10 Questions with DM Siciliano
DM is a lover of all things creative. From the moment she could speak, growing up in Massachusetts, she had a passion for flair and drama, putting on concerts for anyone who was even remotely interested (and even for those who were not). A storyteller by nature, she first pursued her young dream of becoming a singing diva while living in Arizona. She soon found that stage life wasn't the only form of storytelling she craved, so she dropped the mic and picked up a pencil instead. She still hasn't given up on her diva-ness, and hopes her pencil stays as sharp as her tongue.
A dark sense of humor and curiosity for haunted houses and things out of the ordinary led her down the path of completing her first novel, Inside. Several other projects are constantly floating around in her head and her laptop daily, and sometimes keeping her up much too late at night. Occasionally, those projects are so dark and twisted, she needs to leave a nightlight on.
She now lives in Northern California with her two fluffy furbabies, Cezare and Michaleto.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you call home and what do you write?
Hello. DM Siciliano is my pen name. Before writing, I was a semi-professional singer, but once I stopped, I realized I still needed an outlet for my storytelling, albeit an entirely different one. I’m from New England, but reside in Northern California now.
2. What drew you to that particular genre?
I don’t think there is anything in particular that drew me to writing this genre. I don’t think it’s a conscious decision. For me, its either in you or not. Yes, there is something about the intrigue and adrenaline of horror that’s appealing, but it feels similar to asking why someone enjoys or sings a certain type of music—you just do.
3. What’s your best known work?
I’d say my best-known work would probably be Inside, a haunted house story set in the 80’s in Massachusetts. It was my first book. I’m also awaiting the exciting release of my third book, In Between, set to come out 10/21/21. It’s also a haunted story, but with a bit more of an adult quality.
4. What inspired you to write it?
I think there is just something within that drives me. Some passion for art and storytelling that won’t sit still. I tried to ignore the urge to write initially, and it didn’t work. The story and the characters just got louder and louder until I put pen to paper. I find there’s a certain zen to being in the moment and getting lost in storytelling and creating. It’s a feeling like no other.
5. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between? How do you research?
I’m definitely more of a pantser (is that how we spell it?) than plotter. Too much structure for me makes me feel rigid and unable to create effectively. I usually start with a very firm idea of the story, a strong beginning, and end, and tie it together from there, usually with a few surprises from the characters along the way.
6. What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
I don’t think its that strange in the writer world, but the funniest thing I researched was for Under Another Sun. There’s a scene where a seagull flies into a car windshield and it cracks the glass. I wanted to see if that was something that was possible, so I called some windshield replacement companies and asked them. I had one guy so entertained, he just kept chuckling the whole time we talked. It was fun.
7. What’s the most personal story/scene you’ve written and why?
I don’t know that there’s a ‘personal’ scene per se, but one of the most sensitive was in Inside, there’s a heart-wrenching reveal as to why Reid, the bully of the story, is the way he is. He had to do something so unspeakable when he was just an innocent kid that forever changed him. It sort of broke my heart to write it.
8. Who are your literary influences? In what way?
I’m all over the place on this one, but I will say that my biggest influence is definitely Graham Joyce. He was a speculative fiction author that was a bit of a genre-masher, so he’s hard to specifically categorize. But there was just something about his style that was so lovely, so effortless, that I strive every day to find a way to write even a single sentence as elegantly as he did. Stephen King and Shirley Jackson are also influences, and my newest is Paul Tremblay. His style of endings is similar to mine, and I adore his stories.
9. What books are on your bedside table right now?
Right now, I’m going back and forth between Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things and MR Carey’s The Boy On The Bridge. I’m also re-reading Graham Joyce’s Silent Land (one of my favorite books) and just finished Evil Eye by April A Taylor.
10.Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
My books are always available on Amazon, in print and ebook format. My self published books are also available on Barnes & Noble online, KOBO, Apple Books, and autographed copies of all my books are available on my website at www.DMSiciliano.com.
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