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This week sees the first installment of a new semi regular feature for this site. I am not only a horror writer, as you have probably gathered from previous posts, I am also a massive fan of the genre. Horror films, horror novels, horror comics, I love it all. To this end I intend to post occasional interview with other people in this field.
The honour of being the first interviewee goes to my fellow English, Author Michael Brookes. It seemed fitting, having read his work, as we are both based in the East of England, and both write dark fiction. What follows is a short Biography of Micael, and then the interview
Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and her considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.
How did you start writing?
I've been writing short stories for many years. My job as a game producer also has me writing design and fiction documents which has helped my development as a writer. I wrote my first novel a few years ago, a few people read the first draft and said I should keep working at it. So I did and finally released it to the public and I'm pleased to say I've been receiving favourable reviews for that and my subsequent works.
Why do you write horror?
The great thing about horror is that it encapsulates aspects of most genres. I write stories, they tend to be about dark characters or events, so that kind of slots them in the horror bracket. Horror is also one of the genres (ironically romance is probably the only other genre to do the same) that really speaks to something ancient and hidden in all of us.
What, in your opinion, is the greatest horror story ever, and why?
Now that's a hard question. The greatest story ever told is John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. I guess some people would consider the fall of Lucifer and mankind a horror, so I'll still with that!
What scares you?
Another tricky question. I guess it's the human condition that scares me. Our amazing ability to achieve wonderful things, yet still try to screw each over when we can. We're a young race yet, so hopefully we'll grow up in time :-)
The horror genre is a huge thing, which particular areas of it appeal to you most as a writer? Are there any that don’t interest you at all?
Part of horror's appeal is it's inclusive nature, almost any story fits in the horror definition - depending on how you tell it. I'm not a big fan of the modern concept of romanticizing monsters, vampires in particular. I'm a big fan of supernatural and metaphysical horror, as anyone who has read my books will know.
Do you have any writing rituals that you have to stick to?
I have to maintain a routine. I try to write something every day. It might only be a drabble (a 100 word story), but I have to keep writing.
What do you think it is like to be an author at this moment in time?
This is an exciting time to be an author. Technology has democratised writing, it is easier than ever to release a book. That comes with a responsibility, as authors we need to make sure that we only release what is worth reading by others. Of course it's difficult to be successful, but anyone writing purely for profit should probably find another living.
What was the last nightmare you had?
Not very exciting one I'm afraid. I was trapped in a hotel with everyone from work and none of us knew what was going on.
What is your latest book about?
Faust 2.0 is about an evil force coming to being on the Internet. The moment it is born it is attacked by humans (without us realising it), in that moment of its birth it comes to hate humanity. It's up to Sarah Mitchell to figure out what is going on and try to stop it.
What do you have planned next?
I'm current working on the first draft for Sun Dragon, a science fiction story about the first manned mission to Mars. It doesn't go well.
How would you try and sell your latest book to someone in one sentence?
Many people believe that the Internet is the source of much evil, they're more right than they know.
Thank you to to Michael Brookes for this interview, if you wish to find out more about the author and his work please go here
Here are links to Michael's books on Amazon UK, though they are available also from other sources.