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  • Random-Ass Interview: David Moody

    If you want to read more about David Moody, visit his personal website.

    You are a fairly intimidating looking man, at least in your press photos. Likewise, you’re constantly writing about the downfall of society, often in a terrifyingly realistic manner. Has anyone just come up to you, and admitted that you scare the shit out of them, or do you ever get the sense that people might be unnecessarily freaked out by you, due to the themes of your work and your scary photos?

    Although I’ve never had anyone make that admission face-to-face, I’ve had plenty of emails through the years which finish with something along the lines of ‘are you sure you’re okay…?’ And you’re right; I look intimidating, even though I’m not. It can be a pain sometimes, but I’ve got used to it and I have to admit, given my chosen career, it’s not a bad look (or a bad surname!). What really makes me laugh though, is the opposite. The people who know me best of all – my wife and kids – aren’t fazed by any of it. My wife regularly finds me researching all kinds of stuff – Nazi death camps, how bodies decompose, flesh-eating diseases – and she’s so used to it now she doesn’t bat an eyelid!

    What’s your favorite Guillermo Del Toro movie?

    That’s a tough question. I love Cronos, his first movie, but I think my absolute favorite has to be Pan’s Labyrinth.

    As a British man, do you think that there are any aspects to your books that an American audience or an audience from another country might have trouble understanding?

    I think there will always be subtle cultural differences and nuances which people don’t pick up on. I’m fortunate to work closely with editors from both the US and UK so generally most things get thrashed out and discussed before the books hit the shelves. You write about what you know though, so I always write from the perspective of someone in a country broadly similar to my own. But you’re right to raise the issue, because sometimes I get caught off-guard. When the Chinese language edition of Hater was being translated, I had a conversation with the translator about Lizzie’s (the main character’s partner) sister. She’s barely mentioned in the book, but for the translation I had to develop her further because there were different social implications if she was a younger or older sister.

    Do you think you’ll ever cave and write a happy children’s story about a fluffy puppy and his adventures finding a saucy turtle?

    No. But I do have a children’s series in mind. It probably won’t be set at the end of the world, but it will have more than its fair share of genetic mutations, diseases, bizarre atmospheric conditions and Twilight Zone-like scenarios though!

    Do you set your alarm clock to air raid sirens?

    Now that’s a cool idea! Unfortunately not, but I wouldn’t have any trouble getting out of bed in the morning if I did. That sound is one of the most chilling… growing up in the 1980’s at the height of the Cold War, the air attack sirens used to be tested fairly regularly. I can still remember what it used to be like – everyone would stop, your legs would turn to jelly, and you’d just stand there and wait for everyone else to react. More often than not, they’d be turned off after a couple of wails, but you always thought for a second ‘is this it?’. I remember a news report on local TV back then – a siren malfunctioned early one morning and kept going for several minutes. Some people panicked and thought their time was up, but most people just rolled over and put their heads under the pillow.


    Nuclear weapons have been dropped across the globe simultaneously, and while you survive the blast, and manage to avoid fall out and radiation, everyone else on Earth is dead. Do you think you’d just kill yourself, or would you try to live on?

    Live on. At least that’s what I’d like to believe. Thing is, no one really knows how they’d react. I think I’d be able to survive on a practical level, but it’s the emotional damage that’s the unknown. If my family hadn’t survived, would I even want to go on? If they had survived, I guess they’d be the main reason for me trying to go on.


    A Hater type scenario occurs, and you’re left with your family, but you have to leave the house and go somewhere safe. You only have space in your bag to bring three books, which will most likely be your only reading material for at least a year. What books do you bring?

    I don’t think I would. I’d rather take three writing pads. But if I had to grab books off the shelf, I’d make them thick, heavy ones so they’d a). Take a long time to read and b). Burn longest if push came to shove and we needed fuel for the fire. My honest answer – probably War of the Worlds, Day of the Triffids and an encyclopedia. But if it really was a Hater-type scenario, I’d probably try and pack a survival skills book of some sort, and because we’d be surrounded by death and devastation, I’d probably also pack a book about a fluffy puppy and his adventures finding a saucy turtle.


    If most of the population was killed off for whatever reason, do you think that the remaining population would start wearing leather pants, and jean vests, and do you think they would style mohawks into their hair?

    I think that’s a hilarious post-apocalyptic cliché, and it’s one I’ve tried to steer away from in my books. Come the end of the world, we’re all going to look like shit! People will stop cutting their hair, personal hygiene will be forgotten, we’ll just wear whatever we can get our hands on…


    How do you feel about torture porn, both the phrase itself, and the type of work that is called as such?

