Thursday, January 9, 2014

Witch Hunts: A Visit with Greg Chapman

For nearly three centuries, as the Black Death rampaged through Europe and the Reformation tore the Church apart, tens of thousands were arrested as witches and subjected to trial, torture, and execution, including being burned alive. This graphic novel examines the background; the methods of the witch-hunters; who stood to profit; the brave few who protested; and how the trials finally faded as Enlightenment replaced fear and superstition with reason and science. The book examines famed witch-hunters Heinrich Kramer, architect of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum; Matthew Hopkins, England's notorious "Witch-finder General"; King James I, supposedly the target of assassination by a Scottish coven; the Salem Witch Trials; and the last witch trials and executions in Europe.

Witch Hunts has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category. The Awards will be presented at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans on June 15, 2013



Please join me as we welcome Greg Chapman in our first of two interviews with the amazing authors of this comprehensive graphic novel that covers the history of persecution of witches. 

 > 1. How did you get started writing in the horror genre?

After I joined the Australian Horror Writers Association in 2009, I was selected for its mentor program and from that I had my first two novellas published – Torment and The Noctuary (2011). I’ve had two more published since then – Vaudeville (2012) and The Last Night of October (2013) so I must be doing something right ;)
> 2. Tell me about your work on Witch Hunts and how the graphic novel came to be.

I think it was towards the end of 2010 that I was contacted by Rocky Wood who was looking for an artist to illustrate a graphic novel. Of course I was extremely interested and after tossing around a few ideas, we settled on doing something around the witchcraft persecutions as it hadn’t really been done. When Lisa Morton came on board it added a whole new level of crazy fun! 

> 3. Burgers or sushi?

> 4. Name three things on your desk right now.

Micron drawing pens, watercolour paints and a Crystal Head Vodka skull bottle full of drawing ink!

> 5. What is one thing that has helped you as a writer that you would  pass on to aspiring horror novelists?

Read horror, read outside of horror. When you’re not doing that sit down and write!

> 6. What to you is the difference in pacing between a short story and a novel?

Pacing. Novels are intended to be slow burns with explosions of action here and there. Short stories should build up to a blistering climax, like a detonation timer counting down.

> 7. Is there anything in horror today that you think is overdone? Underdone?

Overdone - Virus induced zombies.
Underdone – Vampires that are actually frightening blood-sucking monsters! 

> 8. Tell us about your newest project.

Currently, I’m editing the first draft of an intended YA dark fantasy series

> 9. Do you write to music? If so, what do you listen to?

Sometimes. I love to write to soundtracks, like Mark Snow’s music from The X-Files or Danny Elfman’s Nightbreed soundtrack.

> 10. Favorite ice cream flavor.

Cookies and cream!

To find out more about the amazing Greg Chapman, check out his site 

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