Hello my Freaky Darlings,
Today on 13 Questions we have Gary Fry. Gary lives in Dracula’s Whitby, literally around the corner from where Bram Stoker was staying when he was thinking about that character. Gary has a PhD is psychology, but his first love is literature. He is the author of many short story collections, several novellas, including the upcoming DarkFuse title Lurker and three novels, among them The House of Canted Steps (PS Publishing) and Conjure House (forthcoming from DarkFuse). He was the first author is PS Publishing’s Showcase series, and none other than Ramsey Campbell has described him as “a master.” His latest book is the short story collection Shades of Nothingness (PS Publishing). Gary warmly welcomes folk to his web presence: www.gary-fry.com.
1. What drives you to write?
Lord knows. A compulsion, I think. I’ve had it since childhood, this need to create. Maybe it’s about communication with others on my own terms. I don’t know. But I do like to delight and disturb. It’s fun and thrilling.
2. What attracted you to writing horror?
It appeals to me so imaginatively. I love all kinds of punchy fiction, but for all round impact, great horror fiction is peerless. I like being in the grip of an icy narrative, and I like to take hold of people in the same way.
3. Who are your favourite horror writers?
Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, Michael McDowell, TED Klein, H P Lovecraft, M R James, Algernon Blackwood.
4. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?
Misery by King: perfectly concise and excruciatingly terrifying. Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell – majestic and chilling. The Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell – a masterclass in hallucinogenic prose and dislocated structure. Those are some.
5. Ebooks or paperback?
Paperbacks. I love the smell of old books. It makes me recall reading Bradbury and Matheson as a teenager. Peerless memories. So I’m biased here.
6. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?
Good reviews, a strong first page, word-of-mouth.
7. Who is your favourite fictional character?
Annie Wilkes. Oh God yes. Or John Self from Martin Amis’s Money. Or even Keith Talent from Amis’s London Fields.
8. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?
I plot quite rigorously, but only with loose notes to guide the development. I like a bit of structure and freedom A bit like in life itself, really.
9. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?
Sometimes they do, between the gaps of the plot. A character has rarely dictated an ending or plot twist I never planned, but it sometimes happens. More than likely the theme of the story is apt to become clearer as I get closer to the end.
10. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
Silence on first drafts, but classical stuff on the rewrites. Although I did once write a novel to Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. It was brutal stuff.
11. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?
Very little. I tend to write what I know well. I’m lazy that way. My day job involves research. Writing is what I do in my spare time.
12. Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I just don’t get Twitter. FB is fun, more interactive, a right old laugh.
13. What really pisses you off about writing?
Not having enough time to commit to it, what with the day job. How I long to do this fulltime… One day…
You can download your copy of Conjure House from Amazon.com, as well as your copy of Emergence.