Interview Part 3 and Crack by D.E. McCluskey

✫.•° Blurb °•.✫

Addiction is an affliction.

As you crave you endure sweats, irritations, sleepless nights. Your life suffers, your job suffers… your family suffer.

But you need it, you HAVE to have your fix.

Joe O’Hara is having a bad morning, and it’s just about to get worse.

A random road traffic accident sends him on the path to addiction.

Crack is the only thing that can give him any relief from his living hell – but it’s a far cry from the crack you might think it is.

CRACK is a psychological horror from D E McCluskey, author of The Twelve.

✫.•° Book Links °•.✫

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

✫.•° Interview Part 3 °•.✫

LH: What genre of books do you write? Feel free to provide links to them.

DM: Horror, horror and more horror.

My novels consist of The Twelve: this is spooky, creepy ghost story. It’s rather bloody and gory from the onset. http://amzn.eu/d/aSvBOlw

In The Mood… For Murder: this is violent thriller set in the clubs and pubs of Liverpool in 1946. Post war. http://amzn.eu/d/f41XcY2

CRACK: this is a brutal, psychological horror. It follows one man’s descent into addiction and madness following a road traffic accident in which he kills a man. It’s not the crack that you would think he is addicted to… http://amzn.eu/d/6891Hjh

LH: How important do you find reviews? And what do you make of negative ones?

DM: I love reviews. When I first started getting them they were all good and was so proud of all my hard work finally coming to fruition. I was just waiting for the millions of pounds and fame and fortune to knock on my door.

Then came the bad one… wow. I was tempted to find out who the person was and explain to them, in no uncertain ways, how much of my heart and soul I had put into the book.

Now, as I’ve matured (yeah, right) I know how to filter out the trolls from the real reviews, even if they are negative. Negative ones, I learn from. I take on-board what they are saying and I try to learn from it. If it’s something about my writing that I can change, they I’ll try to work it in, if it’s about my style or the content, or the genre, then I’m big and ugly enough to realise that that it their issue and not mine.

LH: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I have never really had it. In the early days, I wrote down absolutely everything. So, if one part of a story closes down, then I just work on something else. I have recently just finished a first draft of a book called The Boyfriend, a violent thriller, but I started writing it about two years ago, and got to a point where I just couldn’t get my head around it anymore. I knew where I wanted it to go, and I had the middle and the end, but the thought of getting there was wracking my head.

I gave it eighteen months (or maybe even more), got back to it and beasted it right through to conclusion… I think the story is so much better because of it.

LH: Do you or have you ever used events from your own life in your books? If so how close to the real event did you keep it?

Not really, or not yet anyway. In The Twelve there is a student bar called The cooler, and that was real. We spent a lot of time in there during university.

LH: If you could collaborate with any author alive or dead I who would it be & why?

DM: I don’t know. I’ve usually done things on my own. I collaborated with a local Liverpool musical historian, Tony Bolland, for In The Mood… he did all the research into the time, and the music of the time, but the story came together from me. I am in the process of collaborating with another Liverpool author (actually, he’s from Bolton, but he lives in Liverpool now), with a story that I wrote a few years back. It was originally going to be a graphic novel. I have written the story, he is going through it and putting his touches to it, then I will do the final edit, before going out to real editors. But, I couldn’t think of anyone else I would want to collaborate with.

LH: How do you research when writing your books?

DM: I’m warped. I have my own warped imagination. So a lot of what I write is fantastical.

I have a Jack the Ripper novel coming out soon that I did do extensive research for. I went to London and did the Jack the Ripper tours about twenty times, the guys (ripperologists) got to recognise me, and would alert the police to my presence every time. So, if any ripper style murders are in the news in the near future, do you fancy being my alibi?

The internet is the best, if you know how to use it.

I keep telling my girlfriend that I am doing ‘research’ on a novel about the porn industry, but she doesn’t quite believe me…

LH: Do you set yourself daily targets when you’re writing?

DM: Nope… no targets.

In my 9 to 5 job there are bullshit targets and hoops that we ‘have’ to jump through. I think it’s all a crock of crap. As long as the job gets done, and people are happy with the end result… what’s the point of all the extra pressure???

LH: Do you have people to use as a sounding board?

I do… they don’t know about it though.

LH: Why did you choose to write the genre you do?

DM: I have always loved horror… that is a total lie!!! When I was a kid, I was scared of my own shadow. I used to sneak into my mum and dads room on the pretense of telling them a joke, just because I was scared of the dark. I grew out of it by the time I was thirty.

My two sisters used to talk to me through the wall from their room, pretending that they were Tinkerbell. I used to have to tell them how good I’d been that day, otherwise bad things would happen to me… See why I write horror???

LH: Would you ever consider writing a different genre? If so which one?

DM: I write kids books too. I have a number of comics that are aimed at kids. Interesteting Tymes, Interesting Tymes x 2, Edward D’Ammage Presents: The Wedding, Olf (a take on Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer, his name is Olf and he had Tourette’s, therefore he is ‘Rude’ Olf) and I have done a re-write of A Christmas Carol, where me and the artist worked in collaboration to do it all in rhyme. The artwork is very Beano like.

LH: If any of your books were turned into a movie or tv series who would be your leading man/lady? Which book would you most like to see as said movie/tv series?

Without giving too much away… there is work afoot to bring In The Mood to the screen. Very early days yet, but it could be very big news indeed. We are talking budgets at the moment, and they are HUGE!!!

I also want to bring Interesting Tymes to life. I want it to be real-life introductions (by Edward D’Ammage) and Claymation stories.

