Author Interview Corner is now closed. It was a fun two years. I met lots of interesting authors and learned quite a bit, too. But I simply don’t have the time to do interviews any more. Thank you to everyone who supported AIC and all the authors involved.
It’s time to cast a vote for your favorite Wicked Woman Writer!
Horror Addicts Episode# 102
Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini
Co-Hosted by Rhonda Carpenter & Killion Slade
123 days till Halloween!
wicked women writers challenge
tonia brown, mary go when, d.m. slate, photo finish, lindsey goddard, what happens in vegas, stephanie lenz, the grey girl, chantal boudreau, an appetite for trouble
To vote, send an email to email@example.com
Subject line: WWW
Tell us who you think wrote the best story and why.
One lucky winner will win the HorrorAddicts.net PRIZE PACK!
Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net
Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…
h o s t e s s
s t a f f
David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood
Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, guys. Just a little self-promotion from your beloved interviewer. I’ll be competing in the Wicked Women Writers Challenge, and the episode airs tomorrow (Jun 28th), so be sure to tune in and vote for your favorite story!
Welcome to the 6th annual Wicked Women Writers Challenge
Hosted by HorrorAddicts.net
The audio for these stories will post by Saturday June 28th. The text versions will run June 29th-July 3rd. Subscribe to this blog so we can alert you with they post.
Premise: There is something both fearsome and attractive in a wild thing, be it man or beast. From creature legends told around ancient campfires, to modern tales of King Kong and cryptozoology, critters have always captured our darkest imagination. Five finalists have created stories based on this premise and with challenges that were randomly selected. Each challenger received: 1. Location 2. Blessing – Helpful Item 3. Curse – An untimely disability 4. Beast
Your task as a listener is to listen to each story (or read it on the blog) and then vote for who you…
View original post 523 more words
I’d like to take a moment to inform my readers that this particular interview is very unique for Author Interview Corner. Thus far, I’ve only interviewed fiction authors on this blog, but the true story of Beth Taylor caught my attention. Today we will discuss her non-fiction book, Bless Them Father, for They Have Sinned. The subject matter might be uncomfortable for some readers, but I greatly admire Beth for having the courage to speak out about it. Her book is a very personal account of the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of the Catholic Clergy and how this has affected her life.
Hi, Beth. Welcome to Author Interview Corner. I’m so pleased you could join us. My first question is: What made you decide to write Bless Them Father, for They Have Sinned?
I decided to write Bless Them Father, for They Have Sinned, because I believe that not enough is known from the survivor point of view regarding the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. And what the world has heard is mostly from the point of view of male survivors. I found, far too many times, that when people hear about my story they would say, “I never knew there were little girls abused.” Unfortunately, there are many, many females among the thousands of children abused by members of the Catholic clergy.
I also decided to write the book so that the world – and the Catholic faithful in particular – can get a first-hand report on how the Catholic Church dealt with survivors when we came forward. I can tell you that every branch of the Catholic Church where I turned for help, treated me in an unbelievably horrible manner. From the U.S. Conference of Bishops, to the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Dominican Order in both the Central and Southern Provinces, to the church where the abuse took place; I was called a liar, told they wanted to “be done with” me, told me that only boys were abused, and told me they didn’t owe me answers from the church. At one point I was told the church didn’t have insurance to cover such allegation in the 1950s and 1960s when my abuse took place.
Additionally, I wanted the church faithful to also see how these so-called “men of God,” treated my mother who was in her late 70s. The reason I wanted that known is because my mother attends the Catholic Mass every morning of her life. She is a member of a local Catholic Church, supports her church financially, volunteers at her church, is at the church for every special event. And they treated my mother terribly. They may dislike me for coming forward, but they also took out their anger with me, onto one of their devout members. Besides, she was a grieving mother who was suddenly having to deal with the reality that her only daughter – her little daughter who was only 5-years-old when the abuse began – lost her sexual innocence as a little girl, and at the hands of a member of the Catholic clergy.
