Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
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Monday, April 01, 2013Coming Soon! Blog Hop
Happy Easter, folks!
I had an epic blog post planned, one that would probably take me all afternoon to write. As I planned out the list of things I wanted to cover, I got to thinking... I have all this awesome stuff, including Australian Shadow Awards news, new book releases and reviews of a Richard Laymon book and Bioshock Infinite. Rather than mention them all in a few paragraphs in this post, I'm going to spread it out over the week and give each news item the space it deserves.
So what to do first?
Shout out to buddy and former Necrotic Tissue colleague, Doug Murano, who can be found at the vastly entertaining blog, Moving Parts . Doug had asked me to be part of the Coming Soon! Blog Hop, and now that I've had a chance to catch up with life over the Easter break (end of banking financial quarter, which means a very busy time for a banker like me!), it's high time I did the interview! So please visit Doug's blog and the blogs of the following, who I managed to coerce to keep the chain going.
Gerry Huntman at The Chronicles of Evyntyde Musings and bloggings of Gerry Huntman
Dave Jeffery at Dave Jeffery: Author and
Ian Woodhead at ianwoodhead.com
Bring on the questions!
What are you working on right now?
I'm approaching half way in a new novel I write under my pen name, as this is a middle grade novel and I like to keep that completely seperate from nastier adult work.
This is the second book in the series and it was great to come back to my already established characters a year later. This is going to be a longer book than the first (which clocked in about 60k words) and will be challenge. Time to think about the plot through all the books and still give this current adventure its own stand alone story.
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
The series is similar to the fantastic work by Darren Shan, as it doesn't sugar coat the horror nor talk down to the target audience. Kids can like axe wielding maniacs too, you know. This differs by being very science based rather than the magic and ancient beings from Shan. My monsters are created by genetics and chemicals and experiments gone wrong.
Why take this science line? It's another thing that causes the series to differ from other pieces of fiction. Some of the science is fact. Using my background of a former high school science teacher, I can throw in tasty factual titbits. For example, the current novel features a new predator being released in the woods of Pennsylvania. How does that affect the populations of other species? Can biological control prevent the population from expanding? It's not written to be obviously educational, and I hope it doesn't come across that way.
What experiences have influenced your writing?
With these books, my former students influenced me greatly. All those questions science students have, like, what happens if you mix all the chemicals together? Can we turn this up all the way? These are fun little ways to have a set up for some experiments to go wrong and create monsters.
They also wanted to read my work. I obviously wasn't keen for them to read books such as Samhane or Critique that don't shy away from the bodily fluids. So this was meeting them halfway.
Why do you write?
For the money.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Seeing shit rise to the top. Man, that sounds awful, doesn't it? Like anything, what's popular makes the sales. Hard to stomach seeing a book that is poorly written or is a complete rip off of an existing book make waves and have readers clamoring for more.
And I say this not so much about my own work. I get more riled up when I read fantastic novels by amazing authors that should be getting the press, the accolades and the sales...but they don't. It's all a game at times. The hardest part is knowing that you have to at least roll the dice and take your turn to fight for that audience instead of just being able to do what you love: having your arse in a chair and WRITING. Wanting to quit...but being unable to. Trying to keep your output up following failure after failure. Yeah, there's plenty of hard things about writing. For me, the words are the least of them. ;-)
What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet?
I've always wanted to write a tv comedy script, preferably within a team or with another writer. I had one planned and wrote half an episode once. I'm still happy with it, but have struggled to find the time to return and finish it off. Plus, I wouldn't know what to do with it once it was finished!
Who are the authors you most admire?
Being in the industry for a while, I've grown to admire the authors that are successful and haven't let it go to their heads. I understand that once you have a reputation and a name, you'll be constantly hassled by every writer and his/her dog to read their manuscript, write them a blurb or recomend them to their agent or whatnot. True, some authors can come across as arrogant in their lack to do what you want out of them, and they aren't. There has to be a limit to how much of themselves they put out there.
It's those authors I've enjoyed for many years before typing a word myself and now that I've met them, prove to be the nicest guys that always try to make time for you. I would mention them here, as they deserve a nod... Ah, I'm sure they know who they are. Thank you for all the help.
What scares you?
Anything happening to my family. That feeling when your partner isn't answering her phone, or they're late back from doing the shopping, etc. That initial worry that grows in your stomach like a cancer. That's what scares me.