Featured Interview With Simon Parker
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Cambridge but moved to Suffolk with my wife and children about 12 years ago. I became obsessed with horror at a young age when I bought a couple of Tales from the Crypt horror comics at a jumble sale ( I wish i still had them as they are fetching a pretty penny nowadays!) I soon started writing my own stories, more like fan fiction, that then led to original stories. I tried to get some of my work published at the tender age of nineteen but I wasn’t ready for rejection so the first few “Not for us…” letters soon put a stop to any ideas I had of a career in writing. It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I dug out a few of my old stories and edited them as well as writing several new ones to put them together in my first book, Tales of the Mysterious and Macabre. Its first incarnation was a self published volume containing thirteen stories. Next it went through a small independent publishers which gave me the thrill of seeing my work in print for the first time. Now I have been signed by Foundations books and ‘Tales’ gets its re release on 23rd January 2017, now containing nineteen short stories with some gorgeous little illustrations under each title piece. Speaking of illustrations and harping back to the roots of my horror addiction, plans are also in place to create a series of graphic novels based on ‘Tales’, which I’m so excited about. My head travels to some pretty dark places when I’m writing but my beautiful family gives me bountiful love and support balancing my dark with their stunning light and keeping me happy and sane (well…almost!)
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My mother was a librarian and my father was a book worm so I’ve been around books and fascinated by them since before my earliest memories, but I first realised I enjoyed writing at about eight years old, writing down my dreams (good and bad) and exploring the English language. By ten years old I had discovered a love for horror comics and the way they made me feel. It fascinated me and turned my occasional night terrors into something I could exorcise onto the page, taking away its power within me and giving it the power to scare someone else, my readers.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have read a lot of the classics and many other books both fiction and non fiction, but by far my favourite genres are horror, paranormal and sci fi. The darkness in its many forms can be found in so many works from Shakespeare to King and all have their individual concept of what fear is and their own fingerprint in the way they convey that fear. I have always adored the works of Edgar Allan Poe since my early teens but my contemporary tastes include James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, Dean Koontz and of course the masters of the genre, Stephen King and last but by no means least Clive Barker, whose writing and art are still an inspiration to me. I have read a great may other authors in just as many genres ranging from mediocre to amazing. This list is by no means exhaustive, merely the cream of the crop that have stayed with me and graced my bookcase for many years.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Tales of the Mysterious and Macabre is a collection of nineteen short stories of horror and dark fantasy. They range from tales of the depths of Hell to an exploration of the inner workings of a serial killer. I write from many different perspectives but what remains consistent throughout is the darkness. There is a certain amount of gore, I do love a bit of blood and guts, but my main focus is on the dark side of human nature, the psychology of fear and the exploration of what actually scares us. I aim to make you rethink your way of living, your perspective on the world around you, to become aware and not only understand yourself and your fears a little more but to embrace the darkness and realise it holds as much beauty as the light, the perfect balance as nature intended. This collection was over twenty years in the making ( I promise my next book won’t take that long!) and a great many hours went into hand writing (yes, i’m old school, my stories all get first draft longhand), tweaking, re rewriting, polishing and editing so they will cut to your heart with the honed edge of a straight razor.
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