Getting personal with Ash Hartwell

Ash Hartwell was born in Maine in the USA but grew up in England where he still lives with his wife and four children. He has worked in retail management and as an intensive care nurse. He now breeds Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Ragdoll Cats with his wife, Nicki while writing his twisted tales of horror. He had his first collection of stories published in 2015 and has just completed his first novel which will be published by Stitched Smile Publications during late summer 2017. He has also written for a large number of anthologies including Rejected For Content 3, Full Moon Slaughter, and Monsters v Zombies to name a few. He is currently writing his second novel and his first novella and will shortly appear in The Black Room Manuscripts 3.
Ash Hartwell is a Fictioneer and member of a number of horror related Facebook groups, he is also a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association.

Please welcome Ash Hartwell to Roadie Notes…….

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

I wrote a handful of flash fiction in my late thirties but didn’t really write my first serious story until I was about 42. I enjoyed creative writing at school although I think I scared my English teachers too much for them to want to encourage me.

2. How many books have you written?

Tip of the Iceberg is my first novel but in 2015 I had a collection of short stories published. Zombies, Vamps and Fiends contained ten stories covering several genres of horror. Several of the stories have since been republished in other anthologies.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

Yes, the usual taboos surrounding children and animals. Although, I try not to include scenes purely to shock I do like to disturb the reader.

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

I’m 49 and married to the most inspirational woman I have ever met. Nicki is also Wiccan so corrects me on some witchy facts were needed. We have four kids although the youngest is in his last year of school so they are almost all grown up. I used to be an intensive care nurse but I work from home now.

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

Tip of the Iceberg. It has taken so long to get the factual elements correct and blend them with a fictional story line. Off and on it has taken four years to complete.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I read James Herbert as a teen and Richard Laymon in my twenties, as horror writers they inspired my love of the genre. My late grandmother instilled the writing bug in me when I was very young but it took a long time to find its way out, and when it did it was because of Nicki. She told me to stop talking about it and do it.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I spend time with the family or, when time permits, going to watch football. When I can I obviously like to read. Mostly horror – Adam Nevill and Joe Hill top the list at present.

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

No. Just a huge sigh of relief.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?

I have a study where I dump my notes and research in a million unlabeled and disorganized note books but I mostly write with music or the tv on in the background.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Not really in style. You write the way you write and should never change it but I do read stories from other writers and think “I wish I’d thought of that.”

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I write because I enjoy it. If fame came knocking I wouldn’t shut the door in its face but it’s not my motivation. My dreams focus more on family health and happiness, well, those that don’t become twisted tales of murder and mayhem!

12. Where do you live?

In a village in Northamptonshire, roughly in the middle of England.

13. Pets?

Yes. But too many to mention.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I find it relaxing, an escape from the everyday. The buzz of publication is also a great feeling.

15. What is coming next for you?

The Black Room Manuscripts will be published soon. It is an anthology I was invited to write for alongside Adam Nevill (see above) and a whole host of talented writers. I’m very proud of that. I’m writing a novella for Stitched Smile Publications at present and a short Christmas story for Burdizzo. A second novel is also in progress – set in Victorian England.

Before I wrote I was an Intensive Care Nurse so saw some gruesome injuries and horrific deaths and at times I bring those experiences to my writing.

You can connect with Ash Hartwell here:

Some of Ash Hartwell’s books:


Getting personal with Leo X Robertson


I’m a 28 year-old guy living in Oslo. If you live in Oslo too, send me a message, let’s hang out and talk about books!

I hope you enjoy my books*. I’d love to reach as wide an audience as possible, and YOU can help me out! Buy a book, write a review, spread the word in any way you like!! For example, my debut novel Findesferas is available to read for FREE. If you prefer, contact me directly and I’ll send you a copy in your ebook format of choice. For this I send you a stark, dry and Scandinavian joy 🙂

My lovely readers have compared my writing to that of Irvine Welsh, JG Ballard, Jonathan Lethem and Raymond Carver amongst others. I think of it as David Foster Wallace and John Waters’ demented genderless zygote, but it changes as I read and write new things


