Kit Power may be relatively new to the horror fiction circuit, but his work is already making very noticeable waves.  With a novella and a more-than-respectable array of short stories currently under his belt, along with a full-length novel in the pipeline, Kit Power is proving to be far more than a mere flash in the pan.

Often brutal and explicit with its violence or choice of subject matter, Power’s offerings to date bring together strong characterisation, a distinct voice, the darkest of humour, and a natural flare in twisted storytelling.

I can honestly say that Kit Power is looking to be one of the most exciting newcomers to hit the world of horror fiction for some time…

DLS - Hi Kit. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for DLS Reviews.

KPIt’s a real pleasure to be here. At last, a legitimate excuse to avoid edits!

DLS – When did you start writing fiction and what made you first take the plunge?

KP Well, on and off since I was ten years old, with a heavy emphasis on the ‘off’ part. The first one I can remember (there will have been others) was inspired by a school project – having read ‘Wind in the Willows’, we were asked to write our own story in that style called ‘By The Riverbank’. Unfortunately, I’d just seen ‘Jaws’, and was completely obsessed with the movie. Having realised or been informed that sharks were salt water creatures, with rivers being fresh water, I hit upon the brilliant idea of a shoal of leeches. From there, ‘Leech Attack’ was born, a sprawling 2000 word epic featuring frog police chief Moody, a dissembling rabbit mayor who wouldn’t believe the evidence of the chief that leeches were active (it being, of course, holiday season, and tourist dollars being the only thing that kept the riverbank economy afloat, I guess) and the tragic hedgehog child who died while paddling on his inflatable raft.

At which point I abandoned the ‘Jaws’ pastiche, and had Moody follow the leeches back to an underground lair, where it turned out the evil Mr. Fox has been terrorising the riverbank, in a bid to drive down property prices.

I bashed the story out over two weeks, single finger typing on my Dad’s word processor during a summer holiday. When I took it into school, the headmaster liked it so much he made me read it out in front of the whole class. Everyone went nuts for it, and several groups of kids immediately set to work trying to produce longer stories, none of which I can remember ever being completed. It was my proudest moment in a classroom to that date, and looking back I probably never really topped it. It felt amazing.

Naturally I wrote absolutely nothing of any substance, beyond required school work, for about five years.

Fast forward to 2012, and two very important things happen in quick succession. One, I do a distance learning course for work – 60 points of level 3 University study. I do okay, but more importantly, I study 8 – 10 hours a week while I’m doing it, and I discover, hey, I have 8 – 10 hours a week ‘spare’ - or rather, that I didn’t know I had. The idea of returning to either TV or video gaming did not appeal. Then I read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, and that was important thing number two. Reading that, it was like a little voice inside said ‘Say, didn’t you used to like writing?’ Why yes, yes I did. ‘So why don’t you, you know, do it?’

As soon as the course was finished. I sat down and wrote ‘Lifeline’. I haven't yet stopped.

DLS – What’s a typical day in the life of Kit Power?

KP Oh it’s thrilling. For starters, there’s an alarm clock, which shatters whatever bizzaro crap my subconscious has seen fit to inflict on me over the night. Then there is coffee, often, then clothes, myself and 5 year old daughter – I’ve discovered that goes a lot quicker and easier if I get the right clothes on the right human. A four mile cycle to work, then work, heavily featuring more coffee throughout the morning, and often porridge around 11 am. Then the same 4 miles home, only it’s more uphill on the way home so it takes longer, then food with the family, bathing and bedtime stories with the little ‘un, then somewhere between 7:30 and 8pm I fire up the netbook and try and write for an bit – often, though not always, while consuming either beer or whiskey. An hour or two of that, then some quality TV time with the missus – just finished ‘Justified’, and we’re giving ‘Game Of Thrones’ season 2 another shot.

Rinse, repeat.

DLS – Having read ‘Lifeline’ and ‘The Loving Husband And The Faithful Wife’ along with your short story ‘The Debt’, I can’t help but draw comparisons with your writing style to that of the late Richard Laymon.  Is this something you’ve been conscious of, and would you say Laymon has been a particular influence to your writing?

KP I’m afraid I can’t claim that, for the simple reason that I’m not at all familiar with his work. I was a King fanatic as a teenager, read some Koontz,  some Barker, and a little James Herbert, but I actually drifted away from horror after that (mainly into crime thrillers – Jim Thompson, Kellerman, Elmore Leonard, and my personal noir god James Ellroy) , and have only recently returned to the fold, as it were. That said, I know enough by his reputation as both a writer and a man to recognise that it’s an enormous compliment, and one I'm very humbled by.

DLS – Who would you say has had a noticeable influence on your writing?

KP Well, as noted above, King was seminal for me. I read ‘IT’ when I was 11, and ‘On Writing’ is the only reason anybody is reading this, so that’s a massive debt. Jim Thompson and James Ellroy are both huge influences for me – Jim showed just how dark you can go with crime, how close to horror it can be, and Ellroy is just a master of succinct prose. By the time you get to his ‘American Underworld’ trilogy, it’s just like dark jazz. Only awesome and coherent and genius, so really not like Jazz at all! I’d also have to give props to Don Wimslow, another crime writer who manages to be both dark and at times hysterically funny. And, you know, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, Iain Banks, guys like that.

DLS – Your writing appears to flow incredibly naturally and quite effortlessly.  Is this in fact the case, or does your writing actually take far longer than the casual flow of the story gives the impression of?

KP Ha! In the case of the pieces you’ve read, that’s fairly accurate, yeah. I think ‘Lifeline’ D1 took me three and  half weeks, from start to finish, and I only really got stuck once – there’s a moment in the piece where the bad guy seems to suspect something is awry, and goes after the protagonist pretty heavy, and I just couldn’t see what Frank was going to say to get past it. So I hit pause for a couple of days, mulled it over, and found a way through. I actually kept the moment in the story though – I had Frank freeze up, unsure what to say at first. I don’t think I got stuck in the other pieces at all, they flowed pretty sweetly. That said, you’re talking about the three of the first four pieces I sat down to write. It’s not always been that easy...

DLS – From what I’ve read of your work, your tales always include a very clear ‘voice’ which tells the story from behind the eyes of one of the principal characters.  Is creating this voice a vital element within your writing process and is it something you’re always conscious of when writing?

KP It really came out of naivety more than anything – it’s just what I was most comfortable with when I started writing, my first few pieces are all first person. I did some theatre in my youth, and I think that sense of character stayed with me. I’ve done plenty of third person work since (including in the novel), and that works better for a lot of things, but it does depend on the type of story you want to tell. But yes – when I’m hitting first person, finding the voice is critical, because it sets the tone of the whole piece. Also, your reader is going to be stuck with this character voice for the duration too, so that’s a consideration.

DLS – Your characters are always particularly well-defined and rich in personality.  Is this something you feel is integral to the success of a novel and have you based any of these characters on real people?

KP The people have to be real. Absolutely. My favourite part of writing ‘Lifeline’ – the moment I really felt like I was properly writing, actually – was the moment Frank started to assert himself in the narrative, do and say things I wasn’t expecting. He stopped being a simple ‘victim’, and started fighting to live. It was a really exciting moment for me. As to real life parallels, sure, and no. I mean, I draw traits etc. from people I know or have observed, but it’s really important to me that the characters are their own creatures, with their own DNA. So much of the fun in writing is feeling that emerge.

DLS – Your stories don’t jump feet first into one particular genre, but instead seem to incorporate aspects from a number of different genres, such as horror, gritty thrillers, crime and dark fiction.  Was this purposeful?  And can you see yourself embracing any particular genre more fully in the future?

KP I’m super leery of genre definitions, yes. I have a huge gift with my writing, which is this: I don’t have to do it. I'm not chasing a paycheck, I’m not relying on it to survive, I don't have mouths dependant on my churning out good, readable prose every night. So I also don’t have an agent, publisher and fan-base who all have expectations I can fail to meet. Consequently, I don't have to worry about genre when I sit down to write, so I basically don’t. It’s just about the story, and the characters.  That freedom is very valuable to me, and I'm keen to preserve it, to be honest. Iain Banks in my model in that regard – he did a sci-fi novel every other year, but when he was writing his ‘literary’ work, it seems to me he wrote what he damn well wanted to. I aspire to that kind of approach (though I'm not fit to touch his robe in terms of talent).

