FEATURED AUTHOR: Erik Dean, Award-Winning Horror Writer

Our Featured Author is an award-winning horror writer who loves scaring people, and he's just published a new anthology of short stories. Meet Erik Dean.

Tell us something about the man, Erik Dean. Who are you?

Besides being an author, I am also an X-ray technologist, with over 25 years in the medical field. I am an avid reader. I enjoy traveling and seeing new things. I am a science nerd. I like old classic movies and modern cinema. I have a huge collection of science fiction and horror movies. My music taste is very I listen to classical, old rock, funk, new wave, alternative rock and electric swing. I got to the gym as much as I can. I can run five miles in an hour. I like Disneyland and have been there many times. My favorite animal is a border collie. My dog's name is Sammy. 

How was your latest release, Crueler and More Unusual, conceived?

The last story, Broken Justice, was my original idea for writing this book. How did I come up with such an unusual story? 

It all started when I was a victim of ID theft at my work. One of the places I had to go was the IRS office, to report that my social security number might have been stolen.

While I was there, I had to go through a security check-point. The armed guard checked me for weapons with a wand and asked for my ID. I was given a ticket and told to wait in the seating area. I sat down with the rest of the people waiting for my turn.

One by one, people’s numbers were called. They entered through the door of a numbered cubicle. When it was my turn to go in, I was expecting to speak to an IRS representative. But instead of a real person, there was a monitor. And on the screen, there was an IRS agent from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was video chatting with me here in Phoenix. I thought it was odd that there wasn’t a real person in a cubicle, due to the security.

Later that same week, I had to do some business at the DMV. Yes, most of us have been there at one time or another. The long wait for your number to be called. All those confusing electronic boards. You know what I’m talking about.

While I was sitting there, boredom began to set in and my author’s mind started to wander. An idea came to me as I sat. Wouldn’t it be a cool story setting if I combined the IRS with the DMV? VoilĂ ! Broken Justice was born. 

Why did you choose the HORROR genre?

I am a huge horror fan. I own every vampire and werewolf movie out there. I have read almost every Stephen King and Dean Koontz book. I go to haunted houses every Halloween, to try to be scared. It hasn't happened yet. 

Is there a book or author that inspired you to be a writer?

Yes, The Green Mile by Stephen King. I hated the ending, and I expected the mouse to save the 
prisoner. However, it didn't happen. I thought I could have written it better, so I put my pen in my mouth and set out to write my first book, Garbageman. It won the 2018 IAN Awards as a Finalist in Action and Adventure. I have been writing ever since. 

What can readers expect when they read Crueler and More Unusual?

This will be like the Twilight Zone meets the judicial system. Each story will make you think, scare you, and keep you guessing until the very end. I love giving my readers an unforeseen twist. I will give you a look into the future of the justice system. Each story has memorable characters, and we will follow their unique stories. 

Are you releasing a new book any time soon? Can you tell us about it?

I just released Crueler and More Unusual, and the third book in the Garbageman series, 'Wraith" is currently being edited. I plan on taking you places you haven't seen before. It's going to be a wild ride. 

What do you love about being an author?

I can create worlds, people and put them into unique situations. Sometimes the characters show me where the story should go, and I follow their lead. I don't always know how the story going to end, but when I am finished, I feel like I've been on a journey. 

Do you have any advise for fellow authors?

Do the research. Read other authors? Use notebooks to write your ideas down, I have tons of them. Use the audio read back on Micorosoft Word, you will catch more mistakes other than reading alone. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Most important. Hire a good editor. This will make you or break you. 

Thank you for your time, Erik!

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