This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

1. If you could start by telling me a bit about yourself and your work.
Well my name is Mark Woods, I’m 40 and a highly successful Sous Chef with a career spanning over 20 years. I always wanted to be a writer and had a load of half-started, half-hearted ideas floating about, but never did anything about it. I was, however, a prolific reader and started writing reviews.
Horror author, Catt Dahman, went on Goodreads to ask for reviews for her Z is for Zombie series and I complied. She was made up by my reviews and even rewrote a couple of the novels in places because of my criticism. This lead to helping her get signed by Severed Press. She suggested I should be a writer because of my way with words, not knowing about my ambition, and so I wrote a short story that was featured in the charity anthology, the tall book of zombie shorts. I decided I wanted to write more and then Catt told me about an Indie Press she was setting up called J.Ellington Ashton. She asked me to join as an Editor and review writer and encouraged me to continue writing. Because of her encouragement and support, last year I had four short stories published; one of which ended up in Holiday Horror when T.J asked me to submit.
2. What was the inspiration behind your newest novella?
Time of Tides came about because Catt wanted all of our current authors at J.EA to come up with a scary fish story that had to be related to water. I wanted to get involved as I am trying to constantly challenge myself as a new writer, and started brainstorming. I came up with a whole group of ideas then tried to come up with a narrative that connected them. I liked using the idea of global warming and climate change because it is something we are all aware of. I then decided to have a family take to the water to escape the floods. the rest just followed. A number of times I nearly gave up, it was a real struggle to write, but Catt told me to stick with it and the end result was greeted quite favourably. In the end, I was quite pleased with it though it is very dark at times and not for the faint-hearted. As a side-note, six weeks after I completed Time Of Tides,, Norfolk actually did experience severe flooding and tidal waves on its coast. Now that was scary…I sat there watching the news thinking ‘is my story coming true?’ lol
3. What was the inspiration behind your story in Holiday Horror?
My story in Holiday Horror, Let it snow, was already written. I subbed it to a couple of places outside J.E.A as I wanted to be accepted outside my inner circle but it got rejected. T.J contacted me to submit something and with some quick editing to fit with the holiday theme and some cuts, it was ready. What inspired it? Well I actually had the idea of killer snowmen long before the Doctor Who xmas special a few years ago. There is always something a bit threatening about their blank stare I always thought. I wanted them to be a threat without anyone quite knowing why until it was too late. Even then, I wanted to leave the reader asking questions – not knowing why something is happening, the element of doubt and uncertainty IS scary. As humans, we like to know what is going on around us at all times. It is like a basic need.
4. Have you ever based a character on yourself?
No I have never really based a character on myself though for a six author vampire collaboration I am working on, my character I am writing is like my alter-ego and everything I am not. Basically all six authors write a different character, we meet, and then things go ear-shaped. The rest, for now, is a closely guarded secret and if I told you any more I would have to kill you!
5. What projects are you working on for the future?
My next project is a story about giant spiders inspired by the news reports about False Widows last year. I am not sure whether or not it will be another novella or something larger yet – the story needs to tell itself so time will tell. As part of my advertising for Time of tides, I am offering to use people as characters if they share my links on facebook and twitter. I am making a list of names and it is first come, first served, but anyone i dont use this time will be carried over into my next project.
I want to be more prolific this year than last, start earning some money and making an impact. Already I have been mentioned in a uk writing magazine as J.E.A’s UK Editor. I want 2014 to be my year and, so far, it is off to a good start
Time Of Tides

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