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Bad Author Interviews Revisited and it’s…

the turn of
Robert McCarroll

What’s so great about your crap book?

Other
than the fact that it’s my book?  Mad Science, Magic,
Aliens,Superheroes, and no cardboard cut-outs masquerading as main
characters.  Oh, and Masquerade.  Everyone loves Masquerade.




What do you really think about erotica?

As a writer or a reader?


Is it the low of the lows for writers?

No, that distinction belongs to those who ghostwrite for celebrity and/or politician ego projects.


Oooh, I’ve never thought of that group being at the bottom. But that’s what keeps the bricks and motor book stores afloat, I guess.




If
you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think
you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?

Amazon.com
Amazon.uk


What
if I have had it professionally done? 

Then don’t answer the question, doh!

After all my re-writes, after
the editor was done, led to all the proofing error complaints.  I am so
error prone that I’ve had to hire yet another proofreader to deal with
the fallout from my fat fingers.

Yeah, been there, done that. Now I’ve leant you don’t get an editor until your typescript is perfect.




Yawn, so basically
you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and you’re the
Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I spend
time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?


Because
I’m holding a puppy hostage, and bad things will happen if you don’t
read my book.  Or was I making an army of puppy bombers?  Let me check
my notes.



Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?


No. 
Not really.  I write to fill the gaps in my entertainment.  If there’s
someone providing that, I’d have no reason to write it.

So you write because there are no other books out there that you like? That’s a good reason to write, and probably means there’s a niche for your book.


Do you think you write better than them?

Yes, of course.  If they were better than me, I wouldn’t be writing.



Is your aim to out-sell them?

Who were we talking about again? 

The writers who inspire you. Keep up!


In
the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your
own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued
on-line, copied someone else’s idea?

I released an e-book before
it was ready, and ended up unpublishing it out of embarrassment.  It’s
not for sale anymore. To the five people who bought it, I’m sorry.

Ha! 

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?

A lifetime of geekdom.

Top qualification, or so I’ve heard.


Many
authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents
i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present)
and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep
your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?


I have to keep it at bay or I’d be sued for copyright and trademark infringement.  I don’t have that kind of money.

Must be difficult. Do you wear your cardigans and braces only after dark? 

If
I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of
acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the
meat of a story?


Acknowledgements, yes, praising the book, no.  Though you may want to be sure your sanity score is high enough.



What part of the world do you come from?

New York, the real New York, not that city that keeps impersonating New York and sending corrupt politicians to Albany.



What do you think of your government?
Which
one? The corrupt state government, the inept federal government, the
totalitarian bureaucracy or the local yokels?  I guess I answered the
question then.

Don’t sit on the fence!


If your book is set outside England would I
understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT
backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are
British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?


It’s in America, where pants are trousers, not underwear.




Why that shitty title?


I
hit ‘save’ and it asked me to name the file.  I had to name it
something, so I named it after the Main character’s codename.  Then I
promptly went and changed the codename in story, making the title
obsolete before part 5.



Did you run out of ideas?

Yes, how could you tell?  I never found a real title to replace the working title.




If
you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you
were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask?
(answer it).


Would you vote Disestablishmentarian or Bull Moose?  Zombie Teddy for the win!




How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)?

One year.  One month to write it, eleven to edit it.




If
it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does
that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?


Research?
Pshaw.  It was written because I get fed up writing a serious take on
the Superhero Genre, so I wrote a light and fluffy embrasure of the
conventions.  Only I’d been writing Grimdark to sell to the Black
Library, and ‘Light and Fluffy’ turned into “First person narrator tried
to console abused child while the narrator is dying from being impaled
on a steel rod.”  Yeah… I missed the lighthearted romp target by a
mile.



If it took over a year to write: Does that mean this book is boringly long and laborious to read?

Not at all, it’s only 107,000 words.  Those 11 months were pure, unadulterated laziness.

Yeah right, I’m a writer too remember, so I know what it’s like. Those eleven months were full of pacing, tearing out hair, drinking, sitting bolt upright in bed with a sudden idea and waking your partner, punching walls, forgetting to eat, forgetting you have kids. My scenario: Child: ‘Mummy, what time’s dinner? I haven’t eaten in a week.’ Me: ‘Eh? Who are you and how did you get into my house?’

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?

I
have to have a computer, I have to be alone, and I have to have
background noise, preferably music, because anything with a plot will
distract me.




Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and
‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you
think that has on a writer?


No, I’ve been labelled as a
crumudgeon, or cantakerous, because I only interact with people at my
day job.  I say ‘people’ but we’re more like drones.





What do you think of social media (pick one answer): 

  1. Somewhere to advertise my book.
  2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.
  3. Somewhere to find information.
  4. All of the above.


5. ***None of the above***

I find social media to be *redacted* and *expletive deleted**redacted* and a place where *redacted* *expletive deleted*

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?

Normal? 
You think those people are Normal?  They willingly associate with me
for crying out loud, how ‘Normal’ could they possibly be?

Guess not then. 


Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Bureaucracy.  I’d rather take a fist to the face than have to deal with
    the Bureau of Hero Affairs, but then I’d end up having to fill out one
    of the innumerable BHA forms.
  2. “He’s sixteen,” Torquespiral said, “Could you pitch a two million dollar project at that age?”
  3. After all, what would I do with myself?

Thanks, Robert, for being a brilliant amazing thrilling shit interviewee! 

Zombie sex

by
Stephen Kozeniewski

I’ve been thinking
long and hard about what topic, exactly, to write about in my WWBB guest
post.  I actually wrote a post here pseudonymously last year because I was still hiding
my shame at being an unpublished author.

What a difference
a year makes!

Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

Since then I’ve gotten
a new day job, a new cat, a bunch of other blah blah blah new stuff that you
don’t really care about, but most importantly and excitingly: I found a small
publisher willing to take on my horror/mystery novel BRAINEATER JONES!  I immediately thought of trying to get a spot
on Louise’s schedule and when I saw her call for ‘orrible covers for the month
of October I knew it was kismet.
  (Sorry,
other challengers, but you can’t deny it: my cover is the ‘orriblest.)


But
that still left me with the quandary of what topic to write about.  Louise writes chick lit…or possible chic
lit…or possibly Chiclets, although I’m not sure exactly how one would go about
writing on little pieces of gum.  How
could I make my little gorefest appealing to her readers?  Then it struck me:

ZOMBIE
SEX

Not
only would zombie sex be a great topic for Halloween AND a great topic for this
blog, but it would also suddenly make that “long and hard” phrase in my first
sentence seem like a deliberate authorial choice.

I’ve
actually been noodling this topic a lot lately, which sounds weird, but, come
on, I’m a horror writer.  We think about
weird stuff for a living.
  Last week I
went to a midnight showing of Night of
the Living Dead
at my local hipster theater, which was an awesome choice
because, amongst other reasons, I got to re-watch the granddaddy of all modern
zombie stories.  And while I was watching
it I noticed something I had either never caught before or had deliberately
repressed from my memory:

THERE
WAS A 100% NUDE ZOMBIE IN THE HORDE!

Seriously.  Go back and watch it.  How did I miss/forget about that?  I mean, I knew horror films in the ‘70s were
exploitative with, I want to say a seventeen naked breast minimum mandated by
the  MPAA.  But how did Romero manage to slip that nudie
zombie by in a black and white film in the late ‘60s? 
Bad for puritanical society, I guess, but an
auspicious start for this blog post.

Of
course, no actual zombie sex took place in that picture.  (Nor was the word “zombie” ever used.  Seriously. 
Go back and watch it.)  The first
contemporary example of actual hot dead-on-dead loving that springs to my mind
comes in the classic 1992 New Zealand import Dead Alive.  Haven’t seen
it?  Go. 
Right now.  Shoo shoo.  I’ll wait.

Back?  Seriously, how awesome was that?  Anyone who says The Lord of the Rings were Peter Jackson’s greatest films simply
haven’t seen Dead Alive yet.
  What you probably forgot about in light of
the whirling lawn mower blade of death that concluded the movie is that early
on the zombie priest and the zombie nurse, urm, well, got it on.  (Yes, I said zombie priest and zombie nurse.)

And
here’s where we get into an intriguing bit of erotica esoterica.  THEY HAD A BABY BECAUSE OF IT.  That’s right, apparently even zombies need to
worry about the consequences of not using proper birth control. 
Er, well, I guess they didn’t have to worry
about it, per se, since they were zombies, but somebody sure had to take care
of that baby.


I’m
going to conclude our journey through the ages of undead intercourse somewhat
selfishly with my own book, BRAINEATER JONES. 
Partly this is because I’m trying to sell a book here, people.  But mostly this is because I have been advised
that the sex in my book is “the grossest thing ever devised by man.”  That’s a direct quote from my mother, and
she’s supposed to love me unconditionally. 
You’ll probably find it even more appalling.

Stephen Kozeniewski

Yes,
that “Corpses in Lust” sticker on the cover isn’t just to sell copies (which,
by the way, why not buy a copy?)  But
here’s the thing: if I tell you what the post
mortem in flagrante delicto
is like in my book, I’ll have ruined the
mystery.  Don’t we all crave a little
mystery in our lives?  Suffice it to say
it is green, it is sticky, and it is pooling in a little puddle on Braineater
Jones’s mattress right now.


You
can read more of Steve’s delightfully twisted worldview on his blog or on twitter.  You can buy a copy of his book at any of
these fine retailers:


 Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Red Adept Publishing


Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.

Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.
As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.
Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.

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Researching death and the dead…

by
Valerie Laws

Several of the people in this room are dead. Their heads are shaved, their mouths open. Some have missing teeth, the lip collapsing into the gaping mouth, the chin bristles erect. Drained of blood, the flesh shows its true colours – cream, shell pink, beige, mauve, mushroom, taupe, yellow. A boy is slicing into an old man’s scrotum, his face intent, while a girl scrapes at the abdomen of a woman of ninety, the turned-back skin flap backed with creamy, fat-like, wet sheepskin. 

The cadavers lie on steel tables, with lids opened, like metal sarcophagi, while brightly coloured youngsters cluster round them with their scalpels. The bodies are dignified, massive and beautiful in an austere way, their muscular thighs, solid genitals, jutting chins, unselfconscious as the living now cannot be, as the young medical students gradually reveal the intricate beauty within them.

©Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photo


I am Writer in Residence at this anatomy department, and at the attached pathology museum full of human specimens, and at a brain institute, and I’m privileged to be here among the dead and those who learn from their ‘silent teachers’. 


I, and my artist colleague, lead workshops in drawing and writing in the dissection rooms, with the dead as subjects. At the end of the sessions, wearing purple nitrile surgical gloves, we help to put away the bodies and parts of bodies. A pair of thighs lie on a table, the sawn-off ends showing a button of bone, small discs of femur. A head in a steel bowl looks through the parted legs. A disembodied face lies on another table, peeled from its skull, looking more expressive than before: wise and innocent at once. It’s like a deflating balloon, its attached windpipe like the string. 
I’m learning about the science of death. I am funded to learn, to write, to interpret neuroscience and pathology for the public, to understand for myself what death is, as far as I can. 

I am a poet, playwright, but a crime novelist, too, and what I learn enters all of my work. I am given tours round slices of brain, shown the signs of dementia which could be already eroding our own brains long before the outward signs appear if we but knew it. 

I study the floating foetuses in the museum’s big jars, babies with bizarre syndromes, two heads, split spines, Cyclops eye, mermaid tail-blades – beautiful babies who couldn’t live once born. This is an incredible journey for me, and several books result from several years of in-depth research, which itself follow personal experience – being present at the deaths of loved ones. 

Death is the great mystery, even more now than in Victorian times, it’s now shameful, a failure of medicine, hidden away, but inevitable and we are fascinated by it. It might seem gruesome, but being among the real dead, I feel respect, affection, empathy. They are just people, like me, like you. But like you, I wrestle with the meaning of death, and in the crime fiction I read and write, with murder, the ultimate crime. 

There are different kinds of evil. Another side to the respectful students and professors of the anatomy department, and those who gave their bodies so that we can have surgery in order to live, is the suffering of the living, and that is much more gruesome in my view.

I spent months in hospital with multiple fractures, large steel pins like six-inch nails sticking out of my bones, bolted to bars, an arm, a leg, both feet smashed. I’m still disabled decades on from the crash. I know how it feels when thirteen of your bones shatter, I know what being helpless in hospital is like, and how the helplessness of the cared-for can bring out kindness, empathy, in the carers – and how it can also bring out sadism, cruelty, or cold indifference. 

Doctors, surgeons, well-paid, respected: we find ourselves at their mercy when our lives are smashed up or in the balance. Sometimes they hurt us, and don’t seem to care if they do – what if a doctor was a clever sadist, who enjoyed hurting patients with broken bones, able to keep on doing it, be paid for it, be venerated for it? And what happens when someone strikes back at him, and others? 

And so I’ve created the sadistic surgeon in my second crime novel (and twelfth book) THE OPERATOR, followed by a series of murders of surgeons left mutilated to mimic the operations they perform on others. The first book, THE ROTTING SPOT, focused on skull-collecting. I used to collect skulls, hack off dead heads of roadkill or dead beached birds, rot them, boil them in bleach. Some of them are looking at me now – a horse, a deer, a badger… A gruesome hobby some would say, yet to me bones are beautiful, my fascination with anatomy intensified by my own broken bones. And no creatures were harmed… 


Pain is more gruesome than death. We will all die, we will all know pain, we fear loss of autonomy or power over our own lives, so we read (and write) on, attempting to understand, enjoying the ‘safe danger’ of crime or horror fiction.


Introducing…
The Operator 
(Bruce and Bennett Crime Thiller 2)

Now, this WILL hurt…’ Someone’s operating
on surgeons, with fatal and bizarre results.

A sadistic orthopaedic surgeon is bizarrely killed. Soon it appears
someone’s giving doctors a taste of their own medicine – murdering surgeons and
mutilating the bodies to mimic the operations they perform. This dark but witty
and erotic action-packed thriller sees Erica Bruce, small but fierce alternative
health therapist and journalist, cross swords and scalpels again with tall,
dark, athletic DI Will Bennett, full-on sceptic. 

‘Gripping from the very first scene.’ Ann Cleeves,
award-winning author of  TV’s ‘Vera’ and ‘Shetland’ novels.
‘Intelligent, dark and shot through with
sly comedy, Valerie Laws is one of those writers who consistently satisfies.’
Alex Marwood, best-selling author of
The
Wicked Girls
Available in paperback Feb 2014 from Red Squirrel Crime.
Extract from THE OPERATOR:
‘He picked up one of the delicate, gleaming metal
instruments that lay neatly ranged beside him, and began to work the end of one
of the thin steel spikes that he had previously screwed into the skin, flesh
and damaged bone of the boy’s leg, one of many, each one creating a fresh
wound, each one fixed to metal rings bolted together, so that he could adjust
the tension between them in three planes, twisting, shearing, pulling. The
youth’s face was now grey-green, and his eyelids fluttered as if he was about to
pass out, strange moans burst from his mouth. But he tried to hold them back.
To please the man, to impress him. And the mother sat watching, unable to help,
unable to stop the torment, her eyes like her son’s, wide with pain. Neither of
them resisted, neither complained, they were docile, pathetic, accepting his
authority. This was better than punching and kicking, the cheap thrills of easy
screams and begging. Better by far the small, humiliated sounds forced out of
those who strove not to express their pain out of respect for him.’

I Evil

by 
Bryan Cassiday

I, Jefferson Bascomb, the “Chosen One” who reigns over Alcatraz Island in Sanctuary in Steel, do believe that the main character in a work of fiction can be evil. Look at William Shakespeare’s play Othello. The play is named after the character Othello, who is ostensibly good, but the fact of the matter is, Iago steals the show. The most evil character in the play is Iago and he is the one who controls the action with his conniving subterfuges. The play should, in point of fact, be called Iago.

I, Jefferson Bascomb, am a character in Bryan Cassiday’s zombie apocalypse thriller Sanctuary in Steel. The good guy in this creepy book, and I cringe in disgust when I think of his goodness, is Chad Halverson. He wants to be the star of the show, but, in actuality, he is not. I am. I control the action. I control the entire island of Alcatraz and permit him to stay on my island. It turns out that was a mistake, but I did not know he was a troublemaker.

I am not as evil as people might think after they read Sanctuary in Steel. Would an evil man order fair trials to be held for infected zombies? I presided as judge over these trials, and if a zombie who committed crimes, such as murders and robberies, was found guilty, he was sentenced to do time or to pay for his crime with his life. If I’m so evil, why would I believe in equal rights for zombies? 

Of course, I do admit I raped women on the island and tortured and mutilated defendants if they were found guilty of murder. But they deserved it. I also used the residents of the island as bait for the zombies when I tired to implement my escape from the island. Those sacrificed were burned alive in a fire that consumed Alcatraz prison. I had to escape, didn’t I? After all, which is more important? Hundreds of innocent residents or yours truly? That’s a no-brainer.


I must admit I always side with the zombies in zombie apocalypse books. Zombies are persecuted in these books by the so-called heroes, like CIA black ops agent Chad Halverson, who go around shooting zombies in the head. Who is the real hero in Sanctuary in Steel? Halverson, who shoots every zombie on sight, or me, who demands a fair trial for each and every zombie? So what if zombies tear people apart limb from limb and scarf down their brains? The zombies are infected with plague so they don’t know what they’re doing. It’s not their fault they got infected. 

The way I see it, the truly evil character in Sanctuary in Steel is Chad Halverson. I know I rape, torture, and betray the residents of Alcatraz, but the only zombies I killed were ones that had committed crimes.

So, there you have it. I, the supposed villain of Sanctuary in Steel, am really the hero. We bad guys frequently get a bum rap, and, in that respect, I’m no different from my fellow villains, like Iago.
As for the scariest book I ever read, that would be David Moody’s Hater. In that book the good guys are really the bad guys, and vice versa. The reason that’s so scary is because it’s true.       

Introducing…
Sanctuary in Steel
Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Black ops agent Chad Halerson of the CIA’s National
Clandestine Service escapes plague- and zombie-ravaged Santa Monica with dress
designer Victoria Brady and sets sail up the smoldering California coast.


Along the way, Halverson and Brady rescue the idealistic
Dr. Parnell, the cynical reporter Blake Reno, and the UCSB coed Brittany Pine,
who is in a state of shock induced by the loss of her boyfriend to the walking
dead.

Seeking sanctuary from the walking dead in Alcatraz
prison, Halverson and his band of refugees discover that all is not as it seems
on the island haven at the Rock.

In fact, they may have more to fear than the walking dead
in the person of Alcatraz’s reigning “Chose One,” the charismatic
proponent of law and order Jefferson Bascomb, who believes zombies have the
right to a fair trial.

Bryan Cassiday

Bryan Cassiday writes horror books and thrillers.  He wrote the Chad Halverson zombie apocalypse
series, which includes “Zombie Maelstrom,” “Zombie
Necropolis,” “Sanctuary in Steel,” and “Kill
Ratio.”  

The fifth Chad Halverson
zombie thriller “Blast Shelter” is being released in November
2013.  Bryan Cassiday lives in Southern
California near the beach, because zombies can’t swim.

How gruesome is too gruesome?

Horror-writing tips
by
Mary Twomey
In my
opinion, if the horror serves a purpose, then it’s the right amount. If you’re
just being gross to shock us, let’s get real for a minute. We live in the
post-Tarantino era. Most of us just sigh at the tedium of violence for shock
value.
How can you tell the difference? Ask
yourself the following questions: Does the vicious bloodbath serve a purpose?
Is it there to move the plot forward?
Does it give us a greater insight into
our hero or our villain? If the answer to at least one of these questions is
yes, then the gore serves a purpose, and therefore, should not be cut. So long
as your novel or movie has the appropriate filters attached (i.e. – “contains
adult content”), then censoring yourself will do your audience a disservice.
There is a big difference between gore implied and horrors witnessed.
It’s important to keep your reader in the
moment.
That’s why I try to avoid flashbacks and past tenses in my more
disturbing scenes. Let them experience the terror as your characters do. The
best horror books, in my opinion, spend equal amounts of time describing the
blood and guts as they do the emotional reaction to the crime scene. If it’s
all action and no heart, eventually we will grow numb to the thrill of the
scare. If you plant a visceral response by letting us in on how your characters
are negatively affected by every slash, then you’ve got both a visual and an
emotional story. In my book, that adds up to a home run.

One of my main characters is a man named
Baird.
For me, it was important to make Baird unbearably cruel, while placing
him in an impossible situation.
I don’t want a character everyone hates without
question. That’s too easy. I want my Severus Snape – someone the reader feels
torn about. Baird is responsible for raising his sister in an incredibly
violent and racially tense environment. To keep her safe, he turns her into a
serial killer so they can pick off the bad ones before an attack comes upon
them. He trades in her childhood so that she has the possibility of living to
adulthood. Baird is unmerciful and unkind in every circumstance, but there’s
always the lingering thought that he’s doing all of it to keep his sister
alive.
The death scenes are gory, but to truly hate the monster that Baird is,
they must be brutal. The horrific ways he teaches his sister to murder cements
his “no apologies” policy.
In the end, the battle becomes not to stay alive,
but to hold onto the shreds of their humanity as they turn into unflinching
killers.




Introducing
The Way

In a world not divided by race, creed or color, but by blood type, Blue Anders finds herself on the wrong end of fortune’s mercy. Born with a lesser blood type, Blue is raised in The Way, a work camp for A-bloods.





Amazon.com
Amazon.UK

In my experience, there are always at least two aspects to every horror story. There’s the bloodlust, and the resistance to such things. In The Way, the main character, Blue, has a problem. If someone she loves is threatened, she blacks out and goes on a killing spree to protect what’s hers. When she wakes up, she’s horrified when she realizes the scope of the damage she is capable of. She struggles with her destiny of violence, and fights with her brother who reminds her daily that she is not a person, but a weapon. The Way follows Blue through the world of the Vemreaux as she learns to make peace, as well as fight.
Because of her damning A-blood type, Blue is a slave, living in a work camp called The Way. The B-bloods are the ruling class, and Blue must learn to live amongst the elite after being raised in the dregs of society. She attempts to control her aggressive urges as her brother makes plans for her predetermined future.


Mary
E. Twomey
lives in Michigan
with her husband and two adorable children. She enjoys reading, writing,
vegetarian cooking and telling her children fantastic stories about wombats.



Limits? What Limits? I’m a Horror Writer

by

Alex Laybourne




When creating anything that is going out into the public domain, there is always that question of, The Line. That imaginary boundary that limits the artist, that keeps them within the borders of the socially acceptable.


Luckily, I’m a horror writer. I truly believe that horror is the last genre to be unhindered by boundaries. There is not one idea or story that could not be successfully written about in a horror novel. There are no taboos when talking about horror. Sure, as a writer we would all have our own personal limits. Certain stories or plot twists that we would not use. That does not make it a boundary through, not in the sense of what is acceptable to the public. Horror should, in varying measures, terrify, sicken and disturb. It should make people shudder and to want to shut the pages, avert their eyes and thing of rainbows and unicorns. That is what makes horror so great. 

We are the final literary adventurers. A dying breed of writers who stand proud and write not only what people want to read, but need to. I will go as far as saying that Horror needs to push the boundaries further and further. Horror cannot have a limit because humanity is the sickest and most terrifying of all characters, and as long as real life keeps creating fresh monsters, so fiction must adapt to keep the terror on the pages alive. 

Realities are there to be stretched, horror, unlike any other genre, should not just be about the words on the page, or the story within the book. True horror should stay with you long after the book closed. Take The Shining from Stephen King or pretty much anything by Clive Barker. Those books are great stories, but even better works of horror, for they leave something behind, clinging to the soul. It is impossible shake. Reading those books changes you, in some small, unnoticeable way. You don’t generate that effect by staying within the limits of the socially acceptable, or by writing mainstream pop culture monsters. You get it by being a visionary, by taking an idea and twisting it into something hideous. Starve it. Poke it with a stick. Then release it out into the world.

The world is a rough and nasty place. Contrary to what many believe, there is more than enough darkness in it; real monsters lurking everywhere. People need horror to keep pushing that envelope, they need to pick up a book and be taken to the brink and then thrust over into the horrifically unknown, and to come back again. To read the book, conquer the words and close the pages, gives the read power. It gives them control over the darkness, a place where they know that they can always beat the monsters. Even if just for a little while. 

Introducing…
Highway to Hell

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK

Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen,
Sammy, and Graham. All complete strangers, different ages, backgrounds and even
countries, but they all have one major thing in common…they all must DIE.



Sentenced to offer their penance in
the many chambers of Hell, their lives are nothing but a torturous experience.
They are brought face to face with their past, their mistakes and the
implications that had for others. Until one by one they are rescued and thrown
together. Walking in a dying world, they are introduced to their rescuers who
do anything but conform to their angelic stereotype. Together, bonded by an
unknown destiny the group is set on their quest; to find one individual buried
deep within the many Hell worlds. Not only does the fate of their world rest on
their shoulders, but that of existence itself.

Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons,
these things were once considered opposites, but what happens when they become
neighbors, allies…friends?

Alex Laybourne

In Alex Laybourne’s own words: ‘Born and raised in the coastal
English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the
misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.


From an early age I was sent to
schools which were at least 30 minutes’ drive away and so spent most of my free
time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to
hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.


I have been a writer as long as I
can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find
it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I
create; where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation
of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue


I am married and have four
wonderful children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. My biggest dream for them
is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy,
whatever that is.


For people who buy my work, I hope
that they enjoy what they read and that I can create something that takes them
away from reality for a short time. For me, the greatest compliment I can
receive is not based on rankings but by knowing that people enjoy what I
produce, that they buy my work with pleasure and never once feel as though
their money would have been better spent elsewhere.’