– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Birth Rite’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
I mainly write horror and paranormal thrillers although I am probably the most squeamish of people when it comes to watching horror movies and normally watch the scary parts through my fingers. Why I write in this genre of fiction is therefore quite ironic, but I’ve always been attracted to horror and thrillers in all their forms, whether on print or large and small screen. I have early memories of secretly watching Appointment With Fear with my older brother on an old black-and- white portable TV on Monday night’s when we should have been asleep. The image of Christopher Lee crashing through French windows in the first Hammer Horror Dracula movie, with blood on his fangs chills me to this day!
Predictably, I am a huge fan of Stephen King, but also love writers such as Dean Koontz, Joe Hill, CJ Tudor and James Herbert. When I was a kid, I was fascinated and enthralled by Robert E Howard’s sword-and-sorcery tales of Conan The Barbarian and several other creations, and then by Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series. These stories really fuelled my imagination and made me want to write my own stuff. When my older brother introduced me to Stephen King, I was soon lost in even darker worlds and I haven’t wanted to come out of them ever since. My books are, therefore, quite disturbing, gory at times, but I try to also litter them with characters who, while flawed, display the finer human qualities such as bravery, loyalty, and above all love of other people above themselves. I hope that you think that I have succeeded in this.
In my normal life I work for a charity that supports blind and partially-sighted people and I am also a qualified psychotherapist. This is all after spending twenty-five years in the private sector, where I wasn’t just unfulfilled, but also monumentally bored. Working with people directly to help them solve their own problems was definitely a better fit for me.
I live in Cheshire with my wonderfully patient wife and our small dog, Bailey, who loves nothing better than cuddles, food, and waiting until I’m relaxed of an evening before she demands some attention.
Nine-year-old David Ryan is in mortal danger. He has a deadly secret that is unknown even to himself. But there is someone that does know: a relentless killer born of hatred, who draws upon dark powers to destroy God’s chosen ones.
As David grows into a troubled teenager, he has to confront the truth about himself to have any hope of stopping the malignant spread of evil that is engulfing his small town. He must accept his birth-rite, or the whole world will burn.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I live in Cheshire, England and work for a charity that supports people with sight loss. I live with my wife, Mary, and Bailey, a small dog with a massive personality. I also have many grandchildren and even a great granchild, although I don’t consider myself to be particularly old! Like a lot of writers, I have been writing on and off since I was a child, and have lots of short stories in my virtual trunk. I’ve now written three full-length novels, but only seriously thought about publishing them in the last couple of years, which I now have. I also have my own author website and send monthly newsletters to my email subscribers.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved the Narnia books by CS Lewis and remember devouring them as a child. I loved lots of other fantasy books as I got older, such as Lord of The Rings, The Sword of Shannarra and the works of Robert E. Howard, which included Conan The Barbarian. As an older teen I outgrew sword and sorcery fiction to a large extent and graduated to horror. My favourite writers to date are Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Joe Hill and CJ Tudor.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Predictably, Stephen King.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books I’d invite psychic Nick Ballard to see if he could read my mind. My favourite fictional character apart from this is The Gunslinger, the hero of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, although I’m not quite sure that he would be the perfect guest for an afternoon spot of tea and snacks.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. Apart from writing the first draft as quickly as possible and then editing at a more leisurely pace. I always let my wife read the finished article first, as she’s my Ideal Reader.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
In the past, people in my life had read my stuff and then looked at me in a different light, I think, as normally I’m the most placid and easy-going person, or so I like to think. It’s funny about ideas. I’ve got a series about a psychic and a policewoman who solve murders in London, and I don’t really know where that came from. My horror novel, Birthrite, is largely derivative of my childhood, so I absolutely know where that came from. Shorter stories seem to come from random ideas and images that develop into stories. For example, I often see people standing on motorway footbridges, looking at the traffic as it passes beneath them. From this, I came up with a short story called The Bridge People.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have a basic structure of a story, but that can often change as I write, so in that way I suppose I’m a bit of a pantser.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think that as novice writers we can develop some bad habits without realising. When I loved all things Robert E. Howard, I probably wrote as a third-rate version of him and the same with Stephen King. I engaged with an organisation called Jericho Writers who helped me to find my own voice and iron out some of those bad habits.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m currently writing book three in my psychic/policewoman trilogy, and I’m also compiling an anthology of my short stories, which are all of the horror or thriller genres.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
At the other end of the platform, a tall, dark figure waited. It began to move forward, and David saw a pale glitter of steel in the uncertain glow of the streetlights. Thoughts of his father were swept away. The Bogeyman had come for him; The Bad Man, The Monster. It punished children who strayed or misbehaved; took sweets from strangers or wet the bed, and now it was here at last. The old stories were all true. He was unable to move or even dislodge the scream that was building in his throat. He was going to die, and God couldn’t save him.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Anthony Steven.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!