Michael Marshall Smith on The Spectral Book of Horror Stories

The prolific and talented Mr Michael Marshall Smith has taken some time to answer a few questions about horror in general and The Spectral Book of Horror in particular.

1. Can you remember the first horror story you read that made an impact on you?
I can – though I don’t know the title. It was a spooky tale about a painting in a country house which showed a headstrong woman in profile, and in which was eventually revealed the other side of her face was hideously scared from a horse-riding accident…

2. What inspired the story you wrote for this anthology?
Love, loss, and how we deal with it – and *fail* to deal with it.

3. How would you describe the kinds of stories you usual write and does this Spectral Book of Horror story depart from that?
I’ve generally written stories which try to capture one specific idea – or, increasingly, a specific mood or atmosphere: to really sit with that idea, and see how it would affect people. I haven’t read the other stories in this book yet, but I know and trust Mark’s taste, and suspect we’ll all be in for a treat…

4. In your heart of hearts do you prefer your horror to be of the slashy variety or of a more subtle psychological stripe?
In my heart of hearts and everywhere else, it’s always been the subtle type.

5. What are you currently reading? spectral-logo-23
I’ve just finished Nicholas Royle’s FIRST NOVEL, which was superb – subtle, melancholic and strange.


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