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.


The Dark Poetry of William Cook: Aspects of Infinity

The Dark Poetry of William Cook: Aspects of Infinity: I remember how it all began, as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was a fine morning, crisp and cold, but full of sun. I woke up...

Angelic Knight Press: Blood Related

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Related/239923426057340


"Blood Related, William Cook's great thriller/horror tale scheduled for release by Angelic knight Press in November, has its own Facebook page now. We will be adding new information and cover art as it becomes available. Go over, visit, and like the page!"



New 'official' author's blog for 'Blood Related' here

 

Back Story. Behind the Scenes, 'Blood Related' out-takes.

More sneak peaks at the origins of 'Blood Related'

Throughout the book you will find these adages referenced to some degree. Inescapable truths about the evil of humanity. The degree to which some of us can go, parasitic hominid but essentially as those who have come before, right back to the ocean, the shallow end of the gene-pool. After all, in some ways we are all Blood Related.

Food for thought.

'Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.'
- Jean Rostand


For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. 
- William Shakespeare
Source: Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Hamlet at II, ii)


The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.
- Sigmund Freud

It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.
- Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) British author.

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
- Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) British author and intellectual.

When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder. 
- Simone Weil (1910-1943) French Philosopher


Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, the midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; invades the sacred hour of silent rest and leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast. 
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) British author.


Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest. 
- W. H. Auden (1907-1973) English-born poet and man of letters.
 

Murder in the murderer is no such ruinous thought as poets and romancers will have it; it does not unsettle him, or fright him from his ordinary notice of trifles; it is an act quite easy to be contemplated.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.

- Graham Greene (1904-1991) English writer.

People begin to see that something more goes to the composition of a fine murder than two blockheads to kill and be killed – a knife – a purse - and a dark lane. Design, gentlemen, grouping, light and shade, poetry, sentiment, are now deemed indispensable to attempts of this nature.

 - On Murder, Considered As One Of The Fine Arts. Thomas de Quincey (1827)



Once that you’ve decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you can find that your hands are still willing
Then you can turn a murder into art.

The Police, ‘Murder by Numbers’



Acts must be carried through to their completion. Whatever their point of departure, the end will be beautiful. It is because an action has not been completed that it is vile.

 - Genet, Journal du Voleur

A work of art is a dream of murder, which is realized by an act.

 - Sartre, Saint Genet

In that every action today leads to murder, direct or indirect, we cannot act until we know whether or why we have the right to kill.

 - Camus, L’Homme revolte



There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create . . .

- T.S. Eliot, ‘the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’


We have to become murderers in order to experience ourselves as real . . . isn’t that horrible?
 - Gregor von Rezzori, The Death of my Brother Abel

The murderer is the last man who still seeks human contact; the remaining members of the species merely continue to ride past each other on escalators. In such a world, murder and conflict govern humanity.
 - Heiner Muller


The Second Coming
W.B Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
……….



And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse,
      Which from the links of the great chain of things               20
      To every thought within the mind of man
      Sway and drag heavily, and each one reels
      Under the load towards the pit of death;
      Abandoned hope, and love that turns to hate;
      And self-contempt, bitterer to drink than blood;
      Pain, whose unheeded and familiar speech
      Is howling, and keen shrieks, day after day;
      And Hell, or the sharp fear of Hell?

From Prometheus Unbound by Percy Bryce Shelley

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