Raven House Interview: Pippa Bailey

Q: Ghoul Guides came about due to an accident. Tell us about it?

A: The Ghoul Guides, I guess was a by-product of a fantastic friendship. I damaged my spine in early 2016. I have a genetic disorder called EhlersDanlos syndrome. It means that my ligaments are overly stretchy.

So, while stuck on bed-rest, unable to walk the co-owner of The Ghoul Guides, and my closest confidant visited me weekly. We had discussed reviewing things before, things that interested us. So, that’s mostly anything and everything horror.

We started out on tumbler with written reviews, looking at horror movies. Then moving onto books. I bit the bullet around April, recorded and uploaded our first review to YouTube. Our audience on Facebook grew quickly, YouTube was and is a learning process. I enjoy the format of video reviews. As an avid lover of podcasts, I decided vlog reviews was the way to go for me. It opened us up to a larger market, including those who aren’t fans of review reading.

Q: You have a new story out. What can you share?

A: In for a Shock which features in Sparks: An Electrical Anthology (October 17th, 2017), Is one of my favourite creations. The initial story was written in one of my many (and incredibly beautiful) notebooks, in a tent, by a lake. I was on a trip for my birthday, and it became a writing weekend. There were a lot of ideas thrown out that day. IFAS is the one that stuck.

The main character Hannah is based on myself. I am notorious for leaving things plugged in, lights on. I just get distracted, and find myself wasting electricity. IFAS is a story of retribution for the wasted electricity. In some ways, it’s a tale aiming to influence a more responsible use of our resources.

Q: Pippa will soon be doing audio-book performances. How does this interface with writing?

A: Other than my constant writing, I’m currently working on an audio book. It’s an incredibly interesting process, and has taken a lot of work to create a suitable space. Unlike my recordings for The Ghoul Guides, recording for an audio book requires a dead space. Somewhere you can kill all external sound, reduce echo, and generally get cosy and focus. It’s very different requirements to my writing space, I tend to chill in a leather chair, grab a note book and spill my brain. My recording space, on the other hand is built in my basement. An unusual choice, I know. My house was built in 1856 and has a little drain stream that runs through the ground. The space is atmospheric, to say the least. It is now fitted with a recording tent and an array of soundproofing. I snuggle down with a few blankets, a large thermos of tea, and get in the zone. I’ve really enjoyed the process.

I’ll add. No, I can’t tell you the name of the book.

I’m yet to find a clash in priorities over the many projects I pick up. I balance my days between different things. Tonight, I’m focused on interviews and social media. Tomorrow I will be recording a video review for the film The Ritual. After that, who knows what inspiration will strike me.

Q: How does an education in classical music help with writing?

A: My education is a bit of a strange one. I have an unusual array of qualifications. I studied biology, psychology, and chemistry as a teen. From a young age I had decided I either wanted to be Indiana Jones, or a detective. Archaeology ended up falling by the wayside. I pursued my interest in forensics for a couple years, before coming to the realisation that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life prodding dead bodies. I changed college, and studied music, and gained honours degree majoring in classical composition and vocals. I adore writing music. It’s one of the most beautiful ways to express your innate desires, emotions, thoughts. I’ve probably written over one hundred various styled pieces over the last ten years. I lean more towards thematic music for films and games. My creative energy spilled over into writing fiction, I found I couldn’t fully express myself with music alone. With my novel—Lux, I am combining the two. Alexis Forest, my main character writes music herself. She spends hours wandering the local rose gardens, scrawling ideas. My novel will be punctuated with sheet music, Allowing the reader more of an insight into the mind of Alexis, her thoughts and emotions.

Q: Tell us something we don’t know about Pippa?

A: As for something you don’t know about me. I do have a day job. My day job is as an usher in a Magistrates criminal court. I spend my day in black robes (and look a little like a wizard), I swear people into the witness box, and generally make sure the court runs effectively. I get to work with the lawyers, legal advisers and judges. Not to mention spending my entire working day surrounded by criminals. Yes, I have been in the court room with murderers. I have seen some of the most horrific and unusual cases. I can’t divulge any information. But I love my job.

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