Today folks I am very honoured to have David Wellington over for an interview. Author of the rather fantastically brilliant Laura Caxton vampire series.
GNOH – Hello David, I hope you are doing well?
Hi! Doing great, thanks.
GNOH – Can you please tell us about yourself?
I’m David Wellington, author of nine novels so far. I write about zombies, vampires, and werewolves—so far. This year I have my first fantasy novel coming out: Den of Thieves, under the name David Chandler.
GNOH – So why horror?
I love stories about monsters. Always have. I grew up reading Stephen King and Peter Straub, and watching countless horror movies. Good ones, bad ones—anything with a monster in it.
GNOH – What type of author would you say you are?
A good one, I hope. But that’s really up for my readers to say. I just try to write books I’d want to read. I believe that if a book is fun to write, it’ll be fun to read.
GNOH – What shape do you think the genre is in?
The horror genre is in an interesting place right now. It used to be kind of transgressive—kids would dare each other to watch a scary movie, and scary books were passed around almost in secret, as if people were afraid to admit that they liked to be scared. Now it’s become an accepted part of the culture. Everybody loves horror, though they disagree on what horror is or what it should be. It’s a really interesting time to be writing horror novels.
GNOH – You have made a name for yourself, for creating new and exciting twists on the genre staples. Was this something you always intended on doing?
I always try to put my own twist on anything I write. Otherwise, what’s the point? I love playing with ideas, changing things up, pushing them this way and that and seeing what shakes loose. That’s half the fun.
GNOH – You first published your début novel online, that must have been nerve wrecking, opening yourself right up to all sorts of online loonies?
It was crazy… but the people online weren’t. My online readers were awesome, right from the start. The support they showed me made all the difference.
GNOH – What lessons did you learn from doing it?
Honestly, I learned just about everything I know about writing from that experience. I learned how to write for other people, instead of just myself—I learned how to write high-energy, exciting stuff, and how to really move people emotionally. It was an incredible education.
GNOH – When writing the Laura Caxton series, did sit down and fully develop the breed and mythos of your vampires before you actually set about writing the story?
Absolutely. I needed to get the vampire lore down so I knew how the story would develop—I really wanted to have a consistent vision of the vampires that would work for a full novel.
GNOH – Why did you go with such a brutal and animalistic breed of vampire? Was this a reaction to what had and still is happening to the vampire in modern fiction?
The vampires in those books were largely a reaction to what I saw everywhere at the time in vampire fiction. At the time romantic vampires were at their peak, and it felt like they’d lost a lot of their power. Their power to scare people, definitely. So I decided to make my vampires as scary, as nasty, as violent as possible.
GNOH – Have we seen the last Laura Caxton, and her vampires?
Absolutely not! The fifth volume of the series, 32 Fangs, will be out in April of 2012. Anyone who read the last one, 23 Hours, knows where this is going—but the book is really going to blow long-time readers away.
GNOH – You also published your Werewolf novel Frostbite initially online. How much has the print version changed from the online version?
A lot. For one thing it’s nearly a third as long—I beefed up everything, took what I’d learned from the online experience to expand the plot, flesh out the characters, make the book stronger in almost every way. I was proud of the book in its online form, I thought it had some of my best writing. But now it’s so much more.
GNOH – Have you played about with the werewolf mythos in anyway?
Of course! My werewolves turn into wolves every time the moon rises—even if they can’t see it, even if it’s a new moon. They can’t live around human beings when they’re transforming, so they have to move further and further into the wilderness. The desolate, uninhabited parts of Canada become one of the most important characters in the story.
GNOH – Why do you think the werewolf is so underused in fiction?
I really don’t know. The werewolf is a powerful metaphor—we all have that animalistic side to our natures, the bestial part of us that we push down, and push down, and pretend doesn’t exist, but it’s always there waiting to break out. Werewolves scare people for the same reason all good monsters scare us—because they are reflections of ourselves with our illusions stripped away.
GNOH – Have you ever fancied writing a big mash up novel featuring your zombies, vampires and werewolves? I personally think that would be an excellent decision.
I’d love to do that. It’s something I think about often, and I’m sure my fans would enjoy it. I’m definitely not ruling it out. But that’s all I’ll say.
GNOH – So what is your favourite of the classic monsters?
Frankenstein’s Monster, hands down. He’s the ultimate outsider, and I can identify with his pain.
GNOH – I hear you are getting ready to release a new fantasy series, can you tell us about this?
It’s going to be awesome! It starts with Den of Thieves, out this August. It’s under an open pseudonym—David Chandler. Chandler is my middle name. It’s a big, rollicking adventure of the kind I loved as a kid. It’s going to be so much fun.
GNOH – Is this going to be a purely fantasy series, or will there be horror elements to it?
There are monsters in it, but I don’t want to give anyone any idea—this is big, epic fantasy, with swords and thieves and dwarves. But like all of my novels it’s high energy, tons of action, exciting characters in deadly situations. Fans of my horror novels will not be disappointed.
GNOH – Have you tried to play about with any of the common fantasy clichés, to try and give a fresh take on the genre?
Absolutely! I can’t not do that now. My dwarves, most specifically, are completely different from the dwarves you find in Tolkien or World of Warcraft.
GNOH – Do you change the way in which you approach writing a fantasy novel as opposed to writing a horror novel?
Yes and no. Horror is about a sustained emotion—about dread, and anticipation. Fantasy is about the hugeness of vision, of the sense of wonder. But there’s a lot that carries over, a lot that’s just true for any kind of writing. You know, a lot of my biggest influences are the great pulp writers, who could write horror, fantasy, science fiction—and they never really made a big distinction between genres. They just told amazing stories.
GNOH – Can you tell us of any other upcoming projects?
Den of Thieves is just the beginning. There will be three novels in the series, coming out every couple of months—A Thief in the Night, then Honor Among Thieves. If you like the first one you won’t have to wait long to see what happens next!
Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk to your readers!
It has been a pleasure David, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
David is a first class author, I highly recommend you check him out. His books can be purchased from all major high street retailors, and from all the usual on-line sources.
if you are still unsure, and shame in you, yiou can read some of his free online novels HERE