Interrogating the wise Cornelius Harker.
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?
It's sometimes difficult to know which ideas will work with a readership. In truth I believe no one ever really knows for certain, since if they did then every well written novel would be a best seller. Sometimes it's all about ticking those boxes, although much of the time I tend to avoid the boxes. What I do know is that I'm a reader myself, and I also know that there are others in existence with the same literary tastes as my own... and there was me thinking I was the only one who loved 'Dennis the Menace'.
What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in?
The unknown. I'm not a terribly big fan of the real world since I don't find it terribly interesting. I find it a great deal more inviting if I'm able to absorb it, contort it, inject it with the preternatural, add a scattering of shadows and just a dose of dark mystery... and there you have it, an unearthly buffet of bad dreams. I'm a simple soul at heart.
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 have a notebook or two full of ideas, story titles and ingredients for curries. The notebook on my phone is full of ideas as well and so are the several scraps of paper, envelopes, jiffy bags, old receipts, new receipts and rail cards that are lying around the place. If ever I run out of paper I intend to start writing on people.
How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed like...er...bunnies)?
I've never actually heard of a plot bunny, but I like the sound of it. If one pops up I generally pet it, feed it and sometimes create another idea for a story out of it. Failing that I just throw it in a pie and cook it on 180'C for an hour.
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?
When creating a character, one can't help but inject just a little of oneself into him/her. There has, however, only ever been one character whom I can safely say is pretty much me, that is, beneath the flesh, bone and banter of Senor Harker. As to which character that is... 'tis a secret.
What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?
There are a few genres that I don't fully appreciate as much as I probably should, but on the whole I'm a liberal chap. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I found my 'Monster Fun Annual' from 1979 and had a quick read through.
What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?
I don't, and I never would. That's for the readers to decide. I do recommend the 'Monster Fun Annual' from 1979, though; now that does have the X factor.
How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?
Very grateful. None of us is infallible... except Peter Griffin from 'Family Guy'; the man can do no wrong.
What do you like most about visiting KUF/GR/forums?
The banter, of course.
What is on your near horizon?
For the moment I've moved away from the Gothic side of things to concentrate on a sci-fi/thriller called 'Eventide'. I shall then return to the 'Words to the Wise' Saga and continue editing the second part of Book Three. As for the very immediate future, I intend to have a bag of crisps.
Where can we find you for more information?
I have a blog that I really should visit more often:
Many thanks. Now, 'Monster Munch' here I come!