In honor of Halloween, we've taken a moment to sit down with our resident horror author, Mark Taylor, and discussed all things spooky!
I’ve always been a fan. I saw Hellraiser several (many) years before I was supposed to. I was a massive fan of the Angela Sommer-Bodenburg Little Vampire novels when I was small. Hell, I still have them. But the spectacle of horror has always been…attractive. Yeah, let’s say attractive. I mean, what, you’re NOT supposed to love blood spurting from a throat twelve feet across the room?
2. What is your favorite scary movie?
Nope. Too many times I have been asked. I’ll start with my most treasured. That’s In The Mouth of Madness. I love me some Sam Neill. John Carpenter’s hidden masterpiece. Of course, there’s the Elm Street vs. Friday 13 question. I’m full on Elm Street. But modern horror has taken a new twist. It’s become good again. The 90’s pretty much sucked. Horror film was trapped in a merry-go-round of, well, bullshit. Some people credit Craven for fixing that with Scream. I love Scream, it’s a great movie. As for the change of perspective from the makers? Who knows. But lately some films have been leaping from the screen. The Conjuring. Man, that was great, but the list goes on, Insidious, The Babadook, Unfriended… I think we’re on the boundary of a new age of horror.
3. Do you prefer psychological thrillers or slasher films/books.
For books, it has to be psychological thrillers. I do like slasher-y books, even maybe wrote one or two, but for the page I prefer something a little more “thinky”. Film? Slasher. Gore. Beer. Take-out. Hold on, that’s my Friday night.
4. What is the scariest thing you've ever read?
The check at the local Indian? No? Okay, Clive Barker. I was reading The Books of Blood in an airport terminal. *pooped*
5. Do you dress up for Halloween?
No, I always look like this.
6. The writing community is a pretty tight-knit world. Is the horror community as welcoming and supportive as the rest of the literary community or do you guys keep to yourselves?
More so. Horror writers are the best people in the world. Yeah, think that people that write about fairies and candles are fine? They’re thinking about murdering someone, right? Horror writers? Yeah it’s all killing this, and castrating that, but secretly we’re all about the cupcakes. But don’t tell, yeah?
7. When most people think of horror authors/screenwriters, they think of a creepy, sadistic loner in a dark room writing. Is there any truth to this stereotype or are horror writers just like everyone else?
Well, yes, I am creepy, sadistic, and write in a dark room. But I’m not a loner! Nah. We’re just like everyone else. I met David Prowess (Darth Vader OT) and amazingly he’s not actually a Dark Lord of the Sith. I have a family, a kitten, I eat fried chicken. Yep, pretty much the same as everyone else.
8. Do you ever write outside of the Horror genre?
I do. I write for charity on occasion (Like a Girl Anthology coming November 14!!) and that can be in any genre. I write science fiction and fantasy, both magical and dark, within the Devil’s Hand/Witches series. I read outside of the genre a lot, so I think that has bias me towards writing in other genres. Besides, man cannot live on bread lone, right?
9. There are phobias and fears of everything these days, from clowns (Okay, those are pretty creepy) to crowds. Do you have any silly phobias or fears? If not, what are you scared of?
I’m scared of the usual things. No, not clowns. I don’t like spiders but I don’t worry about them. I suppose in the soul baring sense I’m afraid of death, being alone, failing my family. Sorry, got a bit deep there. Um, monkey’s?
10. What's the best thing about Halloween?
I don’t have kids, and being in England, we’re only just catching on to the whole Halloween’s a massive thing, thing. But since I was young it’s always been a night of horror movies on television. Up until around eight, maybe nine, years ago we only had four channels here (I don’t know how we coped). But every year one of the channels would show a horror movie. It was unheard of. TV here just didn’t show that sort of thing.