Halloween Horror Night An Interview With the Authors and Organiser

To get you in the mood here is a quick interview with the guys involved 

GNOH – Do you like Halloween?

Gary – I used to likeHalloween as a child, but now I dislike the Americanization of the wholefestival. It’s turned from a cute little leftover from our pagan forefathersinto a money-spinning “Trick or Treat” festival.

ADAM – I should morethan I do, as it’s official horror day. But part of every day is Halloween forme.
DAVID – Back in the1970s and early 1980s, I don’t remember hearing a lot about Halloween.Certainly it was nowhere near as commercial back then. Bizarrely, my firstmemories are from a non-horror film which I think was one of the main reasonstrick or treating started to become established in the UK – ET. Forget aboutthe kid and his pet dying alien, I was transfixed watching kids dress up asmonsters and going from door to door scrounging sweets!
MW: Yes, it’s wonderful that there’s a festival dedicated to the weird,bizarre and downright horrific. Whether celebrating at a full-blown party, orwith a few drinks and horror movies, it’s important that we keep the festivalalive. The US have the right idea and take Halloween far more seriously than usin the UK. I’d like it if we could raise the Halloween profile more here andensure that it’s intrinsically linked with horror. Sometimes you see peoplewalking around dressed up as fairytale characters, and whilst there are somereal evil entities stemming from The Brothers Grimm, I wouldn’t want to waterdown Halloween with too many ‘Disney’ images amongst the grotesque.
GNOH – What’s your earliestmemory of Halloween?

Gary – My earliestmemory of Halloween is “narkie-nicking”. We used to call suedesnarkies (no pumpkins for us working class lads) and me and my friends wouldsteal them from a local farmer’s field and then spend hours trying to hollowthem out – hard as rocks, they were: you were lucky if you manags a shallow pitin the top of the suede to hold your stubby little candle.
ADAM – I can’t evenremember it being a big deal until a few years ago. Before then it was confinedto school projects. It never really came home. I think horror culture has justbeen such a constant for me, Halloween is almost a horror day for normal peoplewho don’t have a huge association with it. I’m like one of Santas’s elves – Ispend the other 364 days of the year trying to produce gifts for those who likehorror; gifts that get delivered by a black goat.

DAVID – Back in the1970s and early 1980s, I don’t remember hearing a lot about Halloween.Certainly it was nowhere near as commercial back then. Bizarrely, my firstmemories are from a non-horror film which I think was one of the main reasonstrick or treating started to become established in the UK – ET. Forget aboutthe kid and his pet dying alien, I was transfixed watching kids dress up asmonsters and going from door to door scrounging sweets!
MW: The abundance of masks that littered my local newsagents inWorcestershire (not exactly the birthplace of horror, eh?). There werefur-covered masks of beasts such as the sasquatch and more economically pricedplastic equivalents. I remember buying both a Frankenstein’s monster andDracula mask. Frankenstein’s monster was labelled ‘Frankenstein’ which ofcourse is inaccurate – that bothered me, even then. I wore them a lot aroundthe house after Halloween until they were worn out and crumpled
GNOH – If money was no optionwhat would be your ideal costume?

Gary – My idealcostume would be the flayed corpse of my enemy. 
ADAM – Errm …Christopher Lee’s Dracula, because women swoon

DAVID –  I think it would have to be a full-on, GregNicotero or Tom Savini zombie makeover. Either that or something incrediblyslimy and deformed inspired by the later scenes of Cronenberg’s The Fly.
MW: It’s a good question and one that I haven’t given much thought to.One of my favourite costumes of all-time was worn by my friend, to a birthdayparty. It depicted the moment in which Kane (John Hurt) has a chestbursterpierce through his chest in Alien.
If I were to make an elaborate and over the top Halloween costume I’msure it would involve fire. Having said that sometimes it’s the simplistic,minimalist ideas that are most effective. We can apply this rule to cinema andliterature too. Throw enough gore at somebody and they’ll eventually findthemselves desensitised, but tap into their psyche and the damage can beunforgiving.

