INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF, "THE NECRO DEVICE" & "DARKNESS & DAEMONS" SERIES, M.T. DISMUKE
Hello Mike! Thank you so much for taking time to interview with us. You and I speak frequently on the phone and you have so many awesome ideas for your novels. Enlighten us on some of those ideas, tell us about what you already have out and plans for future works.
Hi Kitty and thank you for your interest in my current and future work. Currently I have a full length novel out titled, The Necro Device which is my debut novel. The story is in intricate web of betrayal and secrets with a twisting plot that keeps readers on edge. The Necro Device is a suspense thriller on the darker side and is a very unique, captivating, and thrilling story that readers get to live as events unfold.
My current work is Darkness & Daemons: Invasion. It's composed of 11 short stories that are slated for release once per month throughout 2012. The concept behind the story was to create a non-stop action sequence that allowed readers to interact and feel like they're living the event along with the other characters. The series has 5 main characters that readers follow along with and in the end can choose their favorite to finish the series. The main characters have many traits and not all of them are what we would consider 'good'. Some are evil while others are just plan bizarre. The story itself is a dark fantasy laced with drama as survivors try to escape the brutal, out-of-control, evil force with alien-like properties.
As for future novels I actually have many ideas. The story I'll mention here is the one I'm working on right now. It's another full length novel titled, Cult of Tattoo. The story takes place 100ish years into the future. I'm basically predicting what society will be like based on current day technology and then fast forwarding time into a future Earth. To me this does two things. It opens eyes at what current day technology is truly capable of as it evolves and secondly it allows readers to live the future that most of us won't ever see. That, however, is only the back drop. Cult of Tattoo is a mind-bending, twisting story built in an internet run world that is fully interactive no matter where one is. It's everywhere. It's everything. Imagine instead of sitting at your pc or using your phone to use the internet that instead we just walked outside our house and could breathe it, touch it, and see it. The story digs even deeper into humanity and our own survival as a race. The main drive of the story is evolution. Not of the internet. Not of computers. The evolution of humans. The story will be like the rest my stories, presence tense and living it as it unfolds. The story revolves around Tyler Andrew Tipton, but don't call him that; call him Tat.
You recently wrote one short story called "Lewis Levi, U.S. Marshal Protecting the Transit." I already know the story behind why you decided to write this humorous novel but I'd like you to share that with our readers if you will.
Well, I'm not one to write comedy meaning that I never thought I would... but I did. What inspired me to write it was the fact of how easy people let our privacy be invaded when convinced that it is good for us. I was watching the news and there was a report of somebody failing the security metal detector at the airport yet swore it was malfunctioned and they asked to pass through it a second time. They wouldn't let them. Instead, they had to have a body search. I thought, sheesh, why not let them go through it again before putting your hands all over them? So I question... What do we give up? What are we protecting? How far does it go? I know many may agree with TSA style searches but the real question is how far does it go before we decide it's no longer acceptable? How many years have we lived without that sort of treatment? Most of all, how truly effective is it? In my mind, if somebody is bent on destruction, they will find away. I basically wrote a short story satire using extreme... EXTREME measures to insure the safety of a transit system, buses. The procedures may be extreme, but given what we already accept, it could be our future. After writing it, I foresaw other episodes for Lewis Levi. I sort of got attached to him. I'm not making any promises here, but there may be some more adventures for him.
Now your current work that you are slaving away at, at the moment is "Darkness & Daemons" tell us about how these stories are set up and what you hope to accomplish with this series.
