Monday, 29 February 2016

Shadows at the Door - Author Interview With Mark Cassell

Mark Cassell

Today I have joining me author of The Shadow Fabric, Mark Cassell.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?

First up, I want to say thank you for having me here.

Glad to have you join us!

My love for horror? Apart from sneaky glimpses of horror movies as a child, I guess the pivotal moment must’ve been when my dad suggested I read James Herbert’s Magic Cottage. I was about thirteen years old and this novel snatched me into a world that kicked my imagination into overdrive.

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

Dark fantasy and supernatural. I’m not one for a gorefest, and my horror leans towards psychological creeps rather than pathological freaks.

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

For me it’s the unknown, the unnatural, the supernatural. I’ve always wondered what exists on the Other Side, and I guess both my work and my reading choices reflect that curiosity.

What are some of your favourite horror stories?

Some? I’ve read too many fantastic stories to list. One which has for years remained at the top of that unwritten list is Brian Lumley’s “The Thief Immortal”. It tells the life story of a man named Klaus August Scharme who has the unusual gift of stealing the years from any living thing and adding them to his own.

The Shadow Fabric by Mark Cassell
The Shadow Fabric
by
Mark Cassell

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

This is incredibly difficult to answer and without coming across as a real weirdo, I must say nothing actually frightened me as a child. Honestly. Though if I had to point at one thing in particular, it would be something about a glass jar filled with a dark, perhaps green, liquid. I’ve no idea how old I was and from what movie it comes from, but I recall what I believe was the final scene before the credits rolled – I guess I’d walked in while my parents watched it.

I remember vividly how the film score reached its crescendo and so conjured a powerful sense of intrigue. My curiosity and imagination burned, and I wondered why this simple glass jar was there. What did it contain? What evil was inside it? Why was the music so intense, so atmospheric? And because the TV screen darkened and the movie ended, what the hell happened up to that point?

To this day, I’ve never found out. Still it bugs me.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I reckon it all started when I was about six or seven years old. I wrote a story, cut the paper into shape (badly) and taped the thing together – you know, to bind it like a proper book. It was called 'The Clockwork Man'. Perhaps an early stab at steampunk? The protagonist was a clockwork boy whose mother had a problem with her arm. I recall the mechanism was faulty or something, and the only thing the clockwork man/boy could do was to find a piece of wire with which to fix it. That poor kid looked everywhere and eventually found one in the boot of their car.

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

Already I’ve mentioned James Herbert and Brian Lumley, and so must include Clive Barker. All these guys, and so many more, have produced incredible work over the years. Barker is famous for the Hellraiser franchise but for me it’s his novel Imajica which I suspect inspired me to pick up a pencil and begin scribbling. The world – perhaps I should say worlds – he created within those pages is incredible.

Sinister Stitches by Mark Cassell
Sinister Stitches
by
Mark Cassell

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

My debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, last week became the No.1 best seller on Amazon’s British Horror list. I’m overwhelmed with the response. Since its release, the story has unintentionally become more a mythos than a standalone novel.

The novel itself is about demons, devices, and deceit. We follow Leo, a man who remembers little of his past. Desperate for a new life, he snatches up the first job to come along. On his second day, he witnesses a murder, and the Shadow Fabric – a malevolent force that controls the darkness – takes the body and vanishes with it. Uncovering secrets long hidden from humankind, Leo’s memory unravels. Not only haunted by the past, a sinister presence within the darkness threatens his existence and he soon doubts everything and everyone . . . including himself.

Having had a number of stories published in zines and anthologies, and also a couple on the Shadows at the Door website, I have since released Sinister Stitches. This is a collection of particular horror stories that fall – some intentionally, other unintentionally – into the Shadow Fabric mythos. And it seems there’s a demand for even more, so keep your eyes peeled!

How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

Absolutely honoured to be among some fine names. Being a part of this project is truly amazing, and everyone is so damn friendly. The comradery we’ve developed throughout the inception of all our stories is something I’ve not come across before.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

For this year’s EM-Con (East Midlands Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention), the SF zine Future Chronicles are set to release an ebook and paperback of Chaos Halo 1.0: Alpha Beta Gamma Kill. It’s a collection of the first episodes of a speculative fiction saga I write for them, blending cyberpunk and science fiction in a dystopian future. With a little bit of horror thrown in, naturally.

As far as my dark fantasy and supernatural work goes, I’m creating a steampunk universe, writing more horror flash fiction, and continuing the expansion of the Shadow Fabric mythos.

 
 

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Connect with Mark

Free books and free stories: www.markcassell.com

The Shadow Fabric mythos: www.theshadowfabric.co.uk

Twitter

Facebook

Blog: www.beneath.co.uk

Where to buy?

The novel, The Shadow Fabric: http://amzn.to/19KZChF

The short story collection, Sinister Stitches: http://amzn.to/1SuHihP

Author Interview With E. P. Clark

The Midnight Land
The Midnight Land
by
E. P. Clark



Tell us a little about yourself:

I spent my early childhood in Western KY, riding horses (I was convinced I was going to be on the US Equestrian Team one day, despite all evidence to the contrary) and running around pretending to be a unicorn. I was homeschooled, which was a tremendous advantage as far as my creative and academic development was concerned. Then when I was a teenager my family moved to Russia, and I went with them. I spent the next several years first in Russia, then in England, then in Italy, before returning to the US for good, this time to North Carolina. I got my BA from UNC-Charlotte and decided to apply to grad school. To my surprise—I still can’t explain how it happened—I got into an MA program in Russian at Columbia, which I was NOT aware was a big deal until I actually showed up. Other adventures happened, and I ended up getting my Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill. I’ve worked teaching Russian at various places, including Notre Dame and Wake Forest University, which is where I’m currently working.

What genre do you write in?

Fantasy! Epic, epic fantasy!

