All Hallows' Evil. We learned then about his fascination with the King in Yellow and his involvement with The Yellow Site wikia. This time, he's come to the funny side and joined us for Strangely Funny II!
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I've always wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember and have written stories ever since I could write. I grew up surrounded by books, so writing has always been part of my life.
How did you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
A lot of my fiction falls within the boundaries of horror and I also write quite a bit of humour (because if you push horror too far it becomes comedic and if you push humour too far it becomes horrific). However, I've never consciously chosen to write in a specific genre or style, as I like to experiment and prefer to let my writing go where it will rather than force it to conform. I think I've confused a people when they discover that I write quite divergent fare!
How did you come up with the idea for your story in Strangely Funny II?
The idea for Costumed Hero popped into my head when I was attempting to come up with a horror story for a Hallowe'en-themed anthology. As I thought through all the aspects of the holiday the title for this story came to me. Initially, I played with various permutations of partygoers dressing up as superheroes to no success when the plot just came from nowhere.
Do you think certain genres lend themselves to a humorous twist?
Horror is easy to blend into humour, as they are effectively either ends of a sliding scale. If you push horror too far it ceases to be scary and becomes humorous in its grotesque absurdity, whilst humour pushed too far ceases to be funny and becomes horrific. Paranormal fiction that isn't intended to be horror per se (such as that which my story draws upon) is also ripe for humour as it can easily be pushed into absurdity. It's much the same for other genres – push them through the unpleasant until you find yourself laughing rather than crying or cringing – it's just that the darker genres are already close to that point.
Plotter or pantser?
In almost every area of my life I like to have everything planned out. However, when it comes to plots, that's not generally true. Even when I write a plot down I usually treat it as an aide memoir of points to include rather than a map – when I have crafted a detailed plan, it usually gets binned before the halfway point as developments render it irrelevant! However, whilst I sometimes go into a story 'blind' having no idea where it's going – or perhaps knowing how it should end but having no idea how it'll get there – I frequently have a constantly-changing mental map of the plot. Or, to be it another way, a bit of both!
Which author do you most admire, and why?
I struggle with requests for my top ten favourite authors/books, let alone whittling them all down to one! Different authors have different strengths, so it's difficult to put one above the other in terms of quality or importance.
Which place that you haven’t visited would you most like to go?
I would love to visit the archaeological sites of Egypt and the Middle East, as the ancient world is one of my passions.
Okay, so you're an author. What do you enjoy reading?
I read a wide variety of fiction from different genres, but the authors I return to most often are the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Robert W. Chambers, HP Lovecraft, JRR Tolkien, Weis & Hickman, Arthur Machen, Clarke Ashton Smith, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde. Other Cthulhu Mythos fiction and the various Doctor Who novels also feature regularly and I also enjoy reading JK Rowling, Clive Cussler and James Patterson. A nostalgic fondness for the Nancy Drew series and the Worst Witch stories of Jill Murphy never fails to baffle some!
I also read a lot of non-fiction, especially history, which has always been an obsession of mine.
Thanks for talking with us!
DJ Tyrer's story The Promised Messiah can be found in the new Steampunk Cthulhu anthology from Chaosium, whilst his sorcerous fantasy Kamilda of Ys can be found in the new Tales of the Black Arts anthology from Hazardous Press, both of which are available now from Amazon. You can learn more about DJ and his publications from his blog at http://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/ .
Strangely Funny II is now available in print or Kindle from Amazon, plus it is also available on Smashwords. You can also get a shot at a free copy right now via our giveaways!