Today’s SiD2 guest at the blog is the inimitable Alan Baxter.
1. What was the inspiration for your SiD2 story, “Crying Demon”?
Two things. The first was that I wanted to address some aspects of bullying. I was relentlessly bullied as a kid, a lot of modern politics is fundamentally bullying on a national scale, and I wanted to explore that. The second was a thing going around the internet a few years ago about a secret video game on the dark web and its creepy effect on people. I took that idea and ran with it.
2. Who are your top five horror-writing inspirations?
Man, this is so hard to answer! Definitely Clive Barker, he’s been more of an influence on me than anyone else, I think. H P Lovecraft has to get a mention, as a lot of my stuff plays with cosmic horror. I’ve never written actual HPL mythos, but I love the concepts and explore my own version of them. Shirley Jackson, for her ability to maintain subtle, creeping dread and discomfort. Kaaron Warren, for much the same reason as Shirley Jackson. Stephen King, particularly for his amazing ability with characterisation. Oh, that’s five already. I could go on and on!
3. You get to choose one book for a desert island exile (yes, you did something terrible): what is it?
Holy crap. Probably The Great And Secret Show by Clive Barker. That’s a horrible question!
4. What’s your favourite trope in horror?
Consequences. I love to explore the nature of consequence, when someone has done something deliberately wrong, or even just inadvertently stupid, and the sequence of events that spiral away from that. I think some of the best stories are the ones that follow consequences all the way down.
5. What’s next for you?
My supernatural noir novella, Manifest Recall, has just come out from Grey Matter Press. And that same wonderful publisher is releasing my new urban horror novel, Devouring Dark, in November. Devouring Dark is like Lock, Stock, and Two Supernatural Assassins. Crime, gangsters, dark supernatural abilities, the consequences of guilt and anger, all set in London (my old stomping ground). Following that, who knows! But I did just send my latest novel, a kind of folk horror tale, to my agent, so fingers crossed there.
Bio: Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dogs. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dogs and cat. He’s the multi-award-winning author of several novels and over seventy short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – www.warriorscribe.com – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.