About the Author
Robert Hood was born on the 24th of July, 1951, in Rydalmere, NSW. He attended Rydalmere Primary School, and then -- when his family moved to Sydney's northern beaches in the 1960s -- Collaroy Plateau Primary School. By the time he reached high school, he had developed a taste for weird movies. In his first year at Narrabeen Boys' High School, he wrote an assignment on H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. He became obsessed with science fiction and fantasy stories, but read anything he could get his hands on. It's said that his classroom compositions became progressively longer and weirder. Moreover, he decorated the front of his class books with pictures of the classic monsters -- Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, etc. The fact that these irrelevant to the subject matter of the books was neither here nor there.
In 1970, Rob began studying for his degree in Eng. Lit. and to be an English teacher. He attended Macquarie University, where he wrote a non-autobiographical story about a madman taking over the world and, encouraged by his tutor, Thea Astley, submitted it to ABC Radio. 'Caesar or Nothing' was his first professional sale, broadcast on 28th of February, 1975; but it wasn't until he left teaching ten years later that he really started to produce and sell stories regularly. In 1975 he won the Canberra Times National Short Story competition, and the Australian Golden Dagger Award in 1988. In both 2000 and 2001 he was shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story.
He has worked as a dishwasher, radio comedy writer, co-DJ of a radio show, journalist, research assistant, creative writing teacher and magazine editor. He's directed plays for amateur theatre (the most spectacular being an elaborate version of Twelfth Night, and his best a production of Ron Blair's President Wilson in Paris), helped establish a small-press publishing company, and played drums in two rock bands.
Rob now has well over 100 stories published, as well as two collections of his own work, several novels and a heap of kid's books. He's appeared in Karl Edward Wagner's Year's Best Horror, and has been nominated for several awards, including a Readercon award for best collection, as well as the Ditmar and Aurealis awards. He has won two Atheling Awards for Genre Criticism. In 2001, he published four novels -- these are the supernatural young adult series, Shades. In these books, Rob creates an original mythology involving a dark world that touches our world of light wherever there are shadows. They are ghosts stories in a way -- but ghost stories with a difference. And adults can enjoy them, too.
Also in 2001, just for the variety (and the money), he co-authored with David Young a vampire-oriented, text-based interactive game, designed to be played via mobile phone networks. It was, he says, an interesting experience. Check his bibliography for publications that feature his most recent stories. His collection of ghost stories, Immaterial, was published in June 2002 by MirrorDanse Books. It brings together many of his strangest and creepiest stories, both old and new. Another collection is in the works. During 2004-2006 he edited (with Robin Pen) three anthologies of giant monster stories, the first being Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales (Agog! Press, 2005), which won a Ditmar Award for Best Collection. In 2007, he will be a tutor at Clarion South -- the intensive "boot camp" for writers.
He currently lives with his partner Cat Sparks on the Illawarra Coast and earns a crust as the Graphic Design/Publications Coordinator of the Faculty of Commerce at Wollongong University. He likes reading (obviously), listening to music, watching SF and horror movies (as well as the occasional TV show, such as the new Battlestar Galactica and Medium, especially when they are on DVD), attending SF conventions and -- well, writing weird stories. He's a fan (some might say an obsessed fan) of giant monsters, zombie flicks, Japanese horror films, weird facts and strange tales, the internet, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, cats, the sound of the ocean (which he can no longer hear from his bedroom), and the music of Jethro Tull. The house he shares with Cat is full of books, pictures, movies and strange artefacts. And lots and lots of little