The abuse happened at very young age, and your mind suppressed the memories until adulthood. When did your suppressed memories start to surface? Do you have any idea why, or what may have triggered this?
The memories began flooding back in the form of terrible dreams that would cause me to scream out and awaken myself. My heart would be pounding and I would have a hard time catching my breath. I didn’t like the dreams, but it meant nothing to me. Then I started to have the nightmares while I was awake. At the time I owned a video production, marketing and advertising agency. I would be sitting at my desk when these horrible pictures began flashing in my head. It was like watching short movies in my mind. The flashback would start, and I would lose time. It could be as short as 5-10 minutes or even a few hours. Why it happened, how it happened, I have no idea. Sometimes I wished it hadn’t happened. But now, after roughly 10 years, I’m glad it did, glad I faced my demons, and glad to mostly have it behind me.
As for what triggered it, again, I’m not sure. I was going through a hard time. My best friends were married to each other. He had been my friend before they married, and she became my friend after the marriage. I had a different relationship with each of them, and a joint friendship with them and their children. She was fighting breast cancer and I was doing everything possible to help her be strong and fight. Then I was spending time with him to help keep him together, and talking with their kids, and her parents. It was a difficult time. Then I was in my car, stopped at a signal light, when I was rear-ended by a truck. The damage to the car was minimal, my injuries weren’t too bad, but it sent me into a tizzy. And there were the flashbacks.
At that time, I truly believe I was having a mental breakdown. I had once worked at a psych hospital, called a friend, and began seeing a therapist. Those therapy sessions lasted years with what I call a “journey of discovery.” During that time we deciphered the flashbacks, put a face and name to my abuser, saw the locations of the abuse, and remembered specifics of the abuse. As it turned out, my best friend lost her battle with breast cancer and her husband killed himself two years later. I’m still in contact with their children – and now grandchildren – along with her parents who are now in their early 90s. We had some rough years back then. I am grateful the 1990s came to an end.
Were there moments when you thought you might change your mind about writing and releasing this book? It’s such a personal story to tell, almost like baring your soul. I imagine it must have been hard to write.
Once I began writing the book, stopping was not an option. I wanted the story to be told. The Catholic Church tells me I am the only person to claim sexual abuse by this one particular man. I don’t believe the church. Those men have lied too many times for me to believe them. But … say they are correct and no other survivors have come forward, or if other victims are deceased; statistics show a pedophile almost never has just one – single – victim. So, in case there is another of his victims out there, I want that person to have access to the book. There may be another survivor who can relate to my story and maybe get something from my words.
There were times when I was writing parts of the book when I questioned if I was being too graphic, or whether I was being too revealing. I took out some things, but nothing that changed the story or the process of discovery. I asked six friends to read the book and to give me their thoughts. Some were Catholic, some were not. Some were from New Orleans, others were not. I got really good feedback. They told me things I wanted to hear, and things I didn’t necessarily want to hear. In the end, I took all the suggestions, did my rewrites, and sent it to the publishing house. The editor there sent a review that thrilled me, stating no corrections were recommended.
While I always knew I wanted to have the book published, I’ll admit I let it sit on the shelf for a year, once I thought it was complete. I had closed my business and took a job with a local university. I decided I needed to direct all of my attention toward the new job and the book was put away. Then, when my position was eliminated, I took the book out and began rewriting. I decided to self-publish when my query letters got no results. I kept hearing it was a “tough” topic, or “we can’t take a chance on an unknown author.” That’s when I became the author/publisher.
Have you always had an interest in writing?
Yes, I have always had an interest in writing. In fact, I am a journalist. I graduated with a journalism degree from LSU. I spent 15-years as a working journalist in both newspaper and television. Believe it or not, I was the first female television sportscaster in Mississippi when I was hired in 1977. Then I went into marketing and public relations. I have written breaking news pieces, feature stories, sports pieces, 30-minute television scripts, magazine features, documentary scripts, and speeches. I’ve always enjoyed “playing” with words. This book is the longest – most in-depth – piece I have ever written.
