3Q’s today is with a fantastic author and a super supportive member of the dark fiction community. Since blasting out of the starting blocks with his Bram Stoker Award Winning Debut novel, ‘Haven,’ Tom Deady has continued to deliver truly dark and delicious reads for his fans!
I’m so happy to have Tom stop by today!
Steve: What does your process look like once you finish your first draft? Do you immediately dive back into it, or do you take some time away?
Tom: I usually dive right back in. My first drafts are really to get the story out of me. It’s the first round of edits where I add a lot of detail, build out the characters if they feel flat, and add any foreshadowing or recurring themes. I know a lot of people cut down their word count during editing, but I usually add. I think it’s because I’m a pantser so I don’t always have all the dots connected while I’m writing the first draft. There’s usually a lot for me to fix during that first round of edits. After that, I generally take a break from it before polishing.
Steve: You win a very prestigious award and are invited to receive it. The award is a bronze plated copy of the book that means the most to you in your life. What book is it and why?
Tom: Okay, this is a tough question. I would have to say To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember reading it for the first time in high school and being blown away by the power of the story. It’s a book everyone should read at least once in their life.
If you’re talking horror, it would be ‘Salem’s Lot. I’ll never forget taking it from one of those spinning wire racks they used to sell mass market paperbacks on. The iconic cover with the single drop of red. I devoured that book. I was probably thirteen and had grown up reading Hardy Boys and Three Investigator books, and this was one of the first adult books I read. That was it. I was a horror guy after that.
Steve: Of the books or stories you’ve released, which is your personal favorite and why?
Tom: I think the answer to this question will always be Haven. It took me fifteen years to write. I started it around 1995 when I took a mail order writing class through Writer’s Digest Magazine with Michael Garrett. I’d work on it for a bit, write a few scenes, then set it aside for years at a time while I was raising my daughters and working multiple jobs to make ends meet. I finally finished the first draft in 2010 and took another couple years to edit it and make sure it made sense since I’d written it out of order. I like to tell my daughters that Haven is their sibling because I wrote it while they were growing up. There’s a lot of me in that book.
Steve: Bonus Fun Question – You’re on a camping trip when suddenly a wild animal confronts you. You take off running and it follows. What animal are you confident in thinking you could outrun?
Tom: Funny story that sort of fits the question. My wife and I recently relocated to Arizona after being lifelong New Englanders. Aside from rattlesnakes, scorpions, and coyotes, they have javelinas out here. They look like wild pigs or boars and travel in packs. I was out walking the dogs one night and spot three or four of them rooting around the neighbor’s trash. I think it’s cool and grab my phone to get a video. They don’t think it’s cool when the dogs start going crazy, and they decide to charge! With two labs yanking on their leashes, I couldn’t manage to get between the dogs and the javelinas, and no amount of yelling and stomping my feet was deterring them. So, I ran! I dragged the dogs about thirty yards down the street, figuring the javelinas would have given up. Nope! They were still coming. They’re pack hunters, so one is coming straight at me while the other large one flanks me. I turn and drag the dogs farther away but the javelinas keep coming. I grabbed a handful of rocks and threw them at the lead one and they finally turned around and went the other way. So, I know I can outrun a javelina!
Steve: Whoa! Tom! That is amazing (frightening sure!) but an amazing answer! Haha! Glad you and the dogs made it!
Thank you once again for doing this!
To find more of his work – check the links!
Tik Tok: @tomdeadyofficial