1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and now live in the city with my girlfriend and two pet sphinx cats. My mom still lives in the house where I grew up about an hour outside the city.
2) How long have you been writing?
On and off since I was little. I remember writing stories when I was very young that my mom would rewrite in far more legible handwriting. I’d then draw accompanying illustrations of wizards, knights, and dragons on the pages she left blank. I currently work for an e-learning company where I often have to write scenarios, or even overarching storylines, to educate adult learners on new procedures or programs their companies are implementing. As the self-publishing movement really got moving (maybe a little bit afterward) I jumped in and wrote the first two books of the horror series I am currently working on (The One You Feed and Something Wiccan).
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
Usually just on the couch, although I’ll sometimes take my laptop outside in the spring and summer months.
4) Why did you decide to write The One You Feed?
I have always been a fan of horror stories and scary movies. Watching or reading these stories as often as I do, I can’t help but imagine different ways they could play out. What if the monster had appeared at a different moment? What would the hero have done? What if the action taken had been taken in Act II instead of Act III? So many people have taken popular creatures and attempted to tell their own tales involving vampires, werewolves, witches, and demons. Some I’ve rushed to read or see and greatly enjoyed, others not so much. I decided I wanted to try writing a series of books using these creatures and see what I could come up with.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Each book in the series I’m writing focuses on a different monster. The One You Feed is about werewolves and Something Wiccan brings in witches and warlocks. Vampires will be showing up in book #3. The same cast of human heroes confronts these creatures, with the main protagonist being Toby. He’s been the most fun for me to write. Trying to imagine how a teenager would react to monsters being real was a lot of fun, and finding a motivation that would make his wanting to confront the monsters believable was an enjoyable challenge—I also think it added a lot of depth to the character.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I’ve written a few characters in this book who are meant to be disliked, but I think my cursed Shaman is probably the least appealing. When he turned himself werewolf, he did so to save his tribe (before being imprisoned by them). Now that he’s been released over a century later he’s strictly about seeking revenge. Bruce Bennett is a close second. Neither have much in the way of redeeming qualities.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I proofread/edit my own stuff for the first 2-3 drafts, then have friends take a look. When I felt this book was in a good place I passed it along to a professional editor through Writer’s Digest.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
There’s plenty to do in the city and I enjoy going out to dinner, plays, musicals, and parties with my friends and girlfriend. I also enjoy just staying on the couch at home with her and our two cats—reading or watching a good movie. I play basketball with a group of guys every Monday. We are all well past our primes, but it’s still fun.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Whenever I can find the time. Some of my favorite authors are Gillian Flynn, Stephen King, Richard Price, Nick Hornby, William Gibson, and Steven Hall.
10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
Do you have a response for the reviews you’ve received that say you take a little too long to get to the action?
When readers have had a critique about this book, it is that it takes a little too long to get going. Comments have included “This book takes its time but ultimately builds something bigger than the story itself” and “The story started building up right about a quarter of the way—right about that point, I could not put the book down.” It’s been rewarding to hear that ultimately these readers found the book enjoyable and I am glad they stuck with it. My goal in starting the story slowly (for the most part) was to make Silver Falls seem as normal and believable as possible—before the supernatural stuff really ramps up.
Title: The One You Feed
Author: James Drummond
Series: Out of the Dark
Genre: YA Horror
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Oct 20 2012 (Original Published Date)
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
Like most kids who grew up in the small Oregon town of Silver Falls, Toby Hoffman had heard all the scary stories about the monsters living in the neighboring woods of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Now a teenager, he knows the stories are made up to keep the town’s children from wandering where they aren’t wanted.
Then his best friend, Nate, wakes up covered in blood in the reservation woods, with no recollection of whose blood it is or where it came from. When even more brutal attacks follow, Toby can’t help but wonder if one of the fables he was told as a child might be true. With the help of Rachel, a determined Native American girl who has moved off the reservation and into the house next door, he begins searching for an explanation for the recent carnage. He also develops feelings for his new neighbor, which are put to the test when he and Rachel discover that her uncle may be responsible for the emergence of a legendary monster that does in fact exist.
To make matters worse, there’s evidence that Nate was turned by the beast, and that he has every intention of holding onto his extraordinary new creature capabilities no matter the cost. In order to save Silver Falls from a true scary story, Toby will have to face off against forces he doesn’t fully understand – and his closest friend.
Toby shined the flashlight around, making sure they were alone, before settling the beam onto some cave drawings that covered a large portion of the enclosure’s slick, shiny limestone. Rachel scanned her eyes over the fading symbols and figures. This wasn’t the first time she’d seen representations like these. They decorated many of the old tapestries, drums, and tools in Dyami Askuwheteau’s relic shop, so she recognized the style as being Umatilla, but that was all she was able to determine.
When she was younger, her uncle had attempted to educate her on their tribe’s drawing techniques. However, like most of her generation, she hadn’t shown much of an appreciation for her ancestors’ lost practices and traditions. She had as good a chance of actually understanding these figures as she would if they’d been done by an African or Egyptian tribe.
Her eyes stopped on what appeared to be a large animal, drawn completely in black. The chalk, or whatever had been used to make the illustration, had been scratched furiously around the beast. Rachel supposed it was meant to represent fur. The way it was scrawled added to the creature’s size and made it much more menacing. Around it laid figures drawn mostly in red. Many of them had red lines drawn downward from their bodies. Blood, Rachel assumed.
“Well, it’s pretty obvious which one is the werewolf,” she said.
“Any of the rest of it make sense?”
“To be honest, I never really learned how to read these,” she confessed. “I’m not even sure where it starts or ends.”
Rachel ran her fingers along the drawings, completely befuddled. “What do you see?”
Toby gave no response. Curious as to why he’d gone silent, Rachel turned to catch him staring not at the drawings, but at her.
He glanced away quickly. “Um, yeah…Well, like you said, the werewolf is pretty obvious.”
She couldn’t help but smile a little. “Anything else?”
Toby’s embarrassed eyes scanned the cavern wall. “Those guys kind of look like they’re wearing uniforms.”
Rachel stepped closer to take a look, brushing up against Toby’s side as she slid in front of him. “Yeah, I noticed that too.” The figures all wore shirts, or coats, with double buttons. The way they were drawn in consistent rows made them look like marching soldiers.
“Wasn’t sure what to make of them.” Rachel stood mere inches from Toby now. She hesitated for a moment, then glanced back over her shoulder. “Any other thoughts?”
Toby held her gaze, a palpable tension between them. He had nice eyes, holly green with a bit of a sparkle. She’d noticed them the day they’d met, when he’d saved her box of belongings. With his chest pressed up against her back, she could feel his heart starting to thump a little faster. Hers was doing the same. Rachel knew they had more pressing issues to deal with, but she was enjoying their little moment. He leaned in closer to kiss her. She leaned back into him.
James is the author of The One You Feed and Something Wiccan - the first two books of the Out of the Dark series. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his girlfriend Angela and two cats named Tim and Ruby. During the day James is a Senior Instructional Designer for an e-learning development company, where he writes activities and scenarios to educate learners on a wide array of topics—from fast food to PTSD therapies. A Graphics Designer at the company, Wojtek Batko, designs the covers for James' books.
Facebook Page Out of the Dark
My Review: January 2014 ~ Review Copies ~
The One You Feed by James Drummond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First, I would like to thank the author James Drummond for giving me this book for an honest review. I enjoyed reading this story, I give it a three and a half. The main character Toby was well defined, some of the other characters could have been better developed. The world building was interesting. I look forward to seeing if we can get to know some of the other characters better in the series as it develops.
View all my reviews
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