Author interview, Emma Slaughter


Welcome all.

Today I’m chuffed to be interviewing Emma Slaughter.

Hi Emma. Welcome. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name’s Emma, I’m 33 years old, so only just an adult in Hobbit years!

  1.     When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I don’t think I realised as such. I never ‘wanted to be a writer’ as in planned it, I just got a story in my head one day that refused to leave until I had written it down, and it spiralled from there.

   2.      What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’m realistic. Very few writers become successful enough to do it full time, much less have a comfortable living off of it. I’m satisfied if I reach people with my writing, no matter how few people that may be. Although the successful writer bit is always a dream, even if it is a pipe one!

  3.    Which writers inspire you?

I used to say people like Stephen King and Jo Rowling, Stephen for the sheer volume of quality work he produces, and Jo for the fact she was one of the rags to riches success stories that every fledgling writer dreams of. Now it’s those I have made friends with online – David Mccaffrey, Chris Trebault-Blay, Rob Enright, Donna Maria McCarthy – real authors who make such an effort with fellow writers. They make you feel like you are part of a community.

   4.    So, what have you written? Only one novel so far – Lonely As A Cloud – a diary from the point of view of the last human being alive, and her journey to find other survivors, interspersed with mother nature explaining why the human race had to be wiped out. I did write poetry when I was a young angsty teen but they were God awful.

   5.    What are you working on at the minute?

I’m currently editing my second book – The Ghost Lights.

    6.   Why do you write?

Because I have stories to tell. Also because it helps my anxiety and depression.

   7.    Where do your ideas come from?

Some from real life, some from noticing a gap in certain subjects (for example there are few books post-apocalyptic that have just one survivor) and some spiral from reading an unusual fact about something. For example The Ghost Lights is inspired by the lights that are left on at all times in a theatre. In reality this stemmed from the fact the lights were gas powered, so a light left on helped prevent the build-up of gas leading to explosions. The fiction was that the light was left on for the theatre’s resident ghost. Although there are no ghosts in the book!

   8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

A mismatch of methods. I usually start writing from an initial idea, and then if I find it’s stalling a little I will work out a rough outline so I know where to go next.

   9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve become more disciplined…for the most part. I’ve also learned how to look at my work objectively, and to ignore reviews. Bad or good, it’s somebody’s opinion.

  10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Easiest thing is writing when you have got into the right mind-set. In fact it’s hard to stop when the inspiration hits. The hardest thing can be the opening line.

  11.   Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot! I don’t have a favourite author per se, I just go to the library every couple of weeks and pick up a dozen books.

  12.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? The main advantage about self-publishing is that you don’t have to wait for a publisher to decide whether your book is marketable, and that you have total creative control. Paradoxically this is also the negative – unless you have the money you have to rely on yourself (or possibly some nice friends) to edit, develop a cover, format the book properly and above all market it.

  13.   Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

Never stop. Even if you think your work is never going to be popular it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you touch one person with your story.

  14.  How do you relax?

I craft. Cross stitch, paper-craft, jewellery making, mixed media…you name it I do it.

  15.  What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have one! So many books, so little time.

  16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

That’s a hard one! I’ll narrow it down to two – Mr Jingles from The Green Mile purely because I’d love to do nothing but roll a spool and eat peppermint candies all day, and Peeves from Harry Potter cos he looks like he has some fun! Sorely missing from the last book I think.

Thanks Emma for a nice chat. You’ve opened my eyes to the joys of being a mouse.

Check back soon for more interviews. Here are Emma’s various links. Check her out:







Coming soon. Sweet Nightmares by Zizi Cole

Moving back to her hometown, Ravensville after a ten year absence, Alexandrea Cooper starts adjusting to life at home again, when her parents are brutally murdered. The police have no suspects but suddenly Alexandrea becomes plagued by nightmares of a mysterious killer. After these nightmares start, she realizes there is more to the world than what she originally believed. She is haunted by her mother’s ghost and finds out that magic exists. When she is reunited with her high school sweetheart; Jake Morris, the nightmares begin to intensify, and attempts on Alexandrea’s life soon escalate. Are the nightmares, just nightmares? Or do they mean more? Can Alexandrea and Jake stop the killer before it’s too late? Sweet Nightmares is the first book of the DAMNED Series; a dark fantasy by debuting author Zizi Cole.

