January 13, 2015

Interview with Author D.S. Ullery @dsullery

And we're back! HorrorNerd here and it's been a drought here in form of content but I'm back. I recently had the opportunity to get to know Author D.S. Ullery. Hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the author's work.
From 2002-2003, D.S. repeatedly contributed material to the independent horror magazine Hacker's Source, during which time his short story "I Knew the Witch" was published in the magazine.

Following his tenure at Hacker, D.S. worked as a full time writer at The Lake Worth Herald, the community newspaper of his hometown Lake Worth, Florida. After that, the cinema bug bit him and he enrolled in the Palm Beach Film School, completing the program in early 2008 and going on to write, direct, edit and -in two instances- appear in four independent short films, all of which are available for viewing on Youtube and at least one of which is straight supernatural horror.
In May of 2013, after an almost five year absence from writing fiction, D.S. returned to the craft he loves so much.
The author can be found online at: Facebook Twitter

  • Your story "Gruff123" dealt with school bullying. Growing up did you experience bullying and did those experiences inspire you to write "Gruff123"?
Good question. Yes, I was frequently bullied in school – I had a stalker at one point- and yes that was something which informed the narrative. I'm also a survivor of years of childhood abuse, so the idea of people who terrorize both psychologically and physically those who are vulnerable is a theme in my work.  My short story “Afloat” is another one that touches on the consequences of abuse/bullying.
I actually prefer to be included in a larger anthology/collection, to be honest. Not to say that I'm not thrilled with every magazine, E-zine or website one of my stories has appeared in/on – believe me, I am - but there's something about being included in a book with other authors of horror fiction that makes me feel as if I really am connected to a larger community of writers.  It doesn't hurt that my work has shared space with such talented wordsmiths as  Todd Keisling, Robin Dover, Lori Lopez and Terry M.West.
  • In "A Strange Taste In Ornamentation" part of your 'Double Shot of Horror' you turned a typical lawn decoration seen all around into a source of pure terror. I've always found those little things creepy. What inspired that story?
That was part of a flash fiction contest that was happening on a Facebook page this guy had thrown together. Each of us were issued a photo at random and had to conjure up a tale of a thousand words or less. Mine was a picture of this decayed, evil looming zombie garden gnome and I almost immediately thought to myself  (because this is how my mind works) 'What if someone had a swarm of those things crawling allover them, trying to eat them?' 

I built the rest of the story on that foundation. I'm particularly fond of that piece, by the way. I like the old school Tales from the Crypt vibe I managed with that. For the record, that same contest was how I met fellow author Rich Young. The earliest version of his excellent horror story “The Scraping” was his entry.
  • Who are some of your biggest inspirations in the world of horror fiction?
Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson and William Gaines, who created EC Comics and therefore Tales from the Crypt. Rod Serling is one of my all time heroes. What I love about Serling is that he used science fiction and horror to expose truths about human nature in a way that wasn't heavy handed. The same can be said for Ray Bradbury, who is the master of the short story.
  • For aspiring writers, would you mind telling us how you find time to write with a full time job, family and etc?
You make the time.  If you want to write, then write. Even if you're tired, drag yourself to the keyboard and get something down. I know it can be rough, but the only way to do it is to do it. I half jokingly refer to my writing efforts as my second full time job, because when I'm not actually writing new material, I'm working on marketing/selling the stuff that's ready to go. You gotta put the time in.  I'm working on my first novella right now and a lot of it as been written in snatches during lunch hours at work. That's how it gets done. 
  • If you had to be buried with one piece of horror fiction and one horror movie what would you choose?
For the book, I have to go back to where my love of horror literature truly began: The Shining by Stephen King. I read that when I was ten and I've never looked back. Horror movie? John Carpenter's Halloween, which is still my all time favorite horror film. 
  • Do you prefer cgi or practical effects in horror movies and why?
Practical. They have more tangibility. Plus, I was a teenager in the 1980's. It was all about practical effects back then
  • Tell us about your current or upcoming projects?
Well, you mentioned “Journals of Horror: Found Fiction”, which is still making the rounds on Amazon. My story “Truant” is in that one. As I understand it, a print version is due at some point. My short story Transient” is currently available in Issue #10 of The Literary Hatchet. I have a short story titled The New Meat” - which offers a unique spin on zombies- coming out in an upcoming issue of Disturbed Digest
I'm also going to be a part of two different anthologies due to be released by March 2015. One is called Creature Stew- a collection of stories about creepy crawlies. I have a nasty little shocker called The Basement” in that one. Then my story Afloat” will appear in the Paying the Ferryman collection from Charon Coin Press. In addition, I'm hard at work on my first novella/short novella, a bizarre tale titled Drake”. So 2015 is starting with a bang!