Tell us about your latest book:

The Midnight Land: Parts One and Two is the story of Slava (Krasnoslava Tsarinovna), younger sister to the Empress of all of Zem’. Her family has powers of clairvoyance that manifest themselves differently in every generation, and Slava, to her sister’s disgruntlement, is the only who has inherited them. She’s basically empathic, although she also has occasional visions in a more traditional sense, and can sometimes affect other people with her thoughts. Anyway, she’s pretty miserable in Krasnograd, the capital city, where she’s the target of bullying because of her gifts, and, we discover as the story goes on, even worse abuse as well, so she takes off with an exploring party going up to map the area beyond the sunline, i.e., the Arctic Circle. In Part One she makes this long journey through Zem’, somewhat a la Gogol’s Dead Souls, up to the sunline, and discovers that her magic is growing stronger and stronger. In Part Two she has to deal with intrigue, treason, plotting on the part of the gods, and most of all her own fears, as she returns to Krasnograd and has to face her sister and all the other princesses. It’s set in a matriarchal, matrilineal society that somewhat resembles Russia (all the names are in Russian, for example, so be warned!). I think of it as feminist although it’s not exactly feminist in the same way as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example. Slava isn’t really a woman of action, despite her journeying. It’s just that everyone assumes that women should hold power because of their obvious natural advantages such as longer life expectancy, greater facility with reading, writing, and interpersonal relationships, lack of a tendency to commit violent crimes, and most of all, because matrilineal descent is very easy to keep track of. Gender roles and relationships are pretty similar in many respects to how they are in our society, it’s just that daughters generally inherit and rule, not sons, so the reader is given a strong sense of inversion and estrangement as the characters, for example, pray for the birth of a daughter and worry about how they’re going to raise and take care of their sons.

When did you first know you wanted to be writer?

When I first learned to write. It’s been my goal ever since.

Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?
So many! From the fantasy side, I’d have a hard time choosing between George R.R. Martin and Terry Pratchett, although I’d say my writing is probably on the surface more Martinesque. I also LOVE Jacqueline Carey. And of course J.R.R. Tolkien is a huge influence. You can find more or less explicit references to all of them in The Midnight Land. From the Russian side, I deliberately weave in references to Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol, Pavlova, and various others throughout the narrative. For example, the phrase that keeps repeating itself “Somewhere far to the South—perhaps on the Middle Sea” is a reference to Pushkin’s “little tragedy” “The Stone Guest,” and the discussion in Part Two about being starved for love is a reference to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. And that hardly even scratches the surface! I have so many conscious and unconscious influences on my writing that it’s hard to keep track of them.

What is your proudest moment as a  writer so far?

Hmm, it’s been really great to have friends and family call me or write me to tell me how much they love the books. It was also really exciting to get my first 5-star reviews. And right now as I’m writing this I’m giddy because I’m doing a free promotion on Kindle and I totally overfulfilled the plan like a true hero of labor and blew past the sales goal I’d set for the entire week in less than 24 hours. So that’s awesome!

Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?

I originally wanted to write detective novels and even wrote some drafts, which never went anywhere, but I like to keep a slight “detective-y” flavor in my fantasy novels, I can tell when I read them. Right now I’m really into romance and have been reading a lot of that. I’d kind of like to give it a whirl but I’m not sure I’m ready yet!

Why did you decide to be an independent author?

I’d tried to get agented several years ago when I first decided to get serious about writing, but with no success. Not that I tried all that hard—I think I only submitted to 12 agents—or that I necessarily deserved any success at the time, but it wasn’t like anyone was throwing contracts at me, and I just kind of moved on and decided to work on my writing career in different ways. Then I ended up in the absolutely brutal world of academic publishing and the academic job market, and I was like, “I just cannot handle any more rejection or criticism.” I wanted my novels to be something I could be proud of and something I could take joy in, not something that, by the time they came out, I felt nothing but alienation and revulsion for. And the independent publishing platforms have come a long way in recent years, enabling indie authors to gain a much bigger toehold in the market and put out good quality products, so it seemed like something worth trying out.

If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are or try to do both?

That would depend on how much money and artistic control they offered me. If they offered me a lucrative contract, lots of marketing support, and final say on the finished product, then of course I’d say yes. If they wanted to take away a lot of my rights and artistic control, then I’d have to say no.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?

Getting the word out to readers! It’s really hard to reach readers. As a reader, I’ve also realized that there are loads of talented authors out there that I’d never heard of before and I might never have heard of if I hadn’t taken up indie publishing myself. So I now read interviews like this one and connect with authors on Twitter and Goodreads to find most of my reading material.

What are you working on at the moment?

The Breathing Sea, the next book in the series begun by The Midnight Land. Between marketing The Midnight Land and my actual day job, I haven’t been able to focus on it as much as I’d like, but it’s still coming along.

Where can people buy your books and connect with you?



Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

My Website: I’m trying to read and review a lot of other indie authors, so if you’re interested in my recommendations, check any of those sites out!


N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Shadows at the Door -Author Interview with Pete Alex Harris

Next up in the interview seat is author Pete Alex Harris.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?

Gradually, I would say. My first love was definitely SF, and I can't quite identify the point where my tastes broadened to include stories that were more obviously horror. Possibly some of the darker stuff by Harlan Ellison nudged me in that direction. But before even that I was a big H. G. Wells fan, and some of his stories could easily take the horror label, The Island of Doctor Moreau, for example.

Which subgenre(s) of horror would you say your work falls into?

I'd say dark fantasy, for the most part, but I do love a bit of unabashed Gothic pastiche.

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

What is it about a story that makes it horror at all? I think it's the nature and scope of the threat the characters face, and the stakes. You can't write a bland horror, about a minor inconvenience or social faux pas. There has to be something very unpleasant in play, even if only hinted at. Horror is enjoyable the way vivid colours or spicy food are enjoyable; the fun is concentrated.

The Silk Mind by Pete Alex Harris
The Silk Mind
by
Pete Alex Harris


What are some of your favourite horror stories?

In no particular order: China MiƩville's Perdido Street Station; The Ash Tree by M. R. James; The Color Out Of Space by Lovecraft (one of his more original ideas); Misery, Pet Semetary and The Shining by Stephen King. They may not be all of my favourites, but they sprang to mind immediately, so they are definitely up there somewhere.

