Author Interviews!

Find Past Interviews Here!

 
EButler_pic.JPG

Meet Eric Butler

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always had a fascination with reading. From an early age my mother encouraged reading and made sure I always had access to books. My father was big into movies, so I was always surrounded by stories. As I grew older, it felt natural to begin shaping and forming my own stories to share.


When did you first begin writing?

I have stories from as far back as 3rd grade in my storage. I think I probably did some short works before that but nothing longer than a page. It wasn’t until later in Elementary and early Middle-school that I worked on longer pieces of fiction.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I’m not sure I chose it. There’s a chance it chose me. I gravitated to the genre from an early age. I remember reading the John Bellaires’ Lewis Barnavelt & Johnny Dixon series, the Dark Forces YA collection, and any Edgar Allen Poe I could find. At an early age I jumped from those to Stephen King and other popular horror writers. I’ve always had a fondness for the genre.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I believe every genre lends itself to horror. I enjoy hopping around to westerns, action/adventure, mysteries, and science fiction. My newest novel, The Sins of the Past is a Victorian piece that combines many of my favorite genres all together, but at its heart it is a tale of horror.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

Other than normal childhood scary stories and shows, I think the earliest adult horror I remember is watching the original Nightmare on Elm Street on TMC when my parents were out at a party. I would have been 9. Freddy walking down the alley with the extended arms scared me and when my parents came home, I had all the lights on. I also remember seeing the last 10 minutes or so of Friday the 13th Part 2 on TMC. I wasn’t allowed to watch stuff like that so I don’t know what was more scary: Jason’s mom’s head on the table or worrying my mom would catch me.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

Sharing and discovering horror stories with likeminded people. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet create some of the most incredibly terrifying and disturbing stuff, it’s a pleasure to be a part of the same world.


What is your favorite  Horror movie and why?

This is hard to answer, like picking a favorite kid. It might be easier to pick a favorite by decade or subgenre. That said gun to my head, I’m picking The Thing 9 out of 10 times. It’s darn near perfect. The cast is amazing, the special effects are so incredible (I’m a sucker for practical effects), the setting is perfect, and the movie plays on so many different levels of fear.


Name your top 3 most admired horror authors and/or novels and explain why?

I read The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty when I was young and it blew me away. It was one of the first horror novels to really show me how powerful horror and fear could be when done properly. I’m a sucker for Richard Laymon. The first book I read was Darkness, Tell Us and quickly fell down the Laymon rabbit hole. I made it a mission to find every one of his titles A.S.A.P. From there I found Edward Lee, Brain Keene, and Jack Ketchum. I’m sure I would have stumbled across them eventually but Laymon jump started the search.  

Picking just 3 is hard, but I’m going to put Poe here. He has been a writer I’ve revisited throughout my life. His style of writing, the topics he embraced, and the ways his stories are structured have always given me inspiration.  I was hooked after the first reading of The Tell-Tale Heart. 


What current projects are in the works that you would like to mention?

I have a few projects going right now. Of course, I am working on the next entry to the Ephraim Godwin Chronicles. I’m also working on a collection of horror stories covering a number of subgenres, and a new stand-alone splatterpunk novella.

Eric's Bio:

Writer of things that go bump in the night. While everything I write will always have elements of horror in them, I will also include other genres as variety is important. My books will move from splatterpunk to Cthulhu to good old fashion monster stories. Check me out on Facebook to see some awesome huskies and to get news on my upcoming projects. 

I was born in Germany on an Army base. Being an army brat, I’ve lived all over the world. I graduated from University of Texas of Arlington with a major in History and a minor in English Literature.

I have a number of stories appearing soon in the Black Hare Press 500 Series of Anthologies. I have a story in Red Cape Publishing’s A-Z of Horror: H is for Hell collection.

I’ve self published 3 novels under my imprint, Naked Cat Press. The Shadow Within, The Pope Lick Massacre, and The Sins of the Past.

 
ThorneCrossPhoto_edited.jpg

An Interview with Thorne & Cross.

A Dynamic Author Duo with Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross.

How was the partnership of Thorne and Cross formed? Whose idea was it?

T&A: It simply happened. It began when Alistair interviewed Tamara by phone. We both hate phones, but that suddenly didn’t matter because we were instantly hooked on each other and began spending hours daily chatting and texting about books, ideas and ideals, and about experiences we’d both had that drew us together like nothing else. We clicked completely and utterly, and one day, Tamara blurted out a question: “Want to try to write a short story together?”  Alistair said yes. We were both shocked because we had each sworn never to collaborate with anyone ever again. 