DLS – You seem to enjoy dishing out a hefty dose of comeuppance in your tales.  Is the idea of exacting revenge, or some form of justice, a goal that you consciously aim for when thinking up your stories?

KPThat’s a really interesting observation. I’m actually pretty bothered by pat notions of justice in stories. I know there’s a school of thought that fiction should be better than life, because things in fiction can resolve with a feeling of dramatic resonance that real life often denies us. But I often think that it’s exactly those unexpected details in life that are the real mystery, the real excitement, for good and ill. So I enjoy ambiguity – like, one of the central tensions in ‘The Loving Husband...’ is the degree to which the Husband is even a reliable narrator. Because depending on how you read it, it could be a revenge narrative, or it could be something quite different...

‘Wide Load’ is a bit more straightforward, I guess. I think anyone who has worked in office environments for any length of time will have met an arsehole like the lead at some point, so maybe that one was a bit more of a twisted wish fulfilment...

DLS – The character of ‘The Husband’ from  your tale ‘The Loving Husband And The Faithful Wife’ was one of the most intriguing, complex and conflicting characters that I’ve come across in recent years.  What inspired you to create such a character and was it difficult to portray such a complex personality from behind the characters’ eyes?

KPThe sick part is, it was really simple once I’d established the parameters. The first draft was about two thousand words longer, almost all of that in the beginning which was later cut, and in it I went into detail about his life, his habits, his relationship with his wife. Now, I needed to write it, to find him, figure him out, but you didn’t need to read it for the story to work. Once I’d gotten him worked out, I could start right in close, showing rather than telling his obsession with his wife. Once I’d realised it was basically ‘Dr. Watson as potentially unreliable narrator’ it wrote itself...

DLS – In your short story ‘Wide Load’ you’re undoubtedly aiming for the ‘gross-out’ factor.  Would you say you have a compulsion to sicken your readers?  Also, is attempting to revolt your readers something that you think you’ll return to again in the future?

KP I write about what scares or disturbs me. In that regard, I do not censor, or look away.  In that regard, I guess I am a horror writer. But I’m really not trying to fuck anybody else up with my writing – it’s more an exorcism of the shit that profoundly bothers me, for whatever reason.

Though I can’t deny that in the specific case of ‘Wide Load’, I did write most of it with a huge grin on my face, and thinking about it still makes me chuckle. So maybe I just need help of some kind. Either way, ‘don't look away’ is a mantra with me, so it’s likely that I will continue to gross out on occasion.

DLS – Can you tell us a little about your forth-coming debut novel ‘GodBomb!’ and how your short story ‘Genesis’ fits into the whole picture?

KP Sure. ‘GodBomb!’ is the story of a church revival meeting I attended in Devon in 1995 – my first and I hope last Born-Agian church service experience. Only in this version of the story, the service is interrupted by an atheist suicide bomber who threatens to kill the entire congregation unless God comes to speak to him personally. Hilarity ensues.

‘Genesis’ explores in more detail the motivations behind the bomber, recounting the 48 hours prior to his attack. It’s first person, from the bombers perspective, and is designed to work either as a prequel or as an addendum to the novel itself.

DLS – What’s been your biggest challenge with writing ‘GodBomb’?

KP All of it. Novel writing I have found exponentially more hard than short stories/novellas. It’s been a near-vertical learning curve, and I’m still not done. Put it this way, though I’ve worked on other pieces in between, I’m closing in on two years working on this sucker at this point.  It’ll be done soon, and each draft has been an improvement on the last, and the next novel will be a lot easier, but... yeeshe. This one has been tough.

DLS – I understand you also write for Jim Mcleod’s ‘Ginger Nuts Of Horror’.  How did this come about?  And do you enjoy reviewing for the site?

KP Sheer fluke, honestly. I found Jim and the site via Facebook very early on, and chanced my arm with an author interview. I then noticed his ‘Books That Matter’ series and offered him a piece about Stephen King’s ‘IT’. He went for it, and that article went up, got some nice comments. Then I said to Jim that if he ever did ‘Films That Matter’ I could write him a killer piece on ‘Robocop’, and he basically said ‘do it, and you can kick off the series’. I did, and he liked it enough to ask if I wanted to do a regular monthly column, and after a little back and forth, ‘My Life In Horror’ was born. And that is some of the most fun I've had writing this last year, especially when ‘Godbomb!’ has come back from critical readers AGAIN with a load of issues that need fixing...

Reviewing has been fun too, yeah.  My personal review policy is that I only write about work I a) finish and b) like, so it happens in fits and starts (unless you’re one of those writers for whom my opinion will have  no impact anyway– King, Barker etc.). It’s been a really positive experience, and I've found some great indie writers I otherwise wouldn't have.

DLS – Having reviewed other authors’ work through ‘Ginger Nuts Of Horror’, have you noticed any change in your own writing as a result of examining the good and bad aspects of someone else’s work?

KP I think it all sinks in on some level. I’m not sure I could point to a specific technique or story, exactly, but my writing has steadily improved for sure, and it’s not all elbow grease – being exposed to tons of new writing plays its part for sure, as does writing about it, actually. I think bad writing is the most powerful, in many ways – when a sentence or plot point or character action or reaction wallops you right out of the immersion, that’s always when I take a mental note – ‘okay, let's never ever do that’.

DLS – In the run-up to the release of Clive Barker’s hugely-anticipated novel ‘The Scarlet Gospels’ (2015) I understand you’ve been working your way through all of Barker’s previous Harry D’Amour stories.  How has this been going, and has it refreshed your love of Barker’s work?

KP It’s been fan-bloody-tastic. I read ‘Weaveworld’, ‘The Hellbound Heart’, ‘Imajica’ and ‘The Great and Secret Show’ as a kid, but I’d never read any of Barker’s short work, or ‘Everville’. The first D’Amour story was a revelation – I’m so used to Barker’s ‘epic’ style that I couldn’t believe how vibrant and skilful his short story work was. That he could write that well, that young – man, it’s borderline depressing. I’m most of the way through ‘Everville’ now, and while the slow start was a bit of a grind, it’s hopping along now, all right.

I’m actually talking to Jim about doing a full Barker retrospective at some point now. Barkers’ prose style varies quite a bit, but when he’s firing on all cylinders he’s unstoppable and untouchable. I knew the guy was good, but yeah, it’s been an eye opener even so. Can’t wait to see how ‘The Scarlet Gospels’ slots in with that context

DLS – Have there been any novels recently that have really stood out to you as being something exceptional?

KP ‘The Summer Job’ by Adam Cesare made me want to read everything he’s put out. Bracken McCloud’s ‘Mountain Home’ kicked my teeth in, in a good way. And obviously the Barker stuff – ‘The Great and Secret Show’ I found to be near perfect, and I know a lot of people didn’t dig ‘Everville’ as much, but it’s rocking my world at the moment, be interesting to see how it lands.

DLS – Has a novel ever given you nightmares?  If so, which ones and has that put you off that particular author, or instead made you want to read more of their work?

KP ‘IT’ did as a kid, for sure. The leper and the house on Niebot Street messed me up. I haven’t read everything King ever put out, but I’m close. I also have to mention ‘Sleepers’ here – that book didn’t give me nightmares so much as kept me awake. I think it remains the single most personally disturbing things I’ve ever read.

DLS – Other than ‘GodBomb!’ what else can we expect to see coming from you in the not-too-distant future?

KP Well, I have a couple of short stories placed – a straight up horror called ‘Ted’ which will appear in issue #1 of Another Dimension magazine and podcast, and I’ve also sold a dark noir piece called ‘Like A Charm’ to Kzine, which will either be dropping end of this year or the beginning of next. ‘When The Pin Hits The Shell’, which I expect to be the only western I will ever write, will be appearing in the first Black Room Manuscripts anthology, which will be out in June. I’m also in talks with a publisher about a short story collection with one hell of a twist – that’s still in negotiation, but if it does go through, again will be end of the year, or the beginning of the next.

Beyond that, my next three longer pieces are in various stages of planning. Each will be set in the same city, on the same day, with three alternate history timelines. The genres will be sci-fi, horror and apocalypse.  They will probably shake out as novella/short novel length. I am actually going a little bit crazy from not getting started on them, but as soon as ‘Godbomb!’ is put to bed, work will commence. I am REALLY excited about them.

DLS – Kit Power, it’s been a blast.  Thank you for taking the time out to be interviewed for DLS Reviews.

KP Thank you!

You can also visit to Kit Powers official website here

Or see in-depth reviews of Kit Powers work here:


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