In this podcast, Will Carver talks about God complexes, DoTrue, writing for himself, and much more.
About Will Carver
Will Carver is the author of books such as Suicide Thursday, Good Samaritans, Nothing Important Happened Today, and Psychopaths Anonymous.
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The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson, narrated by RJ Bayley
They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella
Read They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella right now or listen to the They’re Watching audiobook narrated by RJ Bayley.
Michael David Wilson 0:07
Welcome to This Is Horror Podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella. We chat we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is will Carver for the second part of our conversation. He is the author of many books, including suicide Thursday, the Dave's next door, and good Samaritans. And in this episode we cover so much. We talk about some of the books that will hasn't written yet. We find out where and who scares well. And we dig a little bit deeper into suicide Thursday. So plenty of great things in this episode. But before any of that, a little bit of an advert break.
Bob Pastorella 1:36
From the host of This Is Horror Podcast comes a dark thriller of obsession, paranoia, and voyeurism. After relocating to a small coastal town, Brian discovers a hole that gazes into his neighbor's bedroom. Every night she dances and he peeps, same song, same time, same wild and mesmerizing dance. But soon Brian suspects he's not the only one watching. She's not the only one being watched. They're Watching is The Wicker Man meets Body Double with a splash of Suspiria They're Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella is available from this is horror.co.uk Amazon and wherever good books are sold. It
RJ Bayley 2:15
was as if the video had unzipped my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh and become one with me.
Bob Pastorella 2:23
From the creator of This Is Horror comes a new nightmare for the digital age. The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson. After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video, his life descends into paranoia and obsession. More videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know but who's sending them and what do they want? The interest may destroy everything every one He loves The Girl in the Video is the ring meets fatal attraction for iPhone generation available now in paperback ebook and audio.
Michael David Wilson 2:53
Okay, well with that said, here it is it is part two of the conversation with we'll cover on dare says hora. So at the beginning of our chat, you said as well as working on the sequel to The Beresford that you had written a little something for yourself, sir, rather intriguing. So what can you tell us about that?
Will Carver 3:24
Well, I think I tend to do this. When I finish a book anyway, I'll they don't always get finished. But it's just nice to to write something where it's not scheduled to be published or anything. And I do a lot and they do eventually kind of come out as a book. The days next door was one that I kind of wrote half of it after another book and just thought, yeah, it's a good idea. I'll keep that to one side. And so yeah, I've just I've written kind of half a book, just in the last couple of months just to just to give myself a break. I know that sounds weird, right? It's like, I want to give myself a break from writing by writing half a book. But I don't know I like writing so yeah, I mean, I don't know how much I want to say about it. But it's I've I've kind of set it in America in like a very fixed a fictional small town where someone that there's there's a murderer and someone falsely confesses to doing it. I just I watch so much of this stuff. This true crime stuff on Netflix and and things and there's a couple of series of these people that eventually ended up confessing to crimes that they didn't do, for whatever reason, and I just thought the psychology behind doing that is really interesting. I watched one, this, this mother went out to the mall with her friend. And when, on the way back, they could see smoke in the sky. And her friend said, that looks like it's coming from near your house. When they got back her house was on fire. Her daughter was inside the bedroom. And she she died. And they took them. The police took the mother in, like into police station and kept her there for hours and hours and hours and hours. And she was absolutely knackered and worn down and upset that her daughter was dead. And the police just kept prodding her prodding her prodding her. And they were like, can you say for sure that you definitely didn't start that fire? And she said, Well, I couldn't. I couldn't say that I didn't leave a plug on or something. I didn't leave the toaster on or whatever. I couldn't say that. 100%. And they said, so you could have left something on. She said, Well, I guess I could have which means I could have killed her. And they're like, so you could have killed her. You didn't kill her. You're going to prison. And she's like, in prison for this now. And I thought this is mental. And I just I wanted to write something that was that was a bit like that. I don't know if it's any good. And I don't know if it works. But yeah, I just want it that something very different for me. But I quite like all that true crime. And and you know, like the Serial podcast and yeah, all all of those things. So yeah, I wanted to try something a bit a bit like that. But yeah, that as a break between books. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 6:36
Yeah. And you know, what you're describing it happens, you know, so often in these documentaries we hear about, you know, people effectively, coerce, coercing false confessions out of people. I mean, it's really disturbing. But yeah, I suppose we see these a lot. Because you know, that the regular ones where it goes smoothly, they're not going to make as interest in television. A little bit of police corruption. Now we're talking now the ratings are coming in.
Will Carver 7:11
Yeah. And it's kind of it's almost like fiction, you know, because like, how could this possibly even occur? And and I think that's, you know, that's why it's interesting, because you just think, no, why? Why would anyone say? Well, yeah, I guess I probably could have killed this person. What Why are you saying that? Yeah. When I
Michael David Wilson 7:33
mean, it's just like, the kind of semantics and stuff. It's like, if we're literally talking about a plug, it's like, well, something may have been plugged in things do sometimes can pass. So but yeah, for the police to then conclude. Oh, well, you did. And now you're doing the time. Yeah, I mean,
Will Carver 7:55
that case as well, it was the fire the fire brigade that were called they, the way the door was was shot or something. And there was something behind it. It could only have been started in that room by the girl, the girl who did it. Yeah. There's even evidence there's evidence to suggest that she she did it herself on purpose. Yeah. That's for some reason, the mum said she could have done it. And so they put her away like they did. They just needed to put someone in prison. It couldn't have just been this girl couldn't have done that to herself. But it looks really like she did.
