Sunday, 21 March 2021

Murder and Machinery: An Interview with Cameron Trost

Cameron Trost's "Tenterhooks" is just one of the mad mechanical tales featured in Murder and Machinery. Out April the 3rd. Kindle pre-orders available now.

(Editor's note: Cameron Trost is the editor.)

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.

1. Not many people know this, but my closest friends call me nine-and-a-half. Before you get the wrong idea, it's to do with my toes. When I was about two years old, I had an accident with the drawer I was standing in to get a closer look at the TV perched on top of the chest of drawers. Subconscious inspiration for this anthology? Perhaps.

2. I don't like mangoes but I'm a Queenslander...go figure. 

3. I live in Brittany and the history, landscape, and architecture of this beautiful country is increasingly influencing my writing. 

What drew you to this particular theme?

It's hard to say exactly what gave me the idea for this anthology. I wanted a title starting with "Murder and..." and the temptation to use alliteration probably took me a step closer. I'm also a fan of the British series, Midsomer Murders, in which farming equipment and various other tools and machines are used as the murder, I guess it just fell into place.

What’s the most frightening machine for you personally?

Probably the automobile. Driving a car is something most of us take for granted, and yet it's an inherently dangerous activity and one that is too often taken lightly. In terms of fiction, Crash! by JG Ballard certainly explores the bizarre relationship that exists between humans and cars. In this anthology, Robert Bagnall's Driverless takes that concept one terrifying step further. 

Do you have a favourite story about machines, other than The Pit and the Pendulum?

Plenty. The Lord of the Dynamos and The Cone by HG Wells and The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb and The Lift by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are amongst my favourite classics about machines. Ambrose Bierce's Moxon's Monster is particularly chilling too.

What are you working on now?

I'm in the middle of the second draft of my post-apocalyptic novel about a pyromaniac. The red ink is flowing. At about 99,000 words, it's the longest story I've written. I'm really enjoying the process. This story is both intimate (first person) and epic at once.

Where can we find you online?

Everywhere! I'm even on TikTok...It's another planet over there! Links to all my social media pages can be found on my website:

Thanks, Cameron! (Oh, I'm talking to myself now...)