The 7Q Interview: Calvin Demmer
Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.
#1. Looking back, what’s one fiction book that you feel truly made an impact on your writing? Do you still gravitate towards that author?
#1. There wasn’t one book, but a few I read almost back to back that influenced me. I’d started reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. During that period I stumbled upon books like Summer of Night by Dan Simmons and I am Legend by Richard Matheson. And yes, I went and read much more work by all of them.
#2. How do you feel about the use of sub-genres in the industry? How do you describe your work overall?
#2. I think sub-genres are fine. You want a reader to know exactly what they are purchasing. But some books aren’t so easily classifiable, as they transcend one or two labels. I usually describe my work as dark fiction. I write mostly in the horror realm, but I also venture into science fiction, fantasy, and crime etc. No matter the genre, though, my works usually always have a dark vibe to them.
#3. What about your writing process do you think is unique or quirky? What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
#3. I don’t think I do anything quirky. I basically just get down to writing. As for any bad advice I’ve received? There’s a bit of weak stuff passed around, but I think the worst thing I’ve come across is a few people who preach that there is only one way to everything. They will tell you a story must follow certain inflexible rules and then proceed to list a bunch of points that restrain creativity. These same people are usually the ones telling everyone how they should run their social media or how to market a book. I like to collect the good advice from writers, editors, readers etc., who I trust, and then use or adapt the info for what works for me. I believe it’s healthy to experiment and see what works for you. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
#4. How does music and media factor into your writing? Do you feel it plays as much an inspirational role as literature?
#4. Of course. You can find inspiration anywhere. For example, there are times I will create a music playlist before writing or even watch documentaries on a subject I’m researching for a story. You don’t know what will trigger ideas or creativity, so everything is a potential source.
#5. As an author, how much do you engage in social media? Do you feel it is more for your own entertainment, or for marketing and networking?
#5. I’m not on social media too much, as I do find it can distract me from writing. I also don’t use social media for my own entertainment, but rather I try and think how can I keep a reader updated and interested in what’s going on with my various projects, or the projects I’m enjoying or looking forward to from other people. I don’t get into debates or controversial stuff online and prefer to share positive things. I have gotten to know some great people through social media.
#6. Where do you see the future of horror fiction heading? In turn, what changes would you love to see, either socially or technologically?
#6. I think horror is looking pretty healthy at the moment, especially if you look at the authors that have come through and also the success of horror films lately. Where it will go exactly? I’m not sure anyone really knows, but it’s a fun time to be writing it as there are many talented authors in the field.
#7. What can you tell us about any forthcoming projects? What titles would you like to promote now?
#7. I have a collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, available now. It contains twenty-three dark fiction stories and is available in paperback and eBook.