Getting personal with Justin Park

 

Justin Park is a very talented and driven man. Not only does he write amazing books that will have you holding your breath and turning the page as fast as you can he also co-runs a publishing company called Sinister Horror Company. They published many great books and I always look forward to seeing what they will come out with next. Justin has an awesome sense of humor and always a quick come back. His writing flows smoothly and will leave you wanting more. I have read three of his books so far and I highly recommend you picking one up, it won’t be your last. Please take the time to get to know him you won’t be sorry you did. Welcome to Roadie Notes Justin Park……

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

My first documented story was when I was 8 years old. My mum kept all my story books from primary and the first one is a story about zombies and werewolves, which is clearly influenced from watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
My stories of that age were like regurgitation of films I had watched, only with my own twist. As I read through them now I can see one based on Poltergeist, one based on Troll, another on Gremlins.
Some of the content was pretty grisly. I’m surprised I was never questioned about it, or my parents spoken to. But things were way more liberal when I was a kid. You’d never get a music video like Micheal Jackson’s Thriller being made now-a-days. People are too scared about losing revenue or upsetting audiences. I’d like to think the pendulum will swing back someday.
By the time I turned 9 the stories were being developed more from my own imagination, with the page counts vastly increasing. The main themes were horror, monsters and ninjas. Not a lot has changed!

2. How many books have you written?

I’ve written four books (in order): Terror Byte, Punch, Upon Waking and The Exchange.
This year I also curated and created the charity anthology The Black Room Manuscripts Volume Two. That was a lot of hard work, but worth it. I managed to get both Graham Masterton and Shaun Hutson to feature in the pages, which was pretty mind-blowing when you consider these were childhood heroes of mine.
As well as those two I was able to create a line up of horror authors whose work I genuinely respect. I’m really proud of that collection. All profits from the book go to Alzheimer’s Research UK as well, so it’s nice to bring a bit of good into the world. Keeps my karma balanced.

I help format, edit and produce various other books released through the publishing company I co-run, the Sinister Horror Company. Amongst those this year I’ve had a hand in helping get released are Stuart Park’s Marked, Kit Power’s Breaking Point, Daniel Marc Chant’s Aimee Bancroft and the Singularity Storm and Adam Millard’s The Bad Game.
We’ve released so many great titles this year, and we’ve still got a load more to come.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

No, I don’t think so. No subject would be taboo for me, but how I approach those subjects is a different matter. I wouldn’t handle any sensitive subject without careful consideration of my approach. All stories deliver messages. As a writer it is your job to insure you deliver the correct intended message, even if that is confusion.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I am…uh….38. I think. Yes, that’s right. I have to think about it now-a-days.
I have no wife and no children. Some of my friends have been married a few times now – I guess they must have stolen my turn! J
I’m a bachelor, just like Bruce Wayne, except for the money, and the crime fighting in crazy costumes.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

I love them all for different reasons. I think Upon Waking is my artistically satisfying, because of the way the narrative is told from all different people’s stories. By adding all of these experiences together you build a complete picture of what happens in the world of the killer. A back story is revealed, a motivation, and their methods, yet nothing is told directly to the audience. It is all built up in layers.
When it comes to the actual writing and use of words, then The Exchange is my favourite. I have tried to be slightly poetic with my phrases and prose in that story. A beta reader described it as word porn, comparing it to how he felt when he read Perfume. High praise indeed. But that’s my aim, to write the best I can.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

It’s always what I’ve done, ever since I can remember. I left it alone after university for a good 8 years, but came back to it, after reading an interview with author Guy N Smith in the Dark Side magazine (UK horror monthly magazine). That coupled with my brother telling me about print on demand services set the ball rolling. I didn’t care if I anyone bought a book, the important thing was I could produce books and put them on my bookcase.
I try to write the best I can, but at the end of the day I’m only trying to please myself. It’s an absolute bonus that other people enjoy reading them too.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Outside of writing I do a lot of exercise, so am often on my mountain bike, in the swimming pool or down the gym.
I’m a massive music fan, so am always heading out to watch bands live. Got a few lined up before the end of the year: Dinosaur Jr, Slaves and John Carpenter are already booked. Possibly looking to get tickets for Regina Spektor, Daughter and Frightened Rabbit too. Best gig of the year so far has to be Sigur Ros. That was the fourth time I’ve seen them, and possibly the best. Simply superb.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I know people that do, but I don’t. Finishing a book is like finally letting it go, and that is a difficult and gradual process. A better man than me once said: ‘No art is ever truly finished, only abandoned.’
However once I have sent a working draft to beta readers for feedback I usually question whether it’s any good. When you’ve spent a month going through it the plot seems predictable – but it would do if you wrote the thing!

