Please tell us a little bit about your most recent work.
Broccoli is my most recent published book and the first thing I have self-published (unless people want to count the short stories I upload for free on my website). Broccoli has amazing cover art by Ilan Sheady from Uncle Frank Productions and can be purchased as a paperback from lulu. I wrote Broccoli many years ago after a friend of mine sent me a nice long list of traditional writing rules that one shouldn’t break – I decided to break them all (the book is dedicated to my friend for sending me the rules!). It was an idea I had been playing with for a while, with the character squeezing pimples. It didn’t work until I read “second person” and “present tense” on that list of rules of how not to write. The list also provided me with a beginning, “don’t start the story with someone waking”. Broccoli started as a short story, something to amuse me and my friend. It kept growing. I was stuck on another story, “Seth” (the first part of which is on my website), and needed to write something both descriptive and disgusting. An awful lot of body fluids were described, along with different dimensions. It wasn’t until I let other people read it, that I realised I’d written something people actually enjoyed. Out of all my stories, it’s the one I enjoyed writing the most. There isn’t any real traditional linear plot to speak of, which was fun. The only difficulty I really had with it was trying to keep the character gender neutral.
What draws you to writing novels?
I tell the story with how many words it takes. If they end up at novel length, that’s how many words they needed.
Are you currently working on any side projects such as short stories, essays, etc.?
Currently, the only things on my to-do list are novels and novellas. I’m also preparing stuff for me to work with in the spring and summer when I typically don’t get many ideas. I can’t simply take the spring and summer off from writing. That makes me a bit cranky.
Files other than this one open on my computer right now include a novella (“Sparky the Spunky Robot”), a novel (“El Chupacabra Tickles Michael's Bearded Ghost in the Butt”) and a finished novella (“Ghetto Super Skank”) that reads more like the start to a much longer novel. I’m not sure how to publish Ghetto Super Skank but once the other novella and novel are done, I’ll be writing the novel it seems to introduce. It won’t be the first time I’ve divided stories up like that. By cutting out the beginning in something, I cut a lot of pointless introduction and sometimes I’m left with an entire other story.
In autumn and winter, when my creative brain seems more active, I take notebooks from my stack of blank notebooks and will write the first few hundred words of a story in them. So far, I have two to work on over the summer. That might give me a few weeks in September when I’m not writing anything but sometimes, I can work with short story prompts.
Which topics interest you the most and why?
I write about a lot of different things, but I guess I’m more known for graphic sex scenes, if you want to call them that (they aren’t pleasant sex scenes), and body fluids. I don’t rule out any topics though.
Time interests me a lot, mainly because I have no concept of it myself and tell time in Skinny Puppy songs (“I’m about three Skinny Puppy songs away, be there soon” is a common text message to receive from me). I have to set alarms. It was something I tried to convey in “Reptile” (out now from JEA), but I think in that story I more explored cloning and inter-dimensional travel. Since finishing “Reptile”, cloning and different dimensions have been topics that haven’t come up again.
A lot of my stories have a little piece of the aforementioned “Seth” in them as I’ve been working on that, on and off, for ten years. “Seth” is my pornographic lit piece. Once that’s finish, it might be a long time before anything I write even has a sex scene in it.
If I write about something, I have to keep writing about it until I’ve perfected it on some sort of subconscious level.
Do you have any unique rituals?
I don’t have any unique rituals in regards to writing. I tend to wake early to ensure I get some writing in that day. 5am seems the best time to do it, everyone else is still sleeping. Writing in the morning, while having coffee tends to put me in a good mood for the day as well. I have enough published now where I’m a bit more sheltered from people being negative.
In regards to random rituals or things I do every day, every morning when I’m done writing and need to get my son up for school, I listen to the same Nine Inch Nails album – “With Teeth”. My day doesn’t seem to flow right without it. It isn’t even their best or my favourite one!
One novelist more people should know: Who is it?
There are so many novelists out there writing today. I only have a little bit of time set aside for reading each day so I don’t get to read as much as I would like. The Sisters of Slaughter, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, are favourites of mine.
I’ve just completed Dual Depravity 2 with David Owain Hughes which’ll be out eventually from JEA. If you like my stuff, you’ll like his.
RD Cervo sent me a copy of his book “Kali on a Rampage” a few years ago. I absolutely loved that.
This year, over Christmas, I plan on reading a lot more books as I’ll have a few days off the day job and my son will be off school. I share custody with his step mother, but I’ll have him for the first half of the Christmas break, once he’s in bed, I like to read and relax and won’t need to wake up early in the morning.
Do you find it difficult to get your work out there?
