Interview with Author, Illustrator, Award Nominee, Greg Chapman

September 29, 2020

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

After reviewing both Bleak Precision and The Sublime Darkness, I thought it was definitely time to interview Greg Chapman.  Let me tell you, this guy is not only a great author and fantastic illustrator, but he is out there working hard to push writing and horror into the limelight!  He has an impressive and extremely diverse catalogue and I was very happy that he agreed to answer some questions about how his horror-filled mind works.

Horror writer Greg Chapman

(Horror Fuel)

You have such a variety of work and a large collection of that work. Novels, novellas, short stories, graphic novels, do you approach the different styles differently? What do you get from each style?

(Greg Chapman)

Great question Greg. I approach everything I write differently each time. Short stories (which ironically, I find the most challenging), tend to come to me at the most unforeseen moments and I usually write a short story when I an image or scenario or even a word comes to mind. There’s often a focus on the theme around the story rather than a character and I write the story around that. Novellas and novels are much larger beasts that I feel are carried more by a character or a series of characters, or a concept that I want to explore. For example, with my novel, Hollow House, I wanted to write a haunted house story from the outside looking in, with the Noctuary: Pandemonium I was, essentially, writing metafiction. Netherkind, which came out last year was meant to be an epic dark fantasy exploration, something almost Biblical. One of the ways I write is in longhand in notebooks because I find the keyboard too constricting, if that makes sense. With graphic novels, of course, this is totally opposite because the focus is always primarily on the art. The scripts for my comics are very, very succinct because I can see it playing out in my head.

(Horror Fuel)

I’m a big fan of your illustrations. They are just as dark and unique as your stories. Do you prefer illustrating for your own work or for others?

(Greg Chapman)

Thanks Greg. The short answer is: both! I was an artist before I ventured into writing and the two are complimentary. In truth, art comes much easier to me than the written word. I enjoy creating artwork for authors and publishers, but I do get a real thrill about creating artwork for my own stories. I’ve been very fortunate in that regard.

(Horror Fuel)

I know I’m a few years late, but congratulations on the Bram Stoker Award nominations! Can you talk about that a bit and what it means to you?

(Greg Chapman)

Well of course I’m honoured to have been nominated in two different categories. It’s a recognition from my peers and the wider readership, who I respect greatly and it does help spur me on to keep writing. The nominations tell me that I’m on the right track and that I should keep going. I’ve been nominated for other awards as well, like the Australian Shadows Awards, but I’ve never won any awards for my writing. It would naturally be nice to own one of those little Stoker statues, so the challenge to win one is mine alone.

(Horror Fuel)

You seem to take a lot of pride in the unforgiving darkness and bleakness in your horror. I love it and those on this site surely love it, but how do you respond to those who say you are too dark, too grim?

(Greg Chapman)

I’ve always been a realist, and perhaps a little too cynical. This part of me is one that was forged in my years as a newspaper reporter where unfortunately the world is seen through a dark lens. I also think people are the result of their varied experiences and memories and even as a child, my imagination went to dark places. I lost a close friend when I was growing up and that sense of loss and morbidity at a young age impacts upon a person. I guess it’s like having a second persona. The horror writer in me is separate from the father and mild-mannered public relations officer.

(Horror Fuel)

What horror movie would you recommend to people who are NOT horror fans to introduce them to horror?

(Greg Chapman)

Hmm, this is a toughie, but I think I would go with The Others, starring Nicole Kidman. It’s not gory and is more of a psychodrama that has a very satisfying denouement.

(Horror Fuel)

Why Horror? What draws you to this genre?

(Greg Chapman)

I think I outlined my reasons in my answer to question 4 but ultimately, I am more “comfortable” writing horror. It naturally just comes to me.

(Horror Fuel)

What books are on your shelf? What do you read?

(Greg Chapman)

I have way too many books on my shelves. I collect a lot of old horror paperbacks. There are also a lot of contributor copies of books that I have stories and art in or on the cover. At the moment I am re-reading Misery by Stephen King.

(Horror Fuel)

Can you talk about the Australaian Horror Writers Association? What is your role and what is the association all about?

(Greg Chapman)

I am currently the President of the AHWA, but I’ll be finishing up in November after a few years in the role and 7 years total as a committee member. The AHWA does a hell of a lot to help emerging authors from Australasia get into horror writing through mentorship programs (which is how I got my start), and short story competitions, among other things. The AHWA also runs the annual Australian Shadows Awards which recognises the best of Australasia’s horror writing. It also published Midnight Echo magazine at least once a year. The President naturally oversees all the running of the Association, but I’ve been supported by many great volunteers. You can find out more at www.australasianhorror.com

(Horror Fuel)

Do you have anything in the works that we can look forward to?

(Greg Chapman)

I’ll have two new short stories out in some charity anthologies – Tales of the Lost Volume 2 and One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington. These will be published before the end of the year. In the meantime I am currently writing an illustrating a comic book series called Hellhunter. The first issue should be out through Lulu very soon and book 2 not long after. There’s also a novella/novel called “Scorned” that I’ve been dabbling in about a young woman trying to escape her witchy family.

(Horror Fuel)

Anything else you want readers to know about yourself or your work?

(Greg Chapman)

Those interested in my fiction can find me at my website – www.darkscrybe.com or on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004Q7PCRE

Thanks Greg!

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