I read and reviewed author R.H. Hales’s book, Church Mouse in the winter of of 2018. I loved the novel and her writing. That is why she is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page! Please see her interview and upcoming work below:
1. What inspired you to write a book?
Despite being a lifelong dreamer, I never actually expected to be an author. Basically, whatever I’m obsessing over at any given time creates its own worlds and fantasies in my head, causing scenes to play out, and with Church Mouse those scenes were so concrete my hands couldn’t stay still any longer and what started as one scene scribbled on paper snowballed into dozens, which turned out to be a book. Inspiration-wise, this may not be a very authory/bookwormy thing to say, but my interest in the vampire genre wouldn’t have been rekindled without stumbling upon the BBC TV show ‘Being Human’ and the film ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’. Ultimately though, reading Daphne du Maurier renewed my appetite for writing it down.
2. What does your typical writing day look like?
Depends on what stage I’m at. If editing, I’ll probably be up with the lark and nonstop throughout the day or night (I keep funny hours). If in the actual writing process, it’s often on-off bursts. A lot of ideas may come when I’m falling asleep or taking a break, then I’ll have to haul ass back to my laptop while they’re still fresh. My iPhone notepad’s become one of my best friends. Great things, those.
3. What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
I’ve only written two novels so far, so I won’t pretend to be an expert. But if I had to say anything it’d be to go with your instincts and write what you feel strongly about. The need to write is a driving force compelling you, it’s a very personal thing, so get it written down first of all and worry about the nitty-gritty later. And always remember it’s impossible to please absolutely everyone, so don’t over-analyse every single line too much, trying to make it “perfect”, or you could lose the heat of the moment. Also, there’s nothing worse than forgetting an idea because you didn’t scribble it down ten seconds before dozing off the night before, so when an idea strikes, for God’s sake grab it. Finally, get someone else to proofread your work, trust me on this.
4. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
5. How do you handle literary criticism?
In person? Politely and respectfully like a sensible adult.
Privately? Pour myself a whisky, roll lots of cigarettes and have private party with YouTube music all night, no one invited but me. *Evil grin*
In practice? Constructive criticism, especially from my editor, can be a lifesaver so I’m actually very grateful and make revisions where necessary. If it’s already published, criticism at some point is inevitable and fair enough, just goes with the territory.
6. Please describe your writing space?
Always private and preferably quiet, as I’m too easily distracted. My room, usually.
7. Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
Very difficult to choose. At the moment it’s Angela Carter alongside Charles Dickens and Stephen King and Poe.
8. What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
Must say Twitter, as it’s been a godsend for promotion and I’ve met some really wonderful authors and people who have been more supportive than I could ever have asked for.
9. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Scottish chocoholic dreamer.
Teasers and Upcoming Work:
Church Mouse (Book 1): Memoir of a vampire’s servant
By R.H. Hale
Can you make a monster trust you without becoming one yourself?
Rona never imagined her beloved old church housed a terrifying secret, until immortal eyes flickered from the dark and a mutilated manservant fell at her feet.
Coerced into replacing him as “watchdog” for the undead, this price of survival will drag her on a bloody journey of isolation and manipulation until she is a stranger in her own skin, constantly treading on eggshells under the sagacious eye of their volatile leader – Serge.
But as she watches her moral compass slowly tear itself apart, is there anywhere left to go before she sinks deeper into their world? For nobody asks what life is like for a servant of the undead … and yet they know monsters better than anyone.
“A Gothic tour-de-force.” *****
“A haunting and terrifying book. Beautiful and brutal.” *****
“Unforgettable … It’s been quite a while since I’ve come across literary horror like this.” *****
“Destined to be a horror classic.” *****
“Unbelievably good … This for me has made me a new lover of the vampire genre.” *****
“Simply superb … This is one of the best horror books I have read- and I’ve read a lot.” *****
“Character development at its best!” *****
Available from Amazon Kindle, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online bookstores worldwide.
Teaser quotes – Church Mouse (Book 2): The Change
Due for release in 2019
“Even monsters can have nightmares.”
“Do not assume immortality makes up for lost chances. It accumulates them.”
About the Author:
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland. I love books, movies, nature, animals, chocolate, The Beatles, photography, science and anything to do with good old-fashioned horror including monsters, ghosts, chillers and suspense. I’ve never understood peoples’ fear of dolls and scary clowns, so I suppose that’s why I love them too. I grew up on a healthy diet of terrifying horror movies I was too young for, surrounded by my mother’s ever-growing collection of horror novels. Blame her.
I have a BSc Hons, been a professional ghost tour guide, performed in small-scale theatre productions and spent a lot of years writing unpublished lyrics, poetry and short stories.
My debut novel, Church Mouse (Book 1): Memoir of a vampire’s servant, was first published as an eBook in October 2017. Its sequel, subtitled The Change, is completed and hopefully due for release in 2019.