The next installment in my spur of the moment interview series is a man who needs no introduction.
But I'm gonna give him one anyways, because I just love to talk about him! David Naughton-Shires is a Renaissance man of the highest degree. Artist, author, publisher, cheese maker ... okay so he dosen't really make cheese but if he did I can guarantee it would be the best cheese evah!
Without further ado, here he is:
I'm consistently amazed at the artwork (covers and other work) you produce. When did you discover you had a talent for drawing?
I started drawing at a very young age I was practically born with a red crayon in my hand, I had a great art teacher at school and went onto third level college where I studies art and graphic design. On top of this I think a lot of it was genetic as my grandfather was a sign writer in the old tradition and he taught me plenty about composition and the like.
Who's your biggest artistic influence? How about writing influence?
I don’t really have one particular influence for either of the arts, I love the works of Hieronymus Bosch and the masters like DaVinci, and am a big fan of the WW2 ‘propaganda imagery. As for writing like most horror-head I have read all of Kings work, James Herbert, Richard Laymon, and Graham Masterton but my ‘new’ faves are Jonathan Maberry, david Moody and Wayne Simmons.
What drew you into the wild world of publishing? (yes that was a pun)
I think it was because I often found it hard to communicate with the small presses out there. I will not disrespect any out there as all have their strengths but with KnightWatch I wanted communication to be paramount, also some of the quality of covers, editing and formatting I felt didn’t match the quality of the stories inside and although very new to it I am hoping KnightWatch will gain a reputation of just that quality. I am using great editors, a brilliant formatter and right now am doing most if not all of the covers myself so they are amazing ;)
When selecting works for your anthologies, what makes a good story for you?
It is in the main the editors who choose the stories for the anthologies (I read and choose novella and novels) but if they are unsure about a story I will make the final choice. They know what I and by extension KnightWatch like. It has to be a bit different from the standard ‘group stuck in a ‘enter location’ fighting a horde of Zombies, it has to be well researched and in the main quite a ‘pacey’ story. I do like the use of grammar to be correct and of course spelling but can overlook some minor problems as that is why we have editors ;)
If you could do cover art for any classic book, which would you like to try? (think Poe and Shelly for this one)
Nice question, I am thinking of the two you mentioned it would have to be Frankenstein, but a big choice would be 1984 by Orwell
(And he did one for us too!)
If you had to redact one of the following films from history, obliterating even the very idea of it, which could the world do without, Sean of the Dead or Zombieland?
Evil question as I always watch these two together but the answer is ‘Zombieland’ as I am a Simon Pegg fan through and through...
Thanks for the conversation David! You can check out more about our friend at both his graphic business website, The Image Designs, and his publishing website, KnightWatch Press.