Time is flying at the moment; it’s less than four weeks to ‘Snuff’s’ release on September 1st. It’s my most brutal novel yet, and a few people have asked me why I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone of supernatural horror and historical fantasy to try splatter.
Many, many years ago (2001) I had a throwaway short story also called ‘Snuff’ published in a magazine called ‘Unhinged’ (Unhinged was published by a friend, Paul Lockey, who sadly I lost contact with years ago.) The story was about a young woman who is kidnapped to take part in fights to the death, and who gets a buzz from the fighting.
The story was well received – one reviewer thought it the best in the magazine – and the theme of a woman getting a thrill from being a ‘star’ of snuff movies was one I thought had potential. So, the full-blown novel was born.
My background is in archaeology and most of my novels have an archaeology or history angle. ‘Snuff’ is no different, in that the main characters are archaeologists. The site headquarters are loosely based on a dig I went on at Whithorn as an undergraduate.
I wrote the novel many years ago – it was my third, behind ‘Andraste’s Blade’ and an unpublished story about Ancient Britons. It’s not taken this long to get published because of any problems I’m aware of with it, but because of its brutality. Sex and violence are necessary to the story, and both needed to be shown without pulling any punches, otherwise the novel would be diluted and less hard-hitting than it needs to be to work. It’s taken me many redrafts over several years to get the sex and violence at the right sort of level. I particularly wanted them to be secondary to the plot and characterisation.
Overall I’m very happy with the way ‘Snuff’ turned out.
The novel will be published on 1 September by Damnation Books.