Ginger Nuts of Horror
I write short stories, comics and screenplays in all spec genres as well as historical fiction. A few of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho. I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter and several of my posts have been featured on numerous sites including Bloodshed and Comic Book News UK. I’m launching a Kickstarter for the first two issues of my horror comedy comic series ‘Vampires Of Hungary: The Holy Roman Empire’ at the end of March.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Interview With The Vampire is my favourite film, Vampire Lestat is my favourite book and Spider-Man is my favourite comic book character. I like adaptions of works and comparing how they measure up to the original and unlike many people who say the book is better I think it depends on what you experienced first as you see that as the original.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy a variety of sports including badminton, roller skating and trampolining regularly. Reading and watching films as well otherwise I wouldn’t be interested in writing or have any inspiration.
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
My local writing group (Skelmersdale) as when I first joined them I was writing only screenplays and not even very well. Now I write across most mediums and have picked up a few things to do with writing.
The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?
When you say horror to me I assume monsters, killers and battling evil. But I feel a good section of people feel these things are childish and unrealistic. To combat this we need some more everyday horrors where it’s based on reality or where there’s a strong message so that people can see past their negative assumptions about horror like Get Out.
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?
In a recession, zombies tend to prosper and even though the trend has abated a bit now I still see it continuing for a while.
What are the books and films that helped to define you as an author?
I remember watching Hammer films, Munsters, Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of The Dark as a kid and many of my stories are about creatures because of this. Anno Dracula and The Vampire Chronicles are the biggest influence on my current project ‘Vampires Of Hungary: HRO’ as they showed how politics and history can be combined with horror and the human side of vampires.
What new and upcoming authors do you think we should take notice off?
Heide Goody and Ian Grant’s Clovenhoof series is one the best horror/fantasy/comedy series I have ever read and definitely worth a look for anyone who liked Little Nicky or Bedazzled. Edge Lit in Derby is a brilliant place to discover new authors as well.
How would you describe your writing style?
Simple but visual, I don’t rely on heavy description as the point of comics and screenplays is to just give a blueprint for the picture and dialogue.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Not any specifically, I did receive a positive review that was almost as long as the article they were reviewing and I was touched the amount of time they’d put into the review.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Re-editing as once I’ve been though one lot of editing I’m reluctant to change my work even more due to the time I’ve already spent creating the story.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I don’t see me ever writing anything literary or about any of the nice subjects for Take A Break or Woman’s Weekly.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I choose a few names based on meaning the rest are just random, although I like the name Alexei and have used it in several stories kinda like a Easter egg I suppose.
Writing, is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?
I’ve branched into different genres and mediums, learnt a lot more about formatting and even my use of grammar as improved so much since I started writing.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
For short stories and novels I’d recommend Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid to pick up any grammar issues, adverbs etc. For scriptwriting Celtx in order to get the format right.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?
To put more comedy into ‘Vampires Of Hungary’ before that I had a few comedy moments which diluted the horror but as I enjoyed writing those moments I didn’t want to lose them. Then my writing group suggested building upon them and that’s what I did.
Getting your worked noticed is one of the hardest things for a writer to achieve, how have you tried to approach this subject?
Facebook groups, twitter, forums, asking existing writers, following different websites and blogs to hear about any opportunities. I’ve wrote blogs across several different websites and now include a tag describing what else I do.
To many writers, the characters they write become like children, who is your favourite child, and who is your least favourite to write for and why?
I like Barbara De Cilli from my ‘Vampires Of Hungary’ work because even though she’s an evil vampire, she’s got so many problems and interacts with so many different people I feel I can explore more of her personality. Least favourite would probably be from one of my unpublished short stories as he’s so negative about life because of his wife’s death that it was really depressing writing him particularly because the situation he found himself in was realistic.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
‘Vampires of Hungary’ as I have adapted it from my screenplay as I believe it can work across multiple mediums. I spent more time on the story and characters than any other work, I must have over 50 pages of notes and some plans on what direction the sequels can go.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
Not really because they helped me grow as a writer.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, which of your books do you think best represents your work and why?
‘Vampires Of Hungary’ the first two issues of which I’m going to launch as a Kickstarter in late March probably represents my work best as it spans most of my interest- horror, comedy, history and politics whereas most of my other work only spans two or three interest at most. For work already published I would have to say my ‘Retirement Town’ short story in our local writers group anthology ‘Endings’ as it shows how I can tie a spec genre (in this case sci-fi) with politics and write from a bad guy’s point of view but make us care about him slightly.
Do you have a favorite line or passage from your work, and would you like to share it with us?
Not one that stands out above others.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
Last published work would be my stories in ‘Endings’ the first was a sci-fi story on the attempt to transform Skelmersdale (where I live) into a town solely for old people complete with a hospital but there’s a backlash and a secret group trying to keep Skelmersdale independent. The second story was a monologue about Anthony Eden (British Prime Minster from 1955-1957) and his attempts to get back into power after his health problems and the public disgrace over the Suez Crisis
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
So many to choose from, I’ll go for tripping over nothing when there’s a killer right behind you. It ruins any realism.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Last great book’ Queen Of the Tearling’ by Erika Johansen. Last disappointing book would be God Squad (book 3 in Clovenhoof series) by Heide Goody and Ian Grant but that’s mainly because it didn’t have Clovenhoof in it.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
How would we survive a vampire apocalypse. Everybody focuses on a zombie apocalypse but if vampires where spreading they would be a lot harder to combat due to all their powers. My answer on how to stop the undead menace would sadly be trial and error as we’d need to deduce what the vampire’s weakness are first before we can fight back, hopefully it will be the sun I don’t think I could stand sparkly vampires.