Alyson lives in West Yorkshire with her husband, teen son and 4 rescue animals. She has been a teacher, a carer, a road safety instructor and a lifetime film buff. Currently she teaches creative writing workshops and writes dark fiction, both short (flash) and long. Her short stories have appeared in print in the anthologies, Women in Horror Annual 2, Stories from Stone, DeadCades: The Infernal Decimation, Coffin Bell Journal 1 and Crackers. Her debut flash fiction collection, Badlands, was published in January 2018 by indie publisher, Chapel Town Books and her own Trio of Terror – Supernatural Tales (all set in Yorkshire) came out in December 2018. Her flash fiction has appeared in several charity anthologies and can be heard on several podcasts (most recently on the debut Ladies of Horror podcast). Her fiction has won, or been shortlisted in several competitions. Demain published her Gothic supernatural story, Night of the Rider in May 2019.
She has dark tales coming out later this year with Australian publisher, Things in the Well, in a Kevin J Kennedy anthology, the female-authored, Strange Girls, a Twisted Wing anthology, and with Mortal Realms. Demain will be publishing her crime novella later this year.
When not writing Alyson enjoys singing, swimming, crafting, time with her Labrador, Roxy and eating chocolate, the darker the better.
Night Of The Rider
- Print Length: 35 pages
- Publisher: Demain Publishing; 1 edition (May 10, 2019)
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
Yes, I live in the UK with my family and four rescue animals. I tutor and edit part-time. I spent many years in Birmingham, before moving to Bronte terrain here in West Yorkshire. I used to teach but I’ve worked as a tutor/carer/CAB advisor/salesperson/receptionist (got fired) and general dogsbody.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I’ve sung for years in different groups, then there’s swimming, crafting, reading, watching movies, I have a passion for the Golden Age of Hollywood, collect movie memorabilia. I enjoy doing stuff with friends and family and I spend quite a lot of time out with our rescue dog.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
Sinatra and Abba were a big part of my childhood when it was listening on Vinyl. In my writing, I refer to films more than music.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
I enjoyed Val Lewton’s B movies of the 1940’s for their atmosphere and I remember being terrified by Robert Wise’s 1963 classic The Haunting.
KR: What are you reading now?
Cuckoo by Sophie Draper, because soon I am going on a writing residential in Nottingham where she is one of the speakers.
KR: What was the last great book you read?
Great books don’t come along often. Good ones are more common. In the last few weeks, I’ve read and enjoyed Laura Purcell’s Bone China, Year Zero by Jeff Long, Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs, J.P Delaney’s The Perfect Wife.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
All 3. Kindle for net galley freebies; paperback for old favourites and hardback for my Marilyn Monroe books.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Penelope Lively, Enid Blyton, Susan Cooper, Harper Lee.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I have an idea in mind, and then I start writing and see where it goes, then I need to plan to get out of the writing spot I’ve got myself into.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For longer stories I do research, either online or in-person e.g. going round a stately home. When I wrote a time slip ghost story set in 1918, I did some research into the rehab of soldier patients. I’ve written a crime novella set post WW2 and I read about the day to day life for folk back then, I have visited the recreated WW2 Eden Camp in Pickering, North Yorkshire several times.
KR: How would you describe your writing style?
Gothic, pacy, visual. I write as though the story is unspooling in my head like a film. I am the camera’s eye.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
I write in bursts, powering to a deadline then stopping for a few days but I usually edit or rewrite most days.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
Yes, ‘Mr Dandy’ in DeadCades ed by Stephanie Ellis, which is set in a1920’s Peaky Blinders type Birmingham starring a PTSD war vet who is working as a ventriloquist in the theatres with his dummy, Mr Dandy. There are a series of murders in the city, and the ventriloquist is losing his mind or is he being controlled by his dummy?
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
Yes, I do. On Amazon and Goodreads. It’s a privilege when someone has taken the time to read then post a review and I am always interested to see what they have written.
KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?
This is my second go-round as a writer. In the 1990’s I had 2 children’s books published by Ginn and Collins; then family took over and I started writing again about 7 years ago. I’ve become much more confident in my writing and editing skillset, and I think more entertaining too. I understand much more how a story works and how to keep a reader hooked.
KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?
Never give up. Edit, edit, edit.
KR: What scares you?
Apart from spiders and snakes? And anything buggy that crawls on me?
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Night of the Rider came out in May this year, from a new indie press, Demain Publishers and is a stand-alone e-book (print version to follow) – a Gothic supernatural tale with magical elements. It is part of the Short Sharp Shocks! Series all priced at 99p.
KR: You can read the Night Of The Rider Kendall Review HERE
KR: What are you working on now?
Two short stories, and always some flash pieces and poetry.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
The kind of characters I create I don’t think I’d want to be abandoned on an island or anywhere else with. They are a weird and wonderful collection. Maybe the naive estate agent Barry who takes on ghosts and a witch in ‘All the Lost Children’.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.
Cary Grant, my first cinematic crush.
KR: Thank you very much Alyson.
You can find out more about Alyson via her blog www.alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com.
Alyson’s Amazon Author Page is at HERE
Please follow Alyson on Twitter @AlysonFaye2
Night Of The Rider
No one escapes the mythic cursed Rider and his hounds. Barnabas, fleeing London and his gambling debts, takes refuge in his family’s country home with his father and his sister, Leonie. She has her own secrets, but can she save her brother from certain death?