An interview with Jack Strange by The Walking Dad
WD: Jack, you’re famous for being an author, but not many people know you’re very keen on walking.
JS: Hi Owen, it’s good of you to invite me to feature in your blog. Yes, I have a number of
hobbies that people don’t know about, and walking is certainly one of them.
WD: Can you tell us what you like about it?
JS: For a start, there are the health benefits, and then there’s the fact that it makes you feel good. Finally, as a writer, I find that landscapes inspire me. When I’m walking in picturesque scenery, I like to imagine pleasing images such as people falling off cliffs or drowning in lakes. Oh, I think we forgot to tell your readers that I’m a horror writer.
WD: It’s just as well you mentioned it – otherwise they might have thought you were a bit
JS: I’m glad we’ve set the record straight!
WD: Where do you like to go walking?
JS: Almost anywhere. If time is limited I’ll content myself with a stroll up and down the hill at the back of my house. (South Cross – it’s a small but vicious ascent!) When I have the whole day available, the Lake District is a favourite of mine. It has the sort of impressively vertical drops and deep beckoning lakes which fire my imagination.
WD: Do you ever enjoy the scenery just for its own sake? Or are you always thinking about
your horror stories?
JS: Often when I’m walking amongst the headstones in the local cemetery – the one down
Blacker Road in Birkby, Huddersfield – I enjoy it just for what it is: a place redolent of death. Happy days.
WD: How did you first get into walking?
JS: We (that is, my wife and me, and our kids who were very young at the time) took a
holiday in the Lake District many years ago with some friends who were big walkers. They
introduced us to walking, and since then our whole family has enjoyed it. I’m not sure that
my wife and kids enjoy it in quite the same way I do, though!
WD: You don’t have to be thinking about horror stories all the time to enjoy walking.
JS: No, you don’t. And as a matter of fact, a good walk should inspire you in some way,
whatever you do.
WD: What are your favourite Lake District walks?
JS: There are so many good ones, it’s hard to choose. Cat Bells is perfect if you’ve only got a couple of hours to spare; and it’s a good one to cut your teeth on, if you’re a beginner. For the seasoned walker, Scafell Pike is the ultimate peak in the lakes, of course. Someone like meccan enjoy many a happy fantasy while spending time on the top of that one! Now, about my book –
WD: Obviously, you’re dying to tell us about your book, Jack, but this is a walking blog, not
a book blog. Let’s just stick to walking.
JS: *Takes out loaded revolver*: What was that about sticking to walking?
WD: On the other hand, why shouldn’t I branch out and turn it into a book blog for once? Tell us about your book, and take as long as you like, Jack.
JS: Thanks Owen, I appreciate that. My remarkable first novel ‘Celebrity Chef Zombie
Apocalypse’ has just been published by Kensington Gore Publishing, and it is sure to quickly gather as much momentum as that fellow I told you about that I helped to get down from the top of a very big hill, I mean, the fellow I said I imagined falling down off the top of a hill. My book is available right now – check it out here:
Anyway, thank you Owen, it was very decent of you to let me plug my book. Perhaps you’d
like to say a few words about my book now.
WD: It really is an exceptional novel. Let me see, what can I say about it?
JD: *Takes careful aim at WD’s forehead*
WD: *Gulps and clears throat* Love horror? Read it. Love comedies? Read it. Love political
satire? Read it. Love Zombies? Have a word with yourself. And then read it.
JD: I’m writing a sequel and I’m thinking of giving you a starring role. I think that would be a very good idea, don’t you? *cocks revolver*
JS: So do I. Consider it done. You’re going to be in it in every sense. By the way, it’s
occurred to me that your readers might be disappointed if they buy the book and find that it’s set in the city rather than the open country, and they might think there is very little in the way of walking. Those people can rest easy. Towards the end of my novel – and this isn’t a plot spoiler – we learn about a fine hill called Stonker Edge with wonderful views – I won’t tell you what the views are of. Moreover, we learn that something has taken place that I can only describe as a “zombie walk”. If this isn’t enough to convince your walking readers, I should add that Stonker Edge and the desolate moorland at the back of it feature rather more in the sequel – “Zomcats!”. So if they want to read about jolly japes in the English countryside with a dash of blood and gore thrown in, they really should buy both novels – but only the first of them is available at present. Still, there’s no reason they shouldn’t rush out right away and buy that one, is there? *presses revolver against WD’s forehead*
WD: I agree totally. They ought to be clicking on their mouse buttons to buy it from Amazon before they’ve even finished this interview.
JS: *puts revolver away* Thanks Owen, that was great. I’ve really enjoyed this. Maybe we
could do one again sometime?
WD: Erm… maybe! *immediately starts researching ‘restraining orders’