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Getting to Know the Author



The following interview was conducted by author, Dani Daley.

1. For anyone who hasn’t heard of you, how would you describe your work? How would you describe yourself?

I would define my works of fiction as explorations into the many layers of the human mind. Primarily, I explore that mysterious part of the psyche called the Shadow. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with parapsychological phenomena, with a marked interest in UFOs/UAPs. Within the past five years, I have read several books on consciousness, simulation theory, and certain esoteric subjects. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time studying older, more obscure books on the occult, which has given me a unique perspective on parapsychological phenomena.

In my perspective, fiction is more than just entertainment. Through the written word, I aspire to illuminate the reader regarding parapsychological phenomena and the human mind. Fiction is also a way to forge new mythologies that resonate with the reader. Humans are ruled by their beliefs and mythologies. Those beliefs and mythologies dictate how they think and act. Joseph Campbell, who studied mythology and wrote extensively about it, said that myths help to open the imagination to the mysteries and wonders of the universe. This is what I strive for in my writing, to evoke strong emotions that will engage the reader’s imagination and lead them on the path of self-exploration.

I would describe myself as a creative and inquisitive person. I’m utterly fascinated by the symbiotic relationship between humans and the natural world. I explore this relationship in my latest novel, Datura Serpentis. We humans are always looking out into the cosmos in wonder, but I think we should also look at this strange little planet we live on. There are many mysteries yet to be discovered on the “pale blue dot.”

Even though I am employed full-time as a Software Test Engineer, I spend almost an equal amount of time writing fiction. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. If I’m not reading, I’m thinking about my stories. They never leave my mind.

I view myself as a medium for the story. The story is the most important thing. Most of the time, when I’m writing, I’m doing so on an unconscious level. Regardless of whether or not I create an outline (I rarely create more than a high-level outline), my unconscious mind always changes something. This, in my opinion, is where the real magic occurs.

2. Which authors have inspired you?

I’ve been inspired by several authors over the years: Robert Bloch, William Peter Blatty, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker. I’m particularly fond of William Peter Blatty’s book, The Exorcist. He had the ability to not only evoke terror but at the same time interject humour into a very serious story. That can be tricky endeavour.

3. What is the hardest thing about writing horror?

The most challenging aspect of writing horror for me, is to create an atmosphere that is relevant to the theme of the story. Atmosphere is the most critical part of the story.

To create an atmosphere conducive to generating a terrifying story, one must pay close attention to how scene is described. Descriptive writing is essential. I strive to create an atmosphere that haunts the story.

4. Have you ever scared yourself with a scene you’ve written, or because you know the outcome, are you immune to the fear?

The prologue to my novel, Psychoid, gave me goosebumps. I imagined being the character who underwent a very painful transformation in a psychic realm. But his suffering was not just physical, it was psychological as well. To me, the psychological aspects of horror are the most intriguing. Although the stories I write sometimes contain violence, it’s the psychological aspects that put hooks into my flesh. To be overtaken, consumed, or possessed by some dark aspect of one’s own Shadow is very scary. After years of watching horror movies and reading horror stories, I’m not easily frightened. It takes a lot to scare me.

5. Can a horror writer over-do it? Is there such a thing as too scary, or too much gore?

I don’t think a novel can be too scary, as long as the author keeps the plot moving forward. Violence and gore should serve the plot of the story. Gratuitous violence is pointless. Back to the scene I mentioned from my novel, Psychoid, it could be considered gory. The man who undergoes a transformation finds himself in a cavernous abode, confronted by a dark force that he conjured. That force literally breaks him and rebuilds him. His bones protrude from his skin. His jaw unhinges. It’s a very painful and terrifying scene. The point of expounding on the physical aspects of his transformation (the gore) is necessary to show his resolve and determination for achieving illumination. He was willing to pay the price for that enlightenment.

6. The Shining by Stephen King is one of the only horror books I’ve ever read. I’d never read it again because it played on my mind for a long time after. What is the scariest book you’ve read?

The scariest book I’ve ever read is, Psycho. Robert Bloch manages to create this disquieting atmosphere, one that looms over you throughout the entire novel. And that atmosphere revolves around the warped mind of Norman Bates. As the story progresses, you begin to see and feel just how disturbed Norman is. When I read the story, I could, at times, feel what Norman was feeling—anger, resentment, and madness. Norman’s insanity creeps into the very marrow of your bones as the story unfolds.

There is another story, a novella, that I find very frightening: The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker. His story is an exploration of the human mind and its dark cravings. Pain and pleasure, intertwined. Frank Cotton, a sadistic, hedonistic man, attempts to explore the limits of pleasure but must undergo tremendous physical and psychological suffering to obtain it. This story had a major influence on my novel, Psychoid.

The Shining, by Stephen King, is also a great psychological horror story. I’ve read the book a couple of times and seen the movie. The most terrifying aspect of the novel is the feeling of isolation you get as the story progresses. Like Norman Bates, Jack slowly descends into madness. The tension rises. Then Jack completely loses it and begins to terrorize his wife and child.

7. Halloween is coming up, do you decorate? Dress up? Host spooky parties?

Halloween is my favourite holiday. My wife and I do decorate, both the inside and outside of our house. I tend to gravitate toward the scarier décor; the more terrifying, the better. I haven’t dressed up in years, but I have been to a few Halloween parties in my time. Unfortunately, we don’t get any trick-or-treaters on the road we live on. If we did, I would definitely wear a very scary costume. There’s nothing like looking at a terrified child asking for candy. Wicked fun!

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