Oh, starting with a toughie eh? Like I’m supposed to know what goes on in the bubbling recesses of this quivering sponge I keep on my shoulders! I guess I just liked the idea of a monster being born and I suppose if you looked deeper you might find something about not being everything your creator hopped you would be, but being ready to improve yourself. As usual I find myself emphasising with the freakish and bizarre… I forbid any one to read anything into that! If I’ve managed to add a certain creepiness to the simple idea of being stitched together with a few people you’ve got to know quite well, then my work here is done.
What creeps you out?
Nothing! I’ll never tell … is one of you hiding under my bed?
I’ve always been a bit disturbed by transformations both physical and psychological, the idea that the things and people we take as certain could shift into something else. That works for everything from Norman Bates to the Wolfman. It’s like missing your step in the dark – something to get the heart fluttering… oh yes and I’m afraid of the dark!
Why do you love dark/unsettling fiction?
I often wonder if one of the reasons we like darker stories is because it allows us to examine the strange and disturbing in a safe environment. Horror stories let us prod at the little inky thing at the back of our minds while keeping it safely in a nice literary test tube… unless, unless that wasn’t the cat coming in through the flap, what if just thinking about them brings them to you? Was that a creaking on the stairs? You really shouldn’t read so late, you’ll never sleep now. Should you even try to sleep? They might be outside now! Is the door knob moving ever so slowly?!
I mean after all “What is this life if full of care – we have no time to enjoy a good scare.”
What are you working on now?
Most recently I’ve finished a collaborative novel with my most excellent colleague Mr. Benjamin Knox. If you like dystopian futures, vampires, plagues and fiendish medical conspiracies then I think it will be for you. I also threw together a few stories over the festive season for my Creepy Christmas collection and you can look forward to a story in the upcoming The Sea anthology. This year I have a number of things I should be doing and oh so many sweet and bloody songs I’d like to sing but no promises on anything particular right now.
What’s the most unexpected thing people discover about you?
I’ve been dead for more than a thousand years? My nipples have their own chat show? My favourite colour is not blue!
Yes, I am using humour to deflect any real answer to this question… what of it?
I mean think about it, the moment I tell you what is unexpected about me… well, you’re going to expect it aren’t you! We could be here all day. No, better I remain an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, gently simmered in intrigue…
Oh alright, I’m a goat with a rubber mask and no one has noticed… are you happy now!?
Tell us a little more about what you’re reading at present?
It’s all a bit hectic on the reading front right now. I finally scraped what few pennies I have together and got myself an entry-level tablet since then I’ve been able to get back into reading of an evening. Inevitably that means I’ve been reading a fair amount of Lovecraft and steam punk. I also recently laid hands on Robbin Hobb’s Farseer series again so, yeah good times, good times.
Afraid I’m not much when it comes to author name dropping or knowing what the next big thing is – I shall certainly be downloading Dark Harvest and giving it a whirl… see you all there.
Check out Toby's website at www.thedragontower.co.za