Check out this awesome interview with Author David C. Cassidy and his Dark Fantasy novel 'Velvet Rain'
David C. Cassidy--author, photographer, half-decent
juggler--spends his writing life creating dark and touching stories where Bad
Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of
nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding
the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his
characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts
when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.
David lives in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to
Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod.
Suffering from MAD--Multiple Activity Disorder--he divides his time between
writing and blogging, photography and photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An
avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his
telescope. Sometimes he eats.
What genre would you
like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?
Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a
standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?
I order them on eBay. However, there are times when I come up with things on my
tend to like very dark stories with very real characters, so I often draw on my
natural interest in what’s going on around us. All one has to do is look to our
human failures for inspiration. Darkness surrounds us.
don’t use formulas—I’m not plot-driven. For me, a story usually comes to me as
one big thought. Not that I know all the details, certainly, but I usually know
where I’m going from start to finish in a general sense. The characters tell me
what to write—it’s their story.
When you start a new story, do you have a title
for it? Does that trigger the story?
often inpsired by titles. It gives me something tangible to sink my teeth into.
Like a leg.
Do you see the future of thrillers and horror as
bright? If so, which authors are driving it?
write thrillers and horror, but I read pretty much anything. I think all genres
have a bright future. Talent is everywhere.
like to think Indies are driving this future. That’s not a conceit. It’s a hope
that talented people will get the recognition and success they work so hard to
What themes are being overused?
until I became hooked on The Walking
Dead, I thought zombies needed a quick burial. (They still do. But I really
do want to see World War Z. When Brad
Pitt’s in a film, it has to have substance.)
I don’t think we can avoid saturation on any subject. Everything’s been done,
done, and redone. We’re all ripping off Shakespeare at one point. While I’m not
a zombie-film or zombie-book fan, if something’s well written with strong
characters, I’m in. It’s all about the storytelling.
Do movies of books ruin the books?
Not with good direction and sensitivity. Take a look at some of the amazing
adaptations of Stephen King’s books: The Mist, The Shawshank Redemption, The
Green Mile, Stand By Me. These are classic films directed by ultra-talented
directors who know that, regardless of the content, it’s the characters that
make the magic.
Do you see ebooks threatening traditional
see a permanent co-existence. There will always be books. There may not be as
many publishing houses churning out the hardcovers, but they will always be
with us. If I’m wrong and the world loses that, we’re smaller in a big way.
Do you prefer to read established authors or
debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?
I pick something up and I like how it reads, I’ll read it.
What is it about thrillers and horror that
appeals to you?
Can I get an autographed book? (lol)
This is the best reason we need to
keep real books. I’ll send one today.
Do you have a group of people that you show a
new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?
don’t have beta-readers. I write what the story tells me to write. It is what
it is. If people like it, so much the better.
Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?
I did, Velvet Rain wouldn’t be what
it is. It’s just my opinion, but I think that setting limits on a story is a
critical mistake. It’s shackling. I can’t imagine Tolkien ever said, “Maybe I
could cut out the Hobbits, keep it under 90K.”
Do you have a target each day?
Breakfast and working out. Oh … you mean writing targets. Nope. That’s
shackling, too. Why would I force myself to write a specific number of words
when I can write as many or as little as I need?
Do you write constantly or have breaks between
no. I write when I write. The story’s not going to run off and join the circus.
It’ll be right there when I get back.
me, the brain needs to figure things out between books or chapters or scenes.
Trying to sit there everyday wouldn’t work for me. My brain’s way too
overactive in so many areas of interest. I’d get bored if I wrote every day.
Do you have characters running around your head?
Do they dictate events and their histories to you?
don’t see dead people … but I do hear voices. The characters in my stories are
as real to me as you are. I spend a great deal of time researching and creating
histories of my characters long before I write a single word. Only by knowing
what’s in their hearts can I tell their story.
What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?
I don’t watch a ton of it, but I always feel like it’s wasting my time. Why do
I keep watching? I could tell you that there’s always something good on, but we all know that’s a damn lie.
Do you read other people’s writing?
works? No. One of my biggest fears is the question, “Would you read mine?”
Would you read mine?
just scared the shit out of me.
Velvet Rain is a dark thriller of suspense, horror, and drama.
[Contains graphic violence and profanity.]
"Exceptional writing on a par with Stephen King
"Dean Koontz would be proud of this writer
"A dark horror-thriller ... reveals the evils
of humanity ... the demons hidden under human flesh."
"It's a gripping read--at times chilling, at
times humorous, and at times deeply moving."
HE WAS BORN A MIRACLE. IT WILL TAKE ONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.
Kain Richards is the last of his kind--and a man on the run. So when this
mysterious drifter falls for a beautiful and sensible Iowa farmwoman, he knows
full well the perils of getting too close. And yet, for the first time in his
miserable existence, life feels normal ... feels real. But as those around him
soon realize, reality is not what it seems. For when a tragic accident forces
Kain's hand, his astonishing secret--and godlike power--changes their lives,
and the world, forever.
from Velvet Rain:
A massive steel beast, the convex door received an
electronic signal at the click of a square button, a blinking green lamp nearly
fifty steps away. Its locks disengaged with a hiss from its pressurized seals.
There was a soft hum from its automated drive system as it shifted forward,
then left, along its curved support tracks, a solid thunk as its braking system engaged, and then nothing. It weighed
three tons, was eight inches thick, as thick as the walls of the enormous
sphere that it sealed. Though awesome in size, perhaps the volume of a spacious
living room, the sphere itself was but a silver islet, lost in the black ocean
that swallowed it. Indeed, this ocean was but one of many, a mere pond in the
vast and intricate web of the Complex.
Two men, one named Christensen and one named Strong,
moved without a word. They hurried past the door, and their footsteps echoed
sharply as they entered the sphere. They worked quickly, Strong supporting the
woman in a full nelson, Christensen fumbling with trembling fingers to release
her feet. Strong, the bigger of the two burly soldiers, expressed his distaste
for this particular part of the work, whispering sharply to Christensen to move
his goddamn ass, she stinks like shit, she’s fucking bleeding all over me.
Christensen, who had given three-to-one to Strong figuring the woman would be
dead by now, fumbled with the chains. He sliced his thumb on a sharp edge of
the clasp on her left ankle and stifled a Fuck.It was another full minute before they freed her and dragged
her from the chamber by the arms.
“Clean it,” Brikker told them, eyeing the blood they
had messed the floor with. His chilling voice carried as if from nowhere, for
the good Doctor stood where he always stood, just beyond the grasp of the
light. In fact, save the gaping exit from whence the soldiers entered, there
seemed no definable boundary to this shapeless place, a cavernous pit of misery
which the men called the Crypt.
“All of it.”
They knew he meant the shit. The soldiers looked up
from the steel chair they had slipped the woman into, shielding their eyes from
the light with a raised hand. When Christensen didn’t move right away, Strong
ordered him to move his goddamn ass again. They strapped the woman in by her
arms and legs, and finished with a strap round her forehead and one round her
throat. The hot light above the chair bled her skin white, and the blood along
her body a muted watercolor reminiscent of faded paint. She seemed neither
living nor dead, and Christensen, visibly shaken, lipped something that no one
could hear. Strong prodded him, and they moved efficiently and effectively in
true military magic, cleaning the mess. Strong mopped the blood and told
Christensen to clean the shit from the floor and from the woman, and upon completing their tasks, they
hurried to the exit without being dismissed. The orders were implicit.
Christensen—a private who held wild dreams of making
Captain or Major, but knew in his heart that, despite his complete discretion
and his certainty that no one was the wiser, in This Man’s Army he would attain
neither rank, for he was not averse to taking a good dick up the ass or down
the throat now and then—a private who had been told to report for duty a week
ago this morning, on the orders of some fat cat named Albrecht down at Area
51—a private who until a week ago this morning had believed that the world was
black and white, and that time travel was an even bigger pile of horseshit than
UFO’s—had nearly made his escape.
“Christ doesn’t save queers.”
The words had come from no discernible source,
and Christensen, whose throat had suddenly found itself as dry as the Nevada
hellhole he now called home, somehow managed a girlish Yes sirand summarily made his way into the
back of Strong. Strong, a seasoned lieutenant who just three weeks ago had
taken the reigns from one Lieutenant James Riley (apparently the
thirty-five-year-old Riley had a change of heart regarding the Project, blowing
his brains out like that over the handling of this pitiable waitress from
Missouri), glared at the private. Christensen began to ramble on about how he
wasn’t a queer, sir, not me, no way, sir, and Strong told him to shut the hell
up, just bolt the fucking door. Later, while masturbating in his bunk to the
salacious mental image of blowing Strong, Christensen would climax, and at that
precise moment would wonder, as he had all day, how the good Doctor could
possibly have heard him say Christ. It had been more thought than
whisper, he had barely heard it himself.
A wide bank of multicolored lamps blinked randomly
in silent rhythm, betraying some sort of control panel. Suddenly there was the
strike of a wooden match and a flare of flame beyond the lights. At this the
woman’s eyes shot open, only to narrow from the intensity of the spotlight; she
could only peer into the blackness now. Her breathing had grown sharp and
desperate. Her lips trembled. Her mouth sat slightly open, revealing a dark gap
where three of her top teeth had been pulled from their roots.
A hint of smoke from the spent match lingered in the
air. It breached the edge of the darkness as it passed her, only to be
swallowed again. She seemed to settle a little, but then her eyes widened as a
glowing red ember grew and shrank like a beating heart, as her captor drew on
A cutting cough rattled her, its bite seeming to
strike from all directions. The sound was sickly.
Somewhere . . . a clock ticked.
Time stilled. That pulsing heart stopped and faded
to black. Brikker extinguished the cigarette in a container that, among the
throng of spent cancer sticks, held three toenails and the bloodied left
lateral and two central incisors of an adult human female. He paused to study
them, amazed at the surprising will of the woman. She was remarkable, truly. If
only these peons like Strong and Christensen were half as strong as she. He
flipped the lid closed. He would break her. He would fill this thing if need
Brikker stepped to her left. Every sound seemed
highly tuned and amplified, sharp yet indefinable.
“So . . . what do we know? Hmmm? What
do we know.”
The woman stiffened. Her eyes darted as those
elusive footfalls came again.
She uttered a small shriek when Brikker touched her.
“Shhhhh.” He was right behind her now, whispering
from the dark. He stroked her scalp with an ochred finger stained from a
lifetime of smoking, let it run along the imperfect form of her skull; let it
trace the four black digits tattooed there. Someone—Richards, he supposed—might have found her attractive. He found her repulsive.
Most women were.
“Shhhhh,” he whispered
again. “That’s better. Perhaps you’d like something to eat, hmmm?”
The woman tried to nod,
but her bonds prevented such an act. She uttered a yes that was hardly
“Soon,” Brikker told her.
“As much as you want.”
The woman squirmed,
trying to hold it in. Finally, she urinated. Her piddle dribbled over the edge
of the chair and pooled at her feet.
“Do you know what day it
is?” The words circled in the darkness with every step.
There was no reply. The
eyes told him no.
His voice rose slightly.
“Tell me your name.”
There was some
hesitation, but then the words came dutifully, if dismally—four digits—not a
syllable more. He grinned.
“Do you remember Sarah?
“DO YOU REMEMBER
SARAH-JANE?” The words blasted
from the blackness like bullets.
She was lying. He could
smell deception, as if it were a rotting carcass splayed before him. He stepped
into the light, his formlessness becoming form in silhouette. He paused, and
then he slapped her with brutal force.
