SHORT, SHARP INTERVIEW: PAUL KANE

PDB: Can you pitch your latest publication/ project in 25 words or less? The Mammoth Book of Body Horror: The Fly, The Thing, Re-Animator; King, Matheson, Herbert, Bloch, Campbell, Collins, Barker… Body Horror’s history in short story form.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently? 
I’ve been a huge fan of Fringe since the start, and I’m loving the new season. The fact they’re not afraid to alter the format – this time having a universe where Peter never existed – means it never gets stale. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Eternal Law to begin with, but ended up really liking it… shame they’ve cancelled it. 
 
Being Human’s new season is as good as it ever was; for a show to survive the loss of three main characters and do that is just pure genius. More power to Toby Whithouse’s elbow! 
 
True Blood seems to be getting back into its stride after a dodgy end of last season. Grimm holds a lot of promise, in a fun kind of way – though I would say that, having written RED
 
In terms of movies, we’ve just seen The Woman in Black, which I enjoyed… once I could get my head around Daniel Radcliffe playing a father. But I’m really looking forward to the slew of films coming up, such as Wrath of the Titans, Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and Judge Dredd.   

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader? 
I like to think so, it’s just a case of switching off the part of your brain that edits and looks for plot structure etc. If you’re really enjoying a book, I think that happens anyway, because you get sucked into the story. It’s the same with watching films; you have to forget how they’re made and just try and enjoy them.  

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television? 
I’ve written several short films, I’ve had a couple of them produced now, and am working on a couple of features – one based on a book of mine for a director in the UK, the other based on a well-known bestselling novel. 
 
I also co-produced a Hellraiser fan film once. I’ve done a couple of TV scripts and have just finished my first short theatre script, so the answer is a resounding… yes!PDB: How much research goes into each book? 
It depends what kind of book it is. For the non-fiction, quite a lot. I’ve just finished compiling a book of Hellraiser interviews with the makers of the mythology – to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the release of the first film – and a massive amount of research went into that, same as it did with The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy
 
Something like the Arrowhead trilogy needed a lot of research, too, especially the medical and military stuff – though I was very lucky to have experts advising me on that. I also had to visit a lot of the locations; the private tour round Nottingham Castle with Marie and Steve Volk was one of my all-time favourite bits of research, though. It still makes me smile today to think about it. 
 
But for something like Of Darkness and Light, there was very little, because I was drawing on my own experiences of growing up on a council estate, being on the dole and being afraid of the dark. That made it quite a personal novel for me. 

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer? 
Oh, very! We’ve been using it more and more to promote our books over the last few years. Things like Myspace and then Facebook have meant a huge difference in the way we sell our books and advertise events. We’re not on Twitter yet, but have been advised to join by our publisher, so watch this space I guess.
PDB: What’s on the cards in 2012?  
We’ve got quite a few gigs lined up – signings, talks and events – over the coming months, many of which are related to either the Mammoth book or my latest collection: The Butterfly Man and Other Stories from PS Publishing (http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/the-butterfly-man-hc-by-paul-kane-1014-p.asp ). For starters we’re Guesting at Alt.Fiction and Derbyshire Literary Festival. But Marie and I are also on the organising team of FantasyCon again, which promises to be a great event (http://fantasycon2012.org/ ). Publications-wise: as well as the Hellraiser book, I have a novel due out later on in the year, another anthology, a couple of novellas and possibly a book or two more, but I can’t really talk about any of it. It’s shaping up to be my busiest year yet, though.