Monday, 26 March 2012

Interrogating Shaun Jeffrey

My 5th interview is with Shaun Jeffrey, author of many a scary book.  Although to be fair, The Kult and Killers aren't horror books, they are serial killer books, which apparently does make a difference.

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I always write what I want to write. Whether people want to read it doesn’t really cross my mind, because if it did, I guess I’d try to jump on some bandwagon to catch the latest wave of whatever’s in vogue. If I didn’t write something I wanted to write, then I guess I wouldn’t feel so inspired. To lock yourself away and write is hard at the best of times, so it has to be something I enjoy doing, especially as it’s not my full time career.

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

I love the fact that writing in the thriller and horror genres, I can write fast paced adventures that will hopefully introduce the reader to terrifying situations that will put a chill down their spine or keep them awake at night. But having been brought up in a house in a cemetery, I guess my fascination with the darker side of life is in my roots, so I was never going to write romance novels. But ultimately there’s nothing like being transported to another place by a piece of fiction and if you get totally engrossed in the story then the author has done their job.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

I do have a scrap book, but I haven’t updated it for a while. I went through a stage of writing things on bits of paper, but they invariably got lost and I also sometimes have trouble reading my own hastily scribbled notes, so perhaps I should be a doctor. I also make notes on my computer, and at least I can read what those say.

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?

I guess I put a lot of myself into my characters as I draw from my own experiences to try to make their experiences seem as real as possible. In that regard the characters Prosper Snow and Wolfe from The Kult and Killers are the two main ones that I have put most of myself into. If I had to be one of them, then I suppose Wolfe is the man to be. He’s reckless, rich and attractive but deep down he is very supportive of his friends, well the few that survive that is!

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

Not really. I keep both things completely separate. If my fiction was ever to intervene with real life there would be problems. I mean, I write about serial killers and monsters, so if my better half was to think I’d become one of my characters, I’d hate to think which one it was.

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

I primarily like reading thrillers and horror but I will read anything if it appeals to me. The main criteria is that I don’t like stories that drag and if the author drones on and on with little happening in the story then I switch off. Life’s too short and there are too many other books to discover.

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

I don’t go to any lengths to convince readers of anything. If people like what I write that’s great. If they don’t, well there’s nothing at all I can do about it. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t yet become a superstar.

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

What spelling mishtakes? Seriously, I appreciate the time anyone takes to let me know if something is wrong. Nobody’s perfect. Mistakes creep into most books, even those published by the major publishing houses.

What do you like most about visiting KUF?

It’s a friendly place populated with people who like good books. Some of them even like mine! But forums and groups like KUF can be fantastic places for authors to hang out as there are always going to be a few readers who might be interested in what you write.

What is on your near horizon?

I’m always working on something. Currently I’m working on a novella called Dark Seduction. I’m also outlining another Prosper Snow novel. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the film of The Kult is eventually released. There has been some further work done on it and the production company are in talks with a distributor, so hopefully it will be released eventually.

Where can we find you for more information?

I have a website, which is in dire need of updating: and I’m on twitter @ShaunJeffrey and Facebook:


  1. Good interview Joo. I'm nearly 3/4 of the way through The Kult, which I will be reviewing on KUF shortly. This interview has shed some light on that book!.

    1. Thanks quaser
      I never thought to think if my interviews have spoilers in them.

      Perhaps I'd better read them as "publisher" rather than "fan"

  2. Ooooh Shaun is "reckless, rich and attractive"... ooooh that's interesting ! ;)

  3. Thanks for interrogating me, Joo. The scars are slowly healing. I wish that was me, Lorraine. Lol

  4. Yea I know so do I Shaun, wish I'd read things properly before opening my gob sometimes lol !

    Nevermind, you might not be reckless, rich and attractive as you seem to think but you're still very dear to me x