Horror fans seem weird to ‘normal’ people sometimes. We like to be scared, and that’s a little unusual, right? If something scary happens to us in real life, we’ll get the hell out of dodge as quickly as possible, hoping never to feel that fear again. Yet, here we are, time and time again, reading nightmarish scenarios at night (and we all know they mostly come at night… mostly). We’ll turn out the lights to achieve maximum scariness and put on a film, hoping (nay, demanding!) to be scared. Sometimes, we’ll band together much like the hordes of zombies so many of us love, and go be scared together at the cinema or theatre. If we so happen to finish a horror book or film without experiencing that gut-wrenching terror, then we are annoyed about it. Miffed, even. We feel that we were lied to: manipulated into spending our hard earned cash under false pretenses. We actually feel disappointed that we weren’t supplied with a good dose of the eebie jeebies, as promised.
I'm very proud to welcome Kayleigh Edwards to Ginger Nuts of Horror. Kayleigh will be joining Kit, Paul and Charlotte's excellent contributions to the site. So please say hello to Kayleigh in the comment section of her debut article.
So why horror, I hear you ask? It’s a question I’ve been asked countless times, and I’m sure every horror writer on the planet has heard it just as much as I have. I’ve thought long and hard about the answer to this, a little perplexed myself. Was it a book or a film that first reeled me in, and if so, which one? Which singular piece of art could possibly be responsible for introducing me to a world in which I would become completely obsessed?
I rise early… very early! I’m up by 4am, and walk Jess, my giant German Shepherd, followed by a jog and then weights. Then by 6am, I’ll check social media, followed by trying to answer as many messages from readers as I can. Then it’s breakfast, shower, and hopefully ready to begin writing by 7.00am.
Mornings are my most creative time, and this is where I’ll craft new elements, or correct complex pieces of the plot – it’s funny how you can go to bed with a literary roadblock and wake up next morning with the solution on how to move the story forward in a plausible and exciting way. Afternoons are for editing, and evenings are for red wine!
These days, I have a fairly standard pattern – usually, I’ll do a brief story step-through, outlining the major plot points, and then may break that down further for each scene. I’ll start a story these days without having any idea how it will end or where the characters will take me. Sure, this sort of non-planning can result in my ripping out tens of thousands of words at a later stage, but I’ve found that for me, the best thing to do is simply to tell the story… let it all just tumble out onto the page. Tidy-up comes later!
My story inspiration can start with a single image – a picture of something that sets the mood for the entire story. Or it could be a paragraph on a website, a newspaper, or magazine, telling of something strange happening in some exotic part of the world – a cave found, a new species located, an ancient temple, proof of life on a comet – you get my drift. These all go into my Ideas Book – it’s like a scrapbook of my future projects waiting to be given life.
The other inspirations have come from my love of horror / sci-fi / action-adventure books, comics, movies, you-name-it, from, it seems, forever. My favorites that always held me spellbound were the ones where some age-old mystery is found, or something released, that has dire consequences for mankind today. The king of this genre was my idol, Graham Masterton, and I devoured everything he wrote. And now as a delightful bonus, Graham is reading through my latest work, The Book of the Dead, as I type this down.
Massive sinkholes are opening across the country – each larger and deeper than the previous one. First the family pets go missing, and anyone living near one of the pits, is reporting strange phenomena – the vibrations, sulphurous odours and strange sounds rising up from the stygian depths. Then come the reports of horrifying ‘things’ rising from the darkness.When the people start disappearing the government is forced to act. A team is sent in to explore one of the holes – and all hell breaks loose – the Old Ones are rising up again.From the war zones of the Syrian Desert, to the fabled Library of Alexandria, and then to Hades itself, join Professor Matt Kearns, as he searches for the fabled Al Azif, known as the Book of the Dead. He must unravel an age-old prophecy, and stop Beings from a time even before the primordial ooze, which seek once again to claim the planet as their own. Time is running out, for Matt, and all life on Earth.The BOOK OF THE DEAD by GREIG BECK – coming Dec 2014.
I grew up across the road from Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. My earliest memories were of sitting on the golden sand digging holes with my older brother and younger sister, my mother in bikini and dark sunglasses, and diving through the blue crashing waves with my father - long days of sandy feet and sunburned shoulders.
In my teens the surf still dominated; surfboard riding with my beach gang, the Rock Crew.....endless sunny days sitting on the beach when I should have been sitting in class (at least pretending to study). Between the sunshine and waves, there were the science fiction stories - great tales by Edger Rice Burroughs, H.G.Wells and Pierre Boulle. Writers who could create whole new worlds and beings that were wondrous and exciting.
The 1980s were also the halcyon days of the horror writer - King, Koontz, Herbert and above them all, stood my favorite, Graham Masterton. These were my influencers, they shape my writing even now; and they're still my favorites today.
The end of the 80s also meant it was time to pursue a formal career. I studied computer science and then immersed myself in the financial software industry. The role took me to most of the financial capitals of the world - from Hong Kong and London to New York and back again. An MBA and later technology company directorships seemed to cement my trajectory. A busy life sure, but still there was time to write, and now, time to introduce Captain Alex Hunter and all his amazing abilities - extraordinary times demand an extraordinary character. Already he has been below the ice of the Antarctic, traversed the blazing deserts of the Middle East, and is currently hacking through the dark jungles of South America.
Today, I spend my days between the software industry, writing, travelling and enjoying time with my wife, young son, and Jess, an enormous black German Shepherd.