Brand New Interview With Guy Adams, Author Of Kronos.
By James Whittington, Sunday 18th September 2011

Guy Adams Photo Credit Peter ColebornGuy Adams is one of the most original writers around. His books The World House and its sequel Restoration gained huge acclaim upon their release. He also penned bestselling humour titles based on TV show Life On Mars and original Torchwood novels.

More recently Guy has written one of the first titles to be released under the Hammer banner, Kronos. Guy took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us and if you fancy trying to win a copy of Kronos as well as two other Hammer titles click here. (Guy Adams photo by Peter Coleborn)

HC: How did you get your first big writing break?

GA: I've always written fiction for pleasure but about six years ago I was involved in a small publishing outfit and I approached the production company Kudos Film & Television trying to pitch them books about their shows. At that point they had just started screening Life On Mars but they were already successful with shows like Hustle and Spooks. Trying to remember why I decided to approach them is beyond me now, something had put the idea in my head but God knows what... probably wine. Anyway, I tried to convince them that books about TV shows didn't have to be predictable and boring and that if they were interested in doing something a bit different then they should let me know. Cocky git. Upshot was, I was invited to a meeting with the head of the company (alongside my good friend, the brilliant designer Lee Thompson) to discuss just that. We left an hour later having agreed to produce a proposal that would be presented to publishers. Now, most proposals are a few sheets of A4, a word document outlining the intentions, but we produced a crazy, beautiful thing, fully-designed, packed full of samples and illustrations, the most ridiculously OTT proposal you ever saw. A book in itself. It sold, and Lee and I ended up producing two volumes about Life On Mars for Simon & Schuster. The writing of the first coincided with my moving out here to Spain and my poor partner, Debra, ended up handling everything while I concentrated on trying to get this... my first ever professional book... written. Somehow I got away with it and having found there was no other work on offer over here I kept going. I've now written about twenty books, everything from biographies to my own novels. Fiction will always be my first love but I'm lucky that I've been able to turn my hand to lots of different things, it's helped to keep the roof on.

HC: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

GA: Absolutely, I was a child of the eighties and that was a boom period for horror so, always a bookworm, I swamped myself in Stephen King, James Herbert, Graham Masterton, Dean Koontz... That love of the dark stuff never faded away, just developed over the years. Ramsey Campbell was discovered and through him the classics, M.R. James, Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood... Horror literature is still incredibly strong today. Campbell has never stopped getting better, his work of the last few years has been simply staggering, The Grin of the Dark in particular being one of the finest books you'll ever read. Writers like Mark Morris, Tim Lebbon, Conrad Williams, Sarah Pinborough, Adam Nevill... Ah, never get stuck into lists, you'll miss people out and only curse yourself later! But seriously, horror -- and its dark offshoots -- has never been healthier or more creative. The movies were also a big influence of course and I've been a Hammer nut since my teens. My love for British horror of the fifties, sixties and seventies borders on the unhealthy and Hammer will always be the backbone of that period. So, when I got the chance to have a stake, however tiny, in the work of that period then obviously I jumped at it. I would have said yes to any movie from Hammer’s catalogue, hell, I would have even done It’s Your Funeral!... but when I was given the option of Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter I couldn’t believe my luck.

HC: Writing the novelisation of what has become a cult classic must have been a bit of a daunting task. How did you approach it?

GA: It was daunting, yes. It was clear from the off that Hammer wanted me to be extremely respectful of the original and not make any major changes. Which was fine of course, and the attitude I would have had anyway given the tightness of my anorak on the subject. I had met writer and director Brian Clemens a few times, and had the awkward task of dropping a line promising not to break his original idea. He was very supportive and was kind enough to say lovely things about it in his foreword to the book. As I got into it though I realised that I needed to be a bit braver than I had originally intended, a book is such a different beast from a film. A good movie doesn't necessarily make a good book.

For example: the movie never specifies where it is set or when. That's fine on screen but when you're delving deeper into the characters and trying to build-up a sense of place on the page you have to bring more detail in. Kronos and his old friend Dr. Marcus had fought together in "the war" so I decided that would be Oliver Cromwell's troops in Ireland, a particularly bloody period. Having decided on that, another character's backstory was enlivened by the inclusion of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General simply because it fit perfectly into that era and added an extra dimension. Then you have to flesh out the other people -- particularly the incidental characters. In a vampire movie you tend to have a long list of interchangeable pretty females who end up dead. Clemens managed to bring a few character touches into the movie but at the end of the day, for reasons of pace if nothing else, you have to keep the camera's focus elsewhere. So I fleshed out the bit parts a great deal. One in fact -- because having built him up I had to run with it -- now plays a major part in the climax of the story. Actually the climax was always going to have to change a bit, sword fights are not as interesting in a book as they are on screen. I also managed to include a few elements that Brian planned to feature in the original movie but ended up cutting, Kronos’ method of transport for example. The aim is to tell the story again but in a way that makes it fresh and worthwhile for those who know it well. Hopefully I've managed that.

HC: Did you use the original script or view the movie lots of times or did you write from memory?

GA: I'd already viewed the movie lots of times! Hammer asked if I needed a DVD for research but that was before they realised what a fan they had on their hands. I re-watched it though of course, because you have a different perspective on a movie when you know you’re going to have to novelise it. I made lots of notes then put the film away, it was important that the book stood up as its own thing.

HC: Were you given a tight deadline?

GA: Ridiculously tight. Once it had been agreed that I was going to work on the Hammer Books line, Kronos was mentioned but with the caveat that it would have to be written extremely quickly. Even more so as I already had a lot of work on and had to finish two other books before I could even start it! Still.. It was Kronos.. can you imagine saying "No, that’s OK, I'll wait until the next movie becomes available."? I said yes and then got very, very stressed.

HC: How many drafts did the book go through?

GA: For the reasons outlined above, not many! I tend to go back over stuff as I work so I rarely complete whole drafts independent of one another anyway. Still, it was a case of typing "The End" and submitting it straight away. It was then proofed, edited and returned to me so that I could have one more pass and make any final changes I wanted to make. To be honest though I'm used to writing quickly, the books I tend to work on have neither the schedule nor payment structure that allow for months of quiet plodding. I tend to burn through periods of working twelve-fourteen hour days, seven days a week, just to get the words down. Then, between books, I have a week or so when I take things much easier.

HC: Do you want to do more Hammer tie-ins and if so (and you had the choice) which movies would you choose?

GA: I'm contracted for three so you haven't seen the last of me! The next -- and I'm working on it now -- will be The Hands of the Ripper, another favourite. This time the book will be quite a lot different to the film, not because there's anything wrong with the movie (I think it's one of Hammer's best) but just because there's a way of doing it on the page that I think will be better for that medium. The biggest change is that it will no longer be a period story! Which opens up a massive can of worms, I know, but honestly... it will still very much be The Hands of the Ripper, just a remake rather than a straight novelisation. I'm immensely pleased with it so far and can't wait for it to be finished, published and shared. After that, who knows? Kiss of the Vampire would make a great novel, as would Satanic Rites of Dracula... It all depends on what rights Hammer can arrange. As fans know, the Hammer catalogue is part-owned by many different studios so negotiating the rights for which films we can work on is lengthy and difficult. Perhaps I'll end up with On the Buses!

HC: So what projects do you have lined up?

GA: The first of two original Sherlock Holmes novels I’m writing has just been published by Titan Books. It's called The Breath of God and it's steeped in classic supernatural fiction. Aleister Crowley features in it alongside Thomas Carnacki, Dr. Silence and Julian Karswell from M.R. James' Casting the Runes. Once I've finished with Hands of the Ripper I move on to the second Holmes book whose title tells you all you need to know really: The Army of Dr. Moreau! After that, who knows...? I have lots of possible projects out there but couldn’t say how many of them will come to fruition.

HC: Guy Adams, thank you very much.

Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.

It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?

JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...

You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...

Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...

Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019

Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.

HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?

JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...

Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2019

Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.

HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?

GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...

Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
The Green Inferno
Saturday 29th February
10.55 PM
Joy Ride
Sunday 1st March
9.00 PM
Tales From The Darkside
Sunday 1st March
8.30 PM