Gareth Wood was born in Birmingham, July 1978. He was raised in South Birmingham and, barring spells in Wales and the Far East, he's lived there ever since.
Gareth’s school days were banal, at best. He worked as a fishmonger and butcher whilst going through college. He attended university in Birmingham and Lampeter. Completing a degree in the only subject he was ever truly interested in; literature.
Following university Gareth went over to Taipei with his partner, Claire, and tried his hand at teaching. Sadly, it didn’t work out. He and Claire now share their home with two angry terriers.
Since arriving back in the UK he has bundled his way through a succession of varied and maddening jobs in order to pay the bills whilst trying to make something out of his writing.
Gareth used to perform live a great deal; spoken word and stories, and several years ago, he formed a collective called The Blue City Project. "It was a way for a number of artists I knew, ranging from spoken word artists to jazz and hip-hop musicians to be able to perform together at good venues and promote the talent emerging from the city of Birmingham." He proudly says they had some good times, "but after the murder of that heckler…"
Gareth has written a great many short stories some of which can be read in his fabulous collection Screaming Blue-City Murder. After a couple of failed attempts, completed his first full-length novel, The Malignant Man. He then began working on The Master's Marionettes which was published by KGHH Publishing.
Gareth now feels far more comfortable with longer pieces of work and his latest novel Beasts of A Blue City show he has come a long way in a very short time.
Gareth is also an accomplished poet and a collection of his poems was published again by KGHH Publishing under the title A Spaghetti Junction of The Mind.
He writes all the while, and takes every possible opportunity. He can often be seen riding on late-night buses grumbling into torn notepads.
Gareth writes as G.J. Wood and he is excited and terrified at the prospect of publication but hopes he can do justice to the faith KGHH Publishing have put in him.
KG: What or who inspired you to be a writer?
G.J.WOOD: I've always been interested in stories; telling them, hearing them, just the idea of being transported somewhere else by fiction or anecdotes. Like most children, I suppose, I lost myself in daydreams and created tale after tale; eventually finding a way to make them (mostly) legible and accessible to others.
KG: What gave you the idea of your latest book?
G.J.WOOD: I'm a big comic and monster fan. Having written a novel that was very personal to me, but perhaps not great for readers, I wanted to have a blast and put down something that I would very much like to read or see. The inspiration for the characters came in part from people I have known and also from characters I loved in old movies, especially the likes of Hammer films and the work of people like Lovercraft and Poe. As for the story, I wanted to put a group of distinctive characters into a wild situation and thought this would be the way to start the gears in motion.
KG: Who is your favourite writer?
G.J.WOOD: That's tricky, for sure. I can't quite split it between JG Ballard, Ray Bradbury and William Burroughs. Ballard for his incredible ideas and speculative horrors, Bradbury for his breadth of amazing images and insights and Burroughs for his utter freedom in being as experimental and extreme as he felt fit.
KG: What's your favourite book?
G.J.WOOD: The illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. No matter how many thousands of books I will ever go through, that collection of short stories will always be home.
KG: Do you read a lot? If so what are you reading right now?
G.J.WOOD: Yes, reading is the most enjoyable thing for me. There hasn't been a period in perhaps twenty-five years when I haven't been reading a novel. I'm presently reading Super-Cannes by Ballard. There were a couple of his novels that I hadn't read over the years, so I figured I'd better put that right ASAP.
KG: What writing projects are you working on at the moment?
G.J.WOOD: I'm currently organising a wad of short stories into something - I hope - will be acceptable to my venerable publisher. Also, I've started work on the sequel to A Place Where the Shadows Meet to Dance...the book I hope you're enjoying enough to read this bio!
KG: Where do you see yourself and your writing in five years time?
G.J.WOOD: I hope I am solely devoting my time to my work and not having to stumble though a gallery of mundane day jobs. Literature means the world to me and always has, so the more I get to enjoy that, the better.
KG: What do you like most about writing?
G.J.WOOD: Freedom, pure and simple. There are no rules, no walls, no margins; just the mind and wherever it's able to stroll.
KG: What one writing tip would you share?
G.J.WOOD: Write when you can, however you can and where you can. There is no set time or place; no perfect mood to work, just the fact that you can work and should. So much output is offcuts, but you have to let that out in order to get to what you want. I can't remember the poem, but Charles Bukowski made this amazing point about someone saying they were getting a great new studio to work in and that would make them create awesome stuff. Buk countered with the fact that you can write in factories, in motels, in bus-stops, just as long as you write.
