Interview with C S Kane

IMG_3772Tell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey has all happened very quickly. I have always written stories and began working on SHATTERED years ago while I was in university. I suppose I got caught up in all the regular things like work and paying the bills etc. and then I fell ill. I found myself without a job and took the opportunity to work on the old manuscript. I noticed that DarkFuse were accepting submissions so I sent it through. A few months later it was accepted. I was overjoyed to say the least. The novella editor Dave Thomas worked with me on the manuscript and before I knew it launch day happened. It has been an exciting time.

What do you love about being an author?

I love that I have the privilege to share stories. It’s all about the writing for me. I’m compelled to do it and happily I get to do what I love.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Ooh, there are so many! Perhaps Hannibal Lecter and we could discuss red wines? That might be a bit risky. I think an evening with James Bond might be interesting. We’d eat a traditional roast dinner paired with Vesper cocktails and chat about fast cars.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I think my main character Stacey Sheldon could be portrayed by an actress like Jennifer Lawrence. Her boyfriend Liam could be played by an actor such as Aaron Paul.

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?shattered-1

Nothing scares me more than the things people do to each other. Human beings are frightening. Our capacity for cruelty and violence is horrifying.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I’d probably like to go back to medieval Ireland. A supply of Poitín, some writing paper and a quiet cottage somewhere in the mountains. That’d be nice.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

You can’t always stop bad things from happening, but you can control how you cope if they do.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Easy! Vampire. I would love to be immortal.

Where do you write best?

I should say in my office at my writing desk but really it’s on the sofa with the TV blaring in the background.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi. It was brilliant. Harrowing and haunting. I would recommend it.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Through working on other projects I’m starting to discover that I’m quite into genre bending. I like crime thrillers and historical novels. I always say I’d quite like to be Jessica Fletcher when I grow up so there’d be murders in there one way or another.

Where can fans find you online?

The website: www.cskane.com
Twitter: @CS_KANE
SHATTERED is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1bxu9x1
Publisher: www.darkfuse.com
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Interview with Craig Saunders

photo (3)Tell us about your publishing journey…

It’s been a long one. Mostly my own fault, I think. I’m a slow learner. I started out writing fantasy around ten years ago, hoping I’d get the big deal, the agent, the study with broad windows overlooking the sea…didn’t happen. In a way, I did everything wrong, except for one thing, I suppose, which was to keep writing. I didn’t know any other writers, had no sound advice – I thought an agent was the only route to publication. I wasted plenty of time, years, even, chasing agents.

I finally figured out that writing is a job like any other. I think that discovery came partly from networking, but more from reading Ellen Datlow and Stephen Jones anthologies and yearly round-ups instead of ‘Writer’s Market’…I decided that if I wanted to make a go of this, I’d better start approaching it like a job. I do that now, and things have changed for the better.

What do you love about being an author?

All of it, pretty much. I like creating, doing my own thing. The most enjoyable times for me are when I’m writing a new story and it’s flowing. My least favourite part is doing a second or third draft. I rarely do more than three. I haven’t got the patience to be an editor – they’re amazing. Me? My eyes begin to bleed after a third run through.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Any character, eh? There are tons I could choose from, but one I’ve read recently – Logan Ninefingers, from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law stories. I think he’d be interesting, if he didn’t kill me. And I’d have steak, I think. My favourite is spaghetti, but I’d worry he’d strangle me with it. Failing that, maybe Dirk Gently, though I think he’d get on my nerves, what with him being such a smartarse.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I’ve a few books out, but the latest, my DarkFuse novella Deadlift? It’d have to be someone big, because the main character, David Lowe, is a big man. I honestly don’t watch too many movies (I do like superhero movies, though), but I’d go with the guy who plays Hodor in Game of Thrones. I’d love to see what that guy can do with a few extra lines. His wife, Freya Lowe…Famke Janssen. What? No reason. *Whistles*

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?

