Bryan Hall: Hooks in Novels and Novellas [guest blog]

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m welcoming author Bryan Hall to this patch of virtual real estate, and a guest post by him regarding his new book, The Girl, the second in his Southern Hauntings Saga, published by Angelic Knight Press. Take it away, Bryan!

Guest Post by Bryan Hall

Bryan Hall

Some of you may be aware that myself and a couple of my writing friends (Armand Rosamilia and Billie Sue Mosiman, to be specific) get together on a weekly basis with one or more people from the writing community and talk books, mainly from the perspective of a reader. That discussion is called ‘The Pub’ and is hosted on my site. The reason I bring that up is because one of our first discussions ever was about hooks in novels or novellas. Over the course of the conversation some guests made some great comments in the comment section and joined in the discussion. It got me thinking about The Girl, out today from Angelic Knight Press.

The Girl is part of The Southern Hauntings Saga and is the first real introduction to what the main character–Crate Northgate–is going to have to deal with over the course of this series. In that initial discussion we talked about how important it was to get those hooks sunk deep into a reader quickly so that they don’t set aside your book and pick up a different one. But one particular commenter–I can’t credit him properly since he didn’t leave his real name–added some very valid points as well.

Pick up a Stephen King novel. I’m sure you’ve got one and if not, that’s okay too. Plenty of other writers will fit this exercise as well. Start reading through it. Now, you’ll notice one of two things.

The Girl

1. If you’re reading an old King novel, odds are the first pages have something to draw you in–to hook you nice and tight. ‘salem’s Lot has the tall man and the boy in Mexico and it leaves you wondering how they got there, urging you to read on.

2. If you’re reading a newer novel, or even one from the nineties, there’s a good chance the hook isn’t there. That’s not always the case, of course. Under the Dome gets going pretty damn quick, and some of his other stuff does as well. But Misery? Gerald’s Game? Nope. Hell, even my personal favorite The Shining takes a while to get going.

The point? Well, as our mystery commenter pointed out, style goes a long way towards drawing a reader in and keeping them there as well. Some writers–like King–have a unique style that some fall in love with (some happen to hate certain styles as well, obviously). Another wrinkle in this idea is simply that as King’s career progressed he didn’t have to work as hard to hook readers. They knew the goods were coming, and they’ll wait through one hundred pages of character development and backstory to get to it if need be.

With The Girl, I had to create two hooks. I had to hook readers into the story of The Girl itself. I hope I did that with the use of the main character and the overall mystery that drives the narrative. But I also had to hook readers into the Southern Hauntings Saga as a whole. As it stands I plan on this series running five or six books long. The number could change, but that’s the figure I have in mind right now. Hopefully this story and the mystery of Crate’s past hooks you in and makes you want to find out more. If so, I’ve done my job. If not… well… I just hope it does. Either way, I hope you enjoy the story and take the time to check it out.


Buy links:

The Girl is available from (U.S.) for Kindle and from Smashwords (multiple e-book formats).


About the author:

Bryan Hall is a fiction writer living in a one hundred year old farmhouse deep in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and three children. Growing up in the Appalachias, he’s soaked up decades of fact and fiction from the area, bits and pieces of which usually weave their way into his writing whether he realizes it at the time or not. He’s the author of the sci-fi horror novel Containment Room 7, the collection Whispers from the Dark, and the upcoming Southern Hauntings Saga. You can find him online at and learn more about the Southern Hauntings Saga at


Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light. His blog originates here. Guest post written by Bryan Hall. Cover art for The Girl by Rebecca Treadway.

Karina Fabian: Author Interview

Karina FabianGood morning! Karina Fabian is over here today, talking about her new book from MuseItUp Publishing, Live and Let Fly. Welcome, Karina!

1. Tell us about yourself, and what drew you to writing.

I’m a pretty ordinary person, living a quiet, contented life with a loving husband and four great kids. However, I have a brain crowded with characters who live far more interesting lives than I ever will. (Mind you, they also experience a lot more pain and stress, so I am not looking to trade.) I write their stories in order to get them out of my head before it explodes, and because I love their adventures so much, I want to share them.