1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
Twenty-three. I wrote my first good one at twenty-four!
The earliest I can remember gaining a joy from writing something was when a friend and I added footnotes to our compositions in music class. I can still remember some of them:
“The music you have just played is carcinogenic. I advise you to seek immediate medical assistance.”
“While playing this section, don’t forget to enjoy yourself, leaning with the leaning notes and swaying with the rubatos. But don’t do both: two wrongs don’t make a right!”
My friend Anne came up with the best one, though: “In this passage, the left hand challenges the right into an almighty play off a la Brad Pitt in Fight Club.”
Also, when we wrote a critical essay in English about “Heart of Darkness,” I added a fake essay I’d written the night before, which was complete nonsense, including, “My best Heart of Darkness Top Trumps card is Marlow, but I can’t play with my friend because he has a Kurtz in his pack and nothing beats a Darkness rating of 92.”
2. How many books have you written?
Ten or eleven, maybe? I wish authors were more honest about that. Whenever I read about an author’s “debut novel”, I think, “Is it, though?” No, it isn’t. It’s the tenth or eleventh, I promise you! But who doesn’t love the allure of being an it-just-comes-out-like-that genius?
So I’m changing my answer: I’ve written two. Bonespin Slipspace (2016, Psychedelic Horror Press) and The Grimhaven Disaster (Unnerving, 2017.)
3. Anything you won’t write about?
It’s all fair game. I wouldn’t consciously write about anything in such a way that would compromise my job, or my relationships with friends or family. I don’t understand how there could be anything interesting for me to say that would do any of those things, and it’s never my intention.
There’s a lot I don’t yet know how to articulate, and there are things that currently make me feel ashamed to consider writing about. But I trust what I have to say will become clear, as it has in the past, and that I’ll take up these and all future tasks eventually.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
28, been married for 6 years, work as a process engineer helping to design offshore platforms. As a writer-slash-engineer, I’ve expanded the pool of social circles in which I don’t feel welcome.
No kids. My income goes towards books, beer, burgers and video games, and though I’ve heard otherwise, I can’t imagine having kids feels as good as that—so I probably shouldn’t have any.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Again, The Grimhaven Disaster and Bonespin Slipspace are pretty great.
I’m so happy Bonespin found its publisher, Psychedelic Horror Press. And later Unnerving will bring out an ebook of it, I think in November this year.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
At 22 I had a dream that I felt inspired to transcribe into the final chapter of what later became a novel. I then spent years after trying to develop the skills to tell that story properly—writing a whole bunch of others along the way. And now I’m hooked!
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Play video games, watch films, and read, of course! Reading has become a bit more complicated now that I’m a writer, because I’ve cranked up the number of hours per week, and the diet shifts more towards books I can learn from. I do my best to remember that fiction is a passion of mine, and to compromise that passion as little as possible when reading and writing—but I’m only human, and it does happen sometimes. Then I become resentful about the only activities that stop me from feeling resentful. I don’t know how that thought process untangles itself, just that it takes a long time.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Yes! I ungratefully go, “Is that it?”, instantly discount all the hard work I put into getting it into its final shape, bury myself in the next project without celebrating, burn out, irritate friends and family, repeat.
9. Where do you write? With quiet or music?
Most of the idea-capturing for later writing fuel comes from just before I go to sleep, from dreams, and from train rides.
When I write it’s a weekday, usually with music to drown out the less helpful voices. I sit at the high table in the kitchen. I don’t sit there for any other designated purpose—it’s not my flat and there are comfier places to eat or drink coffee!—so it’s a writing zone. I’ve always found “zones” helpful for productivity.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Sometimes I wish it would come out in a way that would pay my mortgage. But then I wouldn’t be expressing what’s inside of me. So maybe I wish my soul were the mortgage-paying shape! Maybe it will metamorphose one day. Would I want that, though, really? I don’t know.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’d like to start getting my novels published. Maybe an agent? That’s about as far into the future as is helpful for me to plan my goals—and not for lack of trying that I haven’t achieved either yet!
Every goal I achieve just gets absorbed instantly and I’m back to being restless. I’ve no reason to suspect that a future dream would stop that from happening. There’s always further to go. But I keep my vision to the one milestone ahead, and keep myself sane by always having things in future to look forward to.
12. Where do you live?
Currently in Oslo, Norway, though I’m from Glasgow in Scotland.
13. Pets?
One day I want at least one Gabe-type Pomeranian, to continue his amazing legacy:

RIP Gabe. We’ll always remember the borks.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The good days. When the words spill out of you eloquently, and you get excited at the idea of your latest story having readers when you finally finish it. I can’t maintain that feeling for two days in a row, even, let alone for a story the whole time I’m writing it. But it sure makes it all worth it when I feel it!
15. What is coming next for you?
Hopefully loads!
The Weirdpunk Books’ Zombie Punks Fuck Off anthology is hopefully due later this year, and Unnerving’s Hardened Hearts anthology comes out in December. That I recall, my story in that one, “Brothers”, is one of my best. Plus Unnerving’s editor-in-chief Eddie Generous has been working so hard to attract the best talent contemporary dark fiction has to offer. That he’s secured some of my own work should be evidence enough, but in case there were any doubts 😉
16. Any words of advice for others wanting to try their hand at writing?
Go for it! You have as much right as anyone to try. No one knows anything, so if it doesn’t hurt anyone, do whatever.

