Tell us, if you don’t mind, a little about yourself.
I grew up in London, where I went to school two minutes’ walk from the house in which noted serial killer Dennis Nilsen did his stuff. The most horrific thing I ever saw around there was a squirrel nailed to a tree, although I suspect Dennis wasn’t involved in that one. Although…hmm. Career-wise, I was once heckled while onstage by someone shouting “You suck!”, and couldn’t think of a snappy comeback so turned my fuzz pedal on instead to drown out the abuse. They were probably right anyway, so fair’s fair.
Could you give us some background on how you began writing, and in particular, what drew you to writing horror?
I started writing at the beginning of 2015, after playing music for 20+ years but feeling I didn’t have much to say musically right then. Mostly I write fiction located somewhere between horror, SF and a twisted version of the everyday. The horror I tend to like is usually found in details within non-horror books – J.G. Ballard, China Miéville, Paul Bowles and other favourites are all capable of writing shiver-inducing passages that are all the more disturbing for taking the reader by surprise. I wanted to communicate some of that atmosphere in my own writing, although admittedly my story in the anthology is atypical in being pretty much straight black comedy.
Can you tell us a bit about your story that appears in Turn to Ash, Vol. 1?
I had an idea for writing a flash fiction about an evil tooth fairy, sat down with an opening sentence and 4700 words later I was done! Not really flash fiction in the end, I suppose. I wanted to write something with absolutely no heroic characters at all, à la the best noir fiction (Charles Willeford, James M. Cain et al), and like to think I succeeded. An interesting thing I’ve discovered about horror is that you don’t necessarily need to tease out a deeper meaning or truths about the human condition – you just need to scare or horrify people. The realisation was quite liberating!
Do you have any recent and/or upcoming work that you’d like to share?
All publications are listed on my website – I have several stories upcoming, and hopefully more acceptances on the way. Still waiting for The New Yorker to come calling…For recent work, try ‘Quert’ at Unsung Stories: http://www.unsungstories.co.uk/short/2016/27/5/quert
Where, if anywhere, can we find you on the Internet?
I’m at http://matt-thompson.com and on Twitter @24wordloop (caveat: I hate Twitter). Plus several music pages which are linked to from the website.
Anything else you’d like to share about your work or anything else going on in this universe (or any other)?
Most writers will tell you they want readers to say the four magic words – “and what happened next?”. I just want readers to expectorate the one magic word – “ugh”. That, friends, is all.