As some of you may have noticed, we here at reelhorrorshow have reviewed some interestingly titled books lately.
First up was Billy, Billy Panty Sniffer by Simon McHardy, a lovely tale about family and the things that bind them together.
Then, I had the pleasure of reading Die, You Fucking Cunt, aka The Captured Dwarf, and Fish Pie Face Fuck by Sean Hawker. Again, wholesome tales. The former is about a couple that desperately wants a child, and the latter is about the familial bond between two brothers - and their mum.
Of course, there’s a lot more than that going on, as the stories fall neatly into the sticky and hilariously gross world of splatter-punk.
The problems with splatter-punk and extreme horror are that it is all too easy for a writer to throw in a handful of gross-out moments with no thought for the story. The opportunity to try and shock whilst neglecting to entertain is one I have encountered before in the genre.
Fortunately, both Sean & Simon know what they’re doing. They know their audience - which also happens to be themselves - and they deliver on the promise of mixing the grotesque and the offensive into something incredibly entertaining and hilarious.
I may have read only the aforementioned titles so far, but they were enough for me to become a fan of what they do. It’s incredibly refreshing in these times where everyone seems to take things far too seriously. To find a couple of authors who proudly write whatever the fuck they want.
Even better than that, they have collaborated on a new story titled only as Neil, which should be released at the start of September.
Obviously, I wanted to know more about the new release, along with just what these guys get up to in their spare time, and I was lucky enough to get to interview both of them.
So, if you want to find out about the upcoming novel Neil, who Sean has a photo of beside his bed, or what to get up to in rural Tasmania, then you’ve come to the right place.
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to talk to us. For anyone unfamiliar with your work, how would you best describe what you do?
SIMON: I write bizzaro/splatterpunk with a strong humorous bent. It’s a win for me whether my readers are deeply offended or herniate themselves laughing.
SEAN: I write stories that people would consider splatterpunk or extreme horror, well-written and very funny, or utter drivel and deeply offensive. Depends who you talk to.
Is writing something that you have always been interested in, or did you have other aspirations as a child?
SIMON: My only aspirations as a child were to poke as many dead things as I could with a stick and look up girls’ dresses. My love of writing didn’t manifest until I realized I could reach a larger audience with my grossness with the written word as opposed to solely revolting family and friends.
SEAN: I’ve always been interested in creative writing even before I was born, though rarely did I ever put pen to paper. My day job involves technical writing, so last thing I wanted to do was more fucking writing in my free time. However, several months ago I randomly started posting very short stories on FaceBook to entertain myself and friends. Their positive feedback made me reconsider picking up the aforementioned pen.
How about horror? Do you remember what your first introduction to the genre was?
SIMON: I grew up in New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. Every Sunday night Channel Two would play a horror movie which I would religiously watch. It gave me a lifelong appreciation of the genre.
SEAN: I’m younger than Simon and not from New Zealand… I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s in England. I would regularly rent movies from independent video shops, the local newsagent who had a rental rack, and later, Blockbuster. I was always fascinated by the cover art in the horror section. Films like ‘Hellraiser,’ ‘The Church’ and ‘Braindead’ would fill me with wonder and intrigue. I also remember watching ‘Ghostwatch’ on TV when I was eight years old. That blew my mind. I started to read ghost stories aimed at children, such as Jan Mark’s ‘In Black and White and other Stories.’ Loved the genre since.
You’ve been working together on your upcoming novel titled Neil, how did the collaboration first come about.
SIMON: I read Sean’s ‘The Captive Dwarf’ and was impressed with his sense of humor and grossness-the anal flake scene destroyed me. I contacted him and it turned out he had a picture of me beside his bed and Mother Maggot posters all around his room and a Mother Maggot thermos. It seemed only right we should harness our devil given powers and collaborate.
SEAN: It was a big shock when I received a message from Simon. I hadn’t expected him to read the book. When I found out he did, I felt a pang of fear because he was the author I wanted to like it most of all. It was only because I’d happened to read ‘Mother Maggot’ that I realised there was an audience for the kind of stories I wanted to tell… and yes, I did have a photo of Simon by my bed.
How did you find the creative process working with another author?
SIMON: Sean’s writing style and sense of humor is very similar to mine. Neither of us is fragile and insecure enough to be outraged when the other poopoos an idea we thought pure gold.
SEAN: Because it’s Simon, the process has been as easy as pushing an old person in front of traffic.
When you started writing Neil, what was your main objective? Did you set any goals or guidelines for the story and how extreme you were going to make it.
SIMON: As per usual my goal is to get as many WTFs out of people as I can. But as Neil is thirty thousand words I wanted to make sure the plot was gripping and character development well executed.
SEAN: The plan was just to write a good story people would enjoy. Naturally it was going to be infused with the sickest humour and violence.
Speaking of which, how extreme is Neil? Is there anything you can tell us of what to expect from the story?
SIMON: Neil is as extreme as it gets. Expect your mouth to gape and your sphincter to tighten. Vagina steaming, dwarf insertion, human toilet brushes, suitcase gloryhole creampies and of course extreme splatter gore. Neil has it all baby.
SEAN: I think people would place Neil at the higher end of the extremity spectrum. I view it slightly differently. I just think it’s very funny. But I guess using a dwarf as a human dildo among many other things would be considered pretty extreme.
Your previous works (that we’ve read) have been as funny as they are politically incorrect. Does Neil carry on that tradition?
SIMON: I love nothing more than making fun of our vapid culture. There will be picket lines of Karen’s and Kevin’s outside Sean’s and my house after Neil is published.
SEAN: Yes. I anticipate Neil will upset a few sensitive people. I hope so anyway.
Was there anything that you ended up cutting from the story? If so, were any of them because you thought you may have gone too far in terms of good/bad taste?
SIMON: Neil is 100% unfiltered and unrestrained. That’s the joy of publishing for Godless, just about anything goes.
SEAN: I don’t have a great ability to moderate what I write. I leave it up to Simon to tell me when I take things too far. Which says a lot, since it’s from the guy who wrote a book involving a dead woman’s cunt being fucked while mice were inside it and another where a baby was thrown into a deep fat fryer.
What about when that story is published? Do you know what you will be working on next?
Do you have any plans to work together again, and if so, will it be a brand new story, or will it tie in to events from Neil?
SIMON: Sean and I are already a third into ‘My Dildo is a Serial Killer” which will be released on October 16th. Following it is ‘Dirty Ransom’. A father will do anything his daughter’s kidnappers ask of him, from stabbing someone to death with a frozen turd to snacking on the contents of a feminine hygiene bin.
SEAN: As Simon stated, a story about a serial killing dildo is next on the agenda. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot…
SIMON: Sean and I had the operation, and we are now conjoint twins. There are two more stories to come from the Neil Mythos. The Swine (the movie playing in the theatre during Neil’s movie massacre), a gross slasher that will push the boundaries of good taste and a direct sequel taking place after the events of the first book.
SEAN: Yes, there are more novellas forthcoming in the next several months. The collaborative process is a lot of fun and I’m happy to continue until I’m old with dementia, and forget who Simon is.
Sean, there was a character named McHardy in your latest novel Fish Pie Face Fuck. Did you tell Simon you were going to include him as a character?
I did inform him that he would be a minor character in the story and that I’d try to make our dear leader of North Gorea as revolting as possible. So, I had him creampie an inflatable koala sex toy and piss on a homeless woman.
Simon, what was your reaction when you found out. Will be getting your own back in the future?
I was outraged. I’d only ever fuck a real koala, not a blow-up substitute. Yeah, Sean will keep. I’m yet to find his kryptonite, but once I do that fucker is going down.
How do your friends and family react to the content of the stories that you write? Do any of them read them?
SIMON: My eighty-year-old Mother edits my stories. It is a far cry from the classics she has adored all her life, but she’s now a hardened splatterpunk reader and knows what rosebudding is. My wife has not embraced splatterpunk and has instructed me to never read my stories to her and is deeply ashamed of me. Nevertheless, I haven’t given up and chase her round the house spouting my filth and making her gag.
SEAN: My parents haven’t read them, nor will I encourage them to do so. Other family members have, as well as many friends. They’ve told me they’ve liked them. Whether they are being truthful, I have no idea.
I’m almost afraid of asking this, especially from reading Billy, Billy Panty Sniffer, but where do you get your inspiration?
SIMON: Much of my work is semi-biographic. Whilst I don’t appreciate the dusky aroma of soiled panties myself I’ve encountered my fair share of panty sniffers in my time.
I’m presuming there must have been a few amusing or bizarre requests from fans though. What’s the funniest/strangest thing that has happened in regards to your career?
SIMON: A female reader once sent me a pussy pic and asked me to rate it out of ten. I gave it a one because it looked like her minge was wearing a bad wig and gargling a bottle of clotted cream while parachuting.
SEAN: I’m still a newbie to the world of writing literary fiction, so no weird requests yet. I find the idea of actually having fans amusing and bizarre.
Speaking of which, do you get to attend any conventions, or do you have any plans to attend any in the near future?
SIMON: I live in rural Tasmania Australia. The only conventions we have down here are fishing and cousin fucking conventions, so it’s very unlikely as I don’t have any cousins and I don’t fish.
SEAN: Not sure if I’ll draw a big enough crowd at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to justify the effort.
Do you get the time to read yourself, and do you have any particular favourite titles or authors?
SIMON: I read before I go to sleep every night in my cupboard. My current favorite author is Carlton Mellick III, who truly deserves his crown. I try to read a lot of indie authors too. Not only to support them, but because I often find gems such as Peter Caffrey’s, The God of Wanking.
SEAN: I read literature or non-fiction everyday without fail. Most of my literary heroes are long dead, such as Flannery O’Connor, Arthur Machen and Herman Hesse. I’m an ardent fan of Primo Levi and Carl Sagan. Everyone should read ‘The Lucifer Effect’ by Philip Zimbardo. The list would go on indefinitely. There are also lots of authors on Godless who are fast becoming genre favourites of mine, for example, Nikolas P Robinson, Matthew Clarke, Lindsay Crook, and Todd Love.
What about when your not writing? What do you do to relax?
SIMON: When I’m not carrying out daring panty raids I buy computer games I never play and get bashed around a boxing ring.
SEAN: I play with Barbie Dolls and Lego Duplo with my four year old daughter, Ella. I like to go to supermarkets in the early morning and swap food items around, such as putting packets of ham in the cheese aisle. If I get thrown out, I’ll pop to my local gym. Mainly to use the free wi-fi.
Well, we’ve probably kept you busy for long enough, so we’ll leave you with our final question that we ask everyone. In the movie adaptation of your life story, who would play the part of you?
SIMON: I’m not a fan of contemporary Hollywood so it would have to be an old school actor and someone very inappropriate like Oliver Reed, who said whatever the fuck he wanted.
SEAN: In terms of age, I’d go with Dave Franco. Or Bug Hall. But to really capture the nuances of my character, I reckon a Chimpanzee would be ideal, like the ones that used to act in those old PG Tips adverts.
Thanks to Simon for putting down the panties, and to Sean for stopping whatever he was doing to that dwarf, to take to the time to talk to us.