December 31st sees the publication of Dan Weatherer’s novella Cheslyn Myre (cover by Adrian Baldwin) – currently available for presales. Dan is no stranger to DEMAIN with a contribution to the Short Sharp Shocks! series (Unnecessary Evil & Sick Girl – cover by Adrian Baldwin) and his recent release The Underclass (cover by Adrian Baldwin, central art piece by Roberto Segate). Dean and Dan recently talked all things Cheslyn Myre…
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Great to speak to you again Dan, let’s get straight down to it, is Chesyln Myre based on a real town?
DAN WEATHERER: Yes, Cheslyn Myre is based on the town I grew up in. Many of the places mentioned are real, with slight name tweaks here and there. The Air Ministry was also real. I say was, because it was decommissioned. I think it’s a private residence these days.
DP: Reading your book brought back a memory of somewhere I lived in Kent when I was very young, there was some military ground nearby where we were ‘allowed’ to play. In the ground there were these metal doors which led to an underground chamber of some kind…I remember going into one once, I must have only been six, seven, something like that…scary but great fun ha ha. Anyway…did you find Cheslyn Myre difficult to write?
DW: No, because this book is probably the closest work to resembling my childhood of all. It seems fitting that my writing career looks to be ending with this release, if only for now.
DP: Indeed. When you create Dan do you challenge yourself or give your readers more of the ‘same’?
DW: I think a quick glance through my back catalogue will show that I don’t have a set style of writing. I like to keep things fresh, as much for me as my readers. I like to challenge myself to different styles, perspectives, even media. I’m happy with what I’ve produced.
DP: And we’re happy to work with you! Do you want each of your releases to stand on their own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each title?
DW: There are some, subtle ties between books and stories of mine. Some take place in the same universe. Others visit the same locations, albeit at a different time. I like to leave details for my readers to come across. They aren’t integral to the story, but I see them as little rewards for my more dedicated readers.
DP: That’s brilliant. Dan, what does horror mean to you?
DW: It used to be my outlet – my way of processing the world and its demons. These days I’m not close to the genre. I think 2020 has forced great struggles on a lot of people, and while some find respite in horror fiction, I tend to find myself searching for lighter relief. While I was suited to the darker realms of thought and creativity, I no longer feel that is the case. Perhaps this book sees the end of that particular chapter – as I mentioned, Cheslyn Myre contains chunks of my childhood within its pages. Releasing it into the world is my way of letting it go.
DP: That’s interesting and I don’t think you’re alone actually – it’s been a tough year all around hasn’t it – I wonder if as you say this will be your last ‘horror’ book? I think a lot of the more darker creators might end up expressing themselves in a different way moving forward just because 2021 has been so dark in so many different ways…on that depressing note, final question Dan: Do you interact a lot with your readers? If so, how / why? Any funny stories to tell?
DW: I don’t. I’m quite reclusive. I used to when I was starting out as a writer, but these days I prefer a quieter life!
Great chatting to you again Dan, all the best with Cheslyn Myre and here’s to a much better / brighter 2021.
If you’d like to connect with Dan direct: