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I am very pleased to welcome horror writer Matthew Harrill on the blog today. He’s not as scary as his photo suggests (although his book are :-))

Matthew W Harrill lives in the idyllic South-West of England, nestled snugly in a village in the foothills of the Cotswolds. Born in 1976, he attended school in Bristol and received a degree in Geology from Southampton University. By day he plies his trade implementing shareplans for Xerox. By night he spends his time with his wife and four children.

MH

Welcome, Matthew. Tell us a little bit about you…

Hi, I’m horror writer Matthew W Harrill, author of The ARC Chronicles, a series that examines the consequences of Hell freezing over and the efforts of one woman, forced on a path to a destiny she has no control over, to thwart demonkind. I am an active blogger, father of 4, husband to 1 (we have been together 20 years) living in a small town in South-West England. By day I work for Xerox implementing share plans for multinationals, waiting for those times I can write. I’m 6 foot 3, deep blue eyes, brown hair with the merest dusting of grey : ) And if the writing takes off, you see how quickly I get out of the day job!

Where and when do you write?

I keep it strict. Normally my lunch hour and on the bus when commuting to and from work. When I am in creative mode, it is just the lunch hour, but once I have my notes ready, I will do a bit more. Also sometimes at the local sport center when my kids have swimming lessons and the like.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Planner. It is in my nature. The day job requires a logical approach and as such (those close to me might not agree!) I have a logical mind. I prefer the term ‘Uber Plotter’. I will spend up to six months working out the when where and how of my next story. Obviously if I was writing full time I would be able to reduce my timeline on this task, but as things stand it works out well for me. I have copious chapter notes from which to write the next chapter, and yet despite all of that there is always a certain flair to the writing when the characters find their own voice. Sometimes you need to let your fingers work and just go along for the ride.

Do you do any research? If so, any sites or sources you care to share?

As above, I do loads. Now none of my work is located close to home. I have been favouring Worcester, Massachusetts as a starting location, the latest novel, ‘The Eyes Have No Soul’ being set in Holden, just outside of Worcester. So getting the setting is right. There is a lot of useful information on places such as Wikipedia that can lead one to further research, but the advent of google earth, particularly street view, has been a godsend. I will spend many lunchtimes just ‘walking’ around cities all over the world just to get a flavour of them. If you base your tale in anything resembling reality, it is very powerful. It also shows just how good writers were to convey setting in the past when it was not a luxury.

Do you read inside your genre or out when writing?

When writing, I pretty much don’t read at all. I have read a handful since beginning this series in early 2012 – Stephen King ‘On writing’, Robert Jordan ‘Memory of Light’, and a few ebooks that I promised people I would read. If I am reading, I am not writing. I did plenty of reading when I was younger, as is proven by the library in my attic. I know people such as King will say that one should always be reading. That is fine when you have the luxury and bank balance to be able to do so. Some of us have to be a little more pragmatic.
Your author heroes?
Lovecraft. Love a bit of Lovecraft! He had a strange way of drawing you in and making you really feel like you were there in the story, as strange as the tales always were. Lovecraft for me is comfort reading! I guess that explains a lot. My mentor, David Farland (aka Dave Wolverton) is a very good friend and will always be a bit of a hero. Without him, I would not be writing at all. He has shown me more patience over the years than anybody, and I hope one day soon to make him proud. Finally, in a strange way, the fictional author ‘Hank Moody’ as portrayed by David Duchovny in the TV series ‘Californication’. I love his approach to life, and my own life has not been without the occasional well-meaning chaos.
Thank you, Matthew, for joining us today.
You can connect with Matthew on his website, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.
Matthew W Harrill’s book are available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com
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