What kind of responses have you received from this book?
The response from the book was much more than I would have ever expected. People have been nice and understanding … and I am appreciative. However, what has been the best response, is that I have heard from survivors and family members of survivors. Their reactions have been positive, stating it has given them insight and understanding. Helping others through the book was not on my “To Do” list, but it certainly is an unexpected blessing.
What advice do you have for others who might have personal accounts of terrible things in their past–whether it be molestation, rape, domestic violence, depression, addiction, etc? How might they find the bravery to speak out? How did you overcome your “stage fright”, so to speak, and find the courage to tell your story in public?
For others who have been through life-changing events and traumas, my first suggestion is to seek professional help. I had an incredible therapist, and there are lots of great therapists available. I would strongly suggest seeking out a therapist. Find one who is honest with you, one that makes you feel safe, and one to whom you can tell things you wouldn’t dream of ever saying to another person. This is a very special relationship. This is someone with whom you are going to spend a lot of time. This is someone who will see you when you’re strong, defiant, crying, angry, falling apart, ready to kill, and at the end of your rope. This person is going to walk with you to the brink of Hell, then walk with you on the road back where you are – once again – in control of your feelings and your life.
Don’t worry about the cost of therapy. Yes, it can be expensive. I would love to have all that money back in my bank account. But I’m the best investment I’ve ever made. That money spent on therapy – what I call my investment in myself – was very well spent. Without the therapy I would still be fighting my demons, and still be “stuck” with living everyday with the remnants of the abuse. Now when I have a flashback – and they still come occasionally – I’m able to tell myself, “it’s just a flashback, I survived the original events,” let the flashback end, and move on. That is so much better than before therapy.
As for my “stage fright?” Being a former television news anchor and sports anchor sort of makes stage fright a moot point. I’ve also done a lot of speaking before groups, taught some classes, and made presentations to clients. However, even with all of that, there is the very personal descriptions of my body and my life.
I had to deal with so many people connected to the Catholic Church on so many occasions and each time I had to tell the story. Once you tell the story over and over, and over again, you get to where the sharp edges have been worn off your soul. And remember, I had been through all the events in therapy, where it was safe to explore and express my feelings. I knew when I got in a room with representatives of the Catholic Church I wanted to be in control of my emotions, state my story with little expression, let my lawyer do her part, and me do mine. After all of that, it was easy to talk about the book.
On a lighter note, what sort of books to you like to read for enjoyment?
What do I read for enjoyment? You may find this hard to believe, but I’m dyslexic and reading is very difficult and not very enjoyable. I read a lot of news and feature articles on the web. I’m a “news junkie” … always have been, and always will be. When I was 10 and 12 years old and my friends were reading comic books or getting books from the library, I was reading three newspapers a day, plus LIFE, Time and Newsweek magazines. My father played a current affairs game at the breakfast table. Each correct answer was worth 25¢. His questions came from those publications plus the local and national television newscasts. I was raking in money. That’s pretty much when I began thinking I would become a journalist. I’ll admit I changed majors twice, going between pre-law and political science, but journalism was the perfect fit.
Today I still read three daily newspapers on the web, plus watch local and national evening newscasts. My cell phone rings with news alerts from all the local media plus the Associated Press. It’s just like being in a news room … without the stress.
Do you have any plans to write another book?
I do have plans for other books. Right now I’m doing a blog entitled “Parenting A Parent,” which can be followed at parentingaparent.com. I’m just about finished writing a book about dealing with our maturing family members. I’m also working on a crime novel, which is based on events I covered during my news career. It’s fiction, but based on real cases. The crime is shown through the eyes of – guess who – the journalist. I’ve also written The Super Sensational Silver Sneakers™, which is a series of young children’s adventure books. I have yet to find a publisher, but I’m not giving up. Related to the kids books, I have also started writing a script for a feature-length animated movie. Additionally, I have two “treatments” written for television shows. Those are still sitting in my computer. I need some direction on how to make these things go from my head to reality. Please wish me luck with those ventures!