2. Tell us about your latest book, Live and Let Fly.

For those that don’t know Vern: Vern is a dragon who had a run-in with St. George. As a result, he’s serving God and His creatures to earn his dragon powers and prowess back. Right now, for reasons God only knows, he’s doing that in our world as a private detective. Sister Grace, a nun and mage from Faerie, is his partner. They do everything from find lost cats to save the Mundane and Faerie worlds from demigods seeking to gain power in the Mundane.

This time, however, they face their biggest challenge. When the mugging of their friend, Herald Charlie, points to interdimensional intrigue, they are co-opted into a secret government agency to uncover and stop the plot. Vern’s excited to play dragon-oh-seven, but they will have to face manaical middle managers with attack robots and killer board games as well as the darker side of the Norse pantheon. Even more fun, they will have to do so where their magical abilities are limited–and Vern will have to do some of the mission as a human.

Live and Let Fly spoofs the super-spy genre with outrageous villains and complex schemes, damsels in distress, exotic locations, and as many twisted cliches as I could pack into a 98,000-word novel.

Live and Let Fly3. You’ve said in other interviews that your characters drive your stories. Having been through one book with this crew of characters (2009’s Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem), were you more prepared for the directions they would go, or did they still surprise you?

They always surprise me–and sometimes, they get stubborn. Remember Rhoda Dakota, the child star in Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem? (Vern gets her autograph for Charlie, who is a big fan.) Charlie and Rhoda are getting engaged in Live and Let Fly. She was supposed to be the plucky get-it-done sidekick; the shtick I intended was Vern and company bumble around because they don’t understand all the Mundane technology, but since she does, she gets the job done.

She absolutely refused to play sidekick. She wanted to be damsel in distress for “her Charlie.” I could not write the scenes that would make her helpful. Once I gave up, she got herself kidnapped, while wearing a silver sequined dress and $500 shoes, and was handcuffed to a bed, trying to be brave and confident that “her Charlie” would rescue her. How cliche is that?

It worked out great! Charlie and Vern made a great team–very different from Vern and Sister Grace–and once he’d save her, she showed some pluck, and even turns around and rescues them later in the book.

4. What are your thoughts on the future of books?

They will be legion. They will be funny–and serious–and fun…

Or did you mean “books” in general? Electronic books will continue to take a bigger and bigger share of the market. Bookstores are going to dwindle, though I don’t see them disappearing entirely. It’s going to be harder to find the real gems among all the books being published. I’m wondering how people will be doing that, other than word-of-mouth or big campaigns.

5. What do you find toughest about being a writer, and how do you get past it?

I have difficulty getting started and doing visual scenes. I get over this by giving myself permission to write lousy prose at first, knowing I can fix it later once I have it written down.

6. Beyond writing, you also conduct seminars on various aspects of writing and marketing. What of these topics has drawn the greatest interest, and what important areas are most overlooked?

People are always looking for the magic spell of marketing (or of writing really well). Problem is, there isn’t one. It’s a combination of skill, talent and perseverance. I think perseverance is the most overlooked area. Some people submit their work to a hundred agents or publishers before getting a contract. Marketing has to be done consistently. I had started a newsletter on my website, 30-Minute Marketer, which breaks marketing down into weekly tasks. I was doing it for donations, but they dried up, so I may make it into an e-book unless I can learn to automate it for subscription. The first eight issues are up at If donations start up again, I’ll resume publishing them.

7. Who would be the perfect reader of Live and Let Fly?

If you loved Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or the MYTH, Inc., books you’ll it. If you like the spy genre and enjoy a spoof, you’ll enjoy it. If snorting drinks out your nose bothers you…don’t drink while reading it, but highlight parts to read aloud when your friends are drinking. 😉

8. What’s next for you, if you can share it?

The next DragonEye, PI book will be Gapman, in which mild-mannered entertainment reporter, Ronnie Engleson, gets superpowers after falling into a vat of magically created toxic waste, being bitten by a radioactive fairy and getting struck by lightning. (It was a really tough day for him.) Vern gets the annoying duty of training him. I have some of the scenes written, but am still working on the big villain.



For a dragon detective with a magic-slinging nun as a partner, saving the worlds gets routine. So, when the US government hires Vern and Sister Grace to recover stolen secrets for creating a new Interdimensional Gap–secrets the US would like to keep to itself, thank you–Vern sees a chance to play Dragon-Oh-Seven.

No human spy, however, ever went up against a Norse goddess determined to exploit those secrets to rescue her husband. Sigyn will move heaven and earth to get Loki–and use the best and worst of our world against anyone who tries to stop her.

It’s super-spy spoofing at its best with exotic locations (Idaho–exotic?), maniacal middle-managers, secret agent men, teen rock stars in trouble, man-eating animatronics, evil overlords and more!



If there’s such a thing as ADD of the imagination, Karina Fabian has it–in spades. Craft books, devotionals, serious science fiction, comedic horror and chilling fantasy–she follows her interests and the characters that tell her their stories.

Even before she could write, Karina strung tall tales about everything from making human pyramids in Kindergarten to visiting alien worlds. Her first attempt at novel writing was in fourth grade; she completed her first novel in college. However, her first published work was an anthology of Christian science fiction, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist for best anthology in 2006. Her next anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, featured Catholic characters and themes and won the EPPIE for science fiction. The second Infinite Space, Infinite God anthology came out in 2010.

Watching the comedy improve show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway, inspired her noir-style dragon detective, Vern. Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, have solved mysteries and saved the Faerie and Mundane worlds numerous numerous times in the DragonEye, PI stories and novels. Their serial story, World Gathering, won a Mensa Owl; and the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Fabian’s first published novel), won the INDIE for best fantasy in 2010.

At a friend’s request, Karina wrote a funny story about a zombie exterminator, which grew into the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator novels. The first, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, won the 2011 Global E-Book award for best horror.

She also writes serious science fiction. Her first SF novel, Discovery, is currently under consideration, and she’s working on a second on, The Old Man and the Void, based loosely on Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, but taking place in the accretion disk of a black hole.

Karina has a strong faith, which she explored in her devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, which she wrote with her father Steve Lumbert, and which won the 2011 Christian Small Press Publisher Award. She also writes Catholic school calendars and has written three craft books for the Little Flowers/Blue Knights clubs.

Fabian is married to Colonel Robert A. Fabian of the USAF. They have four children, a dog and a cat. When not writing, teaching writing, or chatting about writing, she’s hanging out with her kids or swinging a sword in haidong gumbdo.



Charlie started to close the door behind us, his other hand gripping the handle of his dagger so tightly I could hear the leather wrap on the handle strain, as we listened to the footsteps coming our way, slow, bored. My predator’s instincts rose; then I had a great idea. I shook my head at Charlie and winked, and he shuffled out of my way, leaving the door ajar. I settled myself with my back to the door, just inside the shadows and let the script play itself out:

CLUELESS MINION enters Stage Left. He pauses, hearing a noise, but does not report it. Instead, he fondles the stars on his nametag and moves toward the empty hallway, his mind on adding another. (Probably saying, “I was proactive today!”)

CLUELESS pauses at door, hesitating. He stands and, back to the door, reaches for his walkie-talkie.

Suddenly, a well-muscled and gorgeously scaled tail whips out from the crack in the door and wraps itself around his neck. He only has time to grab ineffectively at the tail before he’s drawn into the darkness. The door shuts behind him.

Pan shot of the empty hallway.


I slammed my victim on the floor and pinned him with my forelegs, then I leaned my face in nice and slow, making sure he got a good look at my fangs before he saw my eyes. “Where’s the girl?” I growled low and menacingly.

“Wh-What g-g-girl?”

Charlie crouched down by Stutterboy and glanced at his nametag. “Look, Philip, we’re in a bit of a hurry. We know Rhoda Dakota’s being held captive somewhere nearby. Now you can be a good survivor and tell us where…or you can be dinner.”

“I-I don’t–”

“Phil A. Minion.” I mused and drooled a bit for effect. I live for these moments, I really do. I licked his cheek and asked Charlie, “Can I have fries with that?”

“Why not? This is Idaho.”


Find Karina at:

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See the book trailer:

Find Live and Let Fly at:

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.

Kathryn Meyer Griffith: The Story Behind Blood Forge

Kathryn Meyer GriffithThe Story Behind Blood Forge (Author’s Revised Edition)
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

1985. I’d just published my second paperback novel, The Heart of the Rose, an historical bodice ripper (remember those?) about a suspected witch in 15th century England amidst the War of the Roses political intrigues, with Leisure Books of Dorchester Publishing and my editor there asked me if I had another novel to show them yet.

It just so happened that, yes, I’d been working on a third novel; another romantic horror similar to my first book with them, Evil Stalks the Night (which will for the first time in 29 years also be out again, revised and updated, on July 1, 2012) I was tentatively calling With This Gun. The story centered around a scandalous love triangle/murder between police officers that had taken place in our small town years before and that I had firsthand knowledge of. Some of them had been my friends, as my first husband had been a police officer in town as well. The police force, their wives and families, had been a tight knit group, but the murder still came as a great shock to most of us. One of my husband’s coworkers had been seeing another coworker’s wife and the two were thinking of splitting up their respective marriages, both with children, to be with each other. The problem was, the cop being left didn’t like it and shot the other cop dead in his house one day after being told what had been going on. It was terrible situation.

Well, I’d let the whole matter age for over a decade and was finally writing about it, sort of, as a way to free me of all the bad memories.

Now to the horror aspect. I’d use a possessed gun as a device to explain the killings the gun would be responsible for. Now I wasn’t exactly a lover of guns, but I was married to a cop. Guns were part of our lives. Always in the back of my mind was what I’d say to people who didn’t like the idea of me writing about a gun or hated guns: It isn’t a gun that kills people… it’s the person using the gun.

In this book, I gave an even better motivation. The gun made people kill because it was evil. This theme was what made it a supernatural story. A Colt Python would be possessed by an ancient demon; that the weapon had been forged from tainted iron or metal from the bowels of the earth centuries ago connected to that ancient demon-god. So the title Leisure eventually came up with was: Blood Forge (though I begged the editor to call it With This Gun or at least, Blood Forged, which made more sense, but no the publisher was determined to call it Blood Forge and in those days the author didn’t any say so on that or the cover).

Anyway, in the book I’d follow that gun after its creation from unfortunate human to human as it made people crazy and murderous; created havoc in everyone’s lives it touched. Until two people deeply in love have faith that they can defeat it…with the help of a mysterious priest (who may or may not be a priest at all). There are ways to get rid of a demon, no matter how strong it is.

Blood ForgeThat plot about following a gun on its deadly rampage has been used many times since in television shows and stories, but I’d began thinking about the book as early as 1983, so, perhaps, I was the first. Who knows?

Which brings me now to what happened after I turned the book in to the publisher. My editor for my first two books, Jane Thornton, read it and refused to editor it. Turned it down flat, saying she despised guns. They killed people. Guns bad. They scared her. She wouldn’t edit such a story, sorry.

I don’t remember exactly what happened after that. It was a long time ago. I think either Jane Thornton left Leisure or she gave the book to another editor, a man called John Littel.

Anyway, he liked the book, gun or no gun, and they offered me a contract on it anyway. I was thrilled. Wasn’t thrilled with the title, as I said, though, and I wasn’t impressed with the cover, embossed or not. Too dark. A snake coiling around the barrel of a menacing gun on a black background. Along with the title, I felt it didn’t portray what the book was entirely about. The novel was a love story, a survival against great odds, a parable of faith, tale. A story of a man’s fight with alcoholism and how his wife’s love helps him beat the insidious influence of the alcohol as well as the gun. It was about cops, their lives and their families. But, as with the title, I had no choice on the cover and had to take what they gave me. That’s just the way it was back then. I still feel that’s part of the reason the book never did well in its first incarnation. I was still an unknown writer and when that’s the case I’ve found that the cover and title–how compelling they are–makes a difference in the sales.

At this point, I must admit, after having just finished rewriting it…it was a very dark book written at a very dark time of my life. The darkest, I think, of all my books. I had gone through a divorce, remarriage and was juggling a full time job and a family. Trying to write at night. It was actually difficult for me to relive most of it. I was still in that early part of my career, still young without enough life experience, where I’d embed what I’d lived through and saw around me into my stories. I didn’t have the maturity yet to write anything too layered.