In the end, I would love all my stories to be made (as every author does), I’ve been told that I write in a very cinematic way… so I’m hoping that its good for the future.

LH: That concludes my questions.

Now time for a shameless plug… Feel free to drop the links for your work and where people can find you and connect with you…

DM: My whole life is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/clusy73

https://www.facebook.com/davemccluskeyauthor

https://www.facebook.com/DammagedComics

@dammagedpro (twitter)

@dammagedproductions (Instagram)

LH: Thank you very much for taking the time to come and chat with me and my readers. 😊 I’m looking forward to getting to know you more and working with you in the future. Feel free to drop in any time and say hi.
DM: Thank you so much for the opportunity to get my books out there to your readers… And remember kids… if you read, please please please review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

That concludes this interview with Dave. It’s been fab having him chatting with me. I’m looking forward to reading more of his work. Keep your eyes open for my reviews of Daves books 🙂 

✫.•° Author Bio °•.✫

I began writing in 2011, mainly for my own enjoyment. I began by making up funny, rhyming stories, with a horror-based theme running through them. I wrote them mostly for my daughter who was only four years of age at the time.

These rhymes where popular with my friends and family and someone mentioned that I should get them down in a book. That’s when the idea for a comic sprung into mind.

I scoured the internet and met a fantastic illustrator. I then commissioned him to illustrate this comic and Interesting Tymes was created. This is an anthology of short horror stories, all written in rhyme, but suitable for children to read too.

This was so popular with friends and family and further afield, that I decided to make another. Interesting Tymes X 2 continued where the first one left off, with Edward D’Ammage introducing another six horror tales.

From then I got the bug. I began to expand my series of rhyming tales, taking the original themes, and making them into longer stories. Using a different illustrator, I wrote, commissioned, and produced my first, short, horror comic. Wooden Heart.

I then began to write a zombie serial called The Few, we are currently on # 3 of what will be seven. #4 is currently in production.

I then embarked on a more ambitious project. My first graphic novel. Doppelganger is over 100 pages long and is a dark psychological tale of a man descending into madness.

Next up came DeathDay presents. This is a 4-part comedy tale about three demons in Hell who forget about Satan’s DeathDay. It has a 15 rating as the imagery in the back is rather graphic and gory, while the interactions between the demons is comedic and light.

Then I wrote and produced another full graphic novel. This one is called Olf. This is a children’s tale about Fr Christmas and his reindeer. I wrote this as I wanted to balance my brain between the darkness of Doppelganger my desire to wrote something that my daughter could read.

With a love of sci-fi and the old-style Flash Gordon type cliff-hangers, I wrote a series of tales about an adventurer called Mace Masoch, and his sidekick Miss Ninetails. The style of this comic was adult orientated, with buxom women and muscular men. #2 is currently in production.

After Mace, I went back to the list of my old rhyming tails and selected a longer, rhyming tale to produce in the same style as Interesting Tymes. This was to be a vehicle for my leading character Edward D’Ammage to run with his own titles. Edward D’Ammage Presents: The Wedding is in the same vein as Interesting Tymes although it has a different illustrator.

After this I did a collaboration with leading ‘extreme horror’ author Matt Shaw to serialise his best-selling novel, Sick B*stards, into a graphic novel. This has been a successful venture up to now, even though only #1 is available yet. #2 is currently in production.

I produced a short zombie inspired short horror comic, working with the illustrator I used for Wooden Heart, and produced Three Days in the City. This is a zombie-esque tale set in Liverpool. It’s a one-shot story and sells really well in conventions, mainly due to the location.

Bringing back my love of Christmas and my love of old comics like The Beano, I partnered up with a fantastic artist called Joe Matthews, and we produced one of my proudest pieces of work. We undertook the mammoth job of re-writing Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, completely in rhyme. Joe did the artwork in his fantastic Beano-esque style. This has been my best seller to date.

In all the time writing, I had also written several short horror stories. I took the decision to bring these together into another anthology, and teaming up again with the illustrator for Doppelganger, I produced Short Sharp Shocks. Six short horror/thriller tales all introduced by a skeletal game show host.

My next project is still in production. It’s a graphic novel about a female super-villain with a good side to her. Its called DreamCatcher. Originally, I was going to produce this as three parts, but decided that I would wait until all three parts are complete before bringing it out as a full graphic novel. Parts 1 & 2 are complete, while 3 is just about to be commissioned.

Writing graphic novels, I found long and laborious to do. I have no talent for drawing, but I do see the panels in my head and am very good at articulating them to the illustrators. But, I found myself increasingly at the mercy to how fast the artist work. I am a fast writer, and I wanted the artists to work as fast as I did. It was also proving costly, as good artists do not come cheap. I was working with a good illustrator friend on a graphic novel I had written called Thirteen. She had produced ten pages of top-notch work for me, but she was worried about the length of time it was taking her to complete the pages. She loved the story she was working on, so she convinced me to turn it into a full-length novel. She told me that the scope of the graphic novel would probably bankrupt me anyway. So, I converted the comic script and produced my first full novel. I changed the name of it to The Twelve and it is currently selling well on Amazon, and from me via my Facebook page.

Stirred on by the success of The Twelve, I teamed up with a local musical historian who I used to work with back in the days of playing in bands around Liverpool. We came up with a concept about a historical tale about the old Liverpool music scene. He did a load of research into the swing music scene in Liverpool after the war, and my second novel came to life. In The mood… For Murder was released, to excellent reviews. Bit things are in the pipeline for this book, least of all, a sequel is in the works.