What has Bless This Father, for They Have Sinned accomplished for you? Has speaking out helped to alleviate some of your pain?
Bless Them Father, for They Have Sinned has been helpful in many ways. First, it was helpful in removing some pain. I went from not understanding what happened to me, to talking about in in therapy, talking about it with some family and friends, then to putting it on paper. Everything that was bottled up was finally out. For 40 years I kept the secrets of my abuser, and now I was finally free from his secret, his ropes, his filthy acts, and I was FINALLY allowed to be Beth, and I had a chance – through therapy – to reshape Beth without the threats, and shame of the abuse. Once the book was written it was sort of like erasing it from my brain. I no longer have to remember all of that “stuff.” I’m finally free.
Is there anything you’d like to discuss that I haven’t mentioned in this interview?
I think you have hit all the questions. I’m impressed, since you said you don’t usually interview non-fiction writers. You asked some insightful and probing questions. As for any additions … just one: if someone is going through something tough or something similar, my suggestion is to be kind to yourself. Please remember it wasn’t your fault. You didn’t cause the events. You couldn’t prevent the events. You were not in control. You could not control what took place, BUT; you can control how you deal with, and react to, the events. You owe it to yourself to seek help.
Where can we find you on the web?
On the web you can find more about the book, more about me, and links to purchase the book. Please go to either blessthemfather.com or bethtaylorbooks.com. Both links go to the same site and from that site there are links to other sites about me.
Thank you, Lindsey, for this opportunity. I appreciate and admire what you do. Maybe we can do it again when the next book comes out. Take care!
Hello loyal readers and other super awesome people in cyber land. Author Interview Corner is currently in limbo. I’ve got questions sent out to three authors. I’m expecting answers from one of them any moment; the other two sets of questions were just sent out yesterday, and I’ve got a fourth author patiently waiting on her questions (I am trying!). So for now, let’s keep this blog alive between interviews. How about a book review? I just finished reading Spooky Showcase by Alan Draven, and these are my thoughts:
Spooky Showcase is a collection of two novellas and three short stories. I’m a huge fan of novellas, so I enjoyed the set-up of this book: three short pieces sandwiched between two novellas. Another aspect of the book that enhanced my reading experience is that Alan Draven has created his own city of Bitternest, Louisiana, where most of his stories take place. Bitternest is described by character Jim Coffin as “a magnet for supernatural occurrences”. Aside from the final story (set in Whitechapel, London during the Jack The Ripper murders), all of the stories are set in Bitternest, allowing places and people to intermingle and become familiar to the reader. If you keep up with Alan Draven’s body of work, you will begin to recognize places like Hershell’s Motel, where the first four letters of the lighted sign have burned out, causing it to appear as “Hell’s Motel”. Or Terry Graves, who stars in Alan’s debut novel Bitternest and makes an appearance in the first novella in Spooky Showcase, entitled The Paradigm. While reading The Paradigm, you’ll hear mention of a serial killer wreaking havoc on the city, a character who comes into the spotlight three stories later in The Madman’s Atonement.
But that’s enough about how I think it’s cool to see recurring characters and settings. Not everyone cares about that. How about the writing? That’s what you really want to know, right? Is the writing any good? The answer is: yes. For the most part, it’s top-notch. If I was forced to put these stories under a microscope and pick them apart (you know, rip them to shreds like some reviewers love to do), I could say that Alan Draven does much better in a longer format. Some of his short stories, in my humble opinion, would benefit from expansion, as they feel a tad rushed towards the end, coming to a conclusion more abruptly than I would prefer. But you see, this is a moot point. The man himself, Alan Draven, says that he’s done with short stories, focusing only on novellas and novels from now on. I understand this decision. The two novellas in this collection, The Paradigm and Vengeance Is Mine, were the strongest, most engaging tales in the book. Draven’s writing shines when allowed the freedom of a higher word count, and I look forward to reading more of his work.
