Interview: 5 Minutes With G.R. Yeats

Today I’m pleased to have my occasional drinking partner G R Yeats over for a chat  G.R. Yeates is a critically-acclaimed author who has published a series of horror novels set in WWI entitled The Vetala Cycle. He has also published two literary horror novellas and appeared in anthologies from Dark Continents Publishing and Cutting Block Press. In 2013, he will be publishing Fantasy and Thriller novels as Greg James.

Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m G.R. Yeates and I write Horror fiction. I have published three novels as a series called The Vetala Cycle and I am in the process of publishing a series of literary horror pieces. This Darkness Mine is already out with Night Residue and The Thing Behind the Door to come. I’ve also had stories included in anthologies published by Dark Continents Publishing and Cutting Block Press. Not a bad output for my first eighteen months as a writer.
What else? I am a self-published author, exclusive to Amazon and I take great pleasure in demeaning and destroying literature with every breath I take and every move I make.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I think they all fit for me really as I would say I started off writing Horror with The Eyes of the Deadbut now I’ve moved into Weird Fiction with This Darkness Mine and upcoming title, Night Residue. Also, next year I’m starting out anew writing Fantasy but that will still have, I hope, all the elements my readers have come to enjoy over the last eighteen months so Dark Fiction will probably apply there. In short, I claim them all!
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I’d like to give a mention here to self-published authors of Horror and the Weird who I rate very highly so some favourites of mine who I think you should check out are James Everington, Autumn Christian and Tony Rabig. Each of them has a very unique and strong identity to their work and I look forward to seeing them all to go on to great success. They have also paid me very well in absinthe, brown acid tabs and amyl nitrate. Titles I would pick out in particular by these authors are: The Shelter by James Everington, The Crooked God Machine by Autumn Christian and They’re Waiting by Tony Rabig.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading The Shadow Rising from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Timeseries. It’s the fourth book in fourteen book series. The sheer scope of it makes J.R.R. Tolkien look like an underachiever. Incredible stuff.
Which book do you wish you had written?
The book that has been the single biggest inspiration for my Horror novels and stories is This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski so that would be a candidate. But as it recounts the author’s time spent in WWII concentration camps and he later committed suicide, it’s probably not something to wish for over much given the experiences that would be required to see the world in that way. So, as I’m moving into Fantasy, I’ll say The Lord of the Rings instead.
How would you describe your writing style?
I’d feel a bit arrogant describing how I think I write as my perception is likely very different to that of the reader so I’ll restrict myself to a few words culled from reviews of my work; ‘poetic’, ‘evocative’ and ‘mesmerising’.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
During the week, I write in the evenings so it’s usually a case of go home, eat dinner and write with intermittent twatting around on Facebook. At the weekend, I try to cram in as much as I can but there’s no special ritual I follow really. Staying up some nights until 3am to finish a piece of work is more usual than unusual with most writers.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I’m proud of everything I’ve put out so far but if I had to pick one then it’s The Thing Behind the Door, which will be released in December as a digital stocking filler. It’s a very dark, angry and bitter work that has taken me six years to get to its final form. It was harrowing to write, the most difficult and most honest thing I’ve ever done creatively. And despite being intended as a piece of horror entertainment, it’s done wonders for me as a means of catharsis. I’ll never write anything like this again, of that I’m sure. It’s a one-off and a warped chalice of personal poison.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
I’ve covered this to a certain extent with the last question so I’ll mention This Darkness Mine and Night Residue here. This Darkness Mine is what I call Beat Horror as its style and content was heavily inspired by writers like Burroughs who wrote in a disconcerting, dream-like cut-up style that they also used to mock and satirise contemporary society. Night Residue is a mini-short story collection that was inspired by Thomas Ligotti’s Sideshow and Other Stories– it’s a series of vignettes which are all thematically linked and inspired by a number of nightmares I’ve had over the years.
As to what’s up next; The Sword of Sighs, a YA Fantasy, and Bloodswords and a Colder Sun; a Dark Fantasy novel featuring my new character Khale the Wanderer who is inspired by Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane the Mystic Swordsman.
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