Blurring The Line: Paul Mannering

Dec 18, 2015

12003146_879319075487621_892517258321694034_nBlurring The Line is the new anthology of horror fiction and non-fiction, edited by award-winning editor Marty Young, published by Cohesion Press. You can get your copy here or anywhere you normally buy books (the print edition is coming any day now).

To help people learn a bit more about it, I’ve arranged for each fiction contributor to answer the same five questions, and I’ll be running these mini interviews every weekday now that the book is available.

Today, it’s:

Paul Mannering

PaulManneringPaul Mannering is an award-winning writer living in Wellington, New Zealand, where he lives with his wife Damaris and their two cats.

Author of the Tankbread series, published by Permuted Press and the Drakeforth Trilogy, including book 1 “Engines of Empathy” published by Paper Road Press

Stalk Paul on Facebook at his author page

1. What was the inspiration/motivation behind your story in Blurring The Line?

‘Salt On The Tongue’ came about from so many inspirations. I grew up in a rural farming community in New Zealand’s South Island. The west coast of the South Island was a place we visited regularly and the coastal bush is a primal and dark temperate rain forest. Wet and lush, the Coast is a place that can be incredibly rugged and wild. Inspiration came from thinking about outsiders coming into the remote and isolated communities that can exist in such places. People who live normal lives and yet find themselves in places and situations that they can’t quite comprehend.

Motivation was that unending compulsion to explore an idea or a feeling and see just how a story will play out when it is dragged into the light and autopsied.

2. What does horror mean to you?

Horror is the stories that I can never forget. Novels, short-stories, films, radio-plays – that all come flooding back in perfect detail when I know it’s perfectly safe to walk down the dark hallway to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At the same time knowing that I wouldn’t walk that dark passage for a million bucks.

Horror is the thrill of the unseen and the arrogance of reminding ourselves that it’s just fiction. It’s the fairy tales where the witch eats Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood dies screaming with the wolf’s hot breath on her throat.

3. What’s a horror short story that you think everyone should read?

“The Strong Will Survive” by John Everson (published in his outstanding collection, “Needles and Sins”.) It is a story that you read once and then realise that you need to read it again, just to understand what you have witnessed. It is the most poignant, moving, and utterly horrific story I have ever read. The remarkable thing is that this is a very gentle tale in a collection with stories containing graphic violence and horrific scenarios.

4. What horror novel should everyone read?

“The Hellbound Heart” by Clive Barker.

In terms of length it is more a novella, but on a scale of epic – it’s greater than King’s Dark Tower series.

What totally clinches this novel as the greatest horror novel I’ve read is the beautiful poetry of the prose. Barker is a master of really disturbing horror and yet he delivers it in a way that makes it seem like a Shakespearean sonnet.

5. Name something that you think just might be real, or might not…

Amazon royalty cheques – I mean I’ve heard of them but I’ve never seen one.

Seriously though, ghosts are the one thing that I can’t entirely dismiss. I’m quite certain that 99.9% of ghost sightings and photographs are either pareidolia, or simple wishful thinking. I have only had two experiences with what might have been ghosts but they were so entirely impossible that I’m pretty sure they were legitimate.


Previous posts in the Blurring The Line interview series:

Marty Young
Tom Piccirilli
Lisa Morton
Tim Lebbon
Lia Swope Mitchell
Alan Baxter
James Dorr
Peter Hagelslag
Gregory L Norris
Steven Lloyd Wilson
James A Moore
Alex C Renwick
Lisa L Hannett
Kealan Patrick Burke
Brett McBean
Kaaron Warren


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