© 2013 Clive Eaton
David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind the best-selling dark thriller, Velvet Rain, the supernatural thriller Fosgate’s Game, and the upcoming horror novel, The Dark. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating dark and touching stories where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.
David lives in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and blogging, photography and Photoshop, reading and roller-blading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.
HE WAS BORN A MIRACLE. IT WILL TAKE ONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.
Kain Richards is the last of his kind—and a man on the run. So when this mysterious drifter falls for a beautiful and sensible Iowa farmwoman, he knows full well the perils of getting too close. And yet, for the first time in his miserable existence, life feels normal ... feels real. But as those around him soon realize, reality is not what it seems. For when a tragic accident forces Kain's hand, his astonishing secret—and godlike power—changes their lives, and the world, forever.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Relax? I’m not really great at down-time, LOL. I’m a creative person, so I’m usually creating—I find the process relaxing. Writing, photography, designing a cool book cover for other authors … it’s all good. But when I’m not doing those things, I’m reading or watching movies. I’m a huge movie fan.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
I was never really inspired to write—there was no magic moment. It was a very protracted thing over many years. When I was very young, I wrote a lot of stories, and my oldest brother would bring them to his university friends and have them read them. They couldn’t believe they were written by a ten-year-old. But really, I never pursued it. Still, there was always that little voice in the back of my head saying, “Let’s see what you can really do.” So here I am. Is it too late to become a golf pro?
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
God knows. The story just popped into my head one day. I didn’t know the details, of course, but I had this great sense from start to finish of where it was going.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) It’s a period piece that takes place in the early 1960s, a time of great political and racial strife. It’s historically accurate, with wonderful twists to the time period—it turns reality upside-down and inside-out when you least expect it.
2) It’s a deeply moving story with a life lesson: We can all be heroes to someone.
3) The future isn’t written in stone. It’s written in blood, and blood flows in any direction.
What research did you need to do for this book?
God, I spent two years researching before I wrote a single word. The time period, the way of life that was. Being a period piece, you’ve got to get it right. In one case, I spent a few months tracking down a man in the United States just to get a translation for a simple phrase in what is pretty much a long-dead language. He’s one of the few people still alive who know it. The good thing about all of it was that I’ve always been a history buff, so I knew what to look for—and I certainly didn’t mind learning a lot more along the way.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Certainly the historical elements in the book are factual (where I didn’t twist them, LOL). The antagonist, Brikker, is pure evil, and was probably based on the likes of the Nazi’s Angel of Death, Josef Mengele. They certainly share the same cold apathy for human life and suffering. The other characters weren’t based on anyone in particular, but on reflection, the main character is probably a lot like me in many ways. His sheltered life shaped him.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
The Dark is finished and will be released soon. It was inspired by my love of atmospheric ghost stories like The Sixth Sense or The Others. It’s not a ghost story, but it certainly has that feel. There’s an ever-present sense of foreboding from start to finish, that “leave the lights on” dread.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
For me, research is always key. I read, read, and read. I develop my characters in my head and in my notes, making them as real to me as a cold beer on a hot day. I talk to them (I do) and get to know them before I write anything. If they’re not real and I don’t know them, I don’t want to write about them. It’s all about them and the hell they call their lives.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
Quiet. A window. Tea. Sometimes an English muffin with peanut butter and raspberry jam.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
Like a lot of other authors, I found the road to getting a publisher or an agent long and winding, and almost always a dead end. So when Amazon changed the rules, I figured why not?
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Even though I love research, it’s a LOT of work. For Velvet Rain, two years’ of research is a lonnnnnng time. It can task anyone.
2) Pushing myself to finish that first draft. It’s a long book, and for any author, doubts always creep in. You have to trust in the story and your ability to pull it off.
3) Turning history upside-down in a new and refreshing way. We’ve all seen movies about time-travel, and I wanted to present the concept in an entirely new way. I made it a human story instead of a sci-fi one.
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
I go roller-blading. Work out. Watch a movie. Read a book. I do anything but try to force it. It’ll come when it comes, and not a second before. If that’s a month or six, that’s what it is.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Become a golf pro. You’ll get out more.
Seriously, though, finish that first draft. Nuff said.
What genre does your book fall into?
Velvet Rain is a thriller. Still, it crosses genres. It has elements of horror (so I’m told, LOL), sci-fi (very soft sci-fi), romance (a deeply moving love story), tragedy … it’s got it all.
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I read just about anything, always have. But as a kid, I was always drawn to dark horror and thrillers. So, it’s probably just an extension of my love for those genres that I cultivated so many moons ago.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Mitch Albom. He taught me to say so much in so little.
2) Stephen King. He taught me how to lie my ass off—and make them believe.
3) Clive Barker. He taught me how to imagine—and then to imagine more.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. That hooked me for horror for the rest of my life. It’s a classic.
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
A Tale of Two Cities. Love it.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
Scott Bury’s Army of Worn Soles. It’s a terrific true-story novel about his father-in-law’s hellish time as a conscript in the Russian Red Army during World War II. For history buffs, or for those who just like a good read, I highly recommend it.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
I’m old-school—nothing beats curling up with a good book. It’s a palpable experience you just don’t get with a Kindle or an iPad. “Progress” isn’t always a good thing.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
You know, some reviewers have said that Velvet Rain makes them feel like they’re watching a movie. That’s not a surprise to me, I’m a very visual writer, and it’s a very immersive story. I see scenes in my mind as if they are a movie. So, this question isn’t hard to answer. I write stories with actors in mind. It helps me focus. The main character, Kain Richards, would have to be Hugh Jackman. Brikker, that sinister embodiment of evil? Bob Gunton, the evil warden in The Shawshank Redemption. He’s perfect for it.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Thomas Newman, hands down. He has a unique gift for creating the perfect music for stories like this. He’s got that magical touch that transcends the heart.
Drink – Wine. Ice-frikkin’ cold.
Meal – Cereal.
Holiday destination – The Moon, if I ever become a gazillionaire. New Zealand, otherwise.
TV programme – HUGE Supernatural and Walking Dead fan. And I love House of Cards. God bless Netflix.
Film – The Shawshank Redemption.
Method of travel – Time.
Sport – Hockey. Football. Those are the biggies.
How can people connect with you?
Where can readers find your book?
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