Ginger Nuts of Horror
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
If you were given the chance to write in another writer's universe, whose would you chose?
G R Yeates: This is an easy one for me. I would like to write a collection of Lovecraftian short stories. Just the one, as means of paying tribute to the writer who has been my most significant influence. I read H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider at around the same time I read Stephen King’s It, but the former has become a greater source of inspiration than the latter as I’ve grown older. I identify far more with Lovecraft’s view of the world than I do with King’s these days.
Michael Bray: I love the Brian Lumley Necroscope series. That was the first real book collection that I put together. I loved the world and the characters that he created. Those books would make a superb movie, and I’m actually surprised that nobody has picked it up yet.
Graeme Reynolds: I’d love to do a cross-over story, featuring Michael Gallatin, from Robert R McCammon’s “The Wolf’s Hour” and my American werewolf hunter, Carl Schneider, set in World War 2. “The Wolf’s Hour” is probably my favourite werewolf novel of all time, even though it’s not strictly a horror novel. McCammon’s portrayal of werewolves, especially during the flashback scenes in Russia are brilliant, and heavily influenced the way that I wanted to structure my own werewolf society.
Craig Saunders: X'andrathil Omniplopple's. He's three dimensions over - first right just past the lights.
And, nope. :P
William Meikle: I've done several already for Sherlock Holmes, Professor Challenger, Carnacki and the Cthulhu Mythos, but the one I'd love to take on is more recent—I'd love to do a Jon Shannow—The Jerusalem Man novel based on David Gemmell's series. A Blasted Earth, cowboys, mutants, magic and a broken man looking for redemption—my kind of stuff.
Ian Woodhead: I’d love to explore Brian Lumley’s Necroscope universe.
Matt Shaw: I would never do this for fear of ruining it all. Leave it to the original author, I say!
Iain Rob Wright: Maybe Brian Keene’s Labyrinth… Not really sure as I prefer to create universes of my own.
If there was one book by an existing author that you wish you had written instead, which book is it and why?
G R Yeates:The one book would be Tadeusz Borowski’s This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. I consider it the biggest single influence on my writing with its portrayal as the world as a place of stone and society as not being all that different from a concentration camp. Though I wouldn’t wish to have gone through the writer’s experiences at Auschwitz which made him draw these conclusions at all. I think that would be insulting to his memory and that of everyone else who was a victim of the Nazi regime.
Michael Bray: Stephen King’s The Long Walk. I absolutely love that story. The concept is brilliantly simple. You go into it and really get to know these people, and in the back of your mind you know that all of them are going to die. To make a story that is essentially just a bunch of people walking cross country so engaging was a real eye opener for me, and showed that with just a few tweaks, even the ordinary can become something horrifying.
Graeme Reynolds: I’d have to go with Robert McCammon’s Boys Life. While McCammon is not actually my favourite author, when he gets it right, he absolutely knocks it out of the park, and Boys Life is without a doubt my favourite book of all time. Where Stephen King’s IT and The Body were brilliant examples of the coming of age story, McCammon really did achieve something special with Boys Life. He managed to capture the magic and heartbreak of childhood in a way that no one else has ever come close to.
Craig Saunders: Oooh...don't know - lots and lots. I think some kind of super-novel, like The Stand. Some towering, unwieldy and hefty tome that people could hit pickpockets with. (I hit a pickpocket on the head with a Robert Jordan paperback once, and it wasn't as satisfying as The Stand, hardback, would have been...)
William Meikle: I'd love to have written Treasure Island—it’s a wee, perfectly formed adventure story that still has recognisable characters over a century later, and still enthrals generations of kids. To me it's the gold standard for adventure tales.
Of the modern writers, I'd love to have written Mark Frost's The List of Seven—a historical mash-up with Conan Doyle meeting a proto-Holmes and having a great adventure in Victorian Britain. One of my favourite books
Ian Woodhead: Imijaca by Clive Barker. That tome seriously is a work of genius.
Matt Shaw: Anything by Roald Dahl, really. The guy was a genius. His adult books, even his children books on some level, are so deliciously dark.
Iain Rob Wright: Under the Dome by Stephen King. I loved that book and it created a fully-fleshed out town with an entire populace. I would love to have the skill to do that.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
G R Yeates: Keeping the discipline pretty much. There’s always the temptation to write just from inspiration alone but if you do that then you could be looking at weeks, months and years passing before a great idea comes along. If you keep writing every day though, the ideas suggest themselves as you keep pushing your imagination forward.
Michael Bray: Self-motivation is hard sometimes. Forcing yourself to write at least something every day, even if you don’t really feel like it can be hard, especially when you throw things like family life, full time jobs and the million other things that come up and seem to want to derail you as a writer. I also have issue with people who see writing as something ‘easy’ to do to, and scoff when you tell them how hard it actually is. It takes an incredible level of commitment and discipline, which is sadly lost on a lot of people. As writers, we work really hard for out craft, and I just wish more people would be aware of exactly what level of work went into writing, editing, rewriting, promoting and releasing a book. I’m sure it would open a few eyes.
Graeme Reynolds: Apart from finding the time while juggling home responsibilities and work, the thing I find the most difficult is that I tend to agonise over important scenes. I get “The Fear”, and convince myself that whatever I write won’t do the story justice. I can sometimes spend weeks going over a pivotal story point, looking at all of the possible consequences of what I’m about to do. What I really need to do when that happens is to just take myself out of the equation, start writing and see where the story takes me. The hardest lesson to remember can sometimes be that you can fix a bad scene, but you can’t do very much with a blank page.
Craig Saunders: Getting published, hands down. Took about seven years for my first novel acceptance. Writing's easy. Just typing and telling fibs.
William Meikle: Learning to take criticism without responding. It's tough when you're starting as you tend to see everything as a personal attack on your particular brand of 'genius'. Nowadays it's water off a duck's back. I've been at this long enough to know that not everybody likes my style. I can live with it, when it comes from the heart and is constructive. On the other hand, if it's done purely to be vindictive, then that's another matter and the red rage comes down. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Ian Woodhead: Sustaining the motivation to sit down and write. There are days when I just can not find the energy to even write down a grocery list.
Matt Shaw: Finding that elusive audience. Oh, and finishing a book when ideas are bubbling for another story that you're itching to write, having had a new idea pop into your head mid-story. That happens so much!
Iain Rob Wright: Not worrying. Sales go up, sales go down. While I am currently established in the horror genre, I worry that everything could go bad overnight. Sales could go bad, the ebook revolution could slow down, anything really. As much as I am making a good living today, there is no guarantee that I will be tomorrow. That is very stressful.
What do your friends and family think about your writing?
G R Yeates: My friends are my family and they have been very supportive of my writing. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.
Michael Bray: They are all incredibly supportive. It has actually blown me away how much they are behind me, and they were especially invaluable early on when I was first dipping my toes into the water. They motivated me, encouraged me and helped to build my confidence. Without them, I’m not sure I would even have gone ahead and tried to make a go of becoming a writer. I am also lucky to now be building a core group of fans outside of regular friends and family, which is really exciting. As a writer, it makes me want to keep working as hard as I can to keep providing them material to read.
Graeme Reynolds: At first they were very proud of me, and supportive, however I don’t honestly think that any of them expected what I’d written to be any good. It took a couple of years for some of them to get around to reading the first High Moor book, and the response was almost always “Wow, I knew that you’d written something, but I had no idea it would be like that!”
Now, I’m constantly being pestered by them as to when my next book will be coming out. That’s one of the nicest feelings in the world.
Craig Saunders: That's a small list, but they like it. Not sure about my mum reading what I write, but there you go - she can put it down if it all gets a bit much...haha. Also, I like to freak Mrs S. out...it's my sole reason for living. Well, that and chilli dogs. I like chilli dogs quite a bit.