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I usually write with music playing in the background, although largely it is instrumental or music I know so well the lyrics can wash into the background. My favourite albums to write to are Jonsi & Alex – Riceboy Sleeps, Beyond The Black Rainbow soundtrack, Upstream Color soundtrack by Shane Carruth, Mugstar – Centralia and anything by Mogwai.
I’m always discovering new music so the list changes, but the above are staple favourites.

When I read things back I have a tendency to read it aloud. This helps me to feel the rhythm of the words, ensuring the flow and drama is how I want it. I think it’s important that the reader is driven along by the sentences. To me reading shouldn’t be a laboured experience but more like sitting on a raft at the start of a white water rapid. Once you start the journey you shouldn’t be able to stop. The best reading experience is where you almost forget you are reading words and follow an image that plays in your mind.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

I have two muses for my writing – two main inspirations that clash together. One is the exploitation cinema and pulp books of the 70s and 80s. I may have not been about to enjoy them first time round, but that hasn’t stopped me now. The second is a level of creative artistry. I’m wanting to push my own boundaries and try out new things.
My writing is about striking a balance between the two. The more I write, the more I allow myself to use my art house inspirations. So I’d like to see a bit more of that come through. I think it worked well in Upon Waking, and the positive reaction I got from it showed me art and horror make welcome bed fellows.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Fame? I’m not too worried about that. Respect and appreciation for what I do would be a much better thing to have. Money? I wouldn’t say no.
My dream at the moment is to fill an entire shelf of my bookcase with books I’m proud to have written.

12. Where do you live?

I live in Bristol, UK. It’s a buzzing city with lots always going on. There is a thriving music scene which serves my entertainment purposes well. Favourite bands playing round Bristol at the moment are Thought Forms, Get The Blessing, ANTA and Sonance.
There’s also a fantastic film night once a month called The Hellfire Video Club, showing weird and wonderful movies from around the world. I regularly attend. It’s certainly fuel for the mind.

13. Pets?

There is a visiting stray cat we’ve named Graeme (although it turned out to be a girl we still kept the name). We look after her by making sure she is fed when she turns up.
I like the transient nature of our relationship. She turns up whenever she decides to, hangs around a little bit to eat and say hi, then heads back off again. I don’t know where she goes or where she sleeps, but she seems happy enough and that’s all that matters.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The best bit about the actual process of writing is that moment when you are lost to it. The music fades out, the world disappears, time loses all meaning and you are engulfed in the characters and events unfolding. I think that’s the point for most activities, from exercise to meditation to any creative venture: that moment of bliss comes when you are freed from the washing machine jumble of your own thoughts. A focus of the mind creates clarity. To obtain that clarity is why Buddhists meditate for days at a time.

My second favourite thing is the reaction I get from other people who have read my books. I love it when they are shocked, appalled or so caught up in the action they come back to tell me their thoughts.
That helps to drive me onto the next project with a burning enthusiasm, which is helpful as I have 5 stories bouncing around my head and need to be released onto the world. By the time I get to finishing those I expect there will be more incubating in my subconscious. At least I hope so, I have no plans of stopping any time soon!

You can connect with Justin here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J-R-Park/e/B00OL04SD0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1472335821&sr=8-2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JRParkAuthor/
Website: JRPark.co.us
Publishing Company: SinisterHorrorCompany.com

 

As Always thanks you so much Justin for letting us get to know you better. So very glad to know you and call you my friend!

image

 

 

 

Getting personal with Wrath James White

Wrath James White is another amazing author that I have had the pleasure of getting to know recently. He is a kind man who is willing to help others and is devoted to his family. He has written many books and had one turned into a  movie. He has a finely tuned writing style that will leave you wanting more and wondering why did the book have to end. If you have not picked up one of his books I suggest you do so immediately. You do not want to miss reading one. I am proud and honored to welcome Wrath James White to Roadie Notes…..

 
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I have no idea when I wrote my first story. I was 12 when I wrote my first story with the intent to have it published. But I was 17 before I worked up the nerve to actually submit a story to a magazine for publication. It was rejected, but I rewrote it decades later and it has since been published.

2. How many books have you written?

Between novels, novellas, and short story collections? Roughly two dozen.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

I won’t write anything that glorifies child sexual abuse in any way. That’s my only hard rule. Everything else is a matter of aesthetics. I don’t really enjoy comedic horror, so I don’t write it. I tried once. That was enough.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’m 46 years old. Born in Philadelphia in 1970. I have a lovely wife that I adore, and four kids, including a son in college, and a step-daughter. I still have a day job, a necessity until I sell a whole lot more books.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

It’s hard to choose a favorite. Yaccub’s Curse, because it was my first. Succulent Prey, because it was my first published novel, and my first mass-market book deal, and introduced my most popular character, Joseph Miles. The Resurrectionist, because it was my most popular and was made into a movie. 400 Days of Oppression, because it was my most controversial. I like them all for different reasons.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I wrote a poem when I was 9 or 10 called “The Easter Fright”. It was about kids getting attacked by the Easter Bunny. I was praised by my teachers for it and was asked to read it at an assembly of the entire school. That was the first time I was praised for my writing ability and I was hooked from there.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
I run 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, and the rare marathon. I lift weights. I read horror novels, watch horror movies, cook, and have lots and lots of kinky sex.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I immediately start the next one.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?

