Author interview: Gayne Young
Today I've had the pleasure of interviewing author Gayne Young. This bloke has lived an interesting life, and to tell the truth, I'm a little jealous of the list of countries he's had the chance to explore! He's written a few cool books, most recently 'Bug Hunt', published through Severed Press - you should definitely check it out.
Alister Hodge: Hi Gayne, can you tell us a little about yourself and the major influences on your writing?
Gayne Young: I live in Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country and suffer every allergy season because of it. Damn cedar pollen! I started writing and selling history articles while in college at St. Edward’s University. From there, I turned to writing about the outdoors, mostly hunting, fishing, and adventure. Those gigs have taken me around the world. I’ve hunted Africa, Mexico, Alaska, Paraguay, Argentina, and New Guinea, fished and traveled the Amazon, and traveled five continents. My experiencing wild places allowed me to easily jump into the pulp fiction market. If you can write about stalking an elephant you can probably write about stalking a Bigfoot.
AH: How would you describe your writing style?
GY: How and what I write depends on who I’m writing for. Each magazine I write for has a different audience. The way I write for my books is probably my favorite style as it’s more or less me and what I enjoy. As for my style, I think my friend and fellow writer / editor Doug Howlett summed it up best when he said, “If you mixed Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, Hunter S. Thompson, and four shots of tequila in a blender, a "Gayne Young" is what you'd call the drink!”
AH: You recently published a Kaiju novel through Severed Press titled ‘Bug Hunt’. What attracted you to this genre and what do you think it offers readers?
GY: Bug Hunt is only a Kaiju novel in that the insects are huge. But they’re only huge because the hunters are small. The book takes place in the near future where hunters can shrink themselves and their wares to hunt insects in a controlled environment. The idea came about after watching a few documentaries that showed just how indestructible insects are. I think readers will appreciate the fast-paced action and how grounded the book is in reality…well, not the shrinking part.
AH: Novel writing can be a challenging process. Is there tips you would provide new horror writers on how to move from an idea towards something more substantial they can flesh out into a story?
GY: I’m very scene oriented. I see my book as a movie before I write it out. Because of this, my chapters are short and tight. I also craft notes on characters, locations, and dialogue. But I’m also a huge believer in doing what works for you. Study how others write, take tips here and there, then adapt all that into a manner that works for you.
AH: Horror writing covers an incredibly broad range of styles and topics. Is there anything you feels crosses a line that you won’t write about as an author?
GY: If something doesn’t feel real to me then I have a hard time with it. And what feels real to me doesn’t always make sense. An example of that is me watching Game of Thrones. I have no issues with ice zombies and dragons but for some reason when those woodsy elf fairies or whatever the hell they are come on, I just zone out. I’m like, “That’s so stupid.” Which makes no sense at all. I’m ok with flying reptiles that spit fire but not elves. So, to answer your question I guess I just have to feel something is real before I would want to tackle it. I’m also very aware of what I can and cannot write.
AH: Self-promotion is always challenging. What would be the top three things you would recommend new authors to focus on to help get there work in front of readers?
GY: My three things would be, “Just Keep Trying.” You never know how or when that next contact will come about because of something you did or posted.
AH: Could you name three other horror authors that you think we should search out?
GY: James Carlos Blake doesn’t write horror but the way he grapples violence is truly horrific. And a form of art. Whitley Strieber has scared the crap outta me many a time. I love most of the script work of John Carpenter as well.
AH: Of all your previous work, which of your novels is your favourite, and which novel would you recommend a new reader of your work to pick up first?
GY: I’m always a fan of the next thing I’m working on but would suggest checking out And Monkeys Threw Crap At Me: Adventures In Hunting, Fishing, And Writing for an idea of my non-fiction and Teddy Roosevelt: Sasquatch Hunter for fiction.
AH: Can you tell us about your most recent
GY: My latest is Bug Hunt of which Jake Bible said, “"If you're looking for some great SciFi action and adventure then your hunt is over because Bug Hunt is exactly what you've been looking for!"
AH: Have you got any new novels in the works that we should keep our eyes open for?
GY: The Tunnel is my next Severed Press title and should be out within the next month or so. Here’s the blurb:
Hell lies under the Texas-Mexico Border. When the Acuña Cartel tunnels under the Rio Grande and into the United States, they tap into a vast cavern that’s home to a once thought mythical species.
The massacre that ensues leaves 12 men dead, brings tunnel construction to a standstill, and turns the idea of it ever opening into an unacceptable possibility. Losing money by the hour, the Cartel pulls Captain Jarrett Taylor out of retirement to lead a band of mercenaries under the Earth to eliminate an animal more savage than any human force they’ve ever faced. The mission quickly goes bad and plunges the team into a desperate battle of survival and exodus from the beasts’ very lair.