Next up came my third novel, CRACK. This is a brutal story about one mans descent into addiction after a road traffic accident that wasn’t his fault. This is a specialised tale and is not always everyone’s cup of tea. Although it is selling well, the reviews, although good, are slow in coming.

Next up I am hoping to release Z: A Love Story by Christmas (or shortly after). A zombie tale inspired by one of my rhyming stories in Interesting Tymes X 2. Then I have written and am currently editing a sci-fi Jack the Ripper inspired tale entitled Timeripper. I have also written and am also editing a trilogy of books; Glimmer Trilogy. This is three books set in a fictional land, with magic and swords. I have written this for the YA genre. Lastly, I have re-written my Olf graphic novel into a children’s novel, I am currently getting illustrations completed for this, with a look to release it for Christmas 2019. This will be the first in a series of 5 novels, all set in the same land.

In my spare time, I work as a computer engineer, I am a full-time father to my daughter Grace (who will be bringing out her own children’s book in 2019, entitled The Hangry Hamster), I also do stand-up comedy around the north-west of England.

✫.•° Stalker Links °•.✫

Website | Facebook | Facebook Page | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon Author Page | Instagram | Twitter

Interview Part 2 and In The Mood… For Murder by D.E. McCluskey

This post is spotlighting In The Mood …For Murder by  DE McCluskey and Tony Bolland. There is also the second installment of the 3 part interview with David.

✫.•° Blurb °•.✫

Liverpool in 1946, post war and swinging…

The Rialto theatre is a hotbed of the Big Band Swing scene, with bands playing most nights to full crowds of youngsters looking to forget the drudgery of everyday life, rations and the ruins of the blitz.

The Downswing Seven are The Rialto’s house band who are in the need of a new singer, much to the annoyance of George Hogg, the drummer. His disability had prevented him from seeing active service during the war, and now it’s preventing him from fulfilling his dream of fronting the band as the lead male vocal.

Are somethings worth killing for? George certainly thinks so…

In The Mood… For Murder is a period thriller, set against the backdrop of war time Liverpool.

✫.•° Book Links °•.✫

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

✫.•° Interview Part 2 °•.✫

LH: On to the writing-related questions.

What made you want to write?

DM: Right… One Christmas Eve night when my daughter was three, I was lying in bed with her reading The Night Before Christmas. Because I’m a boring reader, with little or no inflection, she was well asleep by the time I finished (if she hadn’t gone, I was going to tell her jokes). When I finished I thought to myself I can do that… So, quite literally, I did.

On Boxing Day, when I finally got a little time to myself, I sat down at my computer and bashed out a story that had been churning through my head for, what I found out then, was years… it just fell out.

It was a short rhyming tale about Father Christmas (Santa Claus) coming to visit a small boy. But, the twist was that this small boy was a wrong ‘un, and he was on Santa’s Naughty List (It’s true, he does have a list, and he does check it twice. He knows exactly who’s been naughty, not nice) So this visit of Santa isn’t the nice experience that Clement Clark Moore wrote about.

It went on from there, and I produced my first comic. Interesting Tymes… six short horror stories, written in rhyme, for children. I found an illustrator and away I went…

LH: Do You have a set writing routine? Will You share what it is?

DM: I’m an early riser. I usually get up about half five, sometimes I go for a run, other times I sit and write until I have to get ready for work. Then I write in my dinner hour and in any downtime I have.

I don’t seem to get much writing done in the evening, my brain is too frazzled, or I might have a comedy gig and not get home till after midnight.

Sometimes I get full days to myself, alone in the house, but I tend not to get much done there, I do some of my best writing in chaos. I love sitting in busy coffee shops, looking like the pretentious tw*t I am, sat at a table typing away. McDonalds is another good place. I seem to work well in mad, busy places.

LH: Where do you get your character inspiration from?

DM: I have killed many many many of my work colleagues off in a number of my books, comics and short stories. I work as an IT engineer, I like the people I work with but hate the job, so when anyone rings me, for anything other than a gab about the football or the weekend, if their email isn’t working or some software is malfunctioning, then I am already planning their demise…

LH: Are any of your characters based on real people?

DM: Oh yeah…

Surprisingly, I can’t say that any of the main characters are, but peripheral characters!!! My ex-wife, my boss, some people I have met along the way in all my walks of life…

LH: When you’re writing do the characters talk to you? Do they tell you what they want to happen?

DM: Most definitely… I remember trying to convince a friend when I wrote the first draft for one of my upcoming titles, that one character did something that I didn’t expect, therefore changing the whole story, slightly.

He was unconvinced. He was like, they are essentially you, you tell them what to do, you created them. I told him that when their personality is written down, then they have to stay true to that personality… sometimes, the things you have planned for them wouldn’t make any sense due to their personality…

He’s still not convinced, so I killed him off in the next story I wrote… that taught him.

LH: Do you outline the whole story before you begin writing or just roll with the flow?

DM: This sounds like, so obvious, but I usually come up with the start, find something in the middle I can anchor to, then conceive the ending… Everything else is left to flow on its own. What I do now, is I use the NOTES app on my phone and write a short synopsis… then I sit down and fluff all the middle bits until it looks and sounds like a story!!!

LH: Who is your favourite character to write or that you have written and why?

DM: My second novel, In The Mood for Murder is based in Liverpool in 1946 and it has, as the main protagonist, a character called George Hogg. George is a drummer in a swing-band. He is a fantastic drummer, and he also has the singing voice of an angel. But, he suffered from polio when he was a child, and therefore he has a club foot, walks with a limp and a bad posture. Because of this he is overlooked when the band need a new frontman.

This guy has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He is nastiness through and through…

He was a pleasure to write.

LH: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes do you have any particular favourites?

DM: Oh yeah… I don’t tend to do anything without music in my life.

As I mentioned before, mostly hard rock/heavy metal, but I also love the likes of early INXS, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC… whatever dings my dong at that particular time.

LH: How do/did your family feel when your first book was published?

DM: Wow… It was like I had been given the keys to the city, or a knighthood by the Queen. I have two older sisters who are so supportive, and my mum couldn’t have been more proud. Everyone was shocked as the writing came from nowhere. One moment I wasn’t an author the next moment I was…

Also, being from Liverpool I have approximately seven hundred thousand cousins, and they have all been supportive too.

LH: Can you share a snippet of your current WIP?

DM: Yeah… My WIP right now is a zombie novel called ‘Z’: A Love Story.

This is Chapter one… (unedited)

 

The alarm clock buzzed and buzzed and buzzed. The annoying, horrible sound was his life, heralding in another dull, grey, Monday morning. Kevin gritted his teeth and looked at the figures on the clock. For a while they danced around in his eyes, green illuminated blobs jumping around on a black surface. He closed his eyes for a couple of seconds, exhaled a large, uninspiring breath and then opened them again. They were now behaving themselves. Eleven minutes past six, Monday the tenth of February.

How utterly depressing!

All the Christmas frivolities and fun seemed a million miles away, and any summer fun that he might be having, might being the operative word! he thought, felt like at least two million miles away.

                Valentine’s Day was the next big thing in his calendar. He had huge plans for this one. As it was a Friday, he was planning to treat himself to a curry and a couple of bottles of beer. Then he was going to taking the next, huge step in his relationship. He was going to order that television programme streaming service everyone in work was talking about.

                He had been toying with the idea for some time now. Everyone in work had been raving on about some of the box-set series that they had been watching on it recently, and he thought it was time that he joined in those conversations about dragons, serial-killers, and zombies.

                Kevin was longing to be a part of something, of anything. If it was conversations about knights in shining armour rescuing damsels in distress, or about the whole population turning into cannibalistic walking corpses, then so be it. He needed to fit in.

                He had moved to London a little over ten years ago, and in all that time he had worked in the same company. Battling his way up the corporate ladder from lowly office junior, to the lofty, coveted senior purchasing ledger officer. It was a role with many responsibilities, not one of which were even remotely interesting to him, never mind any potential friends or lovers.

                He always thought of them as potential friends and lovers as, in the whole ten years he had lived in the big city, he still didn’t consider anyone as a close friend. There were people in the office who he liked and who liked him in return, and even one or two of them who he didn’t mind going out for a drink or two with every now and then, but no-one who he would call a close friend.

                With this depressing reality still lingering in his head, he flung the warm, comfortable bed sheets off him and dragged himself out of his king-sized bed, running his hand through his unkempt hair. It was still dark outside; therefore, it was dark inside too. He leaned over, felt around his little table for the wire that had a small switch on it somewhere along the way. After much fumbling and a little swearing, he found it, and snapped the lamp on.

                The dull, yellow light from the energy-saving bulb he’d been pressured into buying after watching a million stories about saving energy, in the lamp illuminated his drab, sad existence. The other side of his bed was empty. As he sat on the side of the bed he glanced over at it and breathed a deep breath before releasing it slowly out of his nose. He wasn’t expecting to see anyone there, go to bed alone, wake up alone, he thought. ‘Well, hopefully!’ he laughed, spooking himself a little with his own voice.

                The large bed had been his first purchase when he had moved into this flat, all those years ago. A king-sized bed with a memory foam mattress. It had cost him a small fortune, but he thought, at the time, that it was worth the investment. London was brimming with single women and any one of them would be lucky to sample the delights of his boudoir.

                Sadly, the only action that the mattress had seen in the ten years since he’d purchased it, had been solo action!

                He pulled himself away from the comfort and warmth of his pit, and made his way across the cold, laminate flooring of his flat. Slippers, he thought, I need to get myself some slippers. That thought alone was enough to send him back into the deep doldrums of depression.

                He made it to the bathroom and turned on the shower. Almost instantly the small room steamed up and, by the time he had finished him morning ablutions, he had to wipe the condensation off the mirror to even see himself.

                Kevin was thirty-five, his dark blonde hair was now receding, and as he leaned forward to inspect, he inspected a few grey hairs that were sprouting around his temples. He blinked slowly, shaking his head. I can’t believe I’m going to go grey, or bald, before I ever have another meaningful relationship. This thought depressed him too.

                He wasn’t fat, in-fact he was rather buff; three times a week in the gym had gotten him a decent physique. By his own admission, he was no Arnold Schwarzenegger, but then he never wanted to be. He looked at his face in the mirror, dark brown eyes, tinged with loneliness, a large nose, solid chin. ‘Are you gay, Kevin?’ he asked his reflection as it began to fog back over. ‘I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that if you are, especially in this day and age!’

                He was mimicking a conversation that he had had with one of his colleagues on the last night out, a week or so ago. The guy had gotten a little drunk and felt the need to ask Kevin why he had never seen him with a lady. He’d known that the conversation was not meant to be malicious, but the question had cut him to the quick.

                Maybe I am gay! he thought, that would be just my luck, because I really don’t fancy men!

                He shook his head, removed his pyjamas, and jumped into the steaming hot shower.

                Fifteen minutes later, and he was feeling in a much better mood, ready for whatever the day could throw at him. He combed his hair in the mirror and looked at himself. ‘New week new you, Kev. You’ve got this, fella!’

                He dressed in his normal suit, ate his usual bowl of cereal, put on his usual winter coat on and left his flat at the same time he did every week-day.

