Interview with Stewart Bint
Science fiction and supernatural. They are the two genres I love reading myself. Also, most of my ideas for stories are too way-out for straight-forward thrillers.
Tell us about your latest book.
“In Shadows Waiting” is a ghost/horror novel, that readers tell me is more scary than I thought it was. One reviewer couldn’t read it alone in her house!
The story revolves around an ordinary family who find themselves the victim of an ever-increasing onslaught. It starts gently, building to a shattering climax. During a spate of burglaries in their village the family start seeing fleeting movements in their garden. Then things happen in the house. The police can find no sign of intruders.
What was simply annoying becomes frightening. Then dangerous. Then deadly. It’s clear there are supernatural forces at work. For young Simon Reynolds and his family, the shadows are fading, the waiting is over.
‘It was a face of utmost evil, but was gone before I had a chance to register its features.’
‘The sound was heavenly, totally out of this world and I listened entranced. It was the music of angels.’
‘Thirty-two years ago they were vibrant and full of life. Just like the faces staring back at me from the time before shadows.’
‘The creature’s triumphant laugh was something that will be with me to my dying day.’
What advice do you have for other writers?
Write for yourself first of all – your stories should make you happy. And you are never too old to make it. Life, family and work took preference over my dreams of becoming a novelist when I was younger, and my first novel wasn’t published until I was 56.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
As a technical dinosaur I could never get to grips with setting up a website or blog that looked stylish enough. Until recently I only used to communicate with my readers through social media: Twitter https://twitter.com/StewartBint and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stewart.bint. However I have just started blogging, courtesy of my friend, novelist D.M. Cain, who has set up a special section for me on her website: http://www.dmcain.co.uk/. That contains full details of all my books, a biography and a blog.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
For two reasons, I hope. Firstly, we all like a good scare in the comfort of safe surroundings, and secondly, the family at the centre of the haunting is extremely ordinary…just a normal family that everyone can identify with, and say: “Hey, that could be me.”
Also, readers tell me they were desperate to know why the family were being haunted at that particular time in their lives – what started it, what does the spirit want?
I had been a little unsure of how readers would react to the ending – it is either extremely sad or extremely happy, depending on your point of view. But it turns out that whichever camp readers fit into, they enjoyed the ending.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
From a wide variety of online book retailers around the world, including Amazon. There is a link to the book,, and onward links to Amazon and Smashwords from my landing page on DM Cain’s website: http://www.dmcain.co.uk/stewart-bint. Formats for all ereaders are available from the book’s page on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/445952.
I’ve actually got two! One is a compilation of my magazine columns (I write a column called “Up Close And Personal” in a fortnightly magazine, The Flyer). I always tweet links to it, or post an image of the column, and my American fans suggested that I publish them as a book. It’s due out in October.
My next work of fiction is a collection of short stories, “Thunderlands,” available from December 6. Ranging from the sublime to the totally ridiculous, they include Santa Claus facing charges of cruelty to children; a Twitter bully gets his come-uppance in a particularly grotesque way; the ghost of an elderly lady appears to a career woman at times of life-changing events; a man goes to great lengths to ensure he is convicted of a crime; and a space traveler with three eyes and a two-foot long-trunk finds a mysterious book on a dead world.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
The television series Doctor Who. I remember watching the very first episode way back in 1963 when I was seven! I became enraptured by the storylines which could take place at any time in Earth’s history and future, and absolutely anywhere in the universe and beyond. I started creating my own worlds and my own characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me a portable typewriter for my 9th birthday.
And those make-believe worlds became invaluable after my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters’ fate – knowing that whatever happened to them during the story I would make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better than the real one at that time.
These days my fiction is purely to entertain others, and inspiration for the storylines can come from anywhere, and has included a walk in Cranford Park in London, reading an article on the Chernobyl disaster, and a couple of real-life brushes with the supernatural. But it all started thanks to Doctor Who, so that lonely maverick freedom fighter will always hold something just a little bit special for me.
What are you currently reading?
I am Beta reading a forthcoming novel by DM Cain, “A Chronicle Of Chaos,” having read her superb dystopian thriller “The Phoenix Project,” in June.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Writing does tend to take over my life. As well as my novels and magazine column, I also cover football for the local newspaper at weekends, and I am a Public Relations writer for an industrial software developer. But when I can get away from the keyboard, I am a member of the Coventry Barefoot Hiking Chapter, and get out on wonderful treks, barefoot, through the countryside and woodland trails.