Thursday, February 26, 2015

Interview with Maynard Sims.

Full Name:
We write as Maynard Sims but we are Len Maynard & Mick Sims - that's two people. We did have one review that said they could spot the joins but that was about a book that was written by one of so no joins, oh well. We have enough differences in us to keep it fresh but enough symmetry to have remained friends for fifty years. Appeals have always been declined by the Governor.
I kind of got the sense that this one might be a “twofer”.  They’re a little tougher than the standard variety, but thankfully this isn’t my first of its kind.
When we do interviews we usually give separate answers to most of the questions as we often have different views on things.  There are different perceptions of past events as well.  When we go to meetings or events, conventions and the like we try to circulate separately as well, we aren't joined at the hip or anywhere else.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
At school we probably had very rude nicknames but these days we answer to granddad. Len is called Len by everyone to his face. Mick is called Mike by family and Michael by a few. Even when he introduces himself as Mick people often call him Mike and he still answers.
I never seem to mind what people call me as long as they spell my name correctly on checks and pronounce it incorrectly if they’re calling as a telemarketer.
It irritates me that people can't be bothered to learn my name, when I've just told them it a moment ago.  Says more about them I hope than me - though my lack of confidence generally often makes me assume I am so unmemorable that they can't recall my name.

Len - Enfield, Middlesex
Mick - New Cross, South London.
We met in Enfield, at Ambrose Fleming school and lived there for years - Enfield not the school - before moving to separate parts of Hertfordshire. Mick was born at Kings College hospital London in the last great pea-souper fog London had and he was three days old before his dad saw him because he couldn't find the hospital in the smog.
Len: I was born and brought up in Enfield. We went to the same school but were never really in the same circles. Once we’d left school we got to know each other through mutual friends. Once we got to know each other it became apparent that we had similar literary interests; namely horror. From then on it was a progression – first reading the same kind of stuff, to deciding we wanted to write it. My first efforts were pretty poor, and a kind of friendly rivalry sprang up, each of us writing, trying to out do the other. I wouldn’t say there was a specific night when we suddenly decided we wanted to become writers, but looking back now it seems almost inevitable that we did.
Mick – I was born in New Cross and moved to Enfield when I was 4. I went to George Spicer Primary and Ambrose Fleming Grammar, leaving after A Levels. Len went to Ambrose too. I regularly visit Enfield now; my parents are both in the Crem, and I like to show my wife and daughter my old ‘haunts’. We used to hang out with a crowd of boys and girls and The Crown and Horseshoes at the end of Gentleman’s Row was a favourite pub. One night it got late and we realised we were the last two of our crowd left. We had been talking together on and off all night, which was unusual for us. Then we realised we had lots more to say and so we went walking the streets. At around 3 in the morning we decided it was time to quit but we’ve been talking pretty much ever since.
You realize that since I am an uncultured and boorish American, that some of this is going to be a bit wonky.  I know we use the same language, but it’s the differences that throw me off.  I don’t know what a “Crem” is, but I hope it’s nice for the sake of your parents.
Americans I have met are like most other people in the world - some are ignorant of other cultures but most are absolutely fine.  Crem is unfortunately short for crematorium as both my parents are dead - dad at 59 from a heart attack and mum at 71 ultimately from Alzheimer's.  O levels are exams you do at 16 and A's at 18 - not sure if there is a US equivalent.
I think the U.S. equivalent of the O & A would be Driver’s License and registering for Selective Service.
No, I think O and A levels exams are more the equivalent of high school diplomas and what you call AP's. One is what you take around age 16 (O's in UK) and the other around 18 (A's in UK) and they determine entrance to University.
We take driver's tests here - a written exam and a practical driving test. Driving lessons here cost about £20/£25 per hour (US$ 30 or so?)  We don't have anything like Selective Service over here.

Current hometown:
Len - Letchworth Garden City in a cottage with his guitars, books, and computers.
Mick - Bishops Stortford in a house with his wife and dog and cat and occasionally daughter and granddaughter - both are in Hertfordshire.

Favorite city and why?
Len - London as it's close and buzzing .
Mick - Rome as it was honeymoon destination and you can walk round it easily although I prefer country and seaside to cities. I prefer it quiet and serene. I've been to London, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Toronto, Madrid, Munich, Salzburg, but I'm not a lover of travel.
For someone that doesn’t love travel, you seem to have done a fair amount of it.
Mainly because I live for my family and wife likes to travel, plus I think it's important to show my daughter as much of the world as possible. They've mostly been vacation trips although Chicago and Toronto were for WHC.

Birthday / Age:
Len - January 2 1953   Mick - December 7 1952    - old farts these days although the illusion of youth remains firmly embedded in our brains.
Isn’t that the worst?  Sometimes I feel like my body is revolting.  As in behaving traitorously.  I know it’s “revolting”.
Bending down is okay it's the getting back up that is a struggle.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Too much weight, not enough height - but handsome and awesome just the same. Eat too much and exercise too little - the modern curse.

How would someone else describe you physically?
Old, fat, ugly, but when they take off their glasses it would be, tall, dark and handsome.
God bless the vanity of near-sighted women.
It's been a blessing - that and alcohol.

The first thing people notice about you is…
That there are two of us not one. With Len it is the beard, with Mick it is the glasses, it's the way to tell us apart. And we tend to smile a lot as we are generally happy people. Life is short, there's shit in it so you have to make the best you can. We wished we had made it bigger in writing but the chip on the shoulder is not noticeable.

Sexual orientation?
Love it. Straight, and at times in years gone past desperate and far too pre-occupied with it. No problems with other orientation apart from paedophiles.

Religion, if any?
Len – atheist.
Mick - non-practicing Christian. My wife is a practicing Catholic and I respect that.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
Mick - From talking to my parents who visit me as blackbirds, to having an almost obsessive need to repeat patterns of behaviour and ritual. Phobias - spiders, heights, deep water, violence - it's a wonder I ever leave the house.
Len - Spiders.

Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
Len - Smokes 300 cigarettes a day but drinks moderately apart from tea which he ships in by the swimming pool load.
Mick - Smokes nothing and the older I have got the less tolerant to alcohol I am so drink very little - if you mean alcohol rather than coffee.  Bad habits though would include a pathological need to get things done right away. If it needs doing I can't wait and do it later it has to be done right away.
Len, you can’t smoke three-hundred cigarettes a day.  That’s five packs a day the way they pack them on this side of the pond.  That’s like two lighters a day.
True, it was a tongue-in-cheek exaggeration. I started at school as a form of rebellion and the habit stuck.  Tried to give up several times, tried e-cigs, but it keeps dragging me back in gasping and choking - literally.  I probably smoke a pack a day these days.

Current occupation / Dream job:
Full time writers both of us.
Dream job - we are now doing it after 40+ years of holding down day jobs and writing part time. We produced a hell of a lot considering we have been patchy in our production and have had to do it evenings and weekends and around life and family. There is always so much else that needs doing. For years Len wrote on the train journey - a few hundred words a day. Mick has always written in bursts - sometimes now 10,000 words a day but others nothings for days.
That’s such a relief to hear.  I’ve interviewed a fair amount of authors and most of them have a set amount of time or words that they write each day and I’ve never been that kind of writer.  I’m more the kind of writer that bunkers in and writes 10,000 words a day for three days and comes out the other end of the tunnel not knowing what day it is.
Exactly the same.  Resolutions to write daily and have a set target is fine to advise people to do but it doesn't work.  There is too much in life that goes on to distract.  Especially when writing is a part time occupation.  The way I (Mick) does it now is to have chapters be the same length, be it 2000, 3000, whatever works for the book.  Then when I have a writing day I push to write a chapter, and if it is going well and the day is free of other stuff I try a second chapter and carry on if I can.  My 'record' is just over 10,000 words, usually towards the end of a novel.  It's tiring doing it that way as writing takes a lot of concentration and computers aren't the most comfortable of companions for hours on end.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Len - watch box sets, spend time with son and granddaughter, garden, think about writing.
Mick - spend time with wife, daughter and granddaughter, garden, think about writing.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Len – Run. Zombies are dead slow.
Mick - We have only ever written one zombie story - Salvation - which was in The Book Of All Flesh anthology which has been reprinted in several languages.

