Welcome to BookBlokes book blog, today I'm joined by author Wayne Simmons.
Belfast born, Wayne Simmons, loitered with intent around the genre scene for some years before publication of his debut novel in 2008.
Wayne’s work has since been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America. His bestselling zombie novel, FLU, was serialised by Sirius XM’s Book Radio.
He’s a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine and co-hosts extreme metal show, Doom N’ Gloom. He has his own podcast, HACK, and co-produces the Scardiff Horror Expo.
Wayne currently lives in Wales with his ghoulfiend and a Jack Russel terrier called Dita.
I had just watched the Dawn of the Dead remake at the cinema and it really awakened my love of horror and zombie horror in particular. So, I jumped online looking for some zombie novels to dive into and up popped David Moody’s Infected Books website. I downloaded his first Autumn book (it was available as a free pdf or something – this was before Kindle) and tore into it. Man, that book was exactly what I needed. Great characters, accessible writing and, perhaps most importantly, a UK setting. I thought about how an apocalyptic horror would look set in my native Northern Ireland and set about writing Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I’ve no idea, to be honest. Probably from my own life experience or (very) exaggerated versions of such. The characters are familiar to me when I write them. They have to be or the whole thing would fall apart. As to who they are or what they want from me, I guess that’s what drives the whole process. I write in a very freestyle way but the story is always dictated by the characters.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m going to give you two. In horror, it would be David Moody for the reasons I’ve already cited. He’s the master of writing extraordinary stories featuring ordinary, everyday people. I also read a lot of crime and in that genre, Lawrence Block’s the man. He’s got such a crisp, clean way with prose and, again, he nails it with the characters. I’m a big fan of his Scudder series.
Of your books, which was the most enjoyable to write and why?
Probably the latest one, The Girl in the Basement, because it’s the shortest and took the least amount of time. Ha! Nah, but I did enjoy writing that one. I think I am at my best when writing in transit. Scribbling into a notepad on the train or bus. The Girl in the Basement was mostly written like that. Started it on the Megabus coming back from a book signing I’d done with Dave Moody. Wrote a huge chunk of it while waiting at the laundrettes. Plastic Jesus was another one written like that: this time, written on the train going to and from work. It really brings the old pulp writer out in me, writing like that!
Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us?
Just about to release a new one, actually: Voodoo Child, a slasher horror co-written with another good writer friend of mine, Andre Duza. We’ll be launching it at our first official Infected Books event on Friday 30th October at Waterstones New Street in Birmingham (more details: www.infectedbooks.co.uk). Moody will be there too and maybe some other special guests to be announced nearer the time, who knows? Either way, it would be great to see some Book Blokes and Blokettes there.