LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Brand New Interview With Guy Adams, Author Of Kronos.
By James Whittington, Sunday 18th September 2011
Guy 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.
Related show tags: BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, SCARS OF DRACULA, THE REPTILE MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.
The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?
MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.
HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?
GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?
CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.
HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?
SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.
Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!
HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?
SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.
HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?
SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.
HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?
RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actor?
DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.
HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?
FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.
HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.
HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?
CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Nicholas Santos, writer and director of It Cuts Deep
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
At Grimmfest we're used to comedy horror but none as well written as It Cuts Deep from writer/director Nicholas Santos. Here he chats about this true dissection of a romance going terribly wrong.
HC: Have you always been a big horror fan?
NS: I've been a big horror fan since I was a little kid. Some of my favourite childhood memories are seeing Event Horizon with my dad when I was in second grade, being absolutely terrified by Chucky from Child's Play at every waking moment and watching Psycho for the first time on VHS when I was 7 years old.
HC: Where did the idea for It Cuts Deep come from and did it take long to write?
NS: It Cuts Deep is a hor...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Robert Woods, director of An Ideal Host
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Ever had the dinner party from Hell with people you don't really relate to and seem alien? Well this is the premise of the the hilarious horror comedy An Ideal Host from director Robert Woods. Here he tells Horror about this cracking movie.
HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what made you decide that this would be your first project as a director?
RW: Tyler and I had been writing theatre together for a decade, but movies are our first love and we wanted to give it a crack as well. Tyler came up with the initial idea but we worked on the story together and it evolved a great deal from the initial pitch. As it was my first time directing, I think we were j...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Wednesday 26th May
Friday 21st May
Friday 28th May