David Moody was born in 1970 and grew up in Birmingham on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction books and movies. He worked as a bank manager and as operations manager for a number of financial institutions before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and has spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER have been bought by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) and Mark Johnson (producer of Breaking Bad and the Chronicles of Narnia films). Moody lives outside Birmingham (UK) with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon."
Frustration! When I left school (a long, long time ago now) I wanted to be a film director. Unfortunately, back then it was incredibly difficult to get into any form of movie making at all. The technology just wasn’t there, and university courses were few and far between. I did save up and buy a video camera, but it was a damn heavy brick-type thing that sat on my shoulder, and the quality was awful. I ended up working in a bank - about as far from my intended vocation as I could get! But the stories I had planned for films just wouldn’t go away. I began to write screenplays, but that was’t something that originally came naturally to me. I’d always had a flair for writing, so the logical solution was to try and tell those same stories as novels. After a few false starts, I set myself a number of ground rules: 1. plan the outline in advance, 2. write at least a page a day, and 3. don’t go back and re-read or edit until a draft was complete. I started on 1st January 1994 (I remember the date clearly). By the end of May that year my debut novel, Straight to You, was finished.
2.Where do you get your information or ideas from your books?
Everywhere, is the simple answer. I like to write about ordinary people being thrust into extraordinary situations, and as we’re surrounded by ordinary people most of the time, inspiration is never far away. When you write horror, you don’t have to look too far right now. It’s frightening that I wrote Hater back in 2006 in response, in part, to the London bombings and now, almost a decade later, with the advent of IS and other extremist groups, the novel somehow feels more prescient than ever. I’m an avid collector of ideas. When inspiration strikes (which is often at the most inconvenient time) I make a note. I horde these ideas and often find that the plots for my novels come from two or three of them combining. Strangely enough, it’s usually the end of my novels which come first, and I work my back to the beginning.
3. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
John Wyndham, the author of Day of the Triffids. Triffids had a profound effect on me when I first read it. I’d never come across anything like it before. It was such a terrifying story, but it felt so real... so plausible. And that’s testament to Wyndham’s skill as an author. If you summarise the plot of Triffids in a few words - most of the world go blind and are menaced by seven foot tall carnivorous plants that walk - it sounds like a comedy. But it’s absolutely terrifying. Wyndham had a logical, non-sensasionalist aspect to his writing, which is something that’s inspired me. As I said earlier, I write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and I’ve taken a lot of cues from Wyndham over the years. My favourite blurb comes from Jonathan Maberry who said of Autumn “if Wyndham was alive and writing zombie novels, they’d read like this”!
4. Which of your books did you have the most fun writing and why?
Fun’s not usually a word I associate with writing. It can be the hardest job at times, but also the most satisfying too. I really struggled with Dog Blood, the first sequel to Hater, but when I finally nailed the plot, writing that was hugely enjoyable. I’d also have to mention last year’s zombie novella, Isolation, which was based on a script I’d written a few years earlier. I had a lot of fun with the dynamic between the two main characters, Keith and Anna. And finally, the 2013 re-release of Autumn: The Human Condition was an absolute blast to write. It’s a collection of almost fifty zombie-themed shorts which take place in the same universe as my Autumn novels. I just let my imagination go crazy with that one, putting survivors into some extreme situations and trying to work out how they’d react. At the risk of sounding really pretentious, it’s all about the characters. If I’m interested in the people I’m writing about, I’ll enjoy writing the book. If I’m not interested in the characters, I know I should probably be writing something else. If I don’t care what happens to them, why should anyone else?
5. Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us?
Right now I’m finishing up my first middle-grade novel. I don’t want to say too much about it at the moment, I’ll just tease you by saying think ET meets Godzilla and you’ll be halfway there. Once that’s done, I’m going to be working on some top-secret film stuff I can’t talk about just yet (don’t you hate it when people say stuff like that), as well as writing the first novel in a new four book science-fiction/ horror series called The Spaces Between. And if i was to describe that one in terms of its influences, I’d have to go with Quatermass by way of Breaking Bad!
Thanks for the questions!
Many thanks to David for answering my questions. If you've never experience any of David Moody's writings then you need to check out his books, I'd recommend as a starting point the Hater series as this is the series which hooked me.