Posts Tagged ‘Toby Bennett’

Suspended in Dusk has been released on Amazon.  Link: 

Epub and print versions are to follow shortly. I’ll post again once they’ve been released.


“Disquieting and at times terrifying, SUSPENDED IN DUSK shows that horror can, and should, have substance.” ~ Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award winner, and author of Slights, Mystification, Walking the Tree.

“SUSPENDED IN DUSK offers a delicious assortment of chills, frights, shocks and very dark delights!” ~ Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of Fall of Night and V-Wars

Suspended In Dusk NEW

Dusk: A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction:

Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael.

Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.

I first bumped into Benjamin Knox on the pages of Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories.  Bloody Parchment is the literary component of the South African Horrorfest. It’s a competition held every year and the finalists are published in the Bloody Parchment anthology edited by the fantastic Nerine Dorman.   Ben Knox is one of the most exciting new writer’s I’ve come across and his story “A Keeper of Secrets” in Suspended in Dusk, is some seriously creepy shit.

I hope you enjoy my little chat with the super talented and super creepy, Benjamin Knox.


BK portrait cropped thumbnail


Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing?

I’m mostly known for my short dark fiction. I’m of Scottish origin but have lived in too many countries to name here (my folks moved a lot, hmmm, – dawning realisation – perhaps they were secret agents?). I was always making up stories and drawing pictures, so I can’t believe it took me until my late twenties to realise that I should be writing them down. Since then I’ve not stopped.  I can’t stop and don’t want to. I think I’d’ve been that weird type back in prehistory that made up weird stories by firelight to entertain and terrify.

It’s just in me. Besides, it’s too much fun.


What genres interest you most and which do you write in?

Mostly I’m into Pulp Horror, you know the type with slimy monsters and classic tropes. However I do like my grim, eerie and creepy stuff too. Both of which I write as well as read. Also there is a wonderful overlapping where horror meets thriller, that is a place I am very comfortable in; non-supernatural suspense.


What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story?

Tough to choose. Probably Thomas Ligotti’s The Red Tower or maybe The Bungalow House (anything from Teatro Grottesco really). I love short form fiction. Personally my preference both for writing and reading is the novella. Enough length and depth to sink your teeth into, but not too much that it gets bogged down – or if you have a short attention span like me. More often we have little time to dedicate to reading these days. What time we do set aside is often short, hence reading habits have changed. Reading during a commute is now more prevalent than in the evening curled up in bed.

Also, as a reader myself, I’m much more likely to invest my time in a new author with a short story or novella than I am with 300+ pages. I’ve discovered many authors I thoroughly enjoy this way. And it’s because I’m willing to give 100 or so pages of almost anything a shot.


What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

So far; having VIRAL, a four part novella series (which I wrote with Toby Bennett) published through Dark Continents Publishing. It’s 30 Days of Night meets Resident Evil by way of Bladerunner.


Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve?

I’d really like to have work published with DarkFuse. They are home to two of my favourite authors (who have influenced me quite a bit) William Meikle and Tim Curran. Meikle is fun adventure pulp all the way and Curran’s undead are ultra-violent and ghoulish, totally up my alley. DF also do limited edition hardbacks of the novellas they publish, which certainly appeals to the book-geek in me.


Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about?

Too many to name here. I’m gearing up to release four novellas each year, one every season. Each will be stand alone and will be different in theme and style from the others. I also am looking forward to starting a fresh project with Toby Bennett before we get stuck into a possible VIRAL sequel.


What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers?

Little that would be encouraging. Basically if you are looking for praise, money and fame…you are in the wrong industry. However, the main bit of advice I can give aspiring authors is this; turn off the internet and get your daily word count done. If you actually want to write, no excuses. Get it done.

I’d like to take the time to introduce you to the super nice Toby Bennett, from Cape Town, South Africa. He is featuring in Suspended in Dusk with a story called Maid of Bone.
He’s a very talented writer and I highly recommend you check out his work if you come across it.
Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing? 

Officially I’m from Cape Town, but I only say that because the body I inhabit was born there! As far as what started me writing goes I’d have to say the answer is cruel fate. I don’t seem to find anything else satisfying, but a passion for quadratic equations might have been more useful! At least then I might be able to get this blasted death-ray to work – or at least it wouldn’t be made out of old toilet rolls!

I keep writing because I love it, I’m still far from perfection but I hope I get closer every time I work. It’s certainly going better than my army of winged monkeys; not one of the little brats has written even a line of Shakespeare yet.

