Interview: Five Minutes With Peter Mark May
Today we have Peter Mark May over for a chat. I first encountered Peter’s writing on cold Christmas morning in the bath, when someone gave me his book Demon for my Birthday. I became an instant fan of his work from that point.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Peter Mark May is the author of Demon (2008), Kumiho (2010) and Inheritance (2010) published under the name P. M. May. As well as short stories published in genre Canadian & US magazines and the UK & US anthologies of horror such as Creature Feature, Watch and the British Fantasy Society’s 40th Anniversary anthology Full Fathom Forty. He released his first novella called Dark Waters in 2011. He has edited three Hersham Horror Books anthologies so far, but is letting others have a play now, but somehow found the time to co-found Karōshi Books with Johnny Mains and Cathy Hurren in 2012. He will have two novels out from the Samhain Horror line in 2012 Hedge End & AZ: Anno Zombie.
While plain old Pete May, is married to Jan, father of two boys, can’t spell, can’t type and hates editing but that hasn’t held him back so far.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I write horror and that’s what I mostly read. The rest is marketing bollocks. I have hatred for Steampunk (it’s the zeppelins that irk me) and the way even James Herbert is marketed as the top chiller writer in the UK, he writes horror to me.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Stephen King, F.Paul Wilson, Peter Straub, Brian Keene, Simon Clark, J.R.R. Tolkien
What are you reading now?
Thieving Fear by Ramsey Campbell, never got round to reading any of his stuff except the Cthulhu stuff. Thought I’d better.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Lord of the Rings, The Terror by Dan Simmons, Black Wind by F.Paul Wilson, & the Harry Potter series (only because I’d be minted)
How would you describe your writing style?
My kids say I have no style. Direct, honest, and I mostly try and write about creatures or myths that people only know a little or nothing about. If you have to press me on whose style I was nearest I’d say F.Paul Wilson.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I try and write early as I’m a morning person. Usually try and get 2,000 words down, which some days it’s a breeze and others it takes teeth-pulling effort.
Not sure if I have habits, my typing makes 99% of my the comes out as teh for some reason. So this year I wrote my own little personal editing bible to catch all the little errors that creep in when I’m bashing away at the keyboard.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Hedge End at the moment my first book for Samhain, It felt so good that someone like Don D’Auria thinks your worth publishing. He’s made me a more professional writer, but you always hope your best work is the next book.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
Last book is Hedge End, set in a town where old protections against old gods and tree spirits are being dug up and the hedge holding them in is barely left. I always thought it was less good versus evil and more, one theology fighting another; I don’t take sides you the reader can make your own minds up.
The forest has always been there, and the high hedge around it has stood since Roman times. No one remembers anymore why the hedge was planted, and bit by bit, as houses and modern life advance, the ancient barrier is being torn down. Slowly, creatures that have been trapped within for centuries are creeping through the gaps in the wall, hungry for revenge for their long imprisonment. As murder and horror spread through the nearby town of Hedge End, a stranger arrives, eager to give the residents a May Day celebration they will never forget
Next release is AZ: Anno Zombie (I know Jim, another one) set in Tucson Arizona, an idea that came from a dream I had.
Next two books after that are already written one about a haunted chair and another set in an old folks home, with lots of Viking myths.