I can’t write with music playing, except blues or classical, but I prefer none at all. I can write anywhere though. I write with the TV on and kids running through the house. I’ve worked on novels in the middle of parties. I’ve written chapters on my phone at work then typed it into the computer at the end of the day. If I need to write, little stops me.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Everything. I have a lot more growing to do as a writer to refine my craft.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Every writer wants to be rich and famous. I want to be rich, famous, yet relatively anonymous. I don’t want rock star fame where I can’t walk down the street without being mobbed or live in a regular neighborhood. I want to pass unnoticed, but have enough success where I can write full-time and live comfortably.

Other than that, I want to write books that will endure for centuries and be taught in universities. Pretentious? Maybe. But that’s what I want.

12. Where do you live?

Somewhere in Texas.

13. Pets?

I have a British Staffordshire Terrier, a Yorkie, and two little mutts that we rescued from an owner that was neglecting them. I don’t understand why anyone would want a cat. Useless beasts.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Transmitting my thoughts and emotions across years and miles to people I’ve never met. Causing a reader to think or feel the exact same thing I thought or felt when I was writing. That’s the goal of true art.

You can connect with Wrath here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-James-White/e/B003TT0O78/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1471828358&sr=1-1

Facebook: Wrath James White

Twitter: @WrathJW

imageimageimage

As always, thank you so much for letting us get to know you better. I wish you much happiness and as always continued success. Wrath you are amazing!

Getting personal with Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand is an extremely talented and amazing author. He has a wicked sense of humor and is guaranteed to make you laugh. He has a way of writing that I love and was recommended to me by a good friend. My friend knows his books and good writing! I highly encourage you to read his books. You will not regret it for a second. He has a passion for writing that burns brightly and is evident in his books. He is a great author and one I’m super proud to know. Please welcome Jeff Strand to Roadie Notes…….

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

Wow, I don’t even remember! Really young. My first published story was when I was about 12 or so, since our local newspaper (The Daily News Miner) had an occasional section where they’d publish stories by kids.

2. How many books have you written?

Twenty-three novels, two collaborative novels, seven novellas, and two short story collections.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

Nope! That doesn’t mean I’d write a wacky comedy about concentration camps, but there are no subjects that I automatically reject.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’m 45. Married for 19 years. No kids. No other job except for doing dishes and scooping kitty litter and taking out the trash and stuff.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

My latest: Blister.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

Reading a lot as a kid. There was no one book that changed my life; I was just a voracious reader and wanted to do it myself. Daily newspaper comic strips were also a huge inspiration, though I eventually realized that I can’t draw.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Read, watch movies, go out to dinner with friends, and go to writers’ conferences.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

By the time I finish a book, I’m usually so far behind on everything else that there’s no time for a tradition. I just sigh with relief and get back to work.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I usually write on my back porch, though right now it’s summer in Florida so I have to do it with two fans blasting right on me. I almost never write with music; it’s gotta be quiet!

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Nah. I’m always trying to get better, and I’ll read books by really great authors and think, “Oh, yeah, I forgot that I suck!” but there’s nothing I’d change about my style.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Rich AND famous writer!

12. Where do you live?

Tampa, Florida.

13. Pets?

An extremely large cat named Chaos.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Doing blog interviews, of course.

You can connect with Jeff here:

http://www.jeffstrand.com/

 

image

 

As always, thank you Jeff for letting us get to know you better! It has been a pleasure and honor to do an interview with you! I wish you continued success and much happiness.

Getting personal with Jim Goforth

Jim is an incredibly talented man and one that I’m very proud to call my friend.  He has written many great books and if you haven’t read one go get one right now….go on! His writing will absolutely blow your mind. He is a devoted family man who loves his wife and children with all his heart. I have many good friends that attribute their writing and where it is today because of him and his help. That says a lot about him. He is never one to shy away from a challenge or the task at hand and will keep you on the edge of your seat reading his stories. Please welcome my friend Jim to Roadie Notes………

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

Extremely young. I started reading early and not long after that I was writing my own stories. I was usually the one in school who wrote that offbeat or bizarre monster tale the teacher would choose to read out to the rest of the class. Even back then I guess I had a taste for horror, because those kinds of elements were prevalent even in my initial forays into writing.