William Meikle: Family are all big fans—my mum and sisters buy everything I do and encourage me. My boozing buddies are my boozing buddies. They don't really give a shit most of the time—they'll read an occasional thing, but don't tend to give much feedback—with them I just drink and talk bollocks.
Ian Woodhead: Most of my friends are fellow writers. As for my family, my older kids think it’s great.
Matt Shaw: My old school friends couldn't give a stuffed monkey but my new friends, found along the way as I've etched my career out of nothing, have been very supportive. As has my family - especially my mum who buys the books even though she reads them before they're out! Maybe she has Alzheimer's though and has simply forgotten she has read the pieces.
Iain Rob Wright: Honestly, I don’t have many friends and my only family are my parents, both of who are very proud. I am a very shy, private person and my whole life revolves around my wife and dog! I get on very well with my in-laws however and enjoy spending time with them, playing board games or canasta. Overall, I hope my friends and family respect what I do, but honestly I don’t know as I don’t talk about work all that much as it is so hard to explain where my ideas come from without sounding strange.
Do you think you'll do this forever or have you come close to giving it up to get what society deems a 'real job'?
G R Yeates: I think until you get to a point where your work starts turning in enough money to live on, you’re always on the brink of giving up. I’ve considered it a number of times and I think that’s just a natural part of the process. It means you’re analysing yourself, your life, the world around you and your situation. If you don’t do that ever, you would have nothing to write about.
Michael Bray: I have a real job as it goes, but I would never give up on my writing. I work six days a week, 6am until 1pm, then home, and write from 2pm until 7. I do that every day without fail. It’s a part of my daily routine now, and feels natural. People think I’m insane for committing so much time to it, but I have always been of the opinion that if you really want to be a success in anything, writing included, just having the talent to do it isn’t enough. It takes dedication and constant hard work. I deliberately push myself to my limit, and then see if I can go even a little bit beyond that, not for the future financial gain it may bring, but simply because I love to write. I love to create these worlds, and fill them with people and situations and watch as whatever unfolds changes them. For better or worse, writing is a part of my life now that is here to stay.
Graeme Reynolds: At the moment I juggle a full time job, run a smallholding in the Welsh mountains with about forty animals to look after and fit my writing around that. In an ideal world, I’d be able to drop the day job and focus on writing and the smallholding full time, but that day is quite a way off, if it happens at all. In the meantime, I’m content to let things tick over as they are, although I’d like to be able to devote a bit more time to the writing than I’m currently managing. Giving up the writing all together just isn’t an option though. It’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life, and now that I’m doing it and making a success of it, I can’t imagine not having it as part of my life.
Craig Saunders: When I had a real job I wrote. When I didn't, I wrote. I write now. I'm not rich, but I make a couple of quid. It's not really about the money, though. I enjoy what I do.
William Meikle: I've had a real job—it sucked for 25 years. I'm much happier now that I'm in this full time. Poorer too, but so it goes. I'll be doing this until they cart me away to the dump—and maybe afterwards too if I'm lucky.
Ian Woodhead: My worst nightmare would be for me to wake up to the fact that I’ll never be able to make a living from writing. I love it, it’s taken me almost forty years to realise that this is want I want to do. Right now, I’m nowhere close to making a living from this but, the hope is still there. Maybe one day. I just need to keep at it. Oh, and f**k society.
Matt Shaw: I don't know what the future holds. I've written near on fifty books now and I find myself more interested in film. I don't think I'll give the writing up. I don't think I can. But, I do think I'll be spending more time translating my pieces into film. As it goes, I'm in the middle of the first one now. It's a challenge but one that I'm enjoying.
As for a real job - already have one! If I'm not there, I'm working on various projects. Let us just say, I have very little spare time and it is a killer!
Iain Rob Wright: The change in my life since making this my career is huge and if I ever have to go back to working a dayjob… well, that would be my worst nightmare. I hope with all my heart that I can grow old doing this. I love to tell stories and I have hundreds left in me. Whether or not I can last in this business is down to the people buying my books. My fans will decide how long my career last. I just hope that they love me as much as I love them.
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.
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 u