As The Seas Turn Red has been nominated for an Elgin Award!
As The Seas Turn Red has been nominated for an Elgin Award!
David Wilson, founder of Crossroads Press, is not only a nice guy and a great publisher to work with, he’s also a writer himself. Here’s a Q&A on his processes and recent work:
What influenced the book?
Heart of a Dragon was influenced by a number of things. It was actually the second book I wrote about Donovan DeChance, the first being Vintage Soul. This fell farther in the past and so became a prequel and the new #1 in the series. The basic concept of the story grew from my short story of the same title that was published years back in Deathrealm Magazine. I always loved the story but felt there was a lot more too it. I also got the opportunity with this one to write about motorcycle clubs… a thing I’m familiar with having ridden with Tiburon MC when I was stationed with the US Navy in Rota, Spain, and ever since (though I don’t have a bike these days). The chance to express the things I learned during that time and tie them in with the art of the young Latino, Salvatore Domingo Sanchez, was the perfect blend. The city, San Valencez, CA, is a setting I created based on San Diego, where I lived for many years. Having an alternate city gives me more freedom and prevents those readers who like to say – “yeah, but that’s on Eight St… not 28th…” when they read a story set in a real place.
Are you a pantser or outliner?
The pantser, outliner thing… I’m both. I’ve written books without any real idea how they would end, and the last part of doing so bothered me to the point of distraction, until it suddenly happened. My novels Deep Blue and Ancient Eyes are like that. Over time, I developed a hybrid method where I outline the basic chapter structure beginning to end, and about halfway through, though I still know how it ends, I usually veer off wildly. I think calling yourself one, or the other, is a disservice to your creativity. No two projects are the same, and whatever method works for you, that is the one you should use… The outline, though, can prevent you from writing yourself into holes and forgetting to close loops, so… more often than not I have at least a working version.
Did you learn anything new while writing this?
I learn something every time I write something new… for Heart of a Dragon I had to do some research on paints, and also to brush up on Voodoo symbols and ceremonies, though I’ve always been fascinated by them. They play an integral part in the “bad guy” bike club in this book, “Los Escorpiones,” who are under the thrall of a Voodoo priestess…
What is the series about?
The series, at it’s base, is about Donovan DeChance. He is a wizard, a collector of books, and has been alive since the mid 1800s. His first encounter with magic, (which you can read in the origin story – “My Soul to Keep & Others” – book 3 – gifted him with longevity – and Cleo. From that moment forth, he set out on a quest to collect, and to protect record any and all magic, spells, enchantments, or objects he came into contact with. He is a self-proclaimed keeper of “the balance” and steps in when someone goes too far, uses something too powerful, or hurts others. Along the way, he fell in love with Amethyst, a Geomancer and master of crystals who has some serious backstory and adventures of her own, and got a reputation as a private investigator for paranormal folks – other magicians, the undead, etc… so he has his hands in a lot of different things, including being a friend and companion of Edgar Allan Poe more than once.
What are your favorite fantasy books or series?
I don’t read as much fantasy as I used to, but my favorites currently would be Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Jim Butcher, and C. T. Phipps. (His Supervillainy series is one of my favorite things ever, particularly when I need something to make me smile).
DECHANCE CHRONICLES OMNIBUS
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2Vqjxyd
A MIDNIGHT DREARY
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2Vtu8su
(1) Ten dollar Starbucks Card and a David N. Wilson Book Collection, and (5) Books from the author, winners’ choice
About the books:
Donovan DeChance is a collector of ancient manuscripts and books, a practicing mage, and a private investigator. This Omnibus Collection includes books I, II, III, and IV of the series. Included are Heart of a Dragon, Vintage Soul, My Soul to Keep (The Origin story of Donovan DeChance) and Kali’s Tale – book IV of the series. Also included are the bonus novellas The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature, and The Preacher’s Marsh, both of which provide background on settings and characters that appear in Kali’s Tale. If you enjoy this book, you should read Nevermore, A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe, which follows on Kali’s Tale, has a cameo from Donovan DeChance, and leads into Book V – A Midnight Dreary,
Heart of a Dragon, When a local houngan begins meddling with powers she may not be able to control, a turf war breaks out between the Dragons motorcycle club and the Los Escorpiones street gang—a war that threatens to open portals between worlds and destroy the city in the process. With his lover, Amethyst, his familiar, Cleo – an Egyptian Mau the size of a small bobcat –the dubious aid of a Mexican sorcerer named Martinez and the budding gifts of a young artist named Salvatore, DeChance begins a race against time, magic, and almost certain death.
Vintage Soul, When, despite the finest in natural and supernatural security, a sexy and well-loved, three hundred year old lady vampire is kidnapped right out from under her lover’s nose, Donovan is called in to investigate. There will be no ransom for the kidnap victim, and if Donovan doesn’t prevent an ancient, forbidden ritual from reaching its culmination, far more than a single vampire’s undead existence will be at stake.
