Interview with Vincenzo Bilof (Author)

The wonderful Lindsey Beth Goddard recently did this great interview with my friend Vincenzo Bilof. She kindly gave me permission to reblog it, so without further ado, here 'tis.

VINCENZO-LOGO 


VINCENZO-B
 
What inspired you to write your first book?
 
The first book I published or the first book I wrote? Well, the first novel I wrote is sitting on my computer. It’s a zombie novel called The City Wore a Sullen Face, and it’s mostly a Dystopian/Philosophy book that is more George Orwell than George Romero. I haven’t published it because the book is almost an anti-zombie novel.
 
Right now, all of my work is inspired by nightmares. I’m a vivid dreamer, and each novel is a series of images, or movie posters. Bad ones, like the ones for Nicolas Cage films.
 
Do you write every single day?
 
During the summer, I write every day, if possible. If “The Song that Doesn’t End” is playing in the background, that’s a distraction and can potentially end my writing “career,” because then I’ll just keep on singing it forever just because this is the song that doesn’t end, yes it goes on and on my friend…
 
Do events from your past play a role in your writing?
 
I believe this is true of all writing, whether consciously or subconsciously; my mind is a composition of words and images influenced by the past. I don’t consciously add things into my work that are moments I’ve lived or experienced. You should have to do some research while writing, but you can write about things you know and understand; since this knowledge is something you’ve learned in your past, then the past plays a role in every author’s writing.
 
The short answer is that every author uses the past subconsciously. I don’t intentionally incorporate past moments. I sometimes remember the moment when the slipper didn’t fit my cute foot, and maybe that has something to do with the emotional investment in my books. I guess elephants get angry sometimes, too.
 
Do you try to put messages and morals into your fiction, or do you write simply to entertain the reader?
 
I learn about my characters as a story progresses, and I believe readers can learn something from them, too. Reading is ultimately an experience that is exclusive to the reader; when you open the pages of a book for the first time, your own world and experiences interacts with the story in front of you. I believe in telling a story, and let the reader take what they will from what I provide. I think it’s silly to force an idea down a reader’s throat, unless you’re writing with a purpose in mind, a purpose that already has an audience. If I include a message it’s usually spelled backward.
 
Where can we find your work?
 
Amazon! I also have a list of novels on my blog. Sometimes, Amazon can be confusing, because it also includes anthologies and whatnot. I’m not saying I’m an Amazonian… I’m referring to the website where people can buy stuff.
 
Are character names important to you? How about settings?
 
Let’s say you start a book with three women in a room. Mary, Jane, and Ashley. The opening chapter includes all three of these women and the reader is forced to distinguish between them. Do the same thing with men: Rick, Joe, Bob.
 
Let’s say the author is intent on keeping these three characters around for a bit. Connie, Alice, and Madeline. The men? Jimmy, Mitch, Frank. What if these characters are better known for their nicknames, or their last names? Isn’t your name important to you? When you think about your close friends and relatives, you likely can’t imagine any of them having a different name, because their name is linked to who they are (as you perceive them). A name means something to an individual, and if your characters are supposed to come to life, their names have to matter. Think of your favorite television show… do the character names help make them distinguishable from one another? Ross, Chandler, and Joey… Three characters from the show Friends, and their names should easily conjure images of the people they portray.
 
Setting is just as important. Why does it matter if the sky is blue? Why does it matter if there’s lightning? Just as a filmmaker uses light and shadow in a scene, so should a writer use setting as part of the composition. A good setting establishes mood, contrasting elements, and characterization; a hot desert or a torrential storm can become an opposing force characters must contend with. Having diarrhea in the middle of overtime in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (Detroit against Chicago) is quite inconvenient… So yes, setting is important. I’d hate to miss the Wings score the winning goal.
 
Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
 
Yup. When I was in First Grade I had a Ninja Turtle coloring book that had a writing prompt in it. I was about five or six years old at the time, and the prompt had something to do with a picture. I filled the page (the lines didn’t have those massive spaces between them). To this day, I remember my mom was impressed because I knew how to spell the word “suddenly”. Now, I hate using or seeing the word in a book, because it’s unnecessary. I suddenly don’t care about that word. Or maybe not so suddenly. But maybe.
 
What are you working on at the moment?
 
