A warm welcome to this week’s guest, James Jobling!
James is the author of the chilling and frightfully relevant novel, National Emergency. This is an exhilarating thrill ride, made terrifying by the fact it feels just a little too real. And when you read his interview, you will see why.
This is a well written, well paced action thriller that you do not want to miss.
1) What gave you the idea for your book National Emergency?
I can remember watching the disorder of the 2011 English riots and I remember how petrified the participators – young and old – looting and burning their own city made me feel. Chaos spread from the surrounding boroughs and swept into other cities virtually overnight. I was shocked at how violent and uncontainable our society can become when forced to clash with an egotistical government that appeared to be shocked at how savage the youth of our nation can become whilst taking away their job opportunities, their homes, their income, even their children at the same time. It probably sounds corny, but my wife and I were pregnant at the time of the riots so I suppose that was also the pivotal moment in my life when I realized I was a father, a husband, and it was up to me to protect my family. There’s a lot of me in the character of Ethan Hardcastle – just without the comic book collection, unfortunately.
2) Is this your first published book?
It is not only my first published book, but also my first piece of completed work. I have always enjoyed writing, especially apocalyptic fiction, but I had an irritating habit of never completing any of my projects. I would bombard my wife with stories and she would wade through them only to become deflated that yet again I had not made it to the finishing line. She refused point blankly to even look at National Emergency until I had finished and edited the final chapter. I suppose you could say she is my most brutal critic.
3) What got you into writing horror?
This one is easy to answer – James Herbert’s debut novel, The Rats! I found this book whilst rifling through my older brother’s comics when I was around ten years old. I can still remember being traumatized by the huge, sinister-looking rat on the front cover. I think I read the whole thing from cover to cover over a weekend (which is good for me these days, never mind when I should still be having nightmares of the Bloodbottler from the BFG) and I submerged myself in this great writer’s work; eventually discovering other horror gems such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shaun Hutson, and a previously unheard of British writer named David Moody and his novel, HATER. Back then, I did not know how much of an influence Moody would go on to have on my life from a writing standpoint. In my humble opinion, he has gone on to earn the moniker of the best British writer of horror fiction since Herbert’s untimely passing.
4) What are you doing next?
Working alongside my business partner, Jeremy Peterson, we have several projects coming to proposed fruition over the next few months. There is the sequel to National Emergency, Despair, and then the third installment of the trilogy, Rise from the Fall, will follow. Unfortunately, during printing of National Emergency, a deep-rooted virus on the computer I wrote it on manipulated the formatting, making it a little befuddled. It is by no means unreadable and these things do happen, but I was a little disheartened, so I am now working on a novel called LAST DAYS which I am going to be releasing for free as a way of an apology. Don’t worry, it has been written on a new laptop.
5) What is it like being a published horror writer? What does your family and friends think?
It feels cool that people like my ideas enough to want to read and (hopefully) enjoy them. However, I do not see myself as a “writer” as such. The field is so crammed with fantastic independent authors that my books fade to nothing in comparison to their wonderful (and sometimes deranged) minds. My friends and family have supported me and I would not have made it this far if it was not for my wife, Trish, Jeremy, and Theresa Derwin. I just hope the finished article has not let any of them down.
6) What advice would you give aspiring authors?
To just read plenty and write plenty. That’s how I did it. Let the brain roll and loll in the words it craves. The more I read horror, the more I wanted to write horror. It’s as simple as that! And if I managed to do it, there’s certainly no reason why nobody else cannot.