Today I get to interview Tom Gillespie, we talk about his work, writing process, favorite authors and also discuss the Apocalypse. There is a giveaway in the end. Don’t forget to enter!!
When I was a student, my flatmate was a sculptor, and he would often return from his studio with half completed clay heads or twisted, disfigured limbs sticking out of an old, battered and broken suitcase. I don’t know how he survived the underground ride back to the flat without getting arrested.And also Hammer House of Horror, the fabulously scary and slightly camp British TV series from 1980. I wanted to try and capture the feel of the show.
My novel, Painting by Numbers is published by Crooked Cat, and I spotted their call for submissions. Many of my short stories veer off into psychological scariness, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I also wanted to support the two nominated charities, and the brilliant, lifesaving /changing work that they do.
Damaged, deranged and disfigured
I love that existential feeling of disconnecting from the outside world and disappearing into the world that is forming in the front of my mind. But I also love carving, shaping and sculpting the story until it makes sense and I am happy with it (or as happy as I’ll ever be with it)
I don’t have a single favourite author. And my favourites change continuously. But if I had to name one writer that has changed the way I think about writing, it would have to be Raymond Carver. Carver creates landscapes of back and forward story around disarmingly simple, precise situations and ordinariness of setting. He somehow manages to convey whole worlds of meaning using a style that is stripped down, austere and elegant. He is the master of ambiguity.
No one has ever said that to me. Everyone I know desperately wants to quit their day job, so they wouldn’t want to jinx any possibility.
If you could have dinner with any one of your characters who would it be? And what on earth would you say?
I would love to have dinner with Jacob Boyce, the central character in my novel Painting by Numbers. Jacob is an obsessive, egotistical alcoholic who doesn’t care for people all that much. So dinner with him would be an interesting experience.
Lanark by Alasdair Gray
Fear is not my debut. PBN is out in the world now . . . roaming the streets looking for homes to haunt. I’ve also been writing shorts stories and flash fiction for quite some time. Flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) is really interesting because you have to work on a very tight narrative arc, and try and find a way to drop the reader right into the middle of a moment. I’m working on a second novel. Another tale about an obsessive weirdo, and I’m also putting together a compilation of dark, surreal short stories
All my literary heroes are dead . . . so they would be zombies . . . oh wait . . . Alasdair Gray is still breathing. But I’m pretty sure he would save me. Zombies would run a mile from him. His brilliant brain would eat them alive . . . or dead.