When I first had completed pieces to have published, I found it difficult to get that break. I didn’t have many completed pieces though. These days, it is much easier and I plan on self-publishing more.
Tell us about your day job or your daily activities.
In terms of day job, under medical advice, I’m not meant to think about it unless I’m actually there. I don’t mind talking about it necessarily, but people take that a bit too far and come up with all sorts of things for me to do instead, while ignoring my writing. These days, I typically say I’m an author and the day-job is on a need-to-know basis.
Daily activities revolve around my son and making sure I do enough things to improve our circumstances. When I’m not writing, I enjoy trying to reclaim my drawing skills which were lost under stress. My son likes to draw with me. He wants his own set of pencils now. Although, lately, I’ve been knitting my son a Christmas jumper. He wants one with lights this year and didn’t like the one I crocheted for him last year.
When it comes to your work, where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Song lyrics are popular with me, or what they sound like instead of what they actually are. I have a series called “Stef and Tucker” (to be published) which started as that. Dreams (I’ll get to that in a minute). People that annoy me and why they annoy me. Current affairs. Symptoms of various diseases and mental health issues.
A few months back I had a tinder account. It has since been deleted, but I matched with the best-looking guy I’d ever seen (or he had great command of filters). I never met him in person, haven’t spoken to him in six months but had a dream he was sending me messages saying “I won’t cause you stress”. It was a very repetitive dream. So me and a friend decided to google him. Boring. Boring. Boring. The guy certainly hides behind his job, or the job is him (an area I haven’t yet explored in writing). To be successful at what he does, he would have required a lot of passion to begin with anyways, so it is entirely possible the job became such a big part of him and his life, he doesn’t know any different. Writing did that to me for a while; I was either writing or telling people why they should be leaving me alone so I could write. My hobbies such as knitting and drawing are what prevent that these days. The one bit of personal information about him on the first page of results was actually something we had in common, but he wouldn’t know that as it was something that never came up. The results of the image search provided some inspiration, or amusement, a bit of both, really. Haven’t based a character on him though as that doesn’t seem fair and I already have a character with the same job. The character I already have, “Swampgas”, appears in a few stories. “Swampgas” wishes he had Hot Tinder Guy’s job. Hot Tinder Guy didn’t stand out as being a jerk. Mirrored my responses to his questioning though. Might have to use that somewhere as it was super annoying, especially as he didn’t say why he was doing it. I came up with three possibilities. As I’m not the only person with google, I’ll leave that there. For all I know, Hot Tinder Guy is a great person who just happened to have an occupation that put me on edge due to the person Swampgas is based on doing some truly horrible things to me.
My boyfriend is an aspiring keytar owner. He’s wanted one for as long as I’ve known him. We split up for a bit. When we decided to give things another go, his love of the keytar grew in my absence. I can actually picture him sharing his bed with a cardboard cut-out of a keytar. I have a thing against keytars so nearly everything I’ve been writing or drawing lately has contained a keytar. He still hasn’t bought this keytar. He’s not going to get on the Wikipedia list of famous keytar players if he keeps spending all his money on rare blu-rays!.
“Ketamine Addicted Pandas” started because the black metal band Immortal look like pandas and a picture of them had graced my Facebook newsfeed on the day I was asked to write about an endangered species. I needed a way to break pandas out of their enclosure. I doubt ketamine is strong enough for pandas, but most zoos would have a supply of it. Ketamine being a party drug and all, they became party pandas, who sometimes play black metal while going on a church-burning murderous rampage through northern Europe.
I write a lot of pleasant stories, but these don’t get the attention of the extreme stuff, unless they’re short and in an anthology. I decided to combine pleasantness and body fluids in “Sparky the Spunky Robot” (there’s also a keytar, because of course there has to be a keytar).
Each story has different influences in it and pulls in influence from anything. They all share one influence which is “Seth”. Until that is finished, I don’t think there is any escape.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I typically can’t respond to messages right away. Tell your friends if you like my books, or if they make you feel sick. Leave reviews. Interact on Facebook. Don’t be shy, even if I don’t respond, it doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you, but life and writing sometimes get in the way. Gin and absinthe are welcomed gifts. And of course, thanks for reading.
Suitably labelled “The Queen of Filth”, extremist author Dani Brown’s style of dark and twisted writing and deeply disturbing stories has amassed a worrying sized cult following featuring horrifying tales such as “My Lovely Wife”, “Toenails” and the hugely popular “Night of the Penguins”. Merging eroticism with horror, torture and other areas that most author’s wouldn’t dare, each of Dani’s titles will crawl under your skin, burrow inside you, and make you question why you are coming back for more.