Matt Whyman and James Dawson at Hay Festival 2014 by Blake


Matt Whyman and James Dawson came to the Hay Festival to talk about their horror stories. Dawson has just published his fourth book, ‘Say Her Name’, about the legend of Bloody Mary. Matt’s latest book is called ‘American Savages’, the second in the ‘Savages’ series.

Dawson said he wrote about the kind of horror that ‘gets under your skin’. “Horror is a modern fairytale,” he added. But even though he writes horror, he doesn’t like the blood and gore you find in many stories.

He asked the audience to come up with a two-sentence story that got under their skin. One person said: “I heard footsteps upstairs. In my bungalow”.

Whyman said that he had once been out with his wife at a restaurant, having hired a babysitter for his children. He got home and walked the babysitter home. This was while he was writing one of the ‘Savages’ books. He left the babysitter at her home and was so terrified to walk back alone that he asked the babysitter’s dad to walk him home! And what’s even funnier was that Whyman was 40 at the time!

I thought the event was very good and scary! It made me feel how books, especially horror, can really give you very strong feelings.

By Blake.
Blake is very into sport (especially football) and supports Wigan Athletic. He is currently reading The False Prince trilogy and enjoyed reading The Hunger Games. At school, his favourite subjects are maths and history.

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