1) We’ve talked about DANCERS before, how it’s both of our personal favorite of your short stories; would you talk about that story a little bit and how you came to write it?
It was the second story I wrote, and the first I sold, way back in 1992. The writer’s magazine, WRITER’S NEWS in the UK ran an annual ghost story anthology and I had a go. I had an idea of an old man in a snowy cemetery, and it just grew from there. It got 2nd place in the competition, earned me 100 pounds, and has since appeared in three newspapers, been read on three radio stations, appeared in six foreign languages and been made into a short movie. Not bad for something that took me two hours flat out to write while sitting on a train :—)
2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?
I like the comforts of the present day right here, but if I had to go somewhere else, it would probably be The Shire, for a beer, a smoke and a chinwag with Bilbo and Gandalf before all that nasty business with Sauron.
3) What are the next three books you plan to read?
On the shelf I have: Ray Russell’s SARDONICUS, Adam Nevill’s HOUSE OF SHADOWS, Dashiell Hammett’s THE GLASS KEY.
4) Do you consider yourself handy around the house?
Nope — apart from in the kitchen. I can cook pretty well but any kind of DIY is mostly beyond me.
5) What’s your comfort food?
Apart from beer? Pizza — homemade with a lot of chilies and more cheese than is healthy.
6) What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?
Stephen King. I’d smuggle a chapter of mine into his current WIP.
7) Where is the last place you went on holiday?
Alberta in Canada, staying in Banff and Jasper and driving among the Rockies in late April while the snow was still on them. We had a great time.
8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?
Of the dead, William Hope Hodgson. I’d love to work on a Carnacki novel with him. Of the recently dead, David Gemmell — I’d have loved to do a Jon Shannow, Jerusalem Man novel. Of the living, Brian Lumley to work on a new NECROSCOPE book or Michael Moorcock to resurrect the Eternal Champion.
9) What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party? (Universal translators will be provided)
Robert Louis Stevenson — my favorite writer of all time, Alexander the Great — every dinner party needs a megalomaniac, Lao-Tsu for some philosophy, Marilyn Monroe — just because it’s Marilyn, Bessie Smith for some songs and serious drinking.
10) Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?
2014 was another stellar year for me on the writing; another year of maintaining full time status, and some really nice story and book sales along the way.
I’ve had novels and novellas published by the likes of DarkFuse and Dark Regions Press, collections from Dark Renaissance and Crystal Lake, a handful of new audiobooks from Gryphonwood, some very nice Lovecraftian sales, and I repeated the trick of selling a story to Nature Futures along the way to reaching double figures in pro short story sales for the third year in a row.
So there was all of that, which was nice. But I can’t go resting on any laurels yet. There’s a whole slew of things lined up for 2015 and beyond.
Coming very soon Sherlock Holmes: The Hackney Horrors (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The Lost Husband (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The London Terrors (3 novella omnibus) (HC) / Dark Renaissance Myth and Monsters (collection) (TPB) / Knightwatch Feb 2015 Tormentor (novella) (HC) / DarkFuse Apr 2015 The Dunfield Terror (novel) (HC / TPB) / DarkFuse Jun / Jul 2015 The House on the Moors (novella) (HC) / Dark Renaissance Sep 2015 Pentacle (novella) (HC) / DarkFuse TBA Sherlock Holmes: The Dreaming Man (novelette) (HC / TPB) / Dark Renaissance TBA Berserker and Other Cryptids (collection) (TPB) / Knightwatch On the short story front, I have a story coming in a major new Sherlock Holmes collection and a whole bunch of pro Lovecraftian tales lined up in anthologies. There are more audio books lined up, and more foreign language editions, including The Amulet in German, Island Life in Spanish and the three Midnight Eye Books in Portugese.
Alongside all of that, I am contracted for three more novels for DarkFuse to take me up to 2017 at least and I’m currently waiting on publisher feedback on a new Carnacki collection.
11) How do you want the world to remember you?
As a good man and a good storyteller. In that order.
It was great having a look inside your mind today, Willie. Thank you so much for visiting Cat After Dark. I hope you’ll come back and tip a few with us again soon.
*Dancers can be found in Willie’s story collection SAMURAI AND OTHER STORIES