This is an industry of rejection and to be successful, an author needs to be able to never throw in the towel, no matter the hard road ahead of them.
What inspires you? Nature inspires me, along with smells, music, pictures, people I’ve met, places I’ve gone, and my own experiences—pretty much anything and everything.
What kind of research do you do? I love research and mine is all over the place, depending on the story. Recently, I’ve been researching a local witch legend for my chapter in an upcoming Black Hare Press 13 anthology. In 1800, a girl was buried alive in a cemetery 30 minutes from here. Although she couldn’t speak, jealousy surrounding her beauty led to her accusation and execution as a witch. I’ve also been researching Hurricane Katrina for a different story.
London, 2113.Racked by riots and ruled by corporations, London has grown to house over twenty-million people. Its limits stretch across the south-west of England.Pollution chokes the skyline, hiding the stratoscrapers of The Mile, London’s exclusive centre, from sight; though its gaudy neon signs penetrate the smog. Corporations rule after the collapse of the mid-2000s. The NHS, under strain from underfunding and the barrage of pandemics, chemical attacks and terrorism, found itself sold off, piece by piece, to the highest bidder. The augmentation companies moved in; buying what they liked. The National Health Bank rose, supplemented by other privatised care centres.
The idea of Mount Terror first came when I was reading and studying the history of South Pole expeditions. From James Clark Ross’ scientific expedition and discovery of the Ross Ice Shelf, to Robert Falcon Scott’s deadly trip to the geographic South Pole, and the search party that followed Scott’s death, I was fascinated by the stories of endurance, of survival and the passion that animated these great explorers.
The twist is that there is no twist and that would be a hell of a twist in itself because you would be looking for a twist but there wouldn’t be a twist because I promised you a twist and you were expecting a twist so the twist is that there is no twist but then you’d just be disappointed that there was no twist and I couldn’t say I always include twists.
Pick six to eight questions to answer, they said. As if narrowing down a lifelong love of words is so easy. What if I pick the wrong ones? What if the ones I don’t pick haunt my dreams? It’s crowded enough in there!
Ever the poster child for “I’m grown! I’ll do what I want!” I chose…uhm…more.
Stop doubting yourself and just try. Seriously, I found a notebook in my attic that I didn’t realise I’d kept. It’s twenty-years old and has scribbles and ramblings detailing many ideas I’ve actually used since without knowing. Some of these concepts had lived in my head for decades, but I never thought I could do it, so I never tried. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been suited when I was younger, but the Gods love a trier, right?
The idea for The Rise of the Great Old One came about one afternoon – my kids and I had been listening to the recordings of unexplained sounds from the depths of the ocean (check it out – there are some really creepy ones!). We then began to talk about Cthulhu and what if the creatures Lovecraft wrote about in his stories actually exist here and now; and that he saw them and knew we were going to be wiped out, but he couldn’t say outright “hey guys, don’t want to alarm you but have you seen these monsters?
What’s your most favourite under-appreciated novel? I’m going to say A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny. It has its fans, we’re in FB group together, but I had never heard about it till I came across it in a bookstore.