Ginger Nuts of Horror
Great British Horror Cover
Hello folks and welcome to the first in a special two part interview featuring the authors of this fantastic brand new Horror Anthology. So if you have ever wondered what happens when eight of the UK's biggest selling independent authors get together for an interview, now is your chance.
In July 2013, eight of the UK’s biggest selling independent horror authors had an idea. Each of them would provide a complete novel or novella for a limited edition omnibus collection, that would be available for a limited period of time only. All of the proceeds from this book would go to Centrepoint, a charity that supports homeless children and young people, and gives them a chance to get their lives back on track.
This book is released on Kindle TODAY. It will be available as a free download for the first five days, to give it maximum exposure, before returning to it’s normal retail price. The book will be available for a 3 month period only, at which point all royalties earned will be donated to Centrepoint.
The line-up for this book is pretty amazing, but we need the help of all our fans to make this a success. Spread the word, download the book when it’s free, and if you can, please donate the cover price of the book via our Just Giving Page.
- See more at: Horrific Tales
What drew you to the horror genre in particular?
G R Yeates: Some years ago I watched a documentary where Phil Anselmo (singer with Pantera & Down amongst others) was interviewed about his love of the Horror genre and he said, quite simply, “Either it’s in you or it’s not.” I concur with this view, particularly as I have just spent a year away from writing in the genre. I think it’s something that we get drawn to whether we like it or not, regardless of the usual Freudian influences that get trotted out. It’s in the blood and a part of who we are.
Michael Bray: I got into horror as a kid. I used to rent old classic horror movies on VHS , stuff like Slugs, Maniac Cop, Night of the living dead, A Nightmare on elm Street etc. from there it was a natural progression into books. My sister had a copy of Stephen King’s skeleton crew which she had left in the dining room table one afternoon. It was one of the earlier editions with the skeleton on the cover, and I was drawn to it and picked it up, intending just to read the first couple of pages to see what it was all about. From there I was hooked, and although it would be years later before I actually delved into trying to write the genre myself, I knew that it would always be my favourite.
Graeme Reynolds: I’ve always loved horror, from a very early age. Probably the first thing that got me into it was watching Doctor Who from behind my grandparents sofa. I can remember being absolutely fascinated, but terrified at the same time. That thrill stayed with me, and by the time I was eight years old, I’d graduated on to watching the old horror movies that were shown on BBC2 on a Saturday night.
What I love about horror is that you can take any story at all, in any genre, and turn it into a horror tale by applying an evil little twist. It gives us an amazing amount of freedom, because we can work on the whole array of human experience, make our readers laugh or cry, and then scare the life out of them. It’s incredibly liberating.
Craig Saunders: A particularly morbid bent, I think. I started out writing fantasy...still do, a little...but I was always more comfortable in the horror genre...it lets me be a little more creative and work outside of standard tropes that define the fantasy genre...
Posh, eh? Short answer is I'm a loony and like writing about squishy death in all its glory.
William Meikle: It would have to be the reading I did in the genre as a teenager in a small West Coast Scotland town in the early-seventies, before Stephen King and James Herbert came along, that were most formative.
I graduated from Superman and Batman comics to books and I was a voracious reader of anything I could get my hands on; Alistair MacLean, Michael Moorcock, Nigel Tranter and Louis D'Amour all figured large. Pickings were thin for horror apart from the Pan Books of Horror and Dennis Wheatley, which I read with great relish. Then I found Lovecraft and things were never quite the same.
Mix that with TV watching of Thunderbirds, Doctor Who, the Man From Uncle, Lost in Space and the Time Tunnel, then later exposure on the BBC to the Universal monsters and Hammer vampires and you can see where it all came from. Oh, and Quatermass. Always Quatermass.
I also have a deep love of old places, in particular menhirs and stone circles, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time travelling the UK and Europe just to visit archaeological remains. I also love what is widely known as “weird shit”. I’ve spent far too much time surfing and reading fortean, paranormal and cryptozoological websites. The cryptozoological stuff especially fascinates me, and provides a direct stimulus for a lot of my fiction.
Ian Woodhead: How do I answer this one? Considering I’m a complete scifi geek. I’d rather watch a science fiction movie than a horror movie any day. Then again, when it comes to my choice of book, I prefer horror.
Matt Shaw: I write in other genres too but am always drawn back to horror. One of the main reasons is that I've found my audience in this market whereas, with other genres, I'm still looking for them. It's like a really hard game of Where's Wally. I'm also a somewhat dark and troubled individual and I believe, writing horror, helps me to exorcise some of my own personal demons and worrying urges.
