Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Collette Metcalf, and I write extreme horror under the name Sam west. My age is… older than time. I drink the blood of virgins to keep young and vital.(Or 39 and 14 months.)
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am an old married woman, and five years ago, my beautiful daughter erupted out of my stomach true Alien style. Her name is Ripley. (No. She isn’t really called that.)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Last week, I came out of the closet; I finally decided to own up to being a woman.Extreme horror is a male dominated niche. With a few notable exceptions, female extreme horror writers are pretty thin on the ground. I wanted to be known as an ‘extreme horror author’, not a ‘female, extreme horror author’. I wanted to be judged on my writing alone, not my gender. It seems to me that women horror writers, no matter how talented they are, are still defined as such. We are not women writers, we are just writers.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written, it’s who I am. Even if no one read me, I’ll still do it. It’s a compulsion.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my books took off on Amazon a few years ago.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Just my absolute adoration of the horror genre. I felt like I had something to say, I wanted to have a go at scaring folk.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I do believe the first book I ever wrote after I graduated Uni at 22 was called ‘Death Rites’. It was about Satanism, and the title just happened naturally as I wrote the thing, as most of my titles seem to do. I still think the title is pretty cool, but my God, the book sucked.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like dialogue, I use it when I can as I think it breathes life into a story. There is a lot of sex and violence in my books, I guess that’s my trademark. I try to keep my sentences and paragraphs short, I like it to be punchy and aggressive. Just lately, Amazon seems to be clamping down on extreme horror authors, and they have banned books from some of the best in the game. This is definitely a challenge with regards to my writing. My natural instinct is to write graphic descriptions of sexual violence, but if Amazon are clamping down on us, I should probably tone it down a bit. But I find that very difficult; I can only write what I write, and it’s what my readers expect from me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All writers, me included, put that, ‘any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental’ statement in their copyright page. But that’s just silly. All writing is born of our experiences and the people we meet along the way. We ARE our writing. Soif anyone upsets me, I’ll just kill them in my book. The clever bit is just disguising this fact…
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Only in my head. And Google is my friend.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In a way. I think that the conscious lack of messagein my books IS the message. I believe it is the secret of good horror. As I said in my introduction to Suffer Hard: “In my humble opinion, horror should be fun. I don’t mean laugh out loud funny, I mean entertaining.
Above all, you should have a good time, morals be damned. Because good horror, be it a book or a film, is a moral waste ground. It is a shameless exploration of our deepest, darkest fears. And let’s face it, our deeply buried, sadomasochistic desires.The second a moral message is inserted, the whole thing deflates like an old party balloon and you, the reader or film goer, end up feeling dirty and cheated.
Can you remember the reasoning behind the banning of A Clockwork Orange back in the seventies? It wasn’t because the film was violent and people got murdered and women got raped, it was because the film was violent and the perpetrators were having a good time doing it. And that, to me, is what horror is all about. Personally, when I write horror I leave my morality, my principles, and my fundamental human decency at the door. The gleefully malicious, sick and twisted side of me rocks up and do you know what? I have an absolute ball…”
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?
I admire a lot of writers. Of all the writers working today, Ben Elton is my favourite. As far as I’m concerned, the man is a god. I’d sell my soul to write with half the intelligence, compassion and beauty he does.
I grew up on a diet of Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee and of course, Stephen King. They are my biggest influences.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Outside of family? No one really. It was not something I liked to go into much detail about before it happened.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. But the beauty of self-publishing is that I can tweak things if I want.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. I learnt not to leave things to the last minute. Mind you, I say that about every project I finish. I never learn.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If we’re talking about my most recent offering, ‘The Dark Side Of Red’, I would have to say Benedict Cumberbatch. If you read the book, you’ll understand why.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep going. The only way to be a writer is to write. Read a lot and study your craft.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The one that sticks in the mind the most is ‘The Yellow Ribbon’. I must have been about eight, and we all had to bring our favourite book into school. The teacher, (Miss Lion, I do believe. Hello, if you’re reading this), read to the class each of our chosen books. ‘The Yellow Ribbon’ starts off really sweet… Boy and girl grow up together, boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married. Throughout her life, the girl always wore a yellow ribbon around her neck. The boy always asked the girl, ‘Why do you wear a yellow around your neck?” and the girl never tells him. On their wedding night, at the boy’s asking, she undoes the yellow ribbon… And the final line reads… “And then her head fell off.”
The entire class started crying, and Miss Lion was horrified. It was an illustrated book, and she had no idea that it ended in such a macabre way…
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My five-year-old daughter. She is the most hilarious, frustrating human-being on the planet. Sometimes I’m rolling around with laughter, and other times I just want to bellow at her.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Lord Byron, because he was just so incredibly intense and morose, not to mention a very good poet.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Nothing particularly ground-breaking… Reading, watching the occasional film, swimming in the lake in the Summer, drinking wine and watching my husband cook… I’m also a bit of a sad-case with perfumes; I spend far too much time reading about them online when I should be working.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not much of a telly person, really. Besides, the hubby hogs the clank so I don’t get much of a look in… Ha ha, he’ll go potty when he reads that, because it’s not entirely true… I like horror films, or a good drama now and then. If I’m not working in the evening, I’d rather crack open the wine, talk, and listen to music instead of watching the box.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love all food, and enjoy cooking. I love seafood, curry, you name it, I’ll eat it. I am like a human dustbin. Music wise I am fond of Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Soft Cell, Nine Inch Nails to name but a few… I am partial to industrial metal, electro pop and alternative rock.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
Told you I was sick.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Not yet. I’ve only just ‘come out’ on facebook. You can find me lurking there, and all my books are available to purchase on Amazon here:http://amzn.to/2tIXJgD