Today we are interviewing Welsh author David Owain Hughes about his latest book
Hello and welcome David thank you for agreeing to this interview.
To begin with tell us a little about yourself and your background
David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly instil in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had multiple short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine, and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novels “Walled In” (2014), "Wind-Up Toy" (2016), “Man-Eating Fucks” (2016), and “The Rack & Cue” (2017) along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and "Choice Cuts" (2015). He’s also written three novellas – “Granville” (2016), “Wind-Up Toy: Broken Plaything & Chaos Rising” (2016).
You are known as a horror writer but your latest book 'South By Southwest Wales is a crime thriller. Could you tell us why you decided to write a crime thriller?
I’ve had a thing for crime fiction for many years—especially 1930’s/40’s gangster crime—and so it came as no great shock to me that I wanted to produce a book within the crime/noir/detective genre. I also have a keen interest in detectives/P.Is, as they’re almost always portrayed in films/books/TV shows as lonely individuals – an aspect I love exploring when building my own characters. However, I think the biggest prompt for me to write such a book, was to show people I’m not a one-trick pony; that I can write other things too, not just blood, guts and perversion. I had a golden opportunity here to explore some dark, interesting things, such as Sam’s delusional state of mind and hard-drinking habits.
Without giving the plot away. How would you describe your book to someone thinking of buying it?
I think Richard Ayre’s full blurb will sum this question up nicely: ‘Samson Valentine. Once the best gumshoe in the city, but now little more than a washed up has-been. The question is, though, which city? And when? Owain-Hughes is probably best known for his horror stories, but South by Southwest Wales showcases the sheer versatility of this brilliant writer, and the detail of both setting and characterisation combine to make one hell of a good read. In Samson Valentine, Owain-Hughes has created a classic flawed hero. A man who is inherently good in a world that has turned bad. And when things get personal, Valentine shows that he is not a man to cross. In South by Southwest Wales, David Owain-Hughes presents us with a pure gem. Part Noir detective thriller, part insight into the dark world of alcoholism. This is a fabulous story that weaves its way seamlessly from 1940’s Chicago to modern-day Cardiff, thanks to the fractured mind of its main character. I can’t think of a better evening than to sit in the pool of light from a shaded chintz lamp, sip a single malt, and get lost in South by Southwest Wales. Pure magic’ --Richard Ayre
Your main character Samson is a brilliant creation who was the inspiration for the character?
Nobody in particular. Samson is a mash of a multitude of characters—with a special sprinkling of Hughes’ magic dusted—who I’m fond of from various films. However, Eliot Ness and Jim Malone spring to mind – characters found in my all-time favourite gangster flick The Untouchables. Also, I’ve always liked Bob Hoskins’ hapless P.I Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Martin Balsam’s portrayal of Milton Arbogast, the unwitting P.I killed off in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Readers will more than likely see the little nods to the latter film within my book. Hitchcock’s North by Northwest was another huge influence. So too was the main character, played by Cary Grant. That whole era does it for me – it’s was classy.
The cover of the book is fantastic could you tell us about it and who designed it?
A French fella by the name of Kevin Enhart produced the cover, which isn’t the first he’s done for me. I’ve known Kev the best part of ten years. I can’t go into too much detail about the cover, because I don’t want to give too much away. The only thing I will say is, if you look close enough, you will see two cities – one older than the other…
As someone who has read the book, I have to ask will there be a sequel?
Definitely. I have the idea all mapped out and ready to go. However, at current, I’m taking a wee breather. I want to catch up with my reading and to spend some quality time with my family. I also want to push South by Southwest Wales, and give it time to see how it does, before I press on with the sequel.
Thank you David it's been wonderful talking to you. We wish you all the best with your book.
My pleasure. Thanks!
If want to find more about David's work visit: