Author Interview: David Moody (Autumn/Hater Series)

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are super-excited to bring you an interview with acclaimed English horror author, David Moody. His first book, Autumn was released for free online in 2001 and was followed by five more in the terrifying zombie series. You can read our Autumn series reviews here.

In 2006, the first story in Moody’s Hater trilogy was released & took the literary world by storm. A truly fantastic book that was followed by two great sequels in 2010 & 2011 respectively. You can read our Hater trilogy reviews here.

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On December 5th 2017, we return to the world of the ‘hater’ in a brand new trilogy that will explore the world-changing events from a new perspective. Anticipation is high & if you want to get in on the action as soon as possible, you can order the book via Amazon below.

Products from Amazon.co.uk

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1. Tell us a little about yourself. You’re a big horror fan, right? Who or what are some of your influences?

Yes, I’m a big horror fan, though I think the label ‘horror’ is often misleading and conjures up a lot of pre-conceptions. Horror can arise in absolutely any situation, and I think that’s part of the appeal. You’re not restricted by locations or situations. My biggest literary influences are John Wyndham, Richard Matheson, HG Wells and James Herbert, and whilst I can’t claim to be the world’s biggest Stephen King fan (that’s not to say I don’t enjoy his books – I just haven’t read enough), his approach to the business of writing is inspirational. Film-wise, I’m quite old school. George A. Romero, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg.

2. Are you more classic horror orientated or do you enjoy modern horror?

Again, I think that depends on your definition of horror. I’m very much a fan of realism in horror – I’m not one for ghosts and demons etc. I think it boils down to the fact that, to my mind, people are the source of 99.9% of the horror in the world today. My stories are about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations, and the interest comes from seeing how they deal with everything that’s thrown at them. I’ll watch and read anything but, I have to say, a lot of modern horror movies turn me straight off. A succession of jump scares does not make an involving story!

3. You must be tempted to throw your hat into the horror movie ring. What’s stopping you, if anything?

I’ve tried, believe me, but the stars have never quite aligned! I’ve been involved in a number of film projects of varying scale and ambition, but the film business is notoriously fickle. I’m definitely a frustrated film-maker at heart and I still have a few projects in (slow) development.

I actually got into writing just after I left school (far too long ago to tell you when), and my original plan had been to make movies. But back then it wasn’t as easy as it is now. I had an old VHS camcorder I used to have to rest on my shoulder, but the quality wasn’t the best and editing and effects were clunky and amateurish. All my early books started life as ideas for films.

4. We’ve seen a movie based off your incredible Autumn series already. Even though it wasn’t exactly well received how do you feel about a potential Hater movie?

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The Autumn movie was made with the absolute best of intentions by people who really loved the books. Unfortunately they didn’t have the budget or resources to be able to do pull off the vision they originally had. As a result, the film’s a real mixed bag. It has its fans, though, and I think there’s some good in it. The main cast, particularly Dexter Fletcher and Dickon Tolson, gave strong performances, I thought.

A Hater movie has been in development for about a decade now. I do think it’ll happen one day, because there always seems to be interest in getting it made. It almost hit the screens a while back with Guillermo del Toro producing and JA Bayona directing, but it stalled at the last minute. Last year we were in advanced negotiations for a TV adaptation with a major studio but, again, things didn’t work out. There’s some movement, though, and I hope to be able to announce some news in the not too distant future.

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5. One of Us Will be Dead by Morning release date is just around the corner! How excited are you to unleash a new Hater story?

Very excited! And nervous! A lot of people really love the original books, so I hope I’m doing them justice with these new additions.

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6. What made you want to return to the ‘Hater’ world?

That’s a really good question. A reader recently sent me a copy of a conversation I’d had with them back in 2011, just after Them or Us had been released. They asked if I’d ever go back to the Hater world, and I told them no chance! Things changed when I took the film rights back from Hollywood and we started talking about a TV adaptation. The original trilogy is a very simple, linear story which essentially follows one man through the apocalypse. It works well on the page, but when my producer and I were talking, it became obvious that if we were fortunate enough to end up with a decent run on TV, the world would need to be expanded.

These new books came as a result of those initial conversations. I started to think about the events which are referenced in the first books, but we don’t see. And some of the major characters who are introduced further on – how did they get to cross paths with Danny McCoyne? What was their story? The more I thought about it, the more excited I became to dive back into the world. I also realised I needed a new perspective, so the new books look at events from the viewpoint of the Unchanged – the non-Haters.

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7. Can you give us a brief over-view of the plot?

One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning has been described as a ‘sidequel’. It takes place at the same time as the first Hater novel, but in a completely different location with a different cast of characters. In some ways it’s like a slasher movie. Part of the horror of Hater, for me, was the lack of boundaries and borders – attacks can come from anyone, anywhere, in any direction. I wondered what would happen if I set a story in a very different environment, one that’s quite confined.

The new book takes place on an island called Skek in the middle of the North Sea. It’s been a military base and a scientific research outpost, but now it’s an extreme sports and corporate team building site. A group of office workers are stranded there when the world starts to go to hell. They’re completely cut off, and need to rely on each other to survive. Of course, at the same time the emergence of ‘the Hate’ means no one can trust anyone else…

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8. What comes next? This is the start of a new Hater trilogy, right?

Yes, this is a new trilogy. It wraps around the original books (I posted a handy timeline on my website recently to explain!). I’m currently writing the sequel, All Roads End Here, which is set in the refugee camp where much of Dog Blood took place. The final book in the series, which I plan to start writing in the new year, will be set between the end of Dog Blood and Them or Us.

Them or Us was a strange conclusion to the original trilogy, because in some ways it was quite a subdued climax (necessarily so). I always had it in mind that there was the mother of all land battles after the events of Dog Blood (no spoilers), and the final book will tell that story in gruesome, bloody, relentless detail!

We would like to thank David Moody for taking the time to talk with us & go in to so much detail. You can keep up to date with all news by visiting his website here & signing up to the mailing list. Also like David Moody’s Facebook Page & follow him on Twitter & Instagram.

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