It’s time for Royal Manaball to give a little back. Yours truly has been interviewed loads of times already. The Vinny Eastwood Show, The Jeff Daugherty Show, The Silver Bullet Sunday and Maria DeVivo, but now, I’m going to pay it back (and forward). This transmission, we will spotlight British author David Eccles.
July has been a big month for this chap. A debut collection of short stories titled Darke Times and Other Stories plus simultaneous releases in various anthologies – all in one month! We at Royal Manaball can only congratulate him on his skill and luck for this great time! Without further ado… David Eccles!
So, David. Darke Times. Read it. Reviewed it. Loved it. It’s quite eclectic. You seem to be able to tackle any genre thrown at you. How does this work for you? What is your process?
“It’s not something that I normally share with anyone, but I do tend to suffer bouts of depression from time to time, and for the most part, I am generally thought of as a moody person, and I rarely smile. I do not, however, take any medication for my depression. Don’t get me wrong, I can have a good laugh with people and get drunk and make a fool of myself, but mainly I prefer my own company, and my bedroom is where I like to be when I write.
“I have a fantastic imagination, and when I get a good idea for a story I play it back in my mind as if I am watching a movie (I’m also a huge movie geek). The areas I like to focus on when it comes to writing are horror, science fiction, and fantasy, with a little zany humor thrown in, of course!”
One common thread with Darke Times is that it is out of the ordinary. I’ve not really read any take on these genres featured quite like it because you have a talent to twist and subvert them. It’s almost like you’re fed up with genre and have decided to take a fun, intelligent poke at them. Am I right?
“It’s not that I’m bored with genre itself; it’s more that I don’t want to be thought of as a one-trick pony; someone who can only write in one particular genre. For me, sometimes it feels as if it’s the stories themselves who control me, and that I have no control over what I write. It’s like they need to be written, and that I’ve been chosen as the conduit. I can choose to write a horror story when I sit down to write, only to find that when I’m done for the day it’s turned out to be a science fiction story! At other times, though, I can come up with an idea and know right away from beginning to end just what it’s about and where I want to go with it and I just hammer it out!”
Would you consider yourself Bizarro? I’d say so, because these tales are unlike anything I’ve read – and I’ve read loads.
“I’ve not read too much Bizarro, and have only recently become aware of the genre, but I do tend to write some really freaky shit sometimes, so if you say that what I write is Bizarro, I’ll happily go along with that if it means that I get grouped with the likes of Jeremy C. Shipp, Andersen Prunty, and Carlton Mellick III!”
Speaking of Bizarro, fellow British author Steve Aylett is considered the godfather of Bizarro (as well as the possible inspiration for the film The Matrix). Are you a fan?
“To my shame, I’ve not read anything by him – yet. But I’ll get around to it. It’s hard both reading and writing, but as they say: if you don’t read, then you’re not a writer!
I shall remedy the situation a.s.a.p.! I love where Steve says books just appear in his brain like a visual “glob” that looks like a piece of gum. That’s great imagination!”
You and I are both being released later in horror master James Ward Kirk’s anthology Serial Killers Tres Tria (which may have recently been retitled). What’s your thoughts? It’s a bit like waiting for Christmas, yeah?
“We are indeed! I think that the title remains the same. You may be confusing it with the second volume, “Serial Killers Iterum”. The waiting for the date of publication to come around is always a killer, yes. It’s normally the waiting to hear whether one’s submission has been accepted that is usually the cause of many a sleepless night! I was fortunate enough to be accepted for two of James’s anthologies within a week, and the longest that I had to wait to hear of my acceptance into the anthologies was two days!
“The first anthology of James’s that I was accepted into, “Sex, Drugs & Horror” has to date not yet appeared as an e-book. I bought myself a copy of the paperback and actually received it this morning!”
So, you’re on the H.M.S. Bounty. You throw Captain Bligh into the drink and wind up marooned on an unidentified island in the Outer Hebrides. What three books must you take ashore? Friggin’ in the riggin’! I know, this is a tough one.
“From a practical point of view, they’d be survival books, like “No Need to Die – Real Techniques of Survival” by Eddie McGee. He’s a legend when it comes to survival techniques! I used to be into all kinds of stuff, including survivalism, but I guess you mean books of a true literary nature that I couldn’t live without. In that case, my three choices would be: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, and finally, if I may include an omnibus, The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.”
Wait! Not letting you off the hook here. I used to be a shrink, so we’re going to play a bit of word association. Answer as best as you can:
Clive Barker or Stephen King?
Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman?
Alan Moore or Grant Morrison?
“Grant Morrison, definitely. Alan Moore has gone “weird” as of late.”
Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
Sex Pistols or the Clash?
“Most definitely The Clash! I saw them in 1978 on their “Give ‘em Enough Rope” tour and came away from the gig with one of Joe Strummer’s badges off his shirt!”
Pretend it’s the ‘90’s again. It’s Blur versus Oasis. Who should win?
“Blur. I cannot stand the Gallagher brothers, and could happily punch Liam in the face all day and not get bored in the slightest!”
All right. Done with that. Speaking of music, I’ve learned you are a fan of Prog-rock. Me too. Who are some of your faves?
“Yes; Pink Floyd; The Moody Blues; Focus, Emerson, Lake and Palmer; The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and Supertramp, to name a few.”
You have a shitload of beautiful tattoos. I have none. Do they hurt?
“Tattoos do hurt, and anyone who tells you that they don’t is a liar! Some areas are very sensitive indeed! When I had Poison Ivy done as part of my Batman sleeve, I really felt it in my armpit! For the most part, though, I tend to tune out the pain and have been known to fall asleep while being tattooed! It’s a very strange kind of pain; a pain that you can endure, and it is very addictive! Once you have one tattoo you want more!”
Have you any advice for new writers? Any pitfalls to avoid or has it all been a fun journey?
“Wow! That’s a hard one, seeing as I’m a noobie myself! I guess all that I can really say to anyone is to read as much as you can, so that you can learn how it should be done and can recognize a writer’s style, and to write as much as you can, whenever you can and develop a style of your own. I’m like a ferret, and will root out any information that I need to know. I’m always looking to learn new things, and that’s why I designed my own book cover too, instead of hiring a professional. I wanted the skills to do it all myself. I guess I’m a perfectionist and don’t like people telling me what I can or can’t do, and what I should or shouldn’t do. And you should get involved with as many writers and authors as you can, because they’ll always help you out, as you have done for me, Mark. Twitter is one of the best resources for writers to find help and new friends. It’s where I met you!
“As for pitfalls: I’m fortunate enough to not have experienced any pitfalls whatsoever–unless one counts finding out that my book had been uploaded to a website without my permission on the very same day that I published it, forcing me to issue a notice of copyright infringement to the website. My book was removed within a couple of hours, so that was a relief!”
Thank you, David. Had a fine time here. Please look below for all of David’s relevant links and follow him! Get Darke Times and Other Stories – now available from numerous retailers!
All details for contacting David can be found on his about.me page here.
Visit David’s blog, Fresh Crumbs From An Old Loaf.
“Darke Times and Other Stories” is widely available. A list of vendors can be found by clicking on the image below.