We began a short story, which soon  turned into a novel. And then another and another. We love writing together. We generally can’t recall who wrote what because our styles are so similar and our thoughts mesh so well. We spend all our weekdays together in our virtual office and we’re pretty sure we’ve never gone a full 24 hours without texting. We tend to brainstorm by text at all hours of the night. We both feel that what we have was simply meant to be.


How long have you been writing, both individually and now together as a team?

T&A: Tamara’s first novel came out in 1991 and Alistair’s in 2012. We met in 2012 and began writing together in 2013. We work on three projects - two collaborations and a solo each - every day on Skype. We know we have a rare relationship and we never take it for granted.


What made each of you want to become a writer?

T&A: We both came out of the womb wanting to be writers.

Since childhood, Alistair has loved scary stories and whenever he saw one or read one, he wanted to write his own. The exact same thing is true for Tamara. We were both lucky enough to have mothers who provided books and encouragement, and so we’ve always been on the same path.

Earliest experience with horror as a child, was it a movie, a book or a childhood nightmare?

T&A: Tamara was hooked on Twilight Zone from an early age and was always nuts for ghost stories. Her mom got her an adult library card and also bought every book she wanted. They were nearly all ghost-oriented. Tamara has no idea why she loves a good ghost story so much, but it’s a natural fact.

Alistair discovered horror at the age of eight and quickly realized it was his genre. For one thing, it was the only one that could hold his attention, and for another, he was fascinated by the stories and their ability to make him feel excitement and fear.  We both feel that horror is the roller coaster of literature - and we love riding it.

Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genres?

T&A: We write about whatever catches our interest without thinking about genre, but being who we are, even our thrillers tend to have a whiff of supernatural horror in them.

What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry? What sub-set of horror is your favorite to write about and why?

T&A: We don’t think about being in the horror industry - or any industry. We just write the stories we want to write and let others label them how they will. That said, we both love spooky and creepy stories and tend to write thrillers and supernatural fiction. Our mutual favorite sub-set of horror is the ghost story.

What was the inspiration behind “The Crimson Corset” and “The Ravencrest Saga” ? 

T&A: The Ravencrest Saga evolved from our love of the Gothic. We’re both crazy about books like Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Another big influence is Dark Shadows. We adore Gothic structure and The Ravencrest Saga is a Gothic that allows us to visit every type of supernatural or fantastic element we want.

Alistair’s Vampires of Crimson Cove series, Tamara’s Candle Bay, and our vampiric collaboration, Darling Girls, all crossover with locales and characters. When Alistair began The Crimson Corset - book 1 - he set it just up the coast from Candle Bay, and we soon found out that his vampires knew her vampires. In Darling Girls, all the vampires come together for the entire book. We had a blast with that. Like Ravencrest, the vampires are part of an ongoing series.

What  made you want to begin your podcast, “Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live!” and how will it differ from the newest podcast, “Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre?”

T&A:  We were invited to host Haunted Nights LIVE! and decided to try it and ended up doing it for six years. HNL was all about interviewing authors about their new books. We decided to launch Carnival Macabre because we want to do lots more than book interviews. Currently, we’re still finishing up interviews with some already-scheduled guests,  but you’ll soon  begin hearing all sorts of other things, too.

We’ll be talking about our own work more often, about writing and collaborating, and we’re looking forward to having some fun readings ala the crazy outtakes we occasionally post on Facebook. We’ll talk about books and movies, but we’ll also turn to guests who are experts in true crime, deviant psychology, parapsychology, and well, just about anything else that strikes our fancy. In other words, expect lots of variety and plenty of snickering.

  

What projects are currently in the works, for you both, that you would like to mention?

T&A: We’re coming out with two collaborations in the first half of this year. One is the fourth Ravencrest Saga novel, Shadowland. The other is Spite House, a thriller set on an island in the same area as our novel, Mother.  It’s a complicated tale and even we don’t know if the ghosts are real…  But grown-up Holly Tremayne from Brimstone is in attendance, so we’ll bow to her ghostly expertise.

Solo novels coming up are Alistair’s third entry in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series, The Black Wasp, which continues the sordid tale of brothers Cade and Brooks Colter in the small, vampire-ridden mountain town of Crimson Cove. Tamara’s next solo is Old Wives’ Tales and is the first in a series that features Sheriff Zach Tully, who starred in Eternity and appeared in Darling Girls. He’s moved to the seacoast to sheriff a weird fishing village called Fort Charles. (And if you thought of Charles Fort, you’re dead on.) 

