When the King of Horror, aka Stephen King, tells you your writing “rocks,” you know you must have produced something worth reading.
Joseph D’Lacey from Crick, Northamptonshire, is already a celebrated name in the world of horror writing and this has been a busy year as he has not only recently published his first Black Feathers novel (The Black Dawn) but one of his short stories has also been included in a new anthology entitled The Best British Fantasy 2013.
Joseph said: “I became very interested in the genre as a reader from the age of nine or 10 when I first picked up a James Herbert novel and it changed my life. It was the opening of a door. My first short story was accepted and published in 2001, so I was probably in my early 30s.”
Blood, gore and plenty of death would probably be a novice’s way of summing up the horror genre, but Joseph’s work has a lot more substance than that.
In one of his earlier works, Meat, he took the controversial subject of the food production industry and researched it so thoroughly that, by the time he concluded the book, he had converted to vegetarianism.
He said: “It is that double standard that interested me. We are mostly so removed from where our meat, our food, comes from and if we do know we don’t want to think about it.
“I was interested in the idea of vegetarianism and how it was tied in with the ethics of taking life to sustain our own life. And Meat is an extension of that idea. In researching Meat, most of my research was looking at hidden camera stuff and there was some very disturbing material.”
Achieving high praise from Stephen King is something about which Joseph is understandably proud.
“He was someone I read and was fascinated by. The idea that someone I grew up admiring so much had not only just read something I wrote but enjoyed it enough so be so positive about it in a public way was mind-blowing. I was on a walking holiday in Austria and I had a message from my publisher to tell me about it. I had to sit down.”
When it comes to thinking of new material, Joseph says: “I have no trouble with ideas, I have more ideas than life left.”
He is already planning the release of his second Black Feathers book, entitled The Book Of The Crowman, which is due out in March next year. The Best British Fantasy 2013 is available priced £9.99. To find out more, visit josephd lacey.wordpress.com.