Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she’s figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters.Joan is interested in some seriously weird shit. That’s probably also one of the reasons she writes horror.
Hi Joan! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you first become acquainted with fantasy, with horror, etc.?
I must admit I wasn’t a big horror fan growing up. I only found it in my twenties thanks to a friend handing me a copy of Stephen King’s Misery and telling me not to be such a literary snob. Then another friend got me reading Anne Rice and then I discovered my Dads collection of Dennis Wheatley books. I haven’t stopped reading genre fiction since.
What’s the appeal of fiction for you?
I think everybody loves to be swept away by a good story. We all want to escape from the mundane day to day of our daily lives and I think the best way to allow our imaginations to take flight is within the pages of a good book.
Since you write in a lot of genres, how would you describe your writing?
In a word, twisted. But if you need a longer explanation, I guess my writing is a little on the dark side. I explore the darker aspects of human nature and ask a few uncomfortable questions about that nature.
Is there a preferred format that you prefer, since you seem to write everything from short stories to novels?
I really enjoy writing shorter fiction. I’m not the most patient of people and quiet enjoy being able to thump out a story in a matter of days. But the long form also has a special place. There are some stories that need to be explored on a far deeper level that you just can’t do with short fiction. You also get to know a character far better in the novel format. So I guess that’s just the long way of saying that I like all the guises that fiction comes in. It’s important for a writer to be able to use all the tools at their disposal. It’s the story that dictates the length.
How did you end up getting published by Fox Spirit?
I’ve known Adele Wearing for a couple years now. I got to know her as a reviewer and after she reviewed my first book, Shadows, we became firm friends. Then when Shadows needed a new home and she was looking for books to publish for her new publishing company, Fox Spirit, I knew that it would be the perfect fit. Adele is a force of nature and will accomplish great things with Fox Spirit. I’m just proud that I can be a part of it.
What’s the field like there in South Africa?
The Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror fields here are still pretty small but they are growing. The genre writers are a small group and we all seem to know and support each other. It’s an emerging market.
What made you decide to set your novel in Pretoria?
I think it’s important to set a story in a place that you’re pretty intimate with. I set Shadows in Johannesburg because I was living there while I was writing it. I set Requiem in E Sharp in Pretoria because it’s my home town and where I now live once again. It’s an interesting city with a very high murder rate. It’s also a city I know better than any other and I discover new things about it every day.
Who are some of the authors or what books interest/inspired you?
The obvious one is Stephen King. Just the huge body of his work is inspiring. Then there’s Clive Barker, probably another obvious one. I also recently got to meet John Connolly in the flesh. The fluidity of his writing is inspirational. He’s also just a really nice guy, completely down to earth and easy to talk to. It’s always wonderful to meet a big name author like that.
Anything else you want to plug?
Readers can find out anything they need to know about my books on my website: http://joandelahaye.com/ and they can follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/JoanDeLaHaye
They can also have a look at all the books published by Fox Spirit http://www.foxspirit.co.uk/. Adele has put together a fantastic collection of books and authors, all of which are worth checking out.