I think, oddly, the scares are secondary – mostly I’m trying to tell a good story, keep people reading. But what frightens me…everything! Casual violence, freak accidents, indifference, insanity…more, I think, these sort of things, rather than supernatural creatures. I’m not, for example, particularly afraid of leprechauns or goblins. Deep water, though…no way.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d like to say something sweet, like I’d go back to a time full of hope and promise…maybe the sixties and the seventies and flower power and peaceful protests and great music, or Victorian London, on the cusp of so many amazing advances, or the dawn of the Renaissance…but realistically, I think I’d prefer medieval times, a big boar roasting and pennants flying, some ale, and a comfortable seat to watch a tournament full of knights bashing each other. Preferably a seat beyond the range of the splatter. I should imagine knights made quite a mess.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? deadlift

Silly thing, really – look after yourself. I always imagined I’d be pushing up daisies early. Now I’m still going, still young enough, and wishing I didn’t ache walking up the stairs. ‘Ooh, me hip,’ has become my refrain already, and I’m only just gone 40.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Vampire, hands down, no thought needed. Don’t like the sunshine much, I’d happily live forever, not squeamish about a diet of blood…yeah, I could be happy as a vampire.

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read and why?

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a truly scary book. I read a fairly widely, not just horror. Things I find scary, or perhaps just disquieting, are more esoteric. I found Camus’ The Stranger oddly disturbing, and sometimes Murakami’s stories, or even McCarthy’s, leave me feeling uncomfortable. I guess ‘scare’ for me is more something that makes my belly turn a little – maybe some scenes in Adam Nevill’s work, or Gary McMahon’s. A Neil Gaiman story can sometimes give me a pretty good chill, too.

What’s your take on zombies? In your opinion, could they actually happen?

Nope. Not in the strictest sense, I think. Reanimating dead flesh seems, to me, highly unlikely in scientific terms. Perhaps in a biblical or occult tale, it might work (biblical/occult, of course, being far more believable than silly old science ;) ). The idea that the dead might rise from the release of some kind of toxin or chemical or virus? I, personally, don’t think so. The mechanics of death, the degradation of a person’s flesh, would make movement alone nigh-on impossible. Were they infected before death? Then, possibly…the tissue might be preserved and retain some rudimental function…but the old worm-eaten corpse rising from the grave, no flesh, sinew, cartilage, muscle fibres…nope.

Doesn’t mean it’s not fun to wonder what might happen, though. Vampires, werewolves and their ilk…all by and large impractical, in terms of realism, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. I think zombie tales are great. I’ve written them and read plenty I’ve really enjoyed. I kind of prefer the speedy, 28 Days Later vibe, wherein people are still living, but crazed by infection. I write, sporadically, a series of zombie novellas (Dead Days), and I’ve written the first of trilogy of apocalyThe Estate Smallestptic horror/thrillers – survival horror and the apocalypse are two sub-genres (I guess they’re sub-genres of horror…or maybe big enough these days to stand on their own feet…) that I’ve always enjoyed. Ian Woodhead’s zombie yarns are great fun, but I’ve read plenty of others, too. Zombies are cute.


If you didn’t write horror, which other would you prefer and why?

Haha – fantasy! Heroic, for preference. Like I say, I’m a sucker for a big guys encased in steel hitting other people. Tolkien was an eye-opener when I was maybe eleven or twelve, but Gemmell’s brand of fantasy was right up my street. When I discovered Druss I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up…not a writer. Pfft. I wanted to be an old guy with a massive white beard and a nasty axe called Snaga.

I dabbled with crime writing, but I’m not devious enough of mind, I think, to make a living doing that. I even tried a sci-fi, which was great for discovering that I’m not a sci-fi writer and never will be. I write horror mostly because I lean toward the macabre, but I was a fantasy fan long before I came to horror. I don’t write fantasy as often as I find it far more complicated and time-consuming to do right. As I writer, I prefer horror…but as a reader, I’ll always enjoy a spot of fantasy.

Where can fans find you online?

craigrsaunders.blogspot.com
theislandarchive.blogspot.com
facebook.com/craigrsaundersauthor
or
@GrumbleSprout

I’m on Amazon, too. ;)

Thank you, Nicky, for having me on your blog!