    Like most phrases coined to describe genres or specific types of films, the definition becomes overused. Unless I’m mistaken, I think torture porn was first spoken about when ‘Hostel’ and the early ‘Saw’ films were released. Since then, however, it’s been used to cover a vast range of movies like ‘The Human Centipede’ etc. When you look at all the films included in this bracket, the common theme is obviously the torture aspect – very brutal, very realistic gore shown in intense detail. To my mind, though, the key is how this gore is used. Is it integral to the overall story, or is it in place of the story? I have no interest in watching any of the Saw movies as they just seem to be increasingly violent, sub-par variations on Freddy / Jason / Michael Meyers type-characters (although obviously less fantasy-based). But a film like Martyrs or Anti-Christ, they’re different altogether. Bad things happen, and the world is filled with fucked-up injustices each and every day. I think it’s important that films and books reflect this.

    A virus spreads across your hometown or city. Again, nearly everyone is dead, except for you and your family. However, you happen to be in a safe walking distance from a police station, and you know for a fact that for whatever reason there are a great many drugs in the holding area. Do you think you’d get bored enough to risk it, and travel across the road to have a little party?

    In the second Autumn book, there’s a couple of characters who end up doing exactly that. And you could argue they made the right decision. Why not? One of the fundamental questions my books ask is ‘is surviving always the best option?’. If the chips really were down and my family and I were facing inevitable and unpleasant deaths, being off our faces on drugs might be a good option… It would make things a lot easier and less painful.

    If you could be any kind of monster, what kind would you be?

    Good question! I’ve always thought werewolves were pretty cool. They’d probably be the best option. At least they could lead relatively normal lives some of the time. Zombies – no thanks. Vampires – well, they’ve lost all credibility recently.


    What do you think of the current atmosphere of the film industry?

    I think it’s exciting and frustrating in equal measure. It’s exciting because the technology to produce movies is now available to everyone. A decent HD camera, the right software and you’re away (providing, of course, you have the technical and creative nous). But at the other end of the scale, the major studio side of the industry is depressing. Like all other sections of the media, it’s all about profit. We’re drowning in franchises, reboots, remakes and unnecessary sequels and whilst they all make money and sell toys and Happy Meals, they’re not doing a lot to move movies forward. I think it’s really depressing when you look at the effort and money which gets poured into things like the Twilight franchise – you could get many original movies made for each and every Twilight.

    Anyone ever given you shit about your last name? Like, schoolyard mockery?

    Constantly – thanks for bringing that up! It used to really get to me when I was at school but now, as I mentioned in a previous answer, it suits what I do for a living!

    If you could go back in time, and hang out with one author in particular, who would it be?

    I’d have to say HG Wells. I’d have loved to have been around when ‘War of the Worlds’ was first released to see the panic he unleashed. I know a similar thing happened with Orson Welles’ famous radio broadcast in the 1930s, but it would really have been something to see how the stuffy Victorians reacted to Wells’ tale of Martians invading and killing untold thousands of people. Such stories are fairly commonplace today, but back then it would have been terrifying…

    As an author with a book nearly finished (yeah, I’m that asshole that throws himself into an interview for someone else…) I remember having a hard time staying motivated, and adding to my manuscript every day. Do you have any tricks you use to get yourself in the writing headspace? Do you have any kind of ritual, for instance, do you light candles next to a human skull, and put on a cloak and chant in Latin?

    Firstly, congratulations on the book. Getting to the stage you’re at takes more effort than most people probably realize. I’ve been writing seriously for seventeen years now (Jesus, that’s scary), and I still struggle to get going sometimes. I think you can only write when you’re ready to – you can’t force the words out if you’re in the wrong frame of mind. That said, you can’t use that as an excuse. I need to know what I’m writing, and to spend some time thinking about it before I start (that might just be a few minutes making a drink or walking the dog). Once I’m ready, I turn my music on, switch the Internet off, and go for it. I try and write for a block of time – three-quarters of an hour usually – then take a break. I keep writing and don’t allow myself to go back and edit until my draft is finished. That seems to work for me, but it’s different for every writer. A key thing for me is actually making a start. It’s so easy to get distracted and to find reasons to spend just another five minutes on-line…


    Cats or Dogs?

    I have both. My dog’s a cool companion and a great reason to go for long walks and think. My cats are equally awesome, and I like their independence. They use me. I am their bitch. The dog is, quite literally, my bitch.