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

I didn't read a lot of horror when growing up, but Empire of the Ants by H. G. Wells stayed with me. And that 70s TV drama "The Mad Death", about a rabies outbreak in Britain. Parts of it were filmed in my home town, so now it's more funny and nostalgic than terrifying.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Quite young. Maybe 9 or 10? More or less as soon as I got Isaac Asimov's short story collection Buy Jupiter for my birthday. The way Asimov wrote about writing made it sound like the best job ever, and his simple style made writing look effortless. Of course, I soon found out it was a lot harder than it looked.

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

Those mentioned above plus Andre Norton, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, Bob Shaw, Alfred Bester, Terry Pratchett and Iain Banks. I don't know how much of them rubbed off on me, but they certainly each showed me different views of what's possible.

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

Nearly none. I was way better at computer programming than creative writing at school, so I've been mostly doing that instead. In 2014 I did NaNoWriMo for fun and suddenly found I had some twisted ideas to share. Who knew.

I self-published a fantasy, The Silk Mind, and an SF/Romance, Miasma. They are unconventionally structured and a bit experimental, but I'm reasonably happy with them. Good reviews but sparse sales; I'll take that.

Miasma by Pete Alex Harris
Miasma
by
Pete Alex Harris


How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

UNBELIEVABLY excited. Still can hardly believe it. It maybe won't sink in until I hold a copy in my trembling hand, open it to the contents page, and see my name in there. Just wow. This whole experience has been great so far, and to reinforce
how big a deal it is, and how new to me, bear in mind this here is my first ever author interview for anything.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Yes, I have finished a dark SF novel called disOrder that I'm pitching at agents. If nobody likes the look of it, I'll self-pub that too. It is certainly the best thing I've done yet, with a multi-layered plot, a sociopathic anti-hero and a good body count, but I am just woefully bad at pitching and writing synopses.

I'm also about two thirds of the way into the sequel to The Silk Mind: The Source of Fire, which is more overtly cross-genre Fantasy/SF than its predecessor. It's a lot of fun to write, and I really have no expectations for that beyond self-pub either.

Oh yeah, and another story for Shadows, of course.

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Connect With Pete

Twitter

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Shadows at the Door - Author Interview With Helen Grant





I'm very excited to have joining me today the award winning and critically acclaimed author Helen Grant!
Helen has been good enough to take time out to answer a few questions and tell us her thoughts on the upcoming Shadows at the Door anthology.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?

When I was a child. My father is a great fan of the ghost stories of M.R.James and could sometimes be induced to retell them to amuse us on long car journeys. I think he probably has some of those tales pretty much off by heart. I recall Wailing Well being a particular favourite of ours. If you hear that stuff when you are still in primary school, there's no going back really.

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

I'm not sure I can really say. It's easier to say which subgenre it doesn't fall into, which would be splatterpunk. I prefer creepy/weird over extremely gory. As well as short ghostly fiction, I write novels probably best described as thrillers with a hint of the supernatural. Sometimes very gory things do happen in those, but they are described in an indirect way, eg I might focus on the gleam of a knife as it descends, rather than what happens when it lands.

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

Hmmm, the excitement I suppose! When I'm reading, I like to feel involved, thrilled, scared. I like my flesh to creep a bit. When I'm writing, I think I'm dealing with my own fears. Since childhood, I've had a particular fear of death by fire, so quite a few people in my books end up burning to death. Or falling from a height – I'm scared of that, too.

What are some of your favourite horror stories?

I'm assuming "horror" extends to include subtle Victorian ghosts so I'd have to say the ghost stories of M.R.James. I also love The Inner Room by Robert Aickman and Thurnley Abbey by Percival Landon. Among my modern favourites are the stories in John Connolly's collection Nocturnes. I also love the novels of John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant
The Glass Demon
by
Helen Grant

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

When I was a kid, I thought M.R.James' Wailing Well was pretty scary. The humour passed over my head when I was a child so I was also rather shocked at the school's cavalier attitude to the deaths of their pupils!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

At primary school. English composition was my absolutely favourite thing. I experimented with all sorts of genres back then – animal stories, sci fi, even romance (I'd like to forget about that last one though – shudder).

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

M.R.James. I don't try to write like he does (well, who can?) but his story The Treasure of Abbot Thomas inspired my second novel The Glass Demon, which is about a set of lost stained glass windows created by the same (real life) master craftsman who made the Steinfeld glass featured in MRJ's story. There are a few Jamesian touches hidden in the text for other fans of his stories to find. I've also mentioned him in the acknowledgements.

I've said I don't try to write like MRJ but there's one exception. I did a completion for his unfinished story The Game of Bear, and for that I had to do my very best to continue the tale in his style. The story won a competition run by the M.R.James Ghosts and Scholars Newsletter. It appears in my collection The Sea Change and Other Stories.


Urban Legends by Helen Grant
Urban Legends
by
Helen Grant

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

I've written six novels, starting with The Vanishing of Katharina Linden (2009) which I'm very proud to say was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. My latest novel is Urban Legends (2015), the final book in a trilogy of thrillers about urban explorers menaced by a brutal serial killer. I'd describe my work as crossover; nominally it's Young Adult but judging by the audiences at the book events I've done, most of my readers are grown-ups!

Obviously I also write short ghostly fiction. One of the fun things I've done was to be Writer in Residence at the Library of Innerpeffray for Hallowe'en 2013. It's an antiquarian library overlooking a graveyard (yes, I know – wonderful!) and I spent the day in there creating a set of three interwoven ghost stories, which I read aloud that same evening by candlelight. The stories are set in and around the Library and are inspired by the book collection. Copies are available from the Library's online shop, with all proceeds going to support the Library.

How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

I'm very pleased about it! Initiatives like this are the lifeblood of ghost stories. Ghost stories are hard to sell to large commercial publishers so small presses and projects like this one are champions of the genre. I'm also enjoying the contact with the other writers. I can't wait to see the finished anthology and read all the other stories!

