Bloodstream Interview with Ross Baxter

I’m pleased to have author Ross Baxter on the blog with me today talking about writing and his short story, “Fifty-Five Shades of Green” featured in Mocha Memoirs Press’s horror anthology, In the Bloodstream

ER: Hi Ross, welcome! Tell us a bit about your background and what makes you tick.

RB: I spent thirty years in the British Royal Naval Reserve (1981-2011), which certainly colored my thinking. Through the Navy I met my Norwegian wife (in Albania!) and two kids later I’ve never looked back.

ER: Give us a short blurb about your “Bloodstream” story. How did you get the idea?

RB: When in the local bookstore I had a crafty flick through Fifty Shades of Gray, and was a little surprised what I read given all the media-hype. That’s where the idea for my short story Fifty-Five Shades of Green came from; love, lust and zombies!

31 authors, 5 countries, and 31 tales of dark fantasy and horror
31 authors,
5 countries,
and 31 tales of dark fantasy and horror

ER: Why did you start writing?  What drew you specifically to horror?

RB: I started writing when at sea, partly to relieve the long hours of boredom whilst on watch. I’d seen a lot of horror in real life, and decided to try and capture some on paper.

ER: Is writing horror different from other genres? What makes a great horror (or dark fantasy) tale?

RB: It has to be believable, and the characters have to earn a certain amount of empathy with the reader. In some respects the best horror books aren’t necessarily filed under the genre of horror; examples of such books are written by authors such as Cormac McCarthy or Pete Dexter. (ER: Agreed.  McCarthy’s The Road is one of the darkest books I’ve ever read.)

ER: Do you have a day job or do you write full time? Would we be surprised by what you do for a living?

RB: I wish I could write full time but what I make from writing a year buys just a couple of tanks of gas. In real life I manage a truck depot.

ER: What scares you?

RB: My mortgage! (ER: Ha! Completely understandable.)

ER: What do you do when your muse deserts you? How do you stay inspired?

RB: In over ten years of writing I’ve not lost it yet (hope I’ve not spoken too soon)

ER: You’re going to the gallows. What’s your last meal?

RB: I’m English, so it’s got to be Fish & Chips.

Mmmm... I had a fantastic fish and chips when I went to England. And I'd do it again...
Mmmm…
I had a fantastic fish and chips when I went to England.
And I’d do it again…

ER: Tell us a joke.

RB: A hungry lion came across two people out on a camping trip. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book, the other one was typing away on a laptop. With a roar the big cat pounced and gobbled up the person reading the book. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.

ER: What’s your next project? Will you share with us?

RB: I’m just finishing an action novel based around tensions in the South China Sea. I’m waiting to see if the situation in North Korea deteriorates as then would be a good time to try and hawk to publishers.

ER: What’s missing in fiction?  What (and who) do you like to read?

RB: Decent Westerns, such as Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. This genre is well overdue a comeback.

ER: What’s the most difficult part of writing? What do you love most?

RB: Rejection letters are the worse part, receiving the book in the post the best.

ER: Any suggestions for aspiring writers out there?

RB: The three Ps: practice, practice, practice.

Ross Baxter

For more of Ross’s work, take a look at his Author page on Amazon or find him on Facebook.

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