Jamie's Darker Side of Nonsense.: In The Spotlight: William Cook

Jamie's Darker Side of Nonsense.: In The Spotlight: William Cook:

October 20th, 2011

In The Spotlight: William Cook



It is with absolute pleasure that I present to you an interview with an outstanding writer and artist, William Cook. For a long time now I have been a fan of his artwork; I discovered him a few years ago while surfing the net and have kept tabs on him since. Recently however, I found him on a social networking site and we have become friends. When I found out he was releasing a novel, I knew I had to be the one to interview him. So here he is. The one, the only William Cook!

Introduce yourself, William.

My name is William Cook and I’m a writer from New Zealand. I also illustrate in my spare time and have done a few book covers and other work. I have had a few short stories and poetry previously published but Blood Related is my first novel, due to be released by Angelic Knight Press on November the 15th. I write mainly in the Horror/Thriller genre but also have a lifelong interest in poetry and the classics.

[official author/book site]
[publisher]
[private lit. related blog]
[poetry site]

What is it you do?

I write and illustrate when I can and look after two pre-schoolers when I can’t.

Tell the readers about your novel, Blood Related.

Blood Related is a serial-killer/crime novel told in a first-person narrative style from the killer’s point-of-view. Guy N Smith described it as a “thought provoking thriller,” Mark Edward Hall called it a “terrifying psychological thriller,” so I guess it is primarily a thriller novel although a few of my readers describe it as Horror fiction.
Without giving too much away, the lead character is Caleb Samael Cunningham, a diabolical serial-killer with an inherited psychopathology. Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their psychopathic talents. Eventually stepping out from the shadows of his murderous forebears, Caleb puts in motion his own diabolical plan to reveal himself and his ‘art’ to the world. He’s a true aesthete, an artist of death. His various ‘installations’ have not received the status he feels they deserve, so Caleb is expanding his ‘canvas.’

What inspired you to write?

BR took five years to write and it was a long time coming. I have always been writing in some form or another since I was a teenager and this is my first novel. I always wanted to write a novel since I began writing and this experience has completely blown away any misconceptions I had about being a published writer. My inspiration was fed mainly by my admiration for other writers and what they had produced.

Where does your inspiration come from?

The initial period of creating the ‘world’ and the characters of Blood Related, were inspired by all the other books (both fiction and non-fiction) I had read over the years that dealt with psychological terror. Movies have had a big influence on the way I ‘see’ a story develop in my mind’s eye before I put it on paper. So, I would say that I have been inspired to write Blood Related by what I have seen and read in a similar vein over the last twenty years. The fact that there are hundreds of these cultural artefacts out there motivated me to write my own version, essentially a variation on a theme, but I have tried to make it a variation terrifying enough to scare whoever reads it! There was a lot of research involved with this book and astute readers should be able to identify various nods to the horror genre and to the macabre world of Serial Killer culture, that is to say, where my ‘inspiration’ comes from, in regards to Blood Related.


What is the best thing about writing?

Completing the work and being able to read it and feel satisfied that it is good enough to share with other people.

What is the worst thing about writing?

Not being able to take a story where you want it to go, unless of course if one of those ‘happy accidents’ happen and a whole new story opens up. It is also a very time consuming and slightly lonely experience that needs its own space and time, which is usually hard fought for, with two pre-schoolers and a wife that deserve equal (if not more) attention.

What specific goal would you like to achieve with your writing?

Ultimately I would like to be able to write fulltime and support my family with a decent income generated from having good book sales but, more realistically, I would like to be able to write something that will be read and enjoyed by people in the next century.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?

I would like to encourage them to read Blood Related of course and to check out my website for a list of other recommended titles within the genre. http://bloodrelated.wordpress.com/

If you could give any advice to a fellow writer, what would it be?

Keep writing and don’t give up. Remember, not everyone will like what you write, but there are people out there who will read what you have written because they think it’s worth reading. I’m sure it’s probably been said before by greater writers than myself, but for what it’s worth, here’s my formula for writing: 5% inspiration, 45% motivation and 50% perseverance.

What was the most influential and/or life changing story you have ever read?

Probably the main works that I have read that have influenced me the most when it comes to writing are Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and the HWA’s handbook ‘On Writing Horror’ edited by Mort Castle. James Ellroy’s ‘Killer on the Road’ made me realize that great books don’t always need to be classic in nature, just well written and different enough in order to interest the reader. ‘Psycho’ by Robert Bloch is probably one of my favourite novels, because of the way it is written and because of the profound influence this work has had on what is commonly referred to as the Horror genre.

Thank you very much, William. I wish you good luck with your book and for the future.

Blood Related will be released on the 15th of November 2011 by Angelic Knight Press.


Art work and video courtesy of William Cook.


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