Niall and I first met as undergrads at Mount Royal University. From what I remember, we first connected through our mutual love of film, either through a course or a club of some kind. It wasn’t long before I learned that Niall was also a fiction writer, and we started exchanging excerpts from our works-in-progress. Niall’s rare, formidable talent was immediately evident to me—I saw in all his work a unique sense of humour and a mastery of pacing, plot and voice. After reading his phenomenal debut novel Only Pretty Damned (available now through NeWest Press), I reached out asking if he’d like to do a Q&A. He kindly agreed, and the dialogue below is the result of our email exchanges.
“Every now and then, […] you find a horror author who can disarm and unsettle you while telling these incredibly meaningful, important stories, and those are the ones that tend to stick with me. Mike Thorn? He’s one of those authors.”
“I truly enjoyed reading this book. It is evident through his writing that Thorn has a true love for the horror genre. Each of the stories were distinct and well thought out. He can write subtle horror and then switch to something weird and morbid. He masterfully uses imagery to make his fictional work all that more realistic and disturbing. But he also leaves a lot up to the reader’s own imagination, which doesn’t always work, but in this case it was beautifully executed.”
I recently appeared on Ben Walker’s What the Book? interview series.
Josiah Morgan and I have been online acquaintances for several years, bonding initially over our mutual passion for film. I recently read his debut poetry collection Inside the Castle and was stunned by its formal sophistication, thematic complexity and breadth of reference. I sent him a message asking if he would like to publish a chat with me about writing, genre and influences, and he kindly agreed.
“Darkest Hours is brutal. I mean that in the best way possible. The stories here range from cosmic horror to real horror and everything in between. I, myself, am a massive fan of heavy music and it was great seeing stories interjected with death and black metal imagery and references.”