Name Dean M Drinkel

Age    Late 30s

Where are you from

Surrey, England

A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc

Educated in Saudi Arabia, England and the U.S.

Double Majored in American History / History

Scholar in Napoleonic Studies

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

In December 2013, I won “Best Action Screenplay” for my script “Splinter” at the Monaco International Film Festival; my horror anthology “The Bestiarum Vocabulum” published by Western Legends Press also in December 2013.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

First proper story was published whilst at college in London. I was showering after playing football and these words started to form in my head, I rushed to my room and wrote ‘Weird’ which was published in the college magazine and recently a redux version appeared in the Horror Society’s “Best Of” Anthology.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A couple of months after I graduated, my first collection of short stories was published entitled “The Burial”. It was only a small publisher and probably only sold a handful of copies but at least it was a start. The rights have recently returned to me and I hope to release an updated / revised version in the very near future.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Clive Barker for definite – “Hellraiser” was the start for me – proved to me how great horror really could be.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really but it depends what I’m writing. If it’s a short story then I’m able to write straight on the pc / laptop. If it’s a script, I do like writing long-hand.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I love coming up with titles. I won a script award in 2012 for “Bright Yellow Gun”. This was named after a song by the brilliant band “The Throwing Muses”. The series I am currently compiling / editing for Western Legends are all ‘Latinesque’ titles, such as “The Demonologia Biblica”, “The Bestiarum Vocabulum” and “The Grimorium Verum”.

Fiona: Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?

With “Within A Forest Dark” there isn’t a message as such but I like to play with the readers perception of how they understand a character / situation. Basically I told a story in reverse and I think it was quite successful – even if some reviewers / critics found the sex / violence a little bit too much. The titles of the majority of the stories were based on paintings (which are housed in the museum I reference) but perhaps not everyone realized that.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

A lot of my work is set in Paris and the places I reference are real. The characters are amalgams of people I know etc. Again, with “Within A Forest Dark” – whilst a lot of it is ‘real’ it is a heightened reality / version of ‘real’.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There is that old adage ‘write what you know’ so I suppose in some way there are experiences of either myself or others that could be the very basic starting point – but I don’t believe I know rapists, murderers, cult leaders, rabid priests etc etc – well, I don’t believe that I do ha ha.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

Clive Barker “Books of Blood” / “Hellbound Heart”; Voltaire “Candide”; Arthur Rimbaud “A Season In Hell”; James Herbert “The Magic Cottage”; Umberto Eco “The Name Of The Rose”; John Fowles “The Magus”; William Burroughs “Naked Lunch”; Bret Easton Ellis “American Pyscho”.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Clive Barker; Umberto Eco; James Fowles; Arthur Rimbaud

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

A brilliant biography about Napoleon, entitled “Citizen Emperor” by Philip Dwyer.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I work with a lot of new authors that have excited me and as such I’ve invited them to be part of my anthos!

Fiona: What are your current projects?

A couple of anthologies I need to finish including one for Western Legends, one for Dark Continents and one for Alchemy Press; also two screenplays – it’s been a busy few months but definitely worth it!

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Um…interesting…I’ve had a few throughout my life – difficult to say just one because all through my career people have helped / assisted / supported whether it’s been something I’ve been writing or directing and I thank them all! Okay, thinking about it – better not mention names ha ha but someone in Paris has been there these last few years and I hope to repay them with a starring role in a future script…they know who they are.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?


When I did the original ebook for “Within A Forest Dark” – the editor of the series at the publishers (as it was released under their ‘Tales of Darkness and Dismay’ banner) wasn’t happy about one of the stories so much so that even though we ‘diluted’ the content, they didn’t want to include it so we agreed to cut it. However, what we also agreed was that if the book ever went to paperback then we’d put it back in. Naturally, I did a slight rewrite to tone it a little and I don’t think it’s as bad as first thought – a lot of my stuff is tongue in cheek anyway but I guess some will take it ultra seriously – so to answer your question, would I change anything? I guess I did but I understand why.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yeah – read Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood” then saw “Hellraiser” and I went, I want a piece of that. I can’t say that without Clive I would never have started writing but he has definitely influenced me from start to finish. It was an honor for me when I directed one of his plays “Frankenstein in Love” in a theatre in London (and then presented a shorter version at the British Fantasy Society’s Fantasycon). I have some unfinished business with that play and I hope to return to it in some form in the very near future.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m just finishing editing my story for my anthology “Phobophobias”; it is a story about a French soldier who has returned to Civvy Street with some serious mental issues – one of which is that he is scared to go to sleep because he keeps dreaming of Hell. However, is Hell a real location or just a figment of his imagination…once the story is finished, more than happy to send you a snippet – watch this space!!!

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I always start with a title and go with from there. I have a small book which is full of word phrases etc that form my titles. I can’t write without a title, even if I change it during the writing process, have to something otherwise I’ll just stare at the screen / page unable to continue. Weird, hey?

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

As above, Clive Barker. With him I suddenly saw what was possible in the horror genre. Of course, Clive has moved out of the genre for now, but here’s hoping he returns one day.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Many of my stories are set in Paris, France. I travel over there quite a bit now and walk the same streets, drink in the same pubs that my characters do. We’re old friends.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The brilliant American artist James Powell provides a lot of the images for my work – particularly the anthologies for Western Legends as well the “Phobias” series I put together for Dark Continents Press.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I set myself word limits, which can be fun, but I often go over and that then makes me a little hypocritical for my anthologies when I moan at other writers that can’t keep to the agreed word count. I suppose also, having to cut stuff out which you think is important…but often isn’t…

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

You shouldn’t ‘self-censor’ but I guess people have ‘feelings’ too so perhaps be aware of them – don’t be too gratuitous ha ha

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Perhaps a cliché, but write write write and then write again. Also, if your subbing to a particular editor / anthology then make sure that you take heed of what they say and / or what they are looking for ie don’t submit a romance story for a ‘blood and gut’s antho.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

There are lots of great writers working in small presses and the indie world. Just because an author isn’t ‘famous’ doesn’t mean that they’re not a great writer – check out the presses, seek out new writers – the talent pool is simply amazing.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not really but I used to love “Alfred Hitchcock / The Three Investigators” and Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Don’t have too much time at the moment but I watch a lot of football and love going to the games.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Very much into French films; there was the so-called ‘zombie’ series “The Returned”; don’t mind the new version of “The Tomorrow People” and absolutely love anything by Rob Zombie.


Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Food? Curry

Colour? Blue

Music? Throwing Muses / Jake Bugg / Arctic Monkeys / Orelsan / OSNS / SoulKast

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Always wanted to be an archaeologist or the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?



Fiona – thanks so much to you and your readers