Around eleven in the morning, a flock of harpies landed on her roof.
As their claws alighted on the loose, jittery tiles, Rayven’s eyes snapped open. They had jet-black irises, the pupils indistinguishable from the surrounding pools of dark. She’d been up gone five, and had been fast asleep. But she still awoke like a steel trap springing into action.
Writing is a notoriously solitary business. What keeps you at it? The fame that constantly eludes you? Getting a lie in mornings? The rubber?
I simply feel compelled to write a lot of fiction, and have been that way from a very early age. As for that “solitary business” stuff, well, thank God for that. I’d hate to try and write with people leaning over my shoulder going “Ooh, what happens next?” and “You’ve spelled that wrong.”
It’s usually quite hard to tell exactly where an idea has come from. But an alternative London plunged into eternal night is a concept I’ve been toying with for quite a while, and I suppose I’d been watching quite a few superhero movies a while back, and Rayven Black popped into my head about three years back. Only trouble was, I didn’t bother writing about her back then, since who would publish such a story?
But then I went along to a British Fantasy Society Open Night, bumped into Peter Coleborn, and he asked, “Maybe you’d be interested in submitting something for a new anthology we’ve putting out?” and it turned out to be Pulp Heroes 3. So, problem solved. The very next day, I sat down and started writing the tale that I’d been carrying around for several years.
There seems to have been a shift in appreciation of Pulp Fiction. There is the so called New Pulp, but did Old Pulp ever really go away?
I think the distinction is a false one. Pulp fiction has always been very wide ranging, since it naturally attracts a diverse variety of authors with extremely wild imaginations.
What sort of fiction do you prefer to read? Which are your favourite TV shows and movies?
It’s easier to say what I don’t read. Romance novels, chick lit, war novels, westerns. Other than that, I pretty much read everything, and the same goes for movies. But I adore really dark movies like Near Dark and Pitch Black. My favourite TV series of all time has to be the J.J. Abrams cult hit Fringe.
What can you tell us about future projects?
I’ve a new novel with my agent right now, very adult horror. I’ve just completed a ghost novella – a haunted hotel, no less – and have high hopes for that. I’ve a terrific ghostly mystery story – “The Woman in Brown” – coming out in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. My big thick vampire novel Hot Blood is due out in September from Samhain. And hopefully by the end of this year, Telos will be publishing my very first straight detective novel The Desert Keeps Its Dead, introducing my former FBI agent turned gun for hire, Matt Barrett.
Tell us something about yourself no one knows (don’t worry – no one is going to bother reading this).
I hate questionnaires.