“Watching the Eater” is Shaun Avery’s unsettling story in the horror and dark fantasy anthology, “In the Bloodstream”, now available in eBook and paperback from Mocha Memoirs Press.
ER: Tell us a bit about your background and what makes you tick.
SA: I started writing at an early age, sold a couple of non-fiction articles to a local newspaper in my early twenties and then came runner-up in a prose fiction competition a few years later. It wasn’t until I started writing comic scripts that my writing life really started to gain some momentum, though. Have I mentioned that I love comics? No? Well, yes, I do – I love them very much indeed. That said, I really believe that it’s not a bad thing to want to work in many mediums. They all make your writing come out in a different way, and help improve you as a writer.
ER: Give us a short blurb about your “Bloodstream” story. How did you get the idea?
SA: Anyone who knows me would tell you that I quite like food. I like writing about food, too. And it’s a long-held belief of mine that there are no lows that TV channels won’t sink to in order to get viewers for their shows (a theory that MTV seem to be doing their best to prove correct, with their plethora of series with the word “Shore” in the title.) Put that all together, and you get “Watching the Eater.” (ER: I hold that same belief about what lengths TV will go to for ratings. That’s why I refuse to put a reality TV program picture here.)
ER: Do you have a day job or do you write full time? Would we be surprised by what you do for a living?
SA: I’m a bookseller – which is a great job for a creative book loving type to have!
ER: You’re going to the gallows. What’s your last meal?
SA: At the risk of sounding like The Eater, probably a kebab. One that’s dripping in garlic. It’ll make my breath smell, but if I’m facing the gallows that’s probably the least of my worries.
ER: What’s your next project? Will you share with us?
SA: I’ve been invited to turn a short story submission I made into a longer novella. I’m looking forward to starting on that one.
ER: What authors/artists inspire you?
SA: If I had to pick my favourite writers, I’d go for Bentley Little, Ed McBain, Richard Laymon and Garth Ennis. But generally I’m inspired by everyone I read, both good and bad.
ER: I always picture writers with a beverage close at hand. What’s your poison?
SA: Red Bull or Pepsi Max – depending on how much sleep I’ve had the night before.
ER: Any suggestions for aspiring writers out there?
SA: Try to get into anthologies. Being surrounded by so many other great writers really makes you up your game. (ER: I love this suggestion. And I agree. Here’s one…)
ER: Do you dream? If so, do you use it in your writing? What’s the craziest dream you ever had?
SA: I’ve had a few ideas come in dreams – the craziest one was probably about a horde of homicidal maniacs that actually turned out to be frogs masquerading as humans. I tried my best to get that one to make sense in a prose format, but it wouldn’t stick. Sigh. Maybe I’ll take another go at that one some day . . .
ER: What’s your goal for your writing?
SA: To be a cross-medium success. Wish me luck.
ER: Good luck, Shaun! Sounds like you’re making progress. Thanks for chatting. Now back to your coffin…