When did your interest in daikaiju and other giant monsters begin? What inspired it?
It began in childhood (1979 or thereabouts), when I bought a copy of Fangoria No. 1, which had a feature article on Godzilla. I was fascinated by the mythology of the whole thing. Not long afterwards, I saw some of the movies on Saturday afternoon TV. The first one I saw was Monster Zero, but Godzilla vs The Smog Monster was the most often played – and one of the most entertaining, although not for the reasons the makers intended!
Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.
Western Australian writer and film maker. Have written several screenplays, one of which, Hell Diver, has been optioned by a Canadian producer. I have written and directed a short film, First Sight, and am working on another, Endurance. I have also had some short stories published, and am working on some children’s book projects.
How many giant monsters stories have you written/had published?
This is my first in this auspicious genre. I’m happy to write more if you want them! And if anyone at Sony is interested, the film rights are available!
What would you consider your major work to be?
Probably the already-mentioned Hell Diver, for which I have done a huge amount of pre-production work. I am currently writing a script for a television mini-series that would be suitable for local production. It’s non-fantasy, and could be shot on locations around Perth.
Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from (if you have one)?
I like the sheer outrageousness of the concept, and the surreal imagery that goes with it. And I love the intellectual challenge of taking an essentially absurd idea and treating it seriously – which sums up most sci-fi, if you think about it.
Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power. What is your take on it?
At the popular level, it’s a combination of low-tech special effects and atrocious dubbing. At a deeper level, it provides a kind of disaster movie in which the disaster is personalized. The first Godzilla film made the link with ancient mythology clear. Godzilla isn’t created by the atomic bomb (as he would be in a US monster movie) but awakened by it. There is a world of difference, mythologically speaking.
What is your favorite giant monster film? Why that one?
The best is probably the original Gojira, although the original King Kong and the recent Gamera trilogy come close. And Smog Monster (and the old Gamera movies) are a great way to relax after a hard day’s work, especially with friends and alcohol included.
Are there any written stories or novels featuring giant monsters that you would particularly recommend?
Not that come immediately to mind, unless you count the original War of the Worlds, which is one of my favourite books.
What lies ahead for you?
Ask me later, when I know.
Can you tell us how you came to write your story for the DAIKAIJU! anthology?
The idea had been in my head for a long time, and this seemed the perfect home for it.
What thoughts lay behind it?
I like science. I like nature documentaries. I like spunky women scientists. And auto-gyros. And Giant Monsters. The solution seemed clear.
The daikaiju genre (such as it is) has been very film-focused to date. Did this prove a problem when you came to writing your story?
No, it was an asset. I enjoyed playing off the genre. As for it being film-focused, it seems to me that it is a very visual genre, so film is it’s natural home.
What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories?
Buy the book, read it, and if you like it tell your friends. Most of all, just buy the book. Several copies if possible.