Next up is Theresa Derwin. Her Heart & Bones is Book 38 in the Short Sharp Shocks! series...
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome to the family Theresa. I know time is precious for you. So let’s get straight down to it. Kindly tell us a little about yourself.
THERESA DERWIN: Hi. I started writing at age 9, inspired by the BBC horror double bill that used to show when I was a kid. Other girls dreamt of glass slippers; I dreamt of headless horseman - I kind of scared my first teacher. I only really started putting work out there, when I became ill seven years ago, and used it to escape my sofa. Now I’m doing the MA Creative Writing at BCU.
DP: Yeap, well done on that! So with regards to Heart & Bones – which is made up of two stories, Doris and Fruit Of The Womb – what is the book about?
TD: Fruit Of The Womb is a Christmas story gone wrong – inspired by a Partridge In A Pear Tree. I love Christmas horror. And it’s a bit of a folk horror involving the idea of fertility – whereas Doris. Well, I decided to write my own interpretation of the Harlan Ellison story A Boy And His Dog with a woman instead.
DP: Did you have to do much research for your stories?
TD: For Fruit Of The Womb, I knew I wanted to play with the idea of harvest time, birth and rebirth, so I did lots of research into fertility deities – and I might have researched Christmas - just a bit!
DP: Good for you, good for you. What creatively is your biggest success to date do you think?
TD: Actually, I think Doris is a very strong story. It did well in a few long lists of anthologies but didn’t quite make it. However with each near miss, I sought feedback from friends and beta readers, re-working it until it felt right. And now, I think it’s as good as I can make it.
DP: We agree and were very happy to publish it. Talking on a more personal level, what books / authors do you read and do they influence you?
TD: I love the way horror is right now seeing a real revival. I’m a huge fan of the small press, and it’s great seeing bigger names such as Adam Nevill pioneer his own voice through that medium. I love the work that Demain [thank you!] and Black Shuck Books are doing, but also Titan Books. Clive Barker was always an early influence, but now there’s so much to choose from it’s like a beautiful time for the genre. I have recently discovered Paul Tremblay, Laura Mauro, Angela Slatter and Jeff Strand, though Tim Waggoner, Wrath James White, Christine Morgan and Dave Jeffery are working in areas I want to explore. As for the anthology, it’s a its highest level right now, and I predict great things for again for Dan Howarth and James Everington.
DP: Some great names there and a couple already published by Demain! Someone says ‘horror’ to you – what do you think that word means?
TD: Well, if I had the perfect scalpel, I could tear that question to pieces. If I also had 90k words to use. It’s personal. So, for me personally, pushing boundaries, dark mingled with ironic humour, fun and risqué.
DP: Great definition. Is there a particular horror book or film that you’re looking forward to?
TD: Having only recently seen Hereditary and Us, I want to see Midsommar, whatever Jordan Peele does next, and Rabid from the Soska Sisters. Books?? Too many to mention but The Reddening Adam Nevill and Priya Sharma’s TOR books.
DP: What scares Theresa Derwin?
TD: Spiders – Big Ass Spiders. I included Giant Vampire Spiders from Outer Space in my collection ‘Wolf at The Door’.
DP: In terms of creativity, what would you like to do in the future?
TD: Aha! Screenwriting and comics. Though I’m currently working on a screenplay for my MA. And, it’s Christmas romance!!
DP: Cool. So, Marvel or DC?
TD: Both? Well, if we’re talking TV, DC is killing it. Never mind the huge crossover events, it’s Titans and Doom Patrol that kick arse. Though I must catch up with Swampy.
DP: I’m yet to see Doom Patrol but love Titans – I think Curran Walters who plays Jason Todd is outstanding and I’m actually trying to get his interest on a script I’m writing right now. As soon as I started writing the character he popped into my head straight away – hopefully we can make that happen. Anyway, enough about me. Final one Theresa, please tell us something about you we don’t know.
TD: I once yelled “Yogurty” at William Shatner.
Ha ha – thank you so much Theresa. Great talking with you.
If you would like to converse directly with Theresa:
Website Address: www.theresaderwin.co.uk
Twitter Address: @BarbarellaFem
Instagram: Theresa Derwin
Hearts & Bones is published 31st October and is now available for pre-sales.
Dean M. Drinkel