Interview by Matthew Summers.
Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist from Australia. After joining the Australian Horror Writers Association in 2009, Greg was selected for its mentor program under the tutelage of author Brett McBean. Since then he’s had more than a dozen short stories published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, the US and the United Kingdom. Greg is the author of four novellas, Torment, The Noctuary (Damnation Books, 2011), Vaudeville (2012) and The Last Night of October (Bad Moon Books, 2013). His debut collection, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares, was published by Black Beacon Books in September, 2014. He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written by Bram Stoker Award® winning authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton was published by McFarland & Company in 2012. Witch Hunts won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® on June 15, 2013. He also illustrated the comic series Allure of the Ancients for Midnight Echo Magazine. His latest illustrative work is the one-shot comic, Bullet Ballerina, written by Tom Piccirilli, for SST Publications in the United Kingdom. In January 2016, Voodoo Press published his fifth novella, The Eschatologist. Lycan Valley Press will re-release a second edition of Torment in 2016 and Greg recently signed with Omnium Gatherum Media to publish his debut novel, Hollow House in the autumn of 2016.
Greg Chapman, welcome to Snapshot 2016.
What are you working on right now? Anything exciting?
I’m currently working on a short story that reinvents the origin of a classic monster for an anthology. Other than that I’m sort of in a holding pattern. I guess I’m a tad nervous about how my novel will be received. I know I shouldn’t be, but it’s hard to commit myself to anything new until I’ve gotten past the release (in just a few days!). I have a number of things I want to pursue, but my muse isn’t quite ready yet.
Your debut novel Hollow House was released on July 25th. What can you tell me about it?
It’s my take on the haunted house sub-genre, but also an exploration of ordinary, imperfect people trying to live their lives in an ordinary street. People dominate the story and the haunted house really sits in the background for the first two-thirds of the novel. If I could compare it to another book, it would be similar to King’s ‘Salem’s Lot. It approaches many different themes, but at it’s heart it’s a suburban mystery with some dark, otherworldly undertones.
What’s coming up in the future for you? Will we see you move more into novels or will you continue to write novellas mainly?
I love novellas, but I really think it’s time to dedicate myself to novel-length works for a while. I plan on penning a novel-length sequel to my 2011 novella, The Noctuary, so once I’ve settled on how to expand it, that’s next on the drawing board.
What Australian work have you loved recently?
Lee Battersby’s Magrit was a great little young adult gothic piece and I’m also reading Gary Kemble’s Skin Deep, which is pretty cool. Lee Murray’s Into the Mist was a fun little sci-fi romp too. The next Aussie I plan on reading will be Breet McBean’s The Invasion.
Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip? Why?
Any of these: Clive Barker, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Shirley Jackson, Mary Shelley, Eddie Poe. The only author I’ve had the pleasure of sitting alongside on a long plane trip, was my late friend Rocky Wood. A true honour.