Bio Of Author Jasper:
I’m a former film journalist and stand up, turned comic writer and horror novelist. I’ve written five novels, three short story collections and a whole bunch of comics and graphic novels. I’ve also won a ‘This Is Horror Award’, an ‘Educational Reader’s Award’ and a ‘Preditors and Editors’ award. One of my arms is fourteen inches longer than the other, I can make fish magically appear from my nostrils and I’ve tried twenty times to get into the Guinness Book of Records for telling the most number of lies in a biography, but so far they’ve yet to believe me.
– What is the story about?
I actually have three books coming out at the moment. The Final Cut is a novel and it’s already out. It’s a genre-busting mash-up of crime, horror and urban fantasy. It’s about two indie filmmakers who plan to build their next movie around a real life snuff film, but find their ‘leading lady’ is actually ‘leading’ them astray. Taking in everything from ancient myth, to modern atrocity, the novel will entrance, mystify and appall you in equal measures, haunting you long after you reach the last line.
Run To Ground is out on June 10th and is also published by Crystal Lake Publishing. It takes place in an ancient rural cemetery and features an entirely new breed of monsters that have possessed the very ground beneath cemetery keeper Jim McCleod’s feet. The answer to Jim’s survival might just lie in an ancient heresy that stretches from the beginning of time to the end of the world as we know it.
Bed of Crimson Joy is being published by Knightwatch Press on July 1st. This novella is a mash up of quiet horror and erotic horror, it tells the story of two sets of neighbors, one elderly, one rich, who are haunted by an erotically charged four poster bed.
– Where did the ideas for the stories come from?
Each idea came from a different place. I had the idea for The Final Cut while working on a completely different novel and quickly jotted it down. I thought it was going to be a novelette but it kept growing until it was a novel. Run to Ground came to me in a flash while thinking about one of the worst little peccadilloes, that’s ever occurred to me. The idea behind Bed of Crimson Joy hit me while I was leaving to go on holiday and I’d left my keys with a kind, elderly neighbor, so she could feed our cats and water our plants. For a brief moment, I wondered what I’d do if I found out she and her husband had taken the opportunity to have wild sex on our bed while we were away, knowing we’d probably never suspect. This became the seed for the rather disturbing opening scene of the novella.
– What is it about these stories that made you want to write the book?
In the case of Run To Ground and Bed of Crimson Joy, it was the fact that the ideas got under my skin, they unnerved and disturbed me until I had to write them down. It was a bit like lancing a boil and bleeding off the poison. I know that if I’m disturbed by an idea, I can disturb my readers too. In the case of The Final Cut, not only did the idea grab me, but I realized it would be a perfect vehicle for exploring a lot my ideas about why we write, read, watch and film horror fiction, not to mention my ideas about the importance of storytelling in general.
– How long did the books take to write?
Each one is a different length, so took a different amount of time. On average I tend to write around 1,000 to 1,500 words a day. So a long novel takes me about three months for the first draft. Then I’ll spend at least another month redrafting. Novellas, because they’re shorter, tend to take a little less time.
-What other upcoming projects do you have in the works?
I have a graphic novel called Parassassins coming out later this year that collects the on-going series I wrote for Aces Weekly. It’s a political sci-fi thriller and is drawn by the Indonesian artist Alfa Robbi. I also have another graphic novel coming out with Markosia called Beyond Lovecraft drawn by the multiple award-winning artist Rob Moran. It’s a portmanteau horror story featuring four stand alone tales and one linking tale all based on the work of H. P. Lovecraft. In addition to that I’m relaunching my website, and launching a webcomic, a YouTube channel, and a Patreon page.
– What is the scariest moment in the books?
Well, I don’t want to give too much away, you’ll have to read them yourself to find out. Plus, you’re always surprised, as a writer, at what people find scary and don’t find scary. Some readers are terrified by the mildest things, while other’s have cast iron stomachs and merely smile at your goriest scenes.
– What is your favorite horror book?
I read voraciously and love so many books it’s impossible for me to say. Psycho by Robert Bloch was one of the first horror books to ever grab me and make me fall in love with the genre. I was 11 years old when I read it and I’ve never been the same since.
Again, there is way, way too many for me to list. Briefly though, when I was a young teen, Robert Bloch and the H. P. Lovecraft circle (Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long and others) had a big influence on me, as did Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Robert Aickman, and Lisa Tuttle. Those writers formed my early views about what horror could and should be.
In later years horror writers like Adam Nevill, Jack Ketchum, Poppy Z. Brite, Kathe Koja and Michael McDowell gave me a lot of inspiration.
– Would the books work as movies?
The Final Cut is set in the world of indie filmmaking, so it might make an interesting film, it would need a fairly good budget for the special effects at the end, though. For some reason, I can’t help thinking Richard Stanley, director of Dust Devil and Hardware would be an ideal director for the film of this book. Bed of Crimson Joy and Run To Ground would be a little cheaper to make, I think, and would lend themselves rather well to the budget of a top rank independent film.