Exclusive interview with horror-fantasy author Lou Yardley

In a new interview on House of Tortured Souls I got an opportunity to ask fantasy-horror author Lou Yardley a few questions about her process for writing, self-publishing and her recently released We All Scream for Ice Cream

 

Q. For someone who hasn’t read any of your books, how would you describe your style of writing?

A. Umm… Good question. Probably fast-paced with a touch of gore here and there, and with a dollop of humour thrown in for good measure.

 

Q. When did you first realise you wanted to be a professional writer?

A. I think it was a couple of years ago. I’d recently published The Other’s Voice and, although the book isn’t everything, I wanted it to be and nobody bought it, I found that I really enjoyed the process. After that the only option was to keep going.

Q. What attracts you to the horror genre when it comes to writing?

A. It’s just the way my mind works. Over the years, I’ve come up with various stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres… but do you know what happens as soon as I go to write them? Horror comes out, that’s what. I’ve just come to accept that my mind is a little bit twisted and that’s absolutely okay.

Also, it helps that horror is a lot of fun to write and read (and watch if we’re talking movies). Horror can be all manner of things too. It’s not limited to ghost stories or slashers; we’ve got creature features, possessions, demonic entities, human beings (they’re bloody scary) and so much more. It can be funny. It can be serious. It can something in between. The horror community delights in grabbing the rule book and feeding it to the nearest ravenous otherworldly being.

 

Q. Do you have a specific process for coming up with ideas when writing a new story?

A. I find that handwriting things in the early stages really helps. Using a pen and paper seems to be the perfect way to get the ideas out. It’s also useful for if I’ve written myself into a hole. Brainstorming’s a lot easier when you can just scribble all over the page, rather than being confined to what you can type on a computer screen.

 

Q. Have you based any of the characters on specific people and do they know that you have written about them in the book?

A. Oh yes… and I don’t think so. That’s all I’m saying!

Q.  Your latest book We All Scream for Ice Cream is your most imaginative yet. What can people expect from the book and how did you come up with the idea of a horror story based around an ice cream van and what turns out to be deadly ice cream?

A. I know it sounds super cheesy, but the ‘fun’ scenes actually came to me in a dream. My name’s Lou and I dream about homicidal desserts and dudes with tentacles.

With We All Scream for Ice Cream you can expect a bit of a nostalgia trip, a few giggles, a whole load of weirdness and a smattering of gore.

 

Q. You seem to be constantly busy in addition to the novel Rise of the Carnivores and the short story We All Scream for Ice Cream you have a third book which you are looking to release later this year. The novel The Deal Maker. How long does it take you to complete a story from start to finish and what drives you to turn around your project so quickly?

A. The writing usually takes around two months for a novel (less for a short story or novella), but the editing is a longer process. Once I get started on a project that I’m excited about (like The Deal Maker), I find it hard to leave it alone. That means that I’m always picking away at it and the story soon builds up. I also use a variety of different methods to write – including typing on my laptop, handwriting and writing on my phone. This really helps to keep things fresh… and it means that I can write anywhere at any time.

 

Q. Your next novel is The Deal Maker. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from the book?

A. I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE! In short, this story is about a demon who grants favours in exchange for body parts, which he then uses to replace the knackered bits on his own body. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues! We’ve got a cast of very human characters who have to decide how far they’ll go to achieve their goals.

At the moment, The Deal Maker is a standalone novel, but I think I may revisit Jack (the demon) at some point in the future. There are so many stories that I can tell with him.

The The Deal Maker is out on the 12th July 2019 and it’s available to pre-order from all of the usual places now including my webshop.

 

Q. You have created some memorable horror characters and created your own take on the Werewolf genre with HellHounds. Are there any other famous characters or stories that you would like to give your own unique take on?

A. I’ve got a massive Chucky/Child’s Play obsession going on at the moment, so little ideas along those lines keep popping into my head. Maybe the possessed toy idea has been done to death, but I think I can still keep it fresh. I hope…. We’ll see…

Q. What has been your favourite book to write so far?

A. Ether We All Scream for Ice Cream or The Deal Maker … but that may just be because they’re new and fresh in my mind. They were both a lot of fun because I felt like I was free to do whatever I wanted. There are some pretty outlandish images in them, and they make me grin like the Cheshire Cat whenever I think of them.

 

Q. As you continue to evolve and change as a writer, have you ever been tempted to revisit some of your previous books and make changes to the story?

A. Yes and no. If I had an infinite amount of time then I would go back and rewrite some of my earlier work, but I’d prefer to focus on new stuff. I’ve got loads of stories planned and new ideas pop into my head all of the time.

 

Q. Do you have any other projects which you are working on?

A. I do indeed! I’m currently working on a brand-new book called Inherited Evil. I can’t say too much about it at the moment, as I’m still fleshing out the details and getting the first draft done, but I can promise that it will be spooky, gory fun.

 

Q. It is difficult to break into the market and like so many authors you have taken the decision to self-publish. As someone who is currently building up an audience what advice would you give to someone who is considering the option of self-publication?

A. Self-publishing is relatively easy but building up an audience is hard. My advice would be to get to know the community that you’re aiming to entertain. If it’s horror, talk to horror folks online or meet up with people at conventions. When you do talk to them, mention your book, but not too much – no-one wants to be accosted by someone screaming at them to buy their novel, no matter how good it is.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen loads of online companies that claim to have the winning formula to selling books. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. However, learning the algorithms for certain online retailers is all very well and good… until they change the way their businesses work (which they do – frequently). By all means look into that stuff, but I’ve found the best thing to do is to build relationships (online or in person) with real people. If you write horror, talk to fellow horror fans. Be a human being – people tend to dig that.

 

All of  Lou Yardley books are available from the online shop louyardley.bigcartel.com 


Posted by Philip Rogers

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