Sinister Reads chats to Pete Aldin

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

I write spec fic thrillers. My latest novel “Came Monsters” (a sequel to last year’s “Doomsday’s Child”) is available for preorder at a discounted price on Amazon/Kindle. Paperback to follow.

What inspired you to write this story?

Lol: probably Book One in the series. Also, I wondered what it would be like to set a zompoc novel three and half years after the outbreak when all the zombies are “dying off”.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

When writing a scene, come in late and leave it early. We don’t need to see the detective get out of bed and drive to the crime scene: just have him arrive and get on with it. Then don’t hang around at the end with boring dialogue or details: cut to next scene.

What does the horror genre mean to you?

Tension and honest examinations of what it means to be human and to embrace life.

Who is your favourite author and why?

At the moment it’s David Morrell who wrote the original Rambo novel. More often he writes thrillers than horror, but there are no dull moments in Morrell’s writing.

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

Are you on social media?

petealdin.com or http://www.facebook.com/PeteAldinAuthor

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Sinister Reads chats to Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

DR: We’re Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, we work as a collaborative writing and editing partnership, and our newest release is Teeth of the Wolf, the second book in the Path of Ra series from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Teeth of the Wolf picks up where Hounds of the Underworld, which won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel in 2017, left off, with Penny and Matiu Yee getting drawn deeper into a world of occult murder and talking fridges.

LM: It’s a fine blend of procedural police forensics and the supernatural, mixed up with a ton of dry black humour and all the challenges of sibling rivalries. All of which is fine, as long as Dan just does what he’s told.

DR: Yip. Because that’s totally how I roll. *makes a note to blow some more stuff up in Book 3 so Lee has to find a way to explain it scientifically*

What inspired you to write this story?

DR: Funny story, but this all started from a conversation Lee and I had about writing some collaborative novellas, tight word counts and fast turnaround, for the ebook market. We brainstormed a couple of characters and a premise and then got down to writing. As the first draft passed the 60k mark we knew we were no longer writing a novella, and that they weren’t going to be quick to turn around at all.

LM: We really wanted to write something that had both a solid backbone of science and real-world logic, to satisfy readers of crime drama, and a dark supernatural element, because our writing strengths lie in that direction, so to some extent we were working towards something we wanted to do and something we felt we would do well. We also wanted to draw on our differing cultural backgrounds and weave these into a narrative, which led to the complex family arrangements that prop up the characters.

DR: Plus, who doesn’t want to read about a fictional dystopian Auckland on the brink of environmental and economic collapse?

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

DR: Trust your gut. Know your characters and let them lead you. They know their world better than you, you’re just looking in. You’re a conduit, a vessel to bring their story to your pages. Open up and give them room to share it with you.

LM: I have no idea what Dan just said. Put your nose to the keyboard and put those words down, one at a time, one page after another, until you have a chapter, then write the next one. Persist. Research. Know your background material. And then trust your community, your beta readers especially, to tell you where you’ve succeeded and where you’ve fallen down. Then give that back. Because without our community, we’re nothing.

What does the horror genre mean to you?

LM: To reframe the question, horror isn’t a genre but a stylistic choice. It’s a decision to take a story, which could be any genre at all, and layer it with the disturbing. Crime and the supernatural lend themselves readily to being treated as horror, but we can do the same to science fiction, historic novels, and even literary fiction if we want to take the mundane and make our readers squirm.

DR: Horror is like opening a dark window on a quiet room and letting the screams in. They were always there, we were just trying our best not to hear them. This is something we play with a lot in the Path of Ra series, this juxtaposition of the real and the rational against forces that are neither, giving them an air of the surreal, the alien.

Who is your favourite author and why?

DR: Since it would be pithy of me to say Lee Murray – who is indeed a mighty fine writer – I’ll have to say Hugh Cook. Cook was a kiwi author of fantasy and science fiction with a heavy slant into the horrific, whose work I first discovered when I was still in college and which continues to inspire me to this day. His refusal to obey things like genre rules leant his work a truly original and unpredictable aspect which is rare. Sadly, he passed away after bravely battling brain cancer for many years. I sometimes wonder if the two are related.

