Martin Livings’ new tale Rope is now available in e-book format from Dark Prints Press – along with my novella Vaudeville.
I managed to nab Martin for a quick interview (make sure you check out the interview he did with me over at his blogsite)
– Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Martin Livings?
Ah, the eternal question. Who am I? Where did I come from? Well, I live in Perth, have a beautiful wife and a precocious guinea pig, love horror movies, and for twenty years this year I’ve been publishing short stories in as many different places as I can possibly manage, with over seventy acceptances so far. My first novel, CARNIES, was published by Hachette Livre in 2006, and was nominated for both the Aurealis and Ditmar awards, which was really gratifying. “Rope” is my first eBook, and I’m excited as hell to see it in the wild!
– Where did the inspiration for “Rope” come from?
“Rope” was originally written for a proposed Western Australian horror themed four-novella collection, with stories written by three WA horror luminaries and, er, me. The collection didn’t end up happening, though, and I believe all three of the other stories have since found good homes and critical acclaim, but “Rope” went in my bottom drawer until Craig from Dark Prints started asking for novellas. The rest, as the cliched say, is history. A good part of the inspiration for the story itself came from the fact that my mother actually went to school with Eric Edgar Cooke, the last man to be hanged at Fremantle Prison. That sparked the idea of looking at all of the executions that occurred there, so I dove in to the research and read detailed accounts of all forty-four hangings that took place in the prison. I realised that people always talked about the crimes and the aftermath, but very little attention was paid to the act of the hanging itself, probably because it’s not a very nice subject. Reading newspaper accounts of forty-four hangings, then writing about them, wasn’t necessarily the healthiest of things to do to my poor brain; I had bad dreams for weeks, which probably helped in the creative process in the end! I just wanted to explore what it would be like to witness so many deaths, to be responsible for them, and yet to believe yourself to be a good person. How it would change you. The story wrote itself from there, pretty much.
– What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I’m incredibly excited to be launching my first short story collection, LIVING WITH THE DEAD, at the beginning of October at GenreCon in Parramatta. This collection is also from Dark Prints Press, and is basically my greatest hits compilation, the best of twenty years of hard horror slog, with twenty reprinted stories and three brand new ones. I can’t wait for this to come out, it’s going to be awesome!
– And finally, Beatles or Stones?
Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia.
Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications).
He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013.
He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.
Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters.
* Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)
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I remember reading 'Rope' back in the day when it was first written. It was very, *very* good then. It's very pleasing to see it released into the wild.