I first read Gary McMahon’s work when I reviewed his Spectral Press novella, What They Hear in the Dark*, and found myself unable to sleep comfortably for a few nights as the nastier side of my imagination had been activated and I thought I was hearing things in the dark. He has been compared to Clive Barker – not a bad thing, unless you’re complaining about the lack of a sequel to Cabal – and Keith Brooke at the guardian.co.uk described his novel, Pretty Little Dead Things, as ‘Not so much hard-boiled as hard-nuked, this novel puts McMahon firmly in the front ranks of the new wave of British horror’.
His latest, The Concrete Grove, and following hot on its heels will be Silent Voices.
He is prolific and will have both donuts and danishes, thank you very much.
* It sold out, as Spectral Press titles tend to do.
1. I love/hate writing to a theme because …
I actually really enjoy writing to a theme because it can be very challenging. Some themes are crap, but I tend to turn down those invites. I’m currently writing a story for a pro anthology set in the world of a comic books, and it’s fascinating. The trick is, I think, to remain true to the theme whilst also taloriing it to your own vision. I often find it inspiring to write to a set them, possibly because I’m inherently lazy.
2. The top ten novels you wish you’d written are …
Ten? Blimey, this is a tricky one…I’m afraid there are some obvious ones in this list, but in my defence if I answered this question in an hour’s time the titles would be different apart from the top 3.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A Child Across the Sky By Jonathan Carroll
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Tough Guys Don’t Dance by Norman Mailer
Fight Club by Chuck Palanhuik
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
High Rise by J.G. Ballard
Legion by William Peter Blatty
The Nameless by Ramsey Campbell
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
3. If I wasn’t a writer, I would be …
A man without a soul. Writing gives me a creative outlet that I basically couldn’t survive without. My soul would rot away and die.
4. A story can always be improved/ruined by the addition of …
Boobies. The addition of boobies always improves a story. Or perhaps just a bit of sideboob, if the story’s a subtle one. I always argue that a few lines mentioning a glimpse of sideboob would have turned Robert Aickman’s oeuvre into something completely different.
5. Donuts or danishes?
Both, because I’m just a big fat pig who likes to overeat.
He doth blog here.