The Inquisition – T.M.Wright

According to no less an authority than Ramsey Campbell, T.M. Wright is “a one-man definition of the term ‘quiet horror”. He has built this reputation on the success of 22 novels starting with, The Strange Seed in 1978.  Since then he has written a string of successful novels, novellas and short stories including the award nominated Cold House. His talents don’t end at writing however as evidenced by his artwork which adorns the likes of  Blue Canoe and Sleepeasy. It’s a huge pleasure and honour to welcome T.M.Wright to The Black abyss.


1 – Which book has been most influential in your career?

Something Happened by Joseph Heller, a story about a man losing control; I especially liked the way it used (nearly over-used) parenthetical statements. It’s a powerful book that has stuck with me for decades. The ending hits hard. And I’d like also to mention The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute, a book that makes excellent use of changing first person character.


2 – Which writer has most influenced your style?

I could say Shirley Jackson but, in truth, it was no writer in particular – probably a bit of Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, H. G. Wells, C. S. Lewis, William Butler Yeats and a few others.


3 – What’s the future for the horror genre?

I don’t know. I like to think it’s a big tent genre and that “horror” readers like many kinds of horror, from quiet to loud, and I’d like to think that it encompasses horror “literature” as well as just-for-fun horror (define as you see fit). I tend toward the quiet stuff.


4 – Which book do you wish you had written?

The Stranger by Albert Camus. Penetrating and swift. I read it many times when I was much younger.


5 – What writing equipment could you not live without?

My fingers. My eyes and imagination and sense of humor. Being without a computer would be difficult, but I’d gladly give it up for a good, solid typewriter like a Remington Noiseless.


6 – Do you plan in detail before starting a new piece of writing?

I wish I had the patience to plan in detail. I don’t. I sit down and start writing and whatever gets written in the first draft is what I work with. The only book I planned in detail before writing was the Intelligent Man’s Guide to Flying Saucers. My first book published in 1968.


7 – Ebooks or Paper Books?

Paper books, for me. I can certainly see the reason so many people are taken with Ebooks, but paper books sitting on library shelves are one of the reasons I became a writer in the first place.


8 – Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?

Dark fiction: it most closely describes what I write. Weird fiction … almost. Horror? Probably not descriptive of what I write. Or perhaps they all describe what I write – “weird, dark, horror fiction” might describe my novels after all. It all depends on readers’ definitions.


9 – Who should I read next?

Anything by Greg Gifune. He’s a master of dark fiction at its literary best. And anything by Tom Piccirilli, whose hard-bitten, beautifully written books, which encompass everything from poetry to horror to detective fiction, are in a class all their own.


10 – What was your last book and what is your next book?

In re-release from Uninvited Books, Little Boy Lost, first published in 1992 by TOR.  At the moment, I’m working, slowly, on a novella. A ghost story! One of many!


Thanks Terry.


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