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Yes, I'm working on a new novel. I can't say too much about it because even the working title is a massive spoiler, but like my other novels, it has a lot of Gothic elements, mystery and deaths. My previous books were set in Germany and Flanders because we were living in those places when I started writing them, but we moved to Scotland in 2011 and my current work in progress is set here in Perthshire.

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Helen's Links

Website

Facebook Books Page

Twitter

SoundCloud  (readings from Helen's work)

Instagram

Friday, 26 February 2016

Shadows at the Door – Author Interview With Christopher Long



Christopher Long

In the Shadows at the Door interview hot-seat today we have horror author Christopher Long.
When did your first fall in love with the horror genre?
It didn’t happen quickly for me. I think it was more of a slow seduction. For a long time I was aware of it but I wouldn’t say I chased after it. A lot of my friends were obsessed with trying to see the latest instalment of every popular 80s horror franchise going but it didn’t really appeal to me. I guess it took discovering some of the more interesting forms of horror for it to really capture my imagination. Roald Dahl’s The Witches certainly started something when I was a kid, along with a lot of the folktales the Henson company used when they created The Storyteller. Frankenstein as well. There was something really haunting about that story to me, from the first time I came across it. I remember not being convinced the monster was truly a monster at all. To me, the scientist was the one you really had to be scared of. But, even then, you could understand his motivations. That was a lightbulb moment. Also it was intriguing to see all the various versions of that story that has come to pass. The recycling of a monster made out of recycled parts. I like the symmetry of that.
The one that really got me, though, was Kubrick’s version of The Shining. That really got me thinking seriously about horror. It made me start to see the sort of stories you could tell through the lens of the supernatural trespassing into the lives of ordinary people. It helped me to understand that you can truly study a character once they’re trapped within a world they no longer understand. It gives you an opportunity to look at relationships and faith in a very unique way. Also, you know, that movie scared the living hell out of me and it still does.
Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?
My work definitely lies in the world of ghost story. There’s rarely a huge amount of gore or shock jumps in my stories. Instead I like to ease people into the shadows and then leave them for a while, wondering what they can see. Or what can see them. I really strive for something akin to a nightmare in that sense. I think the best horror can come from twisting the everyday into a different shape or form, into something unexpected. Particularly when you’re writing a short story. Those are still my favourite things to write.
I’m really proud of the fact that some of my short stories have left the reader surprised by what they went through and where the story took them. That’s always a great feeling.
What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?
I think horror offers some great opportunities for storytelling. Not just in the form of scares or atmosphere, but I think it has the potential to leave something buried deep under the reader’s skin for a long time after they’re done with a story. It can keep you thinking about what you went through and keep you a little off your guard for a while. I love that feeling. That sense of almost waiting, almost hoping to be scared. I hate reading a flat, totally contained horror story. Or one that is clearly straining to reach the next sequel. That just isn’t scary to me. A great horror story is almost a trick of a light, almost too spectral to be inspected closely. It needs that to allow it to live on in you afterwards. It needs to have the strength to raise questions and make you a little unsure about what might be in the dark.
I truly hope some of my stories will be able to make people feel like that. It’d be great to know that something you created still has the power to scare people years from now, maybe even keep on scaring them. That would be really special.
What are some of your favourite horror stories?
Man, that’s tricky. So many of M. R. James's works are absolute masterclasses in how to tell a horror story. I’d struggle to choose between them. Like I said before, Frankenstein really got hold of my attention and never let it go. Neil Gaiman has created some really chilling moments in books like American Gods and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski did some spectacular things with my imagination and Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series may be one of the cleverest pieces of fan fiction ever written.
Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?
Of all the many things that scared the hell out of me as a kid the one I will never shake wasn’t really a story at all. It was, of all things, a music video. Or, at least, one moment from a music video. My parents were huge Kate Bush fans back in the 80s and they bought a collection of her music videos. One of them was Experiment IV. It had this story running through it about a team of scientists creating a sound that could kill. In the video there’s a moment where this siren like creature suddenly turns into some monstrous form and they would never let me see it. I would be made to look away or close my eyes whenever they watched it. I know it sounds crazy but that really stuck with me. In fact, last year, I remembered this and realised I could easily watch the video online. Only I decided I didn’t want to see it. No matter what that thing looks like, it will never live up to the creature I created in my head. I suppose that taught me a lot about being scared and how to scare people. The way I’ve started to see it as that horror writers are really exposed nerves. We should get a little scared by everything. Then it’s really down to us to figure out how best to use that to entertain and scare other people.

Something Needs Bleeding by Christopher Long
Something Needs Bleeding
by
Christopher Long