LM: Aw. [Blushes] Well, I’ll have to say Dan Rabarts now, won’t I? In fairness, successful collaborative writing teams I’ve come across — Jeff Strand and James A Moore, James A Moore and Charles Rutledge, Heide Goode and Iain Grant, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, New Zealand’s own Matt and Debbie Cowens to name just a few— invariably demonstrate a mutual respect for one another’s work. If you’re going to be working closely with someone over the course of a novel, or a series of novels, you have to like their work. I wouldn’t have suggested collaborating with Dan if I hadn’t liked what I was reading. Dan’s first solo novel Brothers of the Knife, the first title in his grimdark fantasy series The Children of Bane, releases in early 2019. The series retains all the usual Rabarts flair, only without the constraints of a pesky co-writer. There’s the quirky element, the frenetic plot twists, and the dark underbelly, all laid out on a high fantasy palette. Outside of our writing partnership, I like Dr Seuss, Harper Lee, Grimm’s Tales, René Barjavel, Kaaron Warren, Hank Schwaeble… too many to count.

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

DR: Teeth of the Wolf is available from October 4th 2018 from Raw Dog Screaming Press, in print and ebook versions. We’ve probably got an amazon link around here somewhere. Did I put it down behind my beer…?

LM: Oh for crying out loud, it’s right here: https://www.amazon.com/Teeth-Wolf-Dan-Rabarts/dp/1947879073

Are you on social media? Please supply links

DR: You can find me on FB as Dan Rabarts and Twitter as @rabarts. I also have a website at http://dan.rabarts.com

LM: And you can find me on FB as Lee Murray and Twitter as @leemurraywriter. My website is https://www.leemurray.info

 

 

Author interview with Deborah Sheldon

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Tell us a bit about yourself and your latest story.

My name is Deborah Sheldon and I live in Melbourne. My professional credits span 32 years and include TV scripts, feature articles, award-winning medical writing and non-fiction books. These days, I write short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum. My latest releases include the bio-horror novella Thylacines (Severed Press) and the dark fantasy and horror collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (IFWG Australia), which won the Australian Shadows “Best Collected Work 2017”. My website has a full list of credits: https://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com/

In September, IFWG Australia published my noir-horror novel Contrition. The back-cover blurb reads:

In her late teens, Meredith Berg-Olsen had all the makings of a runway model. Now in her late forties, after everything she had been through – including horrors that John could only guess at – she looked bloodless instead of pale, skeletal instead of slender, more dead than alive…
John Penrose has two secrets. One is the flatmate he keeps hidden from the world: his high-school sweetheart, Meredith. His other secret is the reason he feels compelled to look after her.
Contrition is a horror story with noir undertones and an atmosphere of mounting dread.

What inspired you to write this story?

A few years ago, I met a strange couple. He was mild-mannered and stoic. She was hostile and aggressive. They lived together but were not related, and were not involved (romantically or sexually) in any kind of way. In short, no ties. He went to work and paid all their bills, while she stayed home and did nothing but hate his guts with an absolute passion. Why did they stay together? What the hell was going on?

This couple got under my skin. I couldn’t fathom the dynamic of their bizarre relationship, so I kept dreaming up scenarios to explain it, each one more outrageous than the last. Contrition grew from one of those scenarios.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
That it’s a lifelong devotion. There’s always another technique to try, another writing medium, a different way to extend yourself. The craft of writing contains infinite possibilities.

