About Me

Ronald McGillvray

I was born on January 28th, 1964 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the same year the Ford Mustang was born. It was also the year The Detours became The Who, who then became The High Numbers, who then became The Who again. Keith Moon joined The Who that same year to round out the world’s most incredible band. Shortly afterwards my family moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where I’ve lived ever since.

I was intrigued by horror from an early age. My first introduction to horror came from the Scooby- Doo cartoons. Soon afterwards I noticed commercials for upcoming horror movies and realized these looked scarier than the cartoons I’d been watching. I would constantly comb the TV listings, searching for any horror movies that might be playing on a Saturday night because that was the only night I was allowed to stay up late.

I have to admit when I finally got to watch my first real horror movies, they were a bit of a let-down. I remember them as being the old black and white versions of The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dracula and Frankenstein. The commercials had made them seem horrifying but I didn’t think so. Of course, now that I’m older I appreciate them much more.

I was about to give up on horror movies and go back to my Scooby-Doo cartoons when George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead came on one Saturday night and it changed my world. I realized then what horror was supposed to be.

My introduction to horror literature were the books, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and “The Rats” by James Herbert. Not a bad beginning.

What cemented my love for horror however was a chance encounter with a man who happened to be talking with my parents around a pool while we were on vacation. He was holding a book and asked me if I liked scary books. When I admitted I did, even though I’d never read anything scarier than a Hardy Boys book, he handed me the book he’d been holding. It was Stephen King’s Carrie. I started reading it right away but have to admit there were parts of it I didn’t quite understand since I was only around 11 or 12 at the time. The style it was written in kind of threw me off as well, but I remembered his name. A few years later I came across a book in a store, Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King. I snapped it up and I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever read.

After finishing Salem’s Lot, I started to write my own horror stories but they were not very good. I also had a problem finishing my stories because I had a very short attention span. So most of the time I only ever finished the basic outline of a story and then would put it away. Even though they weren’t full-fledged stories I was somehow fulfilled with the fact that I got the entire story idea out of my head and on paper. It was almost like a release valve. I actually still begin my writing process the exact same way today.

My writing had progressed over the years and I spent a lot more time writing in 2005 and 2006. Those two years led me to a pretty banner year in 2007, where I had several pieces published and a couple of short films made from my stories. I also had an audio version of one of my stories produced. It was also the year I went to my first World Horror Convention where my short film “Storm” was premiering. Little did I know that “Storm” would be invited later to screen at the Shocklines Film Series in New York City. Along with my own film were films based on stories by Ed Gorman and an up-and-coming writer at the time named Jeff Hill, son of Stephen King, the man who was one of the catalysts for my own writing. It was definitely good karma, or so it seemed.

2008 arrived and along with it an economic crash. Between the crash and several health issues my writing came to a screeching halt.

A decade later and after a complete change in lifestyle I’m feeling better than ever. I even run 5k regularly. The catalyst that jumped started my writing however was when my son moved out in his 3rd year of university. With no one to play videogames with anymore and with his bedroom converted into my new office, I started to write again.      

Why Horror, the Strange and the Mysterious?

“I don’t like horror,” or “Why don’t you write something nice,” is something I hear often. So why do I write horror, the strange and the mysterious?

I’ve written in different genres but I’ve never enjoyed the experience as much as when I’m writing some form of horror.

The “what if” factor plays a major role in my train of thought when I’m writing. What if something is under the bed or what if something is in the closet? I guess that’s just the way I think.

Once I get a “what if” in my head, I have to get it out.

I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy and watch it all the time. In ways I find it very similar to horror. There is always the set up and the punchline. In the case of horror however, the punchline usually wants to kill you.

I remember watching Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last” and Charlton Heston in “The Omega Man” and the fascination with being the last man standing stuck with me or struck a nerve. I think most of my stories have that theme in them somewhere.

So why horror, the strange and the mysterious? Because I want to see if I’m the last man standing.



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A Creepy Video For Your Enjoyment

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Here’s my interview on The House of Mystery.