2016 Snapshot: Paul Mannering

Interview by David McDonald.

unnamedPaul Mannering is an award winning author of horror, speculative fiction and short stories. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand where he is the current President of SpecFicNZ, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and developing genre fiction in New Zealand.

He is survived by his writing widow, Damaris and their two cats.






You have released a number of series–including the Tankbread books and the Drakeforth Trilogy. What are the different challenges of a series as opposed to stand alone works? Do you have a preference?

I prefer writing books that are part of a series. The Drakeforth Trilogy is currently planned as 5 books.

Tankbread wrapped up with book 4 Tankbread: Black Snow, which is coming in October from Permuted Press.

I’m also working on the second book in the Apocalypse Recon trilogy with co-author Bill Ball.

Standalone stuff has its place – I have a couple of novella’s I’m working on for Severed Press which are shorter reads but are complete stories.

Tankbread_Series_CoversYou’ve managed to find success both through working with a publisher and through self-publishing. Is this hybrid approach a deliberate strategy? What are some of the pros and cons or either path?

Good publishers pay for professional editing. Which is nice. When I’m writing for myself I tend to glaze over after re-wording something for the 100th time. A fresh set of eyes is always helpful.

That said, publishing, especially for indie publishers is a hard business to maintain. The rest of the Drakeforth series will be self-published as Paper Road Press has stopped publishing new works.

Self-publishing can work for gaining the lion’s share of the royalties – however, you also have to pay all the costs (editing, cover design, promotion etc).That is the business end of writing that they don’t tell you about on the recruitment posters.

unnamed (1)What is on the horizon? What can we look forward to in the future from Paul Mannering?

So much stuff. There’s a potential graphic novel project, a story that could do well as a tv mini-series (or a novel) more Drakeforth the 3rd and 4th books in the series are both being written at the moment.

I’m skipping through genres, so I have military, sci-fi, horror, speculative fiction, comedy, apocalyptic, zombies, and even a paranormal romance in my To Be Finished folder.

ApocReconWhat Australian work have you loved recently?

Cohesion Press continue to amaze with their top quality fiction.

They are publishing the best authors from around the world, including Lee Murray’s Into The Mist, and and multi-Bram Stoker Award winner, Hank Schwabe’s American Nocturne short story anthology that is just insanely good.

The most recent Australian author read I thoroughly enjoyed is Andrew J. McKiernan’s Last Year, When We Were Young. A beautiful collection of the strange and disturbing.

Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?

Probably a middle seat between Chuck Tingle and Clive Barker. Chuck because he has created an entire genre around his books which as absurd as they are, actually tap into the zeitgeist of the Western world at the moment. Clive Barker, because he writes the most horrifying and haunting prose that woos you like love poetry.


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