 

Interview with Keith Deininger

Keith Leather SmilingTell us about your publishing journey…

The first story I remember writing was in 3rd grade, about a kid who wakes up to discover everyone is missing and he is totally alone.

Man, what does that say about the kind of kid I was?

When I was a senior in high school, I entered a story in a science fiction writing contest, won first place, and received my first $100 as a writer along with a vigorous handshake from Ray Bradbury himself. After that, my ego bloated, I entered college wanting to be a writer.

But, I soon became one of those “writers” who talks about writing at parties more than actually writing anything. It wasn’t until years later, after graduating college, working several shitty jobs, going through some struggles, and growing up a little, that I finally realized that if I were going to ever reach my goals, I’d have to start taking them seriously and write. Now I write every day and I’ve published short stories, novellas, even a couple of novels: THE NEW FLESH and GHOSTS OF EDEN (Nov. 2014).

What do you love about being an author?

Writing is a way to tangibly express a personal vision from the imagination. There’s nothing like it. To me, that’s amazing, and being an author means that other people actually read and hopefully enjoy my visions and come away inspired and affected. Writing is a way to provoke questions and profound thinking.

It’s great to have readers and I’m thankful to each and every one!

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?marrows_pit

I’d like to have dinner with Eddie from King’s Dark Tower books. He’s sarcastic, has a wicked sense of humor, and I think we’d get along. We’d eat something weird, something neither of us has tried before.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Honestly, I’ve never considered what any of my books would be like as movies… I like the idea of someone like Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, or even Lars von Trier writing the script and directing, making a movie super creepy and filled with dark imagery, but I don’t know about actors.

As a horror writer, what scares you?

A lot of things, but it’s strange. I’ve never been scared of the traditional stuff: spiders, stalking monsters, things like that. I’m more concerned with the creepy and the uncanny. I’m still scared of the dark, or, at least, not knowing what’s in the dark. I’m scared of my life being controlled by others, either by force or through psychological manipulation. And I’m terrified that I will one day wake up and the people I love and care about will be different somehow, that they won’t be the same people, and then reality will start to bend and fray around me until I’m not certain what is real and what is not. That shit’s scary! That’s probably why I write what I write, to attempt to gain an understanding of and reconcile the inexplicable. Too bad it’ll never happen, and I’m forced to always live in fear. ;)

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

This may sound lame to some people, but I would go back to the American 60s and party and have a lot of sex. I wouldn’t want to go further back in time than that, because then I’d probably get sick and die shitting my brains out in the mud somewhere. Yeah, dropping LSD with Aldous Huxley would be pretty cool.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

I wish someone had told me not to take failure and rejection personally. One of the largest epiphanies of my life was the realization that success is a matter of persistence and hard work and not some mystical, innate talent. Rejection is not an attack on one’s character, but just another step, hopefully in the direction you’d like to go. In my youth, it seemed so simple…

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I think I’d have a lot of fun being some sort of Mephistopheles-like demon, playing little tricks on humans, setting up games to win their souls. I’d get to travel and I’d smile a lot. Either that, or a dragon. Dragons are cool.

Where do you write best?

I call myself an extroverted-introvert because I like to have people around, but I don’t like it when they bother me. Because of that, I write best at coffee shops where there is activity and human energy all around me. I can maintain my focus for only so long in a silent and confined office. Just don’t talk to me while I’m writing and we’re good.

656040What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Okay, this is good timing because I just finished reading China Mieville’s “Perdido Street Station” for the first time. I love the world-building, and the creativity, and the imagination in it; Mieville’s language is solid too. But as a writer who struggles with pacing and literary bloat in his own work, I can’t help but to look at “Perdido’s” length critically. The actual story arc in the novel doesn’t start until somewhere 200 to 300 pages in. There are several scenes in it that are interesting, but do not draw the story forward and could have been chopped out. Just saying.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Well, most of my work so far is classified as horror, but I’m really a fantasy writer. It’s just that my imagination tends to be dark, disturbing and disgusting, and that has led me to write some really fucked-up fiction. I definitely write horror, but I have a vast reservoir of fantasy ideas building up—that sometimes trickle into my horror—that will eventually overflow the dam and I’ll be forced to tackle my fantasy epic.

Where can fans find you online?

www.KeithDeininger.com

I also maintain a tumblr blog, am on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.

And I encourage anyone who’s interested in my work to sign up for my New Release Mailing List. I use it only to announce new releases, so don’t worry about spam. I also give away a free story to new subscribers for your Kindle (Hint: it’s fucked up). ;)

Also, my latest work, MARROW’S PIT, comes out March 11th, but you can pre-order from Amazon now.

Interview with Toby Tate

Author photoTell us about your publishing journey…

I’ve always loved to read. At the dinner table, mom would make me put my books away and I would end up reading all the labels on the condiment jars and ketchup bottles. By the time I was twelve, my cousin and I were publishing our own magazine, a knock-off of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

I really loved Ray Bradbury and this new guy named Stephen King, so I started writing short stories, none of which ever got published. As a musician, I was also writing my own song lyrics and doing a lot of recording. In fact, I still do that now!

I kept writing and refining my stories through high school, then stopped for a while when I joined the Navy. I picked it up a few years later and started writing articles for magazines and eventually internet websites. I got an article published in Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was a childhood dream of mine.

After I got married, I decided to go back to college. While I was there, I started writing a novel. It took about five years to finish it and get it polished to the point where I thought it was ready for submission. After getting rejected by about 85 agents and a dozen publishers, I finally received offers from two small presses. I eventually went with Nightbird Publishing, and DIABLERO was released in Oct. 2010.

For my next book, I wanted to go with a publisher that had a wider audience, and I eventually signed with DarkFuse for two books – LILITH and THE BLACK CHURCH. In between those two books, Crossroad Press published GOD PARTICLE, a young adult sci-fi thriller.

Recently, I was offered a three-book deal with Permuted Press, publishers of the book JOHN DIES AT THE END. They will be publishing the next two books in the LILITH trilogy, as well as a reissue of my first book, DIABLERO.

What do you love about being an author?

My favorite part is meeting fans, both on the internet and in person. I’ve met some fantastic people along the way. But I love the entire process, from the idea stage to the writing stage, to the publishing and marketing stages. It’s all great fun to me. I’ve never enjoyed a job so much in my life. I have my wonderful wife, who has encouraged my writing endeavors, to thank for much of my success to this point. It’s kind of funny, but even after five published books, I’m still considered a “newbie.”

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I don’t know, Bilbo Baggins maybe? He certainly knows how to eat well. We’d probably have some homemade bread, cheese and really excellent wine.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

The lead character in my book LILITH is a man named Hunter Singleton, and he has a mixed-race heritage of Native American and Caucasian. I don’t necessarily think the actor would have to be exactly like that, but it would be nice. I haven’t been able to imagine anyone for that role yet. But for my first book, DIABLERO, I always imagined Vin Diesel as a reanimated Blackbeard the Pirate. He’d be perfect for that part. They would just have to say Blackbeard shaved his hair off at some point, kind of like Vin did in CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?

I’ll tell you what really scares me – ghost stories. Stephen King’s THE SHINING gave me nightmares for weeks. But one of the scariest lines of any book, to me, are the beginning and ending paragraphs of Shirley Jackson’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, where it says, “Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more…and whatever walked there, walked alone.” To this day, I haven’t been able to finish that book.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?LILITH desktop

I always thought it would be cool to live in the late 1600s, early 1700s, about the time Blackbeard the Pirate was around. People were hardier and more self-reliant back then, mainly out of necessity. The average life span was only about 40, but it was a full life. Nowadays, people live twice as long, but we spend most of it in front of some kind of electronic gizmo.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

“Be patient – everything doesn’t have to happen today!” Believe it or not, I didn’t really hear a lot of that growing up. I probably would do a lot of things differently, but I don’t think things could have turned out any better than they have, because I love my life!

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Ever since I saw AN AMERICN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, I always thought it would be cool to be a werewolf, even though it’s considered a curse. I wouldn’t consider it that. I think it would be fun to run around in the woods and kill my food with my bare hands, then take a walk through the city streets and scare the bejeezus out of everyone.

