Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
David Owain Hughes and I’m 35 years old. I’m also a budding writer, wannabe serial killer, leg-worshipping pervert, tea drinking-fiend and fine ale guzzler. I think that pretty much covers all bases unless you want the humdrum information too?
Male (the last time I checked!) Favourite colour: Black (closely followed by purple). Pets: None. Smoker: No. Penis size: Mind your goddamn business! Shoe size: 12. Occupation: part-time cleaner, the full-time bane of your existence. Shall I go on? I could do this all day! Obviously, I think I’m funny too, just in case you didn’t pick up on that…
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc).
I have two children: Ruby, ten-months-old and Gethin, eight. I’m engaged to my beautiful fiancée Nicola, who moved from England to be with me three years ago – we have no pets. I don’t smoke, but I occasionally drink like a fish. My car is a skip on wheels, and sometimes I find myself living from day-to-day as I put all my effort into my art; I have a very good woman behind me. I used to work full-time, but only part-time now – I gave the rat race up to write full-time, even though it’s a ball-busting struggle.
I hold a BA and MA in creative writing.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Latest news/releases include the paper version of Man-Eating Fucks and the release of All-Wound Up and Escapees and Fevered Minds. There’s also been a few anthologies published that I appear in: Deprived Desires, The Big Book of Bootleg Horror, How to Cook a Baby and Shopping List.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Many moons ago when I was a young lad at comprehensive school; I was roughly eleven or twelve – it was around the time I first discovered the Friday the 13th franchise, along with a whole host of other nasty delights at my local video shop. I vividly remember writing a Friday the 13th-type story for my English class, along with a werewolf tale – both narratives earned me big fat F’s. Nobody forgets those huge, glorious red letters your teachers would etch on your shit school work. To this day, I still get a slight kick out of people telling me that my word porn is utter filth, or that they get bent out of shape with it. That could be the perv in me – I like people get flustered, frustrated and flabbergasted.
Ooh, use of the F, David!
Don’t you think it’s sexually exciting, seeing someone get hot-headed? Meow! (does cat claws and hissing sounds). Get them rocks off, interviewer!
Note: Hmm, maybe this needs to be added to question one: I tend to lose track and get off subject matter rather frequently. I’m also as mad as a box of frogs.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t. Not sure I ever will the truth be told: most of the time I see myself as a wannabe.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I started out writing short stories, which I did for many years before attempting my first novel back in 2009ish. My biggest inspiration for writing came in the form of Richard Laymon – after I discovered his books, I couldn’t wait to start penning my own.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title, along with the cover, is important. It has to capture your tale in a few words or less, leaving your potential reader filled with intrigue and wonder. My titles are usually picked after I’ve finished the first or second draft – the title for the work usually comes from within the story: a selection of words or word that symbolizes the narrative and its nature.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything specific about my writing style, apart from the use of comedy and erotic fused with horror. I like to try different things: White Walls and Straitjackets, a collection of short stories, is told by two narrators who tell their story within the collection – a story within a story if you will. I also threw in a few other twists to keep the reader guessing. I think my diversity is a massive strength. Weakness? Probably editing, but it’s something I’m practicing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A fair bit of what goes into my books/stories are experiences taken from real-life: In my novel The Rack & Cue, Rigs and Iain, the main characters, are friends based off a childhood friendship and all their traits and banter is true to life! Most of the dialogue between the truckers is from many a witty, drunken or everyday conversation I had with my friend back in the day.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Kevin Enhart has created most of my covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A lot of my work carries social comments, especially how we treat each other as humans.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
A new author who has grabbed my attention is Jonathan Edward Ondrashek. Like myself, Jon operates on the indie scene and has an array of well-crafted short stories in print, along with a couple of novels about vampires. No, not the sparkly kind!
I only have one favourite author – Richard Laymon. Why? Well, that’s simple. His words not only shocked me, but spoke to me, and have done ever since I discovered his works in the late 90s. His books showed me that there was so much more to horror fiction; that you can write whatever the hell you want. I found it refreshing, and it set me out on a path that I’m still travelling. It’s exciting.
However, I like many – Dean Koontz, Jack Ketchum, Shaun Hutson, Bentley Little, Graham Masterson and James Herbert to name but a few! I also love a whole bunch of independent horror writers. Too many to name here, but they know who they are!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
David Mathias: Close friend, fellow Gemini and ale-drinking partner.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d like to say yes, but I’m not sure. I’m going to give it a few years and see what happens.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Probably, yes – but I don’t tend to read my own work once it’s out there. I can’t do it, and I think you’ll find a lot of writers are the same. Well, some of the ones I know, anyway.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m constantly learning new tricks, tips and ideas on style and editing with every story I write.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Depends on which book was picked up, I suppose. If it was Wind-Up Toy, then it would need to be someone tall, dark and handsome; they would also need to be charismatic and crazy. Maybe a splash of Anthony Perkins mixed with a dash of Cary Grant and a pinch of Jack Nicholson.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The best advice I can give is never give in. Never! No matter if the odds seem stacked against you or it looks as though you’re never going to get anywhere with your writing, do not throw that towel in. Dig your heels in and push forward. Don’t let anything stop you. And remember, it’s not about the money, because there isn’t much in this game – not unless you strike it lucky. Also, it’s about the small victories: an acceptance here, a kind word there.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If you find you’ve enjoyed something by me, don’t be a stranger – reach out and say hello!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Come Out Tonight by Richard Laymon
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No I don’t, sorry.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The thought of losing my children or Nicola – they drive me.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Richard Laymon. After I’d discovered his books, all I wanted to do was write horror stories. I’d love the opportunity to pick his brain, even if it was only for an hour or three.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Many: Playing pool, drinking fine ales, socialising, listening to music, going to the cinema/theatre and reading.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV: King of Queens, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, American Horror Story, Lethal Weapon.
Film: Any form of horror/thriller/comedy. Top three films: Big Trouble in Little China/The Thing/Pyscho
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d probably go crazy and start killing everyone and everything around me!
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
Do not disturb!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Links away! Doesn’t quite sound as cool as ‘chocs away’, does it?!