On behalf of Halloweenpalooza, thanks so much for agreeing to participate. Let’s start with some quickies:
Favorite fictional stalker: Michael Myers in the first Halloween movie.
Favorite scene in a horror flick: Tricky, there are so many! I have to go for the final ventriloquism scene of the 1945 British anthology horror movie Dead Of Night. If you haven't seen it, check it out! It's where all those scary doll flicks originated.
Favorite guilty pleasure: Cheesy old adventures movies of the Doug McClure type. Give me a nice cup of tea and a trip to the Earth's Core and I'm happy.
Dogs or cats: Cats! They're little furry bundles of baffling terror.
Ever carve a pumpkin: No, but when I was a kid we did carve small British turnip lanterns...
Favorite Halloween candy: Anything skull-shaped.
Favorite place to write: In my head (© E. Hemingway).
1. Since there are so many types of horror, can you please tell us about your work? What can a reader expect when he picks up a story written by David Longhorn?
I hope s/he can expect a good time! I enjoy history, folklore, weird scholarship, and strange plot twists, all of which I think are present in most of my stuff. I also have a silly/twisted sense of humor, somewhere between Monty Python and John Carpenter, which I think comes across at times. I love the traditional ghost story, which is a great British thing, and my hero is M.R. James, who wrote about naïve or unwary characters blundering into terrifying situations. Above all, though, I think a reader can expect the strange and eerie, with a distinctly British/European feel of course.
2. Could you please give us a small excerpt from any of your books that exemplifies what you do best?
Excerpt from ‘The Smog’
The flashlight isn't strong enough to illuminate the man properly. Kevin starts trudging back up the hill waving the beam from side to side. He catches glimpses of the figure, who seems painfully thin and is standing very still. He's shocked to see another man-shape appear, as if from nowhere.
He stops climbing and steadies the flashlight. The light plays over shapes that are too thin, too devoid of flesh to be alive. And yet, there they stand; lipless mouths gape limply, empty sockets stare, and Kevin feels his already-fragile mental barrier between horror movies and reality tumble down, perhaps for good.
3. What’s the best thing about writing horror?
The freedom to throw in anything and everything, from people you know to interesting bits of general knowledge to personal obsessions or fears. Anything can be scary in the right context, and that goes double for everything, trivial things, from shower curtains to junk mail.
4. What scares you?
The unseen, or half-glimpsed, horror that might not be there. The sound of something or someone in the next room, or just around the corner. And tentacles.
5. Have you had any personal encounters with supernatural?
Not that I know of. I've stayed in haunted houses, visited haunted churches, all that kind of thing – so far, zilch. But I keep trying.
6. If you were forced to spend the night at one allegedly haunted location, where would it be and what would you hope to learn?
The Tower of London! I'd ask Ann Boleyn what Henry VIII was like, assuming she could reply with her head tucked underneath her arm. (Google it, there's even a song!)
7. If you could channel one master of horror that’s passed, who would it be and what do you think the result of your collaboration would be?
I'd probably go for H.G. Wells, best known as a science-fiction author these days ('The Time Machine', 'The War of the Worlds' etc) but actually a master of horror, especially in short stories like 'The Valley of Spiders' and 'The Red Room'. A collaboration would, I hope, lead to something visionary as well as dark and disturbing. A book that stays with you, even changes your life.
8. What does Halloween mean to you? What’s your best memory?
Halloween wasn't such a big thing in England when I was young, while it's huge now. It's a bit like Christmas, almost meaningless in spiritual terms and submerged in commercial clamor. So, it doesn't mean a lot, I suppose. But my best memory is simply of dressing up in a sheet as ghost. I was very small at the time..
9. What characteristics go into creating a really memorable villain?
Intelligence, wit, ambition, perhaps even idealism of a sort. Most villains think they are doing something that is right, or at least inevitable. It's interesting that so many Hollywood villains are played by extremely talented British actors, which suggests that they have to be more sophisticated than the hero. 'Hey, he's listening to classical music and quoting Plato, he must be really evil!' And villains are almost always male, which is interesting. People seldom mention a Y-chromosome as a vital ingredient for wrongdoing, yet in fiction (as in life) it's almost always present.
10. What’s next for David Longhorn? What are your upcoming plans?
I have another series of three novellas from Scare Street. This time the setting is contemporary Britain. The main character is an American postgrad who's been lucky (he thinks) to get a grant to travel and research his Ph.D subject, an obscure English author of ghost stories. Trouble is, our hero finds that the writer may have drawn upon some very disturbing real-life experiences for his most terrifying tales...
GIVEAWAYToday’s giveaway is 10 ecopies (mobi format) of THE SENTINELS!!!!
To win: go to the Official FB Event Page; find the post announcing today’s giveaway; and comment, “I WANT TO WIN” in that post and you just might!!!THE SENTINELS
A crown. A church. A ship buried underwater for centuries. And the power that awaits…
England in 1940 is marked by blackouts, air raids and the threat of enemy bombs. Yet, in pastoral Duncaster, against the backdrop of awe-inspiring cliffs and a roiling sea, reporter Rachel Rubin fights an adversary more deadly than the Germans: a foe that only she can see, it seems.
According to legend, King Redwald’s treasure is in Duncaster and is protected by a foul curse. Believing in old folk tales is utter nonsense to the true blue American Rachel … until she starts having disturbing dreams and seeing ghosts!
As the danger escalates, more chilling events occur. Rachel races against time to discover the truth. She doesn’t know who to trust, but one thing is certain-- the bodies are piling up and Doomsday looms on Duncaster’s watery horizon!
AUTHOR BIOBBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas on television, despite losing a lot of sleep as a result.
He went on to get a degree in English Studies, which somehow led him to a career in local government, which in turn took him into a recording studio where he provided voice-overs, read news, and did a lot of other audio stuff. It’s been that kind of life, really – a bit random but quite interesting.
All the while he was reading and writing supernatural fiction, influenced by both the classic tales of writers like Ambrose Bierce, M.R. James, and Edgar Allan Poe, but also by modern masters such as Stephen King. He hopes to write a lot more about the world of the dead and undead, assuming they let him…