To acknowledge and celebrate the incredible writers who’s works I have had the pleasure to read, I thought it was time to include a Q & A series on my blog. I hope you will join me on this new journey and discover the treasure trove of the writing world.
I would like to introduce you to Dean Peake. I first ‘met’ Dean via twitter @DeanP11. I had retweeted a tweet of his, it was a competition to win copies of his short stories. I don’t usually win anything but was surprised to get a message from Dean saying I had won. I read his two stories of which I enjoyed and the rest as they say is history.
Luciana: How and when did you get interested in writing?
Dean: I’ve always been interested in writing for as long as I can remember. I remember filling writing pads of paper with stories when I was a kid. (I wish I had them now. Some were pretty good as I remember them). I used to show them to family members and friends and they all told me I had talent, which of course, boosted my ego. But I was still a kid and more interested in doing things kids do, so I never got real serious about it until just a few years ago. I have a real job that requires quite a bit of travel, so I decided to figure out a way to make my travel time more useful. I discovered freelance writing and work for hire websites like Freelance.com. I started filling my hotel and airplane time with churning out articles and short stories for a few bucks here and there. As any author knows, the more you write, the more you love it. So I started writing more for myself. That is how my Indie author career started.
Luciana: Did you set out to write short stories or was it a genre you wanted to explore?
Dean: Almost all of my work up until very recently has been short stories. Ideas I would come up with on business trips. I’d write them and design book covers for them and then publish them. I am only just now working on my first full length novel. Hopefully it will be ready to publish sometime this summer.
Luciana: Your short story Olivia’s Gamble is a familiar one, a young woman who tries to escape the lecherous nature of Lord Barrister. By chance she bumps into and falls in love with the handsome Gabriel. He vows to protect her and the two run away after a particular nasty dinner. What inspired you to write this story?
Dean: My wife actually inspired me to write a romance story. The idea is basically hers. As I tried to turn her idea into written words it turned into more of an adventure story with a little romance thrown in. At least, that’s the way I see it. (I am a guy, after all). I like to think of the story as an adventure/romance. I also intend to write a couple sequels. So far it has been pretty well received.
Luciana: The Gaslight is quite different to Olivia’s Gamble, told in first person point of view and a mystery. Why did you choose Paris as the setting for the story? What more can you tell about the premise of this story?
Dean: The Gaslight sort of just popped into my head as I was sitting at my laptop writing a different story. Honestly, I am not real sure where it came from, but I do think it says a lot about my writing. I am hugely inspired by old horror movies. Especially the old Hammer horror movies from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. These were familiar stories, (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, etc.) but Hammer was a master at eerie settings and gothic details. I try to capture those same type of settings in my stories. I chose Paris as the setting here because, well, Paris can be kind of creepy, don’t you think?
Luciana: In both short stories, the dark side of human nature is the basis of the theme. What is it about this behaviour that draws you? What do you hope readers will take from these stories?
Dean: I tend to be drawn to those type of stories when I buy books, too. Stories that don’t necessarily have happy endings and don’t necessarily have good guys as heroes. Isn’t the dark side of human nature much more interesting than the good side? I don’t know, maybe I need a good psychologist.
I’m am not sure what readers will take away from my not so nice stories. I suppose if the reader is looking for a light hearted, happy, all’s well at the end type of a story they will be disappointed. But for the reader looking for something dark with interesting not-so-nice characters, I hope they will come back for more in the future.
Luciana: In our communications, you told me you write erotica under a pseudonym. What challenges do you face when writing these different genres?
Dean: I started writing erotica without the intention of never publishing it. But I did. I could not tell you why. I just did. Strangely enough my erotica outsells any other genre that I write by far. I am not sure what that says about my erotica writing, if anything. It probably says more about the culture.
The biggest challenge here is having to check two different accounts for my sales, one for my mainstream work and one for my erotica. Which isn’t much of a challenge at all, really.
Luciana: Are there any writers who have inspired your own writings?
Dean: Yes. Absolutely. Ann Rice introduced me to the horror genre many, many years ago with her Vampire Chronicles. Steven Kings book ‘The Shining’ was the first book that actually scared me. Before that I could not have believed that reading a book could be scary. Lately it has been China Mieville with his weird fiction, and R. Scott Bakker, a Canadian writer that is an absolute master at world building epic fiction. Also, I love the classic authors that specialized in the dark Macabre, like Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker, E.A. Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
Luciana: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Dean: Shamefully I have not yet mastered the large portfolio of social networking that is recommended for all authors. And since I am an Indie author I have to do all of my own advertising and networking. I have a twitter account and a FaceBook page, and I just started a blog on Goodreads. But there is not a lot there, I must admit.
My goal for this year is to widen my social network footprint. The best place to find my mainstream work is on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DeanP11
Or on http://www.Amazon.com and Just search my Name. Anybody wanting more information can reach me at Dean.Peake@Gmail.com.