Born in 1969, Phil likes to point out he was one of the last children born before man walked on the moon. Working at Australia’s National Dinosaur Museum since 2000 and as an educator at the Australian War Memorial since 2006, he has previously worked at Questacon Science centre and could be seen haunting the halls and specimen rooms of London’s Natural History Museum and The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Here he even played famed palaeontologist O. C. Marsh during the Smithsonian’s centenary celebrations, and when asked why the 19th century palaeontologist was speaking with an Australian accent, happily pointed out that everyone on the 19th century spoke with an Australian accent.
Published in newspapers and magazines across the globe, since 2007 Phil has been the paleo-author for the world’s longest running dinosaur magazine, The Prehistoric Times. He has also been a comic shop manager, a cinema projectionist, a theatre technician and gutted chickens for a deli. All of these influences seem to make an appearance in his writing, especially the chicken guts bit.
What inspired you to include Doyle and Stoker as characters in The Brotherhood of the Dragon?
I love Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, and my favourite author is Glen Cook – who wrote a detective story (Old Tin Sorrows) clearly based on this iconic story. Re-reading Cook’s version one day I thought to myself…I could do that. It was then a matter of finding a historical setting for the story, and the Jack the Ripper murders seemed a perfect fit. I also discovered A C Doyle and Bram Stoker were real life cousins and in London around that time – so I sat down and got to work.
Do you find your characters and setting in your book are based upon your own life experiences?
I have done so in other books – but in this I was really inspired by my favourite stories and looking to try and create my own version of these classic tales… though I guess you could say the humour in the books is mine.
What adventures can we expect your characters to have in future books?
Book two is done and was so much fun researching. Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Howard Carter, Alexander Dumas – and a backdrop set around the real historical discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s. Book three – well that will involve a famous stormy night and a bunch of storytellers sitting around trying to scare each other– and there is a whole slew of short stories based in this universe that are on their way. Exploring, adventures, monsters, and heroes – all based around real historical events. It should be illegal to have this much fun.
What is your biggest motivation for writing?
My career for the last two decades has been in museum education – in other words, telling stories. I am a storyteller, its my favourite thing to do in the world. Be it history books, natural history articles, or non-fiction.
How many books have you written?
Written – I have 14 – though I have one book published at the moment – with a few more being released shortly, and I have also been featured in a few other books. I also have around 100 articles published in magazines and newspapers all over the world.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?
I still recall the first thing I ever had published (a dinosaur article in a magazine) and the excitement that created – and I was thrilled when I was chosen to create a new type of tour at the Smithsonian during its centenary celebrations – but having my first novel published is still the greatest achievement.
What advice would you give a writer trying to get published?
Get to the end. Whatever you are working on – just get to the end. I have talked to numerous people who talk about how they tried to write a book but could never get past their first few chapters. Do not rewrite anything – do not edit anything until you get to the end. You’re first draft is just that – a draft. By getting to the end I guarantee all those plans you had at the start will have changed – so it is simply pointless wasting time reworking and rewriting your first few chapters as they will in all likelihood need to be changed. So, get to the end! Only then will you understand what sort of story you really have.
What inspires you when you hit writer’s block?
Never had it. Now that’s not to say I have never become stumped by a piece and needed to leave it for a while so I can work out where to go next – but with so many projects to be worked on, all this means is I move on to another project for a while until inspiration strikes. Writer fatigue most certainly is an issue – it’s a lonely job after all, often done during stolen moments from your busy life – but by having a number of projects you should always find something that you are keen to get back to work on – and so you will always remain productive – even when things are looking bleak.
Describe your writing style in three words.
Punchy. Fun. Surprising.
Strange things are happening at Stamford House.
It was not that Mr Fortey was particularly loved, but that he died in such a horrible way, and in the presence of almost the entire household. We must have been only a few feet away, yet no one heard or saw anything. If it could happen to a strapping veteran like the footman, it could happen to any of us.
Phil Hore’s debut novel crackles with thrills and chills as two unlikely allies join forces with two of history’s greatest writers, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, to save England from the ancient Brotherhood of the Dragon and the horrible secret they protect.