Where do you write best?

As a full-time newspaper reporter, I wrote in a cubicle in the middle of a noisy newsroom, so I’ve learned I can write just about anywhere. But my two favorite places are probably at home in my man-cave, or at my local coffee house.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I finished was actually a DarkFuse book called WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY by Brian Hodge. It was a kind of nerdy-science meets the Twilight Zone type thing, very creepy and H.P. Lovecraft-ish. He’s one of those writers that make me think, “Man, I need to step up my game.” He makes eloquence look effortless.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I would probably write military thrillers, kind of like Brad Thor. I love that stuff. In fact, my book LILITH is very much like that, but with a nasty monster added to the mix. Edgar Rice Burroughs was great at doing that action/adventure science fiction stuff, and he was a big influence. But my books tend to lean toward the supernatural, so that’s where the Stephen King influence comes in. That’s why I call myself an author of high-octane sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

Where can fans find you online?

 You can find me on my website at www.tobytatestories.com, which has links to my Facebook and Twitter pages. Feel free to sign up for my newsletter while you’re there.

Thanks for the awesome interview, Nicky – I love your blog!

THE BLACK CHURCH

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Church-Toby-Tate-ebook/dp/B00HCNXAGO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387232389&sr=1-1

LILITH http://www.amazon.com/Lilith-Toby-Tate-ebook/dp/B00AV8SXKA/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1

Interview with Lisa Von Biela

DSC_0250_cropped_smallerTell us about your publishing journey…

Well, I had a couple of false starts, where I wanted to write, but really had no concrete plan. Then in the late 90s, I decided I would start with short stories in the dark fiction vein, and try to sell them in the small press. I wrote a story (that, ironically, later developed into my debut novel, The Genesis Code) and hunted around the Internet for a potential place for it. I happened upon a small press magazine called THE EDGE, and sent it in. Greg F. Gifune, the editor, rejected it—and took the time to explain why. I put that story aside, wrote a new one, and several submission/rejection/revision cycles later, he published “Vacancy” in 2002. After that, I wrote more short stories that were published in various small press venues, some print and some online. Then I decided I was ready to try a novel-length work. I took the seed from that first short story and worked on it for 2 years, wrapping it up right before leaving my IT career to attend law school full time. I dropped off the planet during law school and my subsequent relocation/reestablishment time. Then, in fall of 2012, Greg, whom I’d kept in touch with over the years, posted on Facebook that DarkFuse was looking for novels. I submitted my manuscript, DarkFuse accepted it, and it came out in May 2013 as The Genesis Code. I got busy writing again, and The Janus Legacy just came out, Ash and Bone (a novella) is coming out in May, and Blockbuster will be out in January 2015—all from DarkFuse.

What do you love about being an author?

I love being able to create whatever world I darned well please. Whatever I can think of, I can take a reader there. Ash and Bone, for example, is very atmospheric, and I hope will make readers feel they are right there in Cromwell Bay, wondering what is behind the door to Room #8 of the Harbor Motel. In Blockbuster, the story is set 10 years in the future, so I had to come up with what cell phones, computers, and tablets will be like by then. It’s a blast to build worlds with words like that.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

This is a tough question. A lot of the characters in books I read are too scary to want to dine with. I’d rather not dine with Hannibal Lecter, for example. Maybe Clarice Starling, then. And for dinner, something other than a “good friend and a plate of fava beans.”

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?genesis_code

Oh, maybe Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. Ideally, they’d be in their late 20s/early 30s (or look like it). I saw Christian Bale in a movie once (I forget the name) where he dieted to the point of looking near death to play the part. That would be perfect for parts of The Janus Legacy. He’d have the needed look about him and definitely has the acting chops for it.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

No glitter for me. Monsters!

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

Maybe the 50s, a bit before I was born. I love the design of things then, those crazy 50s color schemes and such. I have to presume it was a little simpler time. Sometimes I wish for a quieter, simpler time—when there was time to handwrite letters in good penmanship. But on the other hand, I very much enjoy modern conveniences, and the Internet and all it offers. I’m not sure I could give that up!

