Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Lowdown with... Tej Turner

Tej Turner is a writer of fantasy, horror and speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Janus Cycle, has been published by Elsewhen Press and he has also had short stories featured in a few anthologies, including Impossible Spaces (Hic Dragones Press) and The Bestiarum Vocabulum (Western Legends). His parents moved around a bit while he was growing up so he doesn’t have any particular place he calls “home”, but for a large part of his youth he dwelled in the West Country of England. He went on to Trinity College in Carmarthen to study Film and Creative Writing and later to complete an MA at The University of Wales, Lampeter, where he minored in ancient history but mostly focused on sharpening his writing skills. A childhood of being on the move obviously rubbed off on him because he often gets itchy feet and flies off on adventures to trek around jungles, forests and canyons, and explore temples, reefs and cities.

1. Tell us three things about yourself.
1) I love castles and megalithic sites. It is one of the reasons I live in Wales.
2) Most of the music I listen to is from the 80s.
3) I have spent almost two years of my life backpacking around Asia and I documented much of it in a travelblog which can be found here.

2. What was the first thing you had published? 
A short story called “Bruises”, which appeared in the anthology Impossible Spaces, (edited by Hannah Kate). It is an anthology I am sure you will remember well, Simon, as you were also in it ;) It took me a few years to get anything published... but once I achieved that initial step it all happened very fast. Within a year I had another two stories accepted in other anthologies and Elsewhen Press offered to publish my first novel.

3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of? 
I currently only have one novel, so it would have to be that; The Janus Cycle. It was released just over a year ago and the response I have received for it so far has been fantastic.

4. …and which makes you cringe? 
I did a short stint writing erotica under commission when I first returned to the UK and I was a bit strapped for cash. The pseudonym it was published under is a secret I am going to take to my GRAVE.

5. What’s a normal writing day like? 
I have created nice workspace for myself in the corner of my room – a large spacious desk dedicated just to writing – and the wall behind it is covered with notes, charts, maps of the worlds I have created, and other ideas. I find it helps keep me focussed. I am usually at my desk by 9am – and I will typically spend most of the morning tapping away at my keyboard while downing cups of green tea and puffing away at my e-cigarette. After that, I have a break for lunch while watching something (usually whatever sci-fi series I am currently in the middle of), and then I will do another couple of hours of writing just before I head to work (I moonlight as a chef to help with the bills).

6. Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first? 

It is still quite early days for me as a published writer, so I don’t have a massive back catalogue to call upon as yet. The story I had published in The Bestiarum Vocabulum (edited by Dean M Drinkel) is one that I am rather proud of. It is about a succubus liberating a Magdalene Asylum, and people have often commented about the exciting twist at the end.

7. What are you working on now? 
I currently have two WIPs. One is an epic fantasy series which I am hoping to get off the ground in the next couple of years. It is quite different to everything I have had published so far, so I am looking forward to it being unleashed upon the world. I am also working on an indirect sequel for The Janus Cycle, which is currently under the working title of “Dinnusos Rises”. It should be available sometime in 2017.

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