Matt Drabble is an incredibly prolific and multi-award winning horror author. I’m delighted that he found time to chat to me here at Kendall Reviews.
For my sins, I’m a lifelong supporter of Arsenal FC so when Matt states which football/soccer team he supports I had to bite my tongue (I can’t mention 1989 can I?). I hope you enjoy this interview, and if you decide to pick up a few of Matt’s books, then there can be no better incentive than two of his novels (Double Visions & Abra-Cadaver) are currently FREE via Kindle. And as I find myself saying more and more…If you read a book, then please leave a review, no matter how short.
Right, the kettle has boiled.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
Born in Bath, England in 1974, a self-professed “funny onion”, equal parts sport loving jock and comic book geek. I am a lover of horror and character driven stories. I am also an A.S sufferer who took to writing full time two years ago after being forced to give up the day job.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I’m a big sports fan rugby and football (soccer to the uninitiated) I try to get back to the Rec in Bath to watch my hometown team as often as possible as well as up to Anfield to watch Liverpool. I’m a big gamer especially old school. I also enjoy DIY and have completed many projects such as a Nintendo controller coffee table and I built my own MAME gaming machine.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
I was probably more into comics as a kid growing up a big Spider-Man fan. I do remember reading several Famous Five Books as a very young child! But I quickly moved onto Stephen King.
KR: What are you reading now?
I get asked a lot about what I read these days but the unfortunate truth for me is that writing/editing/proofing full time leaves me without much inclination to pick up a book to read, it is a sad fact but a true one.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
I find that trying to name a favourite album is like trying to name a favourite movie or book. Everything comes down to the particular mood that you’re in at the time. My musical tastes range from hard rock and metal through to the softer guitar bands. Everything from Metallica to Springsteen.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
King is King and long live the King. Stephen King is undoubtedly one of the most critically underappreciated writers in history. No one creates a human landscape like the man, there are minor roles in his novels but never a throwaway character. If a mailman is delivering a letter in the short walk to the front door you will learn something intimate about the man.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I start from a basic idea and then a book cover. I will have some sketched out ideas but largely the story takes me on a journey and I am always surprised when I write a section that suddenly without me realising it will relate to an earlier plotline and fits perfectly.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Always depends on the story. Some of my work has involved things like police or political procedures which I like to get right. I enjoy the fact that the vast majority of stories are created from our own minds which can supersede the need for fact checking. It’s my world so it’s my rules.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
I treat writing as I would any other job. I’m up early, walk the dog after breakfast and clock in for a day’s work. I set a target of 10,000 words a week, so sometimes that might take me 5 days and others it might take me 2, but I always hit my target, you have to be disciplined.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
I think that there was a lot of promise in the first two books I ever wrote called Rapture Falls and Fangsters. At some point I will go back to them with what I’ve learnt since and rewrite them to bring them up to standard.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
Unfortunately I am a pessimist by nature, show me 100 five star reviews and 1 one star and I will obsess over the one star one.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Get a thick skin! Understand that some people will hate what you do no matter what you write or how you write it. If 99 people like it and 1 hates it then changing your work to suit the 1 person will mean that 99 now hate it. It may sound trite but if you start chasing everyone’s approval then you’ll never stop running.
KR: What scares you?
There’s a lot of arthritis in my family and I’m starting to get some morning problems in my left fingers, not being able to write full time scares me.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
There’s always something about the smell of an old paperback as though the characters have seeped into the paper.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
My next release will be the third in my Asylum series. The Asylum books are a collection of 13 short horror/thriller stories with a twist, while there is an arcing storyline between the chapters which links everything together.
KR: What are you working on now?
Publicity for Asylum III, thinking about publicity for the next finished project Survival Island, and waiting for the third in my After Darkness Falls anthology collection to come back from the proofers. As of writing I’m about to start work on Prime Time which is a horror/thriller/murder/mystery.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
- One fictional character from your writing.
A woman called simply Mac, a badass mercenary from my novel The Last Resort. A capable resource to have on a desert island.
- One fictional character from any other book.
Is it cheating to say Robinson Crusoe? I’m guessing his experience would come in handy.
- One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
Bryan Cranston, just a fascinating actor. If I saw the guy waiting at a bus stop I’d take a seat opposite to watch him.
KR: Thank you very much Matt.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattDrabble01
To find out more about Matt please visit his official website www.mattdrabble.com
Please visit Matt’s author page here
You can download some FREE short stories from Matt’s official website here
It begins with an enticing invitation, a private preview for the first guaranteed haunted house tourist attraction.
Skeptical minds brought together in a building steeped in a bloody history, all with their own dark secrets to protect.
It had been a long time since this building was a private hospital and housed the most dangerous and deranged minds. Now it has a new owner and a new purpose
It is a house that feeds on darkness and only attracts the very worst in humanity. Stone floors and walls that have witnessed the brutality of man and has blood seeped into its very foundations.
The doors are open and the rooms are ready to receive its first guests and their darkest secrets, welcome to Crowtree Manor.
It has been 8 years since the country cowered in fear as the serial killer christened The Crucifier wreaked bloody havoc.
Jane Parkes had always considered her ability a fine line between a gift and a curse. She calls it The Shadow World, a place where she can see through the eyes of killers and help bring them to justice.
Her desperation to prove herself led to a basement confrontation that she wasn’t prepared for. As a result the Detective that had allowed her to work on the case lay dead alongside the killer.
She put away her ability to see inside the minds of monsters for 8 long years, but now someone else has taken up The Crucifiers’ mantle. Someone is killing again, only this time The Shadow World is a two way street and he wants to play.
Sucked into a desperate race for survival Jane is going to learn that sometimes when you stare into the darkness, someone stares back.
Double Visions is currently FREE on Amazon UK
Tommy, Dixon, McEwen, PJ, and Alison were always a close knit group, childhood friends who stood strong against the world around them with the sort of unbreakable bond that only exists in the minds of children. That was until Tommy’s 12th birthday party. Obsessed with magic tragedy strikes when an illusion goes horribly wrong and a young woman lays dead leaving families screaming in horror.
A local magician Albert Trotter is railroaded during a rigged trial and locked away to soothe the fears of a shocked community. His crime was to marry the daughter of a local powerful man and use her as his assistant in his act. Forever protesting his innocence he is forced to pay the price to allow good minded residents to sleep easy. After a vicious assault in prison, he is eventually sent to a mental institution in a catatonic state and a town breathed easy as his name becomes local legend.
Now Tommy is 36 and heading home for the first time in over two decades. Returning to settle his father’s estate and hoping to slip in and out of town unnoticed, but he’s not alone. Someone is slaughtering the residents of Denver Mills and holding those involved with the Trotter trial in a steely grip of fear.
Tommy will have to find the strength to bring his old friends together in order to solve the mystery and survive. Secrets and lies are exposed throughout the small town of his childhood as fractured relationships are put to the most extreme of tests. All of those that he once called friends now carry their own dark baggage, baggage that has followed them into adulthood scarring them all deeply.
Something evil is coming home, and they’re bringing a whole new bag of tricks.
Abra-Cadaver is currently FREE on Amazon UK