Happy Hump Day! If taking on a horror/paranormal/supernatural book all at once is a bit daunting, maybe testing the waters with short stories is a way to ease into the genre. Today’s featured author gives you that opportunity. He also confirms why it’s best not to leave arms and legs uncovered while sleeping – you never know what’s waiting under the bed. Welcome Hugh Roberts!
You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?
I’d be the killer. I can remember being cast as the ‘bad guy’ in a school play. It was set in a haunted house, and I had to wait for my victim to pass by before I came out of the dark and wrestled him to the ground. What most struck me about this, though, was that whilst the struggle went on, I had to wait for somebody to say the words “Cut! That was excellent.”
That line stuck in my mind for many years because I went on to use it as the twist for one of my short stories in my book, Glimpses. I suppose it also shows that I wasn’t really the ‘bad guy,’ but just an actor on a film set. That also stuck on my mind when I thought about it because I’ve also used a film set as the scene in another of my short stories in the book.
It’s amazing what memories stick with you, and how they can go on to become a big part of something later on in your life.
Have you ever played with a Ouija board?
Yes, but only when I was in my teens. It wasn’t a real Ouija board because we’d cut out the letters and placed them on the kitchen table. There were six of us, including me, and I remember how I wanted to frighten everyone in the room by moving the glass around. The problem was, somebody else also had the same idea, and we ended up frightening some of the younger children.
When my parents came home and found out what we’d been doing, they were not best pleased. My mother tore up all the letters and threw them in the dustbin.
A few months later, it was all forgotten about until my mother was cut badly by the glass we’d used. She swore that something had hit the glass along the kitchen countertop towards where she was washing the dishes. The glass smashed as it entered the water, cutting both her hands quite badly.
Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?
In the first ever apartment I owned, I was once woken by the sound of scratching coming from beneath me. To my utter disbelief, I watched as the duvet was slowly pulled down the bed. I grabbed it and tried pulling it back towards me, but something at the other end of the duvet was also pulling and it was a struggle to pull it back.
Eventually, I switched on the bedside lamp and found the duvet still over me. I put it down to a bad nightmare, and it never happened again.
However, a few years later, when I moved out of the apartment, one of the removal guys pointed out to me that some of the wooden slats under my bed (which the mattress laid on) were badly scratched. I had no idea how the scratches got there as the bed was delivered new when I had moved in, and I’d assembled it myself.
I ditched the bed and slept on the floor of my next home until I was able to afford a new bed.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
I’m very much a ‘Pantser’ when it comes to writing my stories. As soon as I get an idea in my head (often the ending of a story) I start typing and allow the story to reveal itself to me.
Of course, the first draft is never the final version, but I tend not to change too much as it then becomes a completely different story.
Characters seem to fall into the story as I write it. I don’t think about them too much. They’re just a part of the story which, for me, is the most important part.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Rod Serling, who created and presented the TV show, The Twilight Zone. He also wrote some of the episodes.
What captivated me most, was the way Rod wrote the stories. They always had a twist at the end that I never saw coming. He may have sprinkled each episode with clues, but they were always well conceived and gave little away of what was to come.
I see this has an incredible way to write stories, leading the reader up the wrong garden path, so to speak. The Twilight Zone gave me inspiration to write stories on a similar based theme, and I like to think that the style they are written is very much that of the way Rod wrote.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on my next collection of short stories which will be published in early 2019. There are 32 new stories in the book, many of which I have never published on my blog before.
My editor returned the book to me in early September and I’m now working on the edits as well as making some of the stories even better. I can reveal that the book will be called ‘More Glimpses.’ Here’s the blurb –
After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.
Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.
‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.
If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.
Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?
He has always enjoyed writing even though he suffers from a mild form of dyslexia. However, he’s never allowed being dyslexic stop him from having a positive outlook on life. Shortly after retiring, Hugh thought it about time he let his writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for him to do this.
He started writing short stories at school but was never encouraged to continue writing them. In February 2014, when he discovered blogging, he wrote and published several short stories on his blog. They soon became hits and Hugh was encouraged by some of his readers to publish some of the stories in a book. Now, finally, his dream of becoming a published author has come true with the publication of ‘Glimpses’ the first volume of 28 of his short stories. If, like Hugh, you enjoy shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and Black Mirror,’ then his short stories will take you on plenty of twists and turns to unexpected endings.
‘Glimpses’ is available to buy on Amazon and has already received excellent reviews. Hugh is now in the process of writing a second volume of short stories which he will publish in early 2019. If you decide to buy and read Glimpses, then Hugh would be delighted if you would consider leaving a review on Amazon. Reviews help all authors and feedback is vital to improving writing.
Hugh’s blog, Hugh’s Views And News, covers a number of subjects, the most popular of which are his blogging and social media tips. He is a keen photographer and enjoys helping to promote other authors and writers on his blog. Despite considering himself to be an introvert, he also considers himself as a ‘peoples’ person. Please do feel free to contact him via his blog.