What one piece of advice would you each give to your 18-year-old self?

A: I would tell myself to lighten up. When I was 18, I was very fear-based and, for fear of failure and economic insecurity, I didn’t dare pursue my dream of being a writer. I thought I needed to do something more “practical.” I soon learned that security is an illusion, fear is a liar, and that writing is actually the most practical career I could have chosen. 

T: Don’t let anything slow you down - just do it. In other words, what Alistair said.

What is your favorite thing about working with the other?  Please answer separately.

A: Aside from having complete creative freedom, I enjoy having a brainstorming partner and a friend. Writing is usually a solitary activity and can get very lonely. With a good collaborator, you’re never alone.

T: What Alistair said. Plus, the lack of drama is delightful. We’re basically twins, so we have a deep and instant communication that makes it easy and fun to be together virtually all the time. Our brainstorming is the ultimate pleasure. It all boils down to total trust and complete  understanding. We work hard, we laugh hard, and we always look forward to creating together. 


Bio's for Tamara and Alistair:

Tamara Thorne was first published in 1991, and since then she has written many more novels, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity, and Brimstone, her latest solo novel. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross, including the next novel in The Ravencrest Saga series. Learn more about her and her books at: http://tamarathorne.com


Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored several bestsellers with Tamara Thorne and is working on lots of new projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. Find out more about him and his books at: http://alistaircross.com


Upcoming Thorne & Cross novels include Spite House and the fourth Ravencrest Saga novel, Shadowland. You can also hear them on their podcast, Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre. Check their websites for information.

 
MikeThornAnitaJeanineAuthorPhoto.jpg

Meet Mike Thorn

Horror Author

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawn to the fantastic. As a kid, I wrote gruesome horror, swords-and-sorcery, and even some sci-fi stuff. 


What made you want to become a writer?

That’s probably a question best reserved for my therapist. I think the desire to write is some sort of pathological issue. I’m only joking… sort of.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genres?

I have written lots of fiction that does not fall under the banner of “horror,” but I have not yet published anything outside the genre. Never say never.


What was the inspiration behind Shelter for the Damned? 

This book was inspired by a number of things. I’ve always been drawn to suburban horror and coming-of-age narratives, so I wanted to play in those worlds. I was really animated by two American writers, Hubert Selby Jr. and Jim Thompson, who are so skilled at building novels around people consumed by their own demons. In tandem with those authors, I drew on some of the giants of dark fiction: H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Kathe Koja, Robert Bloch, Clive Barker, and Richard Matheson, among others.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

First and foremost, I’m just an enthusiastic fan and student of the genre. Horror is my favorite place to hang out. Almost everyone I’ve met in the horror fiction world has been courteous and supportive. 


What one piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Read more, worry less. Enjoy yourself.


Do you have any other projects in the works that you would like to mention?

My agent and I just signed a contract with JournalStone for two short story collections: a newly revised reissue of my debut, Darkest Hours, and an all-new book called Peel Back and See. The new edition of Darkest Hours will include a foreword by someone in the horror world who I hugely respect (details forthcoming), author notes for every story, and a section of my horror film criticism. 


Peel Back and See is a dark book that translates feelings of anxiety and depression through tales about late-capitalism, social media, the creative process, gore, monsters, and madness.


Mike's Bio:

Mike Thorn resides in Calgary, where he was born and raised. He is the author of the novel Shelter for the Damned and the short story collection Darkest Hours. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify and Prairie Gothic. His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Visit his website (https://mikethornwrites.com/) and connect with him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MikeThornWrites).

Author Photo Credit: Anita Jeanine

Book Cover Art: Trevor Henderson 

 

Meet Mark Allan Gunnells

Author of 2B

How long have you been writing?

The first fiction I ever remember writing was when I was around ten. However, it was in my teens that I started to think of myself as a writer.


What made you want to become a writer?

Almost from the moment I realized stories were things that people made up in their heads and wrote down, I wanted to do it. I can’t explain it any further than that I don’t think. Almost as if it were inborn, something I was simply compelled to do, the thing which brings me the most joy.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s? Horror is my first love and in many ways will always be my deepest love, but I love to explore all genres. For me, story is story and genre is often a label marketing people put on top of something. Even in any given work, you can find elements of multiple genres.


What was the inspiration behind this story? 