You can connect with Leo X. Robertson here:
leo.x.robertson [at] outlook [dot] com
Some of Leo X Robertson’s books:



Getting personal with Javan Bonds


HUNTSVILLE, AL – Like many young writers, Javan Bonds dreams almost daily of the apocalypse – usually one populated by the walking dead. But his real-life day-to-day existence is almost as challenging as the world of zombies and collapsing civilizations. Javan, now 30 years old, was diagnosed with Friedrich’s Ataxia, a form of muscular dystrophy, at the age of 11.
Today, Javan’s condition is growing progressively worse. He was 13 years old when he became wheelchair-bound; his sight has been diminishing since 2010 (he is now legally blind), and his hearing has been affected as well. “The summer before my senior year,” he says, “my heart started beating out of rhythm.” Diagnosed as atrial fibrillation, it eventually formed a blood clot. “I had to undergo a transesophageal cardioversion to shock my heart back into rhythm. I went from being a fat kid at 220 pounds to a waif at 120 pounds in just a few months. The class ring I got in my junior year was size 10; I currently wear a size 6.”
But Javan has never let his disability rule him. In spite of it all, he continues to “read” as many as five audio books every week, and with the help of adaptive technologies, as well as his friends and family, he continues to explore his own dark, dystopian worlds. His four current books, he says, are only the beginning.
Javan’s MD hasn’t slowed him down; quite the opposite. He has already written and published three books in his “Still Alive” zombie series – Zombie Lake, Zombie Island, and most recently Zombies on a Plane – as well as a grim near-future dystopian novel, Free State of Dodge, about the decline of the United States and its rebirth. And to hear him tell it … he’s just getting started.
“I’m a working author,” Javan says. “Though not starving as some are, I do try to watch my girlish figure.” He published his first book, Zombie Lake, in 2016, and has plans to publish a total of six books in the series by the end of 2017. His books have become Amazon best-sellers, praised for their humor as much as their action. The Still Alive series follows a group of survivors in a small Alabama town as they try to keep their wits about them and make a new life in a world overrun by naked, nocturnal, yellow-eyed, blue-skinned zombies. “Fun times,” Javan says. “Think Zombieland, just better.”
Meanwhile, his condition continues to deteriorate, and Javan is not shy in talking about it. “Things that were blurry a few years ago are nothing but flat blobs now,” he says. “My sensitivity to color is gradually fading and my depth perception is nonexistent. Reading has always been my escape; and it still is; only now I am limited to audiobooks.”
Yet the stories keep coming. “For some time, I enclosed myself in a bubble of depression and bitterness, only viewing the world through eyes that could no longer really see it. In December 2015, I entered the hospital, holding over 30 pounds of water weight. The doctors gave me six months to two years to live.” But it was that pronouncement that changed everything. “In that moment,” he said, “I decided that if I was going, I would leave something of myself behind to be remembered.”
Free State of Dodge was released in May of 2016. The first of the Still Alive series would soon follow and was published at the end of 2016. Today, he says, “I am doing everything in my power to not let my disease keep me from living my life to the fullest.” And he has these words for other stricken by a life-shortening illness: “Live your life. Light your candle on both ends and let it burn. It may burn out faster, but your flame will burn brighter than some who live much longer.”


Please welcome Javan Bonds to Roadie Notes……….

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

I started writing Free State of Dodge, my first published work, back in 2010. Amazingly, I was not inspired to write until after I started going blind. I finally got that book published, after a stay in the hospital and a diagnosis of “six months to two years to live,” in 2015.
The first story I wrote though, was penned decades before that. My mom was going through some things in the attic and found a story I wrote in kindergarten. It had something to do with a sad Tyrannosaurus rex meeting and becoming friends with a Stegosaurus. I was surprised to discover that I actually used quotation marks correctly!

