In a slight change to the format, I’m delighted to welcome Leigh Haddington to Kendall Reviews. Leigh is not only going to offer a brief insight into why he writes horror, but also his favourite horror novel.
Leigh’s debut novel Kings Of Hell is out now!
Why Do You Write Horror?
Growing up in the ’70s / ’80s, during the Betamax and VHS revolution, I watched lots of B movie horror from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Microwave Massacres, for example. So, they always sat in my head from being eight years old. Then as a teenager, Friday the 13th’s and A Nightmare on Elm Streets were out, along with films like Hellraiser, and not to mention all the metal I could consume. I guess there was only one way I would go when I first started to write back in 2019.
Dark Fiction and Horror were the natural style of writing that leaked out, mixed in with the Scalzi and Gaiman I was reading at the time was all influential when I wrote Kings of Hell.
I didn’t read much growing up, but one of my friends had all the Herbert books (I now have his whole biography), and I was always interested in King too (next on the list to buy).
Look, when you’re a teenager with a serial killer obsession, and you like to plan the perfect murders, or at least you think you did, there are only two places you can go with that skill set, and I haven’t killed anyone… yet!
My Favourite Horror Novel?
I am a classic fan of the older writers and their early stuff, same with music. And I do love a good vampire story like Dracula and Anne Rice’s many novels. So, I think, normally, it would be King’s offering of Salem’s Lot that would take it, but, James Herbert for me has a style all his own which I love, it might be the Brit in me, but The Fog takes it (I know I banged on about vampires, but I am a rambler). It is just gruesome, unexpected and deranged. He goes places with it that makes you question his sanity whilst writing it. Then you realise he had written The Rats a couple of years earlier and realise it’s normal for him. I mean that underground scene stands out in The Rats like the school gym scene does in The Fog, both equally brutal.
I would like to have the time to read more, but life dominates, so I do a lot of my reading via audiobooks during exercise and gardening.
I also like to read indie horror too, just listened to Keith Anthony Baird’s And A Dark Horse Dreamt of Nightmares, which turned my stomach a few times, it was beautifully horrific.
KR: If you would like to share Why You Write Horror or what your Favourite Horror Novel is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kendall Reviews.
Leigh Haddington is the author of Kings of Hell, his dark fiction debut, and is constantly working on his dark poetry. He grew up on a diet of eighties video horror, heavy metal music, horror, and sci-fi books, all of which inform his unique take on the genres. It was a life-long love of comics, superhero movies, and an obsession with serial killers that drives his writing to end up in the weird and dark places that it does.
You can follow Leigh on Twitter @leighhaddington
Check out Leigh’s website https://leighrh.wixsite.com/lhaddingtonauthor
Kings Of Hell
Desperate to save her son’s life, Jude Fitzroy, signs a contract with the devil. She gets to raise Nick until he is eighteen and then Lucifer will take his place – she will never know the difference, and Nick will rule Hell in Lucifer’s stead.
A life swap with the King of Hell wasn’t how Nick saw his future but the past had sealed his fate. Now, not only does he have power and magic beyond his wildest dreams, but also a life that is dragging him through his worst nightmares.
In a world where Hell is on the doorstep of everyone’s life, Nick discovers just how far he will have to go for his family, freedom and a future of being himself. Lucifer, however, has other ideas and will do anything to keep the contract in place.