Wednesday, September 21, 2016

13 Questions With Brett McBean

Today here at Horror Maiden's we get to talk with Brett McBean, author of The Awakening, The Invasion, and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game. I recently reviewed The Awakening, a phenomenal coming of age horror novel that is one of my favorite books this year and in my opinion one of the best written by him. You can read my review Here. Now sit back and relax as we get to know more about the man behind the magic,,,,

HM: Tell me a little about yourself.


BM: I’m thirty-seven years old, was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, am a Sagittarian, eat way too much chocolate, and love a good bourbon.

HM: What do you do when you’re not writing (day job)?


BM: I’m fortunate that writing is my day job. When my daughter was born almost six years ago, I stayed at home to look after the baby while my wife went back to work (she has a very good, secure job so it made sense for me to be the one who stayed home with the baby). Now my daughter is in primary school, I’m able to concentrate almost solely on the writing, making time to do a few chores around the house now and again.


HM: How long have you been writing?


BM: I started writing late 1999, so over fifteen years now.


HM: Who or what inspired you to be a writer?


BM: I’ve always been a big reader, and dabbled with writing stories over the years, but it wasn’t until I was studying music at college that the writing bug really took hold. I was in my third and final year and I was burned out, I wasn’t enjoying the course and wasn’t sure I wanted to make music my career. I had been thinking about sitting down and working on a novel for a while, had an idea that had been percolating in my head, and so, when I finished my music degree, decided I had to take some time off and see if this writing bug had any legs. Well, it not only had legs, but arms and a head and it grew to something bigger than I ever expected. The moment I sat down and started writing, I knew I had found what I wanted to do. It just felt right. The novel was no damn good, but I loved writing so much I put music to the side and dedicated my time to making up stories.


As far as my biggest inspiration, that would be Richard Laymon. I discovered his work when I was a young teenager and I fell in love with his writing. His stories were so compelling, so macabre, so much fun, and I had never read anything quite like it. When I started writing seriously later on, I thought about how much joy Laymon’s writing had given me and wanted capture some of that and hopefully pass similar enjoyment on to my own readers.


HM: What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?


BM: Challenging: keeping yourself motivated, especially when life and aspects of the writing/publishing business gets you down. Enjoyable: when the writing is humming, when what’s in your head comes out mostly intact on the page. Also, getting feedback from readers, knowing your work has touched them in some way.


HM: Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?


BM: No, none that I would consider strange. Other aspects of my life, sure, but when it comes to writing, my habits are oddly straight.


HM: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?


BM: I’m a massive film buff, so I spend a lot of my free time watching movies. I also love listening to music (especially classical, blues, jazz, and funk/soul), and I still enjoy getting out and playing the drums. I read obsessively, mostly fiction, but I do have a fascination for true crime.


HM: What is your favorite book? Movie? TV show?


BM: Book: American Psycho. I think it’s one of the darkest, funniest, most cutting satires ever written. Movie: Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. I’m a huge zombie movie fan, especially ones from the ‘70s and ‘80s, and, for me, Dawn is the greatest ever made. It’s also the best example of independent cinema; daring, unconventional, and imbued with a unique sensibility. TV show: I think The Sopranos is the greatest drama of all time, Seinfeld the funniest, and Gilmore Girls the best at combining both pathos and humour.


HM: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


BM: Take time to find your own voice. Don’t give up. Editing is your best friend. And write, write, write...


HM: Can you tell us about any of your new work?


BM: I’m editing what I think will end up being the third book in my home invasion trilogy, while also making plans for the second installment. As far as recent releases, the first home invasion novel, The Invasion, came out a few months ago, and the US edition of my coming-of-age/voodoo novel, The Awakening, was just released.


HM: If you weren’t a writer, what would you do for a living?


BM: I mentioned being fascinated by true crime, and before I discovered my love of writing, I was seriously considering studying criminology. I could see myself being a mind hunter, like John Douglas or Robert Ressler. Either that, or a professional drummer or the new voice of Donald Duck – I do a mean impression of Donald, you know!


HM: I know that you have visited some of my favorite horror movie sites, like the area where The Evil Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were filmed. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?