Iain Rob Wright: Not sure. When I was little my sister used to make me watch ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Jaws’ and it scared me really bad, so it’s perhaps a little odd that I ended up in this field. I started reading Goosebumps and Point Horror books when I was a kid and that progressed to James Herbert and Stephen King. There was just something I liked about the genre. The one genre where really anything can happen.
Have you ever written anything that made you think "Maybe I've gone a bit too far with this one"?
G R Yeates: Yes, there’s a scene in The Thing Behind the Door that I originally excised but it’s back in there now. I can’t say what it is as it’s a crucial part of the climax. You’ll have to read it, find out and then send me some dog poop in the post with a note telling me what a sick, despicable human being I am.
Michael Bray: Not so far! My work tends not to be so much blood and gore though, but more on the psychological side of horror. I like to use tension rather than go for the shock value.
Graeme Reynolds: All the time. There are two scenes in the first High Moor book that were pretty shocking (the infamous “tree house” scene and “boy scout camp” scene), but there is one in particular in the sequel, Moonstruck, where I had to really sit back and think about whether I could get away with keeping it in there. I know a few people who have gotten up to that part and stopped reading. On the other hand, that particular scene is by far the most terrifying and intense one in the entire book, maybe the most powerful thing I’ve ever written. At the end of the day, people read horror to be scared, or horrified, and so I left it in there, and I’m glad that I did. The biggest problem I have now is that for the final book, I need to come up with something even more shocking.
Craig Saunders: Nope, but Mrs S. read 'The Walls of Madness' and had a few...concerns about my mental state...I rewrote that a little bit. It's still pretty sick, I guess. Not quite as sick as it was.
She often points out things I don't notice about my own work. Her synopsis of one short was, 'It's basically two brothers eating each other.' Didn't cross my mind. I don't think I have the same moral compass as some other people.
That said, on the whole I don't think there's a 'line' in horror. And if there is, I don't think I'll ever censor myself. An editor can do that. I'm not a politician.
William Meikle: There's a story in the trunk about a paedophile that's staying there. As I was writing it, I started to think a real perv might get a kick out of it, might even act on it, and I couldn't have that on my conscience.
Ian Woodhead: Not quite yet. Still, there’s time.
Matt Shaw: Penis biting, cheese grating flesh in a cannibalistic horror story, incest, rape, necrophilia...erm...not yet. Lines of decency vary from person to person though so, you know, some people may disagree. With my horror, despite the nature of the work, I always try and find the humour in it which helps me get away with a lot!
Iain Rob Wright: Not really. I am progressively trying to learn to shock more and more with every book, but I avoid themes of rape and cruelty as I don’t have the stomach for them.
What's your greatest fear and have you included it in one of your books yet? If not, will it be turning up in the future?
G R Yeates: Again, yes, in The Thing Behind the Door. Memories of family and high school were very difficult for me to deal with for a long time and I think it got to the point where my reactions began veering towards the phobic. This was part of the reason why I wrote to it, to confront those fears and feelings and, hopefully, clear some of it out of my system. There will be more on this though as I have a trilogy planned set in a seaside resort town called Sevengraves that is based on where I grew up as a teenager. It looks like I had more skeletons to clear out of the closet than I initially thought.
Michael Bray: My biggest fear is definitely spiders. I hate the things. I wanted to tackle it head on though, so composed a sort story for my new collection, Funhouse titled ‘The Boy Who Saw Spiders, about this kid at a party who can see millions of spiders pretty much invading the room as the rest of the partygoers remain oblivious. It was good to write it down, but I still get a little bit itchy whenever I read it back.
Graeme Reynolds: There are a few things that I’m not keen on, but my biggest personal fear is claustrophobia. I hate the idea of getting trapped somewhere and not being able to move. Even large crowds of people elevate my heart rate and make me twitchy and irritable. However that pales into insignificance when compared to being in a dark enclosed space. I even struggle to crawl around in the attic. This particular fear hasn’t made it into my books yet, though. I’m saving it for my next project, once I finish the High Moor trilogy. I’ve already worked out the scene in my mind, and the thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat, so I reckon it’s going to be a good one.
Craig Saunders: Mental illness - turns up in lots of my books! (I'm bi-polar, or close enough for government work). That, and people. People are in my books, too. People are scary.
William Meikle: Losing everybody I love. I think it pervades everything I do—I slay monsters so they don't get near anybody close to me.
