The Inquisition – Johnny Mains
Johnny Mains deserves some kind of medal for the devotion he has shown to the much neglected, and much maligned, horror classics of the past. In particular, his historical detective work on the Pan Book Of Horror Stories not only led to him publishing a collection of new and classic stories in the tradition of the series (Back from The Dead) but also to Pan themselves reissuing the first collection last year. As if that wasn’t enough he still finds time to write fiction himself (one of his stories features in Bite Sized Horror which will be reviewed here next week). Oh…and he is also a thoroughly decent bloke, as proved by his recent auction to fund-raise for the Japanese people. It’s a pleasure to welcome Johnny Mains to The Inquisition :-
1 – Which book has been most influential in your career?
Not one book, but a series of, and they would be the Castle Rock and Derry based books by Stephen King. The Dead Zone, The Dark Half and Needful Things in Castle Rock. IT, Insomnia, Bag of Bones and Dreamcatcher in Derry. The amount of detail that goes into the layout, history and people who inhabit these towns is truly staggering and directly influence my imaginary town Effingham on the Stour which has featured in around 11 of my stories now.
2 – Which writer has most influenced your style?
Conrad Hill. He has a lot to answer for, that man.
3 – What’s the future for the horror genre?
I think there will be a return to short story anthologies in the mainstream market – but only sold electronically. Bloody depressing really.
4 – Which book do you wish you had written?
Let the Right One In. That book is close to perfect.
5 – What writing equipment could you not live without?
Digital recorder. Brilliant for taking notes on the go.
6 – Do you plan in detail before starting a new piece of writing?
Nope. Maybe a few scribbled notes on the back of an envelope. I just sit down at the laptop and see what comes out.
7 – Ebooks or Paper Books?
Paper. Always and forever paper.
8 – Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror, but of late have been more interested in Weird Fiction, but I’m sure it’ll pass…
9 – Who should I read next?
Rhys Hughes. Worming the Harpy was one of the most intriguing collections I’ve read for a long time. The Chimney is a story I wish I had written. Have started his new collection, The Brothel Creeper and so far, it’s a great read and he’s a brilliant author.
10 – What was your last book and what is your next book?
Last book was my debut collection With Deepest Sympathy and my next book will be Bite Sized Horror, published by Obverse Books in June.