Interview: Five Minutes With Derek Gunn

Today I am honoured to have Derek Gunn over for a chat.  Derek Gunn was born in Ireland in 1964. He is married with three children and lives in Dublin Ireland. He is the author of five thriller novels – VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE: A WORLD TORN ASUNDER (2006), VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE: DESCENT INTO CHAOS (2008), VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE: FALLOUT 2009,THE ESTUARY (2009) and GEMINI (2011). He has also written two novellas (THE DIABOLICAL PLAN and THE ISLAND) in his Historical Naval Horror series SENTINELS OF THE SEA. Short fiction by Derek has appeared in many anthologies.

Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

I live in Ireland and am a telecommunications specialist in real life. I also write. VAMPIRE So far I have seven novels, three in the Vampire Apocalypse series, a zombie novel – The Estuary, end of the world novel, The Gatekeeper and my latest one Crimson Seas which is the first novel in the HMS Swift series, the first novel but not the first story. I also have a thriller, Gemini, which is a great spy novel. It’s a little different I know but I just felt like writing a thriller – so I did.
I also have a number of short stories published in various collections. I have recently pulled most of these together in one collection, The Last Stand, which also has two new novellas.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I grew up searching out the ‘Horror’ sections in any bookshop I entered, I still do in fact, so I reckon I’ll stick with that.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I take my early inspiration from Alastair MacLean, Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Later, I discovered Stephen King, James Herbert, Graham Masterton and these had a huge impact on me. I read a lot though. I read Science fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, even Westerns so the list of favorites is far too large for this interview I’m afraid.
What are you reading now?
I have just started Tim Lebbon’s latest ‘Coldbrook’ – it’s too early to say anything yet but Tim is a great writer so I am expecting great things. I have just finished Peter F Hamilton’s ‘Great North Road’. 1100 pages of great writing. Anyone who reads horror and hasn’t read his Night’s Dawn Trilogy is sadly missing out. Great North Road is brilliant, a great mix of detective story, science fiction and horror all wrapped together..
 Which book do you wish you had written?
I wish I had written 30 Days of Night. Not necessarily the same story but the concept was so good. 30 days without sunlight and vampires all around. I mean it’s so obvious but it took a brilliant Graphic Novel by Steve Niles to show us what can be done.
How would you describe your writing style?
I would describe myself as an Adventure writer with elements of the Supernatural. My stories are not scary; they’re not designed to be. I love adventure stories, historical fiction and love to inject a little something extra into those stories. I mean, there are so many stories in our own history that don’t really have explanations that make sense. Battles where a handful of people held off huge numbers of the enemy. My mind just explodes with alternate explanations and I write them. That’s what the HMS Swift stories are all about. The Vampire Apocalypse series is about the world’s resources drying up and what happens after civilisation collapses. Okay there are vampires as well but the human adventure is paramount.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t have enough time to have developed any weird habits I’m afraid. I write at the weekends. I have a little room which has books on every wall and I go in there, turn on my Apple and write while music blasts away. Scorpions, Marillion, Magnum and RUSH are articular favourites.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. I suppose it would have to be ‘The Third Option’. It’s a short story I wrote a few years ago for the ‘History is Dead’ anthology edited by Kim Paffenroth. I was particularly pleased with the reaction to the story but, since it came out, it has also been picked up by Signet and is  included in Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves and Ghosts. This anthology is used in the US in creative writing classes and includes Stephen King, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and host of amazing writers – and me. It’s a dream realised to be included within the same covers as writers of that calibre.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last novel is ‘Crimson Seas’. This is part of the HMS Swift series and follows on from where I left the crew in the novella ‘The Island’. The HMS Swift Adventures are set against the historical backdrop of the fragile peace that existed between the American Revolution, the looming French Revolution and the threat of Napoleon’s growing empire. It was a time for adventure and discovery of lands and peoples previously unknown and was loomed large. A perfect time for monsters and dark forces to gather and threaten the world.
I have also released a collection of short stories, ‘The Last Stand’ as mentioned above. It collects most of my published short stories, including ‘The Third Option’. It also includes a preview story to the Vampire Apocalypse series and the two introductory stories in the HMS Swift series. It’s a great place to start if you haven’t read any of my stuff before and great value on Kindle.
 If you enjoyed this interview, and fancy reading some of Derek’s work then please consider purchasing it through the link below.  The Small remuneration I receive goes a long way in keeping this site active. 
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