2. How many books have you written?

I’ve written Plebs, Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger, With Tooth and Claw (collection of short stories/novellas) and Plebs 2 (coming soon and does actually have another name-Plebs 2 is the subtitle) which are published/to be published. I also have another novel submitted with my publisher which has two separate titles because I haven’t yet decided which one I most want to run with.
I’ve also co-written collaborative novel Feral Hearts (along with Ed Cardillo, Mark Woods, Michael Fisher, Catt Dahman and Amanda Lyons).
I have a number of as yet unpublished novels including Spirit Storm, In the Darkest Hour, Carnival of Chaos/Festival of Flesh and quite a few unfinished ones on the back burner, as well as the three I’m currently working on.
In addition to that I have stories in several anthologies including Rejected For Content: Splattergore, Rejected For Content 2: Aberrant Menagerie, Terror Train, Teeming Terrors, Suburban Secrets: A Neighborhood of Nightmares, Ghosts: An Anthology of Horror From the Beyond, Tales from the Lake Vol. 2, Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers, Doorway to Death: An Anthology From the Other Side, MvF: Death Personified, Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories For the Wicked Soul, Axes of Evil and Floppy Shoes Apocalypse (now out of print).
I’m also the editor for the Rejected Content anthology series (taking over the reins after Splattergore), having been responsible for Volumes 2, 3 and 4.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

There isn’t anything yet that I’ve considered not approaching in my writing. I think that depending on how one approaches particular subject matter, especially if it is taboo, controversial or liable to be offensive or set off triggers, nothing should really be left off the table. This is particularly true for a horror writer. After all horror is horrific, it aims to disturb, to frighten and to unnerve and to engender responses in people, and steering clear of something just on the off-chance it might upset folks or kick up controversy tends to defeat the purpose of being a horror writer. There are ways to approach any topic at all, without just throwing it out there for shock value or cheap thrills, or trying to come across extreme without a solid story to validate it. Technically, I haven’t written about everything under the sun as yet, so there may come a point where I encounter subject matter I’d be loath to explore in writing, but for now I haven’t come across it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’m just about to hit forty, I’m happily married with two little kids (one daughter, one son) and a cat. I’m based in Australia, currently living on a nice and secluded farm in a little country town called Holbrook, after spending most of my adult life in Sydney.
I’m an extreme metal aficionado, horror fanatic, love rugby league and martial arts, reading and doing a spot of drawing.
Writing horror, editing and running WetWorks (the extreme horror imprint of J. Ellington Ashton press) is what I do; prior to that I was involved in the worldwide extreme metal community and working in the automotive industry, warehousing, forklift driving and that sort of thing for well over a decade.
During that time my wife and I were involved in the metal communities, we were running Black Belle Music which was essentially for the support and promotion of bands universally. This was predominantly aimed at underground acts, unknown or unsigned bands and that sort of thing. Reviews, interviews, distribution, gigs and festivals were among the things we used to do. Naturally, since I write horror fulltime, that no longer exists.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

I actually like them all in different ways, so it’s difficult to pick which one I’d call a favourite. Because I write the kinds of stories/books that I personally love to write, I’m not averse to reading them again after they’ve been published. I know plenty of authors don’t like to do that because they find things they’d like to change or things they could have done differently, and I have spotted things I’d probably redo myself, but ultimately holding your own book and reading it for pleasure, is vastly different to going over it in edits and the rest of the publishing process.
In any case, now I’ve completely derailed the question, I’ll go with Plebs as a favourite, mostly because I loved the characters and had a hell of a lot of fun tossing them into all kinds of situations. For what initially started life intended to be just a short story, it turned into a 600 page monster, because the more I wrote about these particular characters, the more I wanted to. It was one of those books where very little was planned at all and even I had no clue where the characters were going to take things, or how it was going to end. Which is pretty much the case with most of my books. I might have a conclusion imagined in my head, but it doesn’t always pan out that way.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

A lot of the horror authors I was reading as a kid were inspirational and influential in making me want to be a horror writer myself, though prior to that I dabbled in a whole bunch of different genres. I’d write fantasy, adventure, drama, urban, even western stuff, but it was when I really started becoming immersed in reading horror that I knew that’s what I most wanted to write. Graham Masterton, Robert McCammon, early Dean R. Koontz (with the R, not when he dropped it) and Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Dan Simmons, Joe Lonsdale were some of those who originally inspired me, though my first incursions into trying my hand at writing horror were a little derivative of all of these combined. In the early 90’s I discovered Richard Laymon and all of that changed. Reading his work made me realise I could write what I wanted, the way I wanted without attempting to write like anybody else or mimic any style. Laymon remains my chief influence and inspiration in writing to this day, though really I’ve always been inspired to write and that’s not something attributable to anybody or anything in particular. I just love to write.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Drink. A lot. Nah, not really, not any more in any case. I think I partially answered this above, but in addition to writing which is always fun for me, I love music, movies, playing with my kids, spending time with my wife, reading of course, drawing, just a lot of relaxing things in general. I used to go out a lot and go to metal concerts-at one stage back in the days of working in the metal communities, my wife and I used to put on gigs and festivals for local bands-but I don’t do a whole bunch of that any more either. Must go hand in hand with the drinking…

