T.S’s specialty is dark fiction, which is well demonstrated in both of his books. Nightmarescape is a fast-paced action thriller that plunges the reader into a nightmare world that is so well described that it feels just a little too real. His other book, 100 Reasons, is a book of dark poetry that reflects a very disturbing and harsh vision. Both books are unique works in the world of horror fiction.
Nightmarescape was inspired by a series of night terrors I had in 2004. I kept dreaming about a black and white world that looked a lot like the illustrations from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The same characters kept showing up in them. I eventually began writing the dreams down and fleshing out back stories for the characters. Curse came first, then Larry Spectre. Banshee wasn’t really finalized until about 2008-2009.
100 Reasons is the product of me struggling to cope with frustration and anxiety. Around August of last year, I just started writing things down in free form prose. When I had 100 pieces, I decided to make a book out of them. A lot of the imagery comes from things I’ve seen while working in law enforcement. I’ve related a lot of the dead bodies, gunshots, conflicts, etc to the prose and woven a lot of emotional input into it. Some of it is fairly on the nose and blunt, others are a little more abstract. Ultimately it was a therapeutic exercise. I’ve written 200 more poems that I’ve compiled into two more volumes, and will be releasing them as time permits.
2) Is Nightmarescape your first published book?
Yes it is.
3) What got you into writing horror?
Well…I don’t really consider myself a dedicated horror writer. Nightmarescape has a lot of horror elements, and 100 Reasons has a lot of what could be considered horror related imagery. I consider myself a dark writer and use elements of horror, while not letting that one facet consume my entire creative process.
You’ll notice with Nightmarescape, that it starts out with a lot of horror, but ends up being an epic dark fantasy.
4) What are you doing next?
I’m going to be publishing a short story based off of one of the poems from 100 Reasons entitled “Castrated Epoch”. Then I’m getting back to work on the next Nightmarescape book.
5) What is it like being a published horror writer? What do your family and friends think?
Honestly, nothing has really changed for me. My friends and family are proud of me for doing it.
6) What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Stick with it and don’t give up. Writing is often something that is very time and labor intensive, yet does not always guarantee a monetary return. Do it because you love it first and foremost. Things will come up and get in the way. Writing is the easy part, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Editing, publishing, advertising, and all that jazz is where the real work begins.
It took me ten years, from concept to publication to complete Nightmarescape. Now I have other books in the series that I’m working on. The next one will not take as long, but getting it done is still proving to be a process.
If you want it, you have to make it happen. No one will do it for you.