What genres interest you most and which do you write in?
Always a difficult one to answer, I pretty much go where my story takes me so it really depends what’s leaking from my head on any given day. My natural inclination is towards the fantastical, with just a hint of something nasty thrown in. I like it when elements of fantasy or humour mix with the macabre. After all, it’s a spoonful of bile that brings the medicine up.
What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story? 

I’m a big fan of short stories because of their capacity to catapult the reader into the action. With none of the slower run up of a longer work they have a wonderful power to captivate and explore many themes without overstaying their welcome.

As far as a favourite short story goes I can’t say I have one (I always hate being asked to rank anything as the best). I’m always game for work by Mr. Lovecraft or Mr. King. Most recently I enjoyed the Doom Bunny by Benjamin Knox, well worth it, it helped me to forget that I didn’t get any chocolate this year!

What did you find interesting about writing a story for an anthology with the suspended in dusk title/theme? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to write about or explore? 

I’ve a terrible confession, my story started life as a pun.  It was only as it unfolded that I truly started contemplating the themes behind the anthology. The concepts of being trapped between states of being, limbo existence on the edge of what we regard as normal.

I hope it is clear enough from the story itself but I was trying to explore questions of sanity and perception. “Little questions like did that statue move?” and “can I trust my own perception?” In Maid of Bone, there is a lot that the protagonist takes for granted. She is trapped in her twilight world by her failure to address her presumptions about what is actually happening to her, I hope that readers will pick up on this ambiguity between what she thinks is true and what might be true. It is an ambiguity we all face.

 What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?
Ah the chance for some shameless self-promotion eh? Again I’m loathe to pick just one great moment. I could say the first time I finished a book or when my book Heaven’s Gate got nearly eight thousand downloads on Kindle in a week (okay, it was free at the time). I’m also really looking forward to the publication of ‘Viral’ a collaborative work with Mr. Knox and one that I expect big things from (I’m even hoping for groupies!) Small victories, yes, but things that have meant a lot to me. I think the best part of being a writer is the thought that you have made a connection with other people so I’d say that the highlight is when I hear back from people who enjoyed something I wrote.
Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc) 

Well I’m currently working on two books and I really want to get cracking on the sequel to Viral so yes plenty of goals, if only there was enough time in the day!

Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about?

It seems I’m going to mention Viral again, damned book’s like a disease! Seriously, if you like your sci-fi dystopia mixed in with a little horrible mutation and politics set against the backdrop of a ravenous media industrial complex I’d say it’s not to be missed– everyone needs to find out what a dumpling is!

Apart from that I’m also working on a historical piece set during Germanicus’s campaigns in Germany ( wish me luck with getting the research right on that!) I’ve also done a reboot of my book the Endless Ocean and will be releasing its sequel on Kindle in the next few months.

What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers? 
Not sure how original it is (the best advice often isn’t) but: keep at it and be true to your vision. It’s worth remembering that there is no right way to tell a story and that you’re probably better making your own mistakes than someone else’s. The important thing is that you build on those mistakes and hopefully speak more clearly every time, everyone’s not always going to like what you have to say but popularity isn’t the only way to judge if something is worth hearing. Most important have fun, if you’re not enjoying it how can anyone else?

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since  I’ve had a chance to post. Work has been flat out, my beautiful wife is pregnant with twins that are due mid-June and I’ve been buried deep in the second round of edits for the Suspended in Dusk anthology.

Because of all these hectic goings-on, I’ve neglected to give you all a teaser about Suspended in Dusk, so here I am to remedy that.

Here is the (unordered) Table of Contents for the anthology; a fantastic list of authors and a fantastic line up of stories.

Alan Baxter – Shadows of the Lonely Dead
Angela Slatter – The Way of All Flesh
Anna Reith – Taming the Stars
Armand Rosamilia – At Dusk They Come
Benjamin Knox – The Keeper of Secrets
Brett Rex Bruton – Outside In
Chris Limb – Ministry of Outrage
Icy Sedgwick – A Woman of Disrepute
J C Michael – Reasons to Kill
John Everson – Spirits Having Flown (Reprint)
Karen Runge – Hope is Here
Ramsey Campbell – Digging Deep  (Reprint)
Rayne Hall – Burning (Reprint)
Sarah Read – Quarter Turn to Dawn
Shane McKenzie – Fit Camp (Reprint)
S. G. Larner – Shades of Memory 
Tom Dullemond – Would to God That We Were There
Toby Bennett – Maid of Bone
Wendy Hammer – Negatives 

Some of the names above are quite well known but there are also  a few fresh new voices in the mix. All of the stories are, in my opinion, of a fantastic standard. All of them, in some way or another, literally or metaphorically, deal with the title theme Suspended in Dusk, and do so in vastly different ways.   I’m honoured to be working with such a fantastic and august line-up of authors.