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
After reading James and The Giant Peach. I was at primary school and a friend of my parents gave me a copy of the book to read. Up until then I’d been so bored by the books my teachers kept foisting on me but Roald Dahl just reached in and switched my brain on. His way of taking the dull and every day and fabricating a dream world out of it was just something else to me. The fun and the frights and the sense of humour were all so captivating. It blew me away. I started to write my own stories not long after and then I found out you could actually write for a living. From the moment I heard that I didn’t understand why every adult I knew wasn’t writing books. To be honest, I still don’t.
Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?
Oh man, there are so many of them. Dahl, I think, we’ve covered. Neil Gaiman. M. R. James. Arthur C. Clarke. Mark Z. Danielewski. David Mitchell. Christopher Fowler. Terry Pratchett. Douglas Adams. P. G. Wodehouse. Magnus Mills.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some authors who are absolute giants to me but I think all authors and all stories should offer something up that can be considered or studied. Sometimes there’s nothing worse than reading a book or a short story and finding nothing I can take away from it. It makes me wonder how the writer felt whilst they were writing it. It’s as if you can sense their boredom with their own work. I dread ever being like that.
Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.
Well, for a long time, I just wrote for myself really. I rarely showed my work to anyone. I was stuck in this loop of wanting people to read my stories but also not wanting to hear that I was no good and that I should stop. I wrote a novel length story in the late 90s about a man who could heal the sick people but actually found he was the personification of Death. I was brave enough to let a few people take a look at and they seemed to like it well enough, although publishers didn’t.
After that I spent a long time trying to wrangle something together out of an old fantasy idea that was bugging me. Oddly, for all that time, I never thought about trying my hand at a ghost story. In the end that happened really rather quickly. An idea hit me about a reappearing figure seen on motorway bridges at night and I wrote the first draft in around a week. Something made me put that story, The Low Road, onto the Kindle and then I added another four over the next few months. Some of them seemed to write themselves. It was such a great feeling. One of them, The Final Restoration of Wendell Pruce, came from a nightmare I had. That story really showed me I could write a decent ghost story if I put my mind to it. It also taught me a lot about character, plot and a growing sense of doom.
Not long after that I was lucky enough to be signed with Kensington Gore Publishing. They re-released all those stories and asked for a brand new story to go with each of them. I ended up writing a set of seven interlinked novellas called The Righteous Judges, which was a real challenge but it sharpened my writing no end. I was doing one a month and trying to make sure the paths of the characters all intersected nicely without feeling forced. Then, once that was done, I had to turn my attention to writing a novel for KGP. Something Needs Bleeding was a hell of a test as well, but I like to think it really worked. It’s a story that tried to deal with the true horrors that can inspire a ghost story. So, on the surface, you have this final collection of a recently deceased horror author. Only there are all these linking themes and character names running through them which are all explained at the end, with an afterword written by the author himself. Hopefully that means, if you ever read it again, you should pick up on these clues and hidden meanings. I was really proud of that one.
How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?
I’m so excited to be working on a story for this anthology. When I started writing horror stories and looking online it didn’t take me long to stumble across Shadows at the Door. It struck me immediately as such a brilliant idea and they were doing great work. They still are. The stories they’re releasing on the website are all brilliant, blood chilling tales and I was honoured to be invited to write a couple of ghost stories for Christmas for them. Now, being able to put a story of mine into a book they’re releasing, is a real dream come true for me. From what I’ve seen of the other stories that going into this anthology, I think we are going to have something absolutely fantastic to release into the world. I can’t wait to see what people make of it. I’m quietly predicting great things for this collection.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
At the minute I’m working on a second novel. I did send a short story off to a competition to The Guardian ran which, sadly, didn’t win. It revolved around the idea of someone who may, or may not, be the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper. At some point I want to clean that up and give it a try somewhere else. I also entered a story into a sci-fi competition they’re running in Glasgow. Again, if that misses the mark, I’ll probably try and do something with that. I had a huge amount of fun trying something in another genre. That said, it’s all systems go on the novel at the moment. It’s taken me a while to get something I’m happy with but it’s making progress now. All I can say is that, if nothing changes, it’ll look at how people cope after they survive the events of a very archetypal horror scenario. I want to try and explore what it means to have survived something like that. I want to see what would happen after the movie finishes or after you close the book. Just how would someone look at the normal, everyday world after they’ve seen what might be lurking behind it at any given moment? That really appeals to me.
 

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!

Links

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Shadows at the Door - Author Interview With Andrea Janes

Andrea Janes

Welcome back to my Shadows at the Door series. Joining us today is writer and ghost tour operator and guide Andrea Janes.

When did your first fall in love with the horror genre?

When I was around seven years old or so, I found these Alfred Hitchcock anthologies aimed at young adult readers, with names like "Witches Brew" and "Ghostly Gallery." I thought they were amazing, and I had no idea I was reading people like Algernon Blackwood and Shirley Jackson and Robert Bloch! I just loved the stories!

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

Ghost stories, definitely, and weird fiction generally. Stories that work with eerie feelings, bad dreams, and common fears like aging or isolation. In one of my stories, the entity was something I invented that I called a “cholera demon” who was a harbinger of sickness and death, an emblem of the overcrowded city in the heat of summer. Very Poe, except he made his victims poop on the rug.

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

Who doesn’t love to be scared? Fear is the salt and vinegar chip of emotion.

What are some of your favourite horror stories?

On the page, I like anything by Shirley Jackson, J.S. LeFanu, M.R. James, and good old Edgar Poe for comforting favorites. A great contemporary ghost story I read recently was Mr. Splitfoot. On screen, Carnival of Souls and I Walked With A Zombie are two films that have burned themselves into my brain. I think Orphan is a very underrated horror movie. Right now I am most looking forward to seeing The Witch. That’s another thing I love as much as ghosts – witches.

Boroughs of the Dead by Andrea Janes
Boroughs of the Dead
by
Andrea Janes

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?
My mother bought me an Usborne book on Ghosts when I was little, and there was one illustration of a woman combing her hair in front of a mirror, with a single ghostly arm materializing on her shoulder.  Every time I looked in the mirror as a child, I   waited for a filmy apparition to appear behind me. Who am I kidding? I still expect it to this day. I realize that’s an image, not a story. Which may be why my biggest weakness as a writer is plot.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember the exact moment. I’ve just always kind of wanted to be one. I’ve always had green eyes, been born in May, and wanted to be a writer.

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

Have to bring it back to Shirley Jackson. I over-identify with her particular brand of domestic horror, and I admire the clarity of her language.

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

Mostly I’ve written New York City-centric ghost stories, often with a historical bent. I also wrote a YA novel about witches called GLAMOUR that was published with World Weaver Press in 2013.
Glamour by Andrea Janes
Glamour
by
Andrea Janes

How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

I love how everyone involved in it seems so friendly. This is the first anthology I’ve participated in where the editors started a Facebook group so the writers could communicate and share ideas. It’s been very pleasant. I also like that we’re all kind of torchbearers for this somewhat out-of-fashion form of horror writing. Makes one feel at home.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Two things: a short story that revolves around the horror of throwing a huge party and having nobody show up (terrifying!) and a novel-length ghost story about a haunted condo in Queens, N.Y.

Plus, every day I get to think about ghost stories as part of my job at Boroughs of the Dead, the ghost tour company I founded in 2013. That’s a lot of fun, and I’m very grateful to be able to earn a living telling ghost stories.

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Connect With Andrea

http://andreajanes.com/

http://boroughsofthedead.com/

www.twitter.com/SpinsterAunt

www.twitter.comMacabreNYC

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Shadows at the Door - Author Interview With Kris Holt

Kris Holt

It's time for another author interview in my Shadows at the Door series. Today we meet author and editor Kris Holt.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?

The first horror authors that spring to mind for me are contemporary ones – Stephen King, Dean Koontz. It's only since I started writing horror myself that I've learned about earlier classics, such as Poe, M. R. James and H. P. Lovecraft. My first interest in horror was playing Resident Evil as a teenager. Back then I was amazed to find out how much people enjoy being scared.

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

I've never been a fan of really gory films or books – most recognisable interaction is non-violent, so I like psychological horror best. The kind that builds around completely oblivious characters until the very...last...moment...

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

I've always been fascinated by the way that people interact; the way that some people seem to have immediate chemistry while others seem destined to repel one another. Horror is a great genre to write in because it allows you to easily dissect those interactions, casting new perspectives on even the most innocent actions, or blowing them utterly out of proportion in massive gorefests. Horror can be angry, sad or fun, and often all three at once.

What are some of your favourite horror stories?

The ones that I've read for this anthology have been magnificent :)

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

I didn't read much horror when I was young, so not especially. I'm still learning about what a massive, entertaining diverse genre horror is!

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

Many! I love Neil Gaiman's prose; it flows so gracefully that you forget you're reading. Terry Pratchett produced wonderful characters. China Mieville and Jeff Noon remind me how joyful speculative fiction can be, and what a gift it is to have an active imagination. Finally, there are writers like John Maxwell Coetzee who explore meaning and identity, and help you to find some context in the wider world you live in.

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

I don't particularly have a genre; I write horror and sci-fi for fun, but my first love is literary fiction. I am also a big fan of travel writing. In 2014, I won the SMHAFF award for International Writing, and that story, along with loads of other freebies, are all available on my website. I also have a novel ('What Comes from the Earth') with beta readers that will hopefully be available on Kindle in a few weeks!


What Comes From The Earth by Kris Holt
What Comes From The Earth
by
Kris Holt

How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

Thrilled. I've written stories for the site before and done other anthology work, but this hopefully will be a vehicle to take everyone involved to the next level. I have a really positive working relationship with Mark and Caitlin, and I knew from the start that they would want to produce a professional anthology. The aim is that readers will get a book full of outstanding work that they'll want to reread and recommend to their friends.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Apart from the aforementioned novel, I have a couple of serials that I'll be updating regularly throughout 2016 (links below). One is called 'This Burning Man', which is about a bounty hunter in the future searching for his lost family in the desert. Then there's 'My Travels Through Imaginary Lands', which is a travelogue set in an imagined world based on post-Victorian Europe, with some fantasy elements thrown in for good measure.

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Connect with Kris

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

'This Burning Man' serial

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Shadows at the Door – Author Interview With Caitlin Marceau



Caitlin Marceau


Following on from Yesterday's interview with Mark Nixon, I will be continuing with the Shadows at the Door theme and conducting a series of interviews with some of the authors involved in the site's upcoming anthology. First up is writer, editor and woman in horror Caitlin Marceau.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?
It took me a long time to fall in love with horror, to be honest. I used to be scared of everything as a kid— I used to have really bad nightmares— so I avoided anything to do with the genre growing up, which was hard since my parents both loved it. It wasn’t until high school that I really got into it, reading and watching anything I could get my hands on that was even remotely scary. I was sick of being afraid of my own shadow, so I took on this “if you can’t beat them, join them,”approach. I decided to scare people instead of being scared by them, and I’ve been writing horror since.

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

That’s a good question. I’d say about a handful of my work falls into the psychological horror subgenre, but I’d hesitate to call all of it that. I’m really not sure about the rest, truth be told. I mean, I tend to root a lot of my work in the Canadian wilderness, or in Canadian myths, but that’s not exactly a specific genre.

Sanitarium Magazine featuring: Hunger by Caitlin Marceau
Sanitarium Magazine
featuring: Hunger
by Caitlin Marceau



What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

I find it so versatile. There’s no limit to what you can do, explore, try, create, or twist in the genre. There’s something great about trying to make an old trope fresh, or taking an everyday situation and making it terrifying. Plus the writing community is incredible. There are so many authors, editors, and publishers dedicated to helping budding writers get exposure and encouraging creativity in the genre. So not only do you have all these resources at your fingertips as an author, but you have this sea of original work just waiting for you to read. It’s amazing.

What are some of your favourite horror stories?

I grew up in a household of Stephen King readers, so his work has always been a favourite of mine. I also really love Bentley Little and Kelley Armstrong. Her Otherworld Series features some incredible female protagonists and amazing storylines. It’s definitely worth a read, although it’s admittedly not the most terrifying work out there.

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

Misery scared me more than I’d like to admit. I always wanted to be a writer growing up, but I’d always been put off by the idea of crazed fans (just look at some of the weird things people do for J.K. Rowling), so this book seemed all too possible to me. It still keeps me awake at night.

Sanitarium Magazine featuring: Full Moon Run by Caitlin Marceau
Sanitarium Magazine
featuring: Full Moon Run
by Caitlin Marceau



When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was a little kid. My grandfather used to make me these “made-to-order” stories— so I’d tell him how many dragons or trolls I wanted in the tale, and he’d find some way of weaving them into the plot— and that really got me into storytelling. I was also raised with a love of reading, so once I got old enough to hold a pen it was kind of a no-brainer for me.

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?
Aside for King and Armstrong, I was definitely influenced by Tamora Pierce. She wrote these young adult feminist fantasy novels that always featured a strong female lead, and I found it so refreshing to read them while I was growing up. I even had the pleasure of meeting her a few times, and she was so inspiring to talk to. I’ve also been greatly influenced by Trevor Ferguson on a personal level. I had the immense privilege of having him as a professor for two consecutive years during my time at university, and his feedback and encouragement during that time has been invaluable. And lastly a woman by the name of Georgia Papoulias. She’s probably the best writer no one has heard of, is one of my best and dearest friends, and has to be one of the most talented people I’ve ever in my life met. I don’t know if I’d be where I am without her. No, actually, I know for sure that I wouldn’t be. So I can’t thank her enough for being such an incredible influence on my career.

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was young, so I actually went to school for it. I attended university for a B.A. in Creative Writing, and while I was there I worked as a freelance journalist for a bunch of magazines, newspapers, and websites. Although I’d been previously published for creative non-fiction and poetry, it wasn’t until my second to last year of school that I finally managed to get a horror short published through Sanitarium Magazine . Since then, I’ve been featured a few more times at Sanitarium , Morpheus Tales , Pseudopod , The Wicked Library , and Shadows at the Door , to name a few. I’m also a guest speaker at conventions, and I’ve given a few workshops on writing for horror at both the Montreal and Ottawa Comiccons.

The Wicked Library Episode 603
The Wicked Library Episode 603Caitlin Marceau
Artwork by Jon Towers



How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?

Excited, lucky, grateful, nervous… have I mentioned excited? I’m beyond thankful that I was invited to work on such an incredible project, and I’m so lucky to be getting published alongside such talented authors. It’s really been a surreal experience.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

I am, actually. I have a play that should be coming out soon called Shadow Puppets , and I have a few short stories coming out over the course of the next year, including one being featured in the anthology The Women in Horror Annual . I’ll also be presenting two workshops at the 2016 Toronto FanExpo this fall, which I’m really excited about. And I’m hoping to finish my book this year, which has me thrilled. So that’s all really exciting (and a bit overwhelming)!

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Follow Caitlin

www.caitlinmarceau.com

Twitter

Facebook

Contact Caitlin

Email: info@caitlinmarceau.com


Monday, 22 February 2016

Shadows at the Door – Interview With Founder, Mark Nixon

Shadows at the Door logo
Shadows at the Door
Artwork by Abigail Larson
Image used courtesy of Shadows at the Door



Today I am joined by Mark Nixon the man behind Shadows at the Door, the internet's one stop, ghost story shop. Mark has taken time out from the busy bustle of preparation going on ahead of the site's first published anthology to answer a few questions.

Tell us a bit about Shadows at the door. What was the thinking behind it?

Shadows at the Door began as a simple blog, a means to share a story I’d written. I didn’t consider submitting it for publication; I just wanted to share it with my friends. The blog proved more popular than I expected and so very quickly I created a new website as an online library, and other writers began to submit. Now, SATD is an online publisher, and I’m really proud of it.

What is your favourite part of running Shadows at the Door?

Discovering and promoting talented writers. I’ve met some amazing people whose work I may never have read were it not for the site. A lot of them are destined for amazing careers and I love doing my part to help build their brand.

When did your first fall in love with the horror genre?

I think I was about ten, and it was in the village library. I used to
go there quite a lot, and I started picking up these paranormal books. They would feature things like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, the Bermuda Triangle and plenty of ghosts! I kept going back and borrowing more and more until I stopped going home and just sat in there most of the day reading them. Over time, I moved purely onto ghost stories and then I started venturing into horror novels.

The horror genre has undergone a change in direction over the years, moving away from the traditional ghost story and supernatural tale, and into the realms of more human, physical horror. What’s your take on the change and which do you prefer?

I actually have a love/hate relationship with horror. I adore traditional ghost stories and the supernatural, but I don’t have a taste for the more modern horror trends. Freddy, Jason, The Saw franchise, none of that kind of stuff interests me. I enjoy subtle, atmospheric horror and there’s not a great deal of that in the mainstream market. This is something I try to remedy with Shadows at the Door, and there is an audience out there looking for it.

I know you are a fan of M. R. James; would you say he’s influenced your own writing?

He certainly influences my writing. The man was preeminent, and his stories continue to have a huge impact on me.

What’s your favourite M. R. James story?

‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad’, is just perfect. It’s the quintessential ghost story and I adore it.

Are there any other writers that have influenced you?

Some of my other strongest influences include Stephen King, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman and Washington Irving.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I had fairly serious ambitions when I was in school, but my parents often told me to focus on a more reliable career so it fell by the wayside. It was actually only a few years ago, that the desire really reignited. I had some trepidation starting in my mid-twenties, but I soon came to realise that you can start at any point in your life!

Out of the stories you’ve written so far, which is your personal favourite?

Probably ‘Silent Warnings’, it features a protagonist I enjoy writing and I really like how the threat is introduced. It’s rare a character can acknowledge that a ghost is actually a ghost, so it was refreshing to have another character who had already been haunted before the protagonist encountered it. I also slipped in a little sexual frustration between the two leads, and that was fun.

Shadows at the door also sponsors The Wicked Library podcast; tell us a little about that.

I’d already worked with the host, Dan Foytik, and so when he announced his tenure as the new host of The Wicked Library, I was really excited about it. The Wicked Library is very well produced dramatic readings of horror stories and has very similar goals to SATD. Dan of course can have slightly different taste to me, so I can be introduced to genres I otherwise may not have looked into. I’m always happy to sponsor such an enterprising podcast.

How did it feel the first time you heard one of your stories performed as a podcast?

Dan Foytik first recorded a dramatic reading of my story ‘Leave a Light On For Me’ for SATD, and I was blown away. It’s fascinating to hear someone else read your work, where they find tension and apply with skilled voice work. You know he’s doing a good job when you get scared by your own story! That’s why I’m always happy to write for his podcasts The Lift and The Wicked Library.

Shadows at the Door is preparing to launch its first anthology. What made you decided to branch out into book publication, and why now?

Quite simply? Demand. The fans have been asking for one for some time now but there have been a few other reasons. The site is less than two year old and in that time I’ve seen it grow exponentially, the talent of the writers has been fantastic and these writers deserve to be in a book produced with love and care. And I’m a book lover! There are some beautiful books out there, and I feel like we can contribute to the market, especially with new artwork by Barney Bodoano.