                He caught the same bus, sat in his usual seat next to the same old woman who smiled at him as she did every day. He always smiled back before getting his mobile phone out of his pocket and looking through his piles and piles of junk email.

                He wasn’t one for watching television, and he wondered quite often to himself, why he even bothered to pay his TV Licence as the large flat-screen LCD Smart TV that he had bought about six months ago, had very seldom even been turned on. Streaming will put an end to that, he thought with a sad smile.

                The man sat next to him stood up to get off, as his usual stop, leaving behind him a rather dog-eared copy of The Metro, the transport system’s free newspaper. He looked at the headline.

USA FLEXES ITS NUCLEAR MUSCLES IN RESPONSE TO NORTH-KOREAN THREAT.

                It was headlines like this that kept him from reading newspapers or watching the news on the TV. If he needed any news or any information, he could get whatever he wanted from the internet. But just lately, he hadn’t even bothered with that. Every time he logged on he was bombarded with sex, sex, sex, and more sex. He had gotten bored with internet porn, as he thought that most single blokes must eventually do. He had grown disillusioned with football. The greedy, grasping players with their agents, not to mention certain TV companies had ruined that for him too. So, most nights he immersed himself in the world of books. He loved the classics. They transported him away from his sad, lonely existence where a property tycoon madman, somehow elevated to presidential levels, was fighting with an impudent, spoilt child. Neither of them had any place ruling a country, never mind overseeing large nuclear arsenals.

                The headline chilled him, but it was all so far away.

All he was concerned with was getting into work, earning his money, and going home to find out if Victor von Frankenstein was actually going to fulfil the monster’s demand, and build him a woman.

                I sometimes wish I could build me a woman, he thought sadly as the busy bus edged its way through the overcrowded streets of London.

LH: That concludes part 2 of my interview with Dave. Thank you again, I’m looking forward to our final session.

Join us on Monday, October 8th for the concluding part of Dave’s interview. In the meantime here’s a little more about Dave and the places that you can go to stalk him.

✫.•° About The Author °•.✫

I began writing in 2011, mainly for my own enjoyment. I began by making up funny, rhyming stories, with a horror-based theme running through them. I wrote them mostly for my daughter who was only four years of age at the time.

These rhymes where popular with my friends and family and someone mentioned that I should get them down in a book. That’s when the idea for a comic sprung into mind.

I scoured the internet and met a fantastic illustrator. I then commissioned him to illustrate this comic and Interesting Tymes was created. This is an anthology of short horror stories, all written in rhyme, but suitable for children to read too.

This was so popular with friends and family and further afield, that I decided to make another. Interesting Tymes X 2 continued where the first one left off, with Edward D’Ammage introducing another six horror tales.

From then I got the bug. I began to expand my series of rhyming tales, taking the original themes, and making them into longer stories. Using a different illustrator, I wrote, commissioned, and produced my first, short, horror comic. Wooden Heart.

I then began to write a zombie serial called The Few, we are currently on # 3 of what will be seven. #4 is currently in production.

I then embarked on a more ambitious project. My first graphic novel. Doppelganger is over 100 pages long and is a dark psychological tale of a man descending into madness.

Next up came DeathDay presents. This is a 4-part comedy tale about three demons in Hell who forget about Satan’s DeathDay. It has a 15 rating as the imagery in the back is rather graphic and gory, while the interactions between the demons is comedic and light.

Then I wrote and produced another full graphic novel. This one is called Olf. This is a children’s tale about Fr Christmas and his reindeer. I wrote this as I wanted to balance my brain between the darkness of Doppelganger my desire to wrote something that my daughter could read.

With a love of sci-fi and the old-style Flash Gordon type cliff-hangers, I wrote a series of tales about an adventurer called Mace Masoch, and his sidekick Miss Ninetails. The style of this comic was adult orientated, with buxom women and muscular men. #2 is currently in production.

After Mace, I went back to the list of my old rhyming tails and selected a longer, rhyming tale to produce in the same style as Interesting Tymes. This was to be a vehicle for my leading character Edward D’Ammage to run with his own titles. Edward D’Ammage Presents: The Wedding is in the same vein as Interesting Tymes although it has a different illustrator.

After this I did a collaboration with leading ‘extreme horror’ author Matt Shaw to serialise his best-selling novel, Sick B*stards, into a graphic novel. This has been a successful venture up to now, even though only #1 is available yet. #2 is currently in production.

I produced a short zombie inspired short horror comic, working with the illustrator I used for Wooden Heart, and produced Three Days in the City. This is a zombie-esque tale set in Liverpool. It’s a one-shot story and sells really well in conventions, mainly due to the location.

Bringing back my love of Christmas and my love of old comics like The Beano, I partnered up with a fantastic artist called Joe Matthews, and we produced one of my proudest pieces of work. We undertook the mammoth job of re-writing Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, completely in rhyme. Joe did the artwork in his fantastic Beano-esque style. This has been my best seller to date.

In all the time writing, I had also written several short horror stories. I took the decision to bring these together into another anthology, and teaming up again with the illustrator for Doppelganger, I produced Short Sharp Shocks. Six short horror/thriller tales all introduced by a skeletal game show host.

My next project is still in production. It’s a graphic novel about a female super-villain with a good side to her. Its called DreamCatcher. Originally, I was going to produce this as three parts, but decided that I would wait until all three parts are complete before bringing it out as a full graphic novel. Parts 1 & 2 are complete, while 3 is just about to be commissioned.

