We are thrilled D.R. Smith's story "The Thing in the Woods" will be featured in "It Calls From the Forest: Volume One". Look out for a sneak peek of this terrifying tale later today on our Facebook Page!
D. R. Smith lives in Livonia, NY with his wife and two children. He is a special education teacher in the Canandaigua City School District in Upstate New York. Ever since he was a boy, his haunted dreams have spurred him to write about the macabre. He loves a good horror story, especially ones that leave you wondering what horrors even the author was afraid to write. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, and Neil Gaiman. He’s published numerous short stories in Ezines and local magazines. He is the author of over a dozen books for teens and young readers, both horror and fantasy, and three writing guides for people of all ages. His latest horror novel, Curse of the Witch, is available on Amazon.
Have you always written, or was there a catalyst that prompted you to begin this journey?
The catalyst was childhood! It’s the most imaginative time of life. As soon as I learned to read, writing immediately followed. The first stories I ever wrote were horror stories for my friends. I guess old habits die hard.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Without a doubt it’s horror. By the time I was in middle school I was devouring Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. Later I discovered Clive Barker, Peter Straub and James Herbert. I grew up in the 80’s, which I like to call Horror Heaven. Horror, both good and bad, was the coin of the literary realm back in those days. You could find it in book stores, stationary shops, pharmacies, grocery stores … just about any place that sold paper.
Do you remember the first piece of writing shared publicly? What were people’s reactions, but more importantly how did you react getting it out there?
My first vivid memory of a story shared publicly had to be when I was in seventh grade. I attended a small Catholic school named Good Shepherd. I remember my former sixth grade teacher, Mr. Coleman, being impressed with a story I’d written for Halloween that year. He asked me if he could read it to his class, and if I’d be willing to come down and answer questions about the story. I just relished the proud expression on my teacher’s face when he finished reading it. I knew at that moment that it was in my best interest to pursue horror writing.
What is your workspace like? What kind of atmosphere do you need to write?
I have a finished space down in the basement where I work. To get in the right mood for writing, I’ll dim the lights and play Midnight Syndicate softly in the background. I’m surrounded by horror and sci-fi memorabilia and lots and lots of books on all varieties of topics. I’m also a space nut, so I have NASA lithographs on my walls, a three-foot replica of a Saturn V rocket, and a large telescope. It’s a cozy, eclectic office.
Without giving too much away, tell us about the short story you have featured in “It calls to the Forest”. What inspired you?
I’m a slow, methodical writer. I don’t pre-write much at all, which has its advantages and disadvantages. For this story, I decided to just put the pedal to the metal, not think too much (one of my hang-ups as an author) and just see what comes out. So I ended up writing the first draft of this story in just two sittings, unheard of for me. I wanted to write something dark and truly gruesome, almost in the splatterpunk vein, and I feel this was a rare instance where I succeeded. I don’t know what the hell comes next for this poor family, but it ain’t good, that’s for damn sure.
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Check out his work at his website http://www.davidrsmithbooks.com or visit him on twitter @DavidRSmith20.
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