Hello, hello, hello and hello! Welcome to the Beardy Book Blogger for Day 18 of #Fahrenbruary, the month long celebration of all things Fahrenheit Press and Fahrenheit 13. If you’re unaware of what the hell that is all about then here is a handy link to explain all:
Today I bring you a Q&A with Fahrenheit 13 author Graham Wynd. Graham is the brains behind the superb novella “Satan’s Sorority“; a dark, bloody, sex fuelled tale of control, lust for power, revenge, Satanic rituals and, well, more lust.
It’s great, great fun.
Here’s a bit of blurbage:
“In the fall of 1958 Sandra Delites is packed off to college in Connecticut after an ‘incident’ with another girl.
Her father thinks a small town university will be just the thing to straighten her out, only he hasn’t reckoned on the sisters of Sigma Tau Nu. Not just any sorority, their rites are bloody and the girls are hot – but not for the boys! President Trixie Faust sees a lot of potential in the newest pledge and Sandra is eager to learn: the thrill of the kill is just the beginning for these college girls gone wild.
Halloween will be extra scary this year. Forget black cats, you don’t want one of these sisters to cross your path.”
I posted a guest review of SS by the brilliant Matt Keyes for Day 16 of #Fahrenbruary and you can check that out HERE. You can also find a guest post written by Graham about the influences on the writing of SS… HERE
So, on to the Q&A: Take it away me and Graham…
TBBB: First off, I’d like to to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions for Fahrenbruary.
In a story like Satan’s Sorority, I can imagine that as a writer it could be very tempting to kill off characters that resemble people you may know. Are your characters based on anyone you know? If so, do they know? (and did you bump them off).
GW: There’s a general memory of the college frat dudes that I definitely enjoyed killing. I’m sure they would never see themselves in that portrait although it’s amply clear to other GDIs like me.
TBBB: How much of your story is based on real life experiences?
GW: I think I should refrain from answering that question unless I get subpoenaed. Maybe there were someone else’s experiences. Yeah, let’s say that. I have never stolen anything from Beinecke Library, I swear!
TBBB: To me Satan’s Sorority reads like very much like an 80s frat house horror movie; kinda like Wes Craven meets John Carpenter meets Animal House with a Hammer Horror vibe. Which horror movies influenced the story? (You can read more about this in yesterday’s guest post HERE)
GW: For me it was really more 70s made-for-tv horror movies like The Initiation of Sarah and Satan’s School for Girls and Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, and which (production values aside) still have some charm on re-watching. But I guess the gore factor and the sex are much more of an 80s vibe. I love horror films. Hammer and giallo play a big role in firing my imagination, too. Sometimes more directly as in Madonna of the Wasps.
TBBB: How long have you wanted to be a writer? What was it that finally spurred you on to do it?
GW: I think I’ve always been a writer. I used to write for friends just to amuse them or make them grimace. I think the first time I tried to write for a goal was to win Springsteen tickets, which I did—in 50 words, too. I wrote a lot but I was too averse to rejection to do much. Then I won a contest judged by Clive Barker and he wrote a nice letter to me that kept me going for quite a while. Once you get used to letting rejection roll of your back with a few choice words and gestures, you see if it needs work and send it elsewhere.
TBBB: What does Fahrenheit Press and Fahrenheit 13 mean to you?
GW: It’s a grand bunch of folk who lift each other up. It’s great to have a crew on your side. They’re a talented group, too, who drift just a bit outside the mainstream. No whodunits or by the numbers procedurals but dark and gritty tales that shake you by the throat. They’re great at branding!
TBBB: Is it important to you to be published by an indie press?
GW: I don’t think it’s so much ‘important’ as the best option. I can’t write stuff that stays neatly in marketable genres. If I ever write a bestseller it will be by accident, not through any deliberate choice—I just can’t be normal. I’ve tried at times, but I’m too old to care anymore. I just write the stories that interest me and indie presses like Fahrenheit/13 and Fox Spirit are the only ones who seem to share that interest. If they give up on me, I’ll just self-publish or throw it up online because that’s a lot of work.
TBBB: What does your writing day involve? Do you have any routines or writing superstitions? Those things that you just have to do?
GW: Every day is a writing day for me, at least potentially. When I’m in NY I have a weird schedule because I work in academia, so I’m on campus usually three days and working at home or wherever the rest. A lot of my writing though is non-fiction or grading (writing on student papers). When I’m in Scotland my time is much freer and relaxed so I write a lot more.
TBBB: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Actually, do you have a favourite kind of pant?
GW: It depends (see, there’s that inability to stick to one thing). A short story just pops out. Longer things generally have some kind of notes giving them shape. Sequels or things written to a tight deadline tend to be more plotted. Favourite pants is of course the writer uniform: none!
TBBB: Do you plan ahead several novels in advance or book by book?
GW: I don’t plan much of anything in life. Sometimes I get asked to do a thing and I put it on the list.
TBBB: Without giving too much away about the ending of Satan’s Sorority, do you think we have seen the last of the Sigma Tau Nu sisters? (On a personal note, I really hope we haven’t 😉 )
GW: There may be a lot of corpses, but the Sorority lives on. I may have a story or two up my sleeve. I’ll just visit the Beinecke again…
TBBB: If you could be any character from Satan’s Sorority who would it be and why?
GW: Lilith because she’s a goddess with great power and who wouldn’t want to be summoned by a sorority of wild women?
TBBB: The Satan’s Sorority cover is wonderfully evocative and totally representative of the story inside. How important is a good book cover to you?
GW: I’m vain. I love a good book cover because it makes me look good. I know publishers have the final say but it’s great when they ask for input.
TBBB: Which do you prefer: eBook or physical book? What do you think are the pros and cons of each?
GW: As a reader? It depends. I use both. I like ebooks because I’ve got a library in my pocket. But I’ve got lots of lovely books that I enjoy as objects of art.
TBBB: Tea or coffee? If tea, milk first or last, if at all?
GW: Tea, black like my heart and bitter. Milk is an abomination. It should be immediately turned into cheese or ice cream.
TBBB: Favourite biscuit? Or are you a cake person?
GW: I have a great love for shortbread, though I do enjoy a chocolate digestive (plain chocolate).
TBBB: Ooh, me too; I LOVE shortbread. High Five!!
TBBB: What’s your favourite shade of white?
TBBB: Have you any pets?
GW: I don’t at present, though in NY I share a house with my brother who has a real sweetie of a dog named Connor. I’m going to turn him into an Instagram star.
TBBB: Silk or cotton bed sheets?
GW: It’s cold! Flannel at the mo. I love the idea of silk but I suspect they’d be impractical. Also expensive.
TBBB: Bath or shower? If bath: bubbles or bomb?
GW: Totally a bath bomb. Lush is always luring me in.
TBBB: What was your favourite toy as a child? Or even now?
GW: I got my own phonograph, one of those little ones in a carry case. I loved that thing so much. Music is joy. My toys now include a lot of instruments, probably faves are my kanteles but also my hand drums.
TBBB: My favourite tv show as a kid was the Six Million Dollar Man. I used to spend a lot of time pretending to be Lee Majors/Steve Austin and wishing I was actually bionic. What was your favourite tv show growing up? Did you have any heroes you wanted to be?
GW: I wanted to be Jim West from Wild Wild West. Also living in a fancy caboose seems like a sweet deal but I don’t think Scotrail would go for it.
TBBB: As you know, this is the Beardy Book Blogger, so, if you were to grow a beard, what style and colour would it be?
GW: Like an Edward Gorey character: elaborate, curly, sophisticated grey, maybe with small animals nestling in it.
TBBB: If you could have any superpower what would it be and how would you use it? Would you be a superhero or a supervillain? What would be your superhero/villain name?
GW: My superpower would be instantaneous teleportation because I spend way too much time (and money) flying in airplanes. Wherever I am there are people I miss somewhere else, so I could nip out for a cuppa or a drink with someone and still get to my class on time. Also endless opportunities for pranking. I wouldn’t be evil, but it would be fun to take the piss out of a few evil folks. My superhero name would be the Dundee Uberskiver.
Thank you so very much to Graham for answering my questions.
You can buy Satan’s Sorority direct from Fahrenheit 13 here:
Graham also has a new book coming out in March from Fox Spirit, “Love Is A Grift” – check out that gorgeous cover below: