Meet author Charles Lambert @charles_lambert #HorrorLounge
Tell us about your latest book
Two Dark Tales is exactly what it says on the packet. The first - Jack Squat - is set in central Italy and describes a property scam that goes horribly wrong, while the second - The Niche - is about bullying and revenge. Owen King has described them as studies in moral corrosion and that sums them up perfectly. They’re also pretty scary.
First memory of reading horror
Pan Book of Horror Stories, under the covers with a torch. Peeled grapes that turn out to be eyes. Shudder.
For readers new to horror which 3 books would you recommend they start with?
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Stephen King: IT
Do you have a favourite horror sub-genre, and why?
On TV, zombies, specifically The Walking Dead; on paper, I’m a sucker for vampires. I’m very fond of Let The Right One In by John Adjive Lindqvist and I loved Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire when I first read it.
Most terrifying book you’ve ever read.
See next question! (Although deeply disturbing might be a better description…)
Your favourite Stephen King book.
This is difficult, but the one that’s shaken me most profoundly is probably Pet Sematary.
New horror authors you’d recommend.
Joe Hill (genes don’t lie), Helen Grant’s YA novels
Who do you consider the King and Queen of horror fiction?
King is, well, King. Queen? Shirley Jackson and (for her Demon Lover) Elizabeth Bowen
Your favourite horror film (adapted from a book) & why?
Carrie (the original, not the remake), because it’s true to the spirit of the book and has given us two unforgettable moments - you know which ones I mean.
Horror book that you’d like to see adapted to film & why?
Jack Squat. Because I wrote it!
Best horror TV?
The Walking Dead
Did you write in other genres or straight to horror?
I’ve written in several genres: literary, psychological thriller, political thriller, fantasy, and mixtures of the above. I like being able to move around the wonderful (and sometimes creepy) toyshop of words and stories as freely as I can. But the first story I ever wrote was about a séance that went wrong, so it’s always been part of how I take the world on through writing.
Tell us briefly about your route to being published
I wrote five novels before finding a wonderful agent, who sold Novel No. 6 to a mainstream publisher. It’s been a bumpy ride, but I’ve met some great people and great editors along the way.
Tell us about your fans
I think my fans tend to be readers who don’t want all the work done for them. I love genres but don’t always respect them, and that can upset some people and excite others. My fans are in the second group.
Horror doesn’t seem to be as well respected as other genres of fiction. Why do you think that is?
Because people are scared of saying they’re scared? Horror tells us uncomfortable truths about ourselves, which not all people welcome.
Do you think horror is ready for a renaissance?
I hope so.
Tips for new writers of horror fiction.
If it doesn’t scare (and surprise) you, it won’t scare (or surprise) anyone else.
Do you believe in evil?
What scares you?
The idea of being trapped underground
3 most scary words in English language?
Pot-holing, buried alive (OK, that’s two words, but one idea), Trump