Dan Howarth 8:34
Is it a crime to go out and leave a pogrom? What
Michael David Wilson 8:37
is is definitely not a crime. But you know, you see, some of these were like the girl could probably have Instagram lived. I'm setting myself on fire now. And he'd still be like, well, she did say that however, you said that you might have left something plugged in. So probably
Will Carver 9:02
talking about earlier how I write a book and then it informs the next one. I think, obviously I with suicide Thursday, there's this idea that these text messages are coming through to to Mike and he ends up committing suicide and whether that could be classed as killing someone, you know, You are a murderer because you text someone saying, Have you killed yourself yet? Have you killed yourself yet? Have you done it yet? And really, the person who's doing it? I mean, you could you could say they're being supportive of what he wants to do. Yeah, but But yeah, and I think that obviously then informed this idea that I had that someone could could not put could not commit a crime and be sent to prison for it. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 9:52
I love that idea. And I yeah, I want to see that book out there in the wild. So hopefully, you're right The second half of it, hopefully a renderer or another publishing house, puts it out into the world because I'm definitely here for it. But I mean, I wonder You said you've written half a novel. And you've also said, you know, before that before you write, you liked, like to make sure that everything is tidy, and everything is in order. Since that part of you is going crazy, that you've only written half it's like It's incomplete. You've got this other half that you have to write.
Will Carver 10:35
You think it would you think it would, but I just I have so many of them. I have like a folder on my desktop with with half books and quarter books and and they're just there there are you know, I think maybe I'm just not ready. Yet to complete them. I think I think I wrote originally, nothing important happened today as a January David book. And it was a cool idea. But compared to what i i wrote six years later, is shit, right? It's not as good. I wasn't ready to write that story then. So. So no, it doesn't send me mad because I just think it's a good idea. It will, it will remain a good idea. It's just whether I can execute it. I'm probably not quite ready to execute that one. Just yet. So so no, it doesn't send me mad because because I'm I'm fully entrenched in in bearers for two now. So
Michael David Wilson 11:29
yeah, yeah. And when you when you set out writing this half written novel, did you know that you wouldn't complete it or did like the Beresford idea kind of turn up? And then it took over from there. Because I mean, the way that I'm juggling projects at the moment, I have about about a third of a novel written, because that was my work in progress. But then I started querying agents. And I decided for various reasons, if they asked what else I'm working on, that it couldn't be this particular one. So I then started another one, which, yeah, is, uh, again, about a quarter or a third of the way written at the moment. And I, you know, I'm working on it and writing it. But as soon as my notes from my film manager about my script coming back, then I'll start working on that. So I guess my kind of jumping around way, it just depends in terms of what deadline is more important or pressing at that particular time?
Will Carver 12:44
Yeah, I think you know, if that works for you that then that's good. When I did this, I just thought I'm going to start the Beresford on the first of November. The barriers were too. So I mean, I could have got it finished in that time. But but but I didn't. So I'm okay with I'm okay with what I've got so far. full focus on the barest for now till it's finished. And then and then I'll go back to that. I think when when I wrote the original Beresford and psychopaths anonymous, I actually wrote I wrote half of psychopaths anonymous, ran then. And then I went off and wrote the whole of the Beresford. And then I wrote the second half of psychopaths anonymous after that, so I don't know it just yeah, sometimes, like the bears would wrote itself. So and so I think when you're when you're in that zone, you just gotta keep going with it. So yeah, attend these half books. There's, there's so many of them. I could pick one up and finish and finish it in a couple of months. So
Michael David Wilson 13:45
yeah, yeah. Why? The first and November
Will Carver 13:51
just, it was just clean. It was just clean. I just thought, you know, if I start on the first of November, I, I'll give myself until the first of April or whatever to finish it. And that feels like that feels more than long enough to do it. Obviously, while I was writing this other thing. I'm I'm planning the book and I'm researching certain things. So yeah, I can get it written in five months, and ready to go out there. Yeah,
Michael David Wilson 14:19
yeah. And then once you've, let's say, handed it in, in April, I guess you've got like a number of months going back and forth with edits and things like that.
Will Carver 14:33
I the editing process is pretty quick. With me. I think I tend to I edit as I go along. And I don't you know, you know, November. It's so hard having a book out in November and seeing all of the NaNoWriMo stuff on on Twitter and and things because I just think it's a horrible, horrible way to write. I just I don't like the idea of just just get it down, just get it all down. And once it's down, go back and tidy it because that feels like such a mammoth task. And so I edit as I go along. So when it when I hand it in, what I hand in isn't hugely different to what goes out. Yeah, there's always stuff to edit. There's always things to do that, that you can't see, because you're deep within the story. And you need a fresh set of eyes. But no, we can get it done very quickly and myself and own West, who's the editor at a render? We've got something down now we can we can turn it around in a week. You know, it's yes. Good work. So no, it's not months and months.
Michael David Wilson 15:43
Now. Okay, so West is pretty fucking happy with the manuscripts that you turn in? Yeah,
Will Carver 15:53
it goes to Karen first and she kind of she, she looks at it as a whole. And the story and, and the arcs and things and, and we work through some of the bigger points, and then Wes drills down on on the finer detail. And, but But yeah, we we've had a couple of books where we've, we've we've disagreed on things. And it's and it's got, you know, it can get heated, but I tend to pretty much give in on everything because I I think they know they can see it. What you know, when you write it, you can't see it, as well as someone who's is who's slightly removed from it. And yeah, so I tend to trust them and just think, yeah, you probably are right, there are a few things I might dig my heels in on. But yes, it's a relatively painless process, because I don't enjoy editing in any way. Right. So as long as so as long as I do it throughout, in the way that I always have. It's, it's it's relatively painless. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 16:56
Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting that you mention NaNoWriMo, as well, because there's a number of people on the This Is Horror Podcast, Patreon who are doing it. So I had no intention of doing it this year, but then through the spirit of the community, and all of them getting really excited. I was like, Okay, go on, then. I'll jump in. And, you know, see what happens. But it is very different from the way that I've been writing. Oh, yeah. Because I'll, you know, I'll read pages from previous sessions before jumping in to the Dave sessions. So actually, to be able to, you know, then shout it out as it were 1606 distinct as wide as a day, which is what you would need to do to kind of complete that goal, obviously, that's fresh in my mind. You can't afford to really be laboring over and going over works from the previous day. But I, but I kind of want to, and yeah, so I've been trying to do it. But man, if you're going to doing quantity and quality is a hell of a time consuming task. You know, but I refuse to just churn out any old shirts, as it were, you know, so that, I guess, like the spirit is, it's like, if I can hit those words in a month, then great. But but I've got to remember that quality trumps the quantity. So, you know, if I don't hit the 50,000, or whatever, but I do happen to get like 20 or 30,000 That's still a success, even if it's, you know, technically a failure. Yeah, well,
Will Carver 18:55
I, I just think I think it's a great thing. I mean, I like that, you know, it does bring people together. And like you say there is a community and, and it's always good to write right to get to get stuff out. Yeah. But just personally, for me, it doesn't work. I mean, when I start a book like that the current one I make, I will write 500 words a day for kind of two or three weeks. But those 500 words that I write will make it into the finished book. And yeah, and they and they won't look any different. And then I kind of move up to kind of once I'm in and I know my characters 1000 words a day, by the time I'm over halfway. I mean, I could I could knock out 5000 words in a day. And I think they're all They're all good. So but that but that's just how I do it. You know, I do. I do a lot of writing with pen. I mean, like actual writing, not just typing, you know, and that works. i There are people out there who can just sit down On, smash it out every day like this and come up with something that's not bad at the end. Yeah. So if that works for you, that's great. But, but for me, it doesn't. And I don't know, if I like the idea of kind of promoting churning out crap. If you know it is, you know, and you're getting the poison out or whatever, then, then that's great. But yeah, I don't know something doesn't sit well with me. Yeah,
Dan Howarth 20:30
I tell you what is difficult? Well, so, two things I want to drop in this piece of writing advice I picked up this week. So I've been doing a screenwriting course and the tutor, very scouse fella came out with this line that his mentor told him and he said, some days you got to sit down and just write the shade out of you. Yeah, obviously mean and get all the crap out first, and I do feel that sometimes, you know, NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo OVC. Isn't it exercise in that, but I tell you what isn't good for your preparation is the night before it starts Michael Wilson, saying I'm doing NaNoWriMo and you should do it too. And not having the backbone say no. So they're writing double what you'd normally write just to? Just to make Michael feel good. Rarely, that is not
Will Carver 21:16
a good way to go about it. Such a bully.
Dan Howarth 21:19
Yes, yes. Even from 1000s of miles away. He's still pushing me around.
Michael David Wilson 21:26
I can neither confirm nor deny. I also got Kev Harrison and John Curran have to also similar circumstances. So
Dan Howarth 21:36
I can't confirm that. That was what happened.
Michael David Wilson 21:42
You know, Steven Gold's lucky that I wasn't texting him that day, or I would have probably tried to get him involved, too.
Will Carver 21:50
He's brilliant, isn't he? Yeah,
Michael David Wilson 21:52
yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, he's in Japan, too. But we actually live really near it. Yeah. So I write Yeah.
Will Carver 22:01
Oh, that's amazing. Do you have you seen him then?
Michael David Wilson 22:04
I have. Yeah. The power of the power of your Twitter connected us together? Yeah.
Will Carver 22:13
Social media does something good.
Michael David Wilson 22:16
I know. The first time for everything. Well, I mean, not on that note, even though the Patreon questions were meant to be for patrons, Stephen Golds and Chris Hooley decided to try and sabotage that they didn't pay any money to become a patron but they did decide to ask questions. Just so you know, because of Twitter, uniting me and Steven, I will ask his question. I will also ask Chris who lives as well you can sign up from become a patreon Chris patreon.com forward slash Mr. Steven if you have a dinner party with six serial killers, who is invited
Will Carver 23:13
Yeah, I saw this one and it's really weird because I was I was watching what is the American Horror Story? Oh yeah, yeah, and there's there's like the hotel one and there's that I literally the day before watched an episode where they had a dinner party with with serial killers. Hmm yeah. So I think all right, I mean, it's not too far off it Steven actually messaged me straight after with like, people that I probably forgotten. He's like yeah, don't forget Jack the Ripper as bad didn't even cross my mind. I don't know I mean, it's a sick question, isn't it it is sick it's a good you know, we don't we don't want to glamorize it but i guess i i have ones that I'm more interested in. So I'm no Bundy Manson even though he you know, he technically didn't really? He wasn't there that night. I remember got these six.
Michael David Wilson 24:16
Yeah, yeah. That's what Stephen has stipulated or
Will Carver 24:23
Zodiac just just because I want to know who it is. Yeah, good. Yes. Really? Oh, that's who you are. Three others God.
Michael David Wilson 24:35
Was that an answer? God,
Will Carver 24:37
God yes. What? That guy all the things that he's done the biggest the biggest of them all. Oh, God, Shipman just because I wrote about him in nothing important happened today. Tomorrow god, this is Grace.
Michael David Wilson 24:58
Now We know who included God so there's only Oh, there's only one you have. Oh, well
Will Carver 25:03
I'll take I'll take Dharma then just because I've watched all the stuff recently on him so he's fresh in my brain
Michael David Wilson 25:11
Will Carver 25:12
yeah. Thanks for that question.
Michael David Wilson 25:16
That's fine for you Steve. Yeah, again you can let us know your own personal answer to your
Dan Howarth 25:23
Well done Steve you got us cancelled and you're not even a patron
Will Carver 25:28
he's never gonna listen to this
Michael David Wilson 25:33
he will listen. Oh can last a mentor listen just like a CO as Dan and during NaNoWriMo All right, well, Chris Hooley e has a number of questions I mean, this is a bit rich this will be
Dan Howarth 25:53
taking the absolute piss
Michael David Wilson 25:56
for a pay and pay it's run so fucking now Chris. Okay. Many books the car of the car versus now fully locked and loaded. Where Haven't you been yet? Huh?
Will Carver 26:15
Where haven't I been? Or I haven't I haven't done a cozy cozy crime yet. And I never will. Oh, I don't know. I don't know I think I haven't been I say what I say I haven't been to the upstairs of the Beresford yet but I'm going there. Oh, yes. Nice that Penthouse Suite it's gonna be
Michael David Wilson 26:40
Yeah. He also wants to know where or who scares you.
Will Carver 26:50
Where are you scares me? Wasp scare me. The sea scares me It's too big. So that's the where I don't know who scares me
Michael David Wilson 27:01
wash Splinter see would be a pretty terrifying situation for you.
