In this podcast, David Moody, Dan Howarth, and Michael David Wilson have a round table discussion about their current writing routine and life, and David Moody talks about surviving a heart attack amongst other topics.
About David Moody
David Moody first self-published Hater in 2006, and without an agent, succeeded in selling the film rights for the novel to Mark Johnson (producer, Breaking Bad) and Guillermo Del Toro (director, The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth). His seminal zombie novel Autumn was made into an (admittedly terrible) movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Moody has an unhealthy fascination with the end of the world and writes books about ordinary folks going through absolute hell.
About Dan Howarth
Dan Howarth is a writer from the North of England. His work has been published both in print and online, most notably at The Other Stories podcast, where his stories have been downloaded over 100,000 times. In April 2021, Dan released his debut short story collection Dark Missives through Northern Republic Press. Dan was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award in 2019 as an editor and shortlisted for a Northern Debut Award from New Writing North in 2021.
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The Death Doula by Ali Seay
Marki Hartwell is a death doula. Aiding people as they exit this world isn’t just her job, it’s her calling. Unfortunately, being a doula has cost Marki her girlfriend Paula and their future together. When a hospice notification informs Marki that a patient named Franklin is dying alone—with no family, friends, or neighbors to comfort him—Marki sets off in the worst storm she’s ever seen because no one should die alone. Now available in paperback and eBook from Cemetery Gates Media.
House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson
From the author of The Girl in the Video comes a darkly comic thriller with an edge-of-your-seat climax.
Denny just wants to be the world’s best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half-sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father’s death.
Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?
House of Bad Memories is Funny Games meets This Is England with a Rosemary’s Baby under-taste.
Michael David Wilson (00:00:07): Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers, and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson. And every episode alongside my co-host, Bob Pastor, I chat with the world's best writers about writing life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today is a conversation that was recorded as part of the House of Bad Memories. This is Horror podcast weekend. It is a conversation that I had with David Moody, the author of Autumn and Hater, and also with the former. This is Horror podcast, co-host Dan Howarth, the author of books including Territory. And this is a little bit different to a lot of our podcasts because rather than being an interview in which we dive into the work of a specific author, this is more a round table discussion. This is three friends who have known each other for over a decade, catching up and talking about writing and life. So I think it's going to be interesting for you. I think there are a lot of good takeaways in this one, but before we get into the conversation, a little bit of an advert break.
Bob Pastorella (00:01:58): Marky Hartwell is a death doula aiding people as they exit. This world isn't just her job, it's her calling. Unfortunately, being a doula has caused Markie, her girlfriend, Paula, and her future together when a hospice notification informs Markey did. A patient named Franklin is dying alone with no family, friends, or neighbours to comfort him. Markey sets off in the worst storm she's ever seen because no one should die alone. The death doula, the L Sea, is now available in paperback and ebook from Cemetery Gates Media House, A Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media. Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank, then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie Half Sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death. Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions? Clay McLeod Chapman Says, house of Bad memories hit so hard, you'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, House Of Bad Memories By Michael David Wilson and Paperback at cemeterygatesmedia.com or an Ebook Via Amazon.
Michael David Wilson (00:03:13): Okay, with that said, here it is. It is David Moody and Dan, Howarth on This is horror? Dave Moody. Dan Howarth, welcome back to, this Is Horror for the House of Bad Memories Podcast weekend. How are you doing?
David Moody (00:03:34): As well as you can be at eight o'clock on a Saturday morning UK time.
Dan Howarth (00:03:39): Yeah, not too bad. You look at the sun, it's a rare day. What a day to be trapped inside. Chatting to you, Michael.
Michael David Wilson (00:03:48): Yeah, but kind of like you're being held hostage in a sense, which I suppose is somewhat thematic to have some bad memory. So very on
Dan Howarth (00:03:59): Brand for you, Michael. Yeah, very on brand.
Michael David Wilson (00:04:02): Yeah. Yeah. Well, I was looking at when we last spoke on the podcast, and Dave for you, I think it was February, 2020. So we haven't spoken on the podcast for three and a half years or so. And I like to ask, and this is such a big question, it might be one question and then we filled the two hours, but what have been the biggest changes for you both personally and professionally in that time?
David Moody (00:04:34): Oh wow. I think try and find somebody who hasn't had their life completely changed since then.
(00:04:43): For me personally, it was just a very, very bizarre time. We went into the pandemic blindly. I won't get into politics yet, but we have little guidance and understanding and preparation we had, and then suddenly we just find ourselves in the middle of this thing, the kind of thing that we've been writing about for the last two decades or whatever. So we got into there, got locked down, my cat died, I had a heart attack, and then pretty much nothing's been the same since then. Complete change of lifestyle, I think complete change of priorities, expectations, everything. It feels like almost that I was a different person back then. That sounds really pretentious so soon, but you know what I mean? I can't believe how much has changed since we last spoke, let's put it that way.
Michael David Wilson (00:05:39): Yeah, yeah. And I mean, logistically, what was the pandemic like for you in terms of your writing routine and your working routine? And I know that mean when we spoke to you back in episode 100, that was such a pivotal moment for this is Horror podcast, not just because it was a hundred episodes, but because it was the first episode where we spoke so candidly and honestly about mental health and depression, and now I'll venture into any kind of uncomfortable topics. And there's no real filter in terms of where I'll go. I mean within a few minutes of speaking to Dean Kunz. So I asked him about is a relationship with his abusive father, which if you're going to do that with someone like Dean Coons, I guess it shows that there really are no questions with any guests that are off the table. But you were pivotal in shaping that.
David Moody (00:06:51): But you know what, that's really good to hear, and it's great that you can have those conversations now because I think part of the reason that I struggled so badly for a time with my mental health was because I couldn't talk, I didn't talk. And a lot of that was not really a lifestyle choice, it's just the way things evolved. So I'd been doing the normal nine to five stuff for a while and writing in the evenings, and then suddenly all stuff happened with GMA del Toro showing an interest in one of my books. And then suddenly I've got a publisher in New York and then a publisher in London, and they're all saying, you are the next big thing, which only ever means you're the next big thing this week and next week you'll be forgotten. And suddenly there's all this attention, all this cash, all these sales and everything.
(00:07:36): So incredibly exciting. And it was a ride that lasted for maybe, I don't know, four or five years. And when you're in that position, you think foolishly now with hindsight, but you think that's it, I've done it. I've reached that level, and I can only ever go up. Obviously that's not the case. It certainly wasn't for me anyway, but we bought a new house, took on a big mortgage, lots of kids, and I'm sitting here literally here, type in away, and the stuff suddenly wasn't selling. And because we've moved a distance away from where we lived before, a lot of the connections that we had, the social connections had disappeared. So I wasn't walking the kids to school in the morning, and when I went out for a walk with the dog, I wasn't seeing anybody. And I just became very disconnected, but in a typical bloke way, didn't say anything to anybody about it until, oh shit, it's all falling apart and I'm falling apart.
(00:08:38): And as the absolute probably worst, it was really a six month period when it's worst. But I was actually talking to a guy a few weeks ago who he was a friend of my wife's, I didn't know at the time that he was a mental health professional with many years experience, but she said to me back at the time, you're in a mess. You need to go and speak to somebody, but it's not me. Try this chat. I went and spoke to him and we've stayed in touch over the 10 years or so since then. And he said to me last time I saw him, do you know that night it was a tussle, whether I let you go home and see the doctor or I get you sectioned. And I thought, oh shit. But I'm kind of rambling a bit here, but my point is it just caught me completely by surprise and it terrified me and it still does terrify me that that could happen. So the fact that we can have these conversations now, again, didn't expect it to be straight in on the first five minutes of the podcast, but there you go. I think it can only be a good thing. Oh, shut up
Michael David Wilson (00:09:40): Now. Yeah, no, no, no. I mean, so that ties into, obviously a lot of this stemmed from the isolation, and you said to us at the time, that was one of the reasons for you getting back into full-time and then part-time work just so you had that social contact. And then, I mean, we had that conversation, it must have been in 2015. And so then for me, I had some years where I was, and then when I became a father in 2018, I had about a year and a half where it was just me and my daughter, and then I went through a similar thing with the isolation and the depression. And I felt in a way, even though obviously these moments with my daughter was so special and so sacred, but you are also trapped. So it almost magnified the loneliness and the isolation because not only are you not going out, but you can't go out because you've got these responsibilities.
(00:11:05): So I feel like now I can relate to what you said back in 2015 on a more personal level. And so at the moment I'm teaching and I'm writing, and I feel that even if I go back to more writing full time, I'd probably always have one day a week where I'm teaching just to have that social connection, which is an incredibly rambling way to ask. When the pandemic came in, and presumably you are then not in the office, did that have an effect on your mental health and because you'd been through something before, were you then equipped with the tools to deal with that and to, I guess minimise it?
David Moody (00:11:56): Yeah, it didn't really affect me in the same way I think in the pandemic, although we were locked down to this house, it was me, my wife, and our two youngest kids. So I'd got people around me more than I had at the time. But as I mentioned, I managed to have a heart attack at the Midland from absolutely, well, I know what the cause was now, but it just seemed to come completely out of the blue. And once that had happened, it had so many different effects on me. Again, I'm going to sound really pretentious, but I'm lying there, dying on the lounge floor and everything changed from that point on. It does sound very cliched, but it's true. And I'm not second chances, and there wasn't a bright light with somebody beckoning into me and all of that bollocks, but it just makes you think, oh shit, this is quite fleeting.
(00:12:58): We're only here for a little bit. And I think that I made a conscious decision then to be a kind of different person. So I, I'd been very antisocial in the past, which had compounded the isolation, who'd want to sit with that grumpy basket. But I'd become, I think going back to work, I'd become more sociable and started to see that people are ace to be around. It's not a pain to be around people, but as you say, also, you've got to make time for the things that you need to do. So I made the change that if I am going to write again, then everybody else has got to think about it as a job. It's one of the issues I had before is we had a house full of kids and just me and everything, the washing up, the lawn, cutting, the dog walking, everything was more important than writing. And yet writing was providing for the house and providing the money to pay for the house. And it's kind of a weird situation you get into. But yeah, and I wasn't expecting as well the effect that my heart attack had on everybody else because it absolutely axed Lisa, my wife and the kids because it was the pandemic. It was literally the first or second week. So the ambulance was here in seconds, the hospital was empty.
(00:14:18): My dad, this sounds so morbid. My dad died on the ward that they took me to in the hospital. And when dad was there, it was absolutely rammed. It wasn't quite two to a bed, but it wasn't far off. But when I was in, there were three of us because it was only urgent cases and everything else had been diverted to Covid. So it was like we'd paid for the best private medical treatment could. We were just, there you go, sir, do you want anything or should we get you some food? Should we, this said it was a really as relaxing and experienced as it could have been. But then I got home and Lisa and the kids are traumatised, and Lisa says to me that I saw your feet go in the ambulance. And I thought, is that the last view I'm ever going to have of him? And because there was no communication and because you couldn't have visitors or anything, it was really hard for them to get information. I dunno where I'm going with this, but it's just that half an hour on a Tuesday morning in April, 2020 just changed everything for all of us here.
Michael David Wilson (00:15:19): And you said that now, kind of why it happened. So I mean, I know that we've privately spoken about this a little bit, but as luckily I'm not as part of this episode sharing all the communications we've had privately in the show notes. And I'm sure as hell not sharing all the communications I've had with Dan privately in the notes.
Dan Howarth (00:15:45): No comments, Michael. I've got the screenshots locked away just in case. Don't you worry about,
Michael David Wilson (00:15:51): Yeah, but I mean, let's talk about what you found out as the cause and then what are you doing for your health going forward. And obviously I know it was a complete shock too, and because for all appearances, you're a healthy guy, you do a lot for your fitness. It's something that you've been doing for a number of years now, and this could be important information for people listening.
David Moody (00:16:23): Well, my diet was pretty shonky as I think a lot of us can be guilty of that. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't really think about what I ate, so I wasn't helping myself. Unfortunately, I mentioned my dad passed away in the same ward that I ended up and he had a lot of heart issues. And there's a genetic thing that he's passed on to me and my brother, which is, thanks dad. Cheers, mate. Which gives us a propensity for heart attacks. But yeah, as you say, I've always, from the age of about 20, I've run pretty much every week. I did, I think 50 half marathons before the heart attack, not consecutively over a period of year. That was what
Michael David Wilson (00:17:09): Did it then probably. But
David Moody (00:17:12): No, I was in really decent shape. I was a little bit overweight, but nothing spectacular. I was okay. I think it was bringing the work thing full circle. It was stress because I had a particularly nasty HR situation with one of my team and the company screwed it up completely. Layers of ineptitude in HR and in my department above me. And it all boiled down to me pretty much, I can't say what happened and I won't say what happened, but the day of the heart attack, I had a phone call, first thing with HR about a meeting that I'd been in. It was the last face-to-face meeting I had before the pandemic where we talked about this issue. And then they'd sent me the notes to sign and I said, well, what you've said in the notes is not what we spoke about. It's completely different.
(00:18:18): And I knew that because I knew where it was going. So I'd recorded it on my watch while we were sat in the meeting and I played it back. I thought I didn't say any of that. And the answer I got back, well, there's two of us. There's only one of you, so if you don't sign it, we'll just say that. That's how it was. Anyway, so I was steaming, went in the garage, went on the treadmill, got off the treadmill, had a heart attack. So this is full of joy, this podcast, isn't it? I can hear people tuning out in droves.
Michael David Wilson (00:18:48): Well, I mean, it's as joyful as, to be honest, the vast majority of our podcasts that we do together, I feel that in the first 10 minutes we're like, oh, this has gone to some dark places. And I think we should just stop being surprised about that. It's inevitable. Fair enough,
Dan Howarth (00:19:08): Fair enough. I mean, the clue is in the title. This is horror. And yeah, there are dark places within the genre and people's lives. I mean, what were the changes that you made after it, Dave? Because you've said that you've looked at life differently. It's very productive to say what have you learned from a heart attack, but what changes have you made since the event that have benefited you?
David Moody (00:19:36): Well, there's the obvious diet related ones and that kind of thing, but I'd exercised in a really stupid way. I think I'd run maybe once or twice in a week, just quite a short distance. And then on Sunday, I would just run for 10, 15 miles, something like that. And me, I'm not built for distance running. It wasn't particularly healthy, so I just dialled all that in and I just do a little bit of exercise every day. And I guess that's my life mutter now a little bit every day. And that sounds so pretentious, but there are so many different things now that I do a little bit of every day, a bit of mindfulness, Japanese, and now we've spoken about this, Michael, we're finally three weeks today, fingers crossed. Lisa and I are on our way to Japan for a trip that was planned for my 50th birthday, which was during lockdown and obviously cancelled because of the pandemic. So I started using duo lingo.
Michael David Wilson (00:20:41): I
David Moody (00:20:41): Had my four year anniversary this week, and pretty much every day, apart from when I've not been in the country, I've done a Japanese lesson and I'm not absolutely not fluent. And if you said anything to me, Michael, I've just shrugged the shoulders at the moment.
Michael David Wilson (00:20:55): So we're not going to switch to Japanese now for that isolate the entire audience.
David Moody (00:21:02): I just wanted to know a little bit for when we go, but my point is that I do know quite a bit, but it's just doing a little bit every day.
Michael David Wilson (00:21:11): So
David Moody (00:21:11): It's having lots of things that you do a tiny bit of every day. I think instead of going all in on something for a while, just do a little bit of that every day. And so my days now, they're not completely structured, but I do have, and I'm not OCD or anything like that, but there are things that I will just make sure I do, and I just feel like a better, more complete person for doing that kind of stuff. And the other side of it, I guess, is that relationships change a lot. And so we've got a big family, as you know, and the kids have all grown up now. One of them left just before the pandemic. A couple of them had moved out in the years before, but now we do a lot more social stuff together. And I have to say completely against type, it's usually me that drives that and gets everybody together because don't want to miss your chance, you,
Michael David Wilson (00:22:07): Because
David Moody (00:22:07): I guess that's one of the things this came so out of the blue, so unexpected that now you just think, well, I can't put that off until tomorrow because who knows what it's going to bring. Am I going to be lying on the lounge floor again surrounded by paramedics tomorrow? I'm not. But you've got that thought there, haven't you? I have,
Michael David Wilson (00:22:26): Yeah, yeah, yeah. I find that so much of my adulthood is learning or relearning things that I was taught at such a young age. And then when I realised the lesson, I think, why am I only learning this now when you talk about doing a little bit every day or not overdoing it, as you can probably tell from the fact that I've decided to do 16 hours of podcasting almost back to promote this book. I'm not good at doing things by halves. And so I found with my own exercise, if I was lifting weights and things, then I would be lifting as heavy as I can, and then I'm just injuring myself. So I've just had to paret things back. I'm mostly now just doing body weight exercise and it's like, look, just do once a week, do a specific body part or a specific movements.
(00:23:33): So you've got your pull up day, and then you've got pushups, you've got your leg day, you've got your abs. Whereas before it was almost like, I want to do as much as I can every single day, and then I'm surprised that I'm not making any progress. And then I think, well, what would happen if I just did each movement once a week? And then it's like, oh shit, I'm getting stronger and in less pain. And it's like, how is this a lesson? This is basic. This is obvious stuff. Or relearning things like, oh, if you get enough sleep, you feel better the next day. What has gone wrong that hit?
David Moody (00:24:15): You're absolutely right. And I was similar with running. I think the fact, the reason I did so many half marathons is because every time I finish one, I was thinking, I'll do that again and I'll do it better. I know what I did wrong, I've got to improve it. And so I kept trying to do that. And then when the heart attack happened, Lisa said, I don't want to go running anymore. But I knew that I couldn't stop running because it's such a good thing for me mentally just to get out there and it just clears your head. I've thought of so many great plot twists when I've been pounding the streets around here. It's really useful for that. So I said, I can't stop. And then the compromise was that I would run, but I never run any further than five miles now, and I never enter any kind of events or races. And she said, you've done 50, what's the point? Well, I want to get better. But you're getting older, you've had a heart attack, and sometimes you just have to stop and say, well, why was I doing that? Why did I think I had to keep improving? I
Dan Howarth (00:25:15): Think that's a real key thing. I mean, I've been similar, so maybe I'm getting on for middle age, I don't know. But we have a friend who lives locally, a little bit of a tangent here, but it is coming around to the point, I promise. So we've started playing snooker together, which I've not played for about 20 years. So we turn up and we're using the cues they give you at the club, and they're all wonky, like a tree branch or whatever, and we're terrible. But I was like, this is actually really fun to do something I've not done for such a long time and people are looking at me. It's fun. It's fun. So we started playing twice a week in the evenings. So now I've got, looking at now we've got our cues. We bought proper cues that are in a straight line.
(00:26:02): And I started to get, I mean, he's actually pretty good. And I started to improve noticeably, but now I'm at the point where if I'm not playing well every single time, every shot isn't going exactly where I want it. I'm like, there's a danger sometimes when you're trying to improve isn't there, that you'll lose the element of fun. And I think personally speaking, during the pandemic, I had that issue with writing as well. I was like, I got to get this done. I got to do this, I got to do that all the time. And you lose almost sight of why you're doing something in the first place. And ultimately with writing, you're telling yourself the story. And that in itself is fun. You turn not to play a sport or do something socially with a friend, it's supposed to be fun. And I think sometimes it feels like a lot of society now is like, you must improve. You must do this every day to do this. And it does feel sometimes a bit like pressure to, if you're not the best or if you're not on the way to being the best, then everything's pointless. But that's not the case. It's an unhealthy mindset if you lose the element of fun in whatever it's that you're trying to do.
David Moody (00:27:13): I completely agree with that a hundred percent. In fact, you've just nailed for me the reason that my writing went off the rails a little bit back in the day when I ended up going back to work because it wasn't fun because the success of Hater really caught me off guard because that was just a random book. I just thought, my thinking at the time was, I've written so many books and I'm making this much money. If I write another one, I'll make this much money more. So I just chucked out this book and just really, as you say, fun, just had a lot of fun writing it, didn't think anything of it. And then what happened with it happened. But after that, I kind of went into the reverse and I started overthinking it. Well, that was a success because this happened, so I've got to make sure that that doesn't happen. And and I wrote a book, the book that finally tripped me up. I must've written it about four or five times, and every time my agent got it, it was getting worse and I'd sucked all the joy out of it and sucked the spontaneity out of it and just completely missed that back at the time. So here you say that about Ser, I get that hundred percent. You've just got to just enjoy the process, just have fun with it.
Dan Howarth (00:28:22): Yeah, I think that's it. Enjoying the process is probably the simplest way to say it isn't. You've nailed the core of the idea there. It's like, yeah, it's great to see your skills improve and to have a goal, but you have to remember to actually enjoy trying to get there. I mean, even trying to get over the line and get an agent is Michael's done a bit of querying as well. It's a miserable experience when it's not going your way. So to be on the other side, to hear from you, Dave, on the other side of that, when you've had that success, and to try and work to get that fun and that enjoyment back into what you're doing must been difficult.
David Moody (00:29:07): Yeah, I do often think, well, what could have been if things had kept going on that tangent, if the next book had been bigger than hater, then where would I be? But honestly, it's not important. And that's another thing that the heart attack told me, taught me rather it doesn't matter. I read something, I wish I could remember it exactly, but it's a very famous quote. It does the rounds it Joseph Heller who wrote Catch 22, and the story goes that they were at a charity dinner together. And so Joseph Heller wrote, he's got catch 22 millions and millions of sales, and they're at this dinner. And Kurt Van got nudges him and says, that guy over there is a merchant banker. He's earned more money today than you'll earning your lifetime from your bestselling book. How does that make you feel? And allegedly the story is that it is Joseph Heller. Is that right? Who wrote Catch 22?
Michael David Wilson (00:30:13): Yeah.
David Moody (00:30:15): Joseph Heller turns around and to him and says, it doesn't matter. I've got enough. And that has just stuck in my head that you don't have to keep striving for the next big thing. I'm happy where I am now or I haven't got quite enough money in the bank. We could always do with a little bit more, but I wouldn't want any wild success. I just want to be at the point where I could say, yeah, that's cool. I've got enough. I want to be at the point where I can wake up in the morning and think, well, what do I want to do today? And just go and do that. And I think that, so a lot of the problems, and we're getting onto the problems of the world now. A lot of the problems in the world we tack like Elon Musk, is that people don't stop and think, oh, that's enough. I'm okay now. I've got to have more and unable and I need that and I need control of this, and I've got to make sure I'm in charge of that. That's all bullshit. You've just got to get enough to give you what you want and get you happy, you and the people around you.
Michael David Wilson (00:31:10): Yeah,
David Moody (00:31:11): What a tosser.
Michael David Wilson (00:31:13): I mean, the less that you need to be contingent on your happiness, the easier it is to be happy. And that's something I think about a lot. And to be honest, I don't need that much to be happy just as long as I can eat reasonably, as long as I've got some coffee, if I've got a way to write, if I've got surrounded by friends and loved ones, obviously not literally, as you can see, that'd be a little bit ominous. Have they're what,
David Moody (00:31:50): Sitting on the floor down here?
Michael David Wilson (00:31:52): Yeah, my little cult. But yeah, I mean, I don't need a lot. And I think I try to keep it that way because you see people, they get a little bit of money and they get what previously would've made them really happy, but then they upgrade their lifestyle or suddenly they're wearing designer clothes or they're eating higher quality food. And now if they don't get that new lifestyle, they're going to be miserable again. But if you can be content in what you have or what you wanted, then it's easier to be happy in general. I think too, you pretty much said this, and this is something that I said during the live podcast as well. I think the secret to enjoying writing is finding pleasure in the pursuit of writing. It's not about, is it a New York Times bestseller? It's not about the sales, it's not about the reviews, it's just in that moment while you are writing, are you having fun? Are you enjoying what you're doing? And if you are, then whatever happens, it was a success. It brought you joy.
(00:33:16): I've recently finished a draught of a book that Dan has read called Daddy's Boy, which is as ridiculous as it sounds, I've kind of pitching it as the Greasy Strangler meets at Yo our Lansdale heist novel, but set in Guy Richie's Incompetent Britain based on the beta reader feedback that there's some work to be done. And I knew, shut up where you're nodding even make a sound, Dan, I can see it in your eyes. But even though there is work to be done, I had so much fun writing that. And actually that was kind of the point of writing that because as people know, and as you two really know, I have been through some shit these last three years. It has been the most difficult time of my adult life. It is fingers crossed much better and hopefully continuing to get better though I don't take that for granted.
(00:34:30): Actually, there are some parallels in terms of the kind of trajectory of my life recently because I've gone through the hardest thing in my adult life. I have a new appreciation for basically everything. I don't take anything or anyone for granted. It can sound both positive and negative, but for me it's a positive. But I don't take for granted that anyone I love is going to be here tomorrow. I don't take for granted that anything is permanent because actually to be be a bit morbid as we always seem to be like nothing is forever. There is no permanence. Everyone dies, everything dies. That is the reality. But if you can appreciate every moment, then it just makes everything better.
Dan Howarth (00:35:32): I think the positive is Michael, obviously knowing you as well as I do, and then just stray back onto Daddy's Boy. I know we're promoting a different book, but in reading it, I could tell that you were back almost mentally from where you'd been because I could tell that you're having fun writing it. Yeah, it's off the wall, it's nuts. There are a shit load of jokes in it, but I can tell that that was you sitting there. I don't like to think of your face too often because of how that is. Fair enough. I can imagine you sitting there into it and cackling to yourself and enjoying it and yeah, I mean there's a few bits that you need to tighten up, which I fed back and feedback, but it's a good book and it's you. Do you know what I mean? And that is refreshing to see because I can see that your personality is there and that the difficult things have happened for you, haven't got you down, haven't left the mark, at least outwardly, perhaps. You are still producing and you've still got that personality that you always had. So in that respect, it's reassuring to me really as your friends, to see you writing in that way and it's a good thing. And going back to the fun, there's no doubt you had fun writing that book that can't be questioned. And that is something that as a friend and a fan of your work, that's what we want to see.
Michael David Wilson (00:37:02): Yeah, yeah, there's loads to respond to in terms of what you'd just said. And by the way, in terms of promoting future releases and works in progress, I seem to have half of these conversations, including on other shows. I start talking about Daddy's boy, I start talking about this other book that I'm writing together forever because there's like a weird thing when we are promoting a book. We wrote that book quite a long time ago. So it's like I love House of Bad Memories and what I've done there, but the book that is fresher in my mind are actually the books that I'm writing now or that I just completed writing. So that might be a separate conversation or something to jump back to. But in terms of the writing of Daddy's Boy, that was also important because it was, yeah, that's the first long story, possibly just the first story in general that I had written since going through this trauma and this big life-changing situation.
(00:38:13): I mean, I did write House of Bad Memories, half of it while I was very much in the middle of that trauma, but Dad is Boy. For me, it marked a fresh start. It's like this is what I'm doing post the breakdown of my marriage basically. And that felt liberating. It's like I wanted to do that. And I mean, I guess it's good that you said it doesn't feel in terms of my voice that I've been affected or that it's had a negative effect. I mean, obviously what I've been through, it's kind of impossible to go through that and then to be able to go back to having not gone through that, I will for the rest of my life be affected by that. That has had an impact on me, that has made it harder to trust anyone or anything. And at times has almost made me feel like I'm going crazy.
(00:39:25): But equally, it's like as I often say, you can't change anything from the past. You can only affect the present and the future. And so it gets a little bit woo, but I try to live in the world or the mindset that I want to exist. So I don't want to exist in a state of absolute paranoia and not trusting anyone. So I almost have to act as if I do trust that things will be good because even if there's a little part of me that isn't sure about that, if I let that take over, then I can guarantee life won't be good. It won't be a good mindset to have. Goodness. I'm trying to think what you said so many things and I wanted to respond to about 10 things at once there. But I mean, yeah, writing Dad Is, boy, it was so much fun. And I think you said you could tell that was me being me. It was absolutely, and I think Dan, you are probably more familiar with my writing journey than anyone ever that even writing the short story, what would Wesley do? That was a turning point for me. That was when
(00:40:53): I started to find my voice. And I think for better or for worse, the readers competed yada. I'm continuing to find my voice and for each story to be more authentically me. I think the thing with Daddy boy, and I think I said this to you, and I've said this to other people, when I send things to beta readers, I kind of try to push some limits. And I know that there are sometimes some flaws or there are some things that people might pick up on, but it's almost like a game of chicken. It's like, I'm going to include that, and if nobody picks me up on, then I just got away with it. And so I think people will notice this from House of Bad Memories, but there are some kind of lung, somewhat indulgent conversations that test the limits of how long a conversation can be.
(00:41:54): And I think I got the balance. And then in Daddy's Boy, as Dan knows, I thought, I'm going to push that further. And so some of the dialogue was almost like an extended greasy strangler. See now the Greasy Strangler is pretty tight in terms of its comedy and dialogue, even though it's absurd. But then I guess I said, well, what would happen if Quentin Tarantino had written the Greasy Strangler? And the answer is that Dan Howarth would be like, look, it's very funny, but you've got to cut some of that back. So that was my attempt to see what happened. But the end result is that I'm going to have a much kind of tighter book now that I've got feedback from people like you and from Kev Harrison as well. And I know that when you gave me the feedback, you were kind of reluctant or you're like, oh, I'm not sure if you're going to like this. But it's like, no, if you're saying things that didn't work, of course I like that. Obviously it'd be good if it was like, yeah, you've just created a masterpiece. And I think this is going to be as infamous as Shakespeare in terms of shaping the culture or landscape and language. But we want criticism and we want ways to tighten our stories. If we just wanted to have a kind of massage of the ego, then it's like, well fucking show it to your mom or show it to your girlfriend or something.
Dan Howarth (00:43:37): I would say for a fact, do not show Daddy's boy to your mother. And I would probably argue, don't show House of Bad Memories to your mother either.
Michael David Wilson (00:43:47): I have tell my parents not to read anything of mine. My mother did get excited when I got things we say published in Dark Moon Digest, which as you know is one of my lighter stories. And I was like, don't read anything I write. And she's like, oh, I'll have a little look. But then the first line is something about Googling if a Santo knife can cut through human bone and she's like, okay, I don't need to read this. It's like, Jesus Christ. I
Dan Howarth (00:44:17): Can't remember what book it was that was doing the rounds recently, and I'm pretty sure I've read it. It might be like a crime book or something. I dunno, maybe it was not sure. But basically the epigraph at the start, the dedication is, if you know me, please don't read this.
Michael David Wilson (00:44:34): I
Dan Howarth (00:44:34): Thought that was a pretty good one. So you should start putting that. Maybe put a sticker on the front of your books. Michael, if you surname's Wilson, don't read this.
Michael David Wilson (00:44:44): This is kind of an interesting topic. So I mean, I'm assuming that for both of you in your day job that they are aware that you are a writer. Now, if someone says that they want to read your work, would you readily recommend it? Would you say, start with this book? Is there some reluctance? I don't know. Maybe there is differences given fictional content. For me, I kind of assess who is the person asking, and particularly with me being a teacher, there is a certain scene which I never thought about at the time, where it's like you probably don't want them to read the girl in the video. Something that as a person who works in a school might not go down so well. And then honestly, because of that scene, I'd feel happier with a colleague reading House of Bad Memories, just going to be like, you're sick. What Alan Baxter would often say, but didn't in the previous conversation,
Dan Howarth (00:46:04): Naturally, rarely interested in what Dave's going to say about this.
David Moody (00:46:07): So what I would say about that is, first of all, going back to parents, my mom passed away last year. There's nothing positive that came out of my mom's death. There was just one tiny, one tiny good thing, and that was that she used to force herself to read every single word that I'd ever written. And that was always at the back of my mind, not that I've written anything with any great depravity. I think I wrote Strangers, which is about a perverse STD that kills people and gets passed on person to person. And that's pretty graphic at times. But I always knew my mom was going to read this at some point, and it's, sorry mom, it's lovely now that she's not here, I can just write thinking she's not going to read that. I'm got to answer about that. I'm going to think about that anymore. My dad only read two of my books, and the only bit of feedback he ever gave me was far too much swearing in that one son. Thanks dad.
(00:47:12): So that's parents, but I think work colleagues is slightly different. I enjoyed having work colleagues and using them as inspiration. I didn't realise I did it until way, way back. I used to work for HSC and the last job I had for them was closing down a processing centre. We got a hundred staff all being made redundant and all the work was going to India and Malaysia and China and all different places. It was the height of globalisation, whatever, 20 2004, something like that. Not that those kind of details have any relevance at all. So I've got a hundred people to look after all the other managers disappeared. And there was me and I got so much shit, understandably from those people who, a hundred people who were all concerned about what was going to go on in their lives, what was going to happen.
(00:48:04): And a lot of them were absolutely fine. Some of them had really bad reactions. I had a couple of bankruptcies as a result, very sadly, one member of staff tried to kill themselves and going through all of these things, it was so, it was kind of a privilege to be able to have a little peek into all these people's lives. I'd never used their stories verbatim, but there's a lot of inspiration that came from that. One thing that I realised I was doing, because as we migrated the work away from England, there was less and less to do. So I'd end up sitting there at my desk at the end of the office kind of twiddling my thumb. So I'd start writing, and I was writing the autumn books at the time. So there were lots of zombie scenes, there were lots of gruesome deaths.
(00:48:50): And it was only when I got home and read the stuff that I realised that the person who pissed me off the most that day had become a zombie and had been destroyed in the most despicable way I could think of. And it was really great because there's such a variety of people that you could never sit there in isolation and think, oh, well, there's this guy called Kevin who does this. He does that. Just having these people come and be surrounded by them, it was great. It was inspirational. But fast forward 10 or 15 years to the last job I had, and again, the people were great for inspiration, but I would never let them read any of the stuff because it was so closely based on them. I had one guy who talked in nothing but corporate bullshit, and so I included him in a book, but this is your Overlong conversations, Michael, because I wrote this book with this guy coming out with all these crystallise this and reconceptualize that and all this kind of nonsense. And the editor just said, cut all this shit out the book. It makes no sense whatsoever. So it was me just trying to put something in just to prove a point and it didn't work.
(00:50:00): But yeah, I don't have any colleagues anymore, which is kind of nice. But I do appreciate the value of beta readers, and it's
Michael David Wilson (00:50:11): Been so
David Moody (00:50:12): Good when I'm doing something indeed just to chuck it out to 20, 30 people and say, there you go, see what you make of that. And it's invaluable. It's the kind of job that you can't do this in isolation. You can do the writing part in isolation, but if you want to sell it, if you want to make any money from it, if you want an audience, I think you've got to, well, you've got to see what people think, haven't you? I guess. Yeah,
Dan Howarth (00:50:40): I think beta reading for others brings its own benefits to your writing as well. I have a few people that I read for, so Michael's one of them, Kev Harrison. I've recently beat her at a crime novel for one of my friends as well. And it's like you take those lessons away like, oh, that bit's really good. And you like, oh, I wonder how that would work if I was to, is there a technique there or is there a phrasing thing that I could pick out of it or a style issue or whatever. And then ultimately as well, if there's something that you don't pick up on or you don't particularly enjoy in the work, you start looking for it in your own. It's a useful process to train your own writing and your own inner editor as well, really. So it does work both ways.
David Moody (00:51:35): Yeah, no, totally agree with that. I think similarly, Stephen King always made the big deal about how important it's for writers to read, and I didn't fully appreciate that until I had time to read and now completely, I will read anything just to get a different perspective, just to see how different people do it. It's so important. And as you say, you'll read something and think, that's nice. I like that. And maybe try and do something similar or something inspired by that.
Dan Howarth (00:52:07): Yeah, I think one of the hardest things I think I struggle with is where sometimes people will say, go out and even if it's a bad book, you should absorb it or whatever. I must admit, the older I've got, the harder, the less tolerance I've got for things like that. Time is finite, time is precious. If I'm not enjoying a book, then do you know what? Yeah, I know why I'm not enjoying it, and I can learn that lesson without having to read the entire book. I can just put it down and move on to something else. But I think that else Michael was talking about things that are so obvious, but you learn as you get older. Again, it's like that's one of them. Your time is finite, so you should only be focusing on the things that really light you up. And if it doesn't, put it down and walk away. And there's no shame in that. It doesn't matter who's written, it doesn't matter if it's on these lists of a hundred books to read before you die or whatever. If you don't like it, don't read it, but take the lessons from it and pick up something that will hopefully teach you more because it'll light you up.
David Moody (00:53:09): Yeah, yeah. Ultimately you had a reaction to that book, and you can learn something from your reaction to it. You don't have to force yourself through whatever, some pros that you just can't get on with or plot twists that are just too extreme for you. You've got to that point where you've rejected it, that you've learned something from it. So it's never wasted, is it?
Dan Howarth (00:53:34): Yeah, absolutely.
Michael David Wilson (00:53:35): Yeah. And from time to time, and perhaps even quite regularly, there can be a book that I start reading and it just doesn't vibe with me. I'm not into it, and it's not actually that it's a bad book, normally a pretty good book, but that's just not something that I'm interested in or it's not really the style that I gravitate towards. So yeah, I think that if you aren't enjoying a book, then stop reading it. As you say, time is finite. It seems absurd to me to just force yourself to continue to do that. I mean, goodness, if we've got day jobs, we're forced to do enough things we don't enjoy doing anyway. Why would you do that to yourself anyway? But I know that there are people, and I think my co-host, Bob Pastor being one who they do have a harder time finishing putting down a book if they started it. But yeah,
Dan Howarth (00:54:38): It's interesting really because just going back to colleagues, so I mean, very few of my colleagues know that I write and know that I have books out, which is kind of how I like it. And there's a couple who I like and get on with, and they know and they're supportive, and a couple of 'em been out, bought the books and have enjoyed them, which is always nice to hear. But just on the theme of pushing on with books that you're not enjoying. So I always thought, you see these lists? Oh, you've got to read all these books by Dickens or whoever you've to read them well, to what end. I always thought, really, if you're not enjoying it, don't read it. It's clearly not your thing. Until recently, I did meet somebody who was, they got the book out that they were going to read while they were eating the lunch, and it was Mothering Heights, and I was like, oh, right. How is it? Well, I'm not really enjoying it, but it's one of those books that you've got to read. I was like, people actually think like that if you don't like it. There's literally a bookshop opposite where we were. Go and find something that you do. Why are you reading it? Well, it's good to be able to tell people that you've read it and talked to them about it.
(00:55:57): Is that a healthy way to live your life? It doesn't seem to me, but I always wondered whether these people existed who solely read those lists to say that they've done it and looks like they enough.
Michael David Wilson (00:56:14): But when I read a book by someone like John Nivan or for my own personal taste, the likes of Murakami, then even if I go to one that I think is strictly okay, I think, well, what's the point the of me reading this when I could be reading that exactly. If I've got used to eating Wagyu beef, then why am I going to get the frozen beef fillet from Iceland?
Dan Howarth (00:56:47): It's true. And everybody has different totem books. You have books that really resonate with you and really shape you. And I think one that we probably share, Michael, is Kill You Friends by John Nevin, which so good is just in the absolute pantheon of all time reads for me. But if I was to suggest to somebody who thinks Weathering Heights is the pinnacle of all literature, that actually I think this outrageous book about a murderous music executive is better, people would look at me. I'm the one who's lost my mind, but actually, do you know what? Its so subjective and so different. It's a case of just what, just take what's important to you and anything else, unless you've got to read it for GCSE or a course or whatever, just parking, get on with finding things that you love because it's a difficult job in this world of so many books to find the things that really light you up. That in itself is a full-time job, it feels like, to find just the best things to consume. So just get on with it and don't make any bones about the things you don't enjoy. Just go for the one that you do.
Michael David Wilson (00:58:03): And obviously what we're talking about now is purely reading for pleasure. And I mean, probably people know anyway, but obviously as someone who's hosting a podcast on horror fiction, I do have to take a slightly different approach. It's not like if I'm reading something and I'm like, no, this isn't as good as John Nien Kill your Friends, that I put it down and I say, you are not allowed on the podcast. And there's kind of wider concerns trying to show the kind of gamut of horror and all the different facets. So yeah, I'm purely in this conversation talking about when it's kind of my time for pleasure, but of course, even reading for the podcast, I want to have conversations with people who, at the bare minimum, I enjoyed their book or I found some value in it. It will be absurd, really, if it's like, well, I'm inviting this person on, but I didn't like their book at all. I mean, some people probably do do that, and they're just thinking about listenership and numbers. But again, it comes back to, this isn't why I got in to any of this. It's like if I was doing these things primarily for financial gain, then yeah, I'd be a Citibank or a lawyer or something like that. So yeah, there are different,
Dan Howarth (00:59:36): I think you are just more publicly curating your reading experience than anybody else, Michael, because you're effectively still reading for pleasure, and then at the end of it, inviting on the people who've written something good.
Michael David Wilson (00:59:50): Yeah. But I guess if I didn't have the podcast, I might read more just like, this is my exact taste. These are the sub genres. So actually there's a benefit of the podcast that I'm kind of challenging myself to read more widely, because if not, then I'm doing a disservice to the listeners. So yeah, it could be a good thing. Otherwise it's like, well, he's just reading Haruki Murakami, real Murakami. Anyone else who comes along called Murakami, John Nivan and Will Carver, obviously Dave Moody as well, and rereading Jack Ketchum. And if Dan how sends me some of his books, I suppose I'll bloody read them too, and that'll be it.
Dan Howarth (01:00:46): What I would say is, when's the new podcast coming? This is Murakami.
Michael David Wilson (01:00:52): When he announces that he'll actually do some public interviews. He famously doesn't grant interviews. I think up until 2015, he hadn't done a single radio appearance, and then he went from having not done a radio appearance to briefly having his own radio show. It's like, that's quite a jump, but from what I understand, it was just pretty much Murakami playing his jazz records. So yeah, I don't think there was so much, didn't
Dan Howarth (01:01:27): Miss too much
Michael David Wilson (01:01:28): Insightful into the writing process. But he doesn't do any live events in Japan because he says he doesn't want to do that. He wants to primarily write, and he says that he does a few events in the US because he feels that as a Japanese person, it's his obligation living in the US to spread the culture. So it will reluctantly do some overseas events, but in Japan, it's like, no, not interested, don't want to do it. I think Dave's going to jump into that. Why do things you don't want to do?
David Moody (01:02:07): Yeah, no, exactly. And to my detriment, I know that I've just given up on promotion, not completely, but I find it very hard. I find that a lot of promotion you do on social media these days. But yeah, I just don't want to speak to anybody on social media because it is so toxic, polarised, and I think that there's just a real intolerance there people, there's no room for debate anymore, right? And you are wrong. And it just escalates into AS slanging match very quickly. And there's so many people, I think, who turn out to be not who you expect them to be or who they say they are, and I just tend to want to avoid it. For me, as you were saying a while back, the love is actually writing, it's getting the buzz out of writing the story. And I'm fortunate that I've got a few people on the mailing list and I've got enough contacts now that I can say, Hey look, this is out.
(01:03:11): And people will buy it. Not in any enormous numbers, but in enough numbers. I know that I could get a huge amount more if I've said a lot more about it, but I just find it really difficult to want to stand there in the middle of a crowd and say, Hey look, I've just written this book, why don't you all buy it? Because you don't have to buy it. Like we were just saying about being readers, if you don't get on with a book, then you don't get on with a book. It's not a failing on the author or the readers part, it's just that people haven't jelled at that point. It's difficult. I know I could make a lot more money from being a lot more noisy about it, but it's not all about money. It is about money. Obviously it pays the bills, but it's not the be all an end all. And I'm really find it very difficult to stand there and say, oh, please buy this. It's really good and this is why it's really good. The key thing for me still is writing the best book that you can and finding the people that enjoy it and saying to those people, Hey, do you think you could tell your friends that you enjoyed it? And getting other people to do the publicity for me?
Michael David Wilson (01:04:23): Yeah,
David Moody (01:04:24): Easier said than done. No,
Michael David Wilson (01:04:25): Right, right. But yeah, I mean there's so many misconceptions in terms of writing, in terms of promoting, in terms of even the sales and how many you really need. I mean, if you've got a core demographic that will buy every book, I mean, I can't remember who it was, maybe Malcolm Gladwell who spoke about a thousand true fans. If you've got a thousand people who will buy basically everything that you've put out, then that can give you a modest income. Like provided you're putting things out like an okay pace. And I think people, they completely overestimate. They think they need to be selling hundreds of thousands or millions and you can just work hard to get a thousand or a few thousand and that will give you a reasonable life. But then we're kind of back to this idea of once you've got a little bit of money, you upgrade what it is that you need to be happy. But if you're paying the bills and hopefully most months you can save a little bit, then
David Moody (01:05:49): Yeah, I mean writing is never going to be a steady income for 99.9% of writers. Is it really? And not? I think it's the same with a lot of markets that you've got a few people, but I know, I guess it's publishers see it. There are a few people who sell millions and millions and millions and that's where the money's made. And then there's this long tail end of people who sell a couple of thousand hundred and then nothing. I saw some very weird statistic the other day. It was in, I can't remember what it was now. I think it was the old eBooks price fixing trial for many years ago. No it wasn't. It was the Penguin Random House merger,
Michael David Wilson (01:06:31): Whatever
David Moody (01:06:31): That was. And forgive me for being pathetic on the details here, but the one figure that stuck out to me was that I think they said that vast majority of books don't sell more than 10 copies a year.
Michael David Wilson (01:06:45): I remember seeing that on social media because then somebody kind of ran into clarify that wasn't true. But I don't care. I don't care enough for me to remember the exact specific details, but I think someone was trying to claim that the vast majority of traditionally published books don't sell more than, I mean you're saying 10, maybe it was 10, maybe it was a hundred. It wasn't a high number, it wasn't big number. And someone ran into clarify and to say it wasn't true because that figure was including academic textbooks and highly specific things. So I dunno, someone was trying to use it to say traditional publishing has no worth. And the thing is that any fact, any figure can be used to make any point you want. So it's almost like everything becomes meaningless anyway. And this is like, well this goes back to the whole thing about social media anyway. It's like you can say anything and someone will run in and say the opposite. Or you can say something and someone will run in and say something completely unrelated, but they're really fucking angry about what they're saying and it's like, I dunno why you're talking about that. Ah,
Dan Howarth (01:08:19): Sun's out today. Fuck you. No, it's not. That's social media. That's it. What about
Michael David Wilson (01:08:25): Sun Sun's out today, stop being so fucking anti rain.
Dan Howarth (01:08:29): Yeah, that's it.
David Moody (01:08:32): So yeah, so the lesson from that is it doesn't matter how many books you sell and just avoid social media pretty much, that's no way to earn a living.
Dan Howarth (01:08:43): I think as somebody who's got a lower profile than both of you in terms of writing social media is crippling in some respects kind of mentally, it does feel like you are just screaming into the void. There is no, I should say, there's no nuance, there's no tact to anything. And I think to some extent that kind of extends to marketing. It's the case of telling people about your book, but then you scroll through your feed and it's like, oh, he's got a book out, she's got a book out. There's an echo chamber because you follow the writers. So it does feel like a lot of people shouting, but to make yourself heard is difficult and time consuming. And from some of the things I've seen about adverts and stuff like that, expensive as well at times. That's why joy of the process, I mean, in an ideal world, I would probably never leave the house and I would just sit here and just write books and then at the end I'd go, well, that's done and just start the next one.
(01:09:48): And I think that probably most of all would probably made me happiest rather than then going through the process of having to promote it because it's difficult and it's a grind. And I have ultimate respect for people who are very good at it, the people who are marketing and who are out there and are doing something unique and being seen. I dunno how to do it. And I think for that reason as well, more than the politics and the polarisation and the rage on social media, sometimes that can be a bit depressing as well because you're like, oh, I have actually got a pretty good book here, but I dunno how the hell to get it into more people's hands. And that's a bit dispiriting too.
Michael David Wilson (01:10:34): And sometimes even if you do know how to get it into more people's hands, it's just like this is so time consuming. It's like I don't want to get it into any more hands. I mean, I do my best with every single book that I have out, but obviously time is limited. And as we've said, time promoting, it's time away from writing. It's time exactly away from family obligations, it's time away from everything else. And so I'm sure that, I mean, I try to contact a lot of different people like podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, but I could always have contacted much more because they're such big platforms. But in the end it's just contact a few hope that the ones that you contact get back positively and then I mean, you do what you can, but none of us jumped into this to be marketers. So I don't know.
(01:11:43): You said Dan, if you were just writing books and that was all you would doing, you would be happy. And I always think when we make a statement like that, oh, if I did this, then I would be happy. Or if I stopped doing that, then I will be happy. I think that's a moment to kind of pause and reflect and to be like, well, why don't I don't I stop doing this? Or to kind of put it another way, what's the kind of minimum effective dose? How could I get as close to this as possible? And I mean for some people with social media, they will choose one social media platform. They'll say, right, this is the one. Or it's like there's one poster a day or whatever it is.
(01:12:37): Even with your book, if you don't want to do any promotion, but you've got a 90 day lead up time, it's like I will send one email to a So-called influencer or reviewer every day, just one email. It's probably a template anyway, so won't take personalised, just tell them that I'm giving away behind the curtain. Come on. Yeah, just looking for minimum effective dose and when you realise things are making you unhappy or how can I minimise that when you realise things are making you happy, how can I maximise that? And we're kind of going back to these obvious lessons that we were told and we fucking knew as children, as children, when you're told you've got some time to play and do whatever you want, you just do the thing that you want to do. You don't, you just do what you want to do.
David Moody (01:13:37): I agree with you completely. Again, sorry about the only of the annoying things about social media is I've taken to put in these creatures on the occasional posts and you get far more response and far more engagement. Put a picture of a cat on there. You've just got the book that you've spent six months obsessing over. I'm actually trying a new approach at the moment. I've been there. I've done the email a day or the one tweet a day or the one post a day, and yeah, you might get some response, but never as much as you and never consistently. But for me it was always about just putting books out there. So I've got a new structure that I'm going to try. I've written two books on, two books in ahead now and I'm going to try one next April and one next October, and I'm just going to focus on those two books and getting them out and telling my mailing list about them and putting the occasional post on, but while they're out, while they're going through the production process, while they're being promoted, I'll be working on the next two for the following year and just try and get this bang, bang, bang, bang effect and see what that does.
(01:14:51): Because Adam Neville, I know Adam was in traditional publishing for a long time, and then he moved into independent publishing and we spoke about it quite a bit, he and I, because he'd never done any of it. And he'd looked at what I'd done at the time and various other people and he took that and what he'd learned from traditional publishing and effectively he does his releases in the way that a traditional publisher would do there. So this book is coming out in 12 months time and he's got all the lead up and order production and it's incredibly slick, incredibly professional, and it seems to work really well. And I know Adam's a big name and I know he's had a couple of films, et cetera, but I'm just interested to see how that works from my perspective as well and just see if going, getting somewhere between Indian traditional approaches will work.
Dan Howarth (01:15:48): Yeah, I mean Adam is the exemplar to me of that. I mean, when you get his books, I know if you've got any of his hardback copies of his books that he himself
David Moody (01:16:00): I have, yeah,
Dan Howarth (01:16:01): They are unbelievable. Genuinely the production quality of it is outstanding, so, so good. I mean, the research that he's put in the time, and I assume the expense, what he's invested in himself to be able to get it to that level. I mean, I would go as far as to say that they are better quality than a lot of the major publisher hardbacks that you would buy off the shelf in Waterstones. He's done an absolutely phenomenal job on those. I mean, I've got a copy of the Reding, which is on a shelf in another room occasionally. I'll literally just look at it as just an aesthetic piece. I mean, it's a great book. I've read the book, I think I reviewed it for this as horror, and it's a superb novel, but occasionally just take it out and just look at it and just admire the majesty of the actual product. It's just unbelievable, really, really good.
David Moody (01:16:59): I think what really helped me in that respect was when the Autumn Books being published through five Autumn books, they released them all as hardback trade paperback, and then mass Market paperback a year later. And obviously with any series as you get towards the end of the line, well most series that sales drop off. And it got to the point where they said, we can't afford to, we're not going to put out the hard back of AAU aftermath, the last book in the series because it's just not cost effective. So we came to an agreement that I would release that through infected books, but what they did was they sent me all the files, so they'd already got the cover and they'd already got the interior put together, and they sent me the InDesign files. So I learned so much from deconstructing the way that a traditional publisher puts together a book.
(01:17:57): There are so many little tweaks and so many things that I would never have thought of, and I just learned everything on the go. The very first paperback edition of Autumn, it was the crappy photoshopped cover, and it was all in times new Roman 12 point. You just don't think about anything not justified, and there's so much that you don't consider that Adam, of course, has had the benefit of working in the trade and he's looked at, and it's an art form in itself, but for me, just having the opportunity to deconstruct what a professional publisher was going to do with one of my books, it taught me an enormous amount. And hard books hardbacks for me are important now because producing a hard back and selling maybe 200 copies of that to the people on my mailing list will pay for the editing, the production, everything will get a book on the shelves in every format that I need it to be out there. So that's part of my business model now is just to put out the heart back of a really, really good quality, sell a few hundred copies, and that pays for all the production costs. So anything else that comes in is pure profit.
Michael David Wilson (01:19:12): Yeah,
David Moody (01:19:15): Corporate then, sorry,
Michael David Wilson (01:19:19): I think both the hardback and the audio book market are markets that particularly from independent presses, are underutilised. So I mean, I always make a point of putting out an audio version of any book that I've done and that the way that it's gone thus far is that the presses didn't have the audio rights, so then I just put them out via the Sahara. Of course, this latest one has been put out narrated by Aubrey Parsons who you told me about, and I'm going to have the pleasure of chatting with Aubrey tomorrow. Do you know what?
David Moody (01:20:04): I'm envious. And I'm looking forward to listening to that because
Michael David Wilson (01:20:07): Interactions
David Moody (01:20:07): That I've had with him, he's just a top bloke, such a professional, and the quality of what he does is incredible. And he narrated The last Autumn trilogy that I wrote over the last couple of years, I think I've said this before, there are 60 something individual characters in there with lines. I've just put out an omnibus version. It's about 330,000 words. It's a big chunky thing. And that guy narrated every character perfectly. And there were a couple of occasions where he switched accents and I'd go back to him and say, do you know you were doing David's voice when it should have been? I don't know, Dominic's voice. Oh yeah. And just goes back and sorts it all out with his incredible software, but it's just such a skill to it. It's just absolutely phenomenal. And I think audio adds another level. I was listening to one of
Michael David Wilson (01:20:58): The short
David Moody (01:20:59): Stories that I've done that he narrated, and it's just done it in such a tragic voice, just such a tragic accent. And I said to my wife after I'd listened to it, I still have massive self-doubt as a writer, and I think I'm just imposter syndrome. What the hell am I doing? I look at these other people, other things people are writing, and it's so much better than mine, how do I get away with it? But then listening to AUB narrate it gave me a little bit of disconnection and it made me think, actually, that's all right. I enjoyed that. What he does to a story I think is phenomenal, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with your, I'm just trying to think how to describe House of Bad Memories there. Your unique novel.
Michael David Wilson (01:21:45): Yeah, yeah. Well, he's really gone all in with the Midlands accents as per my direction. So
(01:21:53): Yeah, I am interested to see particularly what the American feedback is going to be because we've got a load of Bromes and Midlands, Midlands talking, and if there were characters where they could have a different accent, and I was like, let's give that one a bit of a different one. And I mean, we've Denny's wife, she's from London, so yeah, we've got a different accent there, but he's really done it very, very well indeed. I mean, as Dan knows, I am a perfectionist, and so I think probably, well, not probably, I know he directly said I tested his patience at some time with the edits. It's like, for fuck's sake, it's funny. He'd do them anyway. But I feel that we've now got an idea for both of our kind of working style, so I get a sense as to what is and isn't reasonable for me to ask him to change. Funny,
David Moody (01:23:03): I spoke to both him and the same day recently spoke and you said, I think your message came in first said, oh, Aubrey's been great, but I think I've been a bit pedantic. I've been a bit over the top. I've been a bit specific with my request, and then I get a message from Aubrey literally about five minutes later saying, lovely chat, Michael. Bit pedantic I found.
Michael David Wilson (01:23:25): Yeah, no, but I readily said to him, I said, I know I'm being pedantic and for a few things I'd say This might be too pedantic. If you disagree, if you don't agree with what I'm asking, just don't make that change. But I think sometimes there's things where it's like, I feel like I'd be doing myself and the book a disservice if I don't mention it, but also at the same time, I know that I'm being a bit of a dickhead. That's basically my life really knowing I'm about to be a dickhead, but being a dickhead anyway,
David Moody (01:24:07): There's a line to be had. That's one thing I've always said, doing any kind of independent publishing that it has to be bang on and there are no half measures. Go back and check again and again and again when something comes out that's got a mistake in it. In one of the recent books I've done, there's a closing speech mark missing at the end of a chapter, and I've beaten myself up repeatedly about I think, how didn't I spot that? You would never let anything knowingly go out with a mistake like that, so why would you do anything different with audio? And one audio book I had done in the past, it was quite an inexperienced narrator, and we had a very similar back and forth for a long, long time, lots of inconsistencies in how he was doing it, and yet I could have let it go, but I couldn't let it go at the same time. So I understand completely where you're coming from
Michael David Wilson (01:24:58): With
David Moody (01:24:58): Aubrey. I liked some of the deviations that he put in and
(01:25:04): Nothing major, but he'd read a line of text slightly differently to how I'd written it. But the way that he did it with the accent that he gave, it was often just, it was fine. It worked well. It worked for the audio, it probably worked better than the way that I'd originally written it, so I'd let some of that go. But yeah, there were plenty of occasions when I went back and said, hang on a second. Can you do that again? So don't think, I think you'd be perfectly right to have the approach that you've taken there.
Michael David Wilson (01:25:35): Fortunately,
David Moody (01:25:37): He's got some very smart software I know that lets him go. I think you've said something like, well, he'll tell you tomorrow probably. He can find a bit of text in the manuscript and then it'll take him back to where that is in the recording so he can just record that specific bits, not like he's spooling through loads of tapes or MP3s or whatever. He's a good guy.
Michael David Wilson (01:25:55): Yeah, yeah. No, and I think as well, when you're working with someone for the first time, you almost kind of scoping them out, getting an idea as to what their approach is. And because I am very detail oriented and pedantic as I put it, it's like if there's any deviation, I will point it out because also at that point, I don't know who I'm dealing with, but now it's like, okay, this is obviously a professional. He is very good at what he does, and so
David Moody (01:26:32): I
Michael David Wilson (01:26:33): Look at the way that I can let a few slight deviation slide is to think of it. I would a film adaptation. It's an audiobook adaptation.
David Moody (01:26:46): This
Michael David Wilson (01:26:47): Is like his kind of riffing and cover. So does it make sense if he said something and now it doesn't make sense or it's a different character saying it of the accent, then we can change it. But yeah, so I think the next book that we work on together, and I'm sure there will be another one, we've both said that we'd be interested in working with each other again, so I haven't put him off too much. I think it will much to Aubrey's delight, there will be less notes that come back from me.
David Moody (01:27:28): It's a strange,
Dan Howarth (01:27:29): Sorry, go on, Dave.
David Moody (01:27:30): I was just going to say the last thing I'd say about Aubrey is that the first thing I ever sent to him was he did the first of the new Autumn books and he was going to record his audition sample. And I said to him, this first part, the first section of the book, it's written in first person from the point of view of a 20 year old woman from Leeds a year. Sure, you want to start with that? And he was just like right handed over and he nailed it. He's just, I've
Michael David Wilson (01:27:59): Listened to it, it's really good.
