The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories: Nicholas Royle

nickroyleThe delightful Nicholas Royle is a novelist, creative writing lecturer, reviewer, editor and publisher of Nightjar Press. Here he takes some time to chat about his story “The Larder”.

What inspired your story “The Larder”?
If I were to say precisely what inspired “The Larder” it would kind of give the game away, so I’ll just say my love of birds. But also my love of the Observer’s books, a series of British pocket-sized books published between 1937 and 2003. In particular I liked the Observer’s Book of Birds and the Observer’s Book of Birds’ Eggs.

What’s the first horror story you can remember making a big impact on you?
Not strictly speaking a horror story, but I found it horrifying and, now that I look back, I realise it inspired much of what I’ve been writing about in the last 30 years. It was a comic strip story featuring Pixie and Dixie and Mr Jinks in, I think, the 1968 Huckleberry Hound Annual featuring a dressmaker’s dummy that was made to appear to have a mind of its own.

Name your three favourite horror writers. spectral-horror-2_design
Joel Lane, Alison Moore, Dennis Etchison.

Is your writing generally firmly in the horror arena or do you do occasional jaunts into other areas of speculative fiction?
I write in and on the borders of lots of different genres, but mainly horror, crime, mystery and literary fiction.

What’s in your to-be-read pile at the moment?
Noir by Robert Coover. Also a range of short stories by British writers published last year, from which I’m selecting the contents of Best British Short Stories 2016 (Salt). I’m judging some prizes, so I have a lot of reading for those – the Lightship First Novel Prize, the Novella Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize.

The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories can be pre-ordered here.

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