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

I can’t think of a specific bit of advice I’d like to have been given sooner. I would have liked to have had all the accumulated life experience I have now—maybe twenty years ago. That would be cool. I often find it is this accumulated experience—not any one thing in particular—that really helps inform my writing. I just didn’t have all that twenty years ago. If I had, I might have about 30 novels under my belt by now.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d like to be able to magically change into whatever form I want to—including invisible. I could be a bird and fly. I could be a fish and swim without needing breathing apparatus. I could climb mountains like a goat. Yeah, that would be good. I don’t want to be able to predict the future—could be too scary. Don’t want to be able to read people’s minds. I thought about answering this by saying I’d like magical healing powers, but then thought that might be too heavy of a responsibility.

THE JANUS LEGACY cover smallerWhere do you write best?

I have a home office where I do most of my writing. I like writing at home, in the quiet. When I write, I envision the action and the characters, and quiet lets me do that best and most efficiently.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Mr. Midnight, by Allan Leverone. It was really pretty terrifying. The evil character was, well, very evil. The ending was absolutely chilling. I hope I never meet up with someone like that.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Hmmm…I already cross genres a fair amount, I think—horror/supernatural/sci-fi/thriller/dark fantasy. I don’t think I am capable of writing romance. I tried to read a romance novel once. Never again. You know, I could write humor. That would be it. Humor. I have a half-written parody sitting on my hard drive.

Where can fans find you online?

Oh, several places:
Website:  lisavonbiela.com
Twitter:  @lisavonbiela
ASH AND BONE_Cover

Interview with Luke Walker

380x380_picTell us about your publishing journey…

It was a rollicking roller-coaster ride complete with twists, turns, double agents and hot dames with gams that wouldn’t quit. Not to mention the car chases, explosions, global conspiracies, black helicopters, alien invasions and a sceptical FBI agent sent to spy on me who became my closest friend and confidante. Oh, wait. That was something else.

Like most writers, it was a long, slow process involving writing story after story, book after book until they began to find homes. I’m 36 now and started writing seriously (as in with an eye on one day being published) when I was about 19 or 20. Not as long as some people but plenty long enough when my inbox was nothing but rejections. Sadly, that’s still the case occasionally now, but that’s part of being a writer. I had my first short story accepted about five years ago; my first novel published in early 2012 with a second a year later, and a novella with DarkFuse last September. Given that I probably average twenty hours a week of writing, I could work out how many hours of work went into it before I had a book published, but it doesn’t really matter. If a writer wants to be published, they’re going to need to put the time and effort into it.

What do you love about being an author?

Simply put, I love telling stories. I love meeting new characters and sticking with them on their journey (which in the case of my stories is usually an unpleasant journey). I’ve never wanted to do anything else so I do it.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Hannibal Lector? Actually, no. Probably not a good idea. Can I go for a drink with Richie from Stephen King’s IT, have a night on the town with the Marquis from Neverwhere and have dinner with the animals from Penelope Lively’s The Voyage of QV66? Given that the England of the story is mostly underwater, dinner would probably be fish.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?mirror_of_the_nameless

If we’re talking my novella, Mirror of the Nameless, then I see David Schofield (probably best known as Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean films) as Dave, and Rupert Grint as Tom. For my second book, ‘Set, I always pictured Emma Cleasby who played Megan in Dog Soldiers. Probably why I named the character after her. I can Martin Freeman playing the angel Afriel and Craig Charles as the demon Xaphan. And for my first book, The Red Girl, it’s an ensemble cast. I’ve always thought on the million to one chance it became a film, I’d like see a cast of unknowns.

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?

Going to the dentist. And the usual ones of stuff happening to loved ones. Being a horror writer, my imagination is great for coming up with horrible stuff even though I know it’s not true. But mostly the dentist.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

First stop would be the mid-nineties to tell myself to get a haircut. Then back to prehistoric Britain. Just to get some peace and quiet.

The-Red-Girl500x750[2]What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

As a few great men once said, always look on the bright side of life. And as another great man said, tell her about it.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I always liked werewolves as a kid. These days, being one is about the only way I’d get to have any hair. If not a werewolf, then a zombie. I’ve said for years that Night of the Living Dead is the greatest film ever made so I’d have to be one of the walking dead, shuffling around in the hunt for sweet, juicy brains.

Where do you write best?

We have a spare bedroom so I write in there. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve needed a room or an area to sit down and write in. I know some writers can do it wherever they feel like, but that’s not for me. I need a dedicated space for it. Give me that space, some music and a cup of coffee and I’m good to go.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?set-300dpi

Sarah Pinborough’s The Language of Dying. Absolutely superb. I’ve been a fan for a couple of years; this one is easily her best work to date.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Tough one. Horror really is my thing. Doing anything else would feel like a fake. If I had to, I’d probably go for out and out fantasy without any horror elements. Or maybe a really nasty crime story. Overall, horror is what I’m good at so I best stick with it.

Where can fans find you online?

My blog is www.lukewalkerwriter.com or I’m on Twitter at @lukewalkerbooks and Facebook at www.facebook.com/LukeWalkerWriter. Come along and say hello wherever you fancy.

Book Review: Mr Midnight by Allan Leverone

cover37215-mediumSynopsis:

Given up for adoption just hours after her birth, thirty-year-old Caitlyn Connelly has longed her entire life to uncover her family history. Subject to bizarre and inexplicable visions, Cait is desperate to learn whether her biological mother can provide any insight as to the origin of her unusual ability.

When a local investigator learns Cait was born in a Boston suburb, the Tampa lawyer wastes no time booking a flight to the East Coast.

In Boston, with the city under siege by a killer known as “Mr. Midnight,” Cait’s visions intensify, morphing from merely annoying to graphic and terrifying. Worse, Cait begins to realize she shares a strange psychic connection with the depraved sociopath. A connection that may just get her killed.

As Cait and the murderer are drawn inexorably toward a violent confrontation, unraveling a decades-old mystery might be the only thing that prevents her from becoming the next victim…of Mr. Midnight.

About the Author: 3518969

Allan Leverone is a 2012 Derringer Award winner and 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction. He has been hailed by bestselling Author Vincent Zandri (THE INNOCENT, THE REMAINS) as “the successor to Michael Crichton,” and bestselling author Scott Nicholson (LIQUID FEAR, DISINTEGRATION) says “Allan Leverone delivers a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy.”

http://www.allanleverone.com/ 

Facebook/AllanLeveroneauthor

Twitter, @AllanLeverone

My Review:

Horror was my first literary love. I don’t admit it very often, in polite company I lie and say it was ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ and although I did read these books growing up, deep down I was hoping for Fox to go mental and start tearing the throats out of his furry friends. So dark and twisted is my ‘thing’ and Mr Midnight reminded me of that. From start to finish it was just gruesome enough with a steady stream of suspense that kept me reading – a perfect winter read when the weather is awful and all you want to do is curl up with a good book that throws you head first into an engrossing story.

As a reader, I’m not a big fan of flashbacks in a story, and if I could have changed anything it would have been to rip out the birth etc. and make it the prologue, thus leaving us in the present with the main characters and enforcing the suspense.

From a writer’s perspective, I thought the pacing was excellent and the story unfolded just enough each chapter to keep you on that sharp, shiny hook. My only criticism, and this is just me, is that Mr Midnight needed more of the book. I realise that he was the antagonist and that the protagonist, Cait should, in theory, be given equal time at least but horror affords authors a bit of literary leeway and I’d have liked to have seen our killer literally explode into the story with a string of murders under his belt before Cait takes our attention away.

The front cover is very eerie and definitely represents the story well. So two thumbs up to the cover artist!

Overall I’d give Mr Midnight 4 out of 5 stars – a darkly disturbing read with a dash of psychic shenanigans.

Buy Mr Midnight:

Interview with Tim Curran

Tim photoTell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote short stories for years, but most were either rejected or the small press magazines they were supposed to be in folded before they appeared. It got to be kind of weird for awhile there because five or six magazines went under on me. I was like the kiss of death! Then in 1995, my first story appeared in a small magazine called Stygian Articles, long gone now. After that, I started publishing short stories regularly. It was several years before I wrote any novels. I wanted to start in the time-honored way by concentrating on short stories. Eventually, I got into better magazines and then I wrote some novels. I kept working at it, trying to get in with better publishers with every book. Eventually, I got in with Delirium, Cemetery Dance, Thunderstorm, and a few others. But it took time and hard work. There’s no substitute for that unfortunately.

What do you love about being an author?

I like creating characters and examining lives in detail, then throwing my people into the worst possible situations to see how they react, to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. That’s the real kick for me. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself in the process.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat? Puppet Graveyard

Well, I’m a simple guy. I’d choose Zadok Allen from Lovecraft’s “The Shadow over Innsmouth.” He seems like a fun old guy. We’d get drunk and he’d tell me tales of old Innsmouth and the goings-on out at Devil Reef and we’d eat…calamari.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Honestly, I’m a big fan of Asian horror. If they made Nightcrawlers into a movie, I’d love to see an Asian take on it. I could see Takeshi Kitano playing Lou Kenney. He’s one of my very favorite actors and he could bring the depths of sorrow necessary for Kenney, and play it tough when things got ugly.

What scares you?

What doesn’t? Death, age, isolation, loss, infirmity…the very idea that your entire life, the one you know and trust and count on, the one you woke up with in the morning can be completely destroyed by the time you go to bed at night. That’s really what horror fiction is about: examining the terrors and anxieties of daily life, putting them under the microscope and trying to make sense of them. We horror writers give them the faces of monsters, but that’s entirely metaphorical. The real monster is what fate might have in store for you and the idea that it might be closer than you think. Take Pet Sematary by Stephen King, for instance. It’s not really about the dead coming back. It’s about the awful ethical question of having the godlike power to bring back somebody you’ve lost. The Monkey’s Paw thing. Do you have the moral right to subvert the natural order of things to ease your own pain? At its core, the book is really about that question and the horror of having to survive the loss of a child which is probably the most horrendous nightmare a parent can ever know. How about The Rats by James Herbert? It’s not really about mutant rats. The rats are representations of social decay, poverty, and the government’s complete apathy towards the struggles of the underclasses. We got ours, so fuck you. And I’m not pointing a finger at the U.K. by any means. That same underlying message is equally applicable in the United States and probably dozens of other countries.

biohazard2Which horror novel would you recommend to a reader new to the genre?

Although I suppose many Americans would pick a Stephen King novel, I would choose James Herbert’s The Fog, which I think is extremely influential on everything that came after it. There had been apocalyptic type novels before, but never had one been so bleak, so dark, so intimate and personal and violent. Besides, it’s just a damn good read!

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I would go back to the 1960s when I was a little kid. It’s one of the most volatile periods in U.S. history and one that brought the most change. Some historians like to say the sixties really started either with the Cuban Missile Crisis or the assassination of John F. Kennedy and ended with Watergate, even though that happened in the early seventies. Everything changed. People finally took a good look at the corruption and bullshit that was poisoning not only the country but the world. Unfortunately, few of the lessons we learned are remembered today.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? sow

If I’m in a cynical mood, I would borrow the mantra from the X-Files: trust no one. Thankfully, I’m usually not that cynical. The best advice is to treat people exactly as you’d like to be treated. That seems obvious, but so many people forget to do it.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was called Devil’s Drums by Vivian Meik, a collection of horror stories with a voodoo theme that was originally published back in the 1930s. Medusa Press just reprinted it. The original edition was very, very rare and worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars to collectors. It was nice to finally read it after hearing about it for so many years! Great weird pulp tales of zombies, ghosts, curses, and witch doctors set in Africa, where Meik lived for some time. Fun stuff.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why? 

I would probably write hardboiled crime fiction because it’s my second love after horror. I’ve already written one novel like that, Street Rats, which will finally be reprinted later this year. I’d very much like to write more books of that sort. Elmore Leonard type novels, only much darker, more violent, and more bloody.

Where can fans find you online?

I’m out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tim.curran.77 and I also have website, www.corpseking.com, though I don’t update it as much as I should.

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