HAPPY (month of) HALLOWE’EN! If you’re like me, Hallowe’en season means finding a creepy fantasy story to increase the spook level. This month we’ve got the author Alan D. D. here to talk about what it’s like being a writer in the business of supernatural storytelling. Personally, I love his ideas for books that have yet to be written…
About the author
Alan D. D. is an author, blogger and journalist who has been freaking the world since 1995. Hailing and writing out of Venezuela, Alan D.D. has worked with books, comics, music, movies and almost anything else that catches his attention. 99% of the time, it’s something about witches. He’s currently trying to get his first novel in English published and searching for a 24/7 chocolate supplier.
Describe your ideal writing atmosphere.
No one, literally, no one has to be around me, so I can put the music as loud as I want and repeat as much as I want. I usually listen to rock, metal, pop music, sometimes electronic, and a very few times I search for original compositions on Youtube to get in the mood. For example, right now, I’m listening “Children Of The Dark,” by Mono Inc. ft. Tilo Wolff, Joachim Witt and Chris Harms.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?
I wrote my first short story in 2008, but let’s say that I started taking writing seriously in 2012, when I published my first novel. As for what inspired me to start, a friend of the family, an artist, visited us one day, and I was writing something on the PC, probably on a chat, she turned around and saw that I was typing really fast and told me “You have to write, you have to be a writer if you write that fast.” I don’t know what she saw, but I will always be thankful for that.
Describe your writing style.
If I do not feel something, I don’t keep it. More than once I get immersed at the point of literally crying or laughing. It’s a very emotional process for me since I cannot process feelings like others due to my Asperger’s. It’s strange to feel identified with witches, vampires, ghosts, faeries, and more creatures of the supernatural, but I guess it has something to do with feeling like an outcast. If I live it, I write it, and if I feel it, I keep it.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
What kind of story that hasn’t been written yet do you want to read?
There are lots of them! I’m tired of the same “boy/girl meet boy/girl” with just a paranormal element on them. That idea works, fine, great, we love it, but I’m tired of it, I want something more, and not the overused “end of the world” and “messiah, long ago prophesied messiah” either. I want to write stories about frogs that fight against the lake that raised them, about a princess that kills her parents, a warrior that can move his organs at will, a faerie that turns angels into stone, and more, way much more LGBT character, more inclusive literature. This world needs more dark fantasy, urgently.
Name any authors or books that have had an impact on your writing.
More than authors, it is usually music that inspires and impacts me the most. Lady Gaga, Nightwish, Evanescence and Emilie Autumn and a few names. But authors, definitely Stephenie Meyer, it was because of Twilight that I decided to be a writer, and I’m a proud Twilighter. The mythology, the style, the characters, everything about that saga inspires me and when I feel low, it takes one of those books to make me feel better.
Describe the moment you truly felt like an author.
Every time I can digitally sign and dedicate a book, I feel like a real author. Writing in Venezuela is not profitable, you make no money with that, so you always need to work on a “real job,” and the charm of creating sometimes gets lost in routine, despite you love it with all your soul, so when the chance arises to dedicate something, even a PDF, I enjoy it and embrace the experience.
What book by another author do you wish you’d written?
The House of Night Series, by P. C. and Kristin Cast. I’m in love with those books and I wish I had thought about that before!
What is the best thing about writing/being a writer?
The fact that, for a while, I’m in full control of what happened, what is happening and what will happen. Real life doesn’t allow you do decide that much, and you obviously cannot control a vampire or a witch or a talking cat in real life. To be in a fantasy world, even for a while, adds flavour to our existence.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Besides planning, editing, doing a timeline, reading about what you want to write, keeping clichés at bay… Forget all about that. Screw that. If you feel good, bad, angry, hungry or horny, write. Writing is the best medicine and the best catalyst at the same time. If you think reading is a good way to travel, then wait until you try writing!
Tell the story behind your latest book, why did you write it?
Cats’ Seal began when I discovered the NaNoWriMo, it was my very first attempt to write something directly in English, and I decided to go with what I love the most: witches, magic, witches, ghosts, and more witches. There are so many vampires, ghosts and zombies on the market right now it’s overwhelming, and the few witches I’ve seen… I’ve only liked the Charmed and the one from Tim Burton’s movies so far. I wanted real witches, women and men, and started writing. Live got in between and the project was left on stand-by until I read about a real-life crime that impacted me so much I took this story again, reshaped a little it, did some planning, and what started with a stand-alone book became a 9-book series. Call me pretentious or stupid, maybe both hahaha.
Most inspiring quote?
“Dark doesn’t always mean bad,” said by a talking, black cat, to a witch from Spain. I’m proud of that scene!
Which author (living or dead) would you like to have dinner with?
Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Stephenie Meyer. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Maybe Miou, from Cats’ Seal, and Alice Cullen, from Twilight. I’ve always wanted a black cat and I love writing about Miou, and Alice is the best friend one could ever have, she can even tell you which lottery ticket is the one you need or when to rob a bank!
How do you beat writers block?
I’m still trying to figure that one out. Make sure you tell me when you discover it! Now seriously, sometimes it takes finding the right song to write with. Sometimes I just close the document, forget about it for a while and return to it when the muse (spoiled creature she is) comes back.
Give yourself some writing advice.
Stop reading so much and put those finger up to work!
What are your plans for the future? What writing projects are you currently working on?
There are two sagas waiting for me, Weirdos of Newrocks and Divino Amor, and a novel to be translated in Spanish, so I guess there’s a lot of work to do. But my mind keeps creating and I cannot stop it from doing that. There are several comic stories I want to write, a short film script I already have, a webseries I’m planning, a webcomic I’m thinking about… The list keeps growing every day.
She will fight for everything she hates.
Harassed, insulted, displaced from the middle. Helena Krischik knows first-hand what hatred is, contempt is. She has lived with both since she put on her first black dress.
One would think that the Gothic girl, the one who spoke alone as a kid, the one who walks at night, the one who only reads damned authors, is a misfit in the style of television. But Helena is only the first of the secrets hidden in Newrocks.
The Gothic girl will let the dark witch show all her power.
Watch a trailer for the book on Youtube
Buy the book
Cat’s Seal is published and available here on Wattpad: Weirdos of Newrocks #1: Cat’s Seal
The second book in the series Silence is now also available: Weirdos of Newrocks #2: Silence
The full series will be published in Spanish here: Los Raros de Newrocks (Saga Completa)