good Samaritans is the one that that does the best, because people go back and, and start again. So and also weirdly, I mean, that's I sell so many more copies of that in Mexico than than any other country including the UK. Who knows why? You don't know why. Like why stories hit, you know?

Jeff Strand 1:01:39


Michael David Wilson 1:01:40

we're talking about mysteries. You know, it was a few months ago, when I said there was a surge of people downloading your episode from Brazil, there were 1000s of downloads that just appeared overnight, and it went on for about a week as people tuning into your, your episode. And it was months after we'd originally aired it. It was around election season in Brazil. I never, I never found out why that was. You know, it just occurred. Just like crop circles man could mean two men that just was spreading the word throughout Brazil.

Will Carver 1:02:21

That's right. Yeah, I hired a couple of guys to pop around. America. Yeah, I thought maybe I sold some rights there or something. And it had come and some one of my books had come out, but it wasn't. So I think we'll never know. We'll just have to enjoy the fact that it happened.

Michael David Wilson 1:02:40

Yeah. So if there is, you know, one of those Brazilian listeners listening into this one or even a handful of you, maybe you've got the whole family around, you know, the iPad or whatever it is. You're listening going. Could you let us know what was going on? Please be one. Yeah, I mean, we're very happy that you're here. What happened?

Will Carver 1:03:04

Yeah, why? Why are you here? Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:07

Because like we didn't know is it good news? Was it bad news? Did we say something so horrendous? Have we offended all Brazilians? If we got canceled? Never know.

Will Carver 1:03:22

Well, I like the idea that we'll never know. So if you do know the answer, and you're listening, don't tell us.

Dan Howarth 1:03:28

Yeah. Yeah. Keep it like the crop circles. We don't need to know. That's it. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:36

Oh, my goodness. Thank you so much for listening to part one at a conversation with we'll cover on This Is Horror. Join us again next time for the second and final part of the conversation. But if you would like to get that ahead of the crowd, if you would like to get every episode ahead of the crowd, to become a patron@patreon.com. Forward slash, Dennis is horror. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you get to submit questions to the interviewee. And we've got a lot of guests coming up in the future. We've got people like Cynthia Palacio, and Chuck Wendig and Josh Rubin. So if you would like to ask them a question amongst other interviewees, then head over to patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. You'll also get access to the writers forum on Discord. Maybe you want to join it with what's going on with Twitter at the moment it's a little bit volatile, a little bit unpredictable so you can join the discord that is not going anywhere. You can also get exclusive podcasts including the patrons only q&a sessions. And you can also get story on box the horror pod cast on the craft of writing. While we unbox and analyze horror films and short stories we have analyzed works by Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R Lansdale, to name a few. And we have also analyzed films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Rosemary's Baby, and RA. So a lot of good things on Patreon patreon.com forward slash, This Is Horror, see if it's a good fit for you. Okay, before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break, or on

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Michael David Wilson 1:06:43

That's a wrap up I would like to offer you a book audio book in fact, if you have yet to listen to or read The Girl in the Video or They're Watching or indeed if you have read it but you'd like to listen to it then drop me a line Michael at this is horror.co.uk subject line audio book and let me know if you would like to listen to They're Watching or The Girl in the Video. And would you like to do that on Audible UK or audible us and when you let me know I will give you a code so that you can get that absolutely free of charge. If you want to leave a review after great if you don't Merry Christmas so early Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday Happy Thanksgiving that's probably coming up it's in November isn't it? I don't know. I'm not American you might be so you let me know. You tweet me at This Is Horror when is Thanksgiving strange way to end the show but sometimes that is how it goes. So until next time we'll we'll cover take care yourselves be good to one another. Read horror, keep on writing and have a great, great day.

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