David Mathew

What first attracted you to horror writing?

This might be the safe answer, but in my case it’s true. It was Stephen King. I got It as a present on my fifteenth birthday and from that moment on I suppose I was hooked. I read the good, the bad and the ugly in the horror field, much of it before I was nineteen. After that I knew what to look for – or knew better what to look for – and I tended to concentrate on just the good and the ugly. The bad floated my way from time to time, but I had the right protection.

What is your most notable work?

Probably O My Days. I hope that this will be enough for people to think about going for a copy. If I add that parts of it are true, and that’s it’s based in a maximum security young offenders’ institution, I don’t know if this helps or hinders my sales pitch. But that’s how it is. I started writing down what I heard when I was working there, and O My Days is part of the result.

What are you working on now?

Two things. A novel called Ventriloquists – about child and adult abduction, and their uses – and a non-fiction book about student anxiety, for which I have yet to think of a spunky title.

Who do you admire in the horror world?

Of contemporary writers I would have to say Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. Clive Barker when he’s focused (particularly the early stuff).

Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?

On balance, I would say psychological chills, but there’s always space in my heart for a gory scene on a page. It depends what it’s trying to achieve. I would never say one is better than the other because it’s entirely predicated on what the writer is trying to achieve. Take John Farris. You would never think that Nightfall and Son of the Endless Night were written by the same person. Which is better? That’s a question that I doubt even Farris could answer. But I know which one I prefer, which is the next best thing (It’s Nightfall by the way).

Why should people read your work?

Because I will pay them handsomely to do so. Joke. I only hope that I offer a good read with some thoughts and some good writing. Beyond that, it’s up to someone else to judge, really.

Recommend a book.

Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg. It’s not traditionally promoted as a horror novel, but read it and tell me I’m wrong.

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