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

Not really no. Start another one, or move on to another project before coming back to the one I finished to have another look through it.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I used to write just about anywhere when I was in the habit of actually getting things down with pen and paper, but these days it’s all done right in front of my computer. I use a desktop rather than a laptop, which is part of the reason I get most of my writing done during the night. By day the kids are wanting to be around playing games or checking out websites related to school and whatnot, and since my daughter is starting to get really interested in reading, she tries to read everything onscreen over my shoulder. Most of what I write isn’t exactly the type of stuff a six-year-old should be reading yet.
While the computer itself remains a constant, there isn’t a whole bunch of rhyme or reason to the rest of the desk; random things will appear there-mostly due to small hands leaving toys lying around. Coffee is almost always prevalent, and right now I have a stack of notebooks, pens, a copy of Richard Laymon’s ‘No Sanctuary’, my tablet, external drives and an extra keyboard. In a day or so, that will be completely different.
I write with music or quiet, though I use the term quiet loosely. There’s generally always some kind of background noise, be it the television, kids, animals outside-the last couple of weeks have been a constant soundtrack of rain and wind-any manner of things, but none of that impacts on what I’m doing. When I’m writing, I’m writing and having utter silence or a blast of music makes little difference.
I often do choose to write with music playing, either something suitable to match the tone of the various scenes I’m writing or to set specific moods, or simply to accompany what I love to do with the music I love to hear. For the most part if writing to music, it’s a soundtrack of extreme metal (primarily black and death metal; anybody who has read Undead Fleshcrave will have a fair idea of the sorts of bands I love), though not exclusively. Sixties rock, industrial, horrorcore, blues, glam/hair metal, thrash, hard rock, some dance and many others often come into play. It all depends on whether I’m after something specific to match the tone of what I’m writing or I just want familiar albums cranking in the background. The majority of my music tastes might be impossible for some folks to fathom having on whilst writing, but what might be aggressive noise to them is relaxing and inspiring to me.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

No, not particularly. Of course there are always things I’m learning-one never stops learning-and things I need to be mindful of, such as cutting down the length of some of my sentences, but as a general rule, I like how it’s progressing. Ideally, I would be writing a whole lot more than I already am, but there’s never enough hours in the day.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Well my dream from a young age was to be a horror writer and I’m there now, so it’s safe to say that dream has been achieved. Career longevity, a large body of work and managing to get around the world and attend some conventions are goals to aim for at this point in time.

12. Where do you live?

I must keep pre-empting these questions. This one is covered in question number four!

13. Pets?

One cat commonly known as Eury (an abbreviation of his full name-he’s named after two ex-members of the black metal band Mayhem) who likes to think he’s my editor. Since I currently reside on a farm, there’s a whole bunch of animals around that have appointed themselves adopted pets of sorts as well. A chicken that thinks she’s a dog or something, a trio of horses, the list goes on…

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Everything. But more appropriately, storytelling. I just love to create stories. Writing is fun to me, it’s relaxing, it’s something I love to do. I can’t envision me not writing in some  capacity.

 

you can connect with Jim here:

http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Goforth/e/B00HXO3FRG/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
https://www.facebook.com/JimGoforthHorror

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7777382.Jim_Goforth
https://jimgoforthhorrorauthor.wordpress.com/
https://plus.google.com/+JimGoforth/
https://www.facebook.com/PlebsHorror
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rejected-For-Content/1601557196779520
https://www.facebook.com/WetWorksJEA
http://www.jellingtonashton.com/jim-goforth.html
http://www.crystallakepub.com/jim-goforth.php

Thank you Jim for letting us get to know you better. I wish you all the best and loads of success! I’m proud to call you my friend!!

