Paul Melhuish is an Occupational Therapist by trade but writes by night and at weekends.
He has had had stories published Murky Depths and Dark Horizons magazine and has several stories available from Greyhart press as E-stories which can be read on one of those new Kindle devices.
He had a story was included in the Newcon Press Anthology Shoes, Ships and Cadavers: Tales from Northlondonshire. Edited by Ian Whates with an introduction by Alan Moore.
His first novel, Terminus, came out in 2011 as an E-book and paperback. Described as a ‘gothic space opera’, Terminus spawned a follow up collection of stories set in the same dark universe as Terminus entitled Unauthorized Contact. Both of these are also published by Greyhart press.
Paul is also a Member of the Northampton Science Fiction Writers Group.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Paul Melhuish. I live in Northamptonshire and I’m part of the Northampton Science Fiction Writers Group. I once accidently walked across a minefield in Lebanon once and I’m a Morris dancer with Northampton Morris Men. I have several publications out both in digital and hard formats. My latest work is a self-published estory entitled The Acid Lounge available on Amazon. (Shameless plug over)
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Weird Horror Fiction, if I can amalgamate two of the categories, if that’s okay?
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Adam Nevil, Jeremy Dyson. Also Magnus Mills and Michael Moorcock.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Novel: The Monk by Matthew Lewis
Film: The Wicker Man
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
‘…And then the forces of darkness will be unleashed. It is said in the prophesy.’
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
My perfect neighbour would be Count Brass From Moorcock’s Hawkmoon books. He’s keep an eye on the house when we were away and he likes a good beer.
My nighmare neighbour would be Martin Bryce from Ever Decreasing Circles.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
I think the genre is in a process of change. Yes you walk into W.H.Smiths and flick through the teenage vampires and Stephen King section (It used to be called the Horror section) but right now there is a new generation of writers producing intelligent and well crafted work. Adam Nevil, Alison Littlewood and Mark West are three that come to mind. I think the future of the genre looks good.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
‘The Haunted Book’ by Jeremy Dyson. Really creepy.
‘The Dwaves of Death’ by Jonathan Coe. Not what I thought it was going to be.
How would you describe your writing style?
Horror laced with humour and humanity.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Yes. A negative on of my short story ‘Necroforms’ The rever said, ‘To have written this this guy must have been smoking some serious S**t!’ Just for the record, I hadn’t been.
What’s your favourite food?
Perogi, a polish dish.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
Judas Priest, Elgar and Shawaddywaddy
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
Always write from one viewpoint at a time.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Ending the story. That last sentence that clinches it all.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I go to a writers group who help enormously. They point out fundamental mistakes that us writers make. I feel this has helped me to evolve positively.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Discipline and the ‘detective factor’. Allow the reader to work some elements out for themselves and don’t spoon feed them.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Never give up.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
My favourite Characters name is Monster and he’s a new age traveller. He is utterly horrible and likes intimidating people. He’s got red eyes and dreadlocks so as well as being unhinged looks terrifying. I think he’s convincing as a characters and one of those baddies that people love. I love writing him, it’s very cathartic. He appears in The Acid Lounge and in Bad Acid a novel coming out this year as an ebook.
How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I can’t think of any. If they don’t appeal to me then they wouldn’t appeal to the reader so I try to give all my character something that interesting to the reader.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
Oh, respect. I’ll settle for respect, or fortune. I’d hate to be famous. I like to be able to go to Morrisons without being bothered by thousands of fans (in my dreams)
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
The Acid Lounge my latest work.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
Yes, plenty. I once wrote a 20,000 word postmodern novel that it pretentious garbage. That will never see the light of day but it was good to teat what worked and what didn’t.
For those who haven’t read any of you books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
I have a short story with Greyhart Press called Fearworld which I’m proud of and is a real page turner. It’s typical of the weird fiction I write. Basically, the world is invaded by shapeshifters which hate light. I recommend that one to anyone who hasn’t read my work.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last story was The Acid Lounge. I guy at a festival wakes up in his tent one morning and finds that everyone else on the site had disappeared.
My next work is a horror novel called Highcross. Highcross is a village seconded by the military in the Second World War and left untouched for 70 years. Until a property developer decides to renovate the village and the ghosts manifest.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
‘What inform your writing? Your religious faith or your sexual hang ups?’
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