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Kim Newman

Website: The Kim Newman Web  Site

Kim Newman was born in London in 1959. After a Somerset childhood and reading English at the University of Sussex, he returned to London and began his career as a film critic, broadcaster and alternative history SF novelist. His first novel The Night Mayor (1989) heralded many award winning works.

Short story collections

The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club (MonkeyBrain Books, Nov 2007

Reviewed by Mark Dalligan

Interview with Kim Newman

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Kim Newman: The Big Fish, the earliest story in Secret Files of the Diogenes Club, was published in 1993 (and written a year or two earlier); Cold Snap, the most recent, was written in 2007 especially for the collection. As for the writing time of individual stories, it probably averages out at a week or so for each - the shorter pieces get done in two or three days, the novella-length ones take a month or more.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

KN: No, though I have always been aware of the links between my stories and that I tend to pick up characters and threads from piece to piece. Secret Files collects a loose series of linked stories, and Cold Snap was written partially to tie all the stories together by suggesting that there have been plotlines boiling all along between all the stories. Of course, this is my second MonkeyBrain collection, following The Man From the Diogenes Club - which collects stories about one character and set over a few years; this is more diverse in setting and time period, but the stories are still set within the same fictional universe.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

KN: This was a fairly easy process - I picked stories that were already linked together, and ordered them according with internal chronology. The stories are set in different years over a century or so.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

KN: Not really. I just write things that interest me, and hope other people catch on.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
collection, anything at all?

KN: Nothing comes to mind.

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

KN: Horrible. I wish they wouldn't ... no, come to think of it, it's very nice.

TSR: What are you working on now?

KN: On my desk at the moment - a rewrite on a film script I did a few years ago (subject to contractual negotiation), a couple of outlined non-fiction projects (none commissioned yet), a long-gestating fourth book in my Anno Dracula series, my usual freelance commitments (I write for various magazines and newspapers), and (eventually) another Diogenes Club collection.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

KN: I tend to have a pile of collections which I dip into between novels or non-fiction books. At the moment, I am part-way through The Ghost Now Standing on Platform One (a collection of railway ghost stories edited by Richard Peyton), The Shout and Other Stories (basically, the Complete Short Stories of Robert Graves) and Retro Pulp Tales (edited by Joe R. Landsdale).