Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I was born and raised in an unremarkable town in the north-east of England by a remarkably supportive and well adjusted working-class family. After 14 years of ineffective education I found himself in Art College, which led to twenty years employment as an Archaeological Illustrator in which I produced a wide variety of technical illustrations for publication as well as more general illustration, design and copy work on educational and display materials intended for schools and the general public. Eventually the hunt for a half decent salary within that occupation led me to the Museum of London and a move to the capitol where I still live today in happily married bliss.
I am passionate about genre fiction, film and games, have a fervent interest in history, mythology and folklore and am fascinated by the deeper meanings behind ritual practice, ceremonial magic and occult lore. I am a keen Ripperologist, a devout Lovecraftian and a determined new writer of dark-genre fiction and non-fiction books. A good deal of my spare time is spent online where, under my user-name of choice ‘Harbinger451’, I am creating a website and writing a blog that explore the alternative worlds that encompass my passions. I have one published novel and am currently writing the second.
Tell us about your books.
‘Rose Blood: The Phantasmagoriad Book One – an Anti-Verse Tale’ is my debut novel and is available in various ebook formats at most online retailers. I decided to right the sort of book I wanted to read. Rose Blood is indeed that book, inspired by my interest in folklore and the occult, and by my passion for horror and fantasy genre fiction, film and games. It is the first in a trilogy of breakneck, erotically charged, Gothic fairytales set in an alternate world full of gruesome horrors, dark fantasies, twisted trysts and hard-boiled heroics; peopled with unique characters, many of whom subvert genre norms, and steeped in authentic occult lore. The gripping story, which hooks from the start, unfolds in and around the eldritch environs of an archaic primeval forest that lingers across a huge swathe of the Britannik Isles – a dark parallel of Britain in the early 1700s.
How did you go about getting published?
I tried approaching lterary agents but soon lost patience with the whole process and decided to self publish, its a steep learning curve but I’m hopefull that it will be a rewarding experience – it certainly gives you more creative control than traditional publishing and luckily I have the skills that let me design my own covers and format the books just how I like.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I try to write at least something every day. I do most of my writing on my laptop, in a comfortable armchair or in bed, while drinking tea, coffee – or sometimes whiskey – while snacking on various unhealthy nibbles.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
Watch films, play games and, of course read books.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
If you con’t have the skills yourself get a proffesional to design one for you – a good cover is vital, unfortunately readers do jusge a book by its cover.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I’m pretty new to the book promotional game but it seems GoodReads is a great place to start. Needless to say a strong social media presence is pretty essential, as is getting your book listed and for sale in as many formats and on as many sites as possible – Smashwords can do a lot of this for you, listing it in many online outlets with one submission to them.
What’s your favorite book?
‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler
What are you reading now?
Working my way through Joe Abercrombie’s ‘First Law’ series.
What’s your next book project?
I’m working on ‘Moon Shade’, the second novel in the Phantasmagoriad trilogy, following on from my debut ‘Rose Blood’. I’m also finishing off a short occult horror story, ‘The Matter of Time’, the third short story that will make up the Dollar Dreadful Volume 2 ebook with two more of my works of short fiction.