{Interview} Deep Down There: An Interview with Author Oli Jacobs.

From the wilds of deepest Buckinghamshire, Oli Jacobs has been self-publishing his esoteric brand of writing since 2012 to moderate acknowledgement. With his fingers more likely tapping out a mix of Comedy and Horror, he is constantly percolating ideas within his Escher-like brain. When not writing, he can be found staring into the void and enjoying time with his wife and dog.

Deep Down There

KR: Coffee?

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I’m Oli Jacobs, and I write books. Most people think that I’ve grown to be a well-adjusted member of society. And they’re right. I am. I have a beard after all.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

Aside from talking rubbish with my wife, and walking our dog around various parks, I do the usual stuff. I watch films, read books, listen to music, and play video games. Whatever boring modern life you can think of, I probably do that.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

Anything by Roald Dahl, although Revolting Rhymes does seem to stick in my head the most. That, and The Twits.

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KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

Music is key in my writing, for it helps me get into the atmosphere and environment of where I want my stories to be. They help create a headspace that I hope insidiously oozes into the future readers. Right now, I’m partial to a bit of The Satanic Path by Pentagram Home Video, but the playlist is ever-revolving.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

The Thing. It is the ultimate in horror, in my opinion, utilising the excellent chill of paranoia and pure viscera. By extension, John Carpenter is my favourite director in the genre, just edging out George A Romero. As well as the aforementioned Thing, you can add Prince of Darkness, In The Mouth of Madness and They Live to my favourites of his. Oh, and some other film about a holiday in October.

KR: What are you reading now?

Thomas Ligotti’s Grimscribe. He was recommended as a modern version of Lovecraft, one of my all-time favourite authors, and so far hasn’t disappointed. Although the purple nature of the prose is beginning to grind a little.

KR: What was the last great book you read?

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KR: These both look wonderful. I’ll have to investigate.

There’s a few, and I am bound by my loyalty to my fellow authors at Unbound to mention Domini Mortum by Paul Holbrook and Ten Little Astronauts by Damon L Wakes. However, the one that always seeps back into my brain is The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp. Think of it as an Exorcist for the social media age, and bloody terrifying with it.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

While I understand there are some that decry the digital age, the ease of an e-book is preferable to me. But I do like a good paperback in my hands at times.

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

The usual answer: Stephen King. I loved the way he took the normal and made it abnormal, at times in a kooky, pulpy manner. HP Lovecraft then inspired me further, with the horror of the unknown and ultimate. There is brilliance in the chill factor of things that weren’t meant to be known, or cannot be known.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

Invariably, I start with an idea. That idea becomes a basic plot, which evolves into brief chapters, that evolve further into fully formed chapters. Then, I write the book… using sub-key-words to fill out the chapter. I consider all of those early drafts.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am a bit of a Wiki-Wormhole enthusiast, and can idly spend time online looking over the odd and intriguing. Sometimes, this will inspire a story, or be filled away in the synapses for a later date. If there’s something specific – like researching spelunking for Deep Down There – then I do it as I go, and adjust accordingly.

KR: How would you describe your writing style?

Casual, frenetic, oxymoronic. It could be first or third person narrative, dissected into proper chapters or something more out there, and even not even a singular story at all, but a collection amongst the same arc.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

When it flows well, as it is now, it usually involves a lot of procrastination before eventually sitting down at my computer and cracking out a thousand words. In the meantime, the ideas stew in my head and fight for dominance.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

Compulsion, in Filmic Cuts 1: Sunshine & Lollipops, is an early favourite. It was the first tale I wrote that I felt properly built up throughout the narrative. Otherwise, I can pick and mix from the likes of The Process (from FC4: Title Pending, about a dark method of population control), Standoff (also from FC1, about a group of outlaws trapped in a burning cabin), and Fort Hamilton (FC6: Lament of the Silver Badger, about a Civil War era fort where all is not what it seems).

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Unfortunately so. Especially the bad ones. I’m inclined towards the negative, alas.

KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?

I’ve become slightly less pulpy, and more refined in my plotting. I’ve also learnt to use the tropes to my advantage, rather than lean heavily on them.

KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?

That it made the reader want to read more. And that I have a certain “voice” in all my work, even for those who don’t know me personally.

KR: What scares you?

On a base level, heights and spiders. On an existential level, people.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

My latest is with Unbound, an indie publisher from the UK who use a crowdfunding method to give new authors a voice. And from my voice, I am shouting about Deep Down There, a suburban horror about a perfect hole that appears overnight in a small community. It’s been funding for a while now, but will be done over the summer for release sometime soon…

KR: If you’d like to help Deep Down There to get funded then please follow the link for details…


KR: What are you working on now?

I’m usually several projects deep at any one time, and right now I can list 2 in my Space Comedy series Kirk Sandblaster, a sequel to my Noir revenge tale Mr Blank, a church horror called St Christophe’s, a new Filmic Cut, and a collection of various fiction revolving around a damned town called Wilthaven. As for right now? It’s called Twilight of the Pod People and it’s about a podcast that went weird.

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.

Kirk Sandblaster, because he’d be a laugh.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Randall Flagg, because the Walking Dude will have a plan to leave the island.

c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.

Stephen Fry, because it will first confuse the Hell out of him, and then lead to some witty stories.

KR: Thank you very much Oli.

Oli Jacobs

You can find out more about Oli via his official website www.olijacobsauthor.wordpress.com

You can follow Oli on Twitter @OliJacobsAuthor

Deep Down There

In Anton Court, a 6-feet wide hole appears overnight, eventually turning the residents crazy wondering how it appeared, and what caused it

In the gated community of Anton Court, the residents wake up one morning to find a hole in the communal garden. Not just any hole, but one that stretches 6 feet wide, doesn’t seems to end, and makes strange noises during the night.

Despite the protests of the residents – including single mother Hannah Suggs, retired military man James Stanley aka “The Colonel”, and millennial thrillseeker Rich Davis – Anton Court’s owners, HP Properties, try to convince them everything is under control. Even when a truckload of cement won’t fill the hole, and a steel panel is ripped off during the night. Once the children start creeping too close to the hole during the night, it is decided to evacuate the Court.

But not everyone wants to leave. Hannah stubbornly refuses out of fear of eviction, The Colonel is too proud to give up his home, and amateur scientist William Barrett wants to study it.

Worse still, Davis wants to explore the hole. With HP’s consent.

It is soon discovered that the hole is more unusual than the curious sanity it inspires in the residents; it is deeper than they could ever believe, perfectly smooth, and seems to get smaller the more you go down. Not only that, it is getting bigger at the top.

Then Davis reaches the bottom, and things get vastly worse on Anton Court.

Inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft (At The Mountains of Madness), Stephen King (The Shining), and Mark Z Danielewski (House of Leaves), Deep Down There is a slow-building Horror about how the unknown can rip apart the delicate façade of everyday life. From the dark secrets of your next-door neighbours, to what really exists in the ground below our feet.

So, what lies Deep Down There? Read on, and find out for yourself. Just make sure to bring a torch, and a very long rope.

You can buy Deep Down There from Unbound


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