My Soul to Keep, Donovan DeChance is a very private man, and he is in love. When he invites his partner and lover, Amethyst, for a quiet dinner, she has no idea of his true intention. Donovan has planned a sharing – a vision that will give her the keys to his early life – the origins of his power – and a lot more than she bargained for. Join young Donovan as he fights to keep his soul, save a town, and learn the roots of his teacher and guardian – and meet his familiar, Cleo.
Kali’s Tale, When Donovan is asked to follow in secret as a hot-headed group of young vampires set out on a ‘blood quest’ to kill the ancient who created the young vampire Kali against her will, he learns that – as usual – there is a lot more to the story than meets the eye. Through the juke joints of Beale Street in Memphis, to the depths of The Great Dismal Swamp, Donovan and his lover and partner, Amethyst, find themselves drawn along on one of the strangest quests in their long, enigmatic lives as they delve into the world of the undead, the magic of The Blues, and the very heart of alchemy both to protect their young, vampiric charges – and to prevent an ancient evil from destroying the balance of power in the universe.
A Midnight Dreary, the long-awaited fifth volume in The DeChance Chronicles, picks up outside Old Mill, NC, when Donovan, reminded that he has promised his lover, Amethyst, and Geoffrey Bullfinch of the O.C.L.T. a story, draws them back in time to a vision of the final chapter of the novel Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe. At vision’s end, they realize that they have to act, to free Eleanor MacReady from the trap that holds her on the banks of Lake Drummond, in the Great Dismal Swamp,
These novels directly crosses over to the original series O.C.L.T. – where Donovan is a sometimes consultant. It features appearances by Geoffrey Bullfinch and Rebecca York, O.C.L.T. agents, as well as Old Mill, North Carolina’s own Cletus J. Diggs.
Happy to announce two new story sales. My story Of Marrow And Abomination has been accepted by Psuedopod. I’ve also sold another story to a cool anthology. Details on that one will come later.
Also, mud season is here. Yay.
I’m in the hot seat for an AMA. Ask me anything!
My author copies of Haunted House Short Stories arrived. My piece in this is called 14 Oak St, and it’s one of my favorite short stories that I’ve done.
Looking for some #horror to read? My novel Abode (ebook version) is on sale for 99 cents. Click here to buy
A TERRIFYING HAUNTING
This is the place where the harrowed ghosts of a dozen generations whisper in the shadows of their ancestral home, where one family’s dreams of a new beginning turned into a nightmare that ended in tragedy.
A CURSED BLOODLINE
This is the place where a line of witches bound themselves—in blood—to a primeval entity. Here, nightmare and reality meet beneath frozen skies, and even time and space fall under the power of the demonic being that rules this remote northern wood.
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER
This is the place where the path of a tormented survivor meets that of an unknowing innocent. Past and present collide, and secrets long buried crawl back into the pallid light of day as the shadow of the Beast falls over them both. But even the bloodiest dreams of that demonic being may pale in comparison to what lies buried within the human heart.
This is the place where evil dwells …
Today Is The Day frontman Steve Austin is the subject of the new documentary The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself, which you can watch on Amazon. Catch a TITD show or check out the doc (link in comments), and you will see why he is such an inspiration to others. He’s also just a really nice guy and a super cool dude.
Led by visionary frontman Steve Austin, Today Is The Day reigns as one of the most unique and influential bands of the past two decades. The band’s violent and anthemic style, which blends metal, noise, psychedelia, and rock, has won worldwide acclaim ever since the debut album, Supernova, first hit in the early 90s. Nine studio albums have been released on such labels as Amphetamine Reptile and Relapse — including modern-day classics like Willpower, Temple of the Morning Star, and In the Eyes of God — and the band’s changing lineup has included such musicians as Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher, who would later go on to form Mastodon. Today Is The Day has toured the world with Motorhead, Helmet, The Melvins, Morbid Angel, Converge, Napalm Death, Neurosis, Eyehategod, Unsane, Coalesce, and many more. Steve Austin has also made a name as a producer, helping create seminal albums for Lamb Of God, Converge, Deadguy, and more. He is also the subject of the documentary The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself, a unique examination of the life-long existential journey taken by a self-made musician, and his unforgiving determination to express himself. It explores how he balances life, love, and money with his artistic passions and the undeniable effect his fans express to him about the life-altering meaning it has had on them.
Today Is The Day speaks to people on a very deep, spiritual level. When did you first realize that your music had a very profound effect on people?
I think it was around the time of Willpower, our second album. People started talking to me about the music and the effect it had on their life. I realized how much keeping everything real, no matter how painful the subject matter might be, is important. I think that it’s the realness of the music and words, that speaks to our fans. Unfiltered and pure, good or bad.
One of the events that is covered in the documentary was a pretty bad car accident. Did that affect your perspective on things? And if so, how?