Weapon of choice:
Words. It should be tongue but neither of us is quick enough to come up with a good response at the time - but get great replies when it is too late. You can wound with words, really hurt someone, which is not to be advocated. Violence of any sort is abhorrent and so there is no weapon on a wish list. If threatened, or family was under attack, a nuclear bomb, an assault rifle or an axe because all reason would go out of the window to protect them.

Do you have any special skills?
Len plays guitar, is a master lapidary, gardens well, cooks, and a top granddad.
Mick does business coaching, gardens okay, and is a top granddad whose granddaughter thinks he can fix everything.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Len left at school at 16 with no qualifications. Didn't like or enjoy school at secondary level and couldn't wait to leave. When I started work and stayed there for 43 years I did sometimes wonder if I had done the right thing.  Mick got O levels and A levels but didn't go to college or university. It was only the really bright ones who went in those days. Instead he started work for Lloyds Bank and managed to get away with knowing very little for 40 years 1 month and 2 days before early retirement.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Mick's daughter is at University and will leave with loans of around £40k. Horrendous.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
Len used to have wives but that doesn't count I guess. Also cats. These days it is granddaughter. Spiders enter his cottage but he has yet to befriend them as he hates them. He does talk to his computer.
Mick has a dog, Alfie and a cat, Riley. And a granddaughter, Macie but she is not a pet as such. He has no pet names for parts of his anatomy so don't ask.

What is your favorite animal?
Len - cats. Imperious, loving and aware.
Mick - elephants for their strength, long life, and memory.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Far too many as you get older. Rudeness, litter, lateness, selfishness, ignorance, violence, 'isms of most kinds, bad grammar, anger, swearing, and the fact that our books don't sell more than they do.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Len - Steak /curry. Can take or leave food as a passion.
Mick - Chicken / Cream cheese.  Although I eat most things and enjoy eating at home and going out. Holidays or days out usually revolve around 'when are we eating?'.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Len – I’ll do it tomorrow.
Mick - have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Len - Marriage, my son, my granddaughter and having everything I have written get published.
Mick - Marriage, my daughter, my granddaughter, and having everything I have written get published.
Isn’t it great knowing that everything you’ve written has been published?  I was in that enviable position for a few years, getting invited to contribute stories for anthologies and receiving regular publishing credits to bolster my writing resume.  I hit a wall with my first novel.  I couldn’t get any publishers to consider it, much less make me an offer, so after five years of sending it out to be ignored I decided to go the self-publishing route.
I made about $5,000 in royalties from it over the past year or so, so I guess I managed to self-publish myself into pro-rate and it’s considerably more than any publisher would have offered me as an advance for the book.  That being said, what are your opinions on self-publishing versus legacy publishing?
We rarely get asked to contribute to anthologies these days which does hurt a little bit after all these years.  It happens sometimes, as we get asked very occasionally to edit an anthology but we have become accustomed to being overlooked.
$5000 is a fantastic achievement.  In one year, from one book.  We haven't come anywhere near that.  Be great to hear how you promoted it.
We self published three crime thrillers last year, using our Enigmatic Press imprint as 'publisher' and with covers from photographs a friend took and Len's son Iain did cover design. They look great, are good reads and have been well received but sales are low. Many publishers outside the big few don't offer advances these days anyway and to get in with them you need an agent.  We have had bad experiences with agents over the years and have never had any work from any of them or been able to break into the 'big league' with them.
We don't think there is anything wrong with self-publishing as long as it is done professionally.  That is hard enough but being a writer is something that far too many people think is an easy job.  It's not, and getting a novel written and then revised and then get the cover and layout right takes time and skill.  After that it is marketing and promotion and that is a whole different skill.  In many ways it is even harder than the writing part.  How do you make your book a success?
Well, this is the book in question.  [ ]
I decided to go with a simple cover.  Red text on a black cover and skip the back blurb.  I wanted it to look simple, elegant, and kind of ominous, like the cover design for Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible.  I worked a brand manager for a horror-genre merchandising company for five years, so I was well familiar and comfortable with writing ad copy.  At the time I published the book, under a pen name, I wanted to act as if, I, the publisher had been given the book by my pen name, who could act as a different persona writing torture porn, and in the book, the book is given to an initial narrator, and the bulk is written by an unnamed character.
In addition to those considerations, I also spent about eight hours a night posting offers to send interested readers a free PDF copy in exchange for a review in Facebook groups.  I figured that it wouldn’t sell any copies if no one knew about it, so I could afford to give away a few dozen copies to help the book build some momentum and hopefully after a while it would sell itself, and it did.  Unfortunately, I’ve used the same marketing strategy for all of the books I’ve released and this was the only one that really caught on and started to sell itself without me constantly pushing it.
I wish there was some magic method to selling books, but it really just boils down to what always works in sales: perseverance.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Len - Divorces, death of my father when I was very young, my mum's current poor health, not becoming a bestseller and making millions.
Mick - Divorce, death of my dad at 59 and then my mum later with Alzheimer's, and also quite a few miscarriages. Any time my loved ones are hurt or sad is the worst time at the time. And not making millions for writing.
I know that every author, no matter how realistic, has the dream of making Stephen King money, but the fact that we’re making royalties at all is pretty fortunate.  I’m imaginary friends with a guy that has been doing this for two years and has never received a royalty payment, which makes me thankful that anyone considers my books worth reading.
Our royalties are more like your friends than yours so you are doing really well. What is the secret?
If I really knew the answer, I’d be doing this full-time.  I know a couple authors that are making over $3,000 a month from their book royalties.  Their secret is that they spent years building their fan base by maintaining blogs, doing interviews, attending conventions to meet the target audience in person, and regularly releasing new books.  One of them releases books that add to a series that he writes.  The other has a genre that he releases new books in.  But I think what they have in common is the quality that I mentioned earlier: perseverance.  They wrote a book, promoted it, sent it out to get reviewed, then went back and wrote another book and repeated the process.  It would be great to sell a hundred copies of one of my books in a month, but if I can sell ten copies of ten different books, the royalties end up equal and it’s a lot easier that way for whatever reason.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Far too many times many years ago but a gentleman never lets slip secrets about a lady.
Mick - I fell in love with every girl I went out with which was immature and did lead to constant heartache. Never mind.  Over it now - damn them.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Always tried not to which means generally we've been the ones being dumped.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Len - Leave work early so I can write whenever I want to. Plus my son Iain who is an artist, and granddaughter Lilybet.
Mick - Marrying Clare, having Emily, and Macie, and having the time now, at last, to write all the time.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Len - Too dire to tell.
Mick - Try to fashion an interest in the day job long after it had ceased to be fun.  (Was it ever?)
I always say that anytime you’re going someplace you’d rather not go to do something you’d rather not do it’s a bad situation.  But at least you’re both finally in the place where you can do what you want to do with the rest of your lives.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Len - Mick
Mick - Len
Only joking. There are far too many evil people in the world who hurt children, women, animals, men and the environment for profit and selfish need - we would have to kill them all.

What do you do?
About what? Work? We write. Ghost stories that appear in anthologies and our collections. Novellas and novels. Supernatural standalones, and the Department 18 series - now with Samhain. Crime thriller standalones and a new Jack Callum crime series. Erotic romance under a pseudonym. We've won awards for screenplays but never had a movie made - optioned loads of times but none made. Also edit when asked. Write some freelance stuff including ghost writing, business plans and articles.
It actually seems like we’ve got a similar model for our writing.  I write and publish books and short stories and do a little ghost writing on the side.  I’ve also written a few screenplays.  No movies yet, but I did write the script for a music video that got made and went on to win some awards, so I guess I get to call myself an award-winning writer of some sort.  Not that it sells more books, but it’s generally better to be loved than hated.
We don't lust after awards but it is nice to be recognized and the screenplay award meant a presentation at a cinema complex in Leicester Square London and a 'party' at the Hippodrome afterwards.  A short speech and reading as well, Mick wrote a woman's life story as a novel and it was hard work because she had very definite ideas that she wanted everything put in that had happened to her and novels just don't work like that.  It was her life though and her money, so compromise was needed.  We've both done some business-type freelancing on the side - website copy, business plans, that kind of thing.  Not as enjoyable as our own writing but it's still using the skill we love to use.

How did you get started doing what you do?
Len wrote a short story back in 1974. Mick responded and we carried on from there. We decided to collaborate and spent years polishing our style. Our first story collection came out in 1979.
Mick – It was a painful process to get to the fluent process we have now. Those early stories were all a learning curve of course. What I don’t think we realised at the time was that we were both not only learning to write – and all writers develop at different speeds – but we were also learning to write with another person. Those two things combined certainly made for a combustible mix.
One way it would work was one would start a story, stop for a variety of reasons, hand it over to the other for them to finish. We then had a jointly written story. We decided very early on that each story should have one author voice – by which I mean more than just a style, although a cohesive style was important. Another way we did it was for one of us to completely write a story and then hand it to the other to edit, revise, as needed. That was when a lot of rows began. How dare he suggest changes to my precious story? We had a meeting place by the river, near the pub, and after a row, sometimes hours after, we would meet up there as if by pre-arrangement and come to an agreement about the story. Pregnant pauses were our specialty, with silence as a weapon.
Over the years we have smoothed it all out. We are open and honest with each other, and no offence is taken when change is suggested. Taking it right up to the present day, when we write as many novels as stories, we each write the complete book/story and then hand it over to the other for revision which includes proofing, copy editing, as well as revising if we feel it needs it. With each book we spend days at the end reading it together, page by page, for grammar, continuity, repetition and other flaws we find.
With the novels, each has been different. We find it is important that a book has a single voice – an author point of view, a narrative drive the reader can connect with. Luckily our styles have developed over the years into a single M&S style so there is never a case of anyone being able to see the joins. We also got a review along the lines of – did it really take two of them to write this pile of **** - which was one reason behind the change of name to Maynard Sims.
Len - We wrote as individuals for a while then realised that we would be competing for the same markets, so the sensible thing seemed to be to pool our resources. And we’ve been writing together ever since. Initially we would finish each other's stories and argue about which version was better. We’d spend hours discussing a single word if we felt passionately enough about it.
We used to brainstorm, sometimes for weeks on end. I remember one novel we planned early on in our careers was discussed at length and completely story-boarded - a process that went on for weeks if not months. In fact it took so long to plan we both ran out of steam on it and it was shelved. We refined the process after that. I think we have been writing together for so long now that we respect each other’s strengths and recognize each other’s weaknesses.
When you sit down to give the book a final read, do you read it aloud?
We do that with certain passages but not the whole thing.  Short stories are obviously easier to do than novels.  I (Mick) tends to read 'aloud' in my head when I reading through.  We used to print the book off as well and correct with red pen, but these days we computer proof and correct as we go along.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Write every day. Get an agent early if you can. Never give up. Submit all the time. Be nice to everyone because we all seem to know each other. And anyway it's better to be nice than nasty.
Len: Read, and then read some more. And it’s not enough just to read a novel and enjoy it. Analyze what you are reading and try to work out if the author has achieved what they set out to achieve, and if not, why not? And if they have, try to figure out why you enjoyed it so much.
Mick – Be very patient. You will only sell when you are good and that takes time. Not as long as we’ve taken admittedly but you need to be resilient when the rejections come in, and they will. Know the market you want to sell in. Know the subject you want to write about.  If you want to write in a specific genre stick to it and don’t be diverted by books you read and want to write them. Have faith in what you write and stick at it. Write every day if you can. 500 words a day is better than none.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
Nine story collections -
Shadows At Midnight
Echoes Of Darkness
Secret Geography Of Nightmare
Selling Dark Miracles
Falling Into Heaven
Flame and Other Enigmatic Tales
Odd Ghosts
A Haunting Of Ghosts

Novellas -
The Hidden Language Of Demons
The Seminar
His Other Son
The Curse Of The Mummy
(due out from Samhain)

Supernatural standalone novels -
Demon Eyes
Nightmare City
(March 2015)

Department 18 series of novels -
Black Cathedral
Night Souls
The Eighth Witch
A Plague Of Echoes
Mother Of Demons
(due 2015)

Standalone crime thrillers -
Let Death Begin
Through The Sad Heart
Falling Apart At The Edges
Dark Of the Sun

As editors -
Enigmatic Tales 1 - 10
Enigmatic Novellas 1 - 6
Enigmatic Variations 1 - 5
Enigmatic Electronic
F20 1 & 2
Darkness Rising 1 - 7
Darkness Rising 2003
Darkness Rising 2005
Dead Water

What projects are you working on now?
A new crime series set in England in the 1950's - the first novel is written and being placed while the second has been started.
A trilogy of adventure thrillers set in the Bahamas is completed recently and being placed.
Stories for our tenth collection.
Co-editors for a crime/thriller anthology through ITW.
A new standalone crime novel.
A new Department 18 novel.
a new ghost story novel.

What are you watching?
Len – American Horror Story (Waiting for season four) A Touch of Frost. Silent Witness. NCIS. Supernatural. Nashville.
Mick - UK crime series on TV like Broadchurch and Silent witness and US comedies like Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement and Two and Half Men

What are you listening to?
Len – Currently listening to Quantum Jump, otherwise I have a very eclectic taste in music. My current iTunes playlist ranges from Beyonce to Lonny Donegan, taking in such delights as Mike Oldfied and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Mick - Eloy, Saga, Ozric Tentacles, Santana, Pink Floyd, and assorted artists mixes.

What are you reading?
Len – Mainly non-fiction relating to Music Hall (vaudeville), and theatre, and Joss Whedon’s biography. Holiday reading tends to be mostly thrillers.
Mick - I never read when I am writing as I find it distracts me. I read loads on holiday and often in bed at night to relax.

Favorite author / book?
Len - Jack Higgins / Any of them
Mick - Ed McBain / 87th Precinct series

Favorite band / song?
Len – Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere But Not Here .
Mick - Soft Machine / Slightly All The Time

Least favorite band / song?
Len – Gary Glitter – anything that scumbag produced.
Mick - I like a lot of different things but then I am not at all musical and have no sense of beat, rhythm or whatever you need to appreciate music.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Len – Playing bass in a rock band. Music was my first love, as the song goes.
Mick - Writer is fine for me - I just wish I'd had the courage centuries ago to do it full time as a job. Otherwise a primary school teacher.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Len -  Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) Richard Matheson, Captain Abner Marsh (from George RR Martin’s Fevre Dream.
Mick - Barry Manilow (for Clare) / Winston Churchill / Steve Carella

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Len – Writing (Best without a doubt). Paper round (all those early mornings – shudder)
Mick - Writer is easily the best and I only worked previously for a bank - some of the jobs there were harder than others but I rarely hated going into work unless I was on disciplinary for not selling enough PPI.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Len - No that seems a fairly long list
Mick - I am not answering questions about the length of my manhood

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Loads - we have a lot of contacts gathered over the years. Let us know if you have anyone you'd like to talk with.
There’s not anyone specific that I’m looking to interview.  If you know anyone that wants to subject themselves to the interview process, in exchange for a bit of exposure, feel free to point them in my direction.
Will do.  We have lots of contacts at all levels of their careers so be glad to 'invite' them to contact you.

