- We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.
Currently I am working on a philosophy paper on determinism for my PhD applications. On the creative side of things, I recently finished the final edit on a manuscript about a shamed king who flies around his country in a hot air balloon looking for redemption and a way to stop a massive celestial body from crashing down and destroying everything. It’s got sky whales!
- In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.
My new book, The Resurrectionist, is about a 19th century surgeon who suffers a curse that will corrode both his body and soul. It’s also a story that solves the mystery of what happened to the infamous murderer William Hare. The Burke and Hare murders were a series of killings that happened in Scotland—the two criminals sold the bodies of their victims as cadavers for dissection. After they were caught, Hare sold Burke out and escaped into obscurity. No one knows what happened to him.
- As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)
Oof, starting a book is the hardest part! There is so much anxiety leading up to that first chapter, no matter how much outlining I’ve done.
4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?
This might sound strange, but I really love research. I find history so fascinating that I love following rabbit holes when I read an interesting fact. So many of the crazy things I find while researching shapes my writing. I also love writing the scary scenes in my horror books, that’s just pure fun.
- If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)
Neil Gaiman’s sharp sense of wit, for sure. That man can sure turn a phrase. That or the poetic prose of David Mitchell. Some of his stuff makes my heart ache to read it.
- Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?
“You’ll like this life much better than the one you would’ve had, trust me. Now, for goodness’ sake, put that scalpel down!”
7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?
I recently read The Last Unicorn, so I suppose I’d be up against the titular unicorn and Edgar, my surgeon from The Resurrectionist. It’d be tough to win without opposable thumbs, so the unicorn is probably out of luck. Edgar’s way smarter and more logical than I am, so he’d probably have me beat! Drinks are on me.
8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)
I’d say, in horror, know how to use gore and violence in the right way. It can be tempting for writers of horror to go totally wild and let the blood flow with abandon, but I think you need to plan for what you’re saying with violence in your book. It needs to be used as a storytelling tool instead of a shock tactic. Better to use it as a necessary part of the plot and your story’s overall thesis, not just grotesque window dressing.
9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.
My new novel The Resurrectionist is available on Halloween of 2020! The audiobook was just completed, too, and the narrator, Alan R Gron, did an absolutely phenomenal job, so please check it out. If you like the book and want to see more content from that world, I do some (very amateur) drawings of my characters on my Instagram.
Links to my books on Amazon: