2020 Snapshot: Marty Young

Marty Young is a Bram Stoker-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-winning writer and editor, and sometimes ghost hunter.

Marty was the founding President of the Australian Horror Writers Association from 2005-2010, and one of the creative minds behind the internationally acclaimed Midnight Echo magazine, for which he also served as Executive Editor until mid-2013.

When he’s not writing stories or editing anthologies, he’s a Director at MGPalaeo, a leading palynological consultancy company. As part of that, he often finds himself in the deep dark jungles of Papua New Guinea, no doubt wondering what the hell he’s doing there.

His website is www.martyyoung.com

1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My most recent publication is Gutterbreed, which came out June 21 (it’s available here. It’s by far the most violent, horrific, and sadistic thing I’ve ever written, with some chapters a real struggle to write due to their content. I hadn’t intended for the book to grow so dark but that’s what the story dictated…

Here’s a really short blurb: Bi-polar has ruined Detective Jenny Ashton’s life, but when she gets the chance to use the disease for good, she takes it, even though it leads her into a world that shouldn’t exist, filled with monsters of the very worst kind.

My pal David Schembri again provided internal illustrations for the book, as he did for 809 Jacob Street. Dave always does great work, and this time he really captured the gritty feel of the story with his illustrations. They add so much more power to the book.

I’ve also got my mind set on a somewhat different project next – an annual Oz Horror Con. Will be a mammoth amount of work but it would be super cool! Of course, we have the excellent Continuum and Conflux and Swancon but they’re more broad spec fic cons than pure horror ones. I’ve got some plans, some crazy ideas, and some insane friends willing to help out, so we’ll see how it goes – it could be that the next time a Snapshot interview happens, I’m broke and destitute, living on a street corner and having nightmares over such a silly idea! Hahah!

2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?

My best SF community experiences always comes from moments of trial. It’s how the community pulls together to show support and solidarity for others that makes me proud to be a part of it. I won’t mention specifics but there are numerous occasions where so many have come out in support of others, sharing in celebrations and success, or standing shoulder to shoulder to stand up to bullys or to confront racism or sexism, or showing care for those going through tough times. Fundraisers to help struggling writers pay their bills, or cover medical expenses. Readings of authors works to show how much those stories mean to us all. Don’t get me wrong; there are still jerks in the community, the kind of folk you’d like to see dropped off the planet, crazy band wagon burnings that shouldn’t happen, and other moments where we let ourselves down by not speaking up, but in general, most of our community are wonderful people who will do what they can for others. Long may that continue.

3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

Phew… Tough… I always worry I’m going to upset someone by not mentioning them with these kinds of questions. There are so many great writers from down under, and as far as horror goes, you couldn’t go wrong with this lot as a starting point (just hunt down anything they’ve written because it’s all good): Kaaron Warren, Lisa Hannett, Angela Slatter, Paul Haines (RIP – but Paul was goddamn brilliant and everyone needs to read his shit), Robert Hood, Alan Baxter, Aaron Dries, J. Ashley-Smith, Greg Chapman, Lee Murray, Dan Rabarts, Joanne Anderton, Terry Dowling…. I could go on, but that list alone would provide any international fan with one hell of a collection of stories.

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