Let’s see… Vampire Strippers from Saturn; Mother, I’m Not an Android; and Japanese Werewolf Apocalypse. I’m also working on improving myself as a person every day by riding goats, training to be a cosmonaut, and building a better relationship between aliens and humankind.
 
Have you ever considered collaborating with another author?
 
Yes. William Cook and I are going to be working on a project together in the near future, and I’ve been asked by other authors to contribute. I can write a chapter if someone else gives me a chapter, first. I’m willing to work with most authors, depending on time constraints and interest in the piece.
 
Please tell us about yourself. What are your hobbies? What inspires you?
 
Writing is my hobby. I’m an English teacher, and writing is something I do for fun, because a couple publishers have let me get away with it. 
 
I don’t understand the idea behind “inspiration.” I’m just a dude who has nightmares and puts them down on paper.



Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
 
Chilling on the porch with my kids, eating ice cream, and reading a comic book. I’ll probably see you at the Stanley Cup parade in Detroit when the Red Wings bring the title back home where it belongs. I’ll be there. I’ll be a crusty old dude in a classroom, with some zany glasses on (zebra-striped). I imagine we’ll all have microchips implanted in our skulls at that point, so maybe I’ll be living on a secluded island where the birds can speak Spanish and Cantonese.
 
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
 
Write, and read. Forgive yourself and realize you haven’t written the next American classic. Not everyone is going to love your book. In fact, most people will likely hate it, unless you’re letting your dog and cat leave reviews for you.
 
Where can we find you on the web?
 
Right next to the spider.

Bizarro Pulp Press (Editor): http://bizarropulppress.com/about



horrorshow 

Vincenzo's Zombie-Bizarro Blog

Lindsey Beth Goddard, Vincenzo Bilof, Interview, #Interview, Horror, #Horror, #Zombie, Zombie, William Cook,  

T.E. Grau Interviews Thomas Ligotti for Fiction Journal LORE (Reblogged)

T.E. Grau was kind enough to give me permission to reblog the following post from his fantastic site The Cosmicomicon about the fabulous Thomas Ligotti and some exciting news for fans of his. Check it out. 
 

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Non-Fiction News: T.E. Grau Interviews Thomas Ligotti for Fiction Journal LORE - Death Poems Now, New Ligotti Fiction on the Bleak Horizon?


I love many modern Weird Fiction writers - and by "modern," I mean anyone distilling shadows and strangeness into ink from the early 20th century into this current toe tip in the 21st. We are currently blessed with a wonderful array of talented scribes, who incorporate all those delicious elements of great Speculative Fiction - the cosmic, supernatural, bizarre, uncanny, unsettling, unnameable, terrifying - into their short stories, novellas, and novels.

But there is no one currently putting word to the dark that can touch Thomas Ligotti.  He's The One for my generation.  The It.  He's our greatest living Weird/Horror Fiction writer.  And just as he was about to be crowned, he left the game.

Well okay, that's no entirely true.  He didn't leave the field by his own volition.  He was forced out, and put on injured reserve due to his ongoing battles with anhedonia, depression, and a few physical ailments, which rendered him psychologically unable to write the sort of stories he wrote.  This, in turn, left a stadium full of devoted fans to ponder a Weird Fiction future as grim as Ligotti's fiction as its greatest star was forced into an early retirement.  There would be no more tales of such profound oddness, darkness, and OTHERNESS for us to read and over which to marvel.  No more collections of short fiction during a time when the short form was being - and continues to be - stamped out by the Almighty Novel.  No more stories that can viscerally unsettle a reader in such a unique and subtle way, without falling back on the tired tropes and gratuitous gore that has sullied the Horror genre under the weight of their own overuse.  The betrayal of our ridiculously weak human form left our very best unable to continue adding to his incredibly rich corpore laboris, which seemed right out of a Ligotti story
He still undertook occasional non fiction and philosophical writing (see The Conspiracy Against the Human Race), as well as critical reviews and blurbs, but the streaming spigot of fiction has been all but shut off since 2006 with the release of Teatro Grottesco, which is notable as his last written and published collection of new works, after which an extended break from fiction writing evolved into the feared end of his creative writing career.  This was a tragedy, made selfish by us in our desire for more of his particular brand of magick, but mainly because such a gifted individual was unable to continuing doing what he was created to do as a result of the betrayal of the very consciousness he so often railed against (and in his case, for apparently good reason).  The always reclusive writer became all the more so, ghosting out of the literary world as he battled inside himself.  He was done with fiction, through a personal decision that was ironically not his to make.

Or so we thought...

In a recent interview I conducted with Thomas Ligotti for the acclaimed Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi journal Lore, he was his usual eloquent, profound, and famously pessimistic self, but also incredibly candid, sharing rare details of his ongoing struggles with psychological and physical ailments and their impact on his work, depression, suicide, as well as revealing that he has recently written several new works of short fiction.  Naturally, this blew me away, and excited devoted fans of Ligotti's work around the globe.

I will except a portion of the interview below, and encourage you to click on through this link to find the full discussion at the Lore website:
T.L.: I never abandoned fiction writing as a matter of principle or anything like that. My mental state just began to deteriorate after 2001. Then, within the space of a few minutes, my mood shot up and that lasted for about a month in late 2002. During that month, I wrote two stories. Afterward, my mood would usually improve late in each year. It was during those times that I worked on The Conspiracy against the Human Race beginning in 2003, because it hadn’t improved enough to write fiction, which takes a different sort of energy and motive, at least for me, than writing nonfiction. In 2005, I crashed completely and couldn’t even earn a living anymore as an editor. During upward mood swings, I continued to work on Conspiracy until it was finished in 2010. I apologize for giving this blow-by-blow account of my moods and literary production, but now that I’ve started I’m going to finish. In 2012, I suffered some severe physical traumas that had the effect of heightening my mood, and my imagination started to gradually make a comeback after dying in 2002. That’s the best way to explain it: After producing two stories in 2002, my imagination just died. Throughout 2012, the trauma I experienced kept elevating my mood and ambition. I wrote some new poems and started to compile a collection of my interviews. Matt Cardin will edit the interview book for publication by Subterranean Press and provide an introduction. In March 2013, my imagination resurrected itself for me to finish two new stories. I don’t know if I’ll write any more stories. I’ve always said that. But I really didn’t think I would think I would write again, since I haven’t been engage in anything like gainful employment since 2005. I want to write, because when I’m in the process of doing it feels as if there’s something standing between me and death. When I don’t have that, then I either suffer from death anxiety and panic attacks or my imagination is burned out by anhedonic bipolar depression and all I want to do is kill myself, which is a daunting proposition. The non-suicidal speak so cavalierly about suicide, as if anyone can do it anytime they want. But you really have to be in a very particular frame of mind to voluntarily attempt to die. More often, someone with the worst depression simply doesn’t feel good enough to kill himself. It just doesn’t seem like a solution. Anyway, after going under anesthesia three times in 2012, I realized that to be anesthetized to death is by far the best way to do it, like Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green. A lot of anesthesiologists kill themselves, more than any other profession, or so I’ve read. I asked an assistant anesthesiologist about this, and she was very forthcoming about people in her profession having the know-how and access to the right drugs to die peacefully whenever they want. It seems so unfair that we all don’t have that advantage.

This is HUGE, folks.  Absolutely massive.  I'd wager most of us never thought we'd see the day when Thomas Ligotti would return to fiction, instead retiring from the trade like T.E.D. Klein.  But here we are, standing on the precipice of something new in the fiction department, as well as the promise of a book of collected interviews, overseen and edited by exceptional speculative fiction writer, religio/horror philosopher, and Lead Teeming Brain Matt Cardin.  For us fans, these are bright days awaiting the delivery of the deepest dark.

While we all anxiously await the release of his new fiction, we can slake our thirst with a pitcher of his classic poetic verse in Death Poems, originally published in 2004 by Durtro and now re-released by Bad Moon Books, featuring cover and interior art by the incredible Richard A. Kirk, who is a longtime collaborator with the likes of Clive Barker and Caitlin R. Kiernan.

From the Bad Moon Books website:
We are proud to announce the updated version of Death Poems by Thomas Ligotti, with a whole new section of poetry titled "Closing Statements". Cover art and internal illustrations by the amazing Richard A. Kirk. Long out of print, Death Poems was originally produced in a very small edition by Durtro in 2004. This highly prized collection has been virtually unobtainable until now. We expect this to sell out very quickly, so do not hesitate.
Wraparound dustjacket with internal illustration by Richard A. Kirk - See more at: http://www.badmoonbooks.com/product.php?productid=3621#sthash.HYs9xKKk.dpu
We are proud to announce the updated version of Death Poems by Thomas Ligotti, with a whole new section of poetry titled "Closing Statements". Cover art and internal illustrations by the amazing Richard A. Kirk. Long out of print, Death Poems was originally produced in a very small edition by Durtro in 2004. This highly prized collection has been virtually unobtainable until now. We expect this to sell out very quickly, so do not hesitate.