Getting personal with Christine Sutton

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I started writing stories when I was about nine years old. Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories. I was always an avid reader, and from the first real book I read, I knew I wanted to be an author.
2. How many books have you written?
I currently have around ten titles available. I write short stories and novellas, as well as full length novels.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not that I have a problem with it, but I am incapable of writing romance, I’ve tried, I just can’t do it. As far as off limit topics, I don’t have any at the moment. If the story calls for it, I’ll write it.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
No problem. I am 41 years old, and I will be celebrating my 20th anniversary in November of 2016. I don’t have any children, but I am a serious cat person. I do currently have another job, but continue to try my hardest to make writing my full-time career.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
That is a really hard question! I love all of my books. If I didn’t, I would never put them out. I do have an extra soft spot for my Burkheart Witch Saga, and my collections, Grave Secrets and Evil Within.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve had many inspirations, from teachers to famous authors. I was probably most inspired by Stephen King. From an early age, I spent most days glued to one of his books, lost in whatever world he had created within its pages. I developed an enduring love for horror.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
I read a lot. I love spending time with friends and family. I have a definite affinity for the ocean, and I love to go fishing and boating. I like to gamble, attend shows and concerts, visit museums, go shopping, camping. I paint and sculpt. A little bit of everything.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I usually take a night out for myself and my husband. A date night, I guess. A nice dinner, a glass of wine, maybe a movie. And then a marathon sleep.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I usually write while spread out on my bed. When I really get down to it, I sit at my kitchen table. I’m not really able to write in complete silence. I like to have music, either with headphones or playing in the background. I listen to a mix of current pop/rock tunes, with a heavy concentration of classic rock.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I would definitely like more time to do it. My writing is always changing and evolving. I am
forever finding ways to improve my craft and become a better writer. I’m something of a
perfectionist, but I know writing is art, and by definition, art is never perfect. That doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying, though.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I want to make a living doing what I love. I don’t need to necessarily be famous, but I would love to be able to focus all of my energy on my passion.
12. Where do you live?
I am a Central California girl, born and raised.
13. Pets?
Not currently. If possible, I would have many cats, maybe a dog, and a huge aquarium full of fish. My ultimate pet would definitely be a pet otter. I would name him Oliver.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Being able to craft and create people and worlds out of thin air. I love the challenge of making my characters so real that people reading my books laugh with them, cry when they are hurt, care about their lives. I want people to consider my characters real. If I can do that, I’m happy.

As always, I wish you all the best and loads of success! Thanks for letting us get to know you better!

You can connect with Christine here:

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Sutton/e/B005NNAKAE/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSuttonAuthor/

Web: http://christinesutton.webs.com/

 

image

Getting personal with Matt Shaw

I became friends with Matt Shaw several years ago. He is very smart and extremely talented. He loves animals and his amazing wife. He has a brilliant mind and can create anything your heart dreams of from personal stories to mind-blowing graphic horror. He has a flair for story telling unlike most anyone I know. He will help a new author or one that has been around for ages. He will kill me for saying this but my favorite book he has written is The Missing Years of Thomas Pritchard. So different from the normal Shaw books. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it and any of Matt’s books. If you don’t know Matt please take some time and connect with him. Please welcome Matt Shaw to Roadie Notes…….

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I was 12. My old man threw his back out (good, hope it hurt) during the summer holidays and couldn’t do anything. Because I was a nice son who loved his old man (how times change) I stayed home nearly every day of those summer holidays to look after him. We played board games, chatted, watched films… Those were good times. However, he was on really heavy medication for the pain which would occasionally make him sleep. This was when I was writing. I would be up in the bedroom with my mum’s typewriter bashing away. God knows how many words it was but it was a pretty big book. It was also completely shit but it didn’t stop me from sending it off and getting my first batch of rejections. I even remember the first line: What in the Greek Buggery Bollocks is this? I’m telling you – I should have won an award… Oh, and as for the rejection, they were really nice and encouraged me to stay in school. Their polite way of saying, ‘This was shit. You need school.’

2. How many books have you written?

No idea. Short stories, novellas, novels… It’s over 150.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

Not any more. I once said no animal cruelty but my new book features it. Before you turn off, I shall explain. It’s called “For the Animals” and it is about a man going after assholes who hurt animals. You know – those dickheads we see in Facebook videos where they’re kicking dogs, or something? What they do to the animals – they get back onto them ten-fold. It is going to be brutal.

The problem is, I’m known for extreme horror. I’ve killed babies, animals, women, men, children… The moment you start self-censoring is the moment you lose the game really. We, in extreme horror, need to push boundaries. The important thing, though, is to ensure it has a story attached. Don’t just throw stuff in there to shock people. It is boring.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I do this full-time and have for 4 years. It’s good but also hard. Sales start slumping and you end up panicking and working really long hours to keep things moving along nicely. You’ll notice I have at least one release a month. Sometimes more, never less.

