Ginger Nuts of Horror
To celebrate the launch of the new charity anthology Splatterpunk: Fighting Back from Jack Bantry's Splatterpunk Zine Ginger Nuts of Horror brings you a series of interviews with some of the contributors to the anthology. Today Ginger Nuts of Horror is honoured to welcome Rich Hawkins to the interview chair.
Rich Hawkins hails from the depths of Somerset, England, where a childhood of science fiction and horror films set him on the path to writing his own stories. He credits his love of horror and all things weird to his first viewing of John Carpenter’s THE THING back in the early Nineties. His debut novel THE LAST PLAGUE was nominated for a British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel in 2015.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a horror writer with a love of Cheddar cheese, beer, crisps and pizza. My favourite film is John Carpenter’s THE THING. I like to mostly write apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic horror. I’m a stay-at-home dad and house husband.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to read, exercise, watch films and TV. But mostly I like to spend time with my family.
What does Splatterpunk mean to you? What attracts you to writing in this genre?
To me, it means gore and vivid horror without limits, and that itself attracts me to it. There are so many possibilities with the subgenre, and it’s a lot of fun.
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?
I can see even more apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic stories being written, which is not surprising considering where we’re heading these days. Whether it’s nukes, viral pandemics, climate change or natural disasters, it’s always at the backs of people’s mind. The human race is never far away from complete annihilation.
As a horror writer, do you consider any topic off limits? Is there a topic or subject you would never write about?
Not really. But I think a lot of it depends on how it’s written.
What do you most enjoy about the short story format? What do you find challenging?
I like the challenge of writing a plot – a mostly coherent one – within the confines of short story. Helps sharpen the writing skills. It’s both the thing I most enjoy and the most challenging.
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
Sci-fi action films, like ‘Aliens’, ‘Predator’ and ‘The Terminator’ have been a massive influence on my writing. I love those films, and they’re a big part of why I write in the first place. They’re an inspiration, even now.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?
I can’t remember who said it, but someone told me to write what I want to write and not chase trends or markets. Write what you care about. It’s advice that’s worked pretty well for me.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of? Which book or story do you think is a good ‘jumping on’ point for new readers?
I would say either ‘Black Star, Black Sun’ or ‘King Carrion’, as they’re both novellas, and can be read relatively quickly. They’re also two of the favourite books that I’ve written, and sum up what my writing is about! I’m most proud of my debut novel ‘The Last Plague’; it’ll always have a special place in my blackened heart.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My cosmic horror novella ‘Maniac Gods’ will be released very soon by the Sinister Horror Company. It’s a story about a man searching for his wife and daughter, who went missing along with the rest of their village. It involves alien gods, monsters and hellish dimensions.
I’m currently working on a novella called ‘Rising from Black Water’. It’s part of a two-novella collaboration with my writer friend William Holloway. It features Cthulhu and mutant squid, so I’m enjoying writing it.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
Would you like this megabucks publishing contract, Mr. Hawkins?