The woman wept. Her
breath came as a thin whistle through the wide gap where her upper teeth had
been. Her eyes, bulging from her emaciated face, gave her the appearance of a
The physician retreated to
the console. He pressed three lamps, red-yellow-red in precise order. There was
a slight delay, and then a projector lamp switched on, giving life to a grainy
black-and-white image on a large viewing screen.
The subject was a
handsome Aryan, no older than fifteen. He was once a violinist, a virtuoso from
Braunschweig whose performances brought tears to the eye. And yet, like the
Australian, and later, the American, he had been skilled in so much more.
The boy, clearly
frightened, was on the verge of tears.
Grinning behind the lens,
Brikker took the woman’s photograph, then distanced himself from the reliable
oak tripod that supported a green 4 x 5 Graphic camera. It was a solid military
model, the workhorse of the press photographer and madmen.
“Do you recognize this
“No . . .
yes.” She did not look away. She had learned the lesson well, to keep her eyes
trained on the images.
Brikker pressed a red
lamp, summoning a second image of the boy. Bruises and cuts had ruined his
Hollywood looks. Once he had tried to escape, had tried to Turn to a time prior
to his capture—indeed, all had tried—and like the others, had failed. Like the
others, he had been sedated for nearly eight weeks upon arrival, a duration too
far, even for Richards’ godlike power. Unlike the sedatives, the experimental
mind-enhancing drugs had been designed to elevate their abilities, and while
there had been the expected setbacks and suffering, all valuable lessons, he
had met with great, if mixed, success. Their Sense had sharpened to a fine
edge, their skill of Turning to a precise duration had become second nature,
their capacity to recover quickly had vastly improved, but their ultimate reach
had been reduced to mere minutes—impressive, certainly, yet not nearly
acceptable to Albrecht—nor to Brikker. Still, despite the current limitations,
he was certain that in time he could control the Turn, as easily as one could
the winding of a simple clock. Perhaps extend the reach—his reach—to a
time of his choosing.
“And him? Do you know
“Know him? I don’t—”
“Have you seen
“On-on the screen. In a
A new image, full in
length. The boy was starkly naked. Burns and welts and bruises ravaged his
shriveled frame. His head was shaved. Wires and sensors snaked across his body.
His eyes were open, only barely; they were black from beatings. Still, they
remained obedient, focused squarely on the lens.
“Do you know his name?”
The woman struggled to
remember. “Two, I think.” The last word came out shink.
Another image. A close-up
of a fine scar near the young man’s temple.
“Have you seen this mark
A press of the lamp
produced a fifth image, but not of the boy. The man appeared unharmed, although
it was clear he was under some kind of duress. He was deeply tanned, clearly
weathered, in his late sixties or early seventies.
“And this one? Have you
seen this man?”
“In a picture,” the woman
said. Her eyes faltered a moment, then shifted back to the image. “On the
She acknowledged she did
not know him as the other photographs followed. The last image lingered,
hovering in the blackness like a horrifying nightmare that strains the mind
long after you have bolted awake. The one of the dairy farmer from Melbourne—the
Australian who had cast his magic to save two little girls from a runaway
bushfire back in 1938, the one who would save the very same twins eleven years
later—the one with the shaved head and dead, dead eyes. The one with his throat
Another lamp, green and
pulsing, turned solid as Brikker pressed it; he knew its location without
looking. More silence ensued, save that damnable ticking, and then a wide
door—not the bolted one through which the soldiers had fled, but another, on
the opposite side of this seemingly boundless tomb—opened like a great mouth,
sliding upward into an imperceptible wall. A deep hum accompanied its laborious
movement. A dim light in a corridor revealed a brute of a man standing behind
someone in a wheelchair. Strong wheeled in the chair and set it into position
between a pair of red hash marks, set the brake, and without a word, was gone.
Brikker depressed the green lamp, and that yawning maw in the darkness slid
Christ,” the man in the chair
gasped. The darkness consumed him. One could make out his bared feet, and
little more than a tease of his fatty, hairless legs that faded into the
blackness. His toenails were thick and unclipped, the one on his big right toe
ugly and ingrown.
“Lady . . .
The woman stirred,
searching for the face of that unfamiliar voice. Her eyes could only settle on
those vulnerable feet.
“Oh . . .
oh Christ.” The last word betrayed an accent slim of American South.
The photograph had
captured the man’s full attention.
“Who are you?
What the fuck do you want with us?”The words echoed as if shouted in a cave and
were quickly swallowed by the Crypt.
Just that nerve-wracking
“Who’s there? I can hear
Like a phantom, Brikker
stole about the camera and made some adjustments. He could work the device with
the barest of light, change aperture and shutter speed, load film and set
focus. It was simple and direct, as simple and direct as sending men to their
The man in the chair
reeled from the sudden brilliance of the flash gun. It went off with a deep phooomph.
“Listen . . .
if it’s money you want—”
Another click from the
panel.An intense spotlight
drowned the man in a sea of white, the hard light coming from directly above.
Stripped naked, leather straps restrained his thick wrists and stumpy legs.
Sweaty man-breasts hung like rubbery sacs above his ample belly; his navel was
an ugly outie. He sported days-old growth of beard. His head was shaved. His
puffy lower lip held a fresh cut, and blood dribbled along his chin and throat.
His wide eyes, blackened by solid beatings, spilled with fear.
“I-I can pay,” the man
pleaded. He squinted at the flashing bank of multicolored lights. It seemed to
center him, at least in the moment. “I got a house. A car! A nice big Buick. I
could sell it, I could sell it all—”
The depression of a red
lamp lit three additional spotlights, illuminating a long utility table
gleaming with various instruments of persuasion. They read like a checklist of
camping items authored by some twisted Boy Scout: knives; more knives; three
hammers, ball-peen, carpenter’s, mallet; two high-speed turbine dental drills;
metal knuckles; flasks and bottles and jars holding dark and clear liquids;
powders; cutting torches; screwdrivers; a cable ripper; drop lights; straps;
chains; whips; razors; a half-dozen volumes on human anatomy; big and small
saws; syringes; drugs; neat stacks of pressed white cloths; more knives; three
car batteries and several cables; boxes of matches; tape; scissors; wire, thin
and sharp; wire, thick and barbed; rubber tubing; long, coiled metaltubing; funnels with
necks of varying lengths and thickness; clamps and pins and needles; lengths of
rope; two vises; wire cutters; pliers. Several cartons of Gold Armor, stacked
Brikker surveyed the
offerings quickly and found exactly what he had in mind. He was in a mood
today, a very particular one, and with a sly hand slipping out of the deep—one
could see just a hint of his crisp white lab coat—he selected a boning knife.
Sometimes, the simplest tool was often the most effective.
“Wait a minute, what are you doin’? What are you DOIN’?”
Brikker moved swiftly. He
slipped beside the control panel, although neither captive could know.
“TwoSevenEightSeven,” he said, saying it just like that. One
simple word. He did not repeat himself.
“What . . .
I . . . I don’t understand.”
The man in the chair
looked at the woman—she cast him a helpless gaze that said, There’s nothing you can do—and then,
eyes disbelieving, focused on the image of the man from Melbourne. He muttered
something indiscernible, choking on his words, as if a small chunk of brick had
been forced down his throat.
Brikker stepped toward
the woman and stood just beyond the reach of the light. The blade of the knife
slipped from the darkness, glistening.
“Shall we begin?”
'When I read David Cassidy's 'Velvet Rain' I was floored by the writing style and the smooth presentation of this captivating plot. The descriptions grabbed me and would not let go. This was a dark read, but wow, an incredible one. In my opinion, this writing is up to par with Stephen King and Dean Koontz.'
Where can readers stalk you?
Usually I’m stalking others. Writers are a really just
a bunch of whack-jobs looking for that next great story, and stalking is a
dandy research tool.
Now, if someone’s looking for me, they can find me here: