It is with great pleasure that I welcome author Luke Walker back to this blog. He’s been a regular visitor over the years and, as a passionate aficionado of the horror genre, has written several excellent guest posts on such topics as women in horror, short fiction in horror, British horror, and more. I urge you, after reading this interview and buying his latest novel, to check out his contributions.
Dooley: Congratulations on your latest release, Luke. Tell us all about it!
Luke: Hometown is a horror about a group of friends who’ve grown apart after the suicide of a mutual friend a few years before the start of the story. She haunts them in various ways and they gather in their hometown (funnily enough) to try and work out what’s going on. Once they’re all together, they’re transported to another side of that town – the underside of it where it’s permanently night and the population are a mix of human and inhuman monsters. Realising they’re trapped in the physical manifestations of their friend’s pain, they have to do whatever it takes to stay alive and get out. At the same time, the wife of one of the friends is searching for him, unaware that someone is looking for her. Someone who knows all about pain and causing it.
I came up with the characters in an older book (which was terrible) several years ago. A while back, I got to thinking about them and wondered what they’d be up to now. Putting that with a dark tale of regret, grief and a fair bit of blood got me to Hometown.
Dooley: Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Luke: I don’t think so. I treat it like a second job so I’m at my desk at set times and aim for a decent word count with each session. As long as I’ve got a drink and some tunes, I’m good to go. I’ve discovered I do have certain areas I go back to in my fiction (friendship, people trying to right wrongs, bad things happening to good people for no reason), but no real quirks. Which probably means I have loads. I just don’t know it.
Dooley: What is your favorite part of writing a book?
Luke: There’s almost always a certain point in writing a book where you realise what the real story is, and that’s often not the idea you came up with. For example, Hometown was meant to be little more than a nasty tale of monsters and people being trapped with them. 20K or so into the first draft, I saw there was something more to it than that: how truly terrible regret is and how powerful friendship can be. Plus some really horrible goings on.
When a story falls into place and everything clicks, that’s the best part of writing a book.
Dooley: What is your biggest fear?
Luke: Dentists. Next question.
Dooley: Are you currently working on any other projects?
Luke: I’ve just finished editing my most recent book. Once I’ve got a bit of feedback on it and made any changes and fixed my mistakes (there are always mistakes), I can get it ready to submit. In the meantime, I’ve gone back to a couple of older books to give them a spit and a polish. After all that, I’m starting a new book. It’s titleless at the moment which is no big deal. The title comes when it comes. This one is about a group of cannibals in the aftermath of a nuclear war. It’s an alternate history thing set after a mid 80s conflict. With a lot of blood, I imagine.
Dooley: What are the last three books you read?
Luke: I recently finished Joe Hill’s NOS 4R2 which was superb. I meant to read it a couple of years ago and never got round to it. A very enjoyable tale all round. Susan Hill’s Dolly was a bit of a disappointment to be honest. She’s done some great stuff but that one fell a bit flat for me. Tim Lebbon’s first thriller The Hunt was another winner. Lebbon usually writes horror or fantasy and I highly recommend him. The Hunt is obviously different to his usual work and worth anyone’s time.
I’m currently reading Duncton Wood by William Horwood which is an old-fashioned (in a good way) fantasy story of moles in an English wood. I’m also re-reading Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan prior to reading the sequel World War Moo. As you can probably tell, it’s not one to be taking too seriously but is still a great read. Funny, violent and silly at the same time.
Dooley: Where can we find you online?
Luke: My website is www.lukewalkerwriter.com, my Twitter is @lukewalkerbooks, my Good Reads is https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2924729.Luke_Walker
Feel free to drop by anywhere and say hello. I don’t bite. Or eat brains.