KG: What would you say to inspire young writers?
G.J.WOOD: There is inspiration everywhere, ideas everywhere. It just takes a moment to look beneath that which is presented to you and make something incredible out of it. That's what I have always tried to do and I know that if I can do this, it's there for whoever else wants to take the time and let rip.
© Kensington Gore Publishing 2015
Follow author G.J. Wood on Twitter @gjwoodautho
A group of strangers inexplicably linked are drawn to a strange dark place like marionettes with hidden strings.
Boyd Shingles; a middle-aged property dealer, has been duped into purchasing a Red house. Far away from the city in the midst of desolate rural shadows, he meets the disfigured and murderous Mr Clay.
Clay has no memory of his life before the Red House. He's being instructed by the voices coursing though the old, web-woven building. He's assembled a tableau of mutilated victims.
Cullen, a former henchman manipulated and tortured by the puppeteer.
Abbott, an old fisherman and his granddaughter, Lily, have also been drawn into the horrible show by The Master of the Marionettes himself, Leopold Carr.
Carr is a malevolent occultist committed to violent and perverse sacrificial tributes.
No one is safe when the Master of the Marionettes pulls his strings and brings forth a long-forgotten evil that will change their world forever...'
G J Wood's debut novel Master of the Marionettes is a tour de force of modern horror. You'll not be able to put this book down. Horror with no strings attached.
Click on this link to read interviews with G.J. Wood. -The first legendary intervire with horror icon Kensington Gore is up now. It's long and rambiling but well worth a read. Besides genuis can't be edited.
‘I took a wander to a bar at the edge of the night, amongst the sprites where the lights die and fold…’
Of the desperate, the lost and the heartsick. Of the wild, animated faces of the city. Of late nights in heaving bars and the early-morning solemnity of tired pubs. Of night-trains cutting swathes of yellow through the cloying darkness. Of city bus lunatics yelling an infinity of prayers to nobody in particular. Of romance in the red-light districts amidst the dancing waifs of working girls. Of this city, this Birmingham and more.
A collection of poetry inspired by, emanating from and reaching far beyond his hometown of Birmingham, England. G J Wood, author of The Master’s Marionettes and Screaming Blue-City Murder, invites you to spend some time lost in A Spaghetti Junction of the Mind.
‘The City was a dream I had, never wanted, woke up and forgot.’
Where in hell is The Blue-City?
It's everywhere but nowhere; the city within the cities you know.
It's in the corner of your eye, or the darkest recesses of your mind, shimmering like lights on the night-sea.
Blue is the neon on the faces of the characters that permeate the city with their strange and fantastic stories.
A man excreting the most wonderful fish…
Another being pursued by the glare of cameras…
A sinister government with a plan to rid the country of the rotund forever…
A lottery for the right to kill…
And many more besides…
The Blue-City looms large throughout this collection.
These dark, demented tales will leave you feeling anything but blue.
G.J. Wood's writing is dark, disturbing and at times laugh out loud funny, but always original and thought-provoking.
This collection of short stories by Birmingham-born Wood will have you screaming Blue-City murder.
Something is feeding from the lost and impoverished inhabitants of the city.
Birmingham, England 1991. Fourteen-year-old Tom Rudd lives in the city’s red-light district with his alcoholic father, Malcolm and his pit-bull, Mack. Following a brutal murder near his home, Tom, obsessed with horror films, becomes convinced that something evil is stalking the area, killing at will.
Meanwhile homeless Chrissie witnesses a murder whilst taking shelter in the city’s catacombs. Chrissie sees the killer at work. He finds himself wracked with paranoia and fear as he tries to hide amidst the neon of the city, franticly attempting to avoid the beast.
A chance meeting brings Tom and Chrissie together. Linked by their mutual desperation and loneliness, they embark on a horrifying hunt; one that will bring them face-to-face with a savagery neither could have imagined.
Beasts of a Blue City is a dark horrific adventure set in a city beneath the city; a place of the maleficent and the marvellous, the murderous and the unique. Amongst the wretched and the wrecked, Tom, Chrissie and Mack will find that folklore is just truth that refuses to be forgotten.
Following on from his debut novel, The Master’s Marionettes, author G.J. Wood returns with a story of loss, anger, friendship, and brutality.
Step forth into the night and join the Beasts of a Blue City.