I’m really pleased to welcome Alan Baxter to Kendall Reviews, I was delighted to see that he has just been signed up by the mighty Grey Matter Press for his next couple of books. More on that in a future Kendall Reviews post.
The kettle’s boiled…Damn, ALAN WE NEED SOME MILK!
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m a British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers, dark fantasy, and urban horror. I ride a motorcycle and love my dogs. I teach Kung Fu with my wife on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, and live among dairy paddocks with my wife, son, dogs and a cranky old cat. I’ve won three Australian Shadows Awards, been nominated for several more, and also been nominated multiple times in the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. I’m the author of nine novels and over seventy short stories and novellas, so far. You can find me at www.warriorscribe.com or on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I read a lot. I enjoy riding my motorcycle and walking my dogs, being out in the world instead of behind my desk. I love to travel.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
That’s impossible to say! I have so many favourites. Some that spring to mind would be The Hobbit, Charlotte’s Web, Stig of the Dump, Hayseed and Company, Runaway Ralph… so many!
KR: What are you reading now?
Boy’s life by Robert R McCammon. It’s one of those classic novels that always gets included in Best Novel lists, but I’ve never got around to it before, so I’m rectifying that now. I’ve only just started, but it’s excellent so far.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
Probably Master of Puppets by Metallica, though choosing a favourite would potentially change every day depending on my mood. Music is very important to me, I used to play in a band. There’s always music playing while I write.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Again, so many. Especially Clive Barker, Stephen King, Ursula K Le Guin, James Herbert, Anne McCaffrey, H P Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe. So many more.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I always have a rough outline, a few notes, then off I go. I often find that I develop more of an outline as I go on.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
How long is a piece of string? I do as much research as necessary to feel like I have a handle on the subject. I always research things I don’t know well enough.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
No such thing! I write between running my Kung Fu Academy and looking after my 4 year-old son. I usually have all of Tuesday as my one fixed writing day a week, but I work while my son is at preschool and other times too.
KR: Occasionally Alan will post an anecdote featuring his son on Twitter, several of which have been absolute comedy gold. As good a reason as any to give him a follow.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
That’s like picking a favourite child! I guess my favourite thing is always the latest, so my current favourite is my new urban horror noir novel, HIDDEN CITY.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
Sometimes. I don’t have a problem with bad reviews, I always tend to learn something from them. It’s nice to see people reading and talking about my work. Reviews really matter to help spread the word about books, so people who take the time to write them are the best.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Read, read, read, write, write, write, repeat.
KR: What scares you?
The thought that I can’t protect my son from the world.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
I have no real preference. I read a lot in ebook, but if I really love a book, I’ll get the paperback for my shelf. I only occasionally buy hardcovers.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
HIDDEN CITY is an urban horror noir novel that mashes lots of other genres together in a fast-paced story of crime, corruption, and magic. The back cover blurb reads like this:
When the city is sick, everyone suffers.
Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.
KR: What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished a new standalone folk horror novel that’s out with my beta readers right now and the next thing is a commissioned short story that I’m currently ruminating on.
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.
Silhouette from The Alex Caine Series, because she’s badass, whip-smart, and can transform into a deadly panther, so she could hunt food for us. Although, if we were stuck there for too long, she might eat me…
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Batman. Let’s be honest, is there anyone more resourceful?
c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
Neil deGrasse Tyson. Plenty to talk about to help the hours go by.
KR: Thank you very much Alan.
You can follow Alan on Twitter @AlanBaxter
To find out more about Alan please visit his official website www.WarriorScribe.com
Please visit Alan’s author page here
When the city suffers, everyone suffers.
Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics.
As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.
“I know your secret.”
Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents’ moves before they know their intentions themselves. When enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, Alex is drawn into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control.
A cursed grimoire binds Alex to Uthentia, a chaotic Fey godling, who leads him towards chaos and murder, an urge Alex finds harder and harder to resist. Befriended by Silhouette, a monstrous Kin beauty, Alex sets out to recover the only things that will free him-the shards of the Darak. But that powerful stone also has the potential to unleash a catastrophe which could mean the end of the world as we know it.
Jason Wilkes’s life takes a turn for the worse when his wife fails to come home from her book club. Jason calls Kate’s ‘book buddy’, Dave, who assures him she left hours ago. Contacting the police, Jason finds them equal parts sympathetic and suspicious. He tells them almost everything, except that he’s been hearing Kate’s voice, calling as if from far away. He certainly doesn’t mention that he’s seeing shadows that reach for him.
With the police getting nowhere fast, Jason takes matters into his own hands, even as nightmare images and Kate’s distant cries continue to haunt his waking moments and his dreams, and the strange, grasping shadows persist. Jason begins to unravel the mystery, but he’s at odds with the police, he’s being lied to by Kate’s book club friends, and his chances of finding Kate slip ever further away.
It seems that everything is going to go as wrong as it possibly can.
Author photo by Nicole Wills.