Take a look at Zizi Cole (@zizicole):

Author Interview, Chris Botragyi


Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chris Botragyi

Hi Chris. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Phil,

I’m Chris Botragyi, 42 and author of nasty horror novel Blurred Vision. Originally from Frinton in Essex, I now live in Southend. I’m studying an English degree, and currently volunteer as an English LSA at an alternative school for children not in mainstream schooling.

1.      When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I had always liked creative writing when I was young, but it was around 15 years ago that I began writing properly. Poetry was a good way of expressing life that was very dark for me at times. It was my way of expelling my personal demons so to speak.

2.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

As writers we all want success; but while that’s nice, for me it’s about the prestige more, the recognition.

3.     Which writers inspire you?

I’m a big fan of Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles. The richness of her writing is nothing short of amazing. The perniciousness of her characters and their lives is sublime.

4.     So, what have you written? 

As well as Blurred Vision, I’m a 23 time multi-published poet whose work has appeared in a variety of anthologies over the years. I have had a few certificates of commendation to boot! I used to write film reviews for Colchester Circle Online Magazine too, which I really enjoyed.

5.     What are you working on at the minute?

At the moment I’m only working on promoting BV, which in itself is time consuming. I have a few unfinished projects that may see the light of day, but for now it’s BV all the way!

6.     Why do you write?

I write to free myself of burdens. As weird as that sounds, it’s a therapeutic way to rid my mind of all the bizarre thoughts and things that pollute my mind on a daily basis!

7.    Where do your ideas come from?

From the darkest recesses of my mind. As clichéd as that is, it’s true. My upside down life has given me a plethora of material with which to utilise for works; whether that’s characterisation or horrific experiences, life is there, and ongoing.

8.     Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I have a rough idea of what I’m looking for and how I want things to go. But we know that never always goes to plan. Plots change, characters get removed or added, so I tend to finally get the story down and go through chopping and hacking until the rough version is done.

9.     How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

As said, life offers you a multitude of experiences with which to work with. I find that with this, and feedback/reviews, it helps me to broaden my scope within my writing – be even more ambitious and ‘out there’.

10.   What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Easiest? That’s got to be the ideas and writing the story. But editing… That I hate! I edited BV 12 times before a professional editor got their hands on it. Then a proofreader and more line edits ensued until I felt we were all happy with it.

11.    Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I try to read when I can. Anne Rice is a favourite, as is Brett Easton Ellis and Homer. But I’m always finding one off books that I love.

12.   What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

As I’m published by BNBS, I have no experience of self-publishing. However, there are definitely advantages to being self-published these days. It’s cheap and easy to do. The downside is that many assume that writing a book means just what it is. Unfortunately many don’t understand that you need editors, proofreaders and plenty of time to promote and build up potential readers/followers. But that being said, I know authors who have followed the self-publishing route/rules and have been very successful?

 13.      Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

 Yes. See question 12! Don’t fall into the trap of a halfhearted attempt at writing and self-publishing. If you’re going to do it, do it right; it’s an all or nothing situation. The more hard work you put in, the more you’ll get out of the experience. 

14.    How do you relax?

 Relax…what does that mean? Joking aside, I find solace in flaking out on the sofa or at the cinema watching an awesome movie.

15.    What is your favourite book and why?

 Tough question. Love American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis as well as Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice. Big favourite though is Jumper by Stephen Gould, that’s a superb read!


16.   Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

 I think that would have to be Lestat De Lioncourt from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He is a constant thorn in the side who will push each and every boundary possible to gain experiences old and new! Great character.

Thanks for a great chat Chris. Nice mug by the way.

Check back soon for another author interview. You can find Chris’s links below:

 Twitter Take a look at Chris Botragyi (@ChrisBotragyi):