I have often said in interviews that my original pitch to the BBC for Ghostwatch was as a six-part drama series, in the style of the BBC's (then recent) Edge of Darkness or (their much older, legendary) Quatermass serials: the "live broadcast from a haunted house" concept, at that stage, was only envisioned for the final, climactic episode. I came across a draft of that initial proposal when recently clearing out my reams of archive. If you are a Ghostwatch fan, it might make for fascinating reading. Above is a taster of page one. The episodes have intriguing titles, I think: 1) Flies on the Wall; 2) Viewers and Seers; 3) The Flesh Tape - after which the multi-stranded narrative collapses into indecypherable scribbles. Still, I wonder if my fully structured breakdown of the six-hour plot is lurking somewhere under the debris of 30 years' paperwork...
Earlier this year, Gavin Kendall of Kendall Reviews said: "These are the most testing times the human race have faced since World War II. This time the enemy is unseen, an enemy so powerful it’s forcing many of us to retreat back into our houses. It’s here that people will try to continue to live as normal a life as they can and it’s here that the wonderful art of storytelling may blossom."
I was delighted at the opportunity to share three of my short stories via the Kendall Reviews website. If you missed the link I sent out via Twitter, here they are again. We are now in July and the lockdown is tentatively lifting. Keep reading, keep taking care, and be careful out there.
Read this new interview with me at Horla.org, where I talk to Matthew Rees, the author of the excellent short story collection Keyhole, about the nature of horror; stand-out stories, novels, and films; the health (or otherwise) of horror and the supernatural on contemporary TV; my evolution as a writer; the different lives a piece of a fiction can have; on writer responses to Covid; advice for developing writers; future projects, and the one I really want to see reach fruition.
Above: Book cover of the 1908 edition of ‘Le Horla’ by Guy de Maupassant. Illustration by William Julian-Damazy.
The delightful Conor, who interviewed me for The Hidden Station Podcast says: "An interview with Stephen Volk writer of the cult classic BBC TV special/film that shook the nation: Ghostwatch! If you haven't seen Ghostwatch, I highly recommend watching it before listening to this chat." Indeed so! Over to you, Conor...
Welcome to my new website. The domain (www.stephenvolk.net) is the same, obviously, but the design is different (thank you, weebly) and I've added lots of juicy new material, including YouTube clips and links, on most, if not all, of my projects. Have an explore, and do let me know what you think.
Needless to say, I will be posting any news via this new Blog page. And today that news is the exciting publication of a new short story of mine in the magazine The Dark, Issue 62, July 2020. The story is called "Agog" and it's an unusual one for me, in that I'm not sure it's horror at all, but that's increasingly often the case. Anyway, I hope you like it.
I've always been intrigued by the name Gogmagog and looked into its origins. Turns out Gogmagog was the last of Albion's race of giants, and I wondered if he wasn't actually the last, but he'd had a son. The image of a lonely, centuries-old giant came to mind, and the story evolved slowly in ways I didn't plan, or expect, but I'm pleased with the result.
A few months back, those on twitter will know, I vowed not to write a story about the Covid-19 pandemic in the near future. To me, the experience was all too recent and all too raw. But whether this story is about the times we live in, in some way, is for the reader to say. Perhaps the story wanted to tell something I didn't.