Wraparound dustjacket with internal illustration by Richard A. Kirk
 
So snatch up some TL poems (quickly, as this book WILL sell out, and become highly collectible, as are all this other works) and wait by the door, keeping your sweating palms firmly clamped over your ears to guard against that strange, soft knocking in the middle of the night.  The postman doesn't work after dark, but other things certainly do.


List of Cool Links recommended by King Billy Publications

An Interview with Becket, Author of The Blood Vivicanti


An Interview with Becket, Author of The Blood Vivicanti



Becket 

I am pleased to welcome Becket, author of The Blood Vivicanti, for an interview. You may be most familiar with Becket on his Facebook page, where he talks about his job as Anne Rice’s personal assistant, his awe-inspiring years living in a New Orleans monastery, and his love of everything geek. Now, Becket can add “author” to his list of life experiences as he introduces us to the first of six installments in the serial novel, The Blood Vivicanti. The serial involves an entirely new and unique set of blood-drinkers, which were born of a collaboration between Becket and Anne Rice.
I hope you enjoy my interview with the charming and lovely Becket, who, on top of everything else, is just an all-around awesome guy to chat with. And thank you, Becket, for stopping by!

Stay tuned after the interview for my review of The Blood Vivicanti, as well as links where you can connect with Becket online.

12 Questions with Becket, Author of The Blood Vivicanti

The Blood Vivicanti Part 1

 
1. The book introduces a new and unique race of blood drinkers. What can you tell us about this new race, the Blood Vivicanti?

If you look at classical works like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and Polidori’s Vampyre, you do not see the problem in most blood drinker tales today, which is a super-abundance of supernatural creatures.  What Anne and I did was return to a mindset like the classics: A few supernatural creatures trying to go unnoticed in a society upon which they feed. Part 1 starts off with only three Blood Vivicanti in the whole world, and Mary Paige, the heroine of this story, is the latest and youngest.

2. Mary Paige is a classic introvert, and I expect her upbringing will really speak to other introverts. Where did you pull her experiences from?

I pulled her experiences from two places.  First: Yes, I am a classic introvert as well; although I think I’m a little more introverted than she is, if that’s possible. I have painful memories of walking to the school cafeteria, as though it were death row, knowing that I had a few friends, yet none had that lunch period. But I also have an MS in psychology.  And many of the experiences I write about in all my books come from my education.

3. The characters were a collaboration of yourself and Anne Rice. How did that process play out?

A few years ago, in 2011, Anne and I began discussing the possibility of developing a new breed of blood drinkers.  We wanted them to be different from her other blood drinkers.  We wanted them to live in their own world, with new rules.  Anne called this their “cosmology.” For many months we swapped emails and had meals together.  During that time we talked about characters and their supernatural abilities.  On a plane back from England once, we were trading notes over the seats about the narrative. The story took many shapes from 2011 until now.  Finally I suggested the idea of serializing it, the way Dickens did with his novels.  Anne was thrilled about the idea.

4. Your descriptions in the book are both simple and colorful at once. Other than Anne Rice, what other authors have inspired and influenced your writing?

Thank you!  Of course a reader who becomes an author has the narrative voices of several narrative styles swirling around their heads.  It might not look like it, but I’m still heavily influenced by Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare.  The color of their words and the turns of their phrases are always in my head. However, my more contemporary influences — the books at hand for my daily literary refueling — would be Hemingway, McCarthy, Vonnegut, and even the simple declarative prose of many bible stories. But I’m also greatly influenced by haikus and the poetry of Mary Oliver and W.S. Merwin. So I guess you could say that prose and poetry both influence me.

5. Obviously, you have the coolest job in the world. What’s a typical day like for you?

Well, there is no typical day.  Today, for instance, I helped Anne sell her Rolls Royce, fixed a problem on her computer, discussed with her our upcoming trip to Canada and France, swapped emails with Juliet Landau about possibly interviewing Anne before that trip, and relayed messages from Anne to her agents, among other things. Tomorrow, I’ll follow up on these projects, but, honestly, anything could happen.

