Interview with T.W. Malpass, Author of Layers of Darkness

02 Feb 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Layers of Darkness?

I had just come off writing three books in a series. I needed a break from it, and I was considering a standalone novel or a story collection. I decided on the horror anthology I had planned. It includes new stories and other projects I have left on the back-burner for some time.

I find writing short stories/novellas quite liberating. Moving from one story to the next reasonably quickly seems to free up my creativity in a different way than writing a novel or part of a series. There were lots of themes I haven’t had a chance to explore before, such as existential dread, and this collection gave me the opportunity to do so.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Layers of Darkness, what would they be?

Music did play an important part in the writing of this anthology. In the story RIPE there was a particular piece of music called Return of the Dark Lord by composer Peter Gundry, which I had in my head to play over specific scenes. There was also a song from 1937 called With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock that actually featured in the story DREAM TOWN.

I often use music when writing. It has a significant influence on my creative process.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I do tend to read a lot of horror because it’s the genre that speaks to me most, but I sometimes read non-fiction, true crime. It can help with my writing, certainly when it comes to better understanding human psychology.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. I’ve also heard some good things about The Institute by Stephen King.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I think the final scene of the story OLD CRONE was the most enjoyable to write. I can’t say too much without spoiling it, but it is a macabrely satisfying end and fitting for something that was inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Ha! I tend to be quite method when I’m writing. One of the lead characters in the Fallen Gods Saga was blind, and I spent days trying to perform simple tasks in the house wearing a blindfold in the hope of getting a better understanding what it was like to experience the world when you can’t see it.

I also locked myself in the boot/trunk of a car once. Don’t ask!

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Never censor yourself during your first draft.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

With my current anthology, I’m hoping readers can see the range of stories I am able to tell and the various themes explored within them. I really try to use horror as a vessel to explore the human condition because I believe that should always be the motivation behind any narrative.


T.W. Malpass is the author of the new book Layers of Darkness: Six Twisted Tales of Horror and Psychological Torment

Connect with T.W. Malpass


Buy The Book

B0BQRWSMYG cover image

Buy The Book

Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.