What scares you the most?
I have so many fears! The high-pitched whine of a dentist’s drill. Slimy garden slugs. Big spiders in my bathtub. Crowds. Fire. Dark tunnels. Heights. The worst is always the one I’m thinking about. I’m a real coward, which is a good thing for a horror writer, because I know what it feels like to be afraid, and I never run out of ideas.
Many of my best horror stories are inspired by my own fears. Sometimes, it takes courage to confront that fear in my writing. Once the story is finished, though, the fear is replaced by a sense of triumph: By fictionalising the fear, I’ve gained control over it. By writing about what frightens me, I can make it less frightening.
What’s your greatest character strength?
What’s your weakest character trait?
What books did you love growing up?
My first real book was a beautifully illustrated collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, followed by a book with life history of saints, including details of their martyrdom – gruesome stuff! When grown-ups asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied “A robber or a saint.” However, the robbers in the fairy tales were always male, and sainthood seemed to require martyrdom. I didn’t like the idea of burning alive or getting torn by lions in the arena, so that option was out, too. Then I discovered that people wrote books, and I decided that being a writer sounded less painful and more fun.
In my early teens, I loved the historical novels by Rosemary Sutcliff and Hans Baumann. I also read a lot of Karl May. Although Karl May (1842 – 1912) is almost unknown in the English-speaking world, he is popular in Germany. I loved his atmospheric descriptions of exotic places where he had never been. His approach has definitely influenced my novels, especially Storm Dancer.
In my early teens, I discovered a book with stories of Edgar Allan Poe. They were so exciting! I started writing horror stories at once. They didn’t have much plot and blatantly copied Poe’s style, but at the time I thought they were really good.
Who is your favorite author?
You want me to pick just one author? Impossible! My favourite is always the one whose book I’m reading at the moment. I enjoy the characters in the novels by Charles Dickens, the light wit of Jane Austen, the intensity of Charlotte Bronte, the observant humour of Mark Twain, the psychological intensity of Edgar Allan Poe, the creepy atmosphere of Amelia Edwards, the epic excitement of Dave Duncan, the human depth of Khaled Hosseini, the subtle darkness of Tanith Lee…
What book genre of books do you adore?
I enjoy thrillers, fantasy that takes me to imagined worlds, and creepy horror.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in rural southern Germany, near Lake Constance, the Black Forest, the Hegau Mountains and the Swiss border. I’ve travelled a lot and lived and worked in many countries – including China, Nepal and Mongolia – and the experience of these landscapes and cultures has definitely influenced my writing. The story Turkish Night, for example, is inspired by bellydancing in Bodrum, while Black Karma is set in Nepal.
Now I live on the south coast of England, in a dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur, near roaring waves clashing against chalk cliffs, cemeteries clustering around ancient churches, and medieval castle ruins washed by rain. All these places feed my imagination, and you will recognise some of them in Thirty Scary Tales.
Thirty creepy, atmospheric stories by Rayne Hall.
The horror in these stories is spooky, creepy, unsettling and sometimes disturbing. It is not very violent or gory; however, the stories may not be suitable for young readers without parental guidance. PG 13.
This book is a compilation of volumes 1-5 of the Six Scary Tales books. It includes the acclaimed stories Burning and The Bridge Chamber.
All stories have been previously published in magazines, ezines, collections and anthologies. British English.
Stories in collection include:
The Devil You Know, Greywalker, Prophetess, Each Stone A Life, By Your Own Free Will, The Bridge Chamber, Only A Fool, Four Bony Hands, The Black Boar, Double Rainbows, Druid Stones, Burning, Scruples, Seagulls, Night Train, Through the Tunnel, Black Karma, Take Me To St. Roch’s, Turkish Night, Never Leave Me, The Colour of Dishonour, Beltane, The Painted Staircase, I Dived The Pandora, Terre Vert and Payne’s Grey, They Say, Tuppence Special, Disturbed Sleep, Normal Considering the Weather, Arete.
Genre – Horror
Rating – PG-13
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