I am 35 years old going on 50, married to Marie and fuck all kids thank God. We do have pets though; three rats (who are so old they’re going bald), one cat and a ten week old pug who is a complete cunt

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

The Missing Years of Thomas Pritchard or Sick B*stards. Completely different genres but I love them for different reasons. There is a lot of heart in The Missing Years but Sick B*stards got me my career. Can’t knock that.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I wanted to make films. I wanted to write scripts, direct them and even act in them. The problem is – to do that you need money. I had loads of stories in my head though so they had to come out one way… Stories! It wasn’t just a case of picking up the pen and writing them though – it started because I was seeing a shrink due to anger issues. They encouraged me to write my thoughts down and I ended up writing a book called Im Fine – my memoirs dealing with depression. It was such fun writing it that I turned Happy Ever After from screenplay to novel. And so I had the bug. I gradually started translating all my old screenplays to stories.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I do extreme stuff and pretend it is business related to ensure I can claim it as business expenses. It’s easy – you book it, get home and write a book and “boom” – it’s a business expense (insert smiley face here). The last one I did was an eight-day trek across the Arctic using Huskies and sleds (wrote the book Broken about it). It was actually Hell on earth. In a few months I am doing the Inca Trail. Not sure what book I will be doing on that one yet and – then – next year I am booked in to White Water Raft down The Zambezi River. Again, haven’t decided on the book to write about it but… I’ll think of something!

The rest of the time I am in the house working hard. Occasionally I might get to go to the cinema (just watched The BFG, Tarzan and Suicide Squad – loved them all). Oh – and I like climbing. I go bouldering twice a week.

I also work as a rent boy.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
I tend to book three hookers and buy several massive bags of cocaine. We snort and fuck all night – not necessarily in that order. Okay, that was a lie. I tend to load a new document and start the next book. Sometimes I might play a computer game but I get bored after ten minutes and want to start writing again.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?

You made a typo. You said “Quite” instead of “quiet”. Now, I was going to correct it but I thought I would leave it there so if I make one and someone moans, I can point this out to them too. Simple! I write in the living room, on the sofa with feet up on the coffee table. I hate the quiet. I have the television on in the background – funnily enough I am watching Friends as I write this. Other times it is Judge Rinder or Jeremy Kyle. Nothing sensible – just something to kill the silence and not be too much of a distraction.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Nope. I write pulp fiction and I am happy with that. My work is evolving as I continue anyway but you can still see “me” in it, if that makes sense. I don’t want to be too wordy, I don’t want to be pretentious. I just want readers to have fun when they’re reading my stuff.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I’m living the dream at the moment. I have work being translated to other languages (Korean, German, French), I have film options sold, I have a graphic novel being made, I have cuddly toys based on my work… I’m having fun!

12. Where do you live?

Here.

13. Pets?

A wife.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Getting away from “me”. I get to be someone else. I get to kill people time and time again and not have to get raped in prison (I am way too pretty for prison).

I try to offer readers a good deal with my work. 99.9% of my work is available on Kindle Unlimited but now I have also gone over to Patreon. It’s an ongoing crowdfunding type site where people can support you to carry on what you’re doing. I’ve set this up but I’ve done it in a way that readers can get a short story every month (plus loads more content) for only $1.00. Can’t beat that for value! For $5.00 they get two short stories and a novella a month before it is released to Amazon! I’m not sure if it is the way to go in the future but – it’s a way of offering readers something even more than if they just bought my work on Amazon.

Also – really excited about a new book I am writing on. It’s not an anthology but it does feature other authors! Called “The Devil’s Guests” it features guest chapters from authors who introduce a character that my character kills in part two of the book. The authors so far? Wrath James White, David Moody, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jasper Bark, Gary McMahon, Jeff Strand, Wade H. Garrett, Ryan Harding, Shane McKenzie, Armand Rosamilia and an introduction from Joe Mynhardt (Crystal Lake Publishing). And – if that wasn’t enough – I have bonus short stories from other authors too…. Watch this space!
You can connect with Matt here:

http://www.facebook.com/mattshawpublications

http://www.mattshawpublications.co.uk

https://www.patreon.com/TheMattShaw

 

As always, thank you for letting us get to know you better. I wish you continued success and much happiness my friend. May all your dreams come true!

Getting personal with Dean Samed

Dean Samed is an amazing man, artist and just and all around good guy. He does amazing book covers and has beautiful artwork. If you haven’t seen anything he has done then you must check him out. He has done artwork for Stephen King and Jay Bonansinga the author of the Walking Dead to name a few. He has traveled the world and has a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt. I highly recommend getting to know him better. You won’t be sorry you did. Please welcome Dean Samed…..

 

 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the horror artwork industry.

Hey team, my name is Dean Samed, and I’m a professional cover artist from the UK. I’m a lifelong ‘horror’ illustrator, but took up the mantle professionally in my mid-20s, when the e-publishing boom really took off – previously my client work had been in urban dance music.

Horror is my first and greatest love, so to have the market open up in such a way, has pretty much been a dream come true.

2. How has the horror community at large received your work and what impact has it had?

I was very fortunate to jump in during the early days of ‘Post-Apocalyptic Fiction’, when Zombie / Survival Horror books were selling like wildfire. As a true-blue Horror aficionado, I like to think I bring a specialist understanding to the table, as opposed to the horror covers handled by generalist graphic designers.

