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The Sharkpunk Interview - David Lee Stone

Posted by Jonathan Green on

In what has to be said was a bit of a coup, creator of the Illmoor Chronicles, Davey Swag, Gladiator Boy and Undead Ed, David Lee Stone agreed to write a story for SHARKPUNK. Here he reflects on the experience:

Sharkpunk: What, do you think, is the reason for people's enduring fascination with sharks? 
DLS: I think it's the sheer undiluted horror of something that is basically, as Billy Connolly once said, 'a row of teeth and an ar*ehole'. Sharks are plainly terrifying.

SP: What was the inspiration behind your story 'The Lickspittle Leviathan'? 
DLS: I hadn't written an Illmoor story for nearly a decade, and I loved the idea of doing something really horrific and yet trying to keep a trace element of humour. Hopefully, I succeeded in doing that.

SP: What challenges, or surprises, did you encounter in writing your story? 
DLS: I think the biggest surprise was that I vaguely appalled myself. I'm not a natural horror writer, and I assumed that dashing through the more gruesome scenes quickly would enable me to cope with them better on re-reading. I was wrong.

SP: If you had to pick a favourite shark, which would it be? 
DLS: The Hammerhead, because nothing that ugly should be able to come at you quite literally out of the blue... and because it's proof that there have to be at least five different gods who all loved to have a laugh at the creation table.

SP: Do you have a favourite fictional shark (in books, comics, films, or video games)? 
DLS: Jaws is the one I most remember, because I still have trouble watching that film. Richard Dreyfus always did a great job of making you believe he was terrified of losing a leg, when he really should have been more worried about losing his hair.

SP: Apart from your story in Sharkpunk, what's coming next from David Lee Stone? 
I'm writing a series provisionally called The Underdogs: Heroes of Destiny for Hodder. It's about a group of D&D players who find Pandora's Box and start to take on the powers of their characters. They will publish the first two books in 2016, and the third in 2017. I'm also putting together a new Illmoor collection.

Thanks, David!

David Lee Stone was born ‘David Cooke’ on 25th January, 1978 in Margate, Kent. He has produced series fiction (writing variously as David Lee Stone, David Grimstone and Rotterly Ghoulstone) for many publishers worldwide, including Disney, Hodder and Penguin. 

The Illmoor Chronicles, which have been translated into many different languages, are currently published in six volumes by Hodder in the UK and Open Road Integrated Media in the USA. They comprise three stand alone novels and a linked trilogy. Short stories from the series are currently published on Amazon by Dead Guys Shoe Ltd, including the original Illmoor short ‘Dullitch Assassins’, which first appeared alongside stories from Terry Pratchett and Tom Sharpe in Peter Haining’s comic fantasy anthology Knights of Madness, published by Orbit, Penguin and Souvenir Press. 

David lives in Ramsgate with his wife and two children. He writes a daily blog at

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