Q1. Greg, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as an author.
Thanks Nisar. Writing and storytelling has always been a part of me. As a child I used to write and illustrate my own comic books (very poorly I’ll grant you :P) but comic books were one of the first mediums I discovered that inspired me to craft my own tales. Drawing and writing have always gone hand in hand for me and for many years I focused on creating art and honing my skills. It was in high school that I dabbled more with writing. Later I went to university to study journalism and after graduating I became a newspaper reporter and was in that line of work for about 10 years until 2008. I picked up writing again and wanted to become a crime/mystery author but I found that a lot of my writing had a very dark bent or ventured into supernatural territory. I enjoyed reading the genre and so I decided that horror fiction was more my style. In 2009 I joined the now Australasian Horror Writers Association and in 2011 I had my first publication with the vampire story Precious Blood. Towards the end of that year I wrote and had published two novellas, Torment and The Noctuary. Both novellas received positive feedback and my humble beginnings have only continued from there. I’ve now had dozens of short stories published and as of writing this have three novels, four novellas and four short story collections to my name.
Q2. Looking at your Facebook Page and website Dark Artisan, you are an avid horror illustrator. Were you an artist before you became an author? And how do you manage these 2 fields which require so much hard work and time?
As I said for me the writing and drawing went hand in hand, but yes I was probably an artist before I was a writer. Ironically I find that creating art is less labour intensive. In 2012 I was very fortunate enough to be invited to illustrate a non-fiction graphic novel called Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times by late author Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton. This was a massive project that took me about a year to complete. It eventually went on to win a Bram Stoker Award in 2013. These days I create book cover art for authors and publishing houses as well as my own books. Occasionally I am asked to create internal illustrations. All in all I create horror art because I love doing it. It’s fun. Recently I’ve had a major life change which has meant that writing has taken a back seat to art. But if anything creating art keeps the horror fire burning.
Q3. Which, in your point of view, are the 2 best book covers you have ever designed?
Hmm. This is like asking which child is your favourite J but if I had to choose they would be:
Q4. Authors across all genres who have influenced your storytelling the most?
Val McDermid, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, King, Ligotti, Lovecraft, and I could go on and on…
Q5. Creative people/works outside the writing world which have inspired your work?
I love horror films and there are countless directors who I admire – John Carpenter, Mike Flanagan, Denis Villeneuve, David Fincher. The art of Dave McKean was a major influence on my own artistic exploits.
Q6. I recently bought a copy of Hollow House (read my review here) because I loved the description and book trailer. Could you tell us more about it?
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed it. Hollow House is my first novel and it was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 2016. The idea for this story came from my days as a journalist when I visited a suburban street to cover the suspected murder of a man. While the manner of the man’s death was not in the end, suspicious, the events of the day stayed with me. The smell of death, the interactions with the residents of the street. All of these things inspired me to write Hollow House. I wanted to write a unique haunted house story, one that was about all the people around the haunted house. I wanted to examine all their existing fears and sins and have the haunted house exploit them. I’m very proud of the end result.
Q7. Your latest release is The Last Night of October. Tell us more about it and also inform us on your upcoming projects.
The Last Night of October is actually a re-release of my 2013 novella. It had been out of print for a number of years and I wanted to give it a facelift. The novella is a straight up Halloween fright-fest. Probably my most recent new writing is Bleak Precision, a chapbook which has been nominated for an Australian Shadows Award. Currently though I am in the process of writing two projects simultaneously: a female-led occult thriller called “Scorned” and a horror police procedural called “The Lowest Deep”. I have more ideas brewing but I’ll just be focusing on those projects for the time being.
HOLLOW HOUSE *Nominated for a Bram Stoker Award*
THE LAST NIGHT OF OCTOBER (in Halloween Carnival Volume 3)
The Bram Stoker Award-winning WITCH HUNTS: A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE BURNING TIMES – McFarland & Company