Iain Rob Wright is one of the UK's most successful horror and suspense writers, with novels including the critically acclaimed, THE FINAL WINTER; the disturbing bestseller, ASBO; and the wicked screamfest, THE HOUSEMATES.
His work is currently being adapted for graphic novels, audio books, and foreign audiences. He is an active member of the Horror Writer Association and a massive animal lover.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I am an ex salesman who managed to win the Indie-publishing lottery by finding success and have now been a fulltime writer for the last 4 years. I have a 6-month old son and a wife I love very much
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love watching films and TV Series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Walking Dead’ although my son, Jack, makes that nigh-impossible lately.
What’s your favourite food?
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
‘Don’t fear the reaper’ by Blue Oyster Cult
Tell us a dirty little secret?
I have written a short erotica story under the pen name Kharma Leah
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Buy shares in Google.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
I got my wife pregnant. I had to go with it.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Stephen King, Brian Keane, Richard Laymon
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
I recently read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire books’ and freakin’ loved them. I have never read anything with so many well-developed characters and shocking surprises.
‘The Wheel of Time’, on the other was really disappointing. I found it really hard to get into, and it felt like nothing was happening for dozens of pages at a time. I quit the book halfway through.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Favourite novel: World War Z. Favourite film: Demon Knight
If you could erase one horror cliché what would it be?
Bimbos tripping over when being chased by a killer
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Ideal neighbour would be The Hound from ‘Game of Thrones’, because he would go out and get the chicken. Worst neighbour would be Edward Cullen because his twinkling would keep me awake all night.
If you could kill off any character from any other book, who would you chose and how would they die?
I would kill Edward Cullen with a stake on page 1. No more Twilight series.
And if you had free range what fictional character would you like to write for?
‘Angel’ because I like the tragic plot lines of the TV series and felt he still had a ways to go when the show ended.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
Improving towards thriving. The publishing industry has ignored horror for too long but final it’s beginning to grow again on its own steam.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing horror fiction right now?
Lack of new ideas. Too many zombies and vampires. Let’s invent some new monsters.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
My early bad reviews helped me improve a lot as a writer by pointing out my flaws.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Editing, because you can never get it perfect, and I’m a perfectionist.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
No, there is nothing. Literature should be unshackled.
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters, characters, and more characters
How important are names to you in your books?
I like my names to have a hidden subtext, so I take care to choose them.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Grammar textbooks and style guides. Too many writers think they just need to have ideas, but writing is a craft and it makes me angry to see people release work that doesn’t even obey the very basics of good form. Having a song in your head doesn’t mean you can play piano. You need to learn how to use the keys.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Pay for good artwork (J.A. Konrath)
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
Some reviewers are ridiculously harsh. I have been likened to a highschooler writing an assignment. I like to think that’s because my work is accessible and unpretentious. Fortunately, the majority seem to agree with me. God bless them.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Paid promotions were the last thing that really worked for me (Bookbub etc) but even they have been giving diminishing results lately. The best way to find readers has and always will be by writing books. Write more, make more.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
Damien is my most prevalent character I put most of myself into, emulating the journey I took from a poor upbringing amongst street gangs to the (hopefully) noble man that I am today.
How about the least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Kathryn from The Final Winter disappointed me most, as I don’t feel that I gave her a complete character arc. It was my first book. I was learning.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I am proud of The Picture Frame. I hope it highlights my improvements as a writer. It has a great cover, top-class editing, and characters I ended up loving.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
The Peeling series became a bit of a nightmare, as my heart wasn’t in it. The first chapter I enjoyed but then I became less and less interested and I don’t think I gave it the ending my fans deserved.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
The Final Winter represents the type of stories I love to tell most. I also hopes it highlights that I try my best to be original with new ideas.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a space horror with author, Matt Shaw. In the new year I will write the next Sarah Stone novel, followed by book one of apocalyptic trilogy, The Gates. I will also be starting a low-fantasy series (like Game of Thrones) as soon as I can.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
Do you want a million pounds? My answer: Yes.