David Moody (01:28:00): The guy's variety is just absolutely stunning. I wrote a short story recently for a competition winner, and she was a 59 year old woman from Missouri. And I said, or do you want me to get somebody else to do this one? He just said, Nope, hand it over. And again, he nailed it how this very extrovert Welsh guy could do all the accents, these nuances. It's just phenomenal. Anyway, that's enough appreciation. You can do some of that tomorrow. Sorry, Dan, I interrupt you.
Dan Howarth (01:28:30): No, I was just going to make the comment about how almost strange it is going through the audio book process, having recently done it for the first time myself, so with Darm Missives, which was short stories, quite a few of them had already been produced by the guys at Hawke and Cleaver on the other stories podcasts. So I really see the point of doing an audio book because there already really good versions of them out there, right Territory when, but so they went away and produced it to really high quality. And when you hear the words that you've written come out of the mouth of somebody else, it's quite a strange gratifying experience really like, oh, actually maybe it does work after all, it makes you examine your text slightly differently and it makes you appreciate the effort that goes into it as well. Because as you say, I don't think I have quite as many voices as you are Dave and yours, but there's probably 10 significant characters all living in Finland in the book. It's a big ask, but yeah, Justin did as proud with this duration. It was really good.
David Moody (01:29:48): Excellent. A growing market as well. I think we were talking about sales earlier in the week, Michael, but it's becoming a really substantial thing.
Michael David Wilson (01:29:59): Yeah, well, I see it as an investment for the future. I think it's just going to keep growing and growing and also it only takes kind of one of our books to really take off and then it will have a knock on effect. And not only is the audio book market a growing market, but I think it can be a different market. You've got people who they don't really read books, but they do listen to a lot of them. And I think particularly with commuting and things like that, is just continuing to grow and grow and grow. And it kind of almost only takes one film adaptation or movie deal like that, and then your audio book sales are going to explode. I'm sure that Josh Malman, when Bird Box was adapted on Netflix, there were a whole new market of audio listeners who would've bought the audio book that they just wouldn't have bought the paperback book. Just like it's not the way that they consume fiction. So it just feels like if I don't take the audio rights and make the book, it feels like I'm leaving money on the table, even if ironically sometimes it takes a long time to make that money back. But you dunno which book is going to be a hit.
David Moody (01:31:30): You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. In fact, I curse now the fact that I did what I did with the hater and original Autumn audio rights because Autumn has never been produced as an audio book and I have it on my list of things to do to try and get the rights back and do something hopefully with Aubrey. But yeah, it's just like you say, it's money that's just sitting there. It's just untapped potential.
Dan Howarth (01:31:56): I think it's probably good in a way, Dave, that you've still got the to do it though, because I remember when I first actually, when you started getting into Audible and going through the catalogue and all that kind of stuff, there were some really big books out there that even now came out between 2000, 2010, that kind of particular era when it felt like audio books were taken off and they're read so badly. You listen to the sample and it's the same generic flat voice. There's absolutely no character. So in some ways people are probably going to have to go back. Now that market has exploded, and in some cases you are seeing it's being reread by somebody different and relaunched, but at least if you get the rights and stuff, you've still got the chance to make that impact the first time with somebody who's really talented like Aubrey, who can make that book a success rather than having a very average, quite poor version of it out. Some really significant books still do on there, to be honest. And that for me in this day and age is criminal really to not have a really good version of your book available on Audible if you can. I know it's cost prohibitive and stuff, but particularly for a big publisher for them not to be
(01:33:14): Picking up some of the audio talent. You hear it on podcasts and dramatic podcasts and all sorts and on radio, there's no excuse now not to have a good version of it, particularly if you're a big publisher. And I think we're probably getting to that point with Indie publishing as well now, really where there is no excuse that the people are out there, the opportunities are there, the texts clearly there, you've got to go for it. Really.
David Moody (01:33:40): It's interesting though, isn't it, you've got to kind of have one eye on the future because I remember the conversations that we're having now about audiobooks, remember having way back about eBooks, and I know that one of the reasons that Autumn took off back in the day is because there were so few eBooks available back then and it was kind of taking a punt on this new technology, is it going to work out? But now looking back, you think you would never not release an ebook. You would never, as you say, not release an audiobook. And it's kind of having one eye on the future and thinking, well, what else is there? What else could you do? I dunno, because most of the sensors are covered now, but I think you've got to be alert to what's happening in publishing even when you're a little indie publisher.
Michael David Wilson (01:34:25): Yeah, yeah, definitely. Well, I know that we're coming up to the time that we have together unfortunately, but there's so many directions that I want to take things in and I want to jump back to. So I mean one of the things before you were talking about the beta readers that you have, David, and I think you said that you had 20 to 30. So I mean, is this a mailing list you specifically have of beta readers? Is it primarily composed of just purely readers? Are there writers in there too? And then, I mean in terms of the feedback you get, do you have any rules or how do you decide what advice to action and what advice to be like, okay, well that's just an opinion, but that's not the vision that I have for the story.
David Moody (01:35:28): It's interesting. So I just put out a request. I think I put it out in every channel at once. So it went on a post on my website. I have a Facebook group, which was set up many years ago, and there's still a diehard core of people who interact there. So I put the request there as well. I sent it out on my mailing list and picked 20 people whose names I'd come across before, and I knew that they weren't just going to say, oh yeah, this is brilliant, thanks for letting me read it. First. I knew it would be people who would come back and say, well, hang on, I like that. I didn't like that.
(01:36:05): And then just started speaking to them individually. I think when part of the reason for getting a number of that kind of size was so that I could get some aggregate feedback because some people, there were a couple of aspects of the story that have most recently had feedback on that a lot of people had picked up on, and there were other aspects that maybe one or two people had picked up on. So it was kind of an indication as to whether there really was something in that or whether I should go with my gut and leave something how it was, if that makes sense. But yeah, it was very good to do it again after a long time. It was very cordial, didn't always agree, which is great. But I think what I'll do now is kind of cultivate that list and keep those people if they're agreeable as a central core, and then just put out another invitation to try and get a kind of fixed number.
(01:37:04): But over time, just build it to get people who I know are going to feedback and I know who are going to give me honest feedback because I think that's the key, isn't it? There's no point in doing it if people are just going to pay lip service and then say to their mates, oh, I book first, it's going to be a real purpose to it. And they get something out of it because send them all a copy of the hardback when it's done or make sure that they're included and their names will be in it and so on and so on. So I never want it to be just a one-way thing. It's always I want people to have the benefit, and that's one thing that I've always meant to do. I've always wanted to try and cultivate a real core of readers, of fans who will help champion stuff, who will help make a noise about stuff, not just in terms of beta reading, but hopefully reviewing and
Michael David Wilson (01:37:59): Putting
David Moody (01:37:59): Things out on social media. I'm crap at it, but it'd be lovely if people who for some kind of reward, like free books, et cetera, would be happy to say, oh, I like that. I'll post on Facebook, I'll post on Instagram, whatever, just to help spread the word a little bit. I'm crap at it.
Michael David Wilson (01:38:15): Yeah. And then the other thing that I wanted to go back to is, I mean obviously as you've said, again, you're not really at the moment doing much kind of actively promoting, but you're managing to sell enough to make a living. So what is the making a living situation at the moment? Do you have a day job as well, or are you kind of back to just full-time writing?
David Moody (01:38:49): I'm just full-time writing, but this kind of takes us back to the very beginning of the conversation as well. I had a heart attack and was insured, so with a decent payout it meant that the mortgage disappeared. So that made it a lot more feasible to do something like writing. And then sadly also, as I mentioned, my mom passed away, so I had an inheritance as well. So that's not money that I live off, but that's a cushion. So I know I can afford to take more of a risk than I could have done 10, 20 years ago. It would've been impossible to do this that time ago, and that's where you need the security of a day job. So right now, this is really all I do.
(01:39:33): What I have been focusing on over the last year or so, I've been quite quiet, is trying to get everything into tip top shape, tidying up all the websites, reviewing all the books, and making sure they're all bang on because it's probably wrong to mention this, but I've got something going on in the background, a deal, which hopefully will be announced soon, but I just want everything to be ready in case we end up going down, as you mentioned, Josh Mailman with Bird Box, if suddenly one title is in the public domain, is in the public awareness and is suddenly very popular, then I want people to be able to just get everything in every format and just let it take itself off from there.
Michael David Wilson (01:40:18): Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And then, I mean, we kind of touched on this before, but obviously with you now doing this full time, what do you have in place to make sure that you don't have a repeat of 2015 or whenever it was that you were so isolated that you Yeah,
David Moody (01:40:42): It's very much more a job than it was. It's something that I do. I've got fortunate to have this office, so it's separate from the rest of the house. I have definite times when I work, definite times when I don't work. I'm quite rigid. I'm fortunate I think to have a background in operations and I mentioned like HSBC and places like that and Highways England I worked at after that, but working in very rigid kind of corporate environments means that I can put the structures in place to make sure things get done, almost project management, it sounds really wanky and I feel a bit awkward talking about it because this is a creative process at the end of the day, and if it takes six months, it takes six months. If it takes a year to write a book, it takes a year. But I just try and make sure that it's more prescribed prescriptive and make sure that I allocate times to doing the stuff I don't like. So a bit of promotion, checking the websites, making sure that I post, making sure that I send newsletters out, that kind of stuff. Yeah, and it actually, it feels far more involved than it was when I was doing it before. I think I was kind of treading water a little bit then, but it very definitely feels like a job Now as we speak, I'm looking at my to-do list and the side of the screen. Yeah,
Michael David Wilson (01:42:09): And I guess I anticipated this because every time any of us, any combination of us get together, we always have a lot to say and invariably we are running out of time and there are still so many more things that I want to talk to both of you about. So I feel that I need to get you both back on the show kind of separately. We have touched on it, but we've barely got into the London Trilogy of Autumn, and I know that you wrote four or so columns on zombies for this as horror, but there is so much more to be said about it and the fact that it doesn't matter what happens, you return to the zombie and I think there's an interesting conversation to be had there,
David Moody (01:43:04): Or if you
Michael David Wilson (01:43:04): Disagree, interesting, there is a conversation to be had, and then I think
David Moody (01:43:10): You're just making that comment at the end of me writing Soly about zombies for three years and that's my, I'm done for a bit now. I do love them and that sounds weird, but I do love zombies. They're so pliable, they're so adaptable. You can put 'em in any story and they get such a bad press. So I'm always happy to talk and yeah, I would be more than happy to come back and talk at length about the London Trilogy if you'd have.
Michael David Wilson (01:43:37): Yeah. Yeah, and it is funny because this is a ridiculous sentence to make, but it's like you have stood by zombies kind of through out the good and the bad times because it's like when you started writing about them, they weren't really in the zeitgeist. They weren't really having a moment, but then pretty soon after, particularly with The Walking Dead, then they exploded and they had a moment and now they're not having a moment anymore, but you're still with them. So I feel that, yeah, obviously you're going to get sick of them at certain points because you do have other stories to tell, but I feel this is a recurring theme that you will always return to the zombie sooner rather than later probably.
David Moody (01:44:26): Well, I do think this might be the last time there is one more Autumn book plan, but it'll be post Zombie, but that's a way off. I've got so many other things I want to write, but they get such a bad press and they don't deserve it. I think one of the things I've said many times before, they're so easy to do badly, that's why they get a bad press a lot of the time, but if you do them well, I don't think there's anything more terrifying than zombies because we're surrounded by 'em anyway. Just have a look at any news story these days. There's a zombie in there somewhere. They might all still have a pulse and a heartbeat, but there's a lot of zombies out there.
Michael David Wilson (01:45:07): Yeah, yeah. Even though you said it might be the last time, if I was a bet in person then I meant that it won't be the last time, but
Dan Howarth (01:45:19): I've got a tenor on that. Michael, I'll put a tenor on
Michael David Wilson (01:45:21): For you as well. Don't worry. Yeah, I am wondering, I mean if you want to divulge and even if you can divulge because I dunno if you have the information, but obviously a lot of people know you for your Autumn series, but then as you said before, hater got a huge amount of attention because of Del Toro.
David Moody (01:45:47): I'm
Michael David Wilson (01:45:47): Wondering which is the biggest seller out of Hater and Autumn, because I'd always assumed it was Autumn, but the way you were talking earlier made it sound like it's hater
David Moody (01:45:59): In terms of individual books, it's hater. That's the title that sold the most in terms of series. The Autumn books just have the edge right now. There are nine Autumn books and six hater books. The second hater trilogy just completely stiffed. It's one of my biggest regrets. It just died in the water completely. I think it was a case of wrong books, wrong time, wrong publisher approach, all kinds of things. It just did not sell at all. So that's another thing on my Long to-do list is to revisit that, but as I've kind of alluded to, there are things afoot with hater and films or screen adaptations, which I'm just itching. Tell me about it. I'm itching to talk about. I will say that I signed something two years ago and we started off with Gamo del Toro and Mark Johnson
Michael David Wilson (01:47:04): And then
David Moody (01:47:04): Went on this long journey with other people, absolute great chap in Newcastle called Ed Barrett, and they've kind of, without saying it to, obviously the rights have come home again and we're back where we started and there have been other developments and it's all been postponed, but held out by the righteous strike and the actors strike and the director strike. But I'm very hopeful that soon we'll have this announced, which is why I'm kind of spending so much time polishing the website and making sure it's all okay. Yeah, can't say too much, but I really want to, so better enough.
Dan Howarth (01:47:40): Well, you
Michael David Wilson (01:47:41): Can
Dan Howarth (01:47:41): Put me and Michael down for day one whenever the news is out, whenever the product is there. Absolutely. This has been a long journey that we've observed from the sidelines, haven't we, Michael? And what? Seeing it pay off for somebody who works as hard as you do, Dave's going to be just brilliant to watch for us. We've got to cross for you, mate.
David Moody (01:48:04): I really appreciate that, and I have always said that if and when it does happen, you guys were right there at the very start. I remember Michael, we sat in a pub in Coventry. We just have to solve the
Michael David Wilson (01:48:14): Did. No, our fine had to be seen in the pub in Coventry, but
David Moody (01:48:18): Well, at least we got into that one. We refused anything.
Michael David Wilson (01:48:21): Oh God. Yeah, I know what you're talking about.
Dan Howarth (01:48:25): I remember that night. Yeah, that was fucking
Michael David Wilson (01:48:27): Brown spa. Let's shame them. Let's shame them. 11 years later,
David Moody (01:48:34): Doorman said, I can't remember where it was, but we're not letting you in because we don't like the look of one of you, but we're not telling you which one of you.
Dan Howarth (01:48:43): I think there was what, five of us, and I think at least three of you had shaved heads. So maybe they thought, oh, they all look all right, but it's the weirdo with the hair that we don't want to let in. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe I stood out too much.
Michael David Wilson (01:48:56): It was just like, yeah, it was so bizarre. I'd been there numerous times, numerous times as a student with loads of my mates from basically the heavy metal and golf society, and it's like suddenly you've got this new policy. But I think, well, I think they had new management and obviously the management didn't want any of those fucking goth metal and horror types, but
David Moody (01:49:27): I remember driving to a random KFC with Wayne straight after that and sitting there like a pair of old nags moaning about it. Well, I've never been treated so badly in my life. I said, sitting there deserted, kfc. Those were the days.
Michael David Wilson (01:49:46): Yeah. I think in all seriousness, it is testament to all three of us that we met kind of right at the start of the tens, is that even what we call that decade 2010, that kind of the time, and we're still doing it, we're still progressing. We're still in this,
Dan Howarth (01:50:13): Still enjoying it as well.
Michael David Wilson (01:50:14): Yeah. Let's
Dan Howarth (01:50:15): Not forget which key part
David Moody (01:50:19): I was going to say. If this thing with Hater does come to fruition and there is a product, then I'm absolutely going to get everybody from that time. We'll get together, we'll hire a screen somewhere and we'll watch the damn thing and it'll be great. Drink some,
Dan Howarth (01:50:35): That'd be amazing. That'd be brilliant,
Michael David Wilson (01:50:37): Right?
David Moody (01:50:38): Not at that bar in carpentry,
Michael David Wilson (01:50:39): Not that far. Do next door,
Dan Howarth (01:50:42): We just really annoy them. Yeah,
Michael David Wilson (01:50:45): They wanted that opportunity. They've missed out on it now if
David Moody (01:50:51): They knew what they turned out.
Michael David Wilson (01:50:55): But Dan, I'll have to get you back on the show too. I really want to talk about territory. I want to talk at length about what's going on with the audio book as well and that process. So we need to do this again, but we are out of time. It is 6:00 PM here. I have been podcasting since 6:30 AM on and off. This is the end of day one. Day one, but I'll be back tomorrow to do it all over again.
Dan Howarth (01:51:30): Strange, strange, man.
Michael David Wilson (01:51:32): Congratulations
Dan Howarth (01:51:33): On the book. It's a cracker and I hope it does well, mate.
Michael David Wilson (01:51:36): I hope it does too. I hope that more people decide to buy a house of bad memories, if not out of interest and pity. It's like, yeah, this Mad Bastard did 16 hours. We'll buy a copy.
David Moody (01:51:53): Crazy podcast, crazy book. I love it though. So all the best with it.
Michael David Wilson (01:51:58): Yeah, thank you so much. Do either of you have any final thoughts or ideas you want to leave our listeners with or have you given enough of your thoughts for one day?
Dan Howarth (01:52:11): I'd just say get out there, buy the book and enjoy reading it and take something away from it. Enjoy what you do in terms of your writing, in terms of your reading, whatever hobby or pursuit that you're taking up. Just ensure that you're doing as much joy as you can and go from there.
David Moody (01:52:29): Yeah, I think you've absolutely hit the nail on their head there, Dan. If you're not enjoying it, don't do it. And that should be your driver. That's your first and foremost. Am I enjoying this?
Michael David Wilson (01:52:43): Thank you so much for listening to this as horror podcast with David Moody and Dan Howarth. Join us again next time when we will be taking a bit of a break from the House of Bad Memory series because we have a special interview with Chuck Paul. Nick. It is the second time, or it will be, I should say, the second time that he has been on. This is Horror podcast and we have done this to coincide with the release of the brand new book, not Forever, but for now. So if you want to listen to that and every other episode ahead of the crowd, do consider popping over to patreon.com/this is Horror and Becoming Our Patreon. You can also submit questions to each and every guest coming up soon. We've got the likes of Matthew Holness, AKA, Garth Megi, Rachel Harrison claim, McCloud Chapman and RA Busby to name, but a few, so plenty of reasons to become a Patreon. Plenty of great conversations coming up. Head to patreon.com/this is horror. Look at what we have to offer and if it's a good fit for you, I would love you to join us. Okay, before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break,
Bob Pastorella (01:54:10): House of Bad Memories, the debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media. Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged, abusive stepfather, Frank, then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie Half Sister, who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death. Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions? Clay McLeod Chapman says, house of Bad memories hit so hard. You'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via Amazon Markee Hartwell is a death doula aiding people as they exit. This world isn't just her job, it's her calling. Unfortunately, being a doula has caused Markie, her girlfriend Paula, in her future together when a hospice notification informs Marque did. A patient named Franklin is dying alone with no family, friends or neighbours to comfort him. Marque sets up in the worst storm she's ever seen because no one should die alone. The Death doula. The LEC is now available in paperback, an ebook from Cemetery Gates Media.
Michael David Wilson (01:55:25): Well, that about does it for another episode of This is Horror. Bob and I have been talking a lot about House of Bad Memories. My brand new book, not only is that now out in audio format, but it is now on Audible. So the last few episodes I've said that we're waiting for the audible release to come out. Well, that came out on the 31st of October Halloween, so you can now buy House of Bad Memories in any format on any platform. So if you want it in paperback ebook or audio, we have you covered, I would love it if you could support me, if you could check out House of Bad Memories and when you've done so, let me know how you get on, leave a review over on Good Reads or Amazon. Let me know what you think. I'm really interested to get that feedback, so thank you in advance for checking it out. Thank you for listening to this as horror. But until next time, with Chuck Palahniuk, take care of yourselves. Be good to one another, read horror, keep on writing, and have a great, great day.