Friday, February 7, 2014

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)?

Comedy. Seriously.

Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?

Usually I order them on eBay. However, there are times when I come up with things on my own.

I 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.

I 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?

I’m 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?

I write thrillers and horror, but I read pretty much anything. I think all genres have a bright future. Talent is everywhere.

I’d 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 achieve.

What themes are being overused?

Well, 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.)

Honestly, 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?

No. 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 publishing?

I 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?

If 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?

The adrenaline.

Can I get an autographed book? (lol)

See? 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?

I 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?

If 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?

Yup. 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 books?

God, 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.

For 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?

I 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?

TV. 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?

Unpublished works? No. One of my biggest fears is the question, “Would you read mine?”

Would you read mine?

You just scared the shit out of me.

All about Velvet Rain-


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."


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.


Book Excerpt 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 sir and 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 the cigarette.

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 be.

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 discernible.

“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.

“The month?”

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? Sarah-Jane?”

No reply.

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 humanoid insect.

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 child?”

“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 him?”

“Know him? I don’t—”

Have you seen him before?

“On-on the screen. In a picture.”

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 before?”

“No. No.”

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 screen.”

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 slashed.

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 closed.

Jesus H. 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 . . . 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 ticking replied.

“Who’s there? I can hear you.”

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 death.

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 metal tubing; 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 precisely.

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.”

“You will.”

The man in the chair looked at the woman—she cast him a helpless gaze that said, There’s nothing you can doand 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:



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