Interview with Author Craig Saunders

Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself –

I’m actually only three feet tall, but my legs are three feet long, too, so I work out about average in the end. I write all sorts, but horror, mainly. It’s where it’s at, right? I guess I’m a fantasist, and horror lets me make up elaborate fantasies that result in people dying. It’s a good hobby. 

Bec: What first got you interested in writing?

Lord of the Rings, hands down. But I started out writing epic fantasy, so I’d say Terry Brooks, David Gemmell, David Eddings…I read all those guys about 20 years or so ago, and because I loved them so much, I thought I could do it. I couldn’t. Not then. I can now, just not fantasy. I’m too lazy for a series. 

Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?

Marketing’s mental these days, with so many choices thrown up by the Kindle revolution. I think marketing gives me far more headaches than writing. Writing’s easy. You just make things up.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

Right, pull up a chair, throw it through the nearest window, because it’s time to escape! Ha, not really. Short and sweet, right?

Rain’s about a guy called John March who discovers he’s the sole beneficiary to a massive will. But when it starts to rain his day ends up far from peachy, and then the dying starts. There’s violence, sex, drugs and swearing in it. Four of your five a day.

Spiggot, from Grand Mal Press, is a comedy. A bit of a diversion from me, but in a good way. Comedy’s far harder than horror. Spiggot’s the lead character, a misanthropic detective working the streets of Norfolk, England. His nemesis, The Egyptian Lady from Stoke, sends Spiggot’s soul by foul means into the body of a mad axe murderer. It’s down to Trout, Spiggot’s gammy eyed partner, to save the day. It’s funny, honest.

Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?

I don’t really do sequels of anything anymore, though I’ll finish my fantasy septology one day…and although I just said that, I’ll probably write a follow up to Spiggot. I love the characters and the concept, and there’s a lot of room for more books. So I said I’d never write a series and I’ve already gone back on my word. I suck. 

Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?

I write a lot of short stories, so I often pop up in various publications. Trying desperately not to sound like too much of a knob, I always post any successes on my blog, www.petrifiedtank.blogspot.com. Check me out there if you’re interested in any of my other publications.

Bec: What’s your favorite color?

I don’t like colours. They smell funny. I like music, though. So, green.

Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?

Music! All the time. Every kind of music imaginable. One of my favourite writers and friends, Ian Woodhead, recently put me onto Industrial Black Metal. I’m going to listen to that later. Though, really, I’m too nice to listen to that kind of stuff. But it’s fun, nonetheless.

Bec: Gore or pants-wetting-fear?

I think there’s a place for both, but really, I like horror with a happy ending. I’m a big softy really. If a horror book’s too scary, too much emotional distress, I’ll put it down. So, I guess I prefer gore, as that’s sweet. I’m a horror writer, OK? I think zombies are cute.

Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?

I like to read and write everything, really, apart from Romance, I guess. I’ve read and written science fiction, comedy, fantasy, horror, literary, crime…I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes. Plus, I think having a broad base is good for learning the craft. Shit, did I just say learning the craft? OK, shoot me.

Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?

Yeah, lonely, but I like being lonely. I’m a lone wolf. Arooo! Really, though, I don’t like talking to people, and I’m pretty shy, so sitting in my study writing suits me just fine.

Bec: Aliens or vampires?

Aliens! Vampires are silly. Although, given a choice, I’d rather *be* a vampire. But for preference, in games, movies, books, I prefer aliens. Aliens, as a general rule, don’t groom teenage girls.

Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?

Bugger all! It’s hard enough without more of us! Haha. Not really. My sole advice is this: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. Write a lot. Learn how to do it. Write, write, write. Don’t fart about reading ‘how to write’, ‘so you want to be a writer’, ‘ten greatest tips to writing’. All of that’s just procrastination. Write. Hell, though, what do I know?!

Bec: Fall down or throw up?

I don’t drink, but I’m clumsy, so fall down!

Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?

Just how damn hard it is to get published, let alone to achieve the dream of a big publishing deal. First off I looked at the whole deal as just learning how to write, but there’s a lot to learn, and a long way to go. Big deals for first time writers are very, very rare. Still, if you’re a writer, you have to write, whether you get published or not. Being a writer isn’t usually something you have a choice about. Maybe you have a choice about being a novelist. But not a writer. It’s a passion, and something you need. It’s not all about the money.

Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?

Nope. It’s important for my sanity, but for me, I learn as I go, and I don’t worry about what other people think. Sounds a bit tosspotty, but at the end of the day you have to be true to the muse and not worry too much what other people think. Though, that said, it’s amazing to have so many writer friends, and without exception my friends are great people. I think writers as a bunch are usually very supportive.

Bec: Severed limbs or nudity?

If you’re talking about how I like my ladies, I’ve had to say nude.  If it’s a choice for myself, nudity. If it’s how I like my books…severed limbs. Sex in books is generally just embarrassing and poorly handled. Hehe. He said handled. So, severed nudity is my answer.

Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?

Seriously, that’s a mad hard question. I think Stephen King’s The Stand is my most read. If I’m in the right mood, I like The Lord of the Rings. Favourite series has been, hands down, GRR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. Favourite author for sheer fun and readability – Lee Child. Genius forever award goes to Terry Pratchett. Not really an answer, I know, but there’s just too many amazing books to pick! 

Bec:  What’s your favorite fruit?

I hate fruit, so I’d have to say ‘bacon’. Everything’s better with bacon.

Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?

Terry Pratchett, I think, of all the ones I stated above, because he’s so damned intelligent, humane, and his books have a certain beauty about them, aside from his invention and skill as a writer. I love Pratchett, and I’ll be damn sad to see him fade away. 

Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?

What a lovely question. I love my wife? Not that kind of thing? Erm…yes, there is. I’d like to share this little thought – this is the most fun interview I’ve ever done and you’re wonderful! Haha. Seriously, you’re very good at this interview lark.  Thank you!

Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future project!

Thanks Rebecca. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. Thank you a bunch!

©Rebecca Besser & Craig Saunders, 2011. All rights reserved.

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