Sup? My name is Christian Saunders, I come from New Tredegar, an old mining village in rural south Wales. I know you’ve never heard of it. I write both fiction and non-fiction, to distinguish between the two forms I write fiction as C.M. Saunders. I began writing in 1997, my early fiction appearing in several anthologies and small-press luminaries like Roadworks, Raw Nerve and the Asphalt Jungle. My first book, Into the Dragon’s Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published in 2003. I worked in a factory at the time, but soon left with the help of a scholarship from the Welsh Arts Council and ran off to Southampton to study journalism at university. Then, the factory where I used to work blew up and everyone got compensation except me. How’s your luck, eh?
After graduating with a BA in journalism, I moved away from fiction for a while and worked extensively in the freelance market, contributing to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Chat, Its Fate! Bizarre, Urban Ink, Enigma, Record Collector, Nuts, Maxim, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. Then I got bored and moved to China for six years to teach English. I still wrote the occasional article, usually about music, travel, or the paranormal, and regular reviews for several outlets including Morpheus Tales (UK) and Hellnotes. Finding myself with more time on my hands and less distractions, apart from the snakes and bugs, I returned to the dark fiction fold and had stories published in Screams of Terror, Shallow Graves, Dark Valentine, Fantastic Horror, Unbroken Waters, Gore magazine, Siren’s Call, the Literary Hatchet, Crimson Streets, and several anthologies, the latest of which being Terrors Unimagined on Left Hand Publishing.
In January 2013 I came back to the UK to write for Nuts magazine and later that year my book, From the Ashes: The Real Story of Cardiff City FC, the result of ten year’s work, was published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. I was laid off from Nuts (they were closing, nothing to do with the book. At least, I don’t think it was) but I landed a job on another magazine called Forever Sport at a different publishing company. A couple of years later I was headhunted by a rival publishing company and put to work on a new launch. It didn’t work out, for anyone. In fact, the launch was about as successful as that of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Shortly afterwards, Forever Sports also went under to complete the circle. These days I scrape a living writing for anyone who pays me. I also do some copywriting and media consultancy work when the opportunities arise. It isn’t easy. Whoever said being a professional writer is glamorous is full of shit. But I make it work, and it’s better than that factory.
On the fiction front, February 2014 saw the start of a new, ahem, chapter, when I decided to ‘go indie’ and released X: A Collection of Horror, the first in a series of compilations gathering together some previously-published short stories and essays. A novella called Out of Time followed that September, and in February 2015 I released X2. A year later I released my first full-length novel, Sker House, which is a fictionalized tale set in a real location and incorporating some less attractive aspects of Welsh history. We all have them. The novellas No Man’s Land: Horror in the Trenches and Human Waste followed, as did revised versions of Apartment 14F and Dead of Night, along with my latest collection.
All I ever wanted to do was write. It’s the only thing I was ever any fucking good at. That and ruining romantic relationships, and believe me, there’s no money in that. Like I said, it isn’t always easy but every day I thank my lucky stars that I am in a position to live the dream.
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Yeah, they’re different. I don’t know why, either.
Thanks for reading, you glorious bastard.