For those who haven’t heard about the project before, who is involved with the anthology?

For people familiar with the site, they’ll see some familiar names such as Kris Holt, Pete Alex Harris, Caitlin Marceau, Christopher Long, K.G. Goddard — all writers I’m very excited about. There are also some new names such as Helen Grant, who I’ve been wanting to work with for some time now and her story exceeded my already high expectations. Mark Cassell has built a fascinating world of horror in his own right, and I really wanted to have his talent on board too, because the stuff he's producing is just fantastic. I’ve also written a story myself that I’m really proud of and I think people will enjoy it. And not only will Dan Foytik be recording a full audio book of the anthology, but he’s also written one of the stories. Dan is so busy making great podcasts that we need to show the world what a fantastic writer he is. Cathedral Sounds are producing music for the audiobook, and what they’ve proceeded so far has sent a delightful chill up my spine. As mentioned, Barney Bodoano, who already has been providing art work for the site, will be providing beautiful yet sinister artwork for the book — it just didn’t feel right to ask anyone but Barney! As I’m sure you can tell, I’m incredibly excited about this anthology and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

What else can you tell us about the anthology?

The writers come from all over the world, and this created an excellent opportunity to share these parts of the world with the readers. As such, each story is set either locally to each writer, or in a place they have lived or is important to them. In my own story, for example, Durham Cathedral is practically a character, and its presence is felt in all parts of the story. Caitlin Marceau explores a local mystery in Montreal, Quebec and Kris Holt delves into the legend of Black Shuck in his home of Norfolk. It’s been fascinating to discuss the ideas and see them evolve with the writers and it’s going to deliver a unique read.

What is your long term goal for Shadows at the Door?

I’m hopeful that the anthology will help Shadows at the Door become an independent publisher. I have great respect for the Folio Society, that’s the goal!

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Follow Shadows at the Door

http://www.shadowsatthedoor.com

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Check back soon for interviews with some of the writers involved in the Shadows at the Door anthology.

Author Interview With Dr. Don C. Kean



http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0171WH8Q8
I Didn't Sign Up For This
by
Dr. Don C. Kean




Tell us a little about yourself

I was a practicing General Dentist for 25 years. After many years of frustration and harassment I quit in 2012. I am currently working in retail management and am much more at peace with myself. I love to study the amazing individuals who participated in The American Civil War. I love the lifestyle and mannerisms of that era. I am an avid freshwater fisherman who would rather go to Kentucky Lake than anywhere else in the world. I also like Automobile racing.

What genre do you write in?

My first book "Great Men??? At The Worst Time" was published in 2014. It provides brief biographical chapters on several of the men who participated in The American Civil War. It is intended as an introductory style book for readers not particularly acquainted with that era of history.

Tell us about your latest book
My latest book "I Didn't Sign Up For This" is Historical Fiction. It is set during the American Civil War and chronicles the life of a good and decent young man named Joshua David Sims (J.D.), from Western Kentucky who enlists for military service in the war. The book starts with him telling his story on an old fashioned wooden front porch on The Cumberland River and that is exactly where it ends. While his choice and reasoning for participating in the war is sound, he youthfully and naively fails to foresee the harrowing consequences his choice will bear.

The book briefly details some of his upbringing as well as his worldview. That information plays a central part at the stories end. He also details the geography and culture of the home place he loves in Western Kentucky. This all becomes more important to the story as it evolves. While this is not only a story of war, young Joshua's trials during the war are candidly detailed as he sees death and suffering on the battlefield as well as in makeshift Civil War hospitals.

He survives the war physically but struggles once back at home after the war as he suffers extreme mental anguish from all he witnessed and was forced to do to survive the war. He cannot forgive himself and feels it impossible to see how anyone could love such a violent and hardened man like himself. He often forgets that there is abundant spiritual aid available to lift him up. Enter Susan: Joshua's playmate from school.

Susan is the epitome of a great woman. She loves Joshua dearly and refuses to give up on him. She persistently romances him while he grudgingly refuses, seeing himself as unworthy and incapable of being good to any woman. Susan's love plus the intervention of spiritual forces that unconditionally love him lead to his healing. Despite the graphic accounts of the war and Joshua's tortuous struggle with a post war P.T.S.D. like illness this is ultimately a story of hope, love, and blessing. It is a story of overcoming tragedy and illness.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew back around 2000. But other obligations at that time prevented me from being able to pursue it further. It was during an unintended sightseeing trip in 2008 to Fort Donelson, (while on a fishing trip of all things), that the fire would be ignited. It was then that I began my fascination with The American Civil War.

Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?

Military biographers have always been my favorites Douglas Southall Freeman would probably be my favorite.

What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?

My proudest moments are when someone tells me that the book got to them or made them cry. I had a nice lady at work the other day tell me that she had to quit reading one of the battle accounts because she said "it took her there and scared her". Those types of compliments are what make you feel good as a writer. I like it when people say the got caught up in the story.

Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?

Real Biographical History and realistic and accurate Historical Fiction would be my two genres.

Would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?

I would only use my real name.

Why did you decide to be an independent author?

I simply saw too many obstacles to trying the traditional publishing route. Working 55-65 hours per week limited my time greatly.

If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are, or try to do both?

Probably try to do both.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?

The biggest challenge is finding the time to market your book, especially if you have a lot of other irons in the fire.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am not currently writing a book. I am in the tentative research phase of figuring what I will write next. I have two ideas at this time. The first might be a sequel to my latest book. The other is the story of a Union officer or soldier who travels the south at the wars end and afterwards and tells of the hypocrisy and corruption of the Federally set up military governments.

Where can people buy your books or find out more about you?

Buy Don's Book
Amazon

Connect with Don
My website: There you can get reviews and more background information for what inspired me to write it.

My Facebook page  contains a photo album I put together of various pictures and Civil war sites that are central to the story. I provided brief captions for each as they pertain to Joshua's story.

Twitter

N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.