Up this time is Lightning Strike Presents contributor, writer Stephen Carey.

What was the first comic work you did that was published?

My first published work was in Lightning Strike Presents #1, I had two stories published in that. One was Nightmare Scenario, a story about these demons called “Tormentors” who attack you in your nightmares in an attempt to take over your mind. The artist, Kevin Weldon, did a great job of making it look very sinister and surreal, he’s a very creative guy. The other story in that anthology was Reality Watch, which was about a reality repairman who goes to work when reality malfunctions. My brother Rob was the artist for Reality Watch and it was great to do a story with him. Having Rob as an artist meant that I could go really big with the visuals without having to hold back. Whatever you ask him to do, he can do it. I was very lucky to be able to work with both Kev and Rob.

What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?

Since then I have learned a lot about deadlines and time management. I learned a lot about working with a team and listening to their opinions and feedback. Most importantly, I learned how to look at my own work objectively and know when to make changes for the better.

What’s your process for writing a comic book?

I start off by roughly laying out the structure of the overall story and how it will be told, and then when I’m happy with how everything is laid out, I break the scenes down in more detail. Often I do out a test scene to get a sense of the characters and to find the right tone for the story. When putting a story together I like to surround myself with images to help visualize as much as possible.

What is the biggest influence on your work?

I am influenced by all kinds of things in different genres. I’m a big gamer, so games are a big influence on my work, and lately, for me, the most interesting stories are being told in games. Games that have had an influence on my work would be things like Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect, Fallout, Dragon Age, Bioshock. I’m very influenced by old movies like Robocop, Hellraiser, Total Recall, Blade Runner, Terminator, Alien, Predator, Starship Troopers and Die Hard. In terms of comics I’d have to say Alan Moore’s Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, also The Ultimates and All Star Superman.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the next installments of Reality Watch and Nightmare Scenario. I just finished work on the Fionn Mac Cumhaill short story for Rob Curley. I’m also attempting to put together a free web comic.

What do you have out now or coming out next?

Out now I have Reality Watch and Nightmare Scenario parts one and two in Lightning Strike Presents along with a short fantasy story called Relos. Coming out next I have Reality Watch part three and the Fionn Mac Cumhaill story for Rob Curley. And hopefully soon that free web comic!

What is your favourite Irish comic?

Half Past Danger. Stephen Mooney has done a fantastic job with it.

Stephen Carey on Twitter https://twitter.com/SteCarey
Stephen Carey’s website http://www.stephencareystuff.blogspot.ie/