INTERVIEW: Hamish Crawford

grave-warnings-front-cover-jack-drewell-nov-2016Our third in the series of interviews with the authors of Grave Warnings continues today with Hamish Crawford author of the story, Vacancy.

How and when did you get interested in writing?

The desire to write seized me at an early age and never let go. At an early age, comedy writing fascinated me–and as a child of the 1980s, Lego allowed me to build worlds and make up stories. Those two divergent poles (jokes and building pirate ships) still shape a lot of my writing.

Where did you get the inspiration for your story?

Lonely men, and the difficulty adults have forming new friendships without questioning the other person or themselves. From there, the horror elements spun out naturally. It seemed that a character who spends too much time thinking to himself would have a slightly unbalanced view of the world. If strange things started happening to him, he wouldn’t quite know how to react to it–or he’d doubt himself.

What was your biggest challenge in writing your story?

I scare very easily, but am aware that horror fans don’t! Also, it takes a lot of skill to generate the kind of M.R. James/H.P. Lovecraft atmosphere. Their writing is very slow and has a lot of implication to it–often times the scares are just barely hinted at–and I really wanted to capture that kind of dread. I hope I got some of the way there!

Do you have a favourite author, and if so, why?

I have too many to count really–but in the horror field, I want to say a special word about Bram Stoker. Dracula is a strange book–it has exerted such a powerful hold on pop culture, has had such a legacy, and is pored over and studied in such detail … and all in ways, I feel, Stoker would never have considered. The book itself is alternately genius and drivel–you’ve got the fascinating background in Castle Dracula, the eerie flight of the Demeter, the wonderful character of Mina Harker, and Renfield’s subplot in the former camp, and then you’ve got all the house-hunting and misogyny and that pompous old dullard Van Helsing in the latter camp. And yet, it’s still an entirely absorbing, fascinating, and scary read, for all its faults. Maybe because of them.

Interview © 2016 Pencil Tip Publishing