6. The Blood Vivicanti is self-published. What made you decide to explore the indie publishing route?

It wasn’t an easy decision.  Ever since college, long before I started working for Anne, I dreamed of being published by a major house.  At that time, Amazon was still a start-up business, and indie authors didn’t have awesome sobriquets like “indie”.  In fact there seemed to be a stigma on any author who self-published. Today, Amazon is changing the rules of publishing.  No only are they providing a means to self-publish, but they are also providing a means of producing quality books with international distribution and marketing.  The transition between the state of self-publishing ten years ago compared with the state of indie publishing today is pretty astounding!

7. What have you learned so far about the indie publishing process? How did it compare/contrast with your expectations?

The most important thing I’ve learned about indie publishing is that we are a great community.  Indie authors really stick together and support one another.  I’ve become good friends with you, Sarah, as well as with Greg Wilkey, and also great editors like Todd Barselow.  Getting a chance to read your book and Greg’s, as well as to utilize Todd’s great editing skills, has been rewarding enough.
This alone has far exceeded my expectations.  Before I got into indie publishing, I thought I was going to be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness.  But we all stick together and read one another’s books.  We support one another and tell other people about our work.  We are our own marketing division.

8. Aside from the future releases of The Blood Vivicanti, you have two other projects upcoming: a children’s book, Key the Steampunk Vampire Girl, as well as a spiritual novel. What can you tell us about these?

KEY THE STEAMPUNK VAMPIRE GIRL is actually going to be my first whole book, considering that the Blood Vivicanti is actually a serial. The story is about a nine-year-old girl who is turned into a vampire.  She loses her mom and dad.  She is taken to live in The City of the Dead, where she is imprisoned for many years in the dungeon.  But she finds great friendship with a ghost, a witch, and an immortal puppy who morphs into a 12-foot tall wolf.
The more spiritual book is titled: THE DOOR TO HEAVEN.  It’s about a boy, Dominic, and a girl, Pascala.  He loses his dad at a young age.  She loses her mom too.  He copes when he starts interacting with the Door to Heaven.  She copes when she draws closer to him with the help of her guardian angel.  It’s a tale of discovery for Dominic and Pascala, as they learn the secret places where the Door to Heaven hides.

9. On your Facebook page, you’ve graciously shared your experience of spending several years in a New Orleans monastery. Do you ever plan to publish stories based on this?

I have been saving all my posts about my monastic experience.  I have just over 10,000 words.  I write about 1000 words each post, sometimes a little shorter, sometimes a little longer.  I’m thinking that, after 5 or 10 more posts on the monastic life, I might compile them together into a little book.

10. You’re a Whovian, and a self-professed geek, which many of your readers can relate to. Settle the debate for us: Star Wars or Star Trek?

For me, the two universes can’t be divided — besides: Star Wars happened “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” while the original Star Trek series is a long time from now in the Milky Way.  Who says they can’t happen along the same time line? You see: The two played entirely different roles in my upbringing.  In THE BLOOD VIVICANTI Part 2, I’ve given an aspect of myself to a character named Wyn.  He’s the scientist who created the Blood Vivicanti.  Wyn’s not me; and I’m not him; but I have let him have a part of me for his character’s motivation.  The line goes: “He watched Star Trek to appreciate literature and logic, art and music and hope for the future. He watched Star Wars to consider a power greater than himself.” For me this is very true.  Star Trek helped my love for culture to grow: They were always talking about books and music.  A literary theme of the Wrath of Khan, for instance, is Moby Dick.  All throughout the movie they’re quoting Ahab’s lines.  And the TV shows had music and Shakespeare and literature.  It was wonderful. Star Wars, on the other hand, namely The Empire Strikes Back, is metaphysically oriented.  There are great discussions about the mystical elements of The Force – how we’re all connected in some special way to an unseen power that is both terrible and gentle.

11. The next installment in The Blood Vivicanti is out in a few weeks. What’s next for Mary Paige?

In Part 2 of THE BLOOD VIVICANTI, Mary Paige is introduced to Wyn and to her new life as a blood drinker.  Throughout her human life, neither parent nor peer taught her to trust herself.  So she never accustomed to seeing herself as a powerful woman. In Part 2 she says: “Life had taught me thus far to avoid looking at my own power… I couldn’t see how powerful I’d become.” The whole series is about the slippery slope of self-discovery, and in Part 2, Mary Paige deals with finding people who believe in her.

