When did your interest in daikaiju and other giant monsters begin? What inspired it?
My earliest daikaiju memory is at the age of 6 spotting a Shogun Warriors Godzilla at the toy department of the local Myers store. For me it was the confluence of two of the best things in the world: giant robots and dinosaurs. I was obsessed with dinosaurs for much of my childhood, so the flow-on to Godzilla and from there to daikaiju in general was a natural and assured thing.
Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.
I've had two collections of poetry published, called From My Head and Not Quite the Man for the Job. My first novel, Man Bites Dog, was published in 2003 and I'm currently working on a second novel in the NeoPulp genre. NeoPulp is the name I gave to a kind of postmodern genre fiction in a pseudo-manifesto I wrote in an attempt to explain what the hell it was I was doing trying to fuse literary fiction with genre fiction. Some of my NeoPulp stories have appeared in HEAT and the second Cardigan Press anthology Normal Service Will Resume. So far my NeoPulp output has been mainly about superheroes, but it's a small step from that to daikaiju. I also publish my own series of 'zines and comics when I can find the spare time.
How many giant monsters stories have you written/had published?
This'll be my first published, unless you count a short piece of Godzilla / Gigan slash I wrote for a friend (just to see if it could be done) and published in my zine, Jutchy Ya Ya. That story's served me in good stead -- I even got to read it at the launch of an erotica anthology a few years ago.
What would you consider your major work to be?
It'd probably be Man Bites Dog, my first novel, about a guy who finishes uni, becomes a postman and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving one of the dogs on his mail round. His friend convinces him that if they use the methodology set out by Angela Lansbury's character in Murder, She Wrote, they will solve the crime easily. Of course, it doesn't quite work out that way.
Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from (if you have one)?
Probably from my childhood love of dinosaurs and science fiction books. Daikaiju are the perfect combination of the two.
Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power? What is your take on it?
For me it ties in with the appeal of B-movies in general. I have a particular fascination and love for gobbledygook put forward as serious scientific explanation.
What is your favourite giant monster film? Why that one?
It's a toss-up between Godzilla vs. Gigan for the bizarre design of the Gigan monster (hook hands! buzzsaw blade belly! chicken-face!) and the weird scene where Godzilla and Anguiras have a little conversation that's depicted with speech-bubbles drawn onto the film; and Yongary, Monster from the Deep for the bit where the little kid teaches Yongary to dance.
Are there any written stories or novels featuring giant monsters that you would particularly recommend?
You mean besides Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales? I haven't actually read many, to be honest. I'll be looking forward to the other authors' recommendations.
What lies ahead for you?
I want to finish my second novel so I can start working on my third.
Can you tell us how you came to write your story for the DAIKAIJU! anthology? What thoughts lay behind it?
I've always been interested in trying to humanise genre fiction, so telling the story of a little guy whose everyday life is continually interrupted by giant monsters seemed like a good approach. I deliberately didn't want him to be a participant in that world, more of an outside observer.
The daikaiju genre (such as it is) has been very film-focussed to date. Did this prove a problem when you came to writing your story?
Not at all. My writing draws heavily from movies and comic books, so it all felt rather natural to be putting a story about forty-foot bugs and giant swans into prose.
What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories?
You must watch the first Godzilla film before you die. And make sure it's the Japanese version.