Adam Nevill – The Inquisition
Adam Nevill follows in the supernatural weird tale tradition of the likes of MR James, Blackwood and Machen. His novels have consistently explored the ghostly rather than the ghastly and his latest book, The Ritual is a brilliant exploration of Scandinavian wilderness, paganism and death metal. It’s a pleasure to welcome Adam Nevill to the Black Abyss.
1 – Which book has been most influential in your career?
There were two: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M R James, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young man by James Joyce.
2 – Which writer has most influenced your style?
M R James
3 – What’s the future for the horror genre?
That depends on mainstream publishers, book buyers in the trade, and readers.
4 – Which book do you wish you had written?
All of those that make me want to write. Chief amongst them Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
5 – What writing equipment could you not live without?
6 – Do you plan in detail before starting a new piece of writing?
Each of my four horror novels (inc the one under construction) have shambled up different paths to completion. Banquet came from a loose idea about a fictional counter-culture book, and then began to write itself around a few set-pieces during my first few weeks in St Andrews – it grew out of set-pieces at the very beginning of the story; Apartment 16 was a collection of fragments and dreams and ideas not written in chronology, trying to find a narrative synthesis over many years; The Ritual came from one image of finding a black goat, sitting upright in a child’s cradle in an abandoned house, twinned with memories of a disastrous camping trip I took part in. It then burned itself out after I wrote the first line – wrote itself really, each chapter suggesting new ideas as I went along. My only caveat and plan was that every page had to be a matter of life and death. Probably worth noting that all three of my novels to date were written for myself and my inner reader; I had no publisher, no deadline, no deal. And they each took between two to four years to complete. The new book is different; it’s the first one commissioned on an outline, and also the first that I have planned like a military operation. Though I’ve also been fortunate to have had every day for a year to work on it. I think for me, then, planning is enforced by a deadline.
7 – Ebooks or Paper Books?
Both, but with paper never playing second fiddle, and internet piracy obliterated.
8 – Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I like the first two. Supernatural Horror is best for me.
9 – Who should I read next?
Try Alden Bell, the American writer. I was very impressed by his debut, The Reapers are the Angels
10 – What was your last book and what is your next book?
The Ritual is my new book, out in May. A novel of psychic terror in the wilderness. My next book is remaining under wraps in any detail, but its big and ambitious, it spans swathes of time and it strides the globe. I have a title for it, but then another book came out recently with the same bloody title, so that could stand or change. And I better get back to it! The clock is ticking and the skeletal figure behind my chair, holding that clock, is beginning to cackle.