2. How many books have you written?
There is Free State of Dodge, my first novel, a post-apocalyptic dystopian book following a small town after a series of nationwide terrorist attacks. Next comes my zombie apocalypse series set as a first-person journal, Still Alive. It includes Zombie Lake, Zombie Island, and Zombies on a Plane. I am currently finishing up a short story for an anthology that is slated to be titled Terrors of the Mind. You can expect Zombie Oasis, the fourth volume of Still Alive, to be released in the coming months. My mind has not seen an end to that series, I am already working on several more books in the series and there will be more to the story, indefinitely. I hope to one day return to the Dodge universe and would like to write other stories, my focus is just on my zompoc series at the moment.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
From my books it is easy to tell that I will talk about almost anything. I’m fairly honest and casually profane. In one of my future zombie books, I kill a main protagonist, writing that scene was heartbreaking and I cried like a baby the entire time. I don’t think I would ever be able to write erotica, but I realize that I can be pretty romantic in my writing when the occasion presents itself.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m thirty years old. I know that sounds pretty young, but my mom told me there were gray hairs in my goatee the other day.
I’m not married or in a romantic relationship and have no children. I would like to get married and pop out a couple of kids one day. Here’s hoping I become a bestseller. My brother and his wife did just have their first daughter, so I’m a proud uncle.
I have never had a real, eight hours a day, forty hours a week job. The doctors diagnosed me with Friedrichs Ataxia at age 11. Spinal surgery to correct sclerosis was my first trial that year. Walking with a cane for a couple of years, I became fully wheelchair-bound by the age of thirteen. There was not a time I don’t remember being functionally deaf, but hearing is not a problem with one other person in a small room. My heart started beating out of rhythm (atrial fibrillation), a blood clot formed in my left ventricle, and I almost died at seventeen. I lost nearly 100 pounds in just a few months. Soon after that, I became diabetic and insulin-dependent within the next year. Things seem to level off for a few years and I didn’t do anything but waste time. In 2010, I started slowly going completely blind. I was forced to give up watching TV, movies, and began reading audio books constantly. Because my only form of entertainment was reading, I was urged to write my own story. I began writing casually and then things took a turn for the worse. In 2015, I was retaining over 30 pounds of water weight and my heart was barely functioning. Being given less than two years on this earth drove me to get my books published and write like a demon. I have since published four books and I’m hoping to get many more out there. The doctors gave me some really good news a few months ago. The time limit of two years no longer applies.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Zombies on a Plane is my favorite published work. Keeping the humor in my books is my top priority. There are scenes in that book that I find hilarious. Mark Tufo must’ve thought I did a pretty good job on the humor, he said it was “damn funny” in the foreword.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
After Reading 3 to 4 audio books every week in 2010, my dad came to me with a proposal. “You’ve been doing all this reading, you probably have a story in your head to put down.” “Yeah. I do.” was my only response. I started writing Free State of Dodge Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. A couple of years went by of working on that, and I read the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo. That series is the reason Still Alive exists.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
I honestly have fun publicizing my books. I guess because I have had basically no ambition to do anything throughout my life, it is fun to finally be moving forward. Of course I love reading zompoc. I occasionally drink a little liquor with a very small group of friends.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
The first thing I do when I finish a book is start another one. I refuse to be idle. That’s amazing. Ten years ago, I was nothing but idle.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I must have my silence when I write. I tried listening to music, but since I only listen to songs I know, I’m always anticipating the next word and music is nothing but a hindrance. I even tried listening to classical because I always heard it’s supposed to somehow help the creative process. It does not.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
As soon as I have a chance, I want to reedit and re-release Free State of Dodge as the beginning of a trilogy. I also want to reedit Zombie Lake. The more I write, the more I seem to evolve. At least at the beginning, you will notice a lot of stupid structural mistakes that I am pretty anal about now.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I would love to be a famous writer. If I could do more than simply scratch out a meager existence, I would be beyond happy. Until now, it never seemed possible, but my dream has always been to get married and carry on my name. Like the quote at the beginning of Zombie Lake says, I won’t be forgotten when I’m dead and rotten, because I have written something worth reading, and this interview proves I have done something worth the writing.

12. Where do you live?
My books will tell you that much. I live in Marshall County, Alabama.

13. Pets?
I have a dog. His half black lab, half great Pyrenees, and his name is Chewbacca. He is enormous and hairy the name fits him to a T.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is also my favorite thing about reading. Because I can no longer see, actions can be described in a book so that the reader can see it with the mind’s eye. It is beyond fun to be able to describe something and see it play out as if it were a movie.

15. What is coming next for you?
The fourth volume of Still Alive will be released hopefully within the coming months, Zombie Oasis. I’m already working on books to continue the series. If everything goes right, I should be able to release 4, 5, and 6 before the end of 2017.

Links to his books on Amazon:
Zombie Lake:
Zombie Island:
Zombies on a Plane:
Free State of Dodge:
Javan on social media:
Author page on Facebook:
The Official Javan Bonds Fan Page:
Still Alive Series on Facebook:


Getting personal with Chris Roy

Chris Roy was raised in South Mississippi, in the midst of ugly Gulf Coast beaches and spectacular muddy bayous.

Chris lived comfortably with the criminal ventures of his youth until a fistfight in 1999 ended tragically. Since January, 2000, he’s been serving a life sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Nowadays he lives his life crime vicariously, through the edgy, fast-paced stories he pens, hoping to entertain readers. When he isn’t writing, he’s reading, drawing or looking for prospects to train in boxing.

Please welcome Chris Roy to Roadie Notes………..

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

I was 26 when I wrote the first Razor and Blondie stories, in 2007. In 2012 I self published my first book, a collection titled By Hook or Crook: the Criminal Ventures of Razor and Blondie.

2. How many books have you written?

The short story collection above, 2 crime thriller trilogies, and a novella I hope to get published with some dark fiction shorts soon.

3. Anything you won’t write about?


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

I turned 36 in June. Happily married. No kids, which, at this point, is a very good thing; I’ve seen the hardest of men rendered to weeping messes, by the thought of never seeing/holding their children again.

Whenever I can, I teach boxing, train guys in general fitness, and make a little change doing tattoos… that I usually blow on Nutty Bars or something else that contradicts the nutrition plans I advise others to do.

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

Shocking Circumstances Book III

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

Some guys I live around read the original Razor and Blondie stories and said they were good. I’m on High Risk for two escapes, housed with Death Row. Most convicts here read a lot, and are not known for biting their tongue. Figured they really liked them. I have been feeling it ever since.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Make hiding places.

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

Not anymore. Think I have permanent heart damage from too much celebrating. I just tell my wife, mom and aunts. My aunts congratulate me. I get yawns from my wife and mom.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I sit on my bed with a book on top of folded blankets, paper and pen scratching out the first draft or two. Or I sit at the tiny desk in my cell.

Quiet. Though sometimes have music playing. I usually end up turning it off to think. Or turning it up to block out noise on the zone; there’s always some knucklehead setting a fire, flooding or screaming about insignificant BS to extort others for drugs or tobacco.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

I had a problem with adverbs for awhile. Nasty habit. When I wrote Marsh Madness, I waged war on LYs. My style changed. For the better, I think. I want to write a piece of literature, because, for me, it’s so fucking hard.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Just famous enough to get out of prison and make my family proud.

12. Where do you live?

Unit 29 in Parchman, Mississippi. Maximum Security hell.

13. Pets?

The occasional mouse. They’re cool until they get into my canteen.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Putting the characters in impossible situations. Making it worse, then creating a way out for them. I design crimes that require a partnership or team. Elaborate scams. Bombs.

15. What is coming next for you?

Near to the Knuckle and Pulp Metal Magazine are teaming up to publish a mag in the Giallo genre soon. They invited me to write a series. Would you like to read the opening of Waste Management? Here you are. Please leave a comment. Your feedback is appreciated!
Waste Management

Part 1: Mother & the Memory

His grip relaxed then clamped, snatched, pushing with the other hand. A leg torqued from an uncooked chicken crackled an image in his mind, the woman’s face replaced by hair in a blink.

Shoulders rolled up in soiled coveralls lingered a tense moment, heavy breathing mixed with a deep moan steaming to a sigh out of the corpse. His gloves moved, squeezed. The weight of the woman, alive, the change to a lifeless load – the speed of it – was a pleasantry internalized.

Lips drawn in, his thick tongue passed over them, nostrils puffing.

Mold permeated the concrete wall where it joined the pavement, service drive flooded with continuous drainage from the restaurant. The woman’s body splashed onto the pavement. Butt, then hands. Legs splayed. Back to the wall. Hair where her face should be. The man watched the spot between her legs. The water darkened, spread toward his boots. His nose puffed faster.

Dishes rang from just inside the doorway. Loose rocks popped, boots coated in sludge rotated him, hard leather stretching. Solid-still as a wide cliff, bolder shifting atop, his large frame froze, head turned toward the restaurant’s kitchen. He watched the light on the floor.

More dishes, tap shutting off. His nostrils ceased puffing.

Scissors tall as the building shot into motion, arms and legs swinging inky shades on the building, black to gray. Heavy steel toes tread out of the dank alley, fists encased in an unknown animal hide pumped forward. Unchanging pace resounding the mass of the man that stopped in front of the truck, opened the door, stepped, swung into the driver’s seat in one fluid move. Shut it.

Detonation shook the pavement, diesel engine knock-roaring to a steady thrum. The man’s head appeared in the side mirror, block of pitch black with a slash of orange Illuminating his narrowed stare. The truck reversed, rumbled past the open kitchen exit, tires throwing water.

The concrete wall amplified a halting, sharp screech. The corpse at its base vanished beneath a cloud, pink exhaust thrusting through the red flash of brakes.

Setting the brake, he climbed out and grabbed the woman, strain absent from the lift. Trying not to focus on her cooling vitality, he held to the moment, the sudden charge of her life’s heat, death sensed… then snuffed. An exotic battery sucked dry in a wink of plasma.

Her pants waist stretched, ass soft on knuckles, uniform collar tearing, as he hefted, tossed her into the back. The refuse compressed, enveloping her with a welcome, soft hiss.

The big diesel revved. Clutch engaged. The truck freight trained back down the alley. Waste Management caught the lights towering in the plaza, the service truck accelerating into the turn. His nose puffed above the steering wheel. Gloves gripped wide. The engine cycled pings that deafened pedestrians, cab bumbling with a pulse unstoppable.

The grime on the windshield absorbed yellow-white glares cascading down at precise intervals, failed attempts to penetrate the interior. Slits of amber sitting high in the darkness inside studied the road. The direction of the next job was the man’s only thought.



Shocking Circumstances
Book I: Last Shine

Sharp as a Razor
Book I: A Dying Wish

For more info on the author, visit:


Guest Post: Chris Roy


Getting even more personal with Justin Park

Justin Park aka.. J.R. Park is one of the friendliest people I have ever met. He always has a smile and is willing to help anyone that he can. He also can spin a great horror story. Some of the most suspenseful and chilling stories I have read have been his. If you haven’t read one of his books please make sure that you do. He is extremely talented. He is also part of the Sinister Horror Company where he works with various authors publishing and editing and making beautiful books. If you haven’t met Justin you are missing out on a really amazing friend and writer. Please take the time to read one of his books you won’t regret it!

Please welcome J.R. Park back to Roadie Notes…………

1. It’s been awhile since we talked what new books do you have out now? Latest release?

I’ve had a number of new releases. The Offering: An Introduction To The Sinister Horror Company is a short story collection by myself and Daniel Marc Chant, with a fantastic foreword by George Anderson.
Death Dreams In A Whorehouse is a short collection of my own. I’ve been selling it at conventions but it hasn’t been ‘properly’ released online yet. I expect I’ll release it before the end of the year, but haven’t firmed up a date yet.
Postal was a book co-written with Matt Shaw. This was a great book to write. Matt came up with an initial concept. I threw some ideas at him around it and he went off and wrote his part, whilst at the same time coming up with the structure of the book. He left me a lot of room to play and to add more ideas and concepts to the mythology. It turned out really fun (in a horror sense) and has had a great reaction since its release.
Mad Dog is my latest novella, a book that can be summed up as: werewolf in a prison break. It’s told from a series of interviews by survivors of the incident and is full of the spills and thrills of a pulp book/b-movie.

2. If you could pick any author alive or dead to have lunch with who would it be? Why?

So many to choose from…so many. I think I’d go with William Burroughs. I don’t know a lot about the man, but he seems to have been a fascinating, and his voice is strangely hypnotic. I could listen to him tell me strange stories of his life for hours.

3. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever done?

I’ve been sent an embroidered handkerchief once. I’m an advocate of handkerchief use, and I usually add one in every book I write. I won’t say what was on, but if you’ve read Upon Waking you might get an idea…

4. What is the one thing you dread to do when writing?

Unconscious theft. When you’re exposed to so much, it’s okay to be influenced, but sometimes you can rip something off wholesale and you the worst thing is you can be halfway through before you notice. Another pain is if you come up with a great and work on something only for someone else to come up with the same idea. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have seen it happen, and it’s an awful position to be in.

5. Did you have imaginary friends growing up? Tell me about them

I did. It was an imaginary dog called Stripe (named after the Gremlin). The dog was small but not a real breed. It had neon fur, big teeth and a silver mohawk. I used to take him on walks with me, and secretly held his lead so others couldn’t see.
My imaginary friend was my secret.

6. Do you go to conventions? If not why?

I really enjoy going to conventions. Because I go as part of a publishing company I don’t get invited as a guest and therefore have to pay for a pitch etc. This means with all the associated costs I never make my money back, but that’s not the point. It’s real fun to meet old fans and make new ones. Meet up with other horror fans and have a laugh. I usually spend more money than I make, but I just can’t help myself. Artifacts from conventions adorn my writing desk – a unicorn, a mask of a nazi zombie of American Werewolf In London…
The craziest journey to get to a convention was in Dublin during 2016. Myself and Matt Shaw took a bus and ferry. We travelled all day and night, arriving at the convention an hour before it was due to start. We were so tired and then had to endure the Game Of Thrones theme on loop as we were pitched next to their stand. I think we both left that weekend slightly more deranged.

7. How many times did you have to submit your first story before it was accepted?

I never did! I went into self-publishing with my first book. I decided to let the critics guide me through reviews. So far it’s turned out okay. I’ve only subbed to a few other publishers. I had a rejection this year for a short story, and I was okay with that. They had a vision for their book and my story didn’t fit in with it – no problem.
Another publisher moved their submission date without telling me. They brought it forward. It was a real shame as I had set up a writing schedule in date order. I really wanted to sub for the book and was gutted when they suddenly had the book filled. It’s being treated this way that puts me off working with other publishers. But you can’t let one bad experience stop you from working with others; and on the whole they have been pretty good.

