When did your interest in daikaiju and other giant monsters begin? What inspired it?
Actually, I don’t have a specific interest in daikaiju as such, I have to grudgingly admit, but it all comes back to a love of the fantastic, which came very early in my life. I have a butchers paper notebook I used to scribble stuff in when I was six or seven, and in it is a reference to a story about “a man who becomes a wolf when the moon is hole (sic)”. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the flipside of the coin, the parts of reality that most people never see, or perhaps choose not to.
Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.
Career? I have a career? Why did nobody tell me??
My "career", so to speak, is pretty well documented on my web site, at:
How many giant monsters stories have you written/had published?
Including this one? Uh, one, I think!
What would you consider your major work to be?
Probably my novel, "Carnies", which I’ve been thinking about for nearly twenty years but only recently got around to getting off my lazy behind and actually writing a draft, which I’m very happy with. But that’s yet to be determined, it depends if I can find a publisher for it!
Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from (if you have one)? Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power? What is your take on it?
I’d defy anyone to not be fascinated by giant monsters to some degree, the same way they’re fascinated by any other kind of massive natural disaster. Look at the reaction to the recent tsunami disaster in south-east Asia, the amount of footage of the tidal wave that was broadcast. I’m sure they’d release it on DVD if they thought they could get away with it. We’re both terrified and fascinated by the thought of something so huge and destructive, that has absolutely no empathy, no pity, perhaps even no awareness of us. We’re ants underfoot, nothing more. It’s an interesting sense of perspective
What is your favourite giant monster film? Why that one?
I’d say the original "Gamera" will always hold a special place in my heart. I found it to be a much more human story than a lot of the other Daikaiju films, plus Gamera himself is a very cool creature. A close second would have to be the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of "Gamera the Invincible", which didn’t disrespect the original but was about as funny a film as I’ve ever seen.
Are there any written stories or novels featuring giant monsters that you would particularly recommend?
Knowing the editors and writers involved in this collection, I’d have to say… everything in this collection! Except mine, of course, it’s rubbish…
What lies ahead for you?
Who can say? We all walk the road of life facing backwards. I’m hoping to write and publish novels, become the next Stephen King, make a gajillion dollars and retire before I’m forty. Realistically, though, only the first part is likely to happen.
Can you tell us how you came to write your story for the DAIKAIJU! anthology? What thoughts lay behind it?
I don’t want to say too much, it might spoil the story, but the idea for "Running" came simply from me imagining what it would be like to encounter a giant monster. I didn’t want it to be a frightened story though, as it seems to me that most tales of daikaiju involve people fleeing in terror, and I wanted to put a different spin on it. It’s really not much more complicated than that!
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?
Quite the opposite, I’d say. The visual groundwork has already been laid in the psyches of pretty much everyone who’s going to go out and buy a copy of a collection called "Daikaiju", so there was no need to reinvent the wheel, try to explain how or why there could be these creatures, and instead go forward and tell a fun story involving them.
What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories?
I believe that great philosopher, Kuato from the film Total Recall, sums it up best.
Open your mind…
Open your mind…