P.J. Blakey-Novis is a horror writer and co-founder of Red Cape Publishing. He has published several short story collections and earlier this year published his latest novella ‘Four’, an anthology horror story based around a group of friends who go on a camping trip.
KR: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m a writer, editor, and one of the co-founders of Red Cape Publishing, a small press established in late 2017. I live on the south coast of England, a short walk from the sea, with my wife Leanne, and our four (soon to be five) children.
KR: What originally inspired you originally to become a writer?
I had always found writing a great way of expressing feelings and getting out the ideas which filled my head. It wasn’t until 2016 that I decided to try to complete a full novel, with no real knowledge what to do with it when it was finished, but I found my passion in writing that book and knew it was what I wanted to do more of.
KR: Which writers first made you interested in horror?
Before I started writing horror stories, I hadn’t actually read all that many aside from a few King and Koontz books. But I had always been into horror movies, possibly because they had been such a ‘no-go’ when I was younger which may have drawn me to them even more. Now, I read almost exclusively horror, and the vast majority of those books are from independent authors.
KR: When it comes to horror, what do you look for in a book?
I love a story with a twist, something to really catch me by surprise. I read most sub-genres of horror, but my favourites are those which manage to maintain a feeling of dread throughout, whether that be a threat from a supernatural being, some sort of wild creature, or a crazed killer. I’m also drawn to books marked as extreme horror, so long as the plot is strong enough to justify the content.
KR: Your latest book is an anthology horror story called ‘Four’. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from the story?
It tells the story of four friends who take a camping trip in the English countryside, telling one another stories around the fire. This format allowed me to combine four shorter stories into one and culminates in some nasty surprises for the campers in the end. You can expect ghosts, alien technology, serial killers, and some bloody revenge.
KR: What were your inspirations for the concept story and why did you decide to write it as an anthology?
All my previous horror writing has been short stories, released in collections of six at a time, so Four was my first attempt at writing something of novella length. I had a few ideas for my next short story collection, and I wanted to see if I could connect the stories in some way to see how that format was received by the readers.
KR: What is your process when you start writing a new story?
I’m usually in the process of writing a novel and take breaks from this by putting together short stories. There isn’t all that much process involved when it comes to short stories; I have an idea (usually just one scene in particular, or even just an ending) and I start writing it out. Most of my shorts are between 3k and 10k words, so I can write it in a day or two. Then I leave it alone for a while before coming back to it and fixing any issues.
KR: Are any of your stories based on real-life events?
The story Opened Up (from Embrace the Darkness and Other Stories, and also available as a standalone story) is based on an operation I had to remove a lump from the top of my foot and falls into the sub-genre of medical horror. Tunnels, although fictitious, is based on a real location near to my home where ghost hunts do take place quite regularly.
KR: Do you have any other projects which you are working on?
Lots! As part of Red Cape Publishing, we are putting together a series of four multi-author horror anthologies based on the elements, the first of which (Book One: Earth) is now available for pre-order. I have begun work on my third novel in a series (The Broken Doll, which is not horror but more psychological thriller), I have a novella which has been started, as well as an idea for another (probably) novella-length story. I have also written the start of a longer horror book, which is a different concept to most stories, but I can’t say much about that just yet. So, three books have been started (at least one of which will be released this year), plus the upcoming anthologies due out September to December.
KR: If you could write a new story based on any well-known fictional horror or fantasy character from literature or film who would you choose?
I think it would be a lot of fun to write a story along the lines of The Never Ending Story, but in that world, within the book the protagonist has to face a whole host of classic horror villains such as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Frankenstein, Dracula, even Jaws and King Kong. It would be a great opportunity to drop in references to multiple movies, whilst still giving the reader a host of characters they are already familiar with.
KR: Thank you very much Peter.
Peter lives with his wife and four children in a small town in Sussex, England. As well as being a keen cook and wine enthusiast, Peter has been writing poetry and short stories for almost twenty years. It had always been an ambition to complete a novel and, after the success of his debut, The Broken Doll, it has been fantastic to have the opportunity to turn a hobby into a new career. Since the release of The Broken Doll in February 2017, Peter has released the follow-up novel, Shattered Pieces, as well as three collections of short horror stories, and a children’s book. Peter has had work published in a number of anthologies, is the Editor-in-Chief of Indie Writers Review, and is the co-founder of Red Cape Publishing.
You can follow Peter on Twitter @pjbn_author
Four friends spend a night away camping in the English countryside, each taking a turn to tell a horror story that will terrify the others. But the group soon discover that there is more to be afraid of than just some campfire tales, and that no one is as innocent as they seem.
You can purchase Four and other books from P.J. Blakey-Novis on the Red Cape Publishing website here: www.redcapepublishing.com
Elements Of Horror
Elements of Horror Book One: Earth, is the first in a series of four horror anthologies based on the Elements.
Within these pages you will find a variety of stories from some of the best independent horror writers on the scene today, including Theresa Jacobs, R.C. Rumple, David F. Gray, and many more.
Fall into sinkholes, brave the tales of witchcraft, grotesque creatures, and demons, and feel the terror of explorations gone wrong.
You can also pre-order Elements of Horror: Earth: Book One Kindle Edition here: Amazon
Submission for the Elements of horror books 2-4 (Air, Fire, Water) are still open. You can find out the full details on how to submit here: Submissions
Philip Rogers is a horror journalist who is known for his reviews, interviews and media coverage of anything horror. An avid supporter of independent projects including; films, books, theatre, live events and aways on the lookout for something different to cover.