8. Ever consider not writing? If so what made you continue?

I enjoy writing, and in some capacity I always will. Sometimes my creative energy will be spent elsewhere; maybe making films or writing music. But I’ve always enjoyed writing and never go anywhere with at least a pen and pad on me.

9. Ever thought about writing in a different category?

Yeah, very much so. I was writing poetry before I started writing horror, and I may go back to that. I love how one line of poetry can disarm you, so much more than a whole passage of prose in a book. It’s like concentrated emotion. Boil everything down. Strip the words back further and further until you’re left with the essence. That’s powerful stuff.
I’ve also considered writing a different way.
I write horror under the name J. R. Park. Why? Because it’s me, but not all of me. It’s only a part of me. To write under my full name Justin Park, it would have to be a full expression of me; unconfined from any particular genre.
I’m currently reading a number of non-horror books and so we’ll see what influence these may have.

10. Any new additions to the family?

Not for me. I live in a shared house, much the same way as I did when I left University. I know at my age most people have settled down with a partner and live with them. Maybe they have a dog or cat. Maybe a child or two. I used to think there was something wrong with me for not living like that. Like I was some kind of failure. Of course that’s nonsense. There’s more than one way to live your life, and this is the way I’m living mine.

11. What is coming up next for you?

All planned book releases are out for the year. I am considering releasing Death Dreams At Christmas – a collection of Christmas horror stories. I love Christmas so it would be nice to get involved in the festive season.
The other thing that I have coming up is the production and release of the Sinister Horror Cards. Based on Top Trumps, it’s an idea I had ever since I started writing. We are halfway through the art production at the moment and they are looking beautiful.

12. Do you do release parties? Do you think they work?

I don’t, so I don’t know if they work. I attended one once, and my Facebook feed got so full I couldn’t keep up. So as a reader and horror fan I didn’t like them, so I won’t do them for my own books. I’ve donated some books as prizes for other’s launch parties, but it’s not something I’d interested in.
I’m sure it works for other people, and good luck to them.
I think I’d rather have a real party. If I could set up an annual horror party that would be fun. Currently there are meet ups like FCON which has a good gathering of authors and readers.

13. Do you have crazy stalker fans? Have you ever had one you wish would go away?

You haven’t made it until you’ve got a stalker.
Thankfully, I haven’t made it yet.

14. Do you still have a “day job” ? If so what do you do?

I do. I work for the Government. I can’t tell you anymore; if I did, I’d have to kill you…

15. What is your process for writing? Do you have a voice in your head?

I usually start with a scene of two. These make pivotal points in the story. Then a write a paragraph describing the story. I expand it to a page with a beginning and end. Then I brainstorm to work out more detail before writing a chapter by chapter plan. Each chapter have notes that last a page and a half. It’s stream of consciousness so it can veer from notes to lines of dialogue to actual prose that gets used in the book. I do this so when I start writing I don’t accidentally write myself in a corner. I have read many books with unnecessary chapters and events that hold no relevance to the plot and I’m left wondering what was the point other than padding. It’s like an author starting writing a bit because they thought it was cool and then got bored, wrapped it up and carried on in a different direction. I decent editor would take those pages out, and it annoys when plots meander with no purpose.
I like my stories to be well thought out from the start. ‘Not a word wasted’ is a comment I’ve received on a couple of times; and that makes me proud.
Anyway… once I’ve got the plan I’ll write out chapter by chapter. Things may change and alter in that process, but I make notes as I go.
Flow is important to me, and although I don’t have a voice in my head, I actually read a lot of my own work back aloud. This helps to get the feel of the flow, and find out if there are any cumbersome sentences that need re-working.

16. Is there a book you want to make a sequel to you haven’t yet?

I’d be tempted to write sequel to many of my books. Punch would be great to have a follow-up as there is a dangling plot thread no one notices that I’d love to tie up – mainly just to point it out, and then everyone will go ‘oh yeah’.
The Exchange has a mighty follow-up swirling around my head. It involves many creatures and weird things. Think occult-style Star Wars.
There’s also an idea for a follow-up to Mad Dog. Most likely called Mad Man, it will take the themes and styles of Mad Dog and push them to their inevitable conclusion.

You can connect with Justin Park here:





Some of Justin Park’s books:


Getting personal with Brian Stoddart

After a long career around the globe as a university teacher, researcher and administrator, Brian Stoddart is now a consultant and writer. He has published fifteen books of non-fiction covering mainly sport, Asian affairs and, more recently, global events.

He writes regularly for the press and several websites, appears on radio and television, is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and seminars around the world, and also works as a speaker-lecturer on cruise ships. Brian Stoddart maintains his own blog at


Please help me welcome Brian Stoddart to Roadie Notes …………


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

At junior school, I think, then a few in high school. Then I spent years writing non-fiction and finally gravitated towards fiction

2. How many books have you written?

Now 3 crime novels and 17 non-fiction works across biography, history, sport and memoir, and also have some as yet unperformed television and stage scripts

3. Anything you won’t write about?

In the crime field I find it difficult to the point of impossible to write seriously violent stuff, especially anything involving kids. My preference is for the mystery to be at the centre with the violence more implied

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

I am way old! Married for a long time, happily, two adult daughters (in film and TV, and in international risk and relations). I had a long career as a university executive and still do aid and development work in higher education reform, but these days prefer to be a writer

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

My usual answer is whichever one I wrote last! Right now that is a true crime biography sitting with a publisher. I do like my crime novels still, with protagonist Chris Le Fanu of the Indian Police Service in 1920s Madras developing as a character and branching out geographically. But I do like A House in Damascus: Before the Fall. I wrote it while working there immediately before the war on a higher education reform program. I loved the city, country and people, and the book was my way of expressing that.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I started really as an academic writer but always enjoyed reading crime fiction because it gives a way into a society, and that is what I try to do with British India. A lot of writers have had an impact and across many genres: crime writers like Fred Vargas, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Andrea Camilleri etc. Writer friends like Tim parks and Greg McGee are sources of inspiration. Wonderful writers like Evelyn Waugh and Robert Louis Stevenson all the way through to Walter Mosely and Dashiell Hammett have all had an impact as well. All of them teach about writing but also about insight, and that helps me immensely

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I ride a mountain bike when in Queenstown New Zealand which is my normal base. Photography is an ongoing fascination. Then there is all the reading!

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

Usually collapse with exhaustion! A glass of champagne is usually involved, and some reflection on having completed something that was important to me.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?

At home I have a writing desk looking out to the mountains so I pitch in there, usually without music so I can “hear” the book along with all the New Zealand birds. On the road I can usually construct something. I have had to learn to adapt. A chunk of one book got written sitting in an armchair with the laptop actually in the lap. Not ideal but it got done.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

Only to try to make it ever better, and to keep learning from others about how to do that. Not sure I want to change “style” so much as just improve

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

We all want to be famous, I think, and in that we all want to be read by as many people as possible. That is my wish, that a lot more people might enjoy what I have to put in front of them, because that is the ultimate satisfaction

12. Where do you live?

Mostly in Queenstown New Zealand though presently perched in Sydney Australia for a spell. Usually through the year I also do lectures on a couple of cruise ships so that takes us all over the word and different inspirations

13. Pets?

Not at present as we do travel a bit. We had a much-loved Border Collie sheepdog for many years and remember her fondly

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Probably the challenge of getting something out in the best possible form so that I can communicate with people. That means getting better and smarter.

15. What is coming next for you?

Finishing Chris Le Fanu No 4 and to advance his story. Also working on a play and some screenplays as well. And keeping on writing!



You can connect with Brian Stoddart here:

@BrianStoddart twitter


Some of Brian Stoddart’s books:



Boy’s Night by: Wrath James White and Matt Shaw

First off let me say that Wrath James White is a master in extreme horror. Then you add Matt Shaw and you have a combination that just can’t miss. This book is a prime example of how you can take two amazing writers and let them loose and what a story they come up with. You will not be sorry you read this I promise.

This book started out on Amazon and well we all know how Amazon can be so they banned it and I believe it was because of the cover. I’m not sure why I think the cover is perfect and it’s not morbid or obscene. Matt put it for sale on his website and Etsy store but before long Amazon pulled their heads out of their butts and back it went on Amazon. Hopefully that is the last of the Amazon issues for them and their books.

This story starts off with a woman who is a feminist and blogger who pushed and advocates for women’s rights with a passion. She has broken up with her girlfriend recently and has moved out to the middle of nowhere. She recieves death threats almost daily and tons of hate mail. She laughs it off and continues on her daily tasks.

Then we meet the boys. There are 4 of them and they are a rough bunch. They have been out at the bar and see a pretty lady leaving and start to follow her. They make cat calls and she walks faster to her car. They follow and she gets increasingly more scared and nervous. She reaches in her purse and grabs a can of mace. She sprays on the the guys and he pretty much just laughs at her. One of them punches her and out like a light she goes. They grab her and throw her in their car. I will leave to your imagination what they want with her and what happens to her.

The rest of the story you will have to read for your self but I will tell you they meet the feminist and they all get what is coming to them or do they? I will never tell!

This is a don’t miss book and I sure hope that they team up together again to write another one or 20. You can buy the book st the link below…….