Will Carver 27:07
If I saw a book called wasps in the sea I'd stay away from that Yeah, it's crazy because we've obviously we're as I said beginning we're having this extension they knocked part of the roof and we found a massive wasps nest under there. I mean, this was it was my worst nightmare. So not only are we are we getting leaked on for a couple of days. We then found a massive wasps nest so wonderful.
Dan Howarth 27:36
That is nice. absolutely terrifying. I think that is up there as one of my worst fears as well. Is it a go I'll get a new I get this question in some way
I can retire now. Yeah. Thanks. Well.
Will Carver 27:56
So what I'd rather live in a house with no roof or in the Beresford?
Dan Howarth 28:00
Yeah. Or a house with the wasps nest or the bears.
Will Carver 28:03
Oh my god. I choose the Beresford every time especially over that wasps nest thing because well also because I created it so I can I can I can live in that penthouse suite. Yeah,
Dan Howarth 28:16
you may have created it Do you think you could control the place that's the question
Will Carver 28:21
well, I you know am I more powerful than the devil? I like to think so.
Dan Howarth 28:31
This is the content we got we got you on for Yeah, well Carver more powerful than the Devil loves the blurb of Beresford two I think
Will Carver 28:39
that's it yeah, he thinks he's a god. Yes. That's it
Michael David Wilson 28:46
Chris Haley part of the show yeah. He also wants to know well the true history of the DoTrue building ever be fully explained.
Will Carver 29:01
Well, you know, I have I have partly explained where it came from today because of the the the old computer company that I worked for and do true is kind of a riff on the on the on the company name that's now defunct but yes, I It's funny because obviously I have all of these things that crop up in all the different books and do true is is it's made up company that the you know, shows its face in you know, three or four of the books and it's it's crazy to think that this one tiny computer company has so many serial killers working there. So you know might be might be fun to do a story about do true at some point where they where they all are. I don't know. I don't know. Yes, maybe a short a short story about a computer company full of psychopaths.
Michael David Wilson 29:58
All right. Final question from Chris. Cool yeah, she flaying it. What is the most horrific thing you've heard another parents say in the playground?
Will Carver 30:18
Oh, don't you just hear some things? Ah, oh god, I should you know, I saw this on Twitter, I had a chance to prepare for this. I've completely forgotten about this question. I think maybe because I had to scroll. So long one of Chris's free questions that he did. I don't know. Do you know what? I can't even think of him because I'm always late. I'm always late, dropping the kids off and picking them up. So I don't, I don't really hear as much anymore. I wish I had like a funny answer or witty thing that I could say. But I mean, a lot of the horrific stuff I hear about is like, what I've been talking about, like people saying, Oh, I'm having an extension. And it says it is so incredibly boring. Yeah, so no, I can't really think of anything there. Chris. I'm sorry. You'll just have to live with the fact that I answer 14 of your other questions.
Michael David Wilson 31:16
All email@example.com forward slash This Is Horror. Crisafulli. You know what to
Will Carver 31:23
do? When it comes, will it tell you if he if he signs up where you get
Michael David Wilson 31:31
it? Oh, get an Allah.
Unknown Speaker 31:34
Michael David Wilson 31:37
He's got a good sense of humor. And he's good.
Dan Howarth 31:41
Yeah, well, just just so we know, as Chris, the whole of Brazil are listening. And they want to know that you're signing up to
Will Carver 31:51
200 million people?
Michael David Wilson 31:55
Well, I mean, back to Suicide Thursday. And really this conversation, it does kind of emulate a will carve a novel here. So we're just jumping back and forth to different books and different topics, but I feel that is really apropos. And I mean, in terms of, like having suicide as one of the themes. I mean, what kind of concerns or if not concerns, what were you mindful of in terms of, essentially, you know, treat treating that subject matter with some respect, but also writing what is essentially a dark comedy. I mean, it's got to be quite a balance to be struck. Yeah, yeah,
Will Carver 32:48
it does. It's odd. Someone actually asked me a question the other day on something I was recording, like, what is the way that I kill most of my victims. And it turns out that suicide is the one like it is. It keeps cropping up in all of my books, obviously, I killed like, 1000 people with it in, nothing important happened today. So it's, it's always going to be my biggest killer. But I think that like I said, this book, I started writing it. Like, 20 years ago, when I was I wanted to become a writer and, and, and the whole suicide thing kind of came up in my life because of a friend of mine. They're okay, now they're okay. But, and I think I kind of, I just wanted to, I didn't really understand it. And I used writing about it in a way to, to try and understand what, what he might have been going through and why he why he tried to do what I did so. So I think, I feel like I've got, like, first hand experience of it. And I am sensitive to it. Because of that. So I think when I write it like that is always in mind that that I'm not kind of I don't want to glamorize these things, and I want to treat them in in the right way. So yeah, so but and I think that the whole comedy angle, I know it sounds sick, but I think that's a great way of of, of doing it. And it's a way of talking about anything serious. A great way to talk about it is through is through comedy so, so this book, I think is is my most darkly comedic book. I know it's called Suicide Thursday, and that makes it sound incredibly bleak. But, but it's not. I hope.
Dan Howarth 34:53
I think it's really interesting that you started with a different title of first chapter and then went to suicide. Thursday. I think with a lot of authors, they probably would have flipped that and started with suicide Thursday and gone to first chapter because somebody would have said all Gino, do you want to call it that but I think it's you know the title that you've chosen now is very on brand for you and I think people who pick it up will know that it's not exploitative in its own way. It's something that will have insight.
Will Carver 35:24
Yes, well, I, you know, I so like I said first book I wrote, I got an agent out of it. And it almost got published as as first chapter in its first incarnation, it looked a bit like it does now, but I've rewritten it since a couple of times. And it was it was a publisher that suggested that it should be all my old agent said, suicide Thursday is a much, much better title. I'd obviously referenced it being suicide Thursday, that this thing happens on the day of like suicide there's and funeral Friday. You know, it's ridiculous, right? It's not it's not that. It's not that serious. So yeah, but I think you're right now, where I am, it is very on brand for, for, you know, we'll cover books to have that kind of title. Yeah. And it works. It's just, I could I could see why someone might see that on a shelf and think quite I don't know if I want to read about that. But we were, we're really lucky that we got Mike Gale to read it. And he's, he said that it's funny, like, so I was like, please put that quote on the front. Because, you know, so people can read that it is it is not as dark as well, a lot of my other stuff.
