Hello all. I have author Drake Vaughn stopping in today for an interview. It is always interesting to find out about the author behind the work.
Drake’s latest book is called When the Devil Climbs. Please read on for the interview…
BW: Welcome to my blog Drake, please tell us about yourself.
DV: I’m a horror author whose “crinkled fiction” is a blend of the thrilling macabre, dark humor, and supernatural madness with a heavy psychological bent. I enjoy writing about the shadowy, gruesome corners of the human experience and eerie tales of the occult.
BW: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
DV: I started as a passionate reader, which helped cement an interest in telling my own stories. As a child, I created a book in the second grade about the death of a crayon, so I guess I always had a morbid curiosity. I also enjoyed cartooning in school where I’d draw caricatures of the teachers in goofy situations. I’d pass them around to get laughs, mostly from the girls, so I guess that was a strong motivation as well. Mostly, I enjoy the exploring of ideas that speculative fiction offers.
BW: Your latest book is called When the Devil Climbs. Can you tell us about it?
DV: The novel revolves around an ex-convict seeking to reconnect with his estranged son. But the day before his scheduled reunion, he becomes trapped on a billboard when a group of ravenous pigs attack their work crew. While stuck on the billboard, the crew becomes more and more desperate until they become an even greater threat to each other than the pigs.
BW: Who are your favorite authors and why?
DV: Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale, Richard Matheson, and Jack Ketchum, to name a few. They all possess that magical ability to zap the reader into their otherworldly vision of insanity, struggle, and hope. That, and they all share a keen sense of humor when it comes to exploring the darker side of human nature. For some reason, when it comes to the horror genre, many believe it’s all about the scares, but humor is the true glue that binds life’s most terrifying moments. Anyone who has experienced tragedy knows that a good joke lightens even the darkest moments.
BW: What was the road to publication like?
DV: When the Devil Climbs started as a short, which then quickly spiraled out of control on later rewrites. For the longest time, I knew it wasn’t ready, so I sought out assistance from beta readers online and an editor I knew from the Tales to Terrify podcast. I rewrote it a couple of times, but even then, the story wasn’t ready. I received further help from the editing sessions at the World Horror Conference, sponsored by some pros from the H.W.A. (Horror Writers Association). After receiving all this critique, I reworked the novel once again to the point where it was publication-ready. Overall, it was a long process, but the story came out much better, so I’m quite grateful for the journey.
BW: Do you have any advice to share with aspiring writers?
DV: Practice, practice, practice.
BW: Last but not least. If you were ever stranded on a deserted island and were allowed to bring three items, what would they be and why.
DV: I know this where I’m supposed to get all literary and spout off some massive tome I’d read, which would show off my intelligence and high-minded philosophy, but frankly, if stuck on a deserted island, just having one book would drive me nuts. I’d read the thing over and over, slowly loathing my limited selection. Even if it was my favorite book, I’d come to hate it. Unless I had access to the library on my iPad, I’d probably just want a notepad to scribble down my thoughts and experiences, a workout bench and some free weights, along with a shortwave radio. If I was lucky, I’d pick up a rap channel such as 92.3 KDAY in Los Angeles to whittle away the hours.
BW: Best of luck with your work Drake! I am a big fan of Stephen King and I agree, he does have a good sense of humor that goes well with his work. There can be a thin line between horror and humor, because if something is over the top scary, it can become just plain funny.
A functioning shortwave radio on a deserted island would definitely help pass the time.
Everyone, you can visit the author’s website: DrakeVaughn.com to find out more about his work.
disclaimer: nothing in this post is available for download.