Saturday 2 April 2011

David Kempf

David Kempf is a new novelist who we have been following closely over the last few years. We gave him great support and have published many of his great short stories on Masters Of Horror. Well as David has now published his first novel, which is listed on Amazon, we thought we would catch up with David.

JD You have written over fifty short stories, many of which deal with themes of horror fiction. Why did you feel the need to put them into novel form?

DK Well, I used some of the short stories I’ve posted online within my novel, which is considerably longer than many novels because I wanted to establish that this character, Christopher is a fiction writer, specifically, dark fiction.

JD Fair enough, David. Now why did you want to write about a young horror fiction writer who was still in college?

DK Well, I suppose because one is much filled with hope when one is at that age. The world hasn’t beaten the hell out of you yet. You don’t know how vicious life is and you are still holding onto your idealism. The world is still out there for you to conquer, you know. That’s the free spirit I wanted for my protagonist.

JD What about your antagonist?

DK That’s a good question, Jon. I never saw Dr. Henry David Wells as the antagonist of the story per se. I think such black and white terms are immaterial in what is an essentially an experimental work of fictions such as this. Still, if you had to put such labels on the characters I suppose that is the way it comes out in the end.

JD Yes. Why do you love horror so much?

DK Well, I love fiction, of all kinds, horror just happens to be my favorite to read.

JD I see. What other genres do you enjoy?

DK I am very fond of science fiction, history, thriller, mystery and detective fiction. Still, horror has always been my favorite, just a matter of personal taste.

JD I see. Why did you call the book Dark Fiction?

DK Both of the main characters write this kind of specific fiction and pay a price for doing so and short stories of this genre are featured all through the novel.

JD Is this your first novel?

DK Yes, sir it is.

JD You must feel very proud of that.

DK Indeed, I do, sir.

JD Why would you write it now?

DK I’m at a certain age where I was either going to do it or not. I have many friends who have talked about writing a novel ever since we were in college. Some of them never even managed to write a short story or two for our college literary magazines. These were the folks; I seriously doubted would ever write a novel later on in life.

JD Who are your favorite authors?

DK There are too many to name but I’ll drop some names from the top of the list. Anne Rice, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Truman Capote, James Herbert, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Washington Irving, Harlan Ellison, Edogawa Rampo and Robert Bloch.

JD You included all of these short stories within your novel, why?

DK Well, you know I’ve read many great novels that had writers as their main characters or protagonists/heroes or what have you. They never went into detail about what the hell they wrote. There were only vague recollections of the fictional endeavors of our heroes as they fought vampires, zombies, maniacs and other forces of darkness.
JD I see.

DK The writer’s job is to always tell the truth and I think that includes letting the readers in on their fiction and fictional characters.

JD What drove you to write this book?

DK I am a storyteller who loves horror and thrillers and I simply wanted to tell a story.

JD Why did you choose to have the book published originally in the e-book form?

DK Well, Jon, it wasn’t just to save some trees. I believe the future is with me in saving trees and time by allowing folks to choose from the Kindle to the Sony so they can download a lifetime’s worth of books without carrying much weight.

JD What inspires you in your writing?

DK Well, I was paying tribute to old fashioned thrillers but also to some of the B horror movies I grew up watching on late night TV. I wanted to create kind of a fusion of the two. Making the B movie into something else, something with depth and philosophical meaning is what I was interested in doing. I enjoyed writing in college; my paper on Dracula was featured at the student research conference. I also won first place in my college’s fiction magazine’s short story contest. That was very validating for me. Writing for your website has also meant a great deal to me over the past two years. It’s allowed me to use my imagination and experience constructive criticism at the same time.

JD You are the only American on my site. How does that make you feel?

DK Honored. I majored in English in college because I have a great respect for the literature of the United Kingdom. I also write for an American horror site and it features some damn good writing. What it lacks is an opportunity to learn your craft and improve upon your writing. I know the English take their writing very seriously that’s why they have what I consider to be the best literature in the history of the world. No one has touched upon the human condition like Shakespeare or Dickens. The people who stem from that culture are the people who I want to judge my writing and help me be the best author that I can be.

JD How challenging was it to find a publisher?

DK It’s a great challenge. It took me some considerable time to finally find one that suited my needs and would publish a book that I did not want to compromise on. It was a take it or leave it deal because I really believed in this project. The E Book Sale or RealTime Publishing in Limerick Ireland is a great publisher and I’m glad that I chose them.

JD What is dark fiction?

DK That’s a great question, Jon. I think that’s a complex question. Most folks think that it’s generally a form of horror fiction but I think that the real definition if far more broad. It’s a form of fiction that takes great risks and avoids categories. It is horror, it is thriller, it is suspense but ultimately it disturbs us and makes us realize that life is not what we think that it is. It makes us question the nature of reality. When it’s done exceptionally well it tells us something about ourselves that we wish we didn’t know.