What does the horror genre mean to you?
Freedom. You can broach any topic and explore any taboo. Yes, horror is considered “genre fiction” but unlike other genres such as romance, there are no strict conventions or parameters, which means you are free to push yourself as far as you’d like (or dare) to go. Horror has so many subgenres that it offers a virtually limitless supply of fresh challenges.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Oh, you can’t make me choose just one, I won’t allow it! In no particular order: Annie Proulx, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, Daphne du Maurier, James M. Cain, Pete Dexter, Fay Weldon, Stephen King, and that’s just for starters… A few of my favourite spec-fic/horror novels are The Handmaid’s Tale, The Haunting of Hill House, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Shining, Flowers for Algernon, Rebecca and The Man Who Fell to Earth.
An author will automatically become one of my favourites if he/she can move me. If they scare the crap out of me or make me cry, I’ll buy everything they’ve ever written.

Where can people purchase your novel?
Right now, Contrition is available as an ebook and in paperback from Amazon. In time, it will go through distribution channels and end up in bookshops and libraries too.

Are you on social media? Please supply links.
Please friend me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3312459.Deborah_Sheldon

I’m not on Facebook personally, but IFWG Australia runs a page on my behalf:
https://www.facebook.com/Deborah-Sheldon-936388749723500/

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An interview with Geneve Flynn

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Sinister Reads – New release questionnaire

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

I’m a freelance editor with a focus on speculative fiction. I’ve had short horror stories published in Australia and internationally and I have a soft spot for b-grade action movies.

‘The Pontianak’s Doll’ is a short horror story based on a Malaysian vampiric ghost legend. It features in the Gothic Fantasy anthology, Lost Souls, brought out by Flame Tree Publishing in September.

What inspired you to write this story?

I wanted to explore horror from an Asian perspective. Most of the horror I’d read up until that point had been based on western mythology and ideas. I wanted to see if I could write something based on an Asian myth and scare myself.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

Protect your confidence. This is advice from my AHWA mentor from last year, Deborah Sheldon. The most important thing for an author to have is confidence – confidence in their story and confidence in their ability to begin and ultimately finish their work. Without confidence, you’ll run into all sorts of problems.

What does the horror genre mean to you?

I went from reading Trixie Belden mysteries and the Sweet Valley High books straight to Stephen King’s It. I remember always being dissatisfied with the children’s fiction that was around at the time and when I cracked open the pages of King’s horror opus, I immediately felt at home. Horror will always be the key to growing up for me – seeing and facing the terrors of the adult world and having a way to get my head around them. Horror is about honesty.

Who is your favourite author and why?

This changes depending on what I’m reading. As an editor, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction books for professional development and I recently read, Violence: A Writer’s Guide by Rory Miller. It was an eye-opening read and I actually laughed out loud at a couple of things in the book. I’m currently reading Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club and it’s such a lot of fun.

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

The Lost Souls anthology is available through Flame Tree Publishing’s website: https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Lost-Souls-Short-Stories.html
Flame Tree Publishing have also brought out several other fabulous anthologies in their collection, such as Lovecraft Short Stories, Pirates and Ghosts Short Stories and Murder Mayhem Short Stories.
The anthology is also available on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lost+souls+anthology
Are you on social media? Please supply links

This is my website: http://www.geneveflynn.com.au
This is my author Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/geneveflynn

Sinister Reads Profile: Claire Fitzpatrick

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

 

 

Dear Member,

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

 

I’m Claire Fitzpatrick, award-winning author, poet, and occasional music journalist. I’m a public servant, so obviously my short stories are going to be horrific. I live in Brisbane in a chaotic house with five other people and a pug. Of these people, one is my almost 6-year-old daughter. She has ASD and is a bit of a savant with regards to reading. Life is currently a bit hectic for me, so I haven’t had a lot of time to write, but I do what I can.

 

My latest story published is ‘Dragonfly’ in Phuket Tattoo, an anthology from Zombie Pirate Publishing. It’s about Will, who seeks out the mysterious Vietnamese Dragonfly club in the hopes of finding his lost friend, John. He soon finds himself at the Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park and face to face with the dark magic of the Ruc people. It’d consider it a thriller adventure story, as Will meets many different people as he travels from one side of Vietnam to another in search of John. It took me a few weeks to write, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

 

What inspired you to write this story?

 

The Ruc people are real people who live in the forests and mountains of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park. It is said they possess dark magic, as they perform ‘witchcraft rituals’ and use ‘charms’ to avoid beasts and expel demons. I’ve done a bit of travelling throughout Asia and have always been interested in different cultures. I suppose it was just about writing a story about travel and culture with a dark twist. I’m glad there was a submissions callout for such a story!

 

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

 

Write about what you know, and don’t hold anything back. Writing can often feel like pulling teeth, but usually the most painful things to write turn into eloquent prose. Writing can be cathartic, rebellious, and passionate. For me, it’s a process of removing unwanted thoughts in my head and turning them into words. Of course, I write when I am happy, but I find my best work comes when I’m feeling slightly morose. That’s not to say you should only write when you’re having a bad day! I suppose the most important lesson I would try to teach someone is to write during emotional periods in your life – write when something good has happened, something bad, something fun, something surprising, etc. Use your emotions to fuel your imagination. A lot of my stories stem from my feelings towards my daughter, my feelings regarding my Epilepsy and BPD, and especially my feelings after I’ve had a seizure or a dissociative episode. Just write when you’re feeling an incredibly overwhelming emotion.

 

What does the horror genre mean to you?

 

The horror genre is an intrinsic part of who I am. It allows me to explore my thoughts and emotions in a productive and supportive way. I spend a lot of time observing people. I spend a lot of time sitting on buses and trains staring out the window. For me, I mostly write body horror within the horror genre.

 

Body horror is often a metaphor for real life transformations. The inevitable process of ageing as a form of body horror. If we live long enough, we all become monsters. Our hair falls out, our skin changes, and we become a burden and sometimes even a threat to those who love us. Body horror is also a metaphor for the failings of our body. Neurological diseases such as Epilepsy affect injuries of the mind. The condition of being flesh and blood elicits fear. The condition of being flesh and blood, of madness, of wounded flesh, reminds us just how human, how fallible we are. We often fear our own body, how it controls us, and how we relate to it.

 

Horror is a way to understand who we are as humans, what frightens us, and why it’s good to be scared. Freud tells us the love of horror comes from repressed feelings, Jung tells us it’s our primordial unconscious that enjoys watching people getting chopped up in a woodchopper. Rabelais and Bakhtin tell us we take pleasure in exploring the grotesque and carnivalesque celebration of the circle of life. For people who enjoy horror books and movies, their adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine levels tend to go totally crazy, as the fight-or-flight response is triggered by the imagined fear. Our brains need this for healthy functioning. Certainly, adrenaline is good for you. Most people associate adrenaline with fear and stressful situations—which occur in horror movies and books! —however, this is simply our bodies way to bring your physiological and psychological systems back to normal, keeping everything in check, but in an entirely safe space. So, I suppose the horror genre, for me, means a combination of catharsis and a way to explore fear in a healthy environment.

 

Who is your favourite author and why?

 

Sonya Hartnett! Interestingly, she’s not primarily a horror writer, yet she writes quite dark and disturbing stories about human relationships, especially within families. However, my favourite horror writer is Clive Barker. Clive Barker introduced me to body horror. He was the one author who has similar ideas to mine. As soon as my friend lent me his copy of Weaveworld I was hooked!

 

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

 

You can find ‘Dragonfly’ within ‘Phuket Tattoo: Crazy Tales Of Faraway Places’ on Amazon.

 

Are you on social media? Please supply links

 

I don’t have a Facebook author page, but you can find me at my personal Facebook page, my Twitter, or my Instagram page.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Dear Member,

If you have had a short story, novella or novel released in the last two months or an upcoming release let us know about it! Answer the questions below and we’ll publish your interview at http://www.sinisterreads.wordpress.com and share it on our social media networks. *Please only one submission per release (and remember, you must be a member to submit). To become a member, please contact us – australasianhorror@gmail.com

Sinister Reads – New release questionnaire

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

What inspired you to write this story?

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

What does the horror genre mean to you?

Who is your favourite author and why?

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

Are you on social media? Please supply links

Send this document as an attachment to australasianhorror@gmail.com and we’ll get the interview online as soon as possible.

Thanks for being a part of the AHWA!

Visit http://www.australasianhorror.wordpress.com

New release interview with Lee Murray on Into the Sounds

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2018 by ahwasinisterreads

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story?

My name is Lee Murray. An AHWA member for the past five years, I’ve been writing for ten, with eight novels, nine edited works, and numerous short stories published, and a further three novels currently in press. My work is almost entirely speculative, and most of it tends to dark fiction and horror. My also cooking tends towards horror. I live with my family in the sunny Bay of Plenty where my office overlooks a cow paddock.

INTO THE SOUNDS is the second adventure in my Taine McKenna speculative thriller series, the sequel to award-winning INTO THE MIST (also a 2016 Shadows finalist), this time set in New Zealand’s southern fiords.

Here is the blurb:
On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park, where soaring peaks give way to valleys gouged from clay and rock, and icy rivers bleed into watery canyons too deep to fathom. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. But a band of mercenaries saw them first, and, hell-bent on exploiting the tribes’ survivors, they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way. As a soldier, McKenna is duty-bound to protect all New Zealanders, but after centuries of persecution will the Tūrehu allow him to help them? Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?

What inspired you to write this story?

Its publisher: the success of Into the Mist prompted the publisher to request a sequel. I hadn’t envisaged writing one, so it meant teasing a long story arc from the story threads
already existed. I tried to keep the same key elements that readers had enjoyed about the first book: an atmospheric New Zealand setting, fast-paced action, mythology, science, and a predatory primordial monster. However, it is certainly not the same story, with a bunch of new characters, plenty of dark moments, and some unexpected twists. A stand-alone, readers shouldn’t feel they have to read the first book in order to enjoy Into the Sounds, although I hope they will.

“Taine McKenna’s latest foray leads him again into the forests of New Zealand, this time accompanying a small group of conservationists evaluating the status of endangered species. But what they find goes far beyond any of their expectations and leads them to violent conflicts and a blood-thirsty band of plunderers set to exploit the new find. And something else. Something huge and voracious and virtually unbeatable. Murray does a beautiful job in combining New Zealand landscapes with strong characters, both native and otherwise. Her writing is, as always, clear and direct, especially in her handling of Maori terms readers might not be familiar with. I highly recommend this book to those interested in action, military adventure, conservation and its inherent dangers, and, perhaps most of all, tales of cryptozoology.” — World Horror Master, Michael Collings

What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?

If at all possible, grow a carapace.

What does the horror genre mean to you?

Horror isn’t really a genre, is it? Horror is something that transcends genre. It is anything that engenders feelings of unease, dread, disgust, or terror in a reader. Everyone feels fear at some time in their lives. It’s universal. And since people’s fears are both wide-ranging and unique, the scope of horror is just as diverse. For me, as a storyteller, there is nothing more exciting.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I can’t possibly answer this. I have too many to count. My favourite author is often the person I am currently, so right now that would be Christa Carmen, Something Borrowed, Something Bloodsoaked, Matt Bett, Shadows Beneath the Waves, and David Versace’s Mnemo’s Memory and Other Fantastic Stories. However, I will tell you that my favourite childhood horror was Pinocchio with its chilling warning to children about disobedience ‒ at the risk of having your skin sliced off and then stretched to make a drum.

Where can people read/purchase your story/novel?

INTO THE MIST and INTO THE SOUNDS can be purchased in print and ebook formats from Severed Press and online venues. Into the Mist is available on audible. Australasian Horror Writers members who would like to receive a digital ARC of either title for honest review should contact leekiwi at gmail dot com

Are you on social media? Please supply links

@leemurraywriter
https://www.facebook.com/lee.murray.393
Www.leemurray.info

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