Horror month might be over, but the interviews are not. I am honored to be the very first to interview this author. Enjoy!
I’m so excited it’s October. Thank you for letting me interview you.
Today we are sitting down with Steven DeLong to talk about Joined and what makes him tick.
So, you’re a horror author. When did you first realize you loved horror?
From a young age, maybe four or five years old.
What came first? The horror movie or a scary story? Tell me about it.
Book – I don’t remember a time from my childhood when I did not have Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Have you ever met a ghost or had a paranormal experience?
Yes. The Ghosts came with the house (and stayed there when we left thankfully.) We lived in that house until I was seven years old. There were several spirits that haunted the home. The scariest one at the time is the one I call The Watcher. I would see it’s silhouette standing in darkened door frames. Sometimes it would peek around a wall, or try to hide in a corner – just watching. Other spirits made their presence known – turning dials on the radio or television changing the stations. Small objects would be put down in one place then be found in another. The most annoying was the one that would mess with the kitchen cabinets, they never seemed to stay closed overnight.
What is the hardest part of writing horror for you?
For me, it is letting the characters stay true to themselves and not forcing them into a course of action that wouldn’t make sense for the character. I try to plan out my novels, Act I scenes 1-4, Act II Scenes 1-4, ect ect ect, then I am halfway through and nothing coming up in the next few scenes makes sense anymore because the characters have stubbornly developed into someone who just wouldn’t act that way. Goes along with the saying ‘Man Plans, God Laughs’; ‘Authors Plan, Characters laugh’
How far do you go on Halloween?
I have a fully decorated yard. Spider webs, gravestones, skull fences, animatronic jumping spiders and clowns, fog machines, strobe lights, window clings to make it look like a murder scene inside….. I LOVE IT! I wish I could do more – unfortunately I have not won the lottery and cannot afford everything that I want!!!!
Does your ability to write horror impact your ability to enjoy other horror books and movies?
Yes and No. I have read a lot of books on the topics of Demons and exorcisms to try my best to be accurate in writing. Since I began this journey I feel like my ability to enjoy a possession movie has been affected – or there are just a million of them out there that are terrible, maybe both, I don’t know. Other forms of horror and suspense I enjoy just as much as I did before I began writing.
If you could only own one horror book for the rest of your life, which book would you pick?
That is super difficult. Currently I am re-reading Stephen King’s IT. Which is an amazing story, but I think I would have to choose King’s The Dark Half
Do you listen to music while you write? What’s on your horror playlist?
I listen to a lot of different things while I write. The novel Knighted that I have been working on takes place in the early 1990’s, so I take music that was popular at the time and play it to keep me in the time period.
While writing Joined my playlist consisted of Fozzy, Highly Suspect, I Prevail, Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch, Frank Sinatra, Disturbed, Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Johnny Cash….
And finally, what three pieces of advice would you give a fledgling horror writer?
- Things are not going to go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need a plan.
- Don’t be afraid to suck. If you think a paragraph, or a page, or a chapter isnt great – keep going. There will be plenty of edits and rewrites to come. It doesnt have to be perfect and polished the first time around.
- Don’t take a no personal. Writing the novel might be tough but getting it into an agent or a publisher can be even worse. It’s not personal when an agent or publishing house says no. To be fair, the first no is easy to take. But when you hit 30-40 it can start to get discouraging. Let it ride, keep pushing and eventually you will land where you need to.
About the Book
Author: Steven Delong
Genre: Magical Realism/Horror
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Joined-Ashes-Eden-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07VXLSZ3Z/
Every. Single. Time.
What if they were wrong? What if there was a fourth stage? A stage where the human and the Demon blended and become something altogether different. What if they became Joined.
Joined brings you into a world in which the Church doesn’t have everything right every time. Preacher is a former Catholic Exorcist who left the Church because politics got in the way of saving lives.
Now the life he trying to save belongs to a woman that he loves. Becoming Joined with one of the most power Demons in Hell, the ancient voodoo goddess Damballa, the person that once was M.C. has become Baba Doek.
Desperate to find answers that the Church couldn’t provide, Preacher has assembled a team of two apprentices and a witch to help him separate the Demon from its host.
Discovery of Ancient magical objects along with a terrifying Demonic plot sets our team of heroes on a collision course to save the world as we know it.
There were changes in the Demons demeanor now too. It was sweating, thrashing against its restraints. Its low guttural hellion language was barely audible. It was casting its own spell work. Countering their craft with its own. The Demon was using a lot of the host soul’s power. Its lips begin cracking and bleeding. Its eyes began to sink into the skull, and the hair began to thin. The Demon was losing its hold and the body began to look like one that was normally possessed, not Joined.
Preacher continued his commands with force. The Demon began thrashing in the chair so violently that the front two legs were lifting off the ground and slamming into the floor. A cut opened on the Demons cheek and pea green pus began to ooze from the wound. The slamming began to slow as the front legs of the chair stayed in the air longer and longer.
The eyes of the Demon turned almost solid white and the pupils and retinas lost color. They were the eyes of the blind and soulless. The eyes were unseeing and uncaring. The Demon leaned to the right as the chair was in the air and balanced it on one leg. Slowly the chair began to spin in a counter-clockwise circle. The rotations began slowly but quickly picked up the pace.
Preacher’s commands from the Lord were being ignored. The Demon was collecting power and self-confidence as it turned the chair faster in circles. The wind came again, threatening the candles that Raz had lit for her ceremony. The volume of the Demons chanting grew until it was hard to hear anything but the Demon. The sound became deafening.
Preacher threw holy water onto the spinning Demon but it had enough time to prepare and focus, the fucking thing didn’t even flinch. The Demons arc began to widen; the chair was tilted back at almost forty-five degrees as it spun in its circle. As the Demon passed Preacher and came around for another spin Preacher did the only thing that he could think of. He slammed the big Bible closed and swung it as hard as he could at the Demons head.
It wasn’t as loud as a baseball bat would have been. The forty-pound book was not aerodynamic in the slightest. But it was heavy, solid, and ironically enough, the word of God being swung at a Demons head. The result was impressive. The counter-clockwise motion of the chair ceased immediately and reversed. The chair actually spun clockwise twice before planting all four legs back on the ground. The wind ceased immediately and there was a silence that fell over the room.
About the Author
Steven DeLong is a 15 year Army Veteran, with tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and is an Ordained Minister in the Church of Latter Day Dude.
Social stalker links:
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Steven-DeLong
Amazon book page: https://www.amazon.com/Joined-Ashes-Eden-Chronicles-Book
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