Anyway, the book came out in 1989 and didn’t do as well as my first two books. I noticed that the publisher turned cool towards me after that and, seeing the way the wind was blowing, I went on to get an agent and she helped me jump up another rung of the ladder when she sold my next four books to a bigger publisher, Zebra Books (Kensington Publishing). And I left Leisure behind; and my three books there went out of print long ago.

But now, 23 years later Blood Forge-Revised Author’s Edition (wish I could change that title but it wouldn’t be fair to people that already read the original book) is coming out again in print, and in eBooks for the first time ever, in March 2012. I love the cover this time. My fantastic cover artist, Dawne Dominique, who did eleven of my other new covers, did this one, too. It’s stunning.

So that’s the story of Blood Forge. My second published novel. It, along with my older novels (12, plus a novella and a short story) will all soon be out again. And when the last old book from 1984, Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition, comes out in July 2012, my forty year writing career will have come full circle. It’s amazing. I guess a book never dies, huh? I guess not.


A writer for 40 years I’ve had 14 novels and 8 short stories published with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, and the Wild Rose Press, since 1984. And my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel THE LAST VAMPIRE-Revised Author’s Edition is a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE.

My books (most out again): Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction)



Blood Forge–Author’s Revised Edition

An ancient snake-demon lays trapped behind the stone walls of an Incan prison, for centuries demanding blood sacrifices and scheming to escape. Then it discovers a pathway into the world of men, forging itself into a malevolent 357 Colt Python, and making itself capable of incomparable destruction and misery. Through decades it torments, decimates, the unfortunate people whose lives it comes into until a loving married couple, Emily and Sam Walters, have enough love and faith–and the help of a mysterious priest who’s much more than he appears to be–to fight against and destroy it forever…and to send it back to hell where it belongs.

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.

Clive Barker: An Appreciation

Not long ago, Clive Barker told us had had a terrifying brush with death, due to being put into a coma for seven days due to a spillage of poisonous bacteria into his blood during some dental work. It was a shocking thing to learn, and I along with many others was relieved to hear that he made it through and his health was improving. It also got me to thinking about something I’d planned for this blog that, with everything that’s been going on with me and my book in the last three-quarters of a year, I’d never made happen. I wanted to do a series of appreciations of writers, such as Clive Barker, that have had a strong impact on me.

Barker wasn’t one of my formative influences; I didn’t pick up one of his books until 2002, when I was 33. It was maybe two-and-a-half years after I’d finally dug into some Stephen King, whose works I’d once avoided, erroneously believing the negative opinions of some non-horror-fan friends. Clive Barker being one of the biggest names in the field after King’s, I figured he was worth a try. So I started with a cheap, dog-eared volume I’d snagged from a used book shop, figuring that if it didn’t suit me, I wouldn’t be out much money. That book was Imajica.

Once in a while, a book comes along that turns my head inside out, and this was definitely one such book. It was epic, intense, and effortlessly strange. It was violent, graphic, sensual, demanding, and surreal. Not only did it demand my time, my active involvement, my intelligence and my imagination, it drew upon these before I even realized what was happening. It changed my perceptions of what a book could do, how far writing could go, and what I wanted to do with my own writing. (For this reason, I listed it as one of the books that made me weird in one of my guest blogs.)

I followed these up with two more of what would become my favorite Barker works, The Great and Secret Show and Everville, both epic works set on Earth and the dream-sea world of Quiddity. They weren’t quite the shock to my system that Imajica was, but the feeling of immensity, depth, and danger was there, expertly spun into works that gave me the feeling that there was something more here than fiction; that there was a truth within that only fiction can reach, one I could sense but could not–perhaps still cannot–express.

I’ve enjoyed some of Barker’s other works, including Coldheart Canyon, The Thief of Always, The Books of Blood, Galilee, and Sacrament, though those did not have the same terrific impact. In fact, it may be because they didn’t have the same impact that I drifted away from reading Barker: on looking at the log of books I’ve kept for the past 14 years, I was surprised to discover I hadn’t read any by him in the last five.

Clive Barker’s power for me is that, in some ways, he’s the opposite of King. Where King is so very good at finding the horror in the everyday and the mundane, Barker excels at elevating the everyday and mundane into realms of terrifying, dreamlike horror. Many writers try to create worlds that are larger than the one we all inhabit; Barker is one of the few who succeeds, not only on a lofty imaginative level, but on a visceral level. He simultaneously evokes senses of wonder and terror, and for that I’ll always come back, no matter how long I’ve been away.

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.

I’m Over on Sean A. Lusher’s Blog Today…

I’m over on Sean A. Lusher‘s blog today, talking about seven books that made me weird(er). What books have messed with your head in these ways? Come share!

Also, while I’m here, I should mention Brutal Light is on Shelfari now… and so am I. You know, in case you feel like rating and reviewing.

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.

Greg Chapman: Author Interview

Good morning! Greg Chapman is over here today, talking about his new novella, The Noctuary. Welcome, Greg!

1) Tell us about yourself, and what drew you to writing.

I’ve always enjoyed creating new characters and worlds in both written and illustrative form, ever since I was a boy, but it wasn’t until after I started studying journalism at university in the late 90’s and read the work of Edgar Allan Poe in a literary theory course that I first got an appreciation for horror. In 2009 I joined the Australian Horror Writers Association and the rest, as they say, is history.

2) Tell us about your latest book, The Noctuary.

The NoctuaryThe Noctuary centres on writer Simon Ryan, who discovers that he is destined to become a Scribe for a group of hellish creatures known as The Dark Muses. Simon finds that his soul is literally on the line unless he uses his gift to write evil into the lives of humans. To prove himself he has to go back and rewrite a tragedy from his past.

3) How did the experiences of writing, editing, publishing, and promoting Torment and Midnight Theatre affect your approach on The Noctuary? Were there any ‘lessons learned’ that you were able to apply?

As Torment was my first published book-length work, the entire process of publishing and promotion was new to me. Thankfully I already had entered the various horror fiction networks via the AHWA. Ultimately I think I was selling myself as an author rather than the book with Torment, whereas The Noctuary is something completely different and truer to my voice. The collection Midnight Theatre: Tales of Terror mostly comprised stories that I’d already had published and the only reason I published it was as a support to Torment at the time. I thought that if readers liked my collection they might like Torment. The fact MT:TOT was free was also an obvious incentive.

4) What drives your stories?

I like to play around with themes and challenge my characters at the psychological level. Mostly my tales are supernatural, but I like to inject them with a strong sense of humanity to make the impossible or fantastical elements seem more real. I also love building dread and suspense in my stories – that core requirement with horror fiction.

5) What are your thoughts on the future of books?

The future is already happening. E-books are simply another tool for authors and publishers to release their work and I’m all for it. Paperback books will always be with us and thankfully many small presses are still releasing the odd collectable hardcover. I believe that if readers continue to support the small horror presses then there will always be exceptional horror stories to be told.

6) What do you find toughest about being a writer, and how do you get past it?

The toughest part of being a writer is the fact, that at the moment, I’m not doing it full-time. I still have a day job and although I’ve had a lot of success over the past year with my writing and drawing, I’m still determined to work towards mainstream publication.

7) You’re a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association. How has that helped you develop as a writer?

Considerably. After joining in 2009 I applied for the AHWA’s mentorship program and I was selected. Under the tutelage of Brett McBean I saw my first short story published and started writing Torment and The Noctuary which would eventually be published two years later. Apart from that I have made numerous connections with many great authors, including the likes of Rocky Wood, president of the US Horror Writers Association, whom I later collaborated with on the graphic novel Witches!

8. Who would be the perfect reader for The Noctuary?

The Noctuary is a homage to author Clive Barker, one of my favourite authors, so any Barker fans would get a lot out of it I think. Fans of dark fantasy and the “fantastique” would also enjoy the book.

9) What’s next for you, if you can share it?

I’ve got two novellas in the works and I’m going back to rewrite a novel to turn it into a trilogy, but all that depends on where my imagination takes me. The next published work will be the graphic novel tentatively titled Witches! which will be published by McFarland Publishers early in 2012.


For more on Greg and his projects, visit him on the web here.

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.