You seem to write mainly horror, yet there are other genres mixed in there as well. Do you like to experiment with different styles of writing?
I do, very much. In my horror writing I tend to write “quiet” horror and a more Gothic type of fiction. My stories have a Twilight Zone feel, a slow build and a turn of events with characterization. I don’t tend to use a lot of blood and gore. Lately, I have switched to trying to write fantasy fiction, the sword and sorcery type with magic, castles, and monsters. There is a common theme in both the horror and fantasy stories… monsters. I love monsters and use them in many stories. My newest fantasy series Song of the Ancestors, has some good monsters in it and the undead, especially book 1 Web of the Spider Queen. So, even my fantasy writing has a little bit of a horror twist. I’m hoping that makes them a bit unique.
What are some of your recent releases? Can you give us a short synopsis of each?
One of my newest is Oblivion 6. This novella is about a group of six strangers with psychic and supernatural powers that are brought together by the government to stop an apocalyptic force. The old Aztec Gods have returned to our world in the form of giant monsters and are out to destroy everything. This is sort of my ode to superheroes and comic books. Another novella getting a lot of attention is Frozen Stiff–my first zombie story. It’s about the end of the world and a group of survivors that are led to a secret military base in the Canadian Arctic by a search and rescue team. At this base they discover there are worse horrors than the icy wasteland.
How do you come up with new ideas?
That’s a tough one, because sometimes I don’t even know. Some have come from dreams… or nightmares that I have. Some just come to me as I am driving to work or watching TV. Others start out as questions… what if this happened or what if this life wasn’t all that it seemed? Sometimes characters just reach out to me and tell me their stories. I see ideas like movie scenes. They play in my head when I am bored or relaxing. Many times titles just come to me or string together. I try to jot them down somewhere or I email them to myself a lot. I even write the stories based on just the title with no forethought as to what the story is about. I have such a vivid imagination that I can get tons of ideas all in one day.
Years ago, one of your short stories was made into a short film. How exciting! Can you tell us about the basic plot of the story? How did it feel to see your fiction on film?
It was very exciting. It was early in my writing career and I was approached by some Canadian film students who wanted to do a short film of my story Black Out. They had seen it published on a horror e-zine. It was supposed to appear on Canadian TV and I still have the CD they sent me. The story was about a woman in a crappy, run-down apartment. The building would have frequent black outs. During one black out the tenant witnesses something she shouldn’t, something sinister that happens in the building on a regular basis. I wrote that story in one sitting and it was one of my most popular stories at the time. It is still available in my chapbook sampler for Kindle, Terror in Small Doses: 6 flash stories.
What is your writing process? Do you plan ahead, outline each scene? Or do you prefer to let the story unfold on its own? Do you stick to a daily word count, etc?
For short stories I never plan ahead, I just let the tale take me where it takes me. As scenes pop into my head I take notes into the doc so I don’t forget. For novels and novellas I do a very rough outline. Not too detailed… some character names, some juicy scenes, a basic plot so I have a guide but then as I write I let it take off on its own. Sometimes the plot changes as it goes and sometimes I don’t even know what the ending will be. I don’t have a daily word count… I mostly write on weekend nights and write until I get tired.
What are you currently reading?
The Strain by Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan. It’s good scary stuff. I’m really enjoying it and I think I’m a bit late to the party with it too.
If you could invite any five authors from any time period to dinner, who would they be?
H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley.
Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a short story called The Heirloom. My mom loved it! At the time I worked at a supermarket, I was a teenager then and I let a bunch of my co-workers read it and they were glued to it, they couldn’t put it down. I knew then that I could write some good horror.
What scares you?
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?
I love to cook, going out to the movies, I like to read a lot, not just fiction but history, true crime, Native American Culture, dinosaurs, the solar system, spirituality. I also go camping, fishing, hiking and enjoy gardening, playing video games, collecting old horror movies.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am writing various shorts to my fantasy series The Books of Braenyn. My next book is a dark fantasy titled Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds. I plan to begin writing it by the end of June.
Where can we find you on the web?