16 May, 2022

An #Interview with Dane Cobain, #Author of Meat - #Horror #Thriller @danecobain


Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

His releases include No Rest for the Wicked (supernatural thriller), Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home (poetry) Former.ly (literary fiction), Social Paranoia (non-fiction), Come On Up to the House (horror), Subject Verb Object (anthology), Driven (crime/detective), The Tower Hill Terror (crime/detective), Meat (horror), Scarlet Sins (short stories), The Lexicologist’s Handbook (non-fiction) and The Leipfold Files (crime/detective).

His short stories have also been anthologised in Local Haunts (ed. R. Saint Clare), We’re Not Home (ed. Cam Wolfe), Served Cold (ed. R. Saint Clare and Steve Donoghue) and Eccentric Circles (ed. Cynthia Brackett-Vincent).

Dane on the Web:
Website * Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Youtube * TikTok

Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?

For me, it was a slow realisation. When I was five years old, I used to write songs (I still have some recordings), and I learned to play guitar when I was fourteen or so. I started out by writing song lyrics and then it was a natural progression from lyrics to poetry and then to journals and eventually short stories.
I think I first realised that I wanted to take it seriously when I was studying computing at college, which is roughly similar to being a senior at high school in America. I’d been planning on going to university to study web design, but I was sitting in my college classes and working on a novel instead of listening to what the teacher was saying. That gave me the push I needed to switch to studying creative writing instead.

What inspires you to write?

It’s like having an itch that needs to be scratched. I write because it feels good and I have a bunch of stories that are waiting to get out. I’m one of those people who never relaxes and doesn’t ever stop. I can’t just sit there and watch a movie; I have to do it while sitting at my computer and working on a book. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?

It depends which one! But at the moment, I’m mostly promoting my horror novel, Meat, so let’s go with that. I’ve noticed that a lot of horror writers begin by taking things that a lot of people are already afraid of and then amplifying that, and so I thought I’d do something similar. 
I spent a lot of time trying to decide on the most horrifying setting I could think of, and I ended up settling on a factory farm. I was a vegetarian at the time, but I was aware that even people who eat a lot of meat try not to think about where it comes from because they know that factory farms are unpleasant places.
After carrying out a bunch of research on factory farming, I realised that dairy cows and layer hens are treated horribly too, and so I decided that I couldn’t morally remain as a vegetarian. So I went vegan.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?

Yeah. I think most writers have these.
In my case, any physical stories are up in my mum’s loft. I used to write by hand a lot, but I also typed everything up, and so I have most of them also saved in my Dropbox somewhere. 

Tell us about your writing process.

I’m a plotter, and so I tend to start by jotting down all of my ideas into a Word document before putting them all into order. By the time that I sit down and start writing, I pretty much know what I need to do and so it’s just a case of bashing away at the keyboard until I get the work done.
I use a system that I call “The Schedule”, which is basically a variant of the Pomodoro Method that I came up with independently. I work in 45 minute bursts, splitting that between writing, computer stuff and tidying my house. When I’m working, I do five minutes of each and then half an hour of freelance work. Then I have a quick break for five minutes and read my book for a while before restarting. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

There’s a scene where one of the characters gets his hand stuck in the chicken shredder that I’m particularly fond of. It’s delightfully gory and there’s also a sense of justice there that a human being gets his comeuppance for the way that the animals are treated. When factory farms are breeding chickens to lay eggs, they often just throw newborn male chicks straight into a meat grinder while they’re still alive, so it seemed fair that one of the workers had an accident with it.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?

Not in this particular book, but that’s definitely something that’s happened in my other books.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?

There’s almost always some sort of technology involved somewhere. I’m fascinated by new technology like artificial intelligence and blockchain and like to explore the way that humans use (and misuse) it.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?

Yeah, I read a lot. I also review everything that I read on my blog, my Goodreads page and my YouTube channel. In no particular order, my favourite authors are Agatha Christie, Philip Pullman, Stephen King, Charles Bukowski and Graham Greene. It’s hard to identify specifics of how they’ve influenced me, but I think I pick up things from pretty much everything that I read.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?

I’m a big fan of the basic, “Write what you know.”

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

Don’t expect it to be easy and be prepared to sacrifice your social life. It’s rewarding, but it’s also consuming. And the odds are stacked heavily against you. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?

I can imagine Paddy Considine playing Tom Copeland. I don’t watch too many movies though and so I haven’t thought about this too much.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?

A water purification tool, a copy of The Stand by Stephen King and my cat.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?

Free time? What’s that?
I pretty much constantly work either on my freelance clients or my own writing, but I do like to spend time outside in my garden, where I’m trying to grow my own vegetables. I also like to play with my band, The Ilk, and to go to open mic nights.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

I don’t really have one. I guess my main goal in life is to make enough money from book royalties for me to not need to freelance. I suppose I’d quite like to see the Aurora Borealis at some point.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

- I once appeared on the British TV quiz show Pointless. Host Richard Osman recently broke a bunch of records with his first novel, The Tuesday Murder Club.
- I memorised all 101 poems in my poetry collection, Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home, so that I could perform them at open mic nights.
- I have a bunch of bookish tattoos and I’m looking forward to getting some more.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

The next big thing will be the release of The Leipfold Files, which is book #3 in my Leipfold series of quirky cosy mysteries. It’s set before the first two novels and is a collection of short stories that shares Leipfold’s back story and shows what he got up to before he founded his detective agency.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

Just a general plea to buy my books to help me to live my dream!

Veterinarian Tom Copeland takes a job at a factory farm called Sunnyvale after a scandal at his suburban practice. His job is to keep the animals alive for long enough to get them to slaughter.But there are rumours of a strange creature living beneath the complex, accidents waiting to happen on brutal production lines and the threat of zoonotic disease from the pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and fish that the complex houses.Suddenly, disaster rocks Sunnyvale and cleaners, butchers, security guards and clerical staff alike must come together under the ruthless leadership of CEO John MacDonald. Together, they’ll learn what happens when there’s a sudden change to the food chain. Bon appétit.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

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