Lee Franklin kindly asked me to answer some questions for her blog as it’s Women in Horror Month (you can read those here). I agreed as long as she reciprocated.
Where are you from and what type of horror do you write?
LF: I am a West Australian from a beachside city called Rockingham. For the last 4 years I have been living and loving life in North Yorkshire countryside.
I enjoy writing creature features, extreme horror and revenge. Most of my work is quite tight and fast paced with a lot of action. I would never be accused of being literary talent that is for sure. But I like what I write and how I write it.
Having said that, I do have plans for dark fantasy and some atmospheric, creepy lingering pieces of dread.
All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?
I guess Terry “Pinny” Pinfold is quite a lot like me. We aren’t good at confrontation and would happily hide away until it all blows over. But it doesn’t always blow over it usually blows up. We don’t always quite fit in either, black sheep of our communities neither here nor there. Yet when shit hits the fan we normally play it right.
Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.
- An Australian Aboriginal discovers the real reason for the Vietnam War and ends up becoming the most successful experiment for the mysterious and sexy Dr Harding. Think Deadpool and Predator have a love child raised by Overlord. http://www.mybook.to/Berserker
- An abusive man demands a tattoo of a Thai deity Nang Tani and his life quickly descends into hell as she uses him to extract revenge on other sexual predators. http://www.mybook.to/Nangtani
- An Australia backpacker picks up work in a North Yorkshire school. She doesn’t listen to the warnings about the ancient oak tree and is soon devoured by its power. The Devil’s Tree Published in DJ Doyles Twisted Tales
Do you have a ritual before you start writing, or is it spontaneous venture?
No I am definitely a person or routine and ritual. After school run and exercise I ensure the TV Remotes are stashed far away from me. Coffee is hot and to hand with two Digestive biscuits. My Chief Assistant Editor Benji will then pin me into the recliner and my Project Manager Terra will strap my legs into the chair with her body to ensure there is no movement. Then I can commence work.
Is there one thing you would have done differently or known earlier in your writing career?
I would’ve possibly either not published my first book Berserker – Green Hell until I had the first draft of the sequel done. Or, made the ending a little less open. I just put too much pressure on myself.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working getting my website www.leefranklin.com up an running with interesting content. But mostly I am working on my Berserker sequel (working title) Berserker – Sandfire. That WILL be published this year.
We all know horror people are just the warmest, friendliest bunch of writers around. Why do you think this is?
I believe it is often underestimated how empathetic we are. We are constantly pushing our own boundaries and facing our own fears so that we can provide a safe place for others to explore themselves. We understand pain, fear, heartache and grief better than most, mainly because we make ourselves live it, to bring truth to our characters. Well I do.
How do you determine success for yourself?
The kind of success I am aiming for is just for people to read and enjoy my work. So far I have been successful. I have definitely achieved more in my four years of writing than I anticipated achieving in ten. So that is successful. My next goal is to actually make enough money to treat my family to a holiday. Still, I wouldn’t knock back a significant movie deal or even streams of adoring fans.
Other than WIHM which is an amazing month for female horror writers. How do you feel other women can best support each other in this genre?
I like to think horror people and horror women in general are good at working together. You can’t read or buy every book no matter how much you want to. As well as Beta reading and re-reading my own work I read about 50 books a year. Already my TBR is likely to topple shortly and kill somebody.
I think it comes down to the simple things. Sharing posts, liking posts, recommending books that you may not have read but you know it the type somebody is looking for. Looking for something outside or your regular reading lists. If you love something tell the writer and the world.
If you can see a writer is struggling with some aspects of their work and you are prepared to do so, contact and reach out to them. Most people are hungry for help. If they are rude. Well …
Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?
On visitation with my Dad he always fed us a healthy diet of B grade horror and action movies. I could never totally gel with the whole Care Bear and Princess phenomena. So much drama and the happiness always seemed to fake and over the top. So I guess it started there, in film.
I have always been a massive reader, but never consciously “genre read” I just picked up whatever I fancied. Since I started writing horror I have certainly read a lot more specific to the genre, and I have not been disappointed.