Yes, it did. It had a profound impact on me. I should have died in that car accident, as bad as the accident was. But I survived, and it was a second chance on life. [After the] accident happened, I was extremely depressed. As some of the pain went away, I realized that I should just be thankful to be alive. I never took life for granted before. After the accident, that was reinforced.
Today Is The Day has had a lot of lineup changes. How do you think that has helped—or hurt—the band?
I like having different players on different records. Every time we make an album, my goal is to do something that I’ve never done before, hopefully something that musically is brand new and has never been done before. By having different players on the records, we’ve been able to introduce new sounds and not get stuck making record after record that is pretty much the same record.
You just did a short tour, I believe. How did that go?
We went out to play Psycho Las Vegas and it was awesome. We played with Godflesh, Voivod, Eyehategod, and Danzig. Some of my most favorite bands, and friends to boot! The stuff punk metal kids dream of. I was honored to be a part of it. It made me happy.
When did you start getting into engineering? Also, did it have any effect on you as a musician, on how you played or listened to things?
Around 12 years old, I got a Fostex X-15 Cassette 4-track Recorder from my dad. I was a fat kid with no friends, alone all the time. No friends, so no band members. I had a little Roland drum machine, a guitar, and the Fostex 4-track. I would sit in my basement trying to make songs up. It was a challenge. I didn’t know what I was doing and had no one to show me how. I had to make it all up on my own and create my own style of playing. I think learning how to record early on made a big difference in learning, creativity.
What are your earliest influences?
The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, Skinny Puppy, Bauhaus, Ministry, The Melvins, The Dead Kennedys, Negative Approach, Slint, Pink Floyd, PJ Harvey, Godflesh, Nine Inch Nails, King Crimson and Johnny Cash. Miles Davis is the fucking man.
What have you been listening to recently?
Ever since I got home from tour, I can’t stop listening to NAILBOMB “Point Blank”. I put on Pandora Channel and listen to mostly Miles Davis Radio at home: Leonard Cohen, Chet Baker, all kinds of really killer old school jazz. In modern music, I like Die Antwoord. I don’t care if people don’t get them or understand them. They are the most punk rock thing in music right now, because they simply don’t give a fuck. Die Antwoord is ‘fuck you’ music. In 2018, they’re daring to be different than everyone else, just by being yourself.
You have a new album coming out soon, I believe. Tell us about that.
I worked on the new album over the last 2 years. Love destroys hate. Violence, anger, and rage will destroy you from within. We reach a higher plane—a higher self—when we are able to turn rage and hatred into love. Love lives on. Love is harmony. Hatred always comes to an end, and usually not a good one. Jef Whitehead from Leviathan did the front cover artwork and Gianni Serusi did the layout. It took a while, heading off tour in between tracking and mixing. I probably mixed it down 4-5 times in full. It’s hard to let it go, but at some point you just have to. I’m really happy with the end result.
How did The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself come about?
Two longtime friends of mine, who are brothers, approached me about doing it. I was very suspect of doing something like that, because I’m a different kind of person and I didn’t want my life’s and work turned into a freak show. Because I know these guys, I was willing to give it a shot. So we got together and I let them in. We covered a lot of painful things, and a lot of beautiful things too. Like an album, it’s a snapshot in time and I think Anthony and Alex did a really great job.
Is there anything you want to add or say to your fans?
Yes, thank you to all Today Is The Day fans and friends. We’re connected through scars, tears, broken bones, and broken hearts. I owe them dearly for being a part of this with me.
Panel schedule for the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival! Free and open to the public! I’m going to be on the 3:30 panel, which is Best Horror Books We’ve Read This Year.
My fantasy novel, Dawn, is out now on ebook from Crossroads Press Mystique Ink imprint. Print version will be available within the next few days. Reblog to be entered in a drawing for a free signed copy.
A Legacy of Violence
When Stiva and her twin brother, Chandris, inherit the troubled throne of Aris, the populace grows uneasy, and with good reason. The twins, estranged for years after a bitter feud, are very different. Stiva takes after their mother, a Reonih bard from the primal mushroom forests of distant Shadri, while Chandris favors their father, a hardened warlord, commander of the mighty Selin army.
A King’s Thirst For Power
Faced with enemies on all sides and the rising threat of war, the twins vow to put their discord behind them and unite to protect Aris. But Chandris wants more than survival; he dreams of empire, and is determined to lift Aris out of its post-technological dark age. He will stop at nothing to achieve that goal, and has no qualms about reawakening an ancient, deadly technology to do it.
A Land Divided
By delving into forbidden science and forgotten dark arts, Chandris breaks a longstanding treaty with the Reonih and incites civil war. He also unleashes an ancient, unearthly threat; the bloodthirsty, elemental Zhur. As alliances fracture and warfare threatens to engulf the land, Stiva must fight not only to save the Reonih from her brother’s lust for power, but protect herself from the Zhurlord that is haunting her.