|Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications|
Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Greg Chapman who explores the fear of childbirth in his short story "Children of Blood" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.
LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader? Who is your favorite horror creator? Who are your inspirations or influences?
GREG CHAPMAN: Horror has always spoken to me as an opportunity to explore the human condition. I feel that horror and terror elicits the real face of people. People are at their most vulnerable and their most honest when they are afraid and as a writer, I think this is a goldmine. Horror is also one of the very few genres that allows you to expose society’s worst fears and failings. My all-time favourite horror creator is Clive Barker. His work is beautiful to read and inspiring. I’m inspired by the desire to answer the larger questions about life, death and what may or may not be on the other side.
LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child? Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?
CHAPMAN: Like many children, I was terrified of the dark, but I think this has actually helped me as a writer and artist. I can easily tap into that fear. Also, spiders, I hate spiders.
LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk. Which sub-genres have you written in? What's your favorite flavor of horror?
CHAPMAN: Psychological, supernatural, body horror, to name a few. My own fiction leans towards the psychological and the supernatural. I love having the supernatural encroach upon the real world.
LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?
CHAPMAN: Not really. I’m prepared to try my hand at any sub-genre. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?
CHAPMAN: I had a Halloween-themed story published earlier this year which also touched upon the scourge that is domestic violence. Nothing that I could write compares to the horror that many women go through every day, some with fatal consequences.
LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.
CHAPMAN: Not yet!
LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life? Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?
CHAPMAN: For the past four years my family and I have put on a Halloween yard haunt display here in Australia and every year we draw hundreds of people to our street. Halloween hasn’t traditionally been observed in Australia until recently and it’s great to see all the other houses in my street participating too.
LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?
CHAPMAN: Don’t be scared. Have a go at it and see where it takes you. Also read a lot of horror fiction beforehand!
LVP: What would you like your legacy to be? Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?
CHAPMAN: “He was a one scary dude.” Would be nice, but unlikely. I think I’d just like to have inspired other writers to take up horror fiction and keep the genre going.
LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?
CHAPMAN: I had fun writing my story in this antho. It was daunting at first coming up with an idea for making pregnancy even more terrifying than it is, but adding serial killers and reincarnation in the mix was a blast!
~ Greg Chapman is the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-nominated author of Hollow House and the author of five novellas: Torment, The Noctuary, Vaudeville, The Last Night of October, and The Followers. His debut novel Hollow House was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® in 2016. He also received the Richard Laymon President’s Award for services to the Horror Writers Association in 2017 and is the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. www.darkscrybe.com
Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!