BKE: Your novel DESCENT has appeared both as a Delirium novel (2005) and more recently in a paperback edition by Uninvited Books (2011). How wonderful to see two different manifestations of your work, from two well respected Horror publishers no less. What has been your experience with this? Do you feel that new editions of the same novel take on a different life with the reading public?
SD: DESCENT was first printed by Delirium in 2005 as a signed limited edition. One hundred copies were released with one of my original pen and ink sketches bound within each book. It was great working with Shane Ryan Staley and I'm thankful he believed in my writing enough to initiate such an awesome project. I've had nothing but great experiences with Delirium/DarkFuse, Shane and his entire staff.
More readers had the chance to read DESCENT when Shane released it in digital format in 2009.
I was honored when Rob Dunbar (Uninvited Books) expressed an interest in publishing DESCENT in a paperback edition last year. Working with him has been both fun and rewarding. Seeing the book in an entirely new format is truly wonderful as well. With the paperback edition came a nice collection of reviews and interviews--newfound attention for DESCENT thanks to Rob and Uninvited Books.
I'd like to add that if it were not for Greg F. Gifune DESCENT probably would have never been written--or it wouldn't have turned out quite the same. I am truly thankful to have had the advice and encouragement of such a gifted writer and editor.
BKE: Writing, poetry, illustration. You seem to wrestle a trio of muses! Which discipline is the easiest for you to take up at a moment’s notice? Get in the zone, as it were.
SD: Visual art is something that comes easy. I really don't do much illustrating these days. I tend to get frustrated trying to tailor my work to someone else's vision and I don't like to make changes to a painting once I'm satisfied that it is completed. Painting is a very personal experience for me and I feel as though I'd be giving away a piece of my soul if I had to alter a piece for money or someone else's needs.
I paint quickly and intuitively, pretty much without planning the final outcome. I work on large canvas and over the past year have been doing more local exhibits-- a great way to market and network. Now and then someone will express interest in using one of my pieces for a publication and I have no objection as long as I don't have to alter the work in any way. In addition, Marge Simon has written volumes of poetry in collaboration with some of my finished paintings--enough to produce two collections so far. Those projects are stress free and lots of fun.
I don't do as much poetry as I once did. At present writing fiction dominates my writing.
Novel writing is hard work--much more difficult for me than painting a landscape--and while ideas, characters and settings come easily, the final outcome of my fiction is realized after lots of rewrites and revisions. I do believe that most writers experience the same difficulties and challenges. Our growth as writers is ultimately achieved by lots of work and an undying drive for perfection.
BKE: The occult is a strong thread through much of your work. How did this interest develop? Do you ever find people looking at you sideways in suspicion after they ask what your books involve?
SD: I was raised in a superstitious Italian family. Dreams and charms to ward off evil were subjects discussed by old grandmothers around the coffee table. Later I began to collect occult books and continue to do so.
Yes, some people think I'm strange. I've been "advised" to write romance novels instead of delving into darkness, but I just can't imagine writing a romance novel. Just last night I'd gone to a baseball game with a relative and we got lost on the way home in the midst of old deserted factory buildings and rundown tenements. Of course my imagination went wild and I told her the experience would probably inspire a story. I received one of those sideways looks.
BKE: Favorite place to write? Why? Any music involved?
SD: I live in an Old Cape Cod house and I write upstairs in an attic room on a desktop computer, most times with two cats at my feet. No music involved.
BKE: Is there another genre you want to explore in the future?
SD: I love tough gritty crime fiction. Back in 2001 Trey R. Barker and I edited a collection called CRIME SPREE. It contained twelve short stories with a strong noir flavor. My own story NICKY RYAN was included in the collection. I've also written another piece called THE HUNTER'S MOON published around the same time. My short story DEATH MOON is a horror/noir blend; also the giveaway story for my Live Chat at Dark Fuse. I want to do more exploration in this particular genre. In addition, I plan on doing more dark mainstream fiction. Several of my short stories published in the previous decade would be considered dark mainstream. PATHS OF DESTINY, from my collection by the same title is one of them.
My novella INTO THE RED, published by Damnation Books late last year, is pretty much dark mainstream with a bit of horror woven within. And I've written a novel, called PRAYERS FOR SOLSTICE, which contains elements of dark urban fantasy. At present I'm trying to find a suitable home for this somewhat offbeat piece.
BKE: And speaking of the future, what are your upcoming projects?
SD: At present I am finishing up another horror novel. Once that is completed I have plans to write another novella based on a very old and supposedly haunted hotel in Newport, Rhode Island.
BKE: Sounds fantastic Sandy! Thank you for coming to the blog.
SD: Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this interview. I enjoyed it and best of luck with all your future projects.
Sandy DeLuca-Artist & Author Personal website
Link for a live chat on May 10th