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the interview with Teric Darken, Suspense Author!
As many of you know, I’m married to a retired captain of our local corporate fire department so it’s an honor for me to introduce you to my guest author this week! Teric Darken is a lieutenant and firefighter, as well as a prolific author who’s writing has been compared to C.S. Lewis meets Stephen King!
Grab your favorite beverage, bundle up warm and collect a flashlight from one of our guides at the top of the steps as we venture deep into the labyrinth. Let’s stay together and on the path as we’re led deeper inside where our guest is waiting for us. Watch out for the bats! Grab a seat when you get there and let’s get started!
Deanna: Teric, thank you for being with us this week and sharing your tales here in such a cold dark place. *my eyes peer into the darkness, on guard for more bats, pulling up the collar of my jacket* Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Teric: Thank you all for joining me here and being brave enough to venture in. As Deanna said, let’s get started. I’ve often been asked, “Is Teric Darken your real name?” My response: “Would you believe that Teric Darken is my real pseudonym?” I initially chose a pseudonym to maintain a certain degree of privacy. I’m a bit of a private person society-wise. My pseudonym stems from two words: Teric from “esoteric,” meaning “designed or understood for the initiated alone,” and the last name from the word “darken,” meaning “to become obscured.” The intent was that only those closest to me would know who Teric Darken really was.
I am a firefighter by profession, and I was trying to avoid a good ribbing around the firehouse for being known as “the firefighter who wrote books.” I wasn’t sure how macho that would be around the station- thus another reason for the pseudonym. The funny thing is: in my very first interview for a local magazine, the interviewer encouraged me to disclose my given name. “Why?” I asked. “Because people already know you around here, and it would probably generate more publicity for your endeavors locally.” I gave in, so my given name has never really been a big secret from day one.
Deanna: Readers, HERE is a video that will tell you a bit more about his books, but come back and rejoin us! Teric, what do you do to relax?
Teric: I ride my Harley, lift weights, and jog. I also listen to music and, naturally, write and read books!
Deanna: Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?
Teric: *poking the small fire with a stick as he stirs the embers* Yes. As previously mentioned, I am a firefighter by profession. Thankfully my job allows me a generous amount of free time when I’m not on the clock.
Deanna: As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Teric: Well Teric Darken is my main character that I slip into- he’s the author, not me. Teric is like a role or a mode that I slip into. I often write about dark things: the supernatural… a societal or moral wrong… the people in life who choose to travel down an unsavory or evil path… Though I never script those issues and characters to be gratuitous or to glorify them- in fact, my purpose is quite the opposite- the fact remains that the material is still dark. So Teric Darken is allowed to address those issues via fictive form, and at the end of the day, he gets to retire for the night. That’s when I step back into domestic mode and carry on with life.
As far as other personalities: Teric becomes each and every individual he scripts. He gets into character. He not only writes about those characters, but he feels their emotions and acts upon the images he sees the characters going through in his mind. Teric writes down all that he sees before his imaginative eyes. In my opinion, I believe that’s a mark of good authorship: getting into character. One might say that writing is a lot like acting.
Deanna: Being able to slip into character makes it easier to write them, for sure. What type of hero do you like best?
Teric: One that has been through the ringer a bit. One who is good but who still struggles within his/her humanity. We’re all trapped in a mortal coil at the present. The issues of struggles, trials, temptations, what have you… keeps it all realistic in my opinion. There’s only one perfect person who ever walked the face of this earth, and even he met up with struggles, trials, and temptations.
Deanna: I don’t think a book can have too many plots. As a reader, I like and am able to follow several in the books I read. How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Teric: As many as it takes!
Deanna: *rubbing my hands together, hoping to ward off the damp chill* Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer because all of go about it differently.
Teric: *carefully laying another piece of wood onto the fire* The typical is typically atypical- a bit like nothing is the same except change. Case in point: with KILL FM 100, my first novella- which by the way is being re-released through TreasureLine Publishing in the form of a full-length novel- the premise came first: Every chapter, save the new prologue, begins with a song title as the book takes place inside a radio station. The reason for the song titles beginning the chapters is because, well… let’s just say that one can discover a few subliminal sentences in the book if they know the right trick! Certain words spell out those hidden sentences with a meaning that coincides with the book. I started out beginning each chapter with the song titles I selected then built the whole story around those titles.
With my second dark thriller, U-TURN KiLLuR, I had a specific plot in mind and scripted the novel to build up to the point I was trying to make with the book: the underlying meaning of the whole story.
Wickflicker is my latest supernatural thriller, and I simply sat down in front of the computer and typed freestyle, meaning I didn’t have a specific goal or point in mind. I began typing simply with images that came to my head, thus the very descriptive beginning that lent itself to the autumn season. That season gave birth to an event, which was an end-of-semester college bash. Two wayward souls were born out of that, giving way to the antagonist: one very diabolical Nicklaus Scratch. And then the struggle ensued: the wayward sons against Ol’ Scratch in a race against time down a dead end road.
I currently have around twenty story treatments in my arsenal. Periodically an idea will pop into my head, and I have to get it down or else simply thinking about it will drive me crazy. HERE is the book trailer for Wickflicker.
Deanna: I can’t wait to read Wickflicker! It sounds spooky yet deep and interesting. Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Teric: They are different in theme but contain common threads. Warning: theme spoilers!
The theme of KILL FM 100 proposes that though we all come from many different walks of life- perhaps different sides of the track- every human is in need of one common necessity: Genuine Love.
U-TURN KiLLuR shows, in a most grave manner, what we are doing to our loved ones when we fail to spend quality time with them. As Author C.S. Lewis once wrote (and I’m paraphrasing), “All we have is now.”
The theme of Wickflicker… perhaps there are many… among a few of them: the grass isn’t greener on the other side; you reap what you sow; and you dance with the one who brought you.
As for the common threads: one will find certain characters popping up from my other books in each of them, although the books stand alone just fine, allowing the reader to pick up any book and begin where they may. All of the books make perfect sense on their own standing.
Deanna: I like that you include previous characters so the reader gets to know them. I think one would enjoy knowing a past character will show up in the stories. Tell us about your latest book and the type of reader it may appeal to.
Teric: My latest book released is Wickflicker. It is a dark thriller, perhaps horror. Now when I say horror, I don’t mean “slasher.” I mean horror as in walking hand-in-hand with an angel of light, only to discover that he’s the Devil. I think the book overview sums it up best:
They were two college freshmen, simply searching for that higher high along life’s journey. They found it in the devil’s den.
Best friends since childhood, college freshmen Gat O’Malley and Caleb Jackson stumble into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Finding themselves the life of the party at semester’s end, it’s up to them to keep the crowd pumped, the ladies intrigued, and the liquor freely flowing.
To keep spirits flying high, Gat and Cay venture into their friend’s cellar to retrieve a fresh keg. They soon hit rock bottom when failing to locate any source of light, becoming lost in the endless labyrinth below. Lurking about the shadows, they encounter their friend’s eccentric Uncle and begin to realize they’re getting more than they bargained for.
By showing them the mystic ways of an ancient, arcane society- the Olde Order- Nicklaus Scratch entices the freshmen with all the power, prestige, and prominence they would dare to dream up at the onslaught of the new age. The world is theirs for the taking. All can be possessed through the Olde Order- the way of the Wickflicker.
Money. Sex. Power.
Each awaits in exchange for something never even seen...
Would you gain the whole world in exchange for your soul?
As far as appeal: I think anyone who enjoys a rich, dark, supernatural thriller with a moral compass will appreciate it. I am fortunate in that Eric Wilson (Fireproof, Haunt of Jackals, Valley of Bones, Field of Blood) recently messaged me with plenty of positive things to say about it. Fans of Ted Dekker, Robert Liparulo, and Frank Peretti should enjoy it. Author Ellen Maze told me after reading the initial script: “It reads like C.S. Lewis meets Stephen King!” I am very fortunate to have merited that statement, and I don’t believe that I can add to that.
My future endeavors:
As I alluded to earlier: KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition) is in the process of being (re)released through TreasureLine Publishing. When I initially scripted the book, I thought I had written an epic saga! Keep in mind: I used to be a rock musician who was used to creating lyrics on a single sheet of paper. So when I finished scripting KILL FM (the original version), I thought I had scripted a monster. When the proof copy came back to me, it wound up being a ninety page novella. I was floored, a little embarrassed, and I gained a whole new respect for authors who turn out book after four hundred page book! I must also say that the original version of KILL FM 100 was self-published as was my second thriller, U-TURN KiLLuR.
I have been very fortunate though with KILL FM 100: it has been reviewed favorably by many, even earning a top three finalist position in the 2010 Grace Awards for favorite thriller. So what’s new with the upcoming Night Shift Edition through TreasureLine Publishing? How about a complete novel! I’ve added five additional thrill-packed chapters to the book, giving a bit more insight into the characters and why they’re in the fix they’re in. The dialogue and unrestrained action sequences have also been fleshed out. The core of the original is there, but it reads like a brand new full-throttle, high octane thriller! There’s a lot more to love! Linda Boulanger has designed a killer thriller cover for the novel, and I couldn’t be more excited!
U-TURN KiLLuR has also been revamped, and plans are in the works for a future re-release. It was a more fully developed novel at the onset, and I’d honed my craft a bit since releasing my first novella. I’ve added an additional chapter to the book and have scrubbed up a few scripting errors found in the initial version. When the time comes, it will be re-released as U-TURN KiLLuR (Death Row Edition). Fans of dark thrillers and horror will eat it up!
And finally, I’ve completed a children’s book which will be released under my given name. The title: The Sisterly Shenanigans of Doopie Piper and Sissy Pants (and Other Zany Yarns). The book contains stories that children from ages 5 to 55 will love! Each chapter is based upon true-to-life personal experiences I’ve had when I was younger. I retell the tales through the characters, Doopie and Sissy Pants, in honor of my daughters.
Those are my stories, and I’m sticking to them!
Thank you for your time, Deanna! I genuinely appreciate your giving me the time of day!
As iron sharpens iron…
Deanna: *warming my hands at the fire* Teric, thank you so much for sharing with us! Readers, if you have comments or questions, Teric will be around to answer them. He’ll also be picking a winner on Saturday, Oct 1 and that commenter will win a PDF of Wickflicker!! Please show Teric some love and visit his website where you can find his buy links! Thank you all for stopping in. Please be careful on your way out and follow our guides who will take your flashlights once you are back outside. Watch your step!