Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I always have a hard time with this question. I never know what to say about myself. Well, I’m an author of mostly horror fiction. I live in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. I have four children and a fiancee, which means I will soon have a step-child as well. I currently have three books in print: A zombie novel called Burnt Ashes, Haunted Whispers which is a short story collection, and a non-horror novel called Flushed.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Haunted Whispers is technically my latest book, but it was also my first published. I self-published it three years ago and then my current publisher decided to re-release it under their banner. Since it’s a collection of short stories, the book has a wide range of influences. Mostly, the stories are all based on life experiences in one way or another, then exaggerated to make it into a horror story.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I think the act of writing is unusual enough. Human beings, for the most part, are social creatures. For someone to quarantine themselves from family and friends to spend hours on end in complete solitude to work on something which may or may not be successful is unusual. Barring that, I don’t think there’s anything different in my writing habits. I tend to not listen to music as it is distracting. I write in the evenings mostly, once my kids are in bed.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh God…too many to name. The first major influence on me as a kid were the Hardy Boy books. I read and re-read all the books in that series I could get my hands on. I even tried writing a similar book when I was eleven or twelve. After that, I got into Stephen King. Douglas Clegg is another major influence. His prose stimulates the imagination like you wouldn’t believe. Same thing with Clive Barker. Brian Keene is a definite must-read for aspiring horror authors. Outside of Stephen King, you’d be hard-pressed to find an author as good at character development as he is. Edward Lee for versatility. He writes mass-market books that will chill you to the bone, but his small press work will disgust you and gross you out, but make you want to come back for more. Graham Masterton is one of my all-time favorites. He’s been around for decades and keeps pumping out brilliant masterpieces. Talk about versatility. Writing doesn’t get any more diverse than Masterton’s stuff.
I could keep going but I’d be here forever. I would be remiss however if I didn’t mention my good friend Thom Erb. We got into the writing game around the same time and I was reading a lot of his work back then. I think we influenced each other a lot in those days.
What are you working on now?
I’m reworking an older novella called Little Angels. I published it last year and decided to re-work it. I’m expanding it a bit. There’s still room for development. It’s going to have a new cover as well. I’m hoping to have it out by October but I have a short story due first, so that’s my main priority at the moment.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying to figure that out. Promoting my work is definitely not my strong suit. I’m learning as I go.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write whatever you want. Don’t follow trends or write what everybody else is writing. When people ask me for writing advice, I give them the two best pieces of advice I got. The first is from Ed Lee: “Write the book you want to read but no one else is writing.” The second is from Jack Ketchum: “Ass to chair, fingers to keyboard.”
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
I’m at the stage where I’m deciding what to read next. I have a collection of about 1000 books (not including what’s on my Kindle) so it’s always hard to decide. I’m leaning toward Blood Related by William Cook. If you’re not reading his work, you darn well should be.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Getting Little Angels out into the world. After that, I have a few ideas I’m tinkering with for books. One is a quiet ghost story and the other is a violent demon takes over the town kind of story.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Well, that’s definitely a hard one. It would have to be 3 or 4 books I haven’t read yet. I’ve been meaning to get back to reading Stephen King. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read any of his books since high-school, so maybe I’d bring a few of his latest to help me catch up.