I’ve been writing short stories since the early 1990s, and have amassed quite a collection over the years, so when I was asked by Surrealist artist Jens Rusch to donate a short story for his visual project The Magic Carpet Lodge, I revisited my collection, and decided to publish six of my best short stories. They all share similar themes of the occult and horror, some being written when I was in a band in the 1990s, others being written in the very early 2000s, so the influence of music and Freemasonry have filtered into some of them.
I grew up with weekly doses of Tales of the Unexpected and the Hammer House of Horror TV series during the 1970s, and I liked how short contained stories about the occult could twist and turn, and how some of the stories conveyed on those series put forward how the the real world could easily merge with the unreal, so the audience was never sure if the stories entered a complete dreamlike world, giving them an ambient and abstract quality.
I was also a fan of the Jerry Cornelius novels by Michael Moorcock, the early books being published in the 1960s and 1970s. These novels also have an abstract quality and create dreamlike landscapes, presenting stories that can either be interpreted as self-contained or as stories that merge as part of a series. Another inspiration for my writing were the Wonderland books by Lewis Carroll and the Oz stories by L Frank Baum; stories that told of otherworlds that could be accessed through portals of some kind. So, these influences all filtered into my own story writing, and allowed me to create new vistas and unusual characters that inhabit psychedelic and surrealistic dreamscapes.
It was also a nice break from the academic work, and I hope you enjoy the new book.