GNOH – What will you be readingfrom at Halloween Horror Night?
Gary – I’m reading ascary little short story called ‘Down’. It’s from my latest collection -“It Knows Where You Live”, and I think it hits just the right tonefor Halloween…

ADAM – A scene from The Ritual (one of the bits you never read because youdropped it in the bath)

DAVID – I’m not sure yet, and I probably won’t be until the night of the event.I have some new short fiction I’ve been working on, and I’ve been going backthrough my novels and some older short stories looking for something suitable.It’ll be as much a surprise to me as it will to the audience!

GNOH – What made you decide to set up this Halloween reading?

MW: I was approached by my former tutor and friend – from TheUniversity of Warwick – George Ttoouli. He wanted to put on a horror literatureevent and knew – what with my involvement in the horror scene and with ReadHorror – that I would be well placed to organise the event and put theprogramme together.
GNOH – If it’s a success willthis become an annual event?

MW: I am incredibly passionate about spreading horror literature to themasses. Off the back of the Halloween event I would like to organise morehorror evenings. I would suspect that if there’s enough interest then theevents will occur more frequently than once a year. I will, of course, listento the horror fans and readers to deliver an event they want. That meanslistening to which authors they want to read and the type of venue they wouldlike to see the event take place in. I already have some ideas forming forfuture events, but these are early days.
GNOH – Have you thought aboutstreaming it over the internet for those of us who can’t make it?

MW: On this occasion, regrettably, we will be unable to stream theevent. Sharon Ring spoke about setting up a podcast/audio recording for theevent, but there are other factors that would create obstacles.
In the future, however, I would like to bring the event to a wideraudience via the internet. After all this is about spreading horror literatureto as many people as possible, and let’s face it many more people can log ontothe internet than can easily get to Coventry, UK on a Monday evening!
GNOH – So how did you get Gary,Adam, and David to agree to do this?

MW: After devising a multitude of plans,in the spirit of Annie Wilkes, I decided to save myself a potential prisonsentence and outright ask them. I wanted to bring together three of the bestvoices in horror today, each with their own distinct style. It didn’t take melong to decide on Gary, Adam and David. The different strands of the genre thatthe three of them bring are diverse enough for me to confidently say, there issomething here for every horror fan. I would go further and suggest that thereis something here for all fans of literature.

GNOH – You can tell me, no oneelse is here, if any of them have any unusual requests on their riders?

MW: Unfortunately I have taken part in a blood pact, that wouldn’t havebeen too out of place in Adam’s The Ritual, and will be hunted down anddecimated by Moder, if I am to divulge that information.
GNOH – You’re from Coventry, so I’m sorry I have to ask this have you ever metany of The Specials?

MW: Sorry to disappoint, but I haven’t met The Specials. I’m happierwith the heavy metal that has come out of neighbouring city, Birmingham, thanthe new wave ska of The Specials. Birmingham has produced the likes of BlackSabbath, Judas Priest and grindcore legends, Napalm Death. I’d take any ofthose over The Specials. I even met Ozzy Osbourne a year or so back, but that’sanother story for another day…

Hey folks, fed up with answering the door to spotty teenagers, trying to obtain sweets and money through menace.  Many not even making an effort to put on a costume.  Then why not head along to The Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, on Mon 31 Oct, for what will be a a damn fine evening of horror, in the company of three of the UK’s best horror writers. 

Hosted by Read Horror Editor, Michael Wilson it promises to be an exciting evening with three of the best horror authors in the UK today.

First up is Gary McMahon, author of The Concrete Grove trilogy and the man behind the Thomas Usher series.  Readers of site will know that I am a huge fan of Gary’s work.  He will be reading a classic horror story to leave fans entertained and terrified.

Following on from Gary, is Gollancz’s David Moody. Not only has he written one of the most successful zombie series in years – Autumn – but he’s also written the terrifying apocalyptic Hatertrilogy. The concluding chapter Them or Us will hit stores next month.
Last, but by no means least is Adam Nevill. He is fast establishing himself as the most exciting author in supernatural horror today. Having enjoyed success with Banquet for the DamnedApartment 16 and the Blair Witch meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre great outdoors horror, The Ritual, he is set to release Last Days next year.
I am reliably assured that they’ll be other members of the horror fiction scene attending the event, so bring your autograph book if you’re a fan and get networking if you’re an author.
Please come along to this event and support both Read Horror and three of the top names in horror fiction today. Tickets are available for £6-8 and the fun kicks off Monday 31 October 2011 at 7:15pm.


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