I love ghost stories, stories of hauntings and spirits, and I first got the inkling of this idea in college when I was trying to come up with an original twist. Years later, after having lived in a studio apartment, I thought it would be cool to have a haunted apartment as opposed to a haunted house.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

That there are no limits, no boundaries you can’t break. In horror, literally anything is possible, and for someone who lives in the imagination, that is thrilling.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Just keep at it, you are on the right path.


Do you have any other projects in the works that you would like to mention? This spring Crystal Lake Publishing will release my suspense novel BEFORE HE WAKES, and probably next year sometime they will also release a novella entitled WHEN IT RAINS, which I wrote during the two months I was furloughed due to the pandemic.


Mark's Bio:

Mark Allan Gunnells was born in Gaffney, SC, where he set a lot of his early novels, and currently lives in Greer, SC, where he sets a lot of his recent novels. He shares a home with his husband, Craig A. Metcalf, and spends every spare second he can making up stories. He has been publishing since 2009 and has worked with publishers such as Cemetery Dance, Crystal Lake Publishing, JournalStone, Evil Jester Press, Bad Moon Books, Random House’s Hydra imprint, among others.

You can keep up with him on his blog at www.markgunnells.livejournal.com or on Twitter under the handle @MarkAGunnells. He also posts book porn on his Instagram, Make_Reading_Cool_Again.

MarkGunnellsPic.PNG
 

Juliet Flynn

aka Dark Soul-horror make-up artist

How did you get into doing special effects make-up?

It was something I have been wanting to try out for a while, and I had some face paint and wanted to give it a try.


Why horror style effects?  Do you do any others?

Horror is my favorite style to do but I do, do other makeup. I do all different types of makeup. the only thing I have not used is prosthetics.


When did you first begin experimenting with special effects?

About 5-6 years ago.


Do you have any formal art or graphic design training?

I do not, everything is self-taught. I also watched a lot of YouTube and looked at a lot of pictures on google.


Do you do make-up professionally in any capacity?  As a job or on the side for theater or haunted houses, anything like that?

No, I mainly do it for fun, but I’ve always thought it would be awesome to do haunted houses, movies or anything like that.


Where would you like this talent to take you?  Can you see yourself doing movies or plays at some point?

I would love to go anywhere with it honestly.


If you could have worked on the set of any horror movie, which one would you pick and why?

Any horror movie honestly. I think doing anything horror would be a lot of fun.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

When I was little, I remember my siblings and I would watch horror movies all the time. We are kind of horror movie freaks.


What is your favorite thing about being in, a part of, or a fan of the Horror industry?

I like everything about horror. I’m not a part of anything horror but I would love to be apart of something like that.


Juliet's Bio:

My name is Juliet Flynn. I am 31 years old.  I was born in the southern part of California. I spent 21 years there until I moved to Montana for some family. I didn’t go to art school or anything like that. I have taught myself how to everything I know how to do by using YouTube or looking at pictures on Google. I also do different types of art, makeup, painting, crochet, cross-stitch, sewing and tattoos. I have a TickTok where most of my art is featured. You can find my TikTok @DarkSoul.89 

JFlynn_DarkSoul_pic.jpg
 
 

Horror Artist Jen Le Roy

Brackett of Kreatures & Keeps

When did you first begin to draw and when did you start drawing horror pieces?

I first began to draw as a child. I started drawing horror pieces back in 2010


Did you always want to be an artist?

For me there was no other option. I had to be an artist.


Do you have formal art training?

Even though I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, I went to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied abroad at The Slade School of Fine Art in London to become a trained artist.


What is your favorite thing about being an artist and what are your favorite mediums to work with?

My favorite thing about being an artist is interpreting something that I see that inspires me and transforming it into art. I enjoy experimenting with different mediums. I’ve used sculpture and printmaking in the past, but I am primarily a painter and I work with acrylics, oil and gouache.


Is this your full-time profession or do you have a day-job, if a day-job what do you do?

Being an artist is actually my full-time job/how I make my livelihood. I work a lot on commission and I also make custom zombie portraits where I turn you or a loved one into a zombie!


Do you do any illustrations for books or movies currently?

Not yet. I’ve been primarily working on individual commissions. Recently I’ve been working on making avatars for other creators in the horror community.


If you could work with any author, creator or movie director, who would it be?

It would be amazing to work with the masters like Argento and Romero.


If you could illustrate any horror novel for any author, what would it be?

Anything by Lovecraft like “Herbert West - Reanimator” or “The Call of Cthulhu.” I also would love to work with Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, or Joe Hill, I really enjoy their work.


