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.

In The Mood… For Murder: this is violent thriller set in the clubs and pubs of Liverpool in 1946. Post war.

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…

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.

@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 °•.✫

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