My attic is dusty and has a plethora of junk in it, but it's a fun place to hang out, learn about authors and listen to an occasional stupid story. If you don't mind the dust, I'd love to have you.
Dan Dillard takes time out from his Coffin Hop to visit my attic.
Who are you and where did you come from? I’m Dan, and I came from the wonderful union of my mother and father. Or Connecticut. That’s probably better, I came from Connecticut and got here to Indiana by way of Indiana, then North Carolina, then Chicago, then Florida, then California. Whew.
Obviously you’re a writer, what is the name of your book and the general plot? Which one? Okay I’ll do them all in publishing order.
Demons and Other inconveniences A collection of tongue-in-cheek horror for grownups who aren’t all that mature. It takes the premise you’re used to and turns it on its ear. As Yoda would say, “Funny, this book is.”
What Tangled Webs- Another collection. The angry younger sister to Demons and Other Inconveniences. These stories are about the evil things we do in order to get what we want and damn the consequences. Not funny, this book.
The Unauthorized Autobiography of Ethan Jacobs My first attempt at a novel. This is really a heartbreaking story of a young man, Ethan, who can’t let go of anything. He is tormented by his father’s memory, tormented by bad relationships…and when he finally finds a good relationship, he screws it up. His passion and his downfall lie in the paranormal. A father who believed in nothing—no afterlife, no God, no good—left him wanting answers. When Ethan goes searching for those answers, he finds out there might be something out there, but it isn’t happy to see him, and it did not want to be disturbed.
Lunacy- A collection of horror for the youngins. I had nothing my own children could read and that made me sad, so I wrote this collection about things that can hide until the moon is full and her magic light points them out. There’s a werewolf tale, a little witchery, and the discovery of a unicorn’s skeleton in here. Still dark enough.
How to Eat a Human Being- Back to my roots J Here is my fourth collection, and while it isn’t a cookbook, it is about people hitting rock bottom. Cannibalism is considered, in many cultures, to be one of the worst things a person can partake in. I looked for that when I scribbled these tales.
Giving Up the Ghost- My second novel. Gerry Sheffield is an ass. He drinks and uses drugs and women to fill the hole where his heart should be. His parents, poor elderly Bill and Margo, have had enough of his mess and don’t want any more to do with him…but he’s their son. They joke about coming back to haunt him into shape, and when Bill dies and Margo is able to communicate with his spirit, they decide to act on that plan. Part paranormal horror, part love story between an old couple, part parenting guide and part comedy (of the blackest black), this book gives it to you straight. Sometimes the best way to help a wayward son…is to haunt him.
WoW! That’s a lot! Of work!
Where did you come up with the ideas? Everywhere. I find ideas everywhere. If I eat fast food, I figure it’s killing me…but what if it had teeth? I’m still toying with a story idea about this biker dude that I pass on the way to and from work every day. He never wears a shirt, but he has bright red hair that hangs behind him, and a huge mustache and beard…and he wears mirrored sunglasses. I call him Monkeyman. There will be a story about him one day. I also have this phobia when I’m drinking from a water fountain and I hear a toilet flush…well, I won’t go into that, but I wrote a tale about that.
Which of your characters do you like the most and why? Dracula Bob (Unlucky in Death, from Demons and Other Inconveniences). He’s this surfer dude who just rolls with it. Whatever life/death throws at him, he rolls and spends his whole life/afterlife smiling. I’d love to be that guy, or at least hang out with him.
Dracula Bob and Unlucky in Death are getting an expansion, by the way. Their story is going from flash fiction to a longer short story. I’m also finishing up another in the Unlucky in Death world about a zombie. It may end up being a collection on its own. We’ll see.
Which one do you hate the most and why? Gerry Sheffield from Giving Up the Ghost. He’s a good character, but he’s an ass. Just loathsome and if I met him on the street, I would kick him in the…
You’re stranded on an island and you are granted three things;
An IPod with only one song loaded, what is it? I would never own an iPod. Lynch me iPeople, I just don’t like them. Next?
A book with the last chapter missing, what is it and who wrote it? God, I don’t know. I hadn’t read anything by the man in a long time, but I recently cranked through Joyland by Stephen King and I know it sounds cliché, but my mother loved him, and that’s what made me want to write. I would pick Mr. King…and the book would be “IT”. I’d prefer it with the last few chapters removed. I hate the spider god at the end, it was unsatisfying. I’ve wondered if he might have an alternate ending lying in a pile somewhere and what it might be. I have some ideas of my own, but that’s cheating because the first 1000 pages of that behemoth were just pure horror magic.
And a lunchbox with a sandwich and a full thermos, yummy, what kind of sandwich and drink would you appreciate? PB and Banana. The Elvis special. The thermos would have some kick-ass coffee in it (with maybe just a splash of Irish Whiskey!)
What is the biggest mistake you have made in your life? Not writing or publishing mistake – any mistake. Even if it happened in 3rd grade, I wanna know about it. God…I’ll have to ponder that for a while. There have been so many. I’ll come back to this…okay, after some thought, I gave up on music in college and decided sleeping in and acting like an idiot was more fun and more important. Granted, that led me to moving home and eventually to the job where I met my wife. That spawned my two girls and if I hadn’t done all that, I probably wouldn’t be writing right now, so mistake? Maybe. Or maybe it was my way of getting to the path I needed to be on.
What would you do for a Klondike bar? Pay a buck fifty. After being on that island for a bit, probably bloody, bloody murder.
You’re still stranded on that island and two people show up, the character you love the most, and the one you hate the most, and they both know what you said about them. What do you do? I would kick Gerry in the jewels, like I said before. Then Bob and I would roast him and toast him with my spiked coffee, and share a tropical spliff.
Flash round favorites:
An open A power chord on an overdriven electric guitar.
Dogs and monkeys. If only I could combine them. I’ll talk to Dr. Moreau for you
Breakfast. Coffee and bacon… That or Thanksgiving dinner. Sage makes me happy.
Pizza. Or seafood.
Place to visit
Place to live
All of them. Even The Notebook? Annie the musical? 50 Shades- when it comes out?
You mean citizenship wise or extraterrestrial? Isn’t Dan Aykroyd Canadian? Then I choose him.
Writing spot My laptop on my couch.
Wow, I can’t answer this. I just have no idea.
And last of all, favorite memory-
Meeting my kids for the first time. They’re so perfect at that moment. Then it’s all downhill from there.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yeah. Buy my books. I’m not writing these for my health. Okay, that’s a lie. If I stop writing, I get mean. There has to be a creative outlet or your insides rot and that stinks. Don’t stink! One thing I like to pass on is this: It is absolutely free to encourage an artist—any form of artist. But if you crap on their dreams, you might be depriving yourself of your next favorite book, film or that song that gets you through the tough times… a beautiful sculpture you can’t stop looking at, a poem or piece of architecture. Kevin Smith taught me that, and it’s as true as true gets. Think about it and think about how important art has been to you in your life, then go encourage someone.
Well said! Bravo!
My work can be found here (for now) www.amazon.com/author/dandillard in ebook and paperback.
I blog at www.demonauthor.com
Facebook–friend me here! www.facebook.com/demonauthor
Follow my tweets @demonauthor
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org I don’t bite, but some of my characters do…
And if you’re an agent or a publisher, I’m actively looking for you J It would help if you were looking for me too!
For all those on the COFFIN HOP, make a comment, say Hi, Dan or something just to be counted for the prize.
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