Got any questions for me?
Don't tempt us. We saw that Michael Welch interviewed you so we picked up a lot of information there. Long answers so we hope ours are long enough for you.
*laughs* Yeah.  As I said in that interview, I figured it was a matter of time before someone decided to turn the tables and put me in the spotlight, so around twenty-five interviews in he asked me to quid pro quo and I figured it was best to do it once and for all and get it out of the way, but as long as your answers are long enough to suit your purposes and give me a few angles to hang follow-up questions on, which you did, the format seems to work.  There’s nothing worse than in interviewee that answers “Yes” or “No” for most of the survey.  Those interviews end up being a boring waste of time and effort for everyone involved, but I post them anyway.  “Oh, okay, thanks for filling out the interview survey like a government form.  I’ll follow through and post it for you so that your target audience can find out what an uninspiring dullard you are.”
Writers are like real people and some are idiots just like in real life.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Great fun!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Twitter: @micksims
HorrorWorld: Mass market message board
Amazon Author Page:

About the Interviewee:
The authors of supernatural thriller novels, Shelter, Demon Eyes, Nightmare City, and Stronghold, the Department 18 books, Black Cathedral, Night Souls, The Eighth Witch, and A Plague Of Echoes, and the crime thrillers Dark Of The Sun, Let Death Begin, Through The Sad Heart, and Falling Apart At The Edges. Two erotic romance novels, under a pseudonym, are out in 2014 / 2015 from Siren.
2015 will see Department 18 book 5, Mother Of Demons, and a standalone ghost story, Stillwater, from Samhain. A Bahamas trilogy of adventure novels will come out in 2015/2016 – Touching The Sun, Calling Down The Lightning, and Raging Against The Storm. A new crime series, featuring DCI Jack Callum, has been started and the first novel written, Three Monkeys. Current work in progress includes a new standalone crime thriller, a new supernatural novel, and further romances.
They have written screenplays. One, based on the first two Department 18 books, won the 2013 British Horror Film Festival Award for Best New Screenplay.
Numerous stories have been published in a variety of anthologies and magazines. Collections include, Shadows At Midnight, 1979 and 1999 (revised and enlarged), Echoes Of Darkness, 2000, Incantations, 2002, two retrospective collections of their stories, essays and interviews, The Secret Geography Of Nightmare and Selling Dark Miracles, both 2002, Falling Into Heaven 2004, The Odd Ghosts, 2011, and Flame And Other Enigmatic Tales, and A Haunting Of Ghosts, both 2012. 2015 will see their tenth collection of ghost stories and strange tales – The Dead Are Dancing Down Our Walls – which will include all their recent new stories, many of them unpublished.
Novellas, The Hidden Language Of Demons, The Seminar, and His Other Son have been published in 2002, 2003, and 2013 respectively. All their stories and novellas have been reprinted in eight uniform volumes through The Maynard Sims Library in 2014. 2015 will see a new novella from Samhain, Convalescence, and The Curse Of The Mummy from Hersham.
They worked as editors on the nine volumes of Darkness Rising anthologies. They co-edited and published F20 with The British Fantasy Society. As editors/publishers they ran Enigmatic Press in the UK, which produced Enigmatic Tales, and its sister titles. They have written essays. They still do commissioned editing projects, most recently Dead Water. They do ghost writing commissions.
Email contact can be made at

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and Condemned; and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at: 

No comments:

Post a Comment