The Paradigm is a hard-boiled, gum shoe mystery with a supernatural twist. The characters are immediately likeable, the prose quick-witted and enthralling. The main character, Detective Jim Coffin, is the classic bad ass with a heart of gold. His intentions are pure and good, but if you piss him off, you might end up with a wooden chair leg through your good eye! I loved this story. Beyond The Doomed Cave is a short story that originally appeared in the Amazon best-selling anthology Sinister Landscapes. I owned a copy of Sinister Landscapes the year it came out; it was a fantastic anthology, chock-full of creepy fiction. That being said, Beyond The Doomed Cave is not one of my favorites by Mr. Draven. It was a fun and interesting read, but I didn’t like it as much as the other tales. The prose wasn’t as smooth and tight as the newer stuff. In the introduction, the author says this story is “probably my very best one”. On this point, Mr. Draven and I must agree to disagree. But that’s okay. He’s a kick ass author, and I have tons more good stuff to say! The Rattling Man is a creepy Halloween story with some pretty cool visuals. A Madman’s Atonement was my favorite of the three shorter pieces. And the final story Vengeance Is Mine was a wonderful way to close the book. A gripping and eerie take on Jack the Ripper. A novella that blends black magic and ghosts with an already terrifying topic. So clever.
I highly recommend reading Alan Draven’s work if you have not. It gets better with each passing year. His ideas are unique. His characters are intriguing. And Draven understands the main purpose of a story–to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, guessing, flipping pages, wondering “Oh dear, what if this happened to ME?” Spooky Showcase was as fun to read as it was creepy, and for that I was inspired to write a 750 word review, convincing you to go check it out. So please do! 🙂
Hello, hello! You are in for a special treat today. I’m finally posting my video interview with Suzi M (author of the Immortal War vampire series). This video was filmed at the end of August and scheduled for a September release date on the blog. A few problems: My computer is too old; my video editing program is out of date and riddled with bugs; and I’m not computer savvy enough to find a solution.
Suzi is such a doll. And so talented. You’ll love the footage that survived!
GIVEAWAY ALERT! :)I’m giving away FREE copies of Suzi’s short story “The Demon’s Tale” to the first 5 people who complete one of the following quotes. Post your answer in a comment or send it to: LindseyBGoddard@yahoo.com You can also contact me via Facebook. Send your answers by any method you prefer. Simply complete one of the following three quotes.
(hint: video #3) “One of my favorite bands is ________.”
(hint: it’s about 2:30 into the first video!!!) “I should have a ________ in research at this point for all the research I’ve done for the writing.”
(hint: video #4!!) “Before I was writing with a one-two punch, and now I’ve added the ________ to my repertoire.”
You can take a look at THE PRIZE by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Demons-Tale-ebook/dp/B0054DQP5M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
If you enjoyed this interview, just think of how much you might have enjoyed the OTHER questions that got eaten by the evil troll who lives in my computer! 🙂 Contact Suzi M. Get to know her! And most importantly, read her stuff!
Hi, everyone. The month of November has been a slow one for Author Interview Corner, and I apologize. I’ve been busy, busy, busy doing this thing we call “real life”! There’s a handful of loyal readers out there who stay tuned for every post. And there have been newcomers, who stumbled upon the blog for the first time and were kind enough to drop an email or post a comment showing their support. Thank you. And then there are people who follow the blog when time permits, because–like me and most people in the world–they stay busy and lose track of time too easily. (I don’t know about you, but months pass like days the older I get!)
For the loyal readers, here is an update: I will soon be unveiling, after MONTHS of delay, my video interview with author Suzi M. Unfortunately, a few of the questions will be missing. I have exhausted my efforts trying to understand the reasons behind the error messages Windows Movie Maker gives me when I try to save these video clips. Nothing works. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a grumpy troll living in my computer, and he likes to eat interview footage.
Even though some of the questions have been eaten by the grumpy computer troll, this video interview will be a nice treat and change of pace for the blog. Coming soon.
And now… onto a new interview with author C.M. Saunders!
When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, though I didn’t start taking it seriously until my early twenties. At school, I was a terrible student. Most of what the teachers talked about just seemed to wash over me. I just had no interest in most of the subjects we had to take. The only thing I liked was English. I am from rural south Wales, a very working class area. When I told my career’s adviser at school I wanted to be a writer he just laughed, and tried to make me join the army! I ended up leaving school with no qualifications (I even managed to fail the English exam!) and going to work in a factory for nine years. I still wrote in my spare time, purely for my own amusement, but I lacked confidence in my ability. To me, writing stories was like a dirty little secret. I eventually plucked up enough courage to start sending my work away to various people; the small press was flourishing then. One thing led to another, and I ended up going to university to study journalism years later as a mature student.
In addition to fiction writing, you’ve done a lot of journalism, writing articles for newspapers and magazines. Be honest: Which do you prefer? Fiction or nonfiction? What are the pros and cons of each? Do you find one more challenging than the other?
Great question! I have never been asked that before. I love writing both fiction and non-fiction. When I was just starting out, and trying to find my way, I experimented with lots of styles and mediums. To an extent, I am still experimenting, still trying to find my niche. The great thing about journalism is that you can use it as a means to indulge your other interests. I always had a fascination with the supernatural and unsolved mysteries, so I concentrated mainly on those areas. I also love music. Music journalism gave me the chance to see the music industry in a whole new light. On a personal level I have been lucky enough to meet some of my musical heroes, and get a closer look at the creative process.
Practically speaking, there is generally much more money to be made writing for magazines and newspapers than fiction. I don’t want to sound mercenary about it, I am just being realistic. Anyone who knows the game will tell you that it is extremely hard to make any money from fiction. It takes a lot of time and effort, and I think that level of commitment should be rewarded.
Writing for magazines and newspapers is more of an exact science. You do the research, pace the article, and mimic the publication’s style and tone. In a way it can be restrictive, but the thing I like about writing articles most is uncovering information and looking at things from different perspectives. With fiction, you still have to adhere to the publisher’s guidelines (unless you self-publish), but there is much more freedom. Fiction brings a different kind of satisfaction. It is more artistic, I think. You create something from nothing. You start with a germ of an idea, and this eventually grows into a fully-fledged story. Then you can stand back and say to yourself, “Wow, I did that!”
Even though it pays less, my fiction has always caused more of a stir. When people read my work on websites or in magazines and newspapers, they generally just see the title of the publication. With fiction it is just you, standing alone, with nothing to hide behind.
Your latest novella, Devil’s Island, takes place off the coast of Scotland on a secluded chunk of land surrounded by rough seas. This gloomy, mysterious setting serves an important part in the story. It even feels, at times, as if the island itself is a main character in the book. What was the inspiration behind the setting in Devil’s Island?
I wanted to create somewhere menacing, and also wanted to use the idea of being cast away. There you are in a strange, unfamiliar environment. Something is very wrong, you can almost feel it, but you are stuck there, with no means of escape. The concept of ‘fight or flight’ is a recurring theme in the story. It is a primal human instinct. But on an island, you only have one choice.
Davon Rice, the main character in Devil’s Island, is an ex-soldier who is so desperate to find employment that he will agree to almost anything in order to climb out of his rut. When did the idea for this character come to you, and why?
