Interview Nicholas Martin : 13 Ghosts of Christmas

Today it is the turn of Nicholas MartinNic Martin, is an aspiring  writer from London. He likes chocolate, cats (and chocolate cats most of all), H.P. Lovecraft, M.R. James, J.R. Hartley and garish socks with robots on them.

Can you tell us little bit about yourself?
My name is Nicholas Martin, and my story, All That Is Living, is my first published story, so I’m hugely honoured and excited to be appearing in the annual, alongside such amazing talent.
I live in Battersea but grew up in a little village called Wheathampstead just outside of St Albans. It’s only a small place but has a rich history, claiming to have been an ancient capital and having received visits from the likes of Julius Caesar, Boudica, The Wicked Lady (who now haunts the local pub) and more recently the so-called “Jigsaw Man murderer”. It made for an interesting place to grow up, and my father raised me on a healthy diet of SF and ghost stories (Ghostwatch, Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad, and the old radio series Journey Into Space all made an indelible impression on me growing up). I’ve been writing short stories for about ten years but this is my first attempt at getting published.
Why did you decide to submit a story to this anthology?
I’ve always loved ghost stories, particularly M R James, and there’s just something about Christmas that makes them so much more enjoyable and potent. When I saw Simon’s call for submissions, I knew exactly what he was looking for and an idea for a uniquely wintry type of ghost story immediately sprang to mind. So I typed it up, sent it off and crossed my fingers.
Can you tell us what to expect from your story?
Hopefully you can expect a good, old-fashioned ghost story; the kind that should be read by a roaring hearth on Christmas Eve, and accompanied by a small glass of sherry to ward off any chills that you might find creeping up your spine.
What was the best and the worst Christmas present you ever received?
The worst kind of Christmas presents, in my experience, are the kind you get when you do “Secret Santa” in the office. Invariably you end up with someone who doesn’t know you well enough and just buys a random piece of tat from Hawkins Bizarre. So I’d say it’s a toss up between a pair of socks emblazoned with the words “Party Monster” and a picture of a horrid, green snot creature clutching a pint, and a bottle stop that looked like a pornographic version of Morph.
As for the best, I’m hoping Sandy Claws brings me the BFI’s new Ghost Stories for Christmas box set which I’m sure will rank up there somewhere!
Who or what would you least like to be haunted by at Christmas?
Every year I’m haunted by the smell of brussel sprouts and fear that everyone is secretly disappointed in their presents, but if we’re talking supernatural hauntings, then the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in Scrooged certainly gave me nightmares as a kid (it’s the bit where you see all the withered people beneath his robes that did it) or “Pipes” from Ghostwatch, but I wouldn’t want to be haunted by him at any time of the year, quite frankly.
Can you tell us about any future projects?
This is my first published story, so my future plan is to get more of my work in print. I hope everyone enjoys All That Is Living and looks out for more from me in the future. It’s a little bit sparse at the moment but if anyone wants to, they can find me at 


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