1) So, what’s new from you?
I launched three books at Fantasycon last year – my second collection Octoberland, my micro-collection Unquiet Waters, and my debut novel House of Frozen Screams.
2) How did it come about?
I’m not very good at staying on top of all the stories I write, and I should have published a second collection years ago! As a result, Octoberland covers quite a range and is something of a bumper crop. Unquiet Waters is smaller and more intimate, with four stories linked by the theme of water. And House of Frozen Screams was partly inspired by our search for a new flat, combined with all my primal Cronenbergian body horror fears. It’s my take on a haunted house, one that isn’t quite what it seems.
3) Tell us about the process of how you created it.
My process is pretty reclusive. I can’t write in cafes or public places with other humans around. I focus best at my desk, where I play film scores to accompany whatever I’m writing. (Or not writing – sometimes I can just stare at the blank page for ages wondering where the hell my muse has got to.) But I have Alexa to keep me company if I feel too isolated.
4) What was your favourite part of the process?
It’s bound to be the same for every writer: that exquisite moment when everything clicks into place and the story flows straight from your mind to the page. But other than that rare and magical experience, I really love world-building. I probably spend way too much time on it, because a lot of it never even makes it into the story. But I like to hope it enriches the writing anyway.
5) What was the toughest part of it?
When I was writing House of Frozen Screams, I was very much looking forward to a couple of gruesome death scenes I had planned. I’ve written loads of violent, horrible deaths and enjoyed killing characters before, even nice ones. But in House, I found it really difficult. I’ve heard other writers describe similar experiences, but it was a first for me.
6) Is there a theme running through it?
There’s definitely a theme in House of Frozen Screams: the female body is as much a place of horror as any haunted house.
7) If you had to sum this book up in three words, what would they be?
I’ll do all three books! Octoberland: haunted, nostalgic, sinister Unquiet Waters: eerie, uncanny, apocalyptic House of Frozen Screams: unnatural, nightmarish, macabre
8) Where can/will we be able to get hold of it?
Octoberland – PS Publishing
Unquiet Waters – Black Shuck Books House of Frozen Screams – Horrific Tales