Happy New Year to all my readers. I see it has been a long time since I posted anything here. Although I am getting rather long in the tooth I can reassure my followers that I am still alive, just lacking the motivation to post just for the sake of it. These days there has to be something really exciting to spur me into action. This new anthology, curated by Rayne Hall, is certainly exciting and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in the marketing campaign.
Fiction author Andrew M. Seddon, one of the writers featured in the anthology The Haunted Train: Creepy Tales from the Railways, tells us about his literary influences and his writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I still have the very first story I wrote in elementary school: ‘The Chase’ about a rabbit being pursued by a weasel. It did not end well for the rabbit
What are your literary influences?
My earlier reading featured much science fiction, beginning with Edgar Rice Burroughs and moving on to some of the giants – Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, Arthur C. Clarke, Hal Clement. But it was to the ‘lost race’ novels of Sir H. Rider Haggard that I was particularly drawn, and which still hold a fascination for me. In terms of ghost or horror authors, initially I read Edgar Allan Poe (who hasn’t?) but also the weirder tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in addition to his Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger adventures. Sax Rohmer was a favorite. A.M. Burrage and Frederick Cowles rate highly as well. But there are so many great writers of supernatural stories… I have shelves and shelves of them, many still waiting to be read.
I’m always attracted to the ‘antiquarian’ approach exemplified by M.R. James. Lost or ancient artifacts, manuscripts, cities… so much to excite the imagination.
For your story in The Haunted Train: Creepy Tales from the Railways, where did you get the inspiration?
The idea for Wolf Station came to me because I am currently assembling an anthology of wolf stories to benefit conservation groups – so I had wolves on the brain. Put wolves and trains together in a creepy context, and you almost have to end up somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
I have never seen a ghost, nor do I wish to. I am quite content to leave ghosts to the realm of fiction.
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
Inspiration can come from almost anywhere. Sometimes ideas just seem to emerge from nowhere. Sometimes they come while I’m out running with my dog, when my mind is free to wander. Sometimes they come from dreams. Sometimes they develop from something I have read – even just an image. ‘The Ring of Kalhu’ and ‘The Tablet of Destinies’ were inspired by Assyrian mythology and archaeology. I read a dubious article about alien skulls being hidden in the Vatican. That became ‘What Darkness Remains.’ Sometimes I want to set a story in a place that I have visited. ‘Chaco,’ ‘Red Molly’, ‘The Well,’ were set in Chaco Canyon, Marquette MI, and Hay on Wye in the UK, respectively. I am also fond of ‘artifaction’ – writing a story about some artifact that I possess. For example, a World War One German belt buckle inspired ‘The Easter Shepherd’ about the bond forged by a German shepherd dog between a wounded English soldier and a German medic.
How do you go about research for the fiction you write?
I frequent museums whenever I can. On-site research whenever we travel is a must. Usually I’ll pick up a book of local history or travel or anecdotes. When I wrote my historical novel Imperial Legions, set during the Roman invasion of Britain, I did on-site research in England, and visited the actual sites where the events depicted occurred, as well as museums showcasing Roman items and history. Google and Wikipedia are invaluable, and of course non-fiction books. I have way too many books, as my wife would attest. Every now and then I’m able to consult an expert about a topic.
For readers who are new to your fiction, which of your books would be a good start?
For readers of science fiction, particularly space opera, Wreaths of Empire would be a good place to start. For supernatural fiction, What Darkness Remains. For historical fiction, Ring of Time. And for general fiction, Bonds of Affection: Short Stories and Memories of German Shepherds.
ABOUT ANDREW M. SEDDON
Born in England – and still with a deep affection for his homeland – Andrew M. Seddon has lived most of his life in the USA, including thirty years in Montana. Between non-fiction articles on diverse subjects and short stories (including twenty anthology contributions) he has accumulated some two hundred publication credits. He has also published 15 books in the genres of science-, supernatural-, and historical fiction. He is not sure which genre he prefers – whichever one has a work in progress!
He is a member of SFWA and the Authors’ Guild, and when not writing he be found hiking, enjoying classical music, and running marathons. Now retired from the medical profession he lives in Florida with his wife Olivia and German Shepherds Rex and Baltasar, where he hopes to write even more.
ABOUT THE BOOK THE HAUNTED TRAIN: CREEPY TALES FROM THE RAILWAYS
Come on board for a Gothic journey in a funicular railway in Victorian England, a freight train in the Carpathian mountains, a high tech sky train in Bangkok, an underground railway in Tokyo. Visit stations which lure with the promise of safe shelter but harbour unexpected dangers. Meet the people who work on the tracks – stationmasters, porters, signal-men – and those who travel – commuters, tourists, dead bodies, murderers and ghosts.
In this volume, editor Rayne Hall has collected twenty of the finest– and creepiest – railway tales. The book features the works of established writers, classic authors and fresh voices. Some stories are spooky, some downright scary, while others pose a puzzling mystery.
Are you prepared to come on board this train? Already, the steam engine is huffing in impatience. Listen to the chuff-chuff-chuff from the locomotive and tarattata-tarattata of the giant wheels. Press your face against the dust-streaked window, inhale the smells of coal smoke and old textiles, watch the landscape whoosh past as you leave the familiar behind and journey into the unknown.
But be careful: you can’t know the train’s real destination, nor your fellow travellers’ intentions. Once you’ve closed that door behind you and the wheels start rolling, you may not be able to get out.
The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2023. (After that date, the price will go up.) https://mybook.to/Train .
The paperback edition will be available soon.