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 °•.✫
✫.•° 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.