It’s time for another author interview in my Shadows at the Door series. Today we meet author and editor Kris Holt.
When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?
The first horror authors that spring to mind for me are contemporary ones – Stephen King, Dean Koontz. It’s only since I started writing horror myself that I’ve learned about earlier classics, such as Poe, M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. My first interest in horror was playing Resident Evil as a teenager. Back then I was amazed to find out how much people enjoy being scared.
Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?
I’ve never been a fan of really gory films or books – most recognisable interaction is non-violent, so I like psychological horror best. The kind that builds around completely oblivious characters until the very…last…moment…
What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?
I’ve always been fascinated by the way that people interact; the way that some people seem to have immediate chemistry while others seem destined to repel one another. Horror is a great genre to write in because it allows you to easily dissect those interactions, casting new perspectives on even the most innocent actions, or blowing them utterly out of proportion in massive gorefests. Horror can be angry, sad or fun, and often all three at once.
What are some of your favourite horror stories?
The ones that I’ve read for this anthology have been magnificent 🙂
Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?
I didn’t read much horror when I was young, so not especially. I’m still learning about what a massive, entertaining diverse genre horror is!
Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?
Many! I love Neil Gaiman’s prose; it flows so gracefully that you forget you’re reading. Terry Pratchett produced wonderful characters. China Mieville and Jeff Noon remind me how joyful speculative fiction can be, and what a gift it is to have an active imagination. Finally, there are writers like John Maxwell Coetzee who explore meaning and identity, and help you to find some context in the wider world you live in.
Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.
I don’t particularly have a genre; I write horror and sci-fi for fun, but my first love is literary fiction. I am also a big fan of travel writing. In 2014, I won the SMHAFF award for International Writing, and that story, along with loads of other freebies, are all available on my website. I also have a novel (‘What Comes from the Earth’) with beta readers that will hopefully be available on Kindle in a few weeks!
How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door Anthology?
Thrilled. I’ve written stories for the site before and done other anthology work, but this hopefully will be a vehicle to take everyone involved to the next level. I have a really positive working relationship with Mark and Caitlin, and I knew from the start that they would want to produce a professional anthology. The aim is that readers will get a book full of outstanding work that they’ll want to reread and recommend to their friends.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Apart from the aforementioned novel, I have a couple of serials that I’ll be updating regularly throughout 2016 (links below). One is called ‘This Burning Man’, which is about a bounty hunter in the future searching for his lost family in the desert. Then there’s ‘My Travels Through Imaginary Lands’, which is a travelogue set in an imagined world based on post-Victorian Europe, with some fantasy elements thrown in for good measure.
Connect with Kris