Confessions of my Past, Present and Future
From the moment I was born I was destined to be a horror fanatic. The night my mother went into labour, the stars had aligned like in that bit in Omen III: The Final Conflict, horses curdled and milk did sweat.
My mother was a massive, massive Hammer Horror (and others of that era) fan, and was an avid collector of regional ghost books, so that genre had always been loitering around me like a weird, sinister, lunatic uncle.
I've read books pretty much constantly since I learnt how to read. I was one of those kids who favoured books over toys.
I have also written stories since I was old enough to write, before I could write I used to dictate to my father.
My first recollection of a book so horrific that I had to stop reading was Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I remember it went into horrific detail about what your typical witch would do to a captured child and it scared the hell out of me. But...once I had put it down I couldn't help but be lured into reading more. It had to be finished.
Once I discovered that I kind of equally liked, and loathed being scared pooless by a good yarn, I would pick up some of my mother's books or swipe unwanted presents off my older siblings.
My sister had a few of the old Pan Horror omnibuses and from there it escalated quickly into the likes of James Herbert and Stephen King.
Jay Anson’s Amityville Horror was the first book I read that kept me awake at night, I was too young, I believed in the fact that if something said it was true then it was, and I was bloody petrified.
As a teenager I developed a love for the British equivalents to Stephen King, I wanted to read about horrific things in places that were more familiar to me. I fell in love with Stephen Laws and Joe Donnelly, Stephen Law’s The Frighteners was the first thing I had read by him and I was hooked.
With Joe Donnelly I loved the Scottish surroundings and takes on old legends, Still Life, Incubus and Shrike are well overdue a reread.
My first glimpse of extreme horror was Richard Laymon’s Endless Night. That book had me glued from the very beginning. It's around the four or five-hundred-page mark and I remember sitting in my chair and not being able to do anything until I had finished it. A quote which appeared on a few of his books, "like Stephen King without a conscience" was what attracted me to his work.
Ever to be one to be the last on the bandwagon I've recently discovered Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series. I was always put off in the nineties by the trashy book covers, skulls and stuff, I still really hate book covers that look like they should be the cover on a heavy metal album (not that I have any issues with metal \m/ ) I loved his take on the vampire Mythos and the whole espionage, or ESPionage as they refer to it, spies with telekinetic powers, kinda like a horror X-Men.
My favourite horror authors at the moment are Adam Nevill, F R Tallis, John Adjvide Lindqvist, they are the main ones who I have to buy when their books come out. I like books that can take me to foreign places like the scenery and cultural differences in Lindqvist’s books.
Currently I'm going through an Irvine Welsh stint. He has always been one of my favourite authors, for everyday horror too. He has that warped sense of humour and is one of the few writers who can gross me out and make me chuckle simultaneously.
There are loads of writers whose books float my boat nowadays. I'm fortunate enough to even be friends with some of them on social media, I love what I've read from Gary Fry and Paul Finch and have just rekindled my love for the local legends by reading one of their Terror Tales Of... series. These wonderful books with snippets of actual legend from different areas of the UK, intermingled with short stories by some great authors that slip in place wonderfully.
I've never ever stuck to one particular genre, but horror has been the most predominant. I want to go back to catching up on my Haruki Murakami, read more of the older stuff I've missed out on. Investigate authors I've never read: Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson.
There isn't a genre I haven't read and it would be hard to find something out of my comfort zone. I have always been attracted to the weird, offensive, satirical and horrific but also like the odd feel good, inspiring stories.
Watch out for a review of Ankle Biters coming tomorrow night!
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Matthew Cash, or Matty-Bob Cash as he is known to most, was born and raised in in Suffolk; which is the setting for his forthcoming full length novel Pinprick which is due for publication with Knightswatch Press in 2016.
He has always written stories since he first learnt to write and most, although not all, tend to slip into the many layered murky depths of the Horror genre.
His influences, from his early reading, to present day are, to name but a select few; Roald Dahl, James Herbert, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Stephen Laws, and more recently he enjoys Adam Nevill, F.R Tallis, Michael Bray, William Meikle and Iain Rob Wright (who featured Matty-Bob in his famous A-Z of Horror title M is For Matty-Bob, plus Matthew wrote his own version of events which was included as a bonus).
He is a father of two and a husband of one.
And for more about Matthew, you can find him on social media: