The thrill of being terrified out of our wits as we follow the grisly journey of our beloved characters.
We generally tend to seek to avoid fear in our daily life, so why do so many of us jump at the chance to be scared in our books, films, programmes, etc?
And what actually makes for a good horror story anyway? Is it something which can be thrown together, or are there particular rules which need to be followed in order to make something stand out in the horror stakes?
Join my guest for this nearly-Halloween horror special, published author and contributor to Dr Who stories (amongst others), Paul Phipps-Williams (whose latest book,The Axe And Grindstone, is published appropriately enough on Halloween. And yes, it’s scary!).
(*) OK, we don’t ALL love a good horror story, but clearly a great many do – just look at the lasting fascination with Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, or Bram Stocker’s Dracula, for example.
Paul Phipps-Williams trained to be a film producer, wandering around student films shouting ‘Time is Money’ at people before stealing their cake. Having figured out that wasn’t the most successful way to get hired, he went on to sell pencils and pints for a living because people always seemed to need one or the other.
For the last eighteen years, Paul has told people he works for the Government in the hope they’ll think him a super-spy. He isn’t, but that’s what you’d expect a super-spy to say. He’s passed a couple of new laws, convinced one government minister to quote the Spice Girls in the House of Commons and spent London 2012 in an underground bunker. On at least one occasion he’s had tens of thousands of people march through central London protesting against what he’s doing with his life. Whether this was work related or not, we’ll leave to your imagination.
When he’s not Making The World A Better Place/Contributing To The Fall of Society (delete according to your political affiliations) Paul is also a photographer and can be regularly found at cult TV events telling people to smile as they stand nervously next to their childhood heroes. His motto is ‘What happens in Paul’s photo studio, stays in Paul’s photo studio.’ At least, that’s what Paul’s been told by his lawyers. His photographs have been published in an eclectic range of magazines, from The Amorist to Scottish Field and Doctor Who Magazine.
Paul writes audio books for Big Finish Productions’ gothic horror series Dark Shadows. 2020 sees the release of Windcliff, a terrifying 13-part full-cast audio horror serial set in an asylum and performed in real-time. Other audiobooks for Big Finish include Doctor Who: A Small Semblance of Home. He was a contributor to 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die where, amongst other things, he was paid to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County and a programme about a cowboy cop in New York City. He’s not quite got over it yet.
The Axe & Grindstone is Paul’s first novel, and he’s had to convince his mother that its main character isn’t really based on him. She’s not entirely convinced. He lives on a roundabout in Lewisham with his husband, Gareth, and their two cats Billy and Hartnell. His favourite pizza is an abomination of hot and spicy things with BBQ sauce and his favourite colour is TARDIS Blue (1987-1989).
Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes the launch of this Show!
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.
Award-winning coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and writer of this post, Keith spent his first 40 years suffering from several phobias including being terrified of speaking with strangers. After one incident too many, he started studying and training in NLP & hypnosis to conquer his own issues, found he was rather good at it, and changed careers (aided by redundancy at just the right moment after 20 years in IT). He helps people transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths, and having helped over 5,000 people across 5 continents, he is the UK’s #1 Fear Strategist.