BM: Not a movie location, per se, but the one place I’ve always wanted to visit is Whitechapel, in the East End of London. I have an unhealthy obsession with the Jack the Ripper murders, and am eager to walk in the footsteps, so to speak, of the most famous of serial murderers.


Film-wise, I’d love to do a Hitchcock-tour, being a Hitchcock fanatic. I’d love to visit the real places in California he used as settings for some of his movies, such as Bodega Bay (The Birds), Santa Rosa (Shadow of a Doubt), and the various locations in and around San Francisco that were notable in Vertigo, such as the redwood forest, Mission San Juan Bautista, Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge.


HM: What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?


BM: "Can I purchase the movie rights to your novel, The Awakening?"

"Of course you can, Mr. Spielberg."


Thanks for joining us Brett and stop by anytime!

About Brett McBean
Brett McBean is an award-winning horror and thriller author. His books, which include The Mother, The Last Motel and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game, have been published in Australia, the U.S., and Germany. His latest book, The Invasion, was published by Sinister Grin Press and has been optioned for a movie.

He’s been nominated for the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Ned Kelly awards, and he won the 2011 Australian Shadows Award for his collection, Tales of Sin and Madness.

He lives in Melbourne with his wife, daughter and German shepherd.

You can find him at his website, or on Facebook and GoodReads
From the Description
Welcome to the small Midwestern town of Belford, Ohio. It’s a quiet, friendly town. On one corner of Main Street you’ll find Barb’s Corner Store. Opposite you’ll see the town square, with its neatly trimmed lawn and statuesque gazebo. There’s everything you need here. There’s even a local bogeyman. You know the type: reclusive, looks a little strange. The person all the kids are afraid of. Every town has one. Except this one is stranger than most.

Meet Mr. Joseph. With his severely crooked neck and nasty facial scar, the old man from Haiti is the one resident all the kids whisper about and are scared to go near. But there are things about Mr. Joseph no one knows about. He has no heartbeat. No breath passes by his lips. And he has been dead for over ninety years.

It’s summer vacation and fourteen-year-old Toby Fairchild is looking forward to spending a lazy, carefree summer playing basketball, staying up late watching monster movies, and camping out in his backyard with his best friend, Frankie.

But then tragedy strikes. And out of this tragedy an unlikely friendship develops between Toby and the strange old man across the street, Mr. Joseph. Over the course of a tumultuous summer, Toby will be faced with pain and death, the excitement of his first love, and the underlying racism of the townsfolk, all while learning about the value of freedom at the hands of a kind but cursed old man.

Every town has a dark side. And in Belford, the local bogeyman has a story to tell.

Note: Book cover by Kealan Patrick Burke (


Publication Date: July 26, 2016

Publisher: Bloodshot Books

Publication Length: 485 pages

Buy the Book


Praise for The Awakening
"A story that raises itself above a simple horror tale, THE AWAKENING resonates with heart while applying just the right amount of chills. Highly recommended!" – Ronald Malfi, author of THE NIGHT PARADE

"THE AWAKENING is a riveting and fascinating novel that really grabs readers. I loved that it’s a coming of age novel that thrusts readers into the story and won’t let them go. Brett McBean was already one of my favorite authors but The Awakening is one of the best books I’ve read in years, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!" – John R. Little, author of THE MEMORY TREE, MIRANDA, and URSA MAJOR

"A coming-of-age tale that hit me in the gut, THE AWAKENING ranks up there with James Newman’s MIDNIGHT RAIN, SUMMER OF NIGHT by Dan Simmons, and THE BODY by the grand master of them all, Stephen King. This is one that you’ll recommend to your friends for years to come." – Pete Kahle, author of THE SPECIMEN

"The Awakening is on par with Stephen King’s story, The Body, which was the basis of the movie "Stand By Me." It is a story that, at times made me chuckle and also brought me to tears, more than once. When the truth is revealed, it was unexpected and enlightening." –Frank Errington

For more fun and information about Brett McBean and The Awakening follow along with the blog tour with these hashtags: #TheAwakening #BrettMcBean #BloodshotBooks #HookofaBook #OhioHorror

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature The Awakening or Brett McBean in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at