Monday, December 8, 2014

Shaun Jeffrey Interview

Shaun Jeffrey is a man after my own heart. His writing touches on several of my fears/fantasies with sea-creatures and zombies. I would list Fangtooth as a must read by anyone who loves horror or the ocean. Among his 30-plus writing credits are short stories published in Surreal Magazine, Dark
Discoveries, Shadowed Realms, and Cemetery Dance. He has also had two collections published, The Mutilation Machination and Voyeurs of Death and five novels, Killers, The Kult, Deadfall, Fangtooth and Evilution. Sit back and let me introduce you to the man behind the tales,,,,

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

Okay, I grew up in a house in a cemetery where my grandparents were the caretakers, so I guess with that sort of credential, I was never going to be writing romance stories, and perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to the darker aspects of life. I’ve had five novels published, one of which, The Kult has been filmed (the production company is now looking for a distributor). Aside from writing, I have a lot of hobbies, including running in obstacle races and working out at the gym (I worked as a gym instructor at the weekends for a number of years). I’m also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and I now also do the Israeli martial art, Krav Maga. I also, and most importantly, have a family that I like to spend time with. Then on top of that I have a full time job as a team leader in the signalling and maintenance department on the railway. I’m now worn out just thinking about it all!

2. How long have you been writing?

I started writing seriously in my early 20s, so nearly 30 years. I was reading a lot when I started (far more than I do now), and I suppose rightly or wrongly I thought I could write as well as some of the books I was reading. But of course it’s not that easy. I’m still learning how to write well.

3. Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

I don’t think I could pinpoint any one thing or person that inspired me, other than that I like making things up. To travel within your own imagination is a heck of a trip. There are no boundaries, and except when the characters take over, you have full control of the world you create.

4. What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?

The greatest challenge is actually sitting down and writing. There are so many distractions that stop me, such as surfing the net, going for a run, martial art training etc., which is surprising really as once I’m in the zone, I enjoy it. It’s just getting me there that’s the problem. The most enjoyable part is when someone actually enjoys what I’ve written. It’s nice to think that someone has read something of mine and that for a short time, they have been entertained.

5. What books do you enjoy in your free time?

Free time. What’s that? When I do read, my tastes are eclectic, but I mainly read in the thriller/horror genre. I like to read the same sort of things that I write.

6. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favourite author is probably Graham Masterton. I find his stories to be both engaging and entertaining, and he has a real skill for sucking me into the story and making me feel for the people he writes about.

7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Anyone can write, but learn how to do it properly. Writing is all about finding the right words to tell the best story you can, but where do you start? Well, as with all things, it starts with an idea. A single spark. If you’re writing a horror/suspense story, you need to write about something that will scare people. And the best way to do that is to think about what scares you. It might be water, spiders, clowns, balloons, dogs, cats, your teacher, whatever. Because it’s something you’re afraid of, you can relate to it more, and you will really know what the fear feels like so that should show in your writing.

8. Can you tell us about any of your new work?

I’ve been working on a couple of new pieces. One is a story that I’m writing for my son, and the other is a cross between Donnie Darko and Fight Club. Aside from that I’m working on a short screenplay, which is something new that I’m trying.

9. What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?

That’s a tough one. Okay, here’s one. If you had a million pounds, would you still write? Yes, I don’t write for money (although it’s nice to get paid), but because I enjoy the act of creating. So even if I had all the money in the world, I’d still enjoy spending time making stuff up. It’s in my blood.

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