Interview with British Horror writer David E GATES

Today I am really pleased to introduce David to the blog. As a lover of all things spooky, his stories are right in my wheel-house. Along as I have the lights on …

Firstly, tell me a little about yourself

I’ve published several books and short stories. My first book, Access Denied, is a true story.  A deeply personal and heart-wrenching account of becoming a father and having to fight the mother and Family Courts to see my daughter and also battle against the incompetence and lies of the Child Support Agency who seemed hell-bent on ruining me, emotionally and financially. 

The Roots of Evil, my first horror novel, is a graphic, violent, intense and gore-laden horror story.

My second fictional novel, The Wretched, is an original horror story set in and around Portsmouth.

The Deeper Roots of Evil is my first sequel, to The Roots of Evil of course. 

I’ve previously written film reviews for Starburst and Samhain magazines and interviewed the likes of Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, James Herbert and many others. My work has been featured on Express FM radio and Solent TV, and several horror blogs and websites.

Thank you. Now some questions. 

1. What made you get into the horror business?

I’ve loved horror since reading James Herbert’s The Rats in my young teens. I started writing stories after reading H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. It was a school reading task which we were meant to read in class, but I was so enthralled by it, I went home and read the rest of it that evening. Those stories I wrote were horror based. One, The Tree, I rediscovered several years later. When I read it, having forgotten about the content, it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I realised I had something special and developed it into my first horror novel, The Roots of Evil. I also read everything Clive Barker wrote up until he moved into fantasy more than horror. I was fortunate to interview both James and Clive at an event several years ago and asked their advice for an aspiring writer. They both said the said thing. “Keep trying.” And, with several books and short stories published, here I am. I also grew up on and watched movies like The Exorcist – which I still think is the scariest movie ever made – and Hellraiser, The Thing, Alien, etc. 

2. What particular branch of the genre do you work/specialise in?

The Roots series is gory and supernatural. I would say now, with The Deeper Roots of Evil (my first horror sequel) about to be released (on Friday 13th March), and my other horror stories like The Wretched, Fixing the Faker, The Ghost of Clothes, The Christmas Carol and my prize-winning short story, My Mother and the Medium, that ghost/supernatural stories are the main branch of genre, though I don’t restrict myself. If I want to add gore or realism, I will. 

3. Do you think that British horror has any unique qualities?

I think there’s an ability to weave stories around folklore more – The Wretched is part-based on true events and part-based on local (to Portsmouth) folklore. The rest is made up of my imagination. I think being British it can be more distinct too. The places can conjure up imaginings you might not get anywhere else.

4. Which are your favourite UK horror movies and writers?

Favourite movies would include Hellraiser of course – I have a massive UK quad poster of it in my kitchen. An American Werewolf in London was great in its day. I remember watching that at home for the first time in 5.1 surround. When they’re on the moors and the wolf howled, it was like it was right beside me and I leapt out of my skin. I also have a copy of 28 Days Later which I thought was very well done. Writers would have to be Clive Barker, Iain Banks and James Herbert without a doubt. I’ve also read some of Ramsey Campbell’s stuff – though not much. 

5. Have YOU had any supernatural/paranormal experiences of you own?

I’ve been on ghost hunts and had a couple of interesting experiences but I wouldn’t, being something of a cynic, say they were supernatural/paranormal experiences. 

6. What is next for you?

I’m working on another full-length horror novel, about how a child grows up to become a psychopath. A cross between The Wasp Factory and American Psycho. It’s called The Climbing Frame. During the later part of this year, I hope to release a memoir of my motorcycling days, and another anthology featuring more short stories and poems. 

Please include any social media links, any amazon links etc or anything else you would like to promote.

My website/blog is at www.davidegates.com and links to all my books and other works can be found via there. 

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3aDfin2 

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DavidEGates 

Twitter is davidegatesuk 

Facebook is davidegatesauthor (https://www.facebook.com/davidegatesauthor/

Thank you very much to David for taking the time out of a busy schedule to chat with us. We wish him luck with the new book, it sounds amazing! And as always, sleep well …

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