Early life and work
Volk was born and raised in Pontypridd, Wales. Volk has stated his interest in horror was triggered by watching the TV drama The Stone Tape by Nigel Kneale, and the film Don't Look Now by Nicolas Roeg. He studied at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, and Bristol University. Volk then worked as an advertising copywriter before becoming a full-time writer. Volk's first produced work was Ken Russell's film Gothic in 1986. Volk also wrote a script, Horror Movie, for Goldcrest Films that was never made due to Goldcrest's collapse.
His most famous work is Ghostwatch, a controversial drama shown on BBC1 on Halloween 1992. It is commonly misrepresented as a hoax documentary, but this was never the intention. It was originally planned as a six-part series for the BBC. However, the producer of the series, Ruth Baumgarten, didn't believe it had commercial viability. Stephen reworked the script so that everything would be set "Like episode six" and repitched it as a 90-minute live broadcast drama on behalf of BBC's Screen One drama segment. Ruth accepted the new format.
Volk's TV work often involves the supernatural and the paranormal, such as with the ITV1 thriller series Afterlife (2005–06). Volk has written fiction in the horror and ghost story genres; some of these stories were collected in the book Dark Corners (2006). In 1995, Volk wrote two serials of the series Ghosts. Volk's fiction often features real people as characters: the novella Whitstable (2013) features the actor Peter Cushing, while Leytonstone (2015) deals with a young Alfred Hitchcock. Volk also wrote a monthly column about horror for Black Static magazine until the end of 2016.
Novels and novellas
- Gothic (1987, novelisation of the 1986 film)
- Vardøger (2009)
- Whitstable (2013)
- Leytonstone (2015)
Short story collections
- Dark Corners (2006)
- Monsters in the Heart (2013)
- The Parts We Play (2016)
References and notes
- James Rose, "Stephen Volk", in Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy, Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic : Fifty-Four neglected authors, actors, artists and others. Jefferson, North Carolina : McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2016 ISBN 9781476663142 (pp.220-3)
- "Waffling With Horror Writer Stephen Volk" Themoviewaffler.com. Retrieved 04-03-2017.
- Stephen Jones,The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24.Hachette UK, 2013. ISBN 147210028X, (pp. 360-1)
- Paul Long, Tim Wall Media Studies: Texts, Production, Context. Routledge, 2014. ISBN 9781317860785 (pp. 150-1)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Jim Broadbent makes one-off return to the stage." Matt Trueman. The Guardian, 6 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2018.