    Fast zombies or slow zombies?

    Slow. They’re dead. They can’t run. They shouldn’t even be walking!

    What’s your favorite swear?

    The ‘c’ word. Now that everyone says ‘fuck’ all the time, cunt is the only word left that has any real impact. And I think it’s important to have a good arsenal of swears in your vocabulary. (I agree whole-heartedly Dave.)

    Are there some American phrases that confuse you? For instance, if I say I’m pissed, I mean I’m angry, not that I’m drunk. Can you think of any Americanisms that you may have been, or are confused as hell about?

    No, but I know that ‘Hater’ is incredibly overused in the US, but not at all used here in the UK (which is why I chose it).

    Any up and coming British authors that aren’t widely known you have read you can’t shut up about? Can be in genre, or not.

    He’s a good friend of mine, but I’ll say it anyway: Wayne Simmons. Check out FLU and Drop Dead Gorgeous for some unique, well-written, Belfast-based zombie fiction.


    Was your father in law angry at you when Hater came out, and or has anyone ever become exceedingly angry with you for writing a character they thought was based off of them in one of your books?

    No, my father-in-law didn’t mind. He died just after the book came out (it wasn’t me!) which was a real shame and I’d have liked him to have seen how big it became for me. I’m very careful not to base characters too closely on people I know, primarily because I don’t want to be sued or lose friends. There are friends and family in there, but I think they’d have a hard time spotting themselves. When I used to work full-time as well as write, if people pissed me off at work then I’d write them into my books as zombies and give them the most horrific, violent deaths I could!

    Favorite sea monster?

    Jaws. Terrifying. Closely followed by any type of jellyfish. You can come up with as many fictional sea monsters as you like, but what we’ve already got is usually scary enough.


  • The Walking Dead First Season Finale

    Well, the sixth and final installment in the first season of The Walking Dead aired last night on AMC, and I have the task of telling you, my glorious and sexy readers, how it was. Without giving to much away, I will say that I really enjoyed what the doctor left at the CDC had to show Grimey and the rest, and that the episode was compelling at times.
    However, and I can’t stress this enough, for a show about zombies The Walking Dead is woefully lacking in the walker department. Now, I’ve read the comic, and I know that they often go for a long time without showing zombies in the book. But, this is a show. It obviously doesn’t go exactly as the comic did, and I wouldn’t expect it too, as comics and television are very different mediums. Yet, I allow a lack of zombie in the comic, where as a lack of zombie in the show seems out of place.
    It was exciting, but I couldn’t help feeling that the finale was kind of a The Stand knock off. If you’ve seen the TV mini series Mick Garris did of The Stand, you will obviously see why I think as such.
    So, to reflect on the first season as a whole, I think it was bearable, but could have been much better. Hopefully they get into the swing of things in the second season. Its certainly not a bad show, it just isn’t anything amazing just yet. But, plenty of shows take time to work out the kinks, so I’ll wait and reserve judgement on the show, until we’re into the second season next year.
    On a final note, I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, but I’m sick as fuck of zombies. I’ve never been huge into them in the first place, and I’m even less into them now that they seem to be shoved down our collective throats from every possible angle. I always preferred vampires to zombies, and even now with the bastardization of the vampire that is occuring everywhere, I still prefer them. Its a simple reason, vampires are scarier to me, because they are smarter. Zombies always seemed like a horde of retarded people, only difference being the dead thing. Vampires, on the other hand, are cunning, and often can fly, change shape, or have super strength. Zombies are dead and rotting away, and are stupid.
    Likewise, I get it, people often use zombies as a stand in for humans. I’ve never understood this. Why not just have humans as a stand in for humans. To me, the thought of a crowd of reasoning, alive people is far more terrifying then the thought of dead, dumb as hell shells chasing after me.
    Finally, vampires have a seductive quality, not to be found in zombies. Vampires can pass for humans, where as zombies can not. I prefer to watch hordes of people infected by a disease that makes them crazy, a la 28 Days Later, or the Haters in David Moody’s aptly named book, Hater, and its sequel, Dog Blood.
    Anyway, if you’re a fan of zombies, you should check out The Walking Dead’s first season. Its definitely one of the best, if not the best horror show on television right now. Not that that’s saying a lot.


