Today David Owain Hughes joins me for another Author Influences. David’s novel South By Southwest Wales is out now, but more about that after David tells us about the books and authors that have influenced him.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
Point Horror books. I used to devour them. Then, when I got older, I chewed my way through Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz books like there was no tomorrow! Horror is my first love. For crime, Iain Rankin. I discovered Rankin much later in life, I’m ashamed to say. Also, fellow Welsh author Mike Thomas – his Pocket Notebook novel is fantastic. I can’t praise it, or him, enough.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
No. I was dreadful in school – too much of a daydreamer. However, I loved the subject, and it wasn’t until I was that little bit older—twenty-five—did I truly learn to appreciate it. I went back to college and retook both English Literature and Language, before successfully going on to undertake the A-level. This was around the time I was chewing through books for fun. My passion had finally awoken. What can I say? I was a late bloomer.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I’ll read pretty much anything if it takes my fancy, although horror is my number one genre with a bullet. Richard Laymon and his works have had a massive impact on me as a person, what and how I write. Currently, I’m reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Before that, Sweet and Vicious by David Schickler, with William Boyd’s The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth next in line. These books stand in all different genres. It’s nice mixing it up from time to time, which definitely helps with my craft – I get to taste multiple styles of writing.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Crime is definitely my thing at the moment. For the past two decades, up until I wrote South by Southwest Wales in 2016, all I’d ever jotted was horror; it’s all I’ve ever known since my high school days. However, with one crime novel now successfully under my belt, I’m keen to write another. Also, I’ve recently had thoughts about branching out into satire – comedy has always been a great passion of mine.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Richard Laymon. Definitely. He and his works not only encouraged me to pick up a pen and write but change my life and mindset. During my late teens, nineteen, I think, I discovered his novel One Rainy Night. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was in awe. I didn’t think such boundaries could be pushed in the world of professional publishing. And so I set out on my own path. I went back to higher education, grabbed some qualifications, devoured books and wrote, wrote, wrote! I practised like my life depended on it.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Not currently, no, but I was rather taken by Schickler’s Sweet and Vicious – I think I’ll be buying more of his books soon. Firstly, I need to chip away at my ‘To Be Read’ pile that’s stacked neatly against my computer.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Robert Bloch’s Psycho. That book was way ahead of its time! My copy is well thumbed and my DVD well-worn. It’s a fantastic story with a great twist ending. I’ve paid homage to the tale.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real-life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Nothing stands out, but I do take a lot of inspiration from the news, TV shows, music and film.
South By Southwest Wales is out now. Here is what it’s about:
Samson Valentine is the best private eye ever to wear a fedora–or at least he was, before he became a washed-up booze hound. There simply isn’t demand for a whiskey-swilling Welsh gumshoe who insists he’s living in 1940’s Chicago. Everything changes when a massive diamond falls into his lap.
Before he’s too sure of what’s going on, he’s swept up in the biggest case of his life. The mob will do anything to get its gemstone back, and they prove it when Sam’s friend turns up dead. Now it’s personal, and Sam sets out on a one-man mission to take down the Welsh crime syndicate. Armed with little more than his wits and his fists, the odds don’t look good. Too much time at the bottom of a whiskey bottle has given him trembling hands and an addled brain. If he’s to have any chance of bringing the mob to justice, he’ll first need to come to grips with his worst enemy–himself.
Like the sound of South By Southwest Wales? Get your copy HERE.
About The Author
David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly instil in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had multiple short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine, and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novels “Walled In” (2014), “Wind-Up Toy” (2016), “Man-Eating Fucks” (2016), and “The Rack & Cue” (2017) along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and “Choice Cuts” (2015). He’s also written three novellas – “Granville” (2016), “Wind-Up Toy: Broken Plaything & Chaos Rising” (2016).