Over the past 6 months or so I have had the chance to get to know an amazing man, author and daddy. It has been my pleasure to read his books and see him sign with Matt Shaw to help futher his writing career. If you have not had a change to grab one of his books then do so immediately! This is the interview as follows…
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first
I’m not sure of the exact age, but I think I must have been around thirteen or so. We were asked at high school to write a short story of around five or so pages. I filled two notebooks with mine. It was a story of a man, recently broken up with his partner, who heads out into the wilds of Scotland to spend some time in nature. He sets up camp at a remote loch, and as night falls, all hell breaks loose. It was pretty violent, and a mean-spirited little number.
It wasn’t accepted by my teacher and I had to write something much shorter and much less fun. I’m sure I still have it somewhere.
2. How many books have you written?
Let’s see…there’s the two books in the Consumed series, Devil’s Day, Aftertaste, Where The Dead Ones Play. Five in total, with two new ones on the way in the coming month.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
I’ll write about anything, no matter how upsetting it may be to write or to read, if it’s right for the story. Art should have no taboos, though there are ways to approach certain subjects or situations that are respectful of them. I write very dark books, but I temper much of the violence and horror with black humour. I like to laugh in the face of darkness, but there are times when my work can be very sombre, very serious.
It depends on the novel, and the situation. Horror can, and often is, entertaining, but on occasion, it should cut deep, really hurt. So when approaching situations that push the envelope, and can be potentially offensive in all the wrong ways, the tone is all-important.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind
answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m 40 years old. I’m not married but I am in a wonderful relationship with a great woman. I have one daughter, she’s four, who lives in the USA with her mother and who visits as often as possible. We’re constantly on Skype, hanging out, watching Scooby-Doo and acting the fool. She’s my world. As for work, I write full time these days, and I’m setting up a creative writing class in the community, where I can share what I’ve learned and hopefully point kids in the right direction. I used to work as a Youth Project Worker, so I’m right at home facing a battalion of the vicious little animals.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Damn, I’m pretty fond of them all.
Damn, that’s a tough question. When you write a book, it takes time, and it becomes as much a part of your life for that time period as the people in your world. It comes to represent stages in your life, growth, good times and dark times. I don’t ever read my own work, but the very existence of the books is akin to having wonderful photos of your kid that are too damn precious to look at without welling up.
All that aside, if I detach myself emotionally and if I HAD to pick one or be punched in the crotch, I’d have to go with Devil’s Day, for the character Emma. I do believe the female lead in my new novel is the best character I’ve ever written, but as it’s not out yet, that would be cheating.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve always been into the arts. I’ve played in bands, studied music and design and I was a playwright and a reviewer for a number of years. Writing fiction has always been the dream, but I had no idea I was capable of doing it. It’s an art form in which one project consumes you for a prolonged stretch of time. It was a very daunting thing to contemplate, back in the day. The idea of creating worlds from nothing seemed impossible.
Of course, I’d always wanted to write, having read Laymon, Ketchum, Lee and Lovecraft, among many others, my whole life. Books have always been my sanctuary, and it’s the art form I respect the most. Even more so now I know the heart and soul it takes. Self-doubt kept me away from writing for decades, but eventually the pull became too strong. Who wouldn’t want to create worlds and play in them with abandon? When I write, the world is what I make it. That’s a very liberating thing.
As for the who…the first writer I read was Stephen King, so that must have played a huge part, but the little kid who wrote that first, (and last for twenty plus years) story was madly in love with Richard Laymon. The man that kid became still loves Laymon every bit as much as he did all those years ago.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I’m a pretty laid back guy. I enjoy walking, be it in nature or taking in new cities or cultures. I like to explore derelict buildings and historical sights, too. I really like to let my imagination drift back to the past and try to take in the mood of each place.
I enjoy reading and the cinema, of course, and I’m an avid gamer and have been since I was a boy. As a Scotsman, I also enjoy debauchery in any form, as long as it’s disgraceful.
8. And traditions you do when you finish a book?
Usually, when I finish a book, I’ll have a sense of elation that’s incredible. That elation will then lead me straight to the nearest beer and the psychedelic music will be turned up to 11. I always cut loose after hitting the finish line.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I write anywhere and everywhere. I have a caravan sat atop the cliffs in Ayr where I love to work, but I’m happy sat at home with my feet up and a coffee by my side. Music certainly inspires my writing, as it does everything in my life, but I don’t always listen to it when working. On occasion I do, depending on the vibe I need to pull from the air, but most times I have old black and white B-movies from the 40s-50s on in the background when I work. They keep me company, and keep my mood playful.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I’d like to have a more regimented writing timetable, but only in theory. In reality, for me, art has always been something that is at its core both organic and soulful. I have to feel it before I can express it. It would be nice to write a set amount of words per day, but it’s not in my nature. There’ll be intense weeks of obsessive work and sometimes whole weeks with nary a word. I don’t force it. I allow the ideas to nestle in my brain a while before I share them, and when I write, I lose myself.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’ve never cared about fame nor fortune. Those are tenets of success to many, but they don’t fit into my worldview. My taste in music is underground, my taste in literature is underground. I only want to create the best art I can and hopefully allow people to lose themselves for a while, have fun and leave the world behind for a pleasurable alternative.
It was always said of The Velvet Underground that only twenty people heard their record, but those twenty people all formed equally influential bands. That sounds about right for me. I’ll take artistic integrity and honesty over monetary gain any day of the week.
Success to me, in the professional sense, means forging my own path, remaining authentic and reaching the right audience with a library that is as uncompromising.
12. Where do you live?
I live in Scotland, just outside the city centre. I love it here. The people are amazing, the culture is fantastic and the nightlife is second to none. I’m surrounded by amazing people who constantly inspire me. I also live inside my own head, which is nowhere near as warm and welcoming as Scotland.
I have a cat called Gandi, who’s an absolute shithead, but whom for some strange reason I happen to love, and my partner came with a cat called Milo, who is basically the hedonism-bot from Futurama. One cat, (mine), is a rough n tumble street urchin who needs a slap. The other (hers) is a well-raised and well-mannered cat-about-town.
I’m not sure what this says about my partner and I.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I never plan my books out. I have the seed of an idea and then I begin. I like to let my characters live and breathe and act as they see fit. This always leads to me having no idea how they will act or react to any given situation and when that happens, it’s an amazing feeling. They exist fully-formed, and they do what they damn well please. I just hop along for the ride, and it’s exhilarating.
Anything else you would like me to include please feel to tell me
I’d just like to thank you for this chance to chat. It’s been fun, Becky. I’d also like to give a shout out to all my writer friends and to my readers…they’re a sexy bunch of misfits, indeed!
My books are available on kindle here –
And you can find me making a fool of myself on Facebook here –
Thanks again, Becky.
Kyle as always it is my pleasure to talk to you. I even learned some new things about you today. I wish you continued success and lots of time to spend with that beautiful daughter of yours! You are a diamond!