Greg Chapman is the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-nominated author of Hollow House and the author of five novellas: Torment, The Noctuary, Vaudeville, The Last Night of October, and The Followers. His debut novel Hollow House was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® in 2016. He also received the Richard Laymon President’s Award for services to the Horror Writers Association in 2017 and is the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. www.darkscrybe.com
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m a horror author and artist from Australia. Since 2009 I’ve had three novels, half a dozen novellas and a bunch of short stories published with the small press in the US, Australia and the UK. My debut novel Hollow House, was shortlisted for a Bram Stoker Award in 2016. When I’m not writing I am working in PR for a university and taking care of my wife and two daughters.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I love films of all sorts and I also like to read.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
Where the Wild Things Are. It was such a fantastic book. I used to be terrified of monsters as a kid and for what seemed like the first time, here they were in a children’s book. I also used to read a lot of comic books as a kid.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
I’m a child of the 90s and I’m a big fan of Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters. My fave album would have to be Soundgarden’s Superunknown. I actually like to write to horror soundtracks mostly (the soundtrack to Bram Stoker’s Dracula being one of my favourites), but the grunge does help get the creative juices flowing sometimes if I’m stuck in a rut.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
The Thing and The Exorcist tie for favourite movie. Favourite director of today would be Mike Flanagan. Classic director is John Carpenter, hands down.
KR: What are you reading now?
Currently reading the Haunted Nights anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. Lots of creepy Halloween themed stories.
KR: What was the last great book you read?
Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage. You can read my review of this book HERE
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
All of the above. E-books are the most affordable option and gets fiction into more hands, but there’s nothing better than holding a physical book, especially those signed and lettered editions!
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Clive Barker and Edgar Allan Poe. Their ability to make horror beautiful spoke to me and they are a constant influence on my own works.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I guess I’m a pantser more than a plotter. Usually the characters and situations come to me first, followed by a very basic outline. Then I piece it all together like a jigsaw puzzle – a very macabre jigsaw puzzle.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Nothing really in depth. For my novel Hollow House, I did some research on gothic architecture. Often, I might sketch a character, or monster to help visualise it, but in the end, I put the majority of my focus into the characters.
KR: How would you describe your writing style?
I’m very succinct with my words, something I learned during my years as a newspaper journalist. “Evocative” and “cinematic” is how my work has been described in the past and I’d say that’s pretty spot on.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
Because I work full-time, I write during lunch breaks, after work and on weekends. Anything longer than 5000 words, I usually write longhand in a notebook. I like to write in solitude, downstairs in my den, or at the library. It helps me escape into my head.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
My favourite story would have to be The Last Night of October, a Halloween tale about an old man who gets visited by the same mysterious trick ‘r’ treating kid every year. It was my first foray into Halloween-themed fiction and it has always been well-received. You can read it in Halloween Carnival Vol 3.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I do read them, even the bad ones. I know I shouldn’t read the bad ones, but I feel that (if the critique is genuinely constructive) it’s important to know where you could have done better.
KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?
I’ve been published since 2009 and I’ve learned a hell of a lot over the past 10 years, but I think the main thing I’ve focused on is taking my time in writing my stories.
KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?
Just write the story you want to write. Don’t worry about genres and markets and all that crap. Focus on telling the best story you can.
KR: What scares you?
Spiders. I effing hate spiders.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Netherkind is my third novel. A dark fantasy horror epic about a loner cannibal with a conscience who not only discovers that he’s not alone, but that he has to end a war between his race by giving up his soul. If I had to compare it to anything I’d compare it to Night Breed, C.H.U.D., and Frankenstein. It’s the longest novel I’ve ever written. It’s to be published by Omnium Gatherum Books on May 6, but you can pre-order it HERE.
KR: What are you working on now?
A tie-in story to my Noctuary mythos for an anthology about deals with demons.
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.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.
If I was stuck on a desert island I would choose to be stuck with a) Ben from my novel Hollow House because he’s a pretty switched on journalist and together we could figure out a way to get help, b) the gunslinger Roland Deschain from King’s Dark Tower saga because he might be able to conjure us a door to escape and; c) survivalist Bear Grylls because he should have little problem finding us food if (a) and (b) don’t work out.
KR: Thank you very much Greg.
Thomas is no ordinary man. To live, he must devour human flesh. His habitual existence is one of killing and feeding and taking on the physical characteristics of his victims.
Thomas tries to fit in with the rest of humanity, but when his beautiful neighbor, Stephanie deceives him and turns out to be a monster just like him, he decides to discover his heritage and take revenge. Little does he know that there are many other “Fleshers” out there hiding in the shadows of the world and they are at war with each other.