Kevin G. Bufton is a thirty-something father, husband and horror writer (in that approximate order) from Birkenhead, on the Wirral.
He has dreamed of being a full-time, professional, published writer since he was in primary school and, in January 2009, he took his first faltering steps towards making his dream a reality, when he submitted his first story, ‘In the Darkness’ for publication. It was accepted and published that same month, in the now-defunct e-zine, Micro 100 and Kevin has not looked back since.
His stories have appeared in numerous websites, magazines and anthologies, many of which are available at his Amazon Author’s Page.
Kevin also edits horror anthologies for Cruentus Libri Press.
You can also read a fantastic guest post from Kevin Here
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Sure. My name is Kevin G. Bufton, and I’m a thirty-something horror writer from Birkenhead, on the Wirral. I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was a little kid, but it’s only recently that I decided to do anything about it. I’ve been published in magazines, anthologies and websites, across the world, and have recently released my debut novella, Cake.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror – always horror. Indeed, it annoys me when I hear of people, who are quite clearly horror writers, insisting on using another label to describe their work, as if horror is somehow beneath them. Horror is one of the purest emotions, and one that we all share, by virtue of our very humanity. There is not one person amongst us who doesn’t have some fear hidden away in their psyche, and the role of the horror writer is to dig in deep, and unearth it. It’s not dark fantasy, it’s not supernatural thriller, and it’s not gothic – it’s horror, plain and simple. All the rest, is just window dressing.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
In the horror genre, the top five have to be James Herbert, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Graham Masterton and Richard Laymon. Those five writers have such distinct styles, and yet they all fall firmly under the umbrella of horror, which just shows how versatile a field it can be. Coming up close behind those luminaries are guys (and gals) like Clive Barker, Guy N. Smith, Shaun Hutson, Sam Stone and Poppy Z. Brite. Of course, all of those, no matter how wonderful their prose, and influential their writings, cannot compare to my favourite of all time, the Granddaddy of Horror himself, Edgar Allen Poe. Outside of horror, I’m a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and Robert Rankin, as well as Harlan Ellison and Rex Stout. Recently I’ve sampled my first few pieces of Robert E. Howard’s work, and was blown away by it.
What are you reading now?
I’m re-reading Cabal by Clive Barker, as research for an anthology based on events in the book, but I don’t know if that counts? I’m also reading Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon, at the same time – only about a third of the way into it at the moment, but it’s certainly holding my interest.
How would you describe your writing style?
That’s a tricky one – a lot of people have commented on the dark humour that seems to infest my work, which is not a deliberate choice on my part, but just something that sort of happens. Maybe, as I get more works under my belt, I’ll develop a distinctive style…that’s got to be something to watch for, right?
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I haven’t reached the point where I can give up my day-job yet and, as a husband and a father-of-two, my writing day starts when the kids have gone to bed. Normally I spend an hour or so getting up to date with my e-mails, my Twitter feed, and my Facebook page, seeing if there are any new markets that have caught my eye. I also use this time to do any bits of research for my current piece. Then, I switch off the broadband router, and the television, so I’m not distracted, and just get on with it. I make it a point of penning at least 1000 words per day, but that’s a minimum for me. If the muse takes me, I’ll knock out as much as I can before I finally slope off to bed.
What’s your favourite food?
I’m partial to Chinese food, in all of its wonderful variety but, if you’re after a specific dish, then I’d probably say chicken foo yung.
What’s your favourite album?
It changes from day-to-day, but probably The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden would be my most consistent favourite. Eight doses of the finest metal ever laid down, with not a single misstep throughout, and it’s the album that got me into metal in the first place. An absolute classic.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
Well, it’s no great secret – I’m sure every writer has been told it at some point early on in their career. If you want to be a writer, then you’ve got to write, and if you’re going to write, then you’ve got to finish what you’re writing. It’s that simple.
Fame and fortune, or respect?
Respect. I’d far rather be respected for being a good writer, than become wealthy off the back of being a bad one. If I can make enough to support my wife and kids, and still be able to hold my head up high, above the sea of absolute dreck that’s out there, then that’s good enough for me. I’m happy to wait for the fortune part until I’m selling movie rights to the highest bidder, and running off, no questions asked!
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I wrote a story called ‘Mother’s Milk’ for an anthology of horror stories based around children. It’s about a woman who’s new baby is stillborn, and comes back from the dead, and she has to protect it from the authorities, who are under orders to kill and burn any undead that they find. I wrote it whilst my wife was heavily pregnant with our daughter, and I think that all of my own fears and anxieties of what was going on in there made their way into the finished story, and I produced something that is very personal to me, and of which I am very proud. It will appear in my forthcoming solo collection, Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen, due out in August 2013.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last book was my novella, Cake. It’s set in my native Wirral, some forty years into the future and, one level, it is a Lovecraftian nightmare of eldritch abominations, living shadows, a populace living in mortal terror of the dark, and body-hoping entities of pure evil. On another level, it’s about a woman trying to get the ingredients together to bake a cake for her sister. It deals with feelings of isolation, resentment, familial love, and terrible loss, but it’s also a horror tale. As far as what’s coming up net is concerned, I’m working on three projects at the moment. The first is the aforementioned collection, Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen, which is currently out with my beta-readers for their comments. The second is an as-yet untitled new novel, in which a guy is locked in a public toilet over the course of a weekend – it sounds ridiculous, but I’m hoping it will all work out. Finally, I’ve just taken the first faltering steps towards scripting my first graphic novel, an adaptation of my novella Cake, in collaboration with the very talent artist, Joe Young.