Writing graphic novels, I found long and laborious to do. I have no talent for drawing, but I do see the panels in my head and am very good at articulating them to the illustrators. But, I found myself increasingly at the mercy to how fast the artist work. I am a fast writer, and I wanted the artists to work as fast as I did. It was also proving costly, as good artists do not come cheap. I was working with a good illustrator friend on a graphic novel I had written called Thirteen. She had produced ten pages of top-notch work for me, but she was worried about the length of time it was taking her to complete the pages. She loved the story she was working on, so she convinced me to turn it into a full-length novel. She told me that the scope of the graphic novel would probably bankrupt me anyway. So, I converted the comic script and produced my first full novel. I changed the name of it to The Twelve and it is currently selling well on Amazon, and from me via my Facebook page.

Stirred on by the success of The Twelve, I teamed up with a local musical historian who I used to work with back in the days of playing in bands around Liverpool. We came up with a concept about a historical tale about the old Liverpool music scene. He did a load of research into the swing music scene in Liverpool after the war, and my second novel came to life. In The mood… For Murder was released, to excellent reviews. Bit things are in the pipeline for this book, least of all, a sequel is in the works.

Next up came my third novel, CRACK. This is a brutal story about one mans descent into addiction after a road traffic accident that wasn’t his fault. This is a specialised tale and is not always everyone’s cup of tea. Although it is selling well, the reviews, although good, are slow in coming.

Next up I am hoping to release Z: A Love Story by Christmas (or shortly after). A zombie tale inspired by one of my rhyming stories in Interesting Tymes X 2. Then I have written and am currently editing a sci-fi Jack the Ripper inspired tale entitled Timeripper. I have also written and am also editing a trilogy of books; Glimmer Trilogy. This is three books set in a fictional land, with magic and swords. I have written this for the YA genre. Lastly, I have re-written my Olf graphic novel into a children’s novel, I am currently getting illustrations completed for this, with a look to release it for Christmas 2019. This will be the first in a series of 5 novels, all set in the same land.

In my spare time, I work as a computer engineer, I am a full-time father to my daughter Grace (who will be bringing out her own children’s book in 2019, entitled The Hangry Hamster), I also do stand-up comedy around the north-west of England.

✫.•° Stalker Links °•.✫

Website | Facebook | Facebook Page | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon Author Page | Instagram | Twitter

Interview Part 1 and The Twelve by D.E. McCluskey

The next 3 weeks are going to feature the work of DE McCluskey. In the posts, I will spotlight one of his novels and a part of the interview that David kindly agreed to be part of.

This is Post 1, Spotlighting The Twelve, which is my current read too, my review will follow soon. What I’ve read so far is pretty darn good! Now onto The Twelve and PART 1 of the interview with David.

✫.•° Blurb °•.✫

Sometimes the past can come back to haunt you…

John Rydell was 4000 miles away when he got the phone call from his wife, ‘John there’s someone in the house.’

By the time he was home, tragedy had struck. A tragedy that threatened to engulf him, bringing back long forgotten and repressed memories of his days at university.

Now some of his old friends are dying, one by one. They are found gutted, disembowelled, ruined. There were twelve of them back in university, and there were twelve of them for a reason.

✫.•° Book Links °•.✫

Amazon UK | Amazon US

 

 

 

 

✫.•° Interview Part 1 °•.✫

LH: Hi David, Welcome to Hands on Books. I’m Lou. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here.
How are you?

DM: I’m great Lou. Thanks you so much for this interview. It gets so lonely being a writer sometimes that I have to talk to myself in the mirror, just for the human interaction!!! 😀

LH: Do you prefer to be called David or Dave? Or something completely different?

DM: Everyone calls me Dave, even my mum. I’m never really naughty so I never get the full mantle of DAVID EDWARD GET YOURSELF IN HERE NOW!!! I write under D E McCluskey for my adult novels, Dave McCluskey for my children’s stuff. The last thing I want is a child who enjoyed Olf searching for me and ending up with a copy of CRACK!!!

LH: I’d love to get to know a little about you, the person before the author comes out to play.
Tell us a bit about you & your background?

DM: I live in Livepool in the UK. I’m divorced with one gorgeous 10 year old girl. She is the most important thing in my whole world, with the exception of my MacBook Air. If I had to choose… I don’t know if Grace would like the outcome!!!

LH: What are your favourite movies and/or TV show/series?

DM: Huge nerd… I love the current Superhero series on Netflix. I love the Marvel series, but I absolutely detest the films. I love Gotham, but hate the DC movies… The movies have lazy writing with too many clichés and plotholes… totally catering for the lowest denominator. I adore Power and Peaky Blinders, American Horror Story… I am also a fan of EVERYTHING Tim Burton does, with the exception of Alice In Wonderland… that was empty garbage!!!

LH: Do you have any music that you love? Genre/band/group/artist?

DM: I’m a massive fan of hard rock/heavy metal… but not really a big fan of anything produced after 1993. Huge Queen, Beatles (I’m from Liverpool, it’s in our DNA, youre not a proper scouser if you don’t bleat on about them) Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Van Halen. That kind of thing. I do like classical music too… And, don’t tell anyone this or my reputation will be shot to pieces… I LOVE musicals. My future is now in your hands :O

LH: Do you enjoy reading? If so what do you like to read? Are you reading anything at the minute?

DM: I love to read. Obviously Stephen King was my first love. I read Skeleton Crew when I was 11 (collection of short stories) and then went straight onto The Stand… He blew me away. I’m also a huge fan of James Herbert, Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz (although he has a tendency to do my head in from time to time)… I have started to read a lot of indie authors lately too, Duncan Ralston, Andrew Lennon, Matt Shaw.

