Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His work has appeared in Broadswords and Blasters, Empyreome Magazine, Mad Scientist Journal, Ravenwood Quarterly, Switchblade, and others. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I am a South African author of primarily dark fiction. I write in various genres, including horror, crime, and science fiction.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
Apart from the usual life chores, I try to relax. That could be anything from reading, watching a film or a series, playing guitar etc. Writing and then editing takes up quite a bit of time and I must be focused, so when I take a break I want to unwind as best as possible.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
I don’t really remember any specific childhood book, but I know I read some of the Goosebumps books early on. I was also very into comics.
KR: What are you reading now?
I’ve just finished the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, which I enjoyed. Next up is The Terror by Dan Simmons.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
In the beginning it would have been authors like Dan Simmons, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Dean Koontz. I read a greater variety of authors now, and there are many of them that will inspire me to keep at it.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
It depends on the length of the story and what my overall idea for it is. Usually with short stories I will know a few key points, but nothing more. I will write and then smooth everything out when I return to edit. On longer works, I will have more of an outline, maybe with more in depth notes for key scenes etc.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
If I know the subject well, I won’t research too much other than some fact checking. If I don’t know the subject but am keen to go into it for a story, I’ll spend quite a bit of time reading up on it and watching videos until I’m comfortable. I love learning. It’s probably one of the reasons I write, as I’m able to use new knowledge in my fiction.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
I look to do the majority of my writing early in the morning or really late at night for some reason. When I have time during the rest of the day, I usually spend that on editing or on writing admin (checking e-mails, updating social media etc.).
KR: Which is your favourite of the books/stories you have written?
I like them all for various reasons, but the ones where I pushed the boundaries for myself a bit do tend to stand out. My first story that was published, “Heartless,” is definitely up there. “Spring Outbreak,” which was a story that just came together so well, is another one I dig quite a bit. “What Is Love?” is also great with the beat of the story complementing the tale.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I will usually read and share the ones where reviewers tag me or e-mail me, but I don’t really search them out on places like Goodreads or Amazon. It’s always interesting to read what different people thought of the work though.
KR: What scares you?
Sharks. But I think in terms of horror fiction it’s really about that build up and atmosphere. It’s always a pleasant surprise reading a book where the author is able to take something unexpected and turn it into a frightening experience.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
I really don’t have a preference when reading. At a time, I only read paperbacks, but as I tried to explore more genres and authors I got used to e-books. Hardcovers are great for collecting.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
My latest releases are two short stories: “What Is Love?” which appears in the Hardened Hearts anthology from Unnerving. It has a strong African feel to it. The other is “Trick or Death” in the Ravenwood Halloween special, which shows the downfall of being obsessed with some of the latest trends in the world.
KR: What are you working on now?
I’ve just signed a contract with Unnerving that will see my flash fiction collection The Sea Was a Fair Master published around June/July. I’m also editing a short story and busy writing my first novella.
KR: Fast forward ten years! Where do you see yourself?
I hope to still be writing and enjoying it as much as I do now. Also, it would be nice if I’ve finished my first novel by then. Fingers crossed.
KR: Thank you very much Calvin