Author Interview - David Charlesworth (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 50 - Dark Corners)
The final Short Sharp Shocks! is Dark Corners by David Charlesworth. It is published on the 31st January but is out now for pre-orders. Dean and David talked about the book prior to publication.
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome to DEMAIN David – for those that don’t know you, can you please tell us a little about yourself.
DAVID CHARLESWORTH: I'm a 36 year old Scouser who was born and raised on horror and the macabre by a family of like-minded misfits. Growing up my main passion was art, but unfortunately I've never been able to fully express my feeling and what I see in my mind using a pencil and paints, so I turned to writing instead. I only really got into writing a few years ago―we were actively dissuaded from pursuing literary endeavours in my school.
DP: I really wish I could paint or draw but it seems I haven’t got the talent though I did buy myself a colouring book for Christmas so I’ll have to make do with that. What is your Short Sharp Shocks! about?
DC: Dark Corners is an unabashedly grotesque little tale about the worst humanity has to offer finding out that somehow, there's something in this world worse than them.
DP: And your protagonists?
DC: Paddy is an amalgamation of multiple people I've known and had the displeasure of having to deal with. He's his own worst enemy, which in turn makes him society's worst enemy. Only he'll never admit to it. His woes, his drug abuse, his thievery and murders and everything else... it's always someone else who caused that to happen.
DP: Ah, I think we all know people like that! When writing Dark Corners did you have to do much research?
DC: With most of my work I think (and I hope this comes across) there is a sense of hyper-realism to everything. For example there's some scenes involving police procedures in the story and whilst I've tried to keep it grounded, for the story to work some things aren't quite ‘real’. If you catch my drift.
DP: Oh I do, don’t worry. With that in mind, were there any scenes which were particularly difficult to write?
DC: There are! I often feel bad writing gruesome ends for people, even when they deserve it. I often feel maybe I go too far...but then after it's all said and done I often think maybe I wasn't extreme enough.
DP: Ha! There’s always some room for a little bit of ‘extreme’ stuff in our work particularly if certain characters deserve it. Sometimes we shouldn’t hold back ha ha…anyway, creatively David what would you say was your biggest success to date?
DC: I self published a few short stories a year or so ago. I released them unedited and it was just a huge mistake. However, the actual stories were exactly what I wanted to get out of my head and onto paper. They're being cleaned up now for a re-release soon, hopefully. Lots of weird cosmic shenanigans and kaijus involved.
DP: Awesome, keep us updated with how that goes. Tell us about your inspirations…
DC: I was raised on Clive Barker and he's absolutely an inspiration. I can't imagine what my life would be like without the Books of Blood...well, probably a little more sane!
DP: They’re great aren’t they…stories you can return to time and time again. What would you say ‘horror’ means to you?
DC: Wonder. Awe. I love the idea of things being greater than what we understand or can perceive. Unfortunately as wondrous as those things are... nine times out of ten they're utterly horrifying.
DP: So what scares you?
DC: I'm not afraid of anything. Not saying that to sound like a hardcase, but when I have nightmares I cherish them. Though if I wasn't too stupid to ponder my own morality I'd probably say the fragility of the human body.
DP: Yeap – ain’t that the truth. So is there a book / film you’re looking forward to?
DC: Color Out Of Space if only to see how utterly bonkers Nic Cage is. That and The Lighthouse.
DP: I can’t wait myself for Color Out Of Space – not just because of Cage but because it’s directed by Richard Stanley, whose work I just love! We talked about creativity – is there anything you’d like to do but haven’t managed it just yet?
DC: I'm trying to get back into art. It just takes so much time and practice and all of my spare time is already taken up by writing. I'd love to draw my own horror comic one day. There's so much to do and explore with the medium.
DP: Perhaps I need to take some lessons…two quick ones then. Marvel or DC?
DC: Dark Horse. Hahaha. And Hellbound Media, of course.
DP: Of course, of course! Finally then, what is something your readers might be surprised to find out about David Charlesworth?
DC: Despite looking like a serial killer I'm actually a nice bloke and I'd love to buy you a pint.
Next time I’m in Liverpool, I’ll take you up on that offer! Thanks so much for your time David, it was a pleasure talking with you. All the best with Dark Corners.
If you would like to connect with David direct:
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Dean M. Drinkel