LH: I love James Herbert’s work, I’ve read a few Richard Laymon novels in the past but none recently. I’ve only read 2 of Dean Koontz, but they struggled to keep my attention. I’ve never managed to read a Stephen King novel they have never captured my attention and I’ve tried a few times to read different ones, I think I manage about 10 pages!!!

DM: I’m currently reading Fellside, but M E Carey, the guy who wrote The Girl With All The Gifts. I like his style as I feels its similar to my own. He began his career writing graphic novels too, and you can tell that by his descriptions.

LH: What hobbies do you have?

DM: I love to write… did you know that? LH: I have to admit, I had no idea!!! 😀 

DM: I love cooking too, I’m fascinated how and what spices and herbs work together, and the ones that don’t… I’m currently getting my head around Lamb with lemon sauce!!! What the hell??? How does that work? LH: I love cooking too. But… Lamb with lemon sauce?? I’ve not heard or tried that. I might have to go look for a recipe to try it now.

DM: I’m also a amateur stand-up comedian. Between all that writing and performing, working a full time job and juggling my little girl around netball and dancing, I don’t get a lot of time to do much else.

LH: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Or is it somewhere you’ve already been?

DM: I’m a big kid… totally. I’m 45 years old but never really got past that cheeky 10 year old phase. I love Orlando. I know that its shallow, but I just love the whole ‘get lost in a world of imagination’ vibe of the place.

I’ve always wanted to go to Canada.

I’m not a big fan of the sun. I love the warm, but the sun irritates the inner vampire/ghoul within me. To my girlfriend’s annoyance, I’m the one who totally robs all the umbrellas at the pool side and is constantly adjusting them so every single inch of my body is in the shade…

LH: Favourite type of food and drink?

DM: Thai… without a doubt. I love the fusion of coconut and chilli every time. Also the hotter the better. I love to cook (when I get the chance) and that is my favourite.

I’m not really a big drinker (unless I’m away with the lads, then I’m a monster) but my all-time favourite tipple is spiced rum with ginger ale… the stronger the ginger, the better. LH: I love rum! I prefer dark rum, as I find the spiced a little sweet. I discovered rum with ginger beer at christmas last year… yum… 😉   

LH: Can you describe your perfect weekend?

DM: Perfect weekend? With my little girl, my girlfriend and her daughter, either chilling or walking, or at the fair…

As I said before, and if you tell anyone I will hunt you down, and if you have read any of my books, then you’ll get an idea of what is going through my head, I love musicals and theatre. So a nice meal, a show and then early to bed (if you know what I mean…) LH: Your secret is safe with me.

LH: If you could be any age, what age would you be and why?

DM: I’m loving my 40’s… I came to the writing table at a late age after attempting to be a computer specialist, a welder, a rock star in a few bands, a musical instrument salesman, an ice-cream man, a barber… now I write.

So, I’m totally enjoying my age right now, although, the vampire in me (again) will tell you that I’m NEVER getting any older!!!

LH: Most embarrassing moment to date?

DM: Stupid one… but I don’t really embarrass easily. But when I lived in London (briefly, lovely place to visit, but I couldn’t work there permanently) we had a work party on a barge on the Thames… everyone told me it was fancy dress!!! I goes out and hires the BEST Elvis Presley costume, then I made myself into a zombie and called myself HELLvis (don’t try to rob that, I’ve trademarked it 😀 )… Best fancy dress in the whole history of EVER…

Yup… you guessed it, I was the only one!!! Had an absolute ball though. There was a little bit of a fight on board that I was in on the fringes of (I’m a lover, not a fighter, crap at both to be honest), so when it came to identifying who was fighting, of course HELLvis was the easiest to point out!!!

LH: What freaks you out or gives you the heebie-jeebies?

DM: Mortality… The dark… Ghosts… Creepyness… The human psyche… when normal people snap…

LH: Which famous person dead or alive would you most like to meet & why?

DM: I don’t really have any famous heroes. They always seem to disappoint in real life. They are normal, everyday, flawed people like us.

I used to think that I would get on really well with Tim Burton, but I’m not too sure about that anymore. I think passionate people have a real place in our society, as we would never get anything done without them, but Jesus, that can be boring people!!! Always harping on about their next book, or what project they are working on now. Posting boring stuff on facebook every single day…

Hang on a moment… I think I’ve just described myself!!! DOH

LH: Do you have any pet-peeves? Care to share any with us?

DM: People who drive in baseball caps… should be pulled over and removed from their cars, tagged and never allowed in a car (even as a passenger) again. Couples who dress alike, get a grip… Men with men buns!!! I used to have long curly (OK it was permed) hair, but I wore it down, like a real man!!! Man buns (looks to the sky to ask God WHY!!!!!!!!!)

LH: Do you have any strange habits? Fancy sharing any?

DM: I sometimes like to dress as a 5’10” bat and patrol to city of Liverpool at night, fighting against injustice. I have had my head kicked in so many times!!!!

LH: Do you have any superstitions? What are they?

DM: Whenever a hearse goes by, I always cross myself. It’s more a respect for the passing of the deceased than a superstition. That’s the only one I can think of right now.

I’m such a level headed individual (honest)

LH: Thank you for joining us today, I’m looking forward to doing this again next week.

Join us Monday, October 1st for part 2 of the interview and a look at another novel by DE McCluskey 🙂 For now, there’s a little more information on Dave and the places that you can stalk him 😉

✫.•° Author Bio °•.✫

I began writing in 2011, mainly for my own enjoyment. I began by making up funny, rhyming stories, with a horror-based theme running through them. I wrote them mostly for my daughter who was only four years of age at the time.

