"Without doubt one of the godfathers of British horror" - This Is Horror
"One of the most provocative and unsettling of contemporary writers" - Andy Hedgecock (Asst Fiction Editor, Interzone)
"A master craftsman" - Dark Musings
"Ghost writer extraordinaire" - SFX magazine
"One of Britain's finest screenwriters" - Starburst
Stephen Volk is probably best known as the BAFTA and two-time British Fantasy Award-winning writer of ITV's paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln, and the notorious (some say legendary) BBCTV "Halloween hoax" Ghostwatch, which spooked the nation, hit the headlines, and caused questions to be raised in Parliament.
In 2015 he adapted Phil Rickman's novel Midwinter of the Spirit for ITV, starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Thelfall, while his most recent feature film was 2011's The Awakening, a period ghost story starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton for BBC Films/ StudioCanal. On stage, his play The Chapel of Unrest, which premiered exclusively at The Bush Theatre, London, starred Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith.
His first produced screenplay was Ken Russell's Gothic, a trippy retelling of the Mary Shelley/ Frankenstein story starring Gabriel Byrne, Natasha Richardson and Timothy Spall. His many other scripts since then include The Guardian, directed and co-written by William (The Exorcist) Friedkin; Superstition starring Mark Strong and Charlotte Rampling; and Octane starring Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. For television, he has written single dramas for Channel 4's Shockers and BBC1's Ghosts. He also won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his short film The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans.
His first collection of short stories, Dark Corners, was published by Gray Friar Press in 2006, from which his story 31/10 (a sequel to Ghostwatch) was short-listed for both a British Fantasy Award and a Bram Stoker Award. His novella Vardoger was short-listed for both a Shirley Jackson Award and a British Fantasy Award, A wide variety of his stories have been selected for Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Best British Mysteries, and Best New Horror - with two stories appearing in the inaugural edition of Salt's Best British Horror 2014.
Arguably his most acclaimed fiction so far, however, is the novella Whitstable - featuring the late horror star Peter Cushing and published by Spectral Press in 2013, the actor's centenary year. Also published in 2013 was his second story collection, Monsters in the Heart (Gray Friar Press) which won Best Collection at the British Fantasy Awards 2014 (Whitstable was also a finalist for Best Novella), while his novella Newspaper Heart won Best Novella in 2015. His third collection, to be entitled The Parts We Play, will be published in Autumn 2016 by PS Publishing, with an accompanying exclusive volume called Supporting Roles.
He also writes a regular comment piece called "Coffinmaker's Blues" for the horror fiction magazine Black Static.
Before becoming a full-time writer Stephen worked as an advertising copywriter, notably for Ogilvy Benson and Mather, winning a Silver Lion, IPA Effectiveness in Advertising Award and two Design & Art Direction Awards. Before that, he studied Graphic Design at Coventry College of Art and was a winner of the BBC/UNESCO/ICOGRADA/ASIFA International Animated Film Contest, subsequent to which he gained a postgraduate certificate with distinction in Radio Film and Television at Bristol University's Department of Drama.
He was born in Pontypridd, South Wales, and now lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, with his wife, the sculptor Patricia Volk, and a cat he doesn't like.
Photograph (top of page) by Jonathan Hall (Clerkenwell Films/ITV). Immediately below: by Alex Yallop (Portrait painted by Jennifer McRae)
photograph above by Ian Drake (imagebytesphotography.com) - photograph below by Peter Coleborn