FOR YOUR EYES ONLY!!! Read my EXCLUSIVE article published in the JULY 2016 ISSUE of #1 SQ MAGAZINE.
“THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS FROM NEOPHYTE to DOMINUS in the HORROR GENRE”
By Deno Sandz
My definition of journey; is to start from one point in your life and ending up at your destination. My journey towards reading and writing unfolded at an early age. I began citing complete words and was able for the most part, write them down. However, conflicts I faced during my childhood could have hindered my advancement, but did not.
As a young boy my imagination was fueled by myths and superstitions, heard from my grandmother, mother, and other people in the south.
Nightmares became a second nature to me while growing up. The only way to conquer them was to write them down. Soon I grew a custom to them and learned to love the depth of my horrific dream. My desire to spread fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) spawned from these nightmares. I believe in ghost. Because without ghost, demons, angels, saints, God, Satan, good, and evil the other world I write about would not exist. Fiction and truth are close friends.
I remember my father taking me to the library as an extracurricular activity.
He would always say, “Read, write, and comprehend. The pen is mightier than the sword.” My journey to reading and writing has taken me through aisles of literature books. My father believed that information is knowledge and knowledge is found in books.
My mother was and is a great writer and told stories about real life, southern myths, and superstitions. My father was extremely intelligent. He was a man of vision, a cultured historian, and researcher. My father prided himself on having knowledge even on his deathbed thirteen years ago.
Our families’ foundation, our very existence is built on learning. My mother loved church and had me sitting next to her every Sunday as a child. In my hands, I always held a large semi-frayed brown bible flipping through the pages, trying to read every word. Sometimes no matter how silent I flipped the noise would disturb her due to the fact the church was quite. The large words that eluded my vocabulary intrigued me. I thirsted for knowledge and loved it. I always wanted to be like my father and mother. They are the seekers of knowledge. They possess the passion for the power of the pen and the unsung freedom of reading. Mother would say, “Our people struggled through slavery, Jim Crow laws, racism, and segregation in order to be able to read and write. My mother is a Pastor and my father was a Veteran and an Air Traffic Controller, both born in the south. I would be defying my bloodline if I did not strive to be the best writer. I remember my father asked me if I knew where America hides information on the past. I didn’t know. Then, he smiled and said, “Books.” Reading inspired me and writing compelled me to use my imagination. Combined they saved my life and summoned the gift I use to this day.
Family influence on a child can be administered in only two ways, beneficially or negatively. I received the beneficial and I’m forever grateful. Everyday there is a struggle in me to turn the tides of this genre. The business nature of these magistrates of literary placement can send waves that crash against your soul and your talent; becoming at some point a battering ram that shakes your inner foundation at unexpected times. Endure…endure I speak to myself on the mental shores of perpetual thought of becoming the best. Melodies from my spiritual ocean of dark imagination and creativity are lightened by the native songs of my ancestors embedded in a distance of encouragement and embracing me. My reality rears its pilgrimage symbol; a fictional birth mark on the souls of its readers as I progress in this horror fiction endeavor.
About sixteen years ago I pulled out Miss Mary Weather: A Southern Nightmare that had been hand written and I said, “Why not type it and submit it.” The rest is history.
There aren’t many notable African-American horror writers in the horror genre that could spark true fear. I could have written drama, urban gangster, sex, etc. However, I wanted the world to know that by driving the nail down with a thunderous hammer of creativity, visualization, and imagination that horror is being brought forth by an African-American male who embraces the genre of horror beyond literary belief. This motivates me to want to bring unconditional life to the horror fictional world. I’ve written short stories that have dramatic plots. I’ve written poems about reality and comedy and emotional screenplays. Also, I’ve had the opportunity to write articles on society, religion, and human interest.
One thing I’ve learned is that writers should take the good reviews with the bad reviews and not complain. Learning not to complain in American’s literary society is easier than learning to complain. You must understand that the Systematic structure in the literary industry can one day be disapproving, unimaginative, and even disrespectful leaving you at odds with your writing ambitions. Unless there is a deep rooted strength of survival embedded in you to continue on and make a difference in history.
“You must fight the good fight.”
This is my life and my dream despite the everyday struggles to take care of a family. So there’s no foreshadowing of the future. But I believe my future rest on my “writing gift,” and yes, it is what I thought it would be. You have to color before you can write, equates to crawl before you walk. Accomplishment is the foundation of hope. Without hope a writer never gets to his/her pinnacle.
The advice I would give aspiring writers: Create your own style, and be complacent, even though, some may not grasp your creativity at that time. Also, if you are not inspired to write on your own, why write. If you are not willing to be inspired, why write. Bad reviews should not discourage you from continuing to write, build on them. In addition, remember: “If a writer’s work is to be read, the writer too must be read.”-Deno Sandz
There are three things I wish I had known before reaching this point in my career. I would have tried to save more money to promote my books, not to except every offer from publishers who did not understand my vision, and how patient you must be to even get a glimmer of what a successful writer is. There is satisfaction and disappointment in this meticulous literary horror realm. I see it like this: There could not be good without bad, light without dark, and moon without sun. Therefore, I must say I’ve received more satisfaction as my career has progressed. The disappointment comes early on in your career.
I create horror books; however, my objective is to leave behind a legacy to my children and grandchildren. Legacies can be left behind on a rock or tree by writing your name. They can also be legacies of greatness and success despite the obstacles and barriers. My legacy to them will be my love for literature and an understanding of what I have accomplished. I would like to leave you with this:
I AM A CREATIVE, I AM UNIQUE, and I AM A STORYTELLER. I hold these horrors to be self-written, that all of them are created with equal FRIGHT, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable NIGHTMARES that among these are EVIL, FEAR, DARKNESS, and the pursuit of Visualization, Imagination, and Creativity within the readers mind.
All books are available @www.amazon.com/author/denosandz