I first met Shaun Jeffrey while learning the craft of writing on Editred. He was well ahead of most people there, but he took the time to help others. I always appreciated and admired that about him. His work bears a sharp edge—a tough mixture of crime and Horror. When it comes to his characters: you like some things about them and hate other attributes, there isn’t a lot of gloss on them. They’re real. His plots are tightly woven, fast paced and entertaining. Shaun is a star on the rise. I highly suggest picking up his story collections and novels.
LT: Hey, Shaun. What’s the latest news in your career? Did I hear something about The Kult being optioned for the movies? How did it come about? Is it already in production?
SJ: Hi Lee. Yes, The Kult was optioned towards the end of last year by Gharial Productions. The deal was secured by the publisher. At the moment, the director, Kip Shelton is doing the casting, and shooting is scheduled for September. I’m hoping I will be able to make it out to the US to see some of the filming so that I can get a look behind the scenes.
LT: Having read your work I know how ferocious it is. How long have you been writing? How do you manage to build such believable characters and thrust them into such dire circumstances?
SJ: I’ve been writing on and off for about 20 years – nearly half my life! My early work was a lot more graphic, but I guess I’ve actually mellowed with age. As for building believable characters, I just try to give them human foibles. Of course I then want to make things difficult for them, creating conflict. Without conflict, there’s no story.
LT: What’s the premise (and what was your favorite part to write) of your new novel DeadFall? Where can we buy it and your other works?
SJ: Well the synopsis is as follows:
"Kill them or convert them – either way we win."
A team of mercenaries race to an abandoned mining village to rescue two children held hostage by rogue ex-soldiers. But the kidnappers are a ruse, the real threat more terrifying than any of them could imagine.
Aided by a couple of unsuspecting eco-warriors, mercenary team leader Amber Redgrave must fight to survive against foes that don’t sleep and don’t feel pain.
Now as the body count rises, so do the stakes, and when the dead won’t stay dead, there’s going to be hell to pay.
My favourite part to write is the end, as that means that I’ve managed to finish what I started. It’s easy to start writing something. The difficulty is continuing with it for the long haul. People can purchase my work from most online venues, and there’s purchasing details for all of them on my website: http://www.shaunjeffrey.com
LT: Is your collection Voyeurs of Death still free to read? (Side note: A few of those stories still haunt me!)
SJ: Yes, I made my previously published collection free to download to try to allow more people to sample my work without having to splash the cash. Anyone interested can check it out here:
Voyeurs of Death I think it gives a pretty good idea of my style and the kind of warped things that inhabit my imagination.
LT: Let’s backtrack a bit. When did you first know you wanted to write? Have you always had a fascination for the darker side of fiction/human nature?
SJ: I don’t think it was a conscious decision to start writing, but I guess one day I just started putting pen to paper or finger to key. And as I’d always read horror, then I suppose it was only natural that I wrote horror. Add to that the fact that I grew up in a house in a cemetery and it’s probably fair to deduce that I wasn’t going to be vying for shelf space with Barbara Cartland.
LT: What short stories do you have forthcoming? Where can we read them?
SJ: As I’ve been concentrating more on novels, the only short story I have forthcoming is In Darkness which is going to appear in Cemetery Dance.
LT: What’s next for Shaun Jeffrey?
SJ: Well I’m working on another novel featuring the protagonist from The Kult, Prosper Snow. I also have a few other ideas bubbling, and I’m also working on a zombie screenplay with Daniel Kahaeku who wrote the screenplay for The Kult. But as my crystal ball isn’t working too well, I can’t say for certain what will happen. I just hope it’s good.
LT: Anything else you would like to add?
SJ: I’d just like to say thanks to anyone who’s ever read my work. A bigger thank you if you enjoyed it. And an enormous thank you to anyone who’s actually put their hand in their pocket or purse and bought it. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint, as at the end of the day, I want to entertain, and for a brief moment, I want to take you by the hand and lead you into a world of my imagination. A world of dreams, shocks, laughs and terror.
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Thanks so much for your time, Shaun! Looking forward to many more of your twisted stories!