  • Haters Gonna Hate, Dog Blood Review

    For those not in the know, back in 2006 a man name David Moody self published a book known simply as Hater. The fact that it was a book published by a man with the last name of Moody, and the title was a term for an emotional person, is interesting enough. It gave me a little bit of a giggle. But, Hater is far from funny, and it isn’t about jealous people in the rap game, despite what some of you might have thought. It is a paranoia laced view of the overthrow of humanity by a sudden outbreak of extreme hatred and violence, that infects a large percentage of the population.
    It’s told from the perspective of Danny McCoyne, an average Joe type who
    WARNING SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!

    … ends the novel having become a Hater. This means that he has an urge to kill those who are not Haters like himself. Hater ends with Danny being separated from his family, and his little girl Ellis, who is also a Hater.
    And so Dog Blood begins, occurring a few months after the events of Hater. Danny is still telling you what happens, in a style that really draws you into the narrative. One of my favorite aspects of the Hater series is its immersive quality. In the more action packed pages, it’s almost reminiscent of playing a video game, except without the annoyance of having to button mash. Danny’s views are interspersed with a few chapters from the perspective of an Unchanged man named Mark, the Unchanged being what the non-Haters left alive are called. Danny is looking for his daughter Ellis, and Mark is simply trying to stay alive, doing what the military that protects him tells him to do, and scrounging for food.
    I don’t want to give too much of this book away; I don’t really like spoiling things for people. Unless you haven’t read Hater yet, in which case I’m sorry, it was unavoidable. All spoiling aside, this novel is short, around three hundred pages, and packs quite a punch to it. The pacing is great, and the world described after the outbreak of the Hate is phenomenal. Everywhere, things are falling apart, and the major city centers are the last respite for the Unchanged to stay in, for fear of being ripped to shreds by the Haters, who are everywhere else.
    Moody’s approach to the end of the world via emotional plague is a wild ride, of death, dillapidation, and the constant questioning of what seperates those who kill, from those who do not. By the end of the novel, the reader isn’t sure where the hell things can possibly go, which makes it all the more exciting that another novel in the series is coming.
    If you’re in the mood for a dystopian future of Hate and destruction, read Dog Blood, but for fuck’s sake, read Hater first so you know what the hell’s going on!
    David Moody is a name you’re sure to be hearing more of in the future. More than likely you’ll see his name connected to quality, apocalyptic writing. It’s refreshing to read, in a world of overdone cliche monster books, a new beast that isn’t vastly different from you or I, save for the Hate.


  • First Entry

    If you read the post, who the fuck is Spooky Sean on this site, you will know, well, what I’m about. However, for those to lazy to click the link, here’s the summation. I’m a horror junkie who is writing his first novel. I have no agent, no deals as of yet, and well, I’m only halfway through writing the book. However, I plan to have this site as a place for me to explain about the process first hand. By that I mean, the process of writing a novel, and of course, of the long and ridiculous road to publishing it. So strap in for that mechanical bull, because I’m sure it will buck like crazy.
    Other then that, I simply plan to write about books and movies in the genre that I love along with comics, and possibly a video game if I get around to one, though I’ll tell you right now, I probably won’t. Leave me alone, I’m writing a fucking book here!
    Another benefit of this site, is that I can post my writing on it, in the desperate hope that, gee, I don’t know, some people actually fucking read it. Man, I tell ya, nothing worse then an author without an audience. Worse then diarrhea without toilet paper. How charming I must come off…
    But, enough with the seriousness, who is excited for Dead Hooker in a Trunk? Am I right? Come on, I have to see it for the title alone! It’s not out yet around here, I don’t think, and it probably won’t be for a while. By the way, I’m incredibly ADD, so if I flip back and forth real fast from sentence to sentence, well, rest assured, its just the way I think. I’ll try to rope it in, but it is my blog, so I’m not going to try that hard.
    Oh, I did see Piranha 3D the other night, and it was amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys monster movies and tits. Let’s face it, if you are on this page, chances are you like at least one of the two, possibly both. I’m for both.
    I just finished a novel called Hater by David Moody that was excellent. Its only about 300 pages, and the pace is fast, so I finished it in no time. Didn’t hurt that the plot was nice and paranoia inducing. It’s a story essentially in the vein of your typical zombie yarn. However, instead of hordes of the undead, Moody opts for people that just go bat shit and start killing other people at random. I just ordered the sequel, Dog Blood, and it should be arriving at my residence any day now.
    Anywho, off to watch Futurama. Ok, so Futurama isn’t very scary, but I do watch other stuff. I just prefer the spooky shit. Until next time, make sure you lock your door, because you never know who might be just outside it, with knife freshly sharpened and antipsychotic prescription medication recently cancelled. Wait, did you hear that?

    What was that?