12. Finally, is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

Sarah Cradit’s novels are wonderful!  Greg Wilkey’s novels are too! Everyone should go out and buy one!
(Sarah’s note: no, I did not pay him to say that! Thank you, Becket!)

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Sarah’s Review of The Blood Vivicanti: Part 1

The Blood Vivicanti introduces readers to an entirely new and unique kind of blood-drinker; this is not your run-of-the-mill sparkly vampire, or your gothic, romantic predator. Becket’s Blood Vivicanti are a refreshingly new take on an old concept, and from the very first lines of the story, I was drawn in and swept away in the world he creates.

The story introduces us to Mary Paige, whose struggles with being a misunderstood introvert will resonate with all of us who have reserved thoughts or words from others for fear of not being accepted. Her experiences are relatable, painful, and often humorously familiar, as Becket weaves in references that are expertly placed, and effortlessly enjoyed by the reader. Mary Paige’s voice is clear throughout. Her struggles and insights feel real. Though you know the installment will end with her induction into the Blood Vivicanti, it is, nonetheless, a moment that leaves you breathless right up until the final words. While Anne Rice’s contributions to the story are clearly felt, the voice is uniquely Becket’s. His writing is concice, descriptive, and sometimes hauntingly in-your-face. He does not just paint you a picture of his world, he pulls you into it with both hands. The Blood Vivicanti is expertly done, and I cannot wait for the second installment.

Connect with Becket Online

 


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Interview with Donald White

This is an interview that Michael S Gardner did recently with talented writer Donald White on his blog A Taste of Terror. Both were kind enough to let me repost/blog the interview here for you to read. Take the time to check out the links and a great little story at the end of the interview by Donald. 



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*Make sure to read the story at the end of the interview! It's really good!*

Without any further adieu, I present an interview between me and a writer you should definitely keep your eye on.






Mike: Donald, you’re an up-and-coming writer, who focuses mainly on horror and fantasy. Why don’t you tell us a little more about yourself?


Donald: I grew up on the North Carolina coast, but moved to Durham for job opportunities. I work in tech support during the day, and the majority of my free time is spent reading, writing and reviewing. I am a prolific writer and a voracious reader. I have very eclectic tastes, enjoying work from many different genres.  


Mike:  How long have you been writing? And when did you decide to take a shot at doing it professionally? Also, what drove you to do it?


Donald: I have actually been writing for over twenty years. However, only recently did I decide my work was good enough to be published. Like many authors, I am a perfectionist and I only really thought about publishing when other people told me my writing was that good. I think I was driven by a desire to have my work read. Writing is hard work, and it would be a tragedy for it to remain unknown.


Mike: Horror and fantasy are both genres that have become convoluted with the same old story regurgitated over and over again. Does this thought stew in the back of your mind each time you sit down to weave a tale? I mean, there are only a number of ways to end a story, so how do you try and set yourself apart from the pack?


Donald: Honestly, the characters write the story for me. Once I know who they are, I can determine how they will interact. My goal is not to impress people with my skills as a wordsmith. Rather, I focus on making the story feel real: real people in real situations in a real world. Even when I write things that are supernatural, I write them in a natural way. In other words, what would be they be like if they were real? Because the work is organic, the ending must simply be a satisfying conclusion to what went on before.


Mike: We all draw inspiration from different sources. From where do you get yours?


Donald: I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. I soak in influences from many sources. I love the work of Robert E. Howard and J.R. R. Tolkien. I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft. When I was younger, I read a lot of comic books, so the X-Men and Avengers movies are favorites of mine.  Inevitably, an idea will come to me; and most people won’t even recognize what my inspiration was.


Mike: You have a blog which is updated weekly where you offer your thoughts on the process of writing. What, in your opinion, is the best advice to give newcomers to the craft?


Donald: Pour your heart into whatever you write. People are moved by emotions, and something of depth has the ability to compel. If you like what you are doing, that enthusiasm will be contagious.


Mike: Personally, I prefer the unhappy ending. Call me pessimistic, but I think the sappy endings are, for the most part, overrated. Which do you prefer?


Donald: I like a satisfying ending. If it is a tragedy, then the story must be leading up to it due to the personal failings of the protagonist. I like happy endings if they are done well. Typically, they are the result of an arduous journey with many perils and a final achievement of some goal.


