Interview with Roger Wood

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing a story at school when I was six or seven. My dad laughed at it and brought it up more than once over the years. He meant no harm but it hurt. Since then I have had plays performed on the BBC and got myself a PhD. It doesn't hurt quite so much now.
What is your writing process?
Slow. Real slow. I have a medical problem which means I can't write at my best for more than an hour or so a day. This means I have to make the most of the time I have. Basically, I need to get it 99% right first go or I'll never finish. My number one rule - don't write rubbish. By this I mean, don't allow yourself to accept second rate material just to fill space and up your word count. You'll never get rid of it. It will come back and smack you in the eye twenty years later.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first grown up book I bought. I was thirteen and it was the complete plays of Christopher Marlowe. I know - I'm making myself seem weird now - but one thing about me is I'm scrupulously honest. As for impact, it is still the book I would want with me on a desert island.
How do you approach cover design?
My medical problem began when I went blind in September 2011. I had a massive tumour on my pituitary gland which basically blew before it was diagnosed. I had neuro-surgery a week later and though my endocrine system was permanently shot I recovered my eyesight instantly and completely. I thought the least I could do was take up drawing and painting again. I had been an excellent drawer as a boy but pants at painting. I hadn't really drawn or painted anything for several decades. Given what I went through, and how grateful I am just to be able to see, I do my own covers, good, bad or indifferent.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ragtime by E L Doctorow - amazing how he conveys the sense of dialogue without having any. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - a work of genius. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, again by Foer - a novel about 9/11 with pictures and a flip-book cartoon for an ending; to my mind, the greatest novel of the 21st century to date. Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, the story of a German victim of the Nazis, written by a German victim of the Nazis. And the Complete Plays of Christopher Marlowe, which I have already mentioned.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read everything - scripts, textbooks, history, crime noir, South American literature, early 20th century English comic novels, medieval verse... If it doesn't give me pleasure, I don't read it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media buzz.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and spent the first half of my childhood in Northeast Lancashire, which was already dying a long and slow death after the collapse of the English cotton industry. When I was 12, my dad had to move nearly 200 miles away to the Midlands to get work. We of course moved with him. I still live here now, in the same house. But what made the difference for me was that I lost all my childhood friends. The first friends are never replaced. To deal with the loneliness I took to reading on a truly industrial scale. And within a year I took to writing, which I have done more or less every day since.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The joy is to lose yourself, to enter a world you can never visit in reality and meet characters who are a bit like you but who do extraordinary things. The best writing comes when you forget you're doing it.
Published 2014-09-02.
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Books by This Author

The Fourth Sigil
Series: Carnacki Continuum. Price: Free! Words: 8,440. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
The third instalment of the Carnacki Continuum. The Jessop sisters seek monsters in an abandoned Tube station deep under the ancient heart of London - and find more, much more, than they bargained for.
There are no Wolves in Lancashire
Series: Metamorphic Tales. Price: Free! Words: 6,290. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Simmon has a strange ambition. He wants to be a wolf when he grows up. This despite the fact that his dad always insisted "There are no wolves in Lancashire." Simmon believes his dad, naturally. But then one autumn day in the woods...
Scaife & Scaife
Series: Twisted Tales. Price: Free! Words: 12,610. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Horror » General
"He's a slippery one, is Rennie. He'd have you think that he's the righteous brother, that butter wouldn't melt. But he knew what I'd done all right. How could he not? We're twins after all. He knew what I'd done with Mother..." A Twisted Tale of fish and chips and brotherly love.
The Anatomy Inspector
Series: Twisted Tales. Price: Free! Words: 8,810. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: September 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
A Twisted Tale of burkers and anatomists and how Victorian law was changed to bridle Victorian science.
Carnacki: The Relict
Series: Carnacki Continuum, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 14,680. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
"Relict (n) Widow; geological or other object which has survived in a primitive form; animal or plant known to have existed in the same form in previous geological ages." Which definition fits the woman who calls herself Madame Carnacki? Perhaps they all do.
Carnacki: The Saiitii Manifestation
Series: Carnacki Continuum, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,960. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
A tribute to and continuation of the work of the horror master, William Hope Hodgson.
Series: Twisted Tales. Price: Free! Words: 10,090. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
RAZORBACK is a story of the weird and unnatural from the author of PATASOLA. A young boy, uprooted, unschooled, alienated, comes of age on a self-sufficient smallholding on the Yorkshire Wolds. For the first time he ventures out into the wider world. His simple assumptions are torn down and he finds himself running wild.
Series: Twisted Tales. Price: Free! Words: 10,030. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
A supernatural short story in the classical style. A tale of infatuation, possession and parasites set in beau monde Paris.