Dan Howarth 36:43
Yeah, I think that people who would kind of, you know, look past it on the shelf probably wouldn't be your ideal audience anyway. I mean, I know. You know, I'll speak for Michael here. I know that we share quite similar taste in books. And I know that if I went to a bookshop, you know, kind of not knowing about you, and I'm sure Michaels the same and if you saw that on the shelf, I'd be like, oh, yeah, I'll take that down. Never have a peruse, I'll be I'll be buying that one. Because it's that kind of dark hook that I think, you know, speaks very much of your work. So, see, I mean, it's Yeah, absolutely. On brand. As I've said, I think that's, I think that's really kind of yeah, very key really for you. I think I was just Yeah, I think but you're Carver?
Will Carver 37:24
Yeah. And people who read my stuff would see that and go Oh, of course, of course. Yeah. Let's pick that up. But, you know, here's the people who who haven't, you know, I want them to pick that up and then go back and grab Good Samaritans, you know, so. Yeah. Hope we'll see how it does. We'll see how it does.
Michael David Wilson 37:42
Yeah, I mean, you say it's a dark tie oil or not, obviously, it's not a happy title. But I don't know there's something about the juxtaposition of suicide and Thursday, there is something a little bit comedic. And I think that's really played upon with, you know, this blue cover with the yellow typeset. And then the way in which the letters and suicides Thursday are put together that there is something a little bit comedic, but I don't know if that just speaks more to my fucked up sense of view more often than, you know, what the general people might perceive. But, you know, I think good Samaritans as a far bleaker cover.
Will Carver 38:29
Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think it's yeah, you can. It's quirky. Isn't it? This whole idea of suicide Thursday? I mean, I think it would, it would get you questioning what, why Thursday. So, yeah, I mean, it works. I mean, I love the cover. It's so cool. And I love that it's the opposite colors to good Samaritans as well. Yes. Yeah. I love that. Yeah, the guy does is amazing, though.
Michael David Wilson 38:56
Well, I was going to say I mean, all of your covers are visually very striking and interesting. You know, that the types they cover this way? Yeah, you kind of need to look twice to see really what's going on here.
Will Carver 39:14
Yeah, I mean, he absolutely nails it and we do like I think, you know, with with, you know, one of the big six publishers you wouldn't have as much input but you know, I do get quite quite a bit of input into into you know, the feeling of it and what what you know, ideas that I might want on the on the cover, but then he always just comes up with something that I you know, I haven't thought of or, or that I want but I didn't know I want it you know? Yeah, it's brilliant. Yeah. Oh, simple. I love it.
Michael David Wilson 39:45
So what was your initial idea for suicide plan? Stay? I mean, you know, what input did you give before you know, receiving this and being like, oh, okay, that's the one.
Will Carver 39:56
Well Oh, I, I wanted I liked the idea of the small bookshop with the with the first chapters of somehow getting that on and and he did do a version which were you kind of looking through the shop window and you can see the, the chapters behind I really liked it. But it was quite busy. And then and then he just came up with this. And it's so simple because it is the book is about a guy wants to write. And either Yeah, it's got all these little keys from like typewriters and laptops and things making up the word suicide Thursday. I just think it's it's so simple. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Whereas something like psychopaths anonymous. I kind of I said, Can you do one of those, you know, in like, American colleges, where they have like, oh, babysitters or whatever, and you pull a tag off the bottom. It's got the number that you call on it. Yeah, I mean, yes. I was like, Oh, could we have something like that? And, and he came up with that, but then put the different the different symbols on it that refer to parts in the in the story. So he did kind of what I wanted, but then made it 100 times better. Yeah, it's great.
Michael David Wilson 41:15
Yeah, you got that wonderful Sarah Pinborough quote on psychopaths anonymous as well, praise and Maeve.
Will Carver 41:22
Yeah, yeah, she's Yeah, yeah. She said it was like Eleanor Oliphant for like, the crime world or something and read Eleanor Oliphant. But I hear it's great. And I wish I'd sold as many copies as that. But yeah, yeah. She was very nice with that quote, yeah.
Michael David Wilson 41:38
Yeah. Yeah. And in terms of the way in which the book is presented, I mean, it's a little bit experimental last year, the majority of your book here, obviously, flipping between different time periods, initially, and you've also interspersed it with the text messages that we've mentioned, and also, these therapy sessions, but presented as film script. And, you know, that's before we've even mentioned, the first chapter so that there's a lot going on in terms of the composition here.
Will Carver 42:22
Yeah, I think I just, I kind of see, I, I tend to see when I write books as as a film, that's how that's how I I visualize it as I'm writing and and I liked the idea of having this kind of script element in there because Eli, the main character, he's always writing anything he can a first chapter first scene and, and I, and the story deals with what is true and what is and, you know, are all of the, you know, the scripted parts untrue, or are all the other parts? untrue? So I just I kind of wanted to play with that. So the reader doesn't really know what is real and what isn't, because Because Eli doesn't know what's real and what isn't. And the fake therapy sessions, I just, originally I had, I had him just kind of with a Dictaphone on his chest, lying on a, on a sofa, talking to himself. But that was kind of a bit like a bit of a monologue. And I just thought is funnier if he's talking to someone that isn't even there. So, and, yeah, and it's more of a conversation. I think conversations work well as scripts. So I thought, yeah, I'll do that. But the tech the whole text thing, it did I, I basically read about a story in that happened in America, Michelle Carter. She, she was with a guy that she I think she'd met him online or something. And he wanted to kill himself. And she was texting him every day. Are you going to do it today? Are you going to do and she was. And I just found it really interesting that she was supporting his wishes to end things he just he couldn't he couldn't figure things out in his head. And she ended up going to prison for killing him, even though she wasn't there. And there was no weapon and he sat in a car. He put some kind of generator on the on the seat and then fell asleep and then never woke up. But she had been texting him saying are you going to do it today? You're going out today? Have you say goodbye to your family, bla bla bla bla bla, and, and I just got consumed with the idea that she'd killed him with words. Essentially, she had she had not goaded him because the idea of of committing suicide is such a such a big thing to do. Like I was saying about the suicide Obama, you know, you must have a million questions going through your head before you before you do it. And essentially, this woman was put in jail for, for texting a guy to death. And that is that is mad. But we do live in this crazy world where we don't know what messages our kids are getting. And, and kids more children seem to suffer with mental health issues like more than we did. Maybe it's just that we didn't really know what it was or, you know, it's more, it's more out there now. But yes, the idea that, that you could, you could actually commit murder with words. I thought, well, that's great, because I'm writing about a guy who, who is who's a writer, and you know, he thinks there's a power in in the things that he's writing. Yeah, so yeah, that's where that came from. That was a real late addition that the whole text thing.
Dan Howarth 45:56
I think that's really interesting. Well, I mean, when you when you write in, I mean, how much are you kind of? Because a lot of you know, we've talked about the Dave's and there's a lot of it in here as well in suicide Thursday is how, how long do you spend on the the nuance because the text can be read? You know, as you say, either way, it's somebody either checking in or pushing somebody towards taking their own life? I mean, how long do you spend kind of trying to read things from different points of view as you're writing them?
Will Carver 46:28
Well, yes, I mean, I spend a while on it, because I tend to I, a lot of my books are written from different points of view. And I think it's really important to have everyone tell the truth, you know, but but in a different way, because that is, that's what's going on all the time, everyone. You know, you can say the same thing, or you can see something that happens, you know, you can have three people in a room see something that happens, when they tell you what happened, it sounds completely different, you know, it can come across in a completely different way. And I think that's what I tried to put across. And yeah, I do spend a lot of time
Dan Howarth 47:12
thinking about that. Yeah, I think that comes across. I mean, it's, you know, that that kind of insight, I guess is, you know, I think what I was kind of getting at is that is that one of the main things, you know, you've said that you hate editing, but is that one of the main conversations you have with kind of Karen or west of kind of, you know, does this does this work in an almost ambiguous kind of, you know, can this be read in both ways? You know, way, is that something that you kind of get a lot of outside input into? Or is that an instinctual thing that just kind of comes comes naturally with your writing?
Will Carver 47:48
I think I yeah, that never comes up in the editing thing. I think it's something that I, I always try to do, I like to say something, but you know, it can have Yeah, you know, two interpretations, if you can, if I can put in a line where the killer is saying, I am the killer. But, but also they're not they're saying something else, then then I will. I love doing that. It's so it's so great. Because you can't you are telling, you're telling the reader what's happening. But, but you're also steering them away from it, because it's, it's ambiguous.
Dan Howarth 48:25
Yeah, I find that really interesting. It's like, it makes me think back to like, school or whatever, where you'd kind of analyze the text of, you know, if you set book or whatever, and the teachers like, Oh, they're trying to say this here. And sometimes you like, really? Like, are we reading extra things into it? So I'm just, I find it quite interesting to get that insight into, you know, the deliberate layers of your writing process. I think that's, that's really kind of intriguing, as somebody who's who's obviously, you know, enjoyed all the books, it's, it's great to kind of hear that that was something purposely cooked into, into what you're writing.
Will Carver 49:02
I think it I do think about, like, at school, when we used to, you know, English literature, you'd read something and say, and you have to kind of extrapolate something from it and say, Oh, that the writer might have meant this, they might have meant that and come on, they're just telling a story, you know, back then, that there's no way they thought, oh, you know, I'm gonna use alliteration here because of this. And it's true, you absolutely do. You know, and, you know, I'd love to go back and to know that now, because I just thought that can't be there's no way you know, and I, I spend so much time kind of thinking of the rhythm of sentences, because I because I want a reader to read it at a certain pace in a certain way, the way that I'm saying it in my head, and, and you choose certain words and you and you put them together in a certain way for that reason. And, you know, I just used to think that was bullshit in class, you know that is no way that they were thinking that but you absolutely do.
Dan Howarth 50:03
Yeah. Yeah. And I think I think this speaks to, you know, what we're going back to before and not to not to bash NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo is we're talking right now,
Michael David Wilson 50:12
isn't it then NaNoWriMo writing? Right, yeah, we're not recur.
Dan Howarth 50:21
And, you know, churning churning fiction out, you know, I think there's, you know, you make a compelling case for, for the craft of writing, rather than, you know, simply, you know, bashing out getting it on the page, really, I think it's interesting in this month for four months to get the other side of the coin real.
Will Carver 50:41
But I do think you have, you know, I think you can read books and enjoy them and someone's written, you know, something that's compelling you to get to the end. And you can read a book and think this person is a writer. And like, if I if I read, like, Steve Gould stuff, I mean, that guy's a writer. He's a writer, he, he's a writer, I mean, you can see how it's how its craft and how he's thought about the words I'm currently reading. blacktop wasteland. And oh, yeah, and, you know, the story is all right. But this guy is a writer, you know, he's, he's, he's thought about how, how these words come across. So, you know, I they're out there. The rice is I think, but but you'd again, I, I do read books where I don't think the person is particularly great writer. But damn, their story is great. And I want to get to the end of it. So there's room for all of us. But I think for me, I tend to gravitate towards the ones I think of Rice's
Dan Howarth 51:47
definitely. I mean, essay Cosby. I mean, I felt like reading that book, as if I could almost hear him reading it to me while I was reading it, if that makes sense. Like,
Will Carver 51:57
yeah, I mean, I am. I'm reading it in an accent. Yeah.
Dan Howarth 52:01
Yeah, this magnificent, magnificent writer. Definitely. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 52:06
I mean, we've said that in suicide Thursday, of course, that can be that difficulty to discern between fact and fiction and reality and imagination. So I mean, I'm wondering what instances, if any, you've had before where you found it difficult to discern, or like, maybe you've had like, a dream or a kind of disquieting moment. And you're like, Wait, did that happen? Does that I feel like, you know, obviously, not to the extent that it happens in suicide Thursday, but these things can happen quite a bit within reality.