Mike: Self-pubbing or the traditional path of getting your work out there? Why?


Donald: I have been published in magazines, an anthology and online. I also have about a half dozen self-published works. I spent a lot of time trying to get published and I will probably still submit work for consideration. But the thing I like about self-publishing is that it is all dependent upon me. If it fails, then I take all the blame. But if it succeeds, the credit is mine.


Mike: Three favorite movies off the top of your head…


Donald: Gettysburg, The Dark Knight and Star Wars.


Mike: Now, have any of these flicks helped you craft your style?


Donald: Gettysburg was highly influential. I have never seen a movie where I was moved deeply by so many characters… on either side of the battle! The Dark Knight was a gritty portrayal of the classic superhero. I focus on making my work gritty and compelling. Star Wars was born of classical mythology, and another thing that I work at is bringing mythological creatures to life.


Mike: Have you ever collaborated with another writer on a story? If not, have you given any thought into doing that?


Donald: I have not collaborated, and I would tend to avoid it. I like other people’s work, but I do not think that I could find someone who shares my vision.


Mike: Who are some of your favorite writers, up-and-coming or established?


Donald: I have already mentioned a few. Others would be: C.S. Lewis, Steven King, Clive Barker, J.K. Rowling, H.G. Wells, Kevin J. Anderson, the list goes on. As for up-and-coming writers, a few to watch for are Todd Card, Kevin Rodgers, William Cook, Michael H. Hanson, Brooklyn Hudson, Damian Stevenson, Chantal Noordeloos and April M. Reign.


Mike: This is where you promote anything and everything…


Donald:


The Monster:






There is a monster in Eldenborough. And a young girl is endangered…  Karg is an orc and he has stumbled into the land of men. A grisly murder sets the humans on his trail. And he, in turn, hunts them. Blood will be spilled, and more lives lost. Dark secrets will be revealed. A young noble is forced to make a difficult choice. And all the while, a warrior fights against overwhelming odds. There is a monster in Eldenborough. Survive if you can…


The Visions of Sandy Brown:

 





 



Sixteen year old Sandy Brown is seeing things: her history class flooding; rows of desks that go on and on; a mysterious being who threatens her in various forms. She is about to learn the awful reality: that she and her friends are all in danger. Who is this entity that pursues her, wearing the face of the people she knows? Where does it come from? What does it want? When did high school become a fight for survival? Innocence will be lost, trust betrayed, and friendship put to the ultimate test. For when your soul is at stake, can you really believe the things you see?


The Hallowed Collection:






Cloaked figures gather around a stone table, perusing ancient parchments. It is All Hallows’ Eve, and they have come to hear tales of great terror. How a ghostly seduction drives a man to madness. Another walks the world of dreams and must come to face his nightmares. A child braves the dark of night, seeking out the place of friendship lost. There is the tale of foul murder, frustrated by forces beyond the mortal ken. Finally, they will hear the story of a wicked man, who faces monstrous vengeance. What is sacred? And to what purpose do we dedicate our lives? For only through the shedding of blood, can we be truly clean…  


Mike: Thanks for stopping by, man. It was great having you!


Donald: Thanks for having me on A Taste of Terror, Michael. Hopefully, I have sated a few appetites and left others wanting more…


Bio: Donald White grew up on the coast of North Carolina with his mother and father, an older and a younger sister. He has a degree in Information Systems, having graduated with honors. Later, he moved to Durham and is now employed at a software company in Raleigh. He is an avid reader of classical and modern literature. The following works are available: Vengeance and Valor, The Hound, the Hallowed collection, The Visions of Sandy Brown and The Monster.










 And, as promised, a tale from Donald White. Enjoy!

 


The Noisy Dwarf


     Though two heads shorter than a man, the dwarf was heavily built, clad in armor consisting of chains. He carried an axe and a shield, forcing his way through the underbrush. The dwarf's name was Dengarr, and he was combing the jungle in search of goblins and orcs. "When I find them, I will chop them down." Dengarr swiped the air with his weapon, grinning broadly.

     Hidden among the trees, two goblins watched him. Each one was as tall as the dwarf, but with smaller, nimble frames. Their eyes were a deep shade of blue, and they wore no armor and very little clothing. One was perched on a branch, holding a bow and staring coldly at the dwarf. The other was armed with daggers, and hiding near the tree's trunk. He motioned at the one in the tree.

