Interview with John Vault

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working as a technical writer and web developer and renovating my house. I'm a habitual learner and these two occupations push all the buttons from that perspective.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I type key words into a search bar. I'll often try something unusual on a whim to see where it takes me. I browse book catalogues like others browse the web.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I've still got it on my laptop! Two thirds of a novel with a very complex, multi-tiered plot that got completely out of control. I may yet finish it - who knows.
What is your writing process?
Sit down and begin. I rarely go in with a plan. For me this works best for short stories. With novels I have to re-read the previous chapter to get into the flow but usually I can rejoin the tale at the required pace. More importantly for me is when to stop writing. I never end with something that's resolved. If I get to the end of a chapter, or a key part of the story, I immediately start the next part. If I don't I tend to lose the flow.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Pan book of horror stories - a great series of anthologies starting I think in the 1960s. I was very young and I didn't sleep properly for weeks! From then on I was hooked on horror.
How do you approach cover design?
From a brand perspective. If I want to be portrayed as a brand I need cover consistency so that my work is easy to recognise. Other than that It's all about the story and the cover usually depicts a key moment or a symbol thereof.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything. I regularly read Shakespeare and Terry Pratchet but also anything quirky or unusual. I have about six books currently on the go.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I used to own a Kobo but I trod on it getting out of bed one day (the disadvantage of ereaders, a book wouldn't have suffered in the slightest). I didn't bother to replace it because I have perhaps fifty books that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth. I don't spend my time forcing my work on people but as ebooks gain popularity I meet a lot of people who dream of publishing their own work and so I can often offer helpful advice which in turn garners curiosity about my own work - often resulting in the sale of my complete works. I also tend to get good reviews - which helps.
Describe your desk
Small - just enough room for a laptop - and a tequila diabolo.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a mill town in 1960s West Yorkshire in the UK. I didn't have the best of starts but my mum was the best. There was a dark side to the place though and yes, it really affected my outlook on life - I'm a profound cynic - a trait that's constantly reflected in my writing and in the relationships between the characters that I write about.
Published 2014-11-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Buyer Collects
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 14,750. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
Steven Walker isn't at all religious, so when the opportunity arises to sell his soul it's a no brainer, but when his life consequently begins to unravel he's left with only one option. But how, having sold his soul, will be manage to get it back?
Crones
Price: $3.10 USD. Words: 112,890. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
The residents of the Lilac Grange nursing home are being murdered and Catherine Scrivens knows who the culprit is, so the race is on to get to the killer before the killer gets to her. Meanwhile Linda Hawthorne, a worker at the Grange, inherits an artifact with bizarre magical powers, and no user guide. After accidentally releasing the dreaded 'Black Dog', Linda faces death trying to put it back.
The Mushroom Man
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,230. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00)
If you had a ton and a half of hallucinogenic mushrooms and the police were knocking on your door what would you do? Gerald Pembroke dumps them all down the farm well, inadvertently contaminating the village water supply. He's blissfully unaware of the damage he's done until the trip turns bad and all hell breaks loose resulting in death, carnage and buckets of blood.
Looking After Granddad.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 13,390. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Billy's new job in the old folks home is going well, until he meets Leo McDonald, a former Christian missionary with advancing dementia, antisocial tendencies and a startling secret. Billy isn't too concerned with Leo's behaviour. After all he's just a harmless old man... isn't he? Looking after granddad is the tenth and final story in Uncle John's bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
What The Butler Saw
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,160. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
A young man's morbid curiosity regarding the disappearance of a museum curator leads him into the dark mind of a serial killer. What the butler saw is the ninth of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
Home from home
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,770. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Maria is a property developer who has just inherited a ramshackle cottage complete with atmospheric woodland. She plans to tear it down but soon becomes enchanted with its dilapidated charm. So will she keep it? Or will it keep her? Home from home is the eighth of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
Doing it for Isaac.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,790. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
What if you accidentally discovered your destiny? What if that destiny was to kill? Would you fight it or follow it blindly? Or would you, like Richard Evans, learn to enjoy it? Doing it for Isaac is the seventh of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
The Swing.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,450. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Edgar Henry is a collector of illusions from a bygone age of stage magic. When one particularly notorious artifact finally enters his collection Edgar discovers that the greatest magic of all has little to do with illusion. The Swing is the sixth of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
A Brief Moment of Lucidity
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 5,550. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
How do you know when you're dreaming? Can you look around yourself now and be absolutely certain that you're awake? You can? Well, meet Daniel Norris. He's just as certain as you are... A brief moment of lucidity is the fifth of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales by John Vault. Reader discretion is advised.
How Do You Like Yours?
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,100. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Every young lady entertains ideas of romance, including Julia Smedley. But Julia doesn't stop at mere daydreams and her idea of a good time will take any prospective boyfriend to places he'd rather not go and from which he is very unlikely to return. How do you like yours is the fourth of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
Kirlia
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,050. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Due to an unfortunate mistake in an on-line order for contact lenses, Carlos Soames becomes able to see things that other people can't. The bad news is that some things just don't want to be seen... Kirlia is the third of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales. Reader discretion is advised.
John's Story
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,170. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
If you had committed an act so brutally despicable that you couldn't live with yourself, how would you atone for it? Step into the bizarre world of John Dante and live the nightmare. John's Story is the second of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales by John Vault. Reader discretion is advised.
Tiw's Cup
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 5,200. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Tiw's Cup is a short cautionary tale on the hazards of being an adrenalin junkie. Some people free-dive, others climb mountains. But just when you think you've done it all, what if you discover that there's one more step left to take... Tiw's Cup is the first of Uncle John's Bedtime Tales by John Vault. Reader discretion is advised.
Thaddeus
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 123,420. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00)
'Death is as popular now as it's always been.' John Vault offers a tale of morticians, hells angels, cannibalism and immortality in a heady mix of dark comedy and darker tragedy. Featuring complex characters, farcical scenarios and a plot that constantly threatens to spiral out of control. This story has frequent use of strong language, horror themes and violence. Reader discretion advised.
Uncle John's Bedtime Tales.
Price: $3.60 USD. Words: 57,410. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
(5.00)
A collection of ten dark fiction short stories by prize winning author John Vault based around the themes of madness and obsession. Essential bedtime reading! Introduction by the author. Contains frequent use of strong language, violent horror and sexual references. Reader discretion is advised.