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Author Interview: Damien Allmark

We are excited to showcate Damien Allmark, author of "Kelder Church", in our newest anthology It Calls From the Doors

Without giving away the story, tell us a little bit about the story you have in this collection Doors. What was your inspiration?

Two teens brave the exploration of the ruined church on the hill. The deeper they get into the carcass, the weirder their world becomes… The inspiration was complete fluke, very near where I live there was a ruined church hidden back from the high street, and one evening the sun caught it a little different than it had before and my mind set off into the long grass. Sadly, that church has now been converted into flats but it’ll always have a place in my heart.

How did you become a horror writer?

That was largely by accident, I always thought of myself as a sci-fi and fantasy writer but this story kicked off a renaissance, and that’s led to some of my biggest success. I still have fantasy and science fiction in the blood and there are many such projects on the proverbial shelf.

Are there tropes, particularly those about women in horror, you actively avoid in your writing?

I like to remain as trope-free as possible but I’m particularly proud of how strong my female characters tend to be. I like to turn particular clichés on their heads where I can, and the strong woman rescuing the man is always a fun example.

Any advice for people who are considering becoming an author?

Go do it. Write. Keep writing. Try not to look at it until you’re finished, then beat it into shape afterwards. I have to say that particular piece of advice is one I find very hard to keep to myself, I’m always tripping myself over self-editing before the end.

It’s almost cliche that authors live on black coffee and hard liquor. What are you drinking right now?

Pepsi Max. I swear by the stuff. As for coffee, white and sweet, please, and a neat single malt for a chaser, thank you.

Writing in a pandemic. Has it changed the way you write? Has it made an impact on your voice?

I have always found it difficult to get going as a writer. I’m a full time bus driver as well so often after a day of that the last thing I want to do is try and focus on the screen. As for the pandemic, it’s a handy distraction to have a full house or a longer than usual shift, so it’s safe to say its rather derailed my progress.

It’s the zombie apocalypse and somehow you find yourself locked in a room with two other people and a horde of zombies on the other side of the door. There is no food or water, you have to leave to survive. Real or Fiction, who would you want in that room with you?

Amy Macdonald and Stephen Fry, just because it would be an honour to meet either of them, and that’s a good way to spend your last few hours. If the objective is survival, would I be betraying my Britishness too far to suggest Simon Pegg and Nick Frost?

Damien is a fledgling author from Bristol, England, who has previously featured in Dark Magic, also from Eerie River, as well as 'Sword and Sorcery' and 'Dark Dossier' magazines. When not wrestling with the keyboard he can be found at the wheel of a bus, or at home with his wife and young son.

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