     The goblin climbed down to where the other one was. "What do you want, Adder?"

     "You see him, Crow. Does he know that he is being watched?"

     Crow stared at the dwarf. "He is not aware."

     Adder hissed "He is ours."

     Crow cocked his head to one side. "He is not ours, unless we take him."

     Adder leaned forward. "Then, we must take him."

     "No, we must watch him first. His axe will chop us in two if we are not careful."

     Adder's tongue shot out and then back into his mouth. "Then, we follow him."

     Crow jerked his head in the dwarf's direction and then back at Adder. "That will be easy."

     Dengarr the dwarf, was drinking. He placed the bottle back in his pack. "This jungle is thick and dark, with many places for goblins to hide." He stepped forward heavily, his chains rattling with every step. The dwarf searched behind trees and used his axe to hack through the undergrowth. "Those orcs killed my fellows. When I find them, they will suffer for that." Dengarr leaned back and yawned. "I would rather dig in the ground, then plow my way through these trees. But there are orcs in these trees, and goblins, too. I will find them, and then they will feel the fury of my axe!" He raised the weapon high.

     Adder crept low to the ground, focusing his gaze on the dwarf. "Soon, noisy one, you will feel my bite." His tongue shot out again, swiftly retreating between his lips. His two daggers were held in front of him, as he slid through the brush.

     Above him, Crow stared at the dwarf, his gaze never leaving the quarry. He listened to the rattling of the chains. He noted the sound of the enemy's footfalls. The goblin climbed down one tree, and swiftly proceeded to another. However, he did not roost there, but continued on, following the dwarf further into the jungle depths. "He cannot hear us over his own noise. Perhaps, he may indeed be ours."

     Dengarr swung his weapon at the air. "Where are you, goblins? Show yourselves, that I may split your heads. Though you could hide among these trees, you cannot harm me. Come out! Or do you fear my axe?" He kicked at the underbrush. He peered up at the tree branches above him. Dengarr raised his weapon in one hand and his shield in the other. "Are you out there?!" An arrow whistled through the air, sinking into his chest. He looked down at it, speechless. Another arrow spun towards him, but he held up his shield to deflect it. "Goblins! I knew you might be watching. Come, feel the fury of my blade!" He felt a stinging pain, and looked to see where his side had been pierced. Another arrow sunk into his shoulder. "Ahh! Curse you goblin scum! I will hack you apart!" He plunged through the brush, swinging wildly. "I will find you!"

     Adder slithered back into the trees, grinning with silent mirth.

     Crow focused on the angry dwarf, aiming his arrow at the enemy's heart.

     The dwarf continued deeper into the jungle. Dengarr shouted angrily "Show yourselves! You cannot remain hidden from me!" He fell against a tree, holding his weapon in front of him. Blood soaked his side, and some dripped from around the arrows embedded in his chest and shoulder.

     Adder snuck closer, grinning with glee. He wiped one dagger and placed it in its sheath. Then, he raised his other blade next to his face, hissing softly. "Soon. Very soon."

     Crow was perched above, aiming down at the weakening dwarf. He cocked his head to one side and then loosed another arrow.

     Dengarr's shield went up instinctively, and the shaft stuck in it. "You... will not kill me... so easily! Goblins! The... scourge of... all existence." His arm lost its strength, and he lowered his weapon.

     Tasting victory, Adder struck.

     The shield came up unexpectedly, impacting with his head.

     Adder dropped to the ground.

     Dengarr's eyes burned with hatred. "I told you... I would find you." He stumbled forward. "Now, I will chop off your head, foul goblin."

     Crow loosed an arrow and the dwarf evaded it.

     "Do not fear, goblin in the tree. I will kill you, next." He dropped his shield and pulled Adder to his feet, facing the direction the arrow had come from. "Will you shoot through him to get me?"

     Adder hung limply.

     Crow aimed, but hesitated.

     Dengarr raised his axe over his head.

     Adder opened his eyes, swiping with his blade.

     The dwarf choked, releasing the goblin and placing a hand over the slit in his throat.

     Adder fell to the side, as an arrow buried itself in the dwarf's chest.

     Dengarr dropped his axe and collapsed on the ground.

     Adder crawled over to the body.

     Crow climbed down and stared over his shoulder.

     Adder hissed "He was a noisy dwarf."

     Crow cocked his head to one side. "He is silent, now."


 
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