These rhymes where popular with my friends and family and someone mentioned that I should get them down in a book. That’s when the idea for a comic sprung into mind.

I scoured the internet and met a fantastic illustrator. I then commissioned him to illustrate this comic and Interesting Tymes was created. This is an anthology of short horror stories, all written in rhyme, but suitable for children to read too.

This was so popular with friends and family and further afield, that I decided to make another. Interesting Tymes X 2 continued where the first one left off, with Edward D’Ammage introducing another six horror tales.

From then I got the bug. I began to expand my series of rhyming tales, taking the original themes, and making them into longer stories. Using a different illustrator, I wrote, commissioned, and produced my first, short, horror comic. Wooden Heart.

I then began to write a zombie serial called The Few, we are currently on # 3 of what will be seven. #4 is currently in production.

I then embarked on a more ambitious project. My first graphic novel. Doppelganger is over 100 pages long and is a dark psychological tale of a man descending into madness.

Next up came DeathDay presents. This is a 4-part comedy tale about three demons in Hell who forget about Satan’s DeathDay. It has a 15 rating as the imagery in the back is rather graphic and gory, while the interactions between the demons is comedic and light.

Then I wrote and produced another full graphic novel. This one is called Olf. This is a children’s tale about Fr Christmas and his reindeer. I wrote this as I wanted to balance my brain between the darkness of Doppelganger my desire to wrote something that my daughter could read.

With a love of sci-fi and the old-style Flash Gordon type cliff-hangers, I wrote a series of tales about an adventurer called Mace Masoch, and his sidekick Miss Ninetails. The style of this comic was adult orientated, with buxom women and muscular men. #2 is currently in production.

After Mace, I went back to the list of my old rhyming tails and selected a longer, rhyming tale to produce in the same style as Interesting Tymes. This was to be a vehicle for my leading character Edward D’Ammage to run with his own titles. Edward D’Ammage Presents: The Wedding is in the same vein as Interesting Tymes although it has a different illustrator.

After this I did a collaboration with leading ‘extreme horror’ author Matt Shaw to serialise his best-selling novel, Sick B*stards, into a graphic novel. This has been a successful venture up to now, even though only #1 is available yet. #2 is currently in production.

I produced a short zombie inspired short horror comic, working with the illustrator I used for Wooden Heart, and produced Three Days in the City. This is a zombie-esque tale set in Liverpool. It’s a one-shot story and sells really well in conventions, mainly due to the location.

Bringing back my love of Christmas and my love of old comics like The Beano, I partnered up with a fantastic artist called Joe Matthews, and we produced one of my proudest pieces of work. We undertook the mammoth job of re-writing Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, completely in rhyme. Joe did the artwork in his fantastic Beano-esque style. This has been my best seller to date.

In all the time writing, I had also written several short horror stories. I took the decision to bring these together into another anthology, and teaming up again with the illustrator for Doppelganger, I produced Short Sharp Shocks. Six short horror/thriller tales all introduced by a skeletal game show host.

My next project is still in production. It’s a graphic novel about a female super-villain with a good side to her. Its called DreamCatcher. Originally, I was going to produce this as three parts, but decided that I would wait until all three parts are complete before bringing it out as a full graphic novel. Parts 1 & 2 are complete, while 3 is just about to be commissioned.

Writing graphic novels, I found long and laborious to do. I have no talent for drawing, but I do see the panels in my head and am very good at articulating them to the illustrators. But, I found myself increasingly at the mercy to how fast the artist work. I am a fast writer, and I wanted the artists to work as fast as I did. It was also proving costly, as good artists do not come cheap. I was working with a good illustrator friend on a graphic novel I had written called Thirteen. She had produced ten pages of top-notch work for me, but she was worried about the length of time it was taking her to complete the pages. She loved the story she was working on, so she convinced me to turn it into a full-length novel. She told me that the scope of the graphic novel would probably bankrupt me anyway. So, I converted the comic script and produced my first full novel. I changed the name of it to The Twelve and it is currently selling well on Amazon, and from me via my Facebook page.

Stirred on by the success of The Twelve, I teamed up with a local musical historian who I used to work with back in the days of playing in bands around Liverpool. We came up with a concept about a historical tale about the old Liverpool music scene. He did a load of research into the swing music scene in Liverpool after the war, and my second novel came to life. In The mood… For Murder was released, to excellent reviews. Bit things are in the pipeline for this book, least of all, a sequel is in the works.

Next up came my third novel, CRACK. This is a brutal story about one mans descent into addiction after a road traffic accident that wasn’t his fault. This is a specialised tale and is not always everyone’s cup of tea. Although it is selling well, the reviews, although good, are slow in coming.

Next up I am hoping to release Z: A Love Story by Christmas (or shortly after). A zombie tale inspired by one of my rhyming stories in Interesting Tymes X 2. Then I have written and am currently editing a sci-fi Jack the Ripper inspired tale entitled Timeripper. I have also written and am also editing a trilogy of books; Glimmer Trilogy. This is three books set in a fictional land, with magic and swords. I have written this for the YA genre. Lastly, I have re-written my Olf graphic novel into a children’s novel, I am currently getting illustrations completed for this, with a look to release it for Christmas 2019. This will be the first in a series of 5 novels, all set in the same land.

In my spare time, I work as a computer engineer, I am a full-time father to my daughter Grace (who will be bringing out her own children’s book in 2019, entitled The Hangry Hamster), I also do stand-up comedy around the north-west of England.

✫.•° Stalker Links °•.✫

Website | Facebook | Facebook Page | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon Author Page | Instagram | Twitter