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The 4th Circle: Interview with DESI D

  1. As a writer of both horror and dark fantasy, what would you say is an overlap and a difference between those genres?

This is an interesting question because dark fantasy doesn’t have a clear definition. A common description of this genre is fantasy with horror motifs and tropes weaved in. For me, dark fantasy is more about the darker tones with malicious intent in magic, greater likelihood for loss, sacrifice, and pain where good and evil are not clearly defined, the lines are blurred. Dark fantasy explores the grays within life in a fantastic setting and plot structure and/or through the use of magic. It differs from horror because its goal isn’t to disturb, frighten, or scare the reader, but to examine the drearier side of humanity.

  1. What dark fiction books did you read growing up that made you want to write?

Growing up I wasn’t much of a reader because I wasn’t any good at it. I struggled with spelling and the words moving around on the page. I discovered within the last ten years that I’m dyslexic. I’m a reader now, still slow, but it’s not nearly as difficult. Also, audio books are a lifesaver. As for my love of dark fiction, that started when I was a child, and I consumed every single horror movie that came out. Still, to this day, 80s horror movies have a soft spot in my heart. Although writing was challenging for me, I loved creating stories. I had an overactive dark imagination and turned every game I played into a story. My love for stories prevented me from giving up on writing, which prevented me from giving up on reading.

  1. Who’s one of your favorite living authors? Dead?

My two favorite authors are Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher because their characters are so well developed and can be morally gray, which makes them more interesting. Their worlds pull me in with great magic systems and interesting relationships. They have action and heartfelt moments that make them hard to put down, which I love. They are page turners for me.

My favorite deceased author is Edgar Allan Poe. His stories leave such a lasting impression, and it’s so much fun to see them show up in other works. His poems and short stories appeal to the dark twisted parts of my imagination, and I love it.

  1. As a college professor, what’s one piece of advice you have for young writers? And what are you working on now?

My biggest piece of advice is to keep writing, find what works for you, and throw out the rest. Writing is a personal process that is as individualized as we are, there isn’t one way to success, so write what you want to read and enjoy your process. Currently, I’m finishing up revisions to Book 1 of my epic fantasy series, Bound by Crystals: Cost of Perception, planning Book 2, and writing a standalone sci-fi dark thriller, A Dead Man’s Final Stand, because it’s hard for me to focus on only one project at a time.


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