• Gaby Triana

Getting to know Horror Author CHRIS TETREAULT-BLAY

On the Witch Haunt today, we have a father of twins who somehow manages to find the time to write (I feel his pain)…please welcome horror author, Chris Tetreault-Blay!

WH: Hi Chris! Please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self:

I am Chris Tetreault-Blay, and I am an author based in Devon. I write mainly horror fiction, and started writing in 2013. My debut novel Acolyte was first published in 2015. I have a degree in Psychology and Sociology, and currently work as an area manager for a national parcels company. I try to write when I can, around my job and spending time with my beautiful wife and four-year-old twins.

WH: Oh, boy... I have twins as well, though mine will be turning 13 this year. I know how hard it can be to write while taking care of little ones. Kudos to you, Dad! What other career would you have if not writing/publishing?

Well I would probably just be doing my normal job, which is in logistics. It’s an industry that I have always loved working in, as it always presents me with challenges (sometimes too many!). But it is my aim one day to be able to write full-time. I can dream, at least.

WH: Hmm, I write full-time and sometimes I wish I could go back to the “normal” job, because at least that way I know I’ll be getting a steady paycheck. Will full-time writing, you just never know what to expect. What is your writing process like?

Pretty chaotic, if I’m honest. Despite my best efforts, I tend not to plan any of my novels except for maybe a few notes scrawled in my notebook or on my phone. I used to aim for a word limit every day, but that was when my previous job allowed me a dedicated hour each day to do this. Nowadays, it is a case of grabbing whatever spare time I can to get something down on paper, but I still have days where I am simply not in the zone. So it may be that I get an idea whilst washing up or driving (my most common times for light-bulb moments), and grab my laptop as soon as I can and just purge whatever is on my mind.

I wish I could be more organized but don’t think it is in me (ha!).

WH: Everyone has their own, unique process! Which of your written works are you most proud of?

I would have to say Acolyte. It was my first novel, the one that brought me to the dance, so to speak. And as I started writing it without any inclination of ever having it published, I still hold it close as perhaps the most organic and personal book I have written so far.

It is due to be re-released with a new publisher (Britain’s Next Bestseller) on August 20th (Note: as of 9/1/18, the date of this article, it has already been released) and this has truly reignited my spark for writing. So it still continued to be the one of my titles that keeps driving me forward.

(Plus it is the one that Robert Englund, aka Freddie Krueger, is holding in a picture I had taken with him a couple of years ago…)

WH: How cool is that? Congrats on the re-release! If you could interview any horror author, gone or alive, who would it be?

Without a doubt, H.P. Lovecraft. Truly one of a kind. I love his stories, despite sometimes not completely understanding what is going on. All that does is make me want to go back and read it again. Genius!

WH: I love authors who make you reread their stories, picking up something new with each layer of complexity, and I think Lovecraft does that for many. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

Being a father, I am now a lot more tired (Ha!). But I would say I am definitely more focused now on what is really important to me. I take a lot more responsibility for everything I have in my life, and am grateful for each little thing that comes along. I have also learned not to ignore my creative impulses. After all, it was actually taking the plunge and putting my first idea down on paper that led to my first published novel. When I was younger, I would give up on things too easily and convince myself I wasn’t good enough to succeed at much.

WH: Silencing that inner voice is the first step to empowerment. Glad it’s worked out for you. So, quick food break…how do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite libation? What’s your favorite dessert?

Not much of a coffee-drinker, but the few times I have had it, it has had to be black (of course). I’ve just had to Google ‘libation’, lol. Do you mean alcoholic drink? If so, it has to be wine or real ale. Having such a sweet tooth, it is almost impossible for me to pick just one dessert. But maybe chocolate cheesecake. I set a record in my university days of polishing off a family-sized cheesecake by myself…in three minutes!

WH: Yeah, I hear you on that. My sweet tooth is a daily battle. What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?

Watching a ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ horror film at home with my wife. But now we have kids, I’m sure we will have some new traditions taking place in years to come. They absolutely love Halloween! I guess our only tradition with them so far has been for them to play the compilation DVD I made for them, of a load of Halloween nursery rhyme-type song videos that they love. We are hoping to dress them up as Chucky & Tiffany from Child’s Play one year, if we can…(cue horrified gasps from non-likeminded parents!)

WH: Ah, screw them! Dance to your own beat and all that. What is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)?

Oh, jeez. That’s a tough one. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly witchy really. I’m really quite boring. I guess maybe it would be sleeping with my eyes open. That’s freaked a few people out in the past.

WH: Okay, that is definitely freaky! Who would be your favorite Addams Family character?

Gomez, no question. I think secretly all men want to be like him. He is the ultimate romantic, and a real hero in his family’s eyes.

Plus my wife wants to be Morticia, so that would work…

WH: Indeed! Tish, that was French! What do you feel makes a horror novel scary?

Leaving as much to the imagination as possible. Novels that contain many blatantly gory sequences start to lose their impact way before the end, I find. But a little insinuation here and there, allowing the reader to form their own images, is one of the cleverest things a horror writer can do. Plus also killing off a main character right at the end when you think it’s all over. James Herbert was a master at that.

WH: What is the most awesome thing happening in your life right now that you’d like to share with us?

Seeing my kids grow up. As scary as it is to see them just about to start school, I look at them every day and marvel at how perfect they are (when they’re not at each other’s throats!), and take a lot of pride knowing I helped create that. Plus my wife and I are in the process of buying a new home, so it’s an exciting (and harassed?) household at the moment.

WH: Wow, congrats! That’s a huge step! What’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

I am about to see the first of my books (Acolyte) be re-launched by my new publisher Britain’s Next Bestseller. I’m so proud of how it looks now and am very much looking forward to them being given a new lease of life. Plus I am working on a new book called Poison In The Well, which will be the first in a new Wildermoor trilogy.

Congrats on all your accomplishments so far, and good luck with Poison in the Well! Can’t wait to see it in print, Chris. To follow Chris Treteault-Blay, visit the links below:

* Website: https://houseofcourtenay.wixsite.com/storyman

* Latest release: Acolyte – The Wildermoor Apocalypse: Book One(relaunched by BNBS on 20thAugust)

* Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChrisTetreaultBlay

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/TetreaultBlay

* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tetreaultblay/

Chris Tetreault-Blay specialises in writing horror fiction, and is the author of the Wildermoor Apocalypse trilogy. His debut novel, Acolyte, was first published in 2015 and he is immensely proud that the series has now found a new home at Britain’s Next Bestseller.

Chris has also previously released two novella-style books, House of Courtenayand Blackgang: The Trickerjack Trail, and is currently working on the first book in what will be a new Wildermoor trilogy.

By day he works as a Field Manager for a national parcels company, as well as being a husband and father of twins. He finds time to write whenever life allows, as well as indulging his passions for horror cinema, heavy metal and folk music.

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