This week I am interviewing author Nikki Tait where she talks about what gives her the creeps and about her latest book.
What gives you the creeps?
Usually I like the dark, I enjoy the feel of the night air wrapped around me like an embrace. This is not so much the case if I am somewhere I am unfamiliar with. A town which is too quiet late at night, maybe a few street lights are out and narrow alleys stretch off into the black. I would only feel this in more densely populated areas, I always feel peace in the country no matter how dark.
As a reader, which kind of short stories do you enjoy most?
I like stories which show a close slice of life, to get into the characters head and feel you are there for that one sharp, shock, or that drawn out terror. A close up of their reasoning, thoughts and feelings, quickly drawing me in and making me feel a part of it.
Who are your favourite short story writers and why?
That would have to be Stephen King. No matter how short the story he has a talent for drawing the reader in so completely, it’s like peeking inside another world. One in which normal rules do not apply.
As a writer, what are your literary influences?
I am heavily influenced by Stephen King. He makes the impossible all too believable. Also, Adam Nevill, who can scare me like no one else. His style of writing brings a sense of unease to even the most seasoned horror fan.
How do you go about research for the fiction you write?
If it’s set in a certain kind of place, I will visit such places and note how the surroundings look and feel. The lighting, the texture of surfaces, what sounds do I hear, what sounds are missing? I question, what kind of people would live here? What other type of things may happen here? If it is about a certain kind of phenomena I will trawl the internet and read everything I can find on the subject.
Where did you get your inspiration for the story in Among The Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard?
Walking through a graveyard in the forest, I was struck with the sense of peace. Everything was silent, except for birds chirping and trees rustling. I enjoyed the tranquillity and wondered why anyone might not find such a place beautiful. I imagined how someone else might find the place sinister. How would they find terror here? I thought about my personal fear – getting trapped in an enclosed space and running out of air – and how this might come about in this serene graveyard. That’s when the story idea was born: someone gets trapped in a coffin, buried alive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, NIKKI TAIT
Nikki Tait writes psychological and paranormal horror from her home in the Forest of Dean, England. Her first published story was in the anthology Hell’s Mall: Sinister Shops, Cursed Objects and Maddening Crowds, edited by April Grey. ‘Respects’ in the anthology Among Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard is her second published tale. She loves the forest and enjoys long rambles in the ancient woodland on trails where few people walk.
ABOUT THE BOOK
AMONG THE HEADSTONES: CREEPY TALES FROM THE GRAVEYARD
This anthology, edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors and fresh voices.
Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.
You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.
Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth.
But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.
Purchase Link: mybook.to/Headstones
The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.)
The paperback is already published.
10 thoughts on “Author interview with Nikki Tait”
I know this feeling about being at peace after dark in the country, but creeped out in an urban environment. I can walk along a near-dark country road and enjoy the quietude, but a dimly lit alleyway in a town at night is scary.
My favorite horror story writer is Stephen King as well! I agree with everything you said. He has an exquisite writing style, and even his short stories are very detailed and atmospheric! What’s your favorite Stephen King novel?
You mentioned that you like stories close to a slice of life. Can you recommend us good books within that kind of genre? I also read those books nowadays; it’s such a refresher and makes you think about many things.
I like how you do your research when it comes to your books. I agree that it will be such an easy task if you get to feel the things you write firsthand!
Ideas come from interesting places. For this story did you enact being trapped in an enclosed space?
Can you please share what your writing process was like for this story?
Claustrophobic encounters are hardest for me to take. After long nights, I always have nightmares about them, maybe seeing how someone else deals with the situation helps me. Can’t wait to read Ms.Tait’s story.
I haven’t read your story yet but seeing that it is about someone’s being buried alive, I am all for it. It’s also my biggest fear and I’d love to make myself uncomfortable by reading it.
By the way, thanks to this anthology and the interviews with its authors, I realized that a lot of people (or just horror writers maybe) actually find cemeteries quite peaceful and not scary at all.
I wish I could relate to you in terms of enjoying the dark. It’s not the case for me even when I am somewhere familiar. But you are right about the silence. I just always thought that silence is rarely a good match with dark. Whether in town or the countryside, I need some background noise to feel at peace.