Ian Woodhead: Falling from a great height. The very idea just terrifies me. As for writing something like that in a story? No way, see question two. :D
Matt Shaw: Failure is a fear. I touched upon it in the short story called "Tomorrow" which is in Scribblings From a Dark Place. I prefer looking at the random fears of my readers though - to such an extent that I offer a service called Literature-Ly You whereby I take their fears and write them into a personalised story based on their lives. Great fun!
Iain Rob Wright: I fear illness. Horrible diseases and cancer make me grow pale. Some of the scariest movies for me are ‘Outbreak’ and ‘Cabin Fever’. There’s no death more lingering than terminal illness and it truly frightens me.
About The Authors.
Graeme Reynolds was born in England in 1971. Over the years, he has been an electronic engineer in the Royal Airforce, worked with special needs children and been a teenage mutant ninja turtle (don’t ask).
He started writing in 2008, and has had over thirty short stories published in various ezines and anthologies before the publication of his first novel, High Moor, in 2011.
When he is not breaking computers for money, he hides in a remote Welsh valley and dreams up new ways to offend people with delicate sensibilities.
You can keep up to date with Graeme via
William Meikle is a Scottish genre writer now living in Newfoundland.
Around 1991 and after being given a push by his new wife, he started to submit stories to the UK small press mags. It's been a slow but steady progression from there. He now has over thirty five professional short story sales and have twenty novels published in genre presses.
Read more about Willie at williammeikle.com
Craig Saunders lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and three children. He pretends to listen to them while making up stories in his head.
A horror writer with a side order of fantasy (as Craig R. Saunders), he likes cemeteries and wizards, so it was a natural progression to drift between fantasy and horror like a drunk man weaving in and out of traffic.
He doesn't leave the shed since his wife, his number one fan, hobbled him. She does, however, let him blog at www.craigrsaunders.blogspot.com, where updates and samples of all published work can be found.
Matt Shaw was born, quite by accident (his mother tripped, he shot out) September 30th 1980 in Winchester hospital where he was immediately placed on the baby ward and EBay. Some twelve years later (wandering the corridors of the hospital and playing with road kill when he was on day release), the listing closed and he remained unsold, he was booted out of the hospital to start his life as a writer and hobbit - beginning with writing screenplays and short stories for his own amusement before finally getting published when he was twenty-seven years and forty-five seconds old.
Once Published weekly in a lad's magazine with his photography work, Matt Shaw is also a published author and cartoonist. Has to be said, can be a bit of a flirt and definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, somewhat of a klutz.
Find out more at http://www.shawthingproductions.net/
Ian Woodhead is just past the age of forty. He lives in the north of England and is married to a wonderful woman. He has forgotten how many children he has. He had been writing for nearly twenty years but has only just gained the confidence to start showing his work. Ian finds it a little creepy writing about himself in the third person.
Find out more at http://ianwoodhead.com/
Published author, Iain Rob Wright, was born in 1984 and lives in Redditch, a small town in the West Midlands, UK, with his loopy cocker spaniel, Oscar, his fat old cat, Jess, his many tropical fish, and the love of his life, Sally. Writing is the passion that fills his life during the small periods of time when he isn't cleaning up after his pets.
He is the author of several novels, including the critically acclaimed, The Final Winter, and the deeply disturbing thriller, ASBO.
Check out his official website for freebies, news, and updates at: http://www.iainrobwright.com
G.R. Yeates is a critically-acclaimed author who has published a series of horror novels set in WWI entitled The Vetala Cycle. He has also published two literary horror novellas and appeared in anthologies from Dark Continents Publishing and Cutting Block Press.
He was born in Essex, England and was brought up in seaside towns along the South-East coast. He studied English Literature and Media at university before spending a year in China teaching English as a foreign language.
For information and updates about G.R. Yeates, visit him at
Michael Bray is a Horror author based in Leeds, England. Influenced from an early age by the suspense horror of authors such as Stephen King, and the trashy pulp TV shows like Tales From The Crypt & The Twilight Zone, he started to work on his own fiction, and spent many years developing his style. In May 2012, he signed a deal with the highly reputable Dark Hall Press to print and distribute his collection of interlinked short stories titled Dark Corners, which was released in September 2012. His second release was a Novella titled MEAT which was initially self-published before being picked up by J. Ellington Ashton Press. His first full length novel, a supernatural horror titled Whisper was also initially self-published, and following great critical acclaim, was optioned for a movie adaptation and sold to Horrific Tales publishing - his first Advance paying sale. Future works include the short story collection FUNHOUSE, and a new novel titled From The Deep, which is to be pitched to agents/ publishers upon completion.
Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelBrayAuthor
Get a Copy of Great British Horror by clicking the links below