G'day Priya and welcome to my humble abode. Did you bring the dragon? No? Aww c'mon I wanted to meet the dragon. Oh, he's sleeping. OK then I'll forgive you, this time. Please sit down and make yourself comfortable. Yes, that is safe to eat. You heard about Christine and Doyle too? Well, these things happen. OK, your mute is now turned off. Let's get this party started.
From where do you hail? And what is your modus operandi with the blood soaked pen?
My folks are from India and I was born in the UK in the 1970s. I’ve always lived in the Northwest. I came to Liverpool as a student in the 1990s and stayed in the area.
What I write varies- some of it isn’t even horror. As to writing horror, it varies depending on the story. I’m not snobby about horror, I just don’t have a type. Some subjects demand more graphic writing.
If there was one thing you could change, improve about your writing or writing process, what would it be? More coffee and less cake are not acceptable answers.
· To be more efficient in my writing process
· To be more consistent in my writing routines
· To be able to handle longer pieces i.e. novel-length
· To be a better grammarian
· To be better at plotting
(Are you building a picture here, besides that I can’t count?)
Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with an elevator pitches for a piece of your work.
I’m crap at this sort of thing so I would threaten said filthy successful agent with a machete. Do contracts signed under duress count?
“Fabulous Beasts”: Lola has a strange affinity for snakes. When her uncle gets out of prison, the real source is this is revealed as her family unravels.
You can read this on the Tor website: https://tinyurl.com/y2ujcgd8
Tell us, why should we read your work? Don’t say because it is better than mine.
Life is full enough of things we should do. Suggestions are fine but reading is holy. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should be reading. Especially not me.
Is there one thing you would have done differently in your writing career?
I wanted to write fiction when I was a student but never really committed to it for lots of reasons. It took me a long time to start properly. I’m not a fan of regret. Better that I started late than not at all. Maybe the desire I had when I was young wasn’t enough. Maybe I had to wait until I worked out what I needed to say and how I needed to say it.
Who is your favourite monster?
I love monsters because I am one.
· The Mintoaur
· The creature from William Blake’s painting “The Ghost of a Flea”
Other than reading my work, what are your goals for 2021?
· Survive 2021.
· Write a novella
· Read Lee Franklin.
All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?
My characters definitely do, so I’m not telling you that. I don’t want readers to see me, just the work. And I don’t want you wandering around inside my head.
My dad recognises himself when he makes an appearance in my work. He complains that I always kill him.
What is the greatest challenge to women succeeding in horror? There’s a lot of brilliant writing from female authors. There are brilliant female editors. More and more female writers are on major award shortlists. I think we’re gaining momentum. There’s a lot of different voices and experiences not represented in modern horror. not just the female perspective.
I have been very fortunate in my experience in horror. I only started going to British Fantasy Con and Edgelit in about 2015 and found writers very welcoming. I’ve also been lucky to work with some fantastic editors- men and women- who have asked to submit stories for consideration for their anthologies because they liked my work.
I know that’s not everyone’s story though.
Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?
· Armchair Thriller (when I hear the theme tune the hairs on my neck lift, even now)
· Sapphire and Steel
· Jane Eyre (I had a nosebleed when Jane was locked in the red room)
· Stephen King (in print and on film. I was about 10 when Salem’s Lot was shown on TV in the UK and it sent a ripple through my school)
· Thomas Hardy
· James Herbert
· Daphne Dr Maurier
Want to discover more about this self-admitted Monster
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