Darkness & Daemons is a short story series that I began almost 7 years ago. The original vision has changed somewhat since then, but the main idea behind the story still exists. The first volume of Darkness & Daemons is Invasion. It's the introductory volume as the 'evil' forces begin working their way into our world. The story has very unique formatting properties. Since the story has time-repeating scenes it allowed me to tell the story from multiple advantage points. For instance, stories 1 through 5 are actually 5 different main characters living the exact same moments in time, but the reader gets to see each story from that characters perspective. What makes it even more fun is that the other characters and their stories are weaving in and out of the other stories. So you may see a 'mysterious person' in the current story being read then later you get to see the story behind the 'mysterious person' and walk in their shoes. Stories 6 – 10, the repeating time stops and the characters can now work together and advance. Story 11 is 5 endings; one for each of the characters. This allows the reader to follow their favorite character as well as see what the others did. These endings are the beginning of Volume II; Onslaught which will be released later on. Another unique formatting property I used with this series is each story begins with a statement from the lead character of that story. It basically allows the reader to get inside their head and learn information about them, their mindset at the time, and what's driving them before their next story unfolds. Most of all, the stories are designed to be non-stop action, captivating, and intense!
Everyone usually has authors that they are inspired by, who are some of your all time favorites?
Many things inspire me. It's not just one author or one idea, it's many many authors, concepts, and ideas put together. This may sound funny, but as a child I was highly inspired to write due to the Dungeon and Dragons game concepts. I loved these imaginary worlds. One in particular that really inspired me to write was the Ravenloft Realm of Terror set written by Bruce Nesmith and Andria Hayday. This was probably the beginning of my writing career. Prior to that I always loved to tell stories and in many many formats. I even wrote software games as a child on the, dare I say, commodore 64. The game Zork which is basically an interactive story got me to devote many of my teenage years writing interactive stories for the computer. Although I tend to write darker themed stories, I have a hard time calling my work horror. The question is, how did the dark themed ideas get into my work? One Author that truly inspired me was Bram Stoker. For a while I was really into the vampire world... I even wrote a 4 part campaign setting based on Ravenloft guidelines and hosted it at a local card shop. Oh gosh the story was so compelling and interesting that those who took part in it, bragged about it. After about 8 months, I had to turn people down because I couldn't keep up with all those that were interested in taking part. It was crazy. Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire was another story that really got me thinking. I liked walking in the shoes of the bad guy. That concept alone can be found in Darkness & Daemons because two of the characters are bad guys. Just because somebody is bad or evil, in my mind, does not mean they don't have a good story to tell.
When did you first realize that writing was what you wanted most to do with your life and what was it that helped you make that decision?
I began writing or 'telling stories' when I was around 8 or 9. I used to make up games and stories to entertain and scare my younger brother. I started programming games when I was around 13ish. I did that for about 3 years then slowly backed away from writing and story telling as I stepped into the adult world. Around the age of 26 I wrote the vampire campaign. It took me a few months to do it, and I think that was the turning point for me and made me think about writing more stories. Shortly after, this is when the eureka moment hit. I had a vision, a dream. It woke me up in the middle of the night and I knew, I knew I was going to write my first full length novel. That's when The Necro Device came to me. It wasn't that easy though. I was busy. I didn't have a clue how to write a full novel nor did I have the time. Basically that idea smoldered in my mind for about 3 to 4 years. I had repeated nightmares about it. Eventually it was all I could think of. I had to write it and get it out of my head. During that time, I foresaw many other titles which some are currently being written while others are still in outline.
Now I did not realize until after reading your bio that you were born in Italy. How long did you live there before moving to the states and what were the circumstances for you being born there?
I was actually a military brat. My father Tom Dismuke was serving in Italy at the time I was born. I lived there until the age of 3 and can't recall much of it. Unfortunately, I never learned the language. I have never been back, but someday I hope to revisit my birth place. There is a part of me that misses it even though I can't remember it. It's hard to explain.
You are really into pushing the action in your novels and not so much dependent on romantic aspects. What are your beliefs as far as writing a great novel goes?
Thank you for noticing. I do strive to make my stories action first. I use this as a guideline when writing. I want action to tell it, not me. Meaning, I don't want to narrate to the reader of how somebody feels or why something the way it is, rather, I want action to tell it. I believe this makes for a more intense and thrilling read. The other thing I really focus on in writing is emotion play. I may not write romance novels, but I do have elements of romance in all my stories. People connect with emotion, so using it as a tool for story telling is very important to me. Something I rarely ever mention about my writing is I use emotion to create an intense atmosphere. Here's an inside scoop on The Necro Device in how I used emotion to fully enthrall the reader, and I did this purposely. There is a scene in The Necro Device for Thanksgiving Dinner. The scene was written as a comedy scene to hopefully invoke laughter. In this example I used comedy as a key to unlock the readers emotions. The reason for this was because the following chapters were utterly, nail-biting intense. I wanted the readers attention and emotions at full throttle from that point forward.
What is your long-term goal in life and where would you like to see yourself in the next 10 years?
Life questions are always tough because it never seems to play out the way you hope. All one can do is try. As for now, I have committed myself to writing. I, however, cannot continue this committeemen indefinitely. Being such a new author in the world of writing and publishing it has made it very tough to earn a living. I have set aside my education, training, and skills to purse writing. So this is the promise I made myself. I plan on completing Darkness & Daemons and Cult of Tattoo. At that time, I will promote my books and take a few steps back from writing until I can start earning a simple living with it. At this point in my life is where things get fuzzy. A lot of what happens from there all depends on how well my books are doing. If they are doing well I will most likely begin work on the next novel. (I have a few to choose from) If not, I will have to return to my field which is a full time job and training, and I won't have much time to write anymore. I will, however, continue to work on Darkness & Daemons until all 3 volumes are complete. That story in its basic design allows me to write mainly because each story is a short story. It's the really big novels that eat up so much of my time and mentality. I have a very hard time writing those novels while working or in school due to the complexity of them. They basically consume me. As for in 10 years... If all goes as planned I hope to be working on my 7 or 8 full length novel at that time with The Necro Device showing in a theater near you.:)
When not writing what are some of your favorite pastimes or hobbies?
Oh gosh... It all depends. Before I was writing, I used to program all the time as a hobby, but I have not done that for a couple years now. A few of the things I truly enjoy doing are... I love playing interactive games with dark themes and puzzles such as Resident Evil. I also enjoy playing MMO's. Outside the realm of computers, I'm big into world news. I love keeping up with world events, but that's probably not a hobby:P I'm captivated by cosmology, technology, physics, and ufology. I love reading up on all of that stuff. Basically if I'm not writing, I'm reading or playing. When I do find time to escape and get away, I enjoy going to the mountains. In addition, I'm a HUGE fan of The Walking Dead series. I won't miss that for anything!
Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors? Please give us your links as well, so we can learn more about you and your works.
I'll try to make my advice a bit different than the norm. Obviously if you want to put out a novel you have to write it, revise it, edit it, and polish it. Talking about it and dreaming about it are all indicators that you want to tell a story, but until you finish it, it's just that; talk and dreams, so finish it!
My best advice is to stick to what you know. Tell it the way YOU want to tell it; not somebody else. There is no wrong or right way to tell a story, it is your story and your way that makes it unique and captivating. I say this because I almost gave up on writing a few years ago because this 'Mr. Knowitall' read a public post on my first chapter. They told me how much my work sucked and to give up writing that I didn't know what I was doing. It angered me, but most of all, it made me question it and evaluate it more. I actually did make changes, the ones he hated, because it made me realize those were my strong points. Then with a bit more help from some friends, The Necro Device became more than just a dream, it became reality. I write present tense. I lead with action. I love intense scenes. It took many years to refine my style, but in the end The Necro Device is my vision, my work, my dream, and my story the way I felt it should be told. I didn't give up and I didn't quit. That person who told me how to write is probably still on that very same forum telling others how to write and has yet to publish a single novel. Don't be or listen to that person, be yourself.
My novels can currently be found on Amazon: The Necro Device and Darkness & Daemons in ebook. The Necro Device is in paperback as well. They will be available on nook in April/May and on other websites.
The best place to find links to my novels, information, and updates is on my website:
Thanks once again Kitty for this opportunity. For those interested... Please pick up The Necro Device and experience the intensity and suspense for yourself. It's not like anything you've read before. It's one of those gem stories... You have to experience it before you can believe it. It's that amazing.
Thank you again Mike for this wonderful opportunity, I do hope we can do this again in the future!
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