I have been extremely humbled by the response to my work, and it gives me a real buzz to hear from my authors that my rebranding for their covers has exploded their sales figures. When all is said and done, that’s the name of the game – capturing the imagination of our customers, and shifting units for my authors.

3. What’s the one piece you’re most proud of? Where do you think your work shines most: book covers, posters, t-shirts?

I do have lots of favourites, but I will always have a soft spot for the Lucid cover art, that I did for Walking Dead author Jay Bonansinga. Book cover art is illustrative design – you need to find unity between illustrative and typographic elements, whilst maintaining a sense of compositional and narrative impact. I like to think we hit that balance well with the Lucid cover.

As I’m a book cover designer, I’d say my current style of work, works best in that format. Down the line, we shall see…

4. What scares you? How do these fears inspire your work?

For me, Horror / Macabre Art is a celebration of the unknown. Many of the great mysteries in life are being systematically solved by modern science, so I’m interested in the peripheries, the primordial anxieties, the uncertainty of mortality and what lays beyond.

Violence is in our DNA, and is a driving force of the universe. I like to explore the beauty in the carnage.

In terms of what scares me… not a lot really. Traditional boogeymen, and the such, I’m unperturbed – but ‘Body Horror’, the idea of losing your humanity / beauty (like David Cronenberg’s The Fly), now that DOES wig me out!!

5. Where would you like to see the horror genre take you?

Whilst I absolutely adore working with my clients in the publishing industry, at some point I’d like to exclusively work on my own narrative concepts, in a greater fine art / contemporary sense.

As we’ve seen with Jake and Dinos Chapman, there’s plenty of scope for transgressive / uncompromising art in the contemporary sphere. I would love to share my own concepts with an international audience, beyond the remit of genre fiction.

6. What’s the most difficult part of creating? Is there a subject you refuse to touch?

I’d say the most difficult part of creating, is being ready to rock, every second of every working today. Art is a very cerebral pursuit, and sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it – developing the lifestyle and strategies to overcome that challenge has definitely taken some work.

I’ve never received a horror concept that I’ve turned down… and I’ve had some right crazy ones!! Conjoined twins, paraplegic sex-torture victims, sadomasochistic daemons, and a selection of medical-fetish works are a few of the more risqué concepts I’ve worked with.

The only time I’ve felt uneasy, is when I’ve done graphic design for action / political intrigue books that have a strong right-wing slant. They are the only subjects I’d refuse to work on, in the future.

7. You’ve done art for Stephen King and Clive Barker books, among many others. How did it feel the first time you were contacted for those projects? Has the novelty worn off?

Both of those A-list gigs came very early in my professional horror career, and both were the result of my personal fan-art being discovered.

Clive Barker is my all-time favourite author, so for me that was an incredibly intense / rewarding experience. I had tagged him in a tweet, sharing my ‘Female Cenobite’ piece, and he responded personally – asking if I’d like to illustrate some covers for the Hellraiser: Darkwatch series. Took me a while to come down from the high of that one!!

In regards to my Stephen King gigs, which I am / was equally stoked about, my ‘Dark Tower’ fan art was discovered online by the french publishers J’ai Lu, and they invited me to illustrate the entire Dark Tower series for the french markets. That process has been an absolute blast, and it’s been a true pleasure illustrating for ‘The King’.

8. Any advice for those who want to create their own dark-themed art?

If you’d like to produce dark-themed art professionally, you must be active, and you must be visible. Develop a personal brand across multiple platforms. A unique slant, process or aesthetic will make you a ‘one-of-a-kind’, and more desirable to prospective clients.

If you treat the pursuit like a hobby, you’ll get hobby results – and that’s a universal truth across all disciplines. If you treat it like a business, grind daily and attack your pursuit with tenacity and volition, then the world is truly your oyster.

9. Who or what are your influences? What do you do in your spare time, if you have any?

I’m inspired by a whole smorgasbord of influences, including the fantasy world-building of Clive Barker, Esoterica / the Occult, Lloyd Kaufman’s anarchic Troma films, French Extreme Wave cinema, Cyberpunk, soundtrack music / electronica and Vertigo comic books.

Outside of my nerdy pursuits, I like to lift weights, watch MMA, go to Drum n Bass raves, music festivals, and general beast-like partying!!

10. How do you make fear beautiful?

For me, the beauty comes from elegance. Whilst the undertones are violent, the muted tones, poise or sombre delivery can elevate a concept from gratuitous to refined. Find the poetry in the supine pose, and inject it with filth. It’s a delicate balance, and the reason why I find this genre so intriguing.

 

As always Dean, thank you for letting us get to know you better. I wish you all the happiness and success there is to have in life. You are amazing my friend.