What advice would you give to other artists?

I would tell other artists to practice and try to draw every day. The more you draw the better you’ll get. Forget all distractions and lose yourself in your work as much as possible.


Where do you  hope to see yourself in five years, with regards to your artwork?

Hopefully I’ll be collaborating with other creatives and working on large scale projects whether it be illustrating a horror novel or developing art for a production.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

 I started watching horror movies at a young age with my older brother. Freddy and Jason were my introduction to the world of horror.


What is your favorite thing about being in/a part of/or a fan of the Horror industry?

I love being a part of the horror community. It’s been amazing connecting with other horror fans on social media and sharing art, stories and info. I love the way horror makes you feel alive, the terror and the adrenaline that’s involved in watching it.


What is your favorite  Horror movie and why?

It’s tough trying to pick a favorite Horror movie! Will probably have to go with the classic Halloween. Ever since I saw it at a young age, I’ve always found the music and the mask he wears extremely unsettling.


What current projects are in the works that you would like to mention?

I’m currently working on a horror comic about undead zombie children who come back to life on Halloween. Very excited about it!


Jennifer's Bio:

Jennifer Brackett Le Roy is a formally trained artist that is constantly pushing the boundaries of her training and talent. She graduated from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago and had a residency at The Slade in London. Since then, she has exhibited and sold her art at several shows in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Austin. She is well versed in many mediums and particularly utilizes pens, gouache, acrylic, printmaking, and spray paint to express her artistic visions.

After graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Jennifer added spray-paint to her arsenal of artistic tools and her large-scale work on concrete and wood canvases has been attracting a lot of attention. Her main focus is the human face, producing zombie-like creatures that express a multitude of emotions, from dead pompadoured greasers brandishing punk rock sneers on giant spray-painted boards, to hot rockabilly girls expressing despair and longing. What comes across in her art are original interpretations of her many eclectic influences, giving a new visual representation to such things as rockabilly and gory horror movies.

She is fortunate to have the freedom to create whatever her inspiration dictates, but she has also had successful collaborations with clients who have requested specific works from her, and she is always interested in new challenges and demanding projects where her talents can shine. She was born in Walnut Creek California and currently resides in southwest Florida with plans to move to Salem Massachusetts. You can view her work at: www.kreaturesandkreeps.com and contact her at: brackett@kreaturesandkreeps.com, she is currently considering/accepting both Fine Art, Digital and Graphic Design opportunities. 

 
 

Meet Mark Towse

Author of  "Nana"

What made you want to become a writer and when did you first begin writing professionally?

Honestly, the thought never seriously crossed my mind until a couple of years ago, shortly after my forty-fifth birthday. At school, my English teacher always said I could be getting A's if I put the effort in, but I never really took the feedback on board. Mathematics was my go-to subject. It came easy to me, and I liked the guarantee of a solution. I needed that certainty in my life back then.

But the teacher's words stayed with me, buried in my subconscious. Over time, the voice in my head got gradually louder each year. One day, with a bit of encouragement from my wife, Stephanie, I decided to hell with it and to give writing a shot. Wow, what therapy. If only I'd have known!

My first sale was a flash piece called 'Hugh's Friend.' I got seventy-five dollars for it, but it might as well have been gold bullion. I was hooked.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I honestly think it chose me. I never felt a compulsion to read anything but horror. With my first ever library card, I hired 'Cujo' and digested each glorious page as quickly as possible. I still remember quite vividly that period of discovery; the smell of the book, clothes wafting on the washing line, my open window letting in the summer breeze, and carrying the sound of laughter and screaming from kids playing outside. My mum kept hassling me to go out for fresh air, but there'd be no shifting me. The following week I came home with a bagful of King. Fresh air could wait.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I'm drawn towards horror, but I've also written a couple of sci-fi stories. One won a competition, so that was cool. A recent story I'm excited about combines sci-fi and horror, and hopefully, that sees daylight (fresh air). I've written a children's story, too. It was purchased and published, although it did have a demon in it.


What was your idea or original concept for “Nana”?

It wasn't really a concept as such, just more of a notion that took flight.

I was helping my son out on his first day of delivering papers. One particular street had an odd vibe, with several strange ornaments in the gardens, gargoyles with twisted faces, their wotsits exposed. There were lots of gnomes with angry faces, too. Curtains twitched frantically until some of them finally came out to say hello. It was interesting to observe my son's reaction to these elderly folks who just wanted a bit of company. He acted as though they were aliens with plans of abduction. I wanted to explore that divide, perceived or not, further emphasizing  such idiosyncrasies to the nth degree. We are all still kids, trapped within the limitations of our bodies.


How is your relationship or your memories of your own Nana?  Were you close? 

Certainly very limited. I think I was about eleven or twelve when she died. One of few recollections is the damp biscuits, flat soda, and her noxious farts in front of the fire. She was a gun on a bicycle, too; her little legs would go like the clappers.


What would she think of this book or has she read it?

I have no clue, to be honest. If she had my mum's sense of humour, she would have dug it.


What most inspires your ideas for your stories, real-life, bits of dreams or something else?

The bulk of my stories are centred in real-life with a sprinkle of speculative stuff along the way. My day job requires me to travel around a lot, often to the strangest of locations, and some of the clients I meet along the way are odd to say the least.  Ideas tend to originate from such locations and clients, and as a 'pantster,' the tales then weave themselves.


Name your top 3 most admired horror authors and/or novels and explain why?

I am going to stay faithful to King. My favourite novel is the collaboration with Peter Straub, 'The Talisman.' Again, I read this in my younger years, and it just blew me away—just one hell of a journey that helped me escape an unimpressive youth.

I grew up reading a lot of James Herbert, too. My favourite piece was ‘The Fog’, closely followed by ‘The Rats.’ Herbert could create a gnarly, chilling tone that stuck around long after finishing the book.

Jack Ketchum's 'Off Season' is terrific. This was my first venture into slightly more brutal works, and I was hooked after that.


Which author has most inspired or impacted your writing style, alive or dead?

I have to say King. He kept me going through quite a lonely childhood, kept me dreaming.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

It comes back to the elderly again, funny enough. On a rare night out, my parents left me with the next-door neighbours. They were Dutch. They let me have a small glass of liquor; I can't recall the name of it now, but I remember it tasting like rust. We played pool without a cue. It was an odd little game, where you had to flick a disc at another disc to knock it in one of the four corner pockets. Alan, my opponent, had a dribble of saliva on his chin throughout the entire game. Only when he won did he slake his hand across to collect it. I remember Psycho was on TV, and they let me watch it.

It was them that gave me the nightmares, though.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

Being able to write this stuff and for it not only be acceptable but also to get paid for it!


What is your favorite  Horror movie and why?

That’s an impossible question.

One I’ve watched a few times recently is The Ritual (written by Adam Nevill). Something about the relationship between the lads and the visuals just makes it of enormous appeal to me. From start to finish, the tension doesn’t leave the screen. I love the overall thread of the story, too. This is the type of tale I aspire to write, something based in reality that doesn’t rely heavily on the monster to create the foreboding.

On a different note, Creepshow hit me hard as a kid, too. For days after watching, I would wake up in a cold sweat, holding my chest, thinking cockroaches were going to explode from my belly.


What would you most like your fans to know about you?

Tough question. I’ve put on 4 kg since starting writing, so please buy my book so I can continue to feed my ever-increasing appetite. The more exciting a scene is, the more I eat. Please feed me.


What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I want my kids to be proud, to know that I followed my dreams and worked my ass off, gave it my best shot.


What current projects are in the works that you would like to mention?

I’ve just finished a novella called ‘Gone to the Dogs.’ I have to say, I believe this to be one of the best things I’ve written to date, and I can’t wait to see it out there. After writing five novellas during the lockdown period, I’ve reverted to shorts for a while. I’m currently finishing up one called ‘Case Study’ that delivers the biggest slice of karma yet.

Mark's Bio:

I was born in Hull, England. Currently, I reside in a quiet little town surrounded by water, called Clifton Springs, about an hour outside of Melbourne, Australia.

I have a degree in mathematics but no formal qualifications in English.

I left it very late to begin this journey, penning my first story since primary school at the ripe old age of 45. Since then, I’ve been published in the likes of Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dread Machine, Cosmic Horror, Suspense Magazine, ParABnormal, and Raconteur. My work has also appeared on The No Sleep Podcast, The Grey Rooms, and many other excellent productions.

My first collection, ‘Face the Music,’ was released by All Things That Matter Press and is available via Amazon, Dymocks, B&N, etc.

My debut novella from D&T Publishing, ‘Nana, is out now and available via Amazon and Godless.


Please connect via the socials below.


https://twitter.com/MarkTowsey12

https://www.instagram.com/towseywrites/

 
MarkTowse_pic.jpg