Will Carver 52:49
I have, since university, I've struggled with insomnia, really, really badly. Like, I, it's not as bad at the moment I go through phases where I'm so tired. I don't know, if I have said something in my head, or said it out loud. And it's quite crazy. I get to a point where I, I see things really close up. This is when I know I need to sleep. Things start to look close up. And I don't know, like, I'll talk to him and say, Oh, I remember when I said this to you. And they're like, No, and I'm like, I must have said that in my head then. Or I've I've thought something and said it out loud. So So yeah, I mean, in my real life, this this does happen to me from time to time. I mean, Seth in, in good Samaritans, like, I took all of my insomnia, and all the quirks and all the, all the things that I know and have experience and put that into him. And he, he has that thing where he sees things close up when he's super tired, but so yeah, it's definitely it's definitely happened to me. And suddenly, like three months later, I'm like, I don't know if I did do that. Or if I thought it was weird, and I'm making myself sound like a psychopath. But yeah, but yeah, so in my real life, yes, I have these moments where, where I don't know if something has actually happened, or, or I've just thought it Hmm. Well, I guess you weren't to answer in that way. But well, I
Michael David Wilson 54:32
mean, there's never any expectations but I mean, in terms of the insomnia as well as that, is that ever manifested in terms of like, like night terrors or anything along those lines?
Will Carver 54:50
No, no, I I rarely dream would like ever. It's weird. I just I don't know. I don't know if I get to the toilet have lost sleep where I can dream or I just don't remember it. Because obviously, if you if you don't sleep a lot, that's when you sleep. That's when you kind of consolidate your memories. And yeah, so I think I'm not kind of getting into that, to that level. So no, no, nothing like that. But I mean, I tell you what insomnia is, it's great for fitting in writing, because, you know, is, you know, you have more hours in your day to get stuff down on the page. So it's a it's a blessing and a curse. Right.
Michael David Wilson 55:33
You have regular health care. Thanks, if you can't get okay. I think I think I kind of checked in about this last time. We had you on the show, I think anytime you. You tell us or sleep you have on my computer check. Your All right.
Will Carver 55:49
I'm generally I'm I'm a pretty healthy dude. It's all right. But yeah, yeah. I mean, at the moment, I'm going through through quite a nice phase where I feel like I'm getting kind of five hours at night. So it's good.
Michael David Wilson 56:07
That's what they normally recommend. But, you know, probably a hell of a lot better a few years to two or three. So you know, you get gains where you can.
Will Carver 56:16
Yeah, exactly. I'll take it as I go. I'm feeling fresh right now.
Michael David Wilson 56:23
There you go. Well, I mean, we've the days next door, we spoke about, you know, God and the God complexes. So I mean, it'd probably be easy to talk about some of the scariest God complexes in history. But what are maybe some of the weirdest or the most unusual that perhaps you stumbled across in your research? Oh, gosh.
Will Carver 56:51
Do you know what I've looked into? I've got this. I've got this idea for a book about I want to write something about like an evangelical preacher. And I've and I've, I've looked, I've been researching this recently, and I kind of I've found a couple that I can go and watch. And realize I kind of want to get into the audience on these. But I think those are the the weird. The weirdest stories that that that I found online. I don't know if I spoke about this before. But when I was writing the Beresford, I found this guy who believed he went to hell for 23 minutes that talk about this before. I can't remember. I
Michael David Wilson 57:34
don't think you did mention that. Dan, is ringing a bell?
Dan Howarth 57:39
I'm not sure either. No,
Will Carver 57:41
well, yeah. So he's, he basically, he came home one night with his wife, and she found him in the hall, kind of sweating. And I know he shot himself or something. And he then went, when he finally came round, he told her that he had gone to hell, for 23 minutes. And there was no air down there and no liquid. And there was some demon in a cage. And from that day, he then taught lecturing about his 23 minutes in hell, that definitely happened. He wasn't just drunk or on drugs or something. And I just, I mean, this guy was brilliant, like, like, talking on stage. And he could quote everything from the Bible. Like, just like he knew the whole book, back to front. And it made him sound so believable. Like, you could see why people believe that this guy had gone to hell, and experienced it, and then could talk about it, and then say, why you should believe in God and also pay him and his wife money to hear them talk about it. But But yes, I mean, there's, there's some weird stuff, done it in the name of God, and, you know, you hear of serial killers, you know, thinking that God is talking to them through their dog. And things. It's just, I mean, if you want to find it, there's, there's plenty that that place that I saw, the 23 minutes in hell, I mean, if you Google 23 minutes in hell, you will find this guy, and you can watch. You can watch videos of him and it will lead you onto other weird stuff. I mean, it's, it's brilliant watching.
Dan Howarth 59:31
I think that's a really interesting, like, psychological kind of question for people. Like, if you spent 23 minutes in hell, and you knew that, obviously, it's hell, it's no good. It's like, would you spend the rest of your life trying to redeem yourself? Or would you just say, Fuck it, everything else is gonna be awful. I'm just gonna do whatever the hell I want for the rest of my life. I think that's a really like interesting way of like reading people,
Will Carver 59:56
or would you would you do would you tell everyone about it so that they didn't know And up there. I mean, imagine if it was true. This guy, for whatever reason, was chosen to go to hell for 23 minutes, experience it, his ribs being crushed by this demon, whatever, come back and tell the world in the hope that you know it would cut down the amount of people that would go there. Imagine it was true, you know that'd be a nice twist at the end of that story wouldn't
Michael David Wilson 1:00:24
I mean it's a hell of a story to make up and commit to rather than just admit Yeah, right I had a few too many pints and hit myself. So doing these really double down on toes is really Yellin into this one.
Will Carver 1:00:41
He found like, it's a real kind of high concept idea rather than saying like, uh, you know, God spoke to me, you know, because everywhere you know, that's that's happened so much. God spoke to me and told me to you know, do whatever, he found a different angle and it works. So you know, well done.
Michael David Wilson 1:00:59
Yeah, I just wonder is like, is the 23 minutes too oddly specific for it to be true? I mean, what what happened? Was there a fucking timer in hell? Yeah.
Will Carver 1:01:15
I think I feel like maybe I can't remember now. I've read too much since but I feel like his wife looked at the clock when he got up to go to the toilet or whatever. And then 23 minutes later, she found him on on the whole floor covered in person.
Dan Howarth 1:01:35
Yeah, nevermind, this guy. I'm wait. I'm saving my money for the fellow who spent a full hour down there. You know, come on here. Don't want this rocky. 2023 minutes. Yeah. Down there. Come on. Get an hour in.
Will Carver 1:01:52
Yeah, you're not going unless there's there's a library down there.
Dan Howarth 1:01:55
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But it'd be permanently locked or something. Bastards. Yeah. Torture. Yeah. Lunchtime never comes right in time. Never turns Yeah. Yeah. Just create my own personal Hi, no. Person perfect.
Michael David Wilson 1:02:14
You said on Twitter the other day, is that I've just written one of those darkly humorous lines that will have people outraged, despite being completely appropriate to say in the context, it is written. Yes. Can you give us anything on that? I am so intrigued.
Will Carver 1:02:34
It's doing because because if it's not in context, it sounds horrible. So the line was something like, but what about the good things? Hitler did? Yeah, something is I think it's that but but it's within the context of, of what it is, is it's like a it's a story about Jehovah's Witnesses, knocking on your door, and the fact that they've recruited 9 million people that way. And and these people that actually invite them in are, you know, they must be very optimistic people. And I think then I said, they're the kind of people who would say, but what about the good content, but it's something like that I can't remember exactly. But so within the context, it makes sense. But if you just have that line, that's what people are going to see and say, Hi, I can't believe you said that. You know, it happens all the time. I mean, God, the people who are outraged that I dissed Alcoholics Anonymous in psychopaths anonymous, it's like, I didn't at all like a really researched what that was about. I know that it's helped millions of people. That wasn't what my story was about. But yeah, people choose to get outraged.
Michael David Wilson 1:03:50
Yeah, I heard you speak about that before. And I know. I mean, what kind of mental gymnastics do you have to perform to come to the conclusion that psychopaths Anonymous was taking the piss out of Alcoholics Anonymous?
Will Carver 1:04:05
And people think I hate God, as well. It's, that's this isn't my autobiography is a fiction. I'm exploring stuff I'm very interested in religion and you know, I I've religious read these I don't hate God. But you know, take a you know, people take what they were what they want. And people will read that line and and think I'm being anti semitic or something, but it's not. It's a joke in context.
Michael David Wilson 1:04:33
Yeah, well, now I'm just gonna splice the loaded things that you just said together and create the first this is our viral Tiktok the Hitler stuff the anti semitism that I hate God, this is gonna be great. My only floor is I just repeat it at all. So now Dan, that all together with me so you can have a little All situation like we're all pointing the gun at each other. And whoever releases one of these will release the next one.
Will Carver 1:05:08
We get we can do. Yeah, keep it. Yeah.
Dan Howarth 1:05:14
So NaNoWriMo next year.
Will Carver 1:05:17
Yeah, me text me about that next November. I'm putting this out. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 1:05:26
I think if we do NaNoWriMo next year, and then Chris, who really should join us after all the fucking time he took today with absolutely no payments.
Will Carver 1:05:37
I know, we've spoken more about him than my book, I can't believe it.
Michael David Wilson 1:05:43
Gonna be the name of the app will cover talking about Crisafulli really sabotaging the fucking show? Well, on that now, I mean, we're all out of time. But thank you so much for joining us. This has been a hell of a lot of fun. And yeah, I really hope that suicide Thursday does tremendously well for you cuz it's a great book. Well, thanks.
Will Carver 1:06:13
Yeah, me too. And thanks for having me. And thank you, Brazil.
Michael David Wilson 1:06:20
Thank you, Brazil. Well, where can our listeners connect with you?
Will Carver 1:06:27
Always on Twitter. Get me on Twitter. We'll underscore kava there a lot of the time, especially this month, because I've got a book coming out. So yeah, that's where you'll find me. Oh, no, go to my website. I've got a website now. Forgot about that. Will cover.co.uk There's I'm updating at the moment putting like, there's like little secret areas within it that you have to find. And there's loads of funky easter eggs on there. So yeah, get on there sign up to the mailing list as well do it for sale.
Michael David Wilson 1:07:03
Well, that's something that's changed in the last eight months because you didn't have your website when we were talking to you. You'd had it before you have it now. But yeah, there was a brief time when there was no will come for website.
Will Carver 1:07:18
No, yeah, I got rid of it. Because I thought my career was over. But now it's, it's back. Don't worry. I'll try it. I'll sabotage my career with the next book. I'm sure.
Michael David Wilson 1:07:29
All right. That's that's hope. Yeah. Yes. Right. I do you have any final thoughts to leave our listeners with?
Will Carver 1:07:40
Oh, balls you asked me this last time and I had nothing Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 1:07:45
If we get you on if we get you on again. If you say when when a human you haven't sabotaged your writing career. You know, I'll ask you again unless you every time
Will Carver 1:07:57
Yes, well, I'll have something next time this time. I'll say anyone is doing NaNoWriMo Good luck.
Michael David Wilson 1:08:07
Thank you so much for listening to the conversation with oil Carver. Join us again next time when we will be chatting with Jonathan Jan's. But if you would like to get that ahead of the crowd. If you would like to get every episode ahead of the crowd, then become our patreon patreon.com. Forward slash This 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 have a number of great guests coming up soon, including the likes of Cynthia Palacio and Chuck Wendig. You will also get access to exclusive podcasts including story on box the horror podcast on the craft of writing and the Q and A's sessions with myself and Bob Pastorella. And there is also in the video cast pack on camera off record and video cast subscribers have the latest of that available right now. We recorded it yesterday. And you can watch me and Bob answer your questions in beautiful monochrome, or as beautiful as it will allow given that you're looking at me and Bob, but you know, that's what you signed up for apparently. Now before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break.
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As always, I would like to end with a quote and I know particularly at this time of year, a lot of people are suffering from depression a lot of people are suffering with self doubt. Unfortunately that is often part of the creative journey. So I've got a quote here from John Wooden and I hope some of you will find this of comfort. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. I'll see you in the next episode with Jonathan Jan's. But until then, take care yourselves, be good to one another. Read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.