Roger's books are available from Amazon and Smashwords and any of his books make for great summertime reads.
Does writing in the horror genre come naturally to you?
Writing gibberish comes naturally. With horror I simply choose something which frightens me and then set out to really gross myself (and the reader) out. Unlike a lot of writers I don’t begin with a plan, but usually with a concept, or even a single sentence, which is how the Three Hoodies series began. I just start typing and see what happens, which is the thing I love most about writing.
What types of buildings, people, or scenarios give you your story plots?
I don’t really like old haunted mansions, or traditionally scary places; they’re too obvious. I prefer normal places which suddenly become completely the opposite as something really gruesome happens.
Did you read or watch a lot of horror growing up?
I did. I especially loved Hammer films. Really cheesy plots, the same music and sets for every single film. But I just adored them. Even Doctor Who scared me as a child. Not the Daleks; they were just a bunch of girls. The villains guaranteed to have me hiding behind the sofa were the Ziber Men. I just loved to be frightened.
After “Forbidden Planet”, which for me is the best film ever made in my other love, combining SF with horror was “Alien”. Such excitement mixed with horror; a pure masterpiece.
You also add dashes of humor in your stories. How do you know when the reader needs a break from the plot? Or do they just seem to come at the right places in the story?
I like humor in my books. I suppose it’s a leftover of the gallows wit we employed in the Royal Marines. If we didn’t joke on occasions we probably would have gone mad. It’s also a good method for relaxing the reader before zapping them with a real gross-out moment just to keep it lively.
Tell us a little about Kongomato and why you wanted to write this story?
I decided that it was time to write a horror novel with the intention to publish after seven which didn’t really work that well. My only problem was that I had no idea where to start. So I trolled the internet for a week or so and found a supposedly real monster still roaming the swamps of several African counties. Depending on the country the same creature varies enormously in size and shape: from a small turkey-like bird with feathers, to an enormous leathery monster which can kill just by looking at its prey. It occurred to me that a rampaging, overgrown chicken would hardly terrorise a gerbil, so I opted for the larger one. Then when I’d finished I was going to leave it at that, but I began receiving emails demanding that I couldn’t leave it like that, so I wrote a sequel which I’ve now published and just begun the third and final novel in the trilogy.
I've read your short story collection and every one of them was unique yet quite scary. Did you just have several horror stories floating around in your mind and decided to write them into one collection?
According to my wife I’m in real need of professional help, so it was no problem. I just put pen to paper (literally) and began. After an enormous number of edits I was finally finished, and used the opportunity to self-publish my first book.
Did any of your short stories develop into a full novel?
Yes, Kongomato began as one of those stories. After I published A Little Twist, I decided that I’d like to take it further some day, and when I began Kongomato, it seemed the perfect time. I wrote that same story in half a dozen different ways with an equal number of endings – one as a comedy. They reside permanently in a flash drive somewhere.
What advice can you give to people who've never published but want to be authors?
Once, I would have said “just write”, and that’s still the most important thing, writing every day, or at very regular intervals. Obviously one must read voraciously which sometimes infringes on the time to write. Yet without knowing what works for established writers, we might never find our own voice which is crucial if we’re not to spend our lives just copying other peoples’ style. As soon as the writer’s individual voice emerges he/she must seize and work on improving it.
And have fun. This must be the only pastime which can give years of pleasure and cost absolutely nothing.
Thank you, Roger for taking the time to visit today.
I sincerely hope that anyone wishing to write a novel will tak Roger's advice. Please check out his blogs and follow him. He always has interesting posts.
Love, honor, and respect to all.