One day I was thinking about our returning heroes. Those that sign up and go to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. They are invariably young and fit, and could do virtually anything with their lives. Yet they choose to serve their country, and often suffer some physical or psychological damage as a result which they have to learn to live with for the rest of their days. When they leave the forces, they are expected to just slot into this other world and get a job in Walmart or something. I was thinking about that adjustment they would have to make – from trained killing machine, to Ordinary Joe. Is it really so easy to switch from one to the other? I write horror stories, but war is the real horror.
Have you penned very many short stories? If so, where have they appeared and where can we find them?
Yes, I have written probably 40 or 50 short stories over the years, of which around half have been published in various places. My first published work, back in 1997, was a story called Monkeyman in a Welsh fiction magazine called Cambrensis. I drifted away from short stories for a few years while I concentrated mainly on music journalism, but returned with a vengeance a couple of years ago. In 2012, I had seven short stories published, most notably in the magazines Siren’s Call and Wicked Industries, and the anthologies Torn Realities, Denizen’s of the Dark and Fading Light. Recently, I was invited to contribute to an anthology called Urban Legends: A Friend of a Friend Told Me, which will be out in 2013, and have several other things in the pipeline. I am thinking about self-publishing a collection of stories at some point next year. If nothing else, that will enable me to officially ‘retire’ those stories and move on to other things.
Here’s something I discovered after you requested an interview with me, something I don’t think either of us realized beforehand: I was wondering why your name seemed familiar, and after doing a bit of research into your writing career, I recalled that your novella Apartment 14F was reviewed by a magazine for which I served as editor-in-chief, The Monsters Next Door. As I recall, the reviewer truly enjoyed the book and had nice things to say about it. Can you tell us a little about Apartment 14F?
Wow! Small world! Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story is my most successful story to date by far. I have had a lot of good feedback about it, and it is still the publisher’s (Damnation Books) second highest-selling title ever. There is actually an interesting back story to it. I live and work in China. I wrote Apartment 14F soon after I arrived here, when I found everything just damned weird! I wanted to capture that sense of isolation, of being different. Then I started thinking, in a situation where you are the outsider, where would you turn if something happened? The story was inspired in part by some pretty horrific nightmares I had around that time. There is one scene, when the lead character goes to see a fortune teller and she licks his palm, which was lifted straight from a dream. I just knew I had to use that somewhere!
Since we’ve discussed two of your three novellas, it would be silly not to touch on the topic of your other one, Dead Of Night. What is this book about?
In a word… Zombies! A frisky young couple go camping one weekend, and get much more action than they bargained for!
What advice would you give to a new writer, just starting out?
Trust your instincts, and don’t give up! Always be respectful to others, and try to learn from every piece of feedback you receive. Personally, I have learned far more from the negative comments than positive ones. Criticism hurts, but you have to develop a thick skin and not take it personally. You also have a responsibility, both to the craft and your readers. When you are demanding large chunks of their time and money, you have to give them something of value. Finally, remember that writers write!
I am a teacher now, and when my students tell me ‘class is over,’ I always reply, ‘class is NEVER over, because life is a lesson! You should learn something new every day.’
What are you working on right now?
I am in a bit of a purple patch just at the moment, the words are flowing. I have been working on several long-term projects that are just coming to fruition. Next month my first literary novel, Rainbow’s End, is being put out by Flarefont publishing. It is a semi-autobiographical story of a guy working a dead-end job in Wales who dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world.
Elsewhere, I am just finishing a new novella, No Man’s Land, a horror story set in the trenches of World War I, and also the second volume of my as yet-unpublished YA adventure series about a time-travelling teenager, Joshua Wyrdd. I am also working on a ghost-writing project for a friend of mine who is a recovering stroke victim.
Where can we find you on the web?
All the usual places! I have recently started a blog, where people can contact me and catch up on my latest news:
I also write regular reviews for Morpheus Tales magazine. The reviews are in the supplement which can be downloaded for free here: