Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Interview: Kit Tinsley

As part of a blog exchange program with horror writer and fellow Stranger Kit Tinsley, I interviewed Kit this week about his writing and his involvement in Shadows of a Stranger. The talented and versatile Kit has just released his third novel, The Wilds, and he explains below how it was based on a film project that we’d both worked on before commencing on Shadows.

We’ve worked together on a number of film projects before over the years. Can you tell how you got into filmmaking in the first place?
Well as long as I can remember I've wanted to be involved in film. Since childhood, films have been my passion. I think for a few years I wanted to become an actor, then I wanted to be a writer / director.

What was your involvement in Shadows of a Stranger?
My official title on the film was Associate Producer, but the job entailed some admin, some health and safety, and generally helping out where I could. The nature of the film meant it was all hands on deck where needed. I also acted in the film, playing 3 separate characters, and contributed to the soundtrack.
Kit working the sound desk in 'Billywood Studio' whilst filming Shadows.

Generally speaking, how do you think Shadows of a Stranger is going to turn out?
I am really excited to see how it turns out, after all the hard work everyone put in, and the few examples of the visual effects I've seen I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a hit, a thinking-man’s thriller.

I’ve just started reading your latest book, The Wilds, and already I’ve noticed many similarities to a script I read of yours. Can you tell me why you decided to turn this script into a novel?
Well yes, the novel is based on the script I wrote for the film Red Route. Which we were both involved in making, yet never saw the light of day. Without naming names, I was unhappy with the way my script was changed and diluted by the director. I felt there was a good horror story there, but he took all of that out. So I decided to revisit the story in novel form.

Me and Kit on the film set for the project that later became The Wilds.
Not that I want you to give too much away before I’ve finished reading the book, but how have you found the writing process of the novel compared with the script? Has much changed with the storylines / characters?
The novel follows the final draft I wrote of the screenplay, but obviously there are some deviations from it. There are a few extra characters in the novel. The main characters haven't changed all that much, their back stories and motivations are pretty much the same.

You’ve published 3 books now I believe, Beneath, Dark County, and The Wilds. Do you have a favourite?
Ooh now that is a tough question. I am very proud of all three, but I suppose the one that is the most special to me is Beneath, because it was the first. The sense of achievement on completing your first novel can never be beaten.

I’ve noticed you’ve been a guest at a few horror / scifi conventions recently. Are we going to see you popping up anywhere else in the future?
Yes I have been. It's great to get out there and meet people. Talk about my work, sign books and make new friends. Next month I will be doing the 'Geeks' event in Scunthorpe and in October I am attending SCARdiff, a large horror convention in Wales. 

What other writing and filmmaking projects are you working on at the moment?
I have recently completed another novel, which I'm in the editing phase of now, and started writing a new novella. Film wise I have a script for a film it am very keen to direct. So maybe next year that will go ahead, if I can get some financial backing.

What advice would you give to up and coming filmmakers and writers based on what you’ve experienced?
Don't give up, and don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Between us we have proved that with determination you can make a film or publish a book. It's hard work, but it can be done.

In addition to being a filmmaker and writer, you’re also a musician. Are you still performing with the Dog Goblins and do you have any more material out soon?
Dog Goblins have been taking a little break recently, due to everyone having other commitments, but we will be back soon hopefully with some new material if I can find time and inspiration to write songs.

BONUS QUESTION: If you were offered 50 grand to front a tribute band for a one off gig, which one of these tribute acts would you pick to sing for: Simply Red, Roxette, The Lighthouse Family, or Michael Bolton?
Another tough one. My hatred of Mick Hucknall rules out Simply Red, so I will go for Roxette as they had some great songs and I think I would suit spiky blonde hair and the slinky dress.

Thanks for Kit for taking some time out for this interview. Check out Kit's website where you will find my interview with him where I talk about Shadows of a Stranger.