Alumnus Peter Laws divulges his diverse interest in religion, bands and books.
"Ah, Lancaster University. Where I learned to drive, met my wife and first discovered church. It’s also where I sang Manic Street Preacher covers in the campus band Clouded Vision. I played piano in Pizza Margarita too. Maybe you chewed garlic bread to my ropey muzak.
Since flinging my mortar board in the air, I toured the UK and Germany in a band, then wound up ordained as a Baptist Minister, doing funerals, weddings and everything. The creative side returned when I tried novel writing. Four years (and four novels) later, I’d been rejected so many times I was ready to give up. Then in January 2016, I landed a two book fiction deal. Later that year, I got another deal for a non-fiction book. Flabbergasted. That was the word.
The first novel 'Purged 'hits shops and online on February 16th 2017, featuring Matt Hunter: an atheist ex-vicar who debunks the Christian faith while helping the police solve religiously motivated crime. It’s a macabre thriller and creepy too (I hope). Book two, Unleashed, is out in July.
The non-fiction book’s called The Frighteners and explores why ordinary, everyday people are drawn to the morbid and macabre. This includes me, by the way, who has loved scary movies long before I set foot in a church. I write a monthly column about horror in The Fortean Times print magazine, as well as hosting the YouTube show and Podcast, The Flicks That Church Forgot. My current book research has been a blast, from searching for Vampires in Transylvania to hunting down Werewolves in Hull. In October I’ll even be sailing with a bunch of Norwegians on board a vintage Schooner, to recreate Dracula’s journey from Transylvania to Whitby. As you do. That book is out in the UK and US in 2018. Lancaster had a few spooky moments, but on the whole, my time there was scarily good and I’m genuinely proud to be an alumnus.
Oh, and if you're asking…Applied Social Science and (*drum roll)…Grizedale!
Order Purged here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purged-Matt-Hunter-Peter-Laws-x/dp/0749020784