I’m hopping across the pond to do my first international interview with Mark Taylor, one of the authors featured in the horror and dark fantasy anthology, “In the Bloodstream”, now available in eBook and paperback from Mocha Memoirs Press.
ER: Welcome to the blog, Mark. Tell us about yourself and your “Bloodstream” story.
MT: Well, I’m a writer from the south of England. I’ve been writing for some time now. I started with short work and have now moved on to longer projects as a whole. I’ve got my first novel coming out in a couple of months. But I still write shorts…love writing shorts.
I found, when writing The Risen Within, that the story changed. It grew as I wrote. I never intended for it to be the way it was, but I can’t say too much more. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
ER: Is writing horror different from other genres? What makes a great horror (or dark fantasy) tale?
MT: Horror is a whole different ball game to other genres. Heck, all genres are different to others in one way or another. Horror doesn’t need to be say, plot heavy, like a thriller. It needs only to draw in the reader, chew them up, and spit them out again, leaving them dribbling in the corner.
Full of terror.
But hey, plot’s a bonus, right? (ER: A pretty nice one, I think.)
ER: Do you have a day job or do you write full time? Would we be surprised by what you do for a living?
MT: Full time elsewhere, I’m afraid. Boring old office job. I dream about killing customers quite often though.
ER: What scares you?
MT: I’m afraid of the breakdown of society, the underlying turbulence that uneasy governments hide from us, the constant threat of war, and the denial of basic human rights to those that need help most.
And spiders. (ER: They are terrifying. All those legs…)
ER: How do you stay motivated to finish projects? How do you stay inspired to create new ideas?
MT: I find that if a story has characters I like, or like to hate, the story pretty much bursts out of me. My biggest problem is re-starting if I have to stop. Life sometimes gets in the way and I’ve had to stop for a couple of weeks. Then I’m reticent to start again. Afraid that I won’t ‘have’ it anymore. Then I wonder what ‘it’ is. And if I’m not careful I spend six months procrastinating on those questions while staring at a blank page.
My inspiration? It is all around me. (Insert: I see dead people reference).
ER: You’re going to the gallows. What’s your last meal?
MT: Fried Chicken/Chicken Kebab/Roast Chicken. It’s chicken, all right?
ER: Tell us something unusual or interesting about yourself.
MT: I once misplaced my bathrobe for three weeks and was utterly lost without it. We have since been reunited and have never been happier.
(ER: I’m happy for you both.)
ER: What’s your next project? Will you share with us?
MT: Argh! Where to start? I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment. Next will be more from The Devil’s Hand series, and then I’ve got an anthology of my own work in editing which I intend to self pub, and my second novel, Vampire Blue, is about halfway through.
ER: What’s missing in fiction? What (and who) do you like to read?
MT: Oddities. Bizzaro. I like literary fiction, really, but every now again I like to read something that’s so way out I can’t tear my eyes from it. I just don’t think there is enough of it out there.
ER: Do you research your topics?
MT: I always research that which other people know. For example, if I’m setting a part of a story in a real place, I’ll always do some research so I know where I’m at. You can’t do it all on the Internet, but at least you can get a feel for a place, if not a smell.
ER: What’s your biggest vice?
ER: What do you do when you’re not writing?
MT: I’m a film aficionado. Love film.
ER: I always picture writers with a beverage close at hand. What’s your poison?
MT: Did I mention beer?
ER: Any suggestions for aspiring writers out there?
MT: Don’t aspire. Be.
ER: Excellent advice! For more on Mark Taylor’s work, views on writing, and favorite beer selections, visit him at: