Hi Brian and welcome to our little horror flash fiction blog. Tell us a bit about you and your writing.
First of all, many thanks for having me here at Horror Scribes. I’m 43 years old and I live in the town of Stockport in Greater Manchester with my long-suffering wife and three young ‘uns. I have been writing on and off for the last twenty years or so, but I only plucked up the courage to start publishing in 2014. I kicked off with a sci-fi/horror hybrid called Pharmacon and then followed it up with Dawn of the Spiders which was a love letter to all of those fantastic 50s creature features that I enjoyed as a nipper. I have also dabbled in children’s fiction and a more contemporary piece The Final Wish of Maggie Bosworth. This year I released a sequel to Dawn, the imaginatively titled Day of the Spiders. My roots are firmly in the horror genre having grown up reading Stephen King, James Herbert and the almost criminally overlooked Guy N Smith.
What in your opinion makes good horror?
For me, it has to be relatable in the layout of the settings and the characters. The moment you see an old castle or a haunted house, I tend to switch off. I like anything that causes the fragile reality of the society that we know and love to fracture. It really wouldn’t take a lot to throw us all off into the spiralling unknown. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of George Romero’s Living Dead films. He captures perfectly the inability of the human race to deal with change to everything we know and love.
How do you feel about flash fiction as a medium for horror?
The art of the short story has been somewhat lost in modern times as lots of aspiring writers want to hit the scene with a ten-part opus. The likes of Harry Potter and Jack Reacher are anomalies that happened organically rather than being thrust on the world and hoping for the best. The short story is not only a great training ground for a writer, it is something a reader can have a brief fling with without having to commit.
What is your favourite horror short story?
In Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew, there is a brilliant short story called Survivor Type which is about a man who is shipwrecked on a rocky island with nothing but a huge stack of heroin and a surgical kit. He manages to break his ankle and is forced to remove the gangrenous foot. During that procedure, he also finds a cure for the growling hunger in his belly… Simple idea, brilliantly done.
What scares you the most and what is your favourite horror scene/passage/novel?
Death itself is a natural and yet horrifying aspect of life that we all have to face. The prospect of facing the end is something that took me a long time to get to grips with. Seeing it up close and personal is something that can change your perception forever.
I read Pet Semetary for the first time when I was fourteen years old. The section of the book that deals with Louis Creed digging up his dead son is something that has stuck in my mind ever since. To my mind, there is no passage in any other book that reaches into the depths of darkness like that one.
Please give us a one sentence horror story!
There was blood, lots of blood and the only thing I knew for sure once I had awoken fully was that not a single drop of it belonged to me.
Thanks for your time and insights Brian!