Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Five: Sandy DeLuca
Welcome to the latest installment of “Know a Nominee,” the interview series that gives you peeks inside the minds of this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. Today’s featured author is Sandy DeLuca, nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection (along with Marge Simon) for Dangerous Dreams (Elektrik Milk Bath Press).
DM: Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated? In the case of a work wherein you’ve written multiple stories (like a collection) please choose your favorite part and discuss.
SD: I don’t write much poetry these days, and I am primarily a painter, and then a writer of fiction. However, I saw Dangerous Dreams as an opportunity to work with Marge Simon.
The collection evolved in an offbeat way. I’d write a few verses after I’d written several chapters of a book in progress, and then I’d email my ramblings to Marge. She’d go on to add her own lines, and she’d finish up the process.
DM: What was the most challenging part of bringing your idea to fruition? The most rewarding aspect of the process?
SD: The challenge was to think as a poet, rather than a painter or fiction writer.
The most rewarding aspect was to work with such a great poet; and to realize we react to emotion, imagery and life in similar ways.
DM: What do you think good horror/dark fiction should achieve? How do you feel the work for which you’ve been nominated fits into that ideal?
SD: Good horror fiction/or poetry should reflect the darker aspects of life—loss, heartache, isolation and fear. It should never consist of quickly written lines and thoughts, and it should be refined so that the reader sees and feels a writer’s voice and message.
Some writers have impressive technical abilities, but often the work lacks soul, and in the end it isn’t real art.
I feel that Marge and I have written a soulful collection, one that both women and men can relate to on many different levels. I’d like to believe that it’s a work of art.
DM: I’m curious about your writing and/or editing process. Is there a certain setting or set of circumstances that help to move things along? Where do you often find yourself getting stuck, and why?
SD: I work in small office and library, and I keep the T.V. in another room on while I’m working. I require solitude as well.
I am often inundated with interruptions. I’ve written many books, stories, and my walk-in closet consists of a massive body of visual work. I’ve also worked with Marge on other collaborations, where my paintings have served as illustrations for her poetry. Despite all that, some family and friends (not all) do not believe that what I do is really a form of work; and they tend to drop by or call without announcement. Some think that my isolation is not good for me, and they insist they I join them for lunch or for shopping trips. I know they mean well, but those incidences interrupt my flow and process.
A serious artist needs aloneness to get the job done. Good chapters don’t get completed during hour-long phone chats (or day-long shopping trips), nor does a great painting, sculpture, or musical composition.
DM: As you probably know, many of our readers are writers themselves. What is the most valuable piece of advice you can share with someone who may be struggling to make their way in this life?
SD: This sounds a bit cliché, but I’d tell others not to give up. There are pitfalls in all aspects of life, and there will always be people who don’t get what you’re trying to achieve. We’re all on different paths, striving for different goals, and if someone tries to discourage you, or prevent you from following your path, then, as painful as it may be, you need to move on.
Don’t let bad reviews, or rejections, get to you. Some people will get what you’re trying to say, and others won’t. You can’t please everyone. Write for yourself and you’ll never go wrong.
DM: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Bram Stoker Awards/WHC (if you are attending)? If not attending, what do you think is the significance of recognitions like the Bram Stoker Awards?
SD: Sadly, I will not be able to attend the Bram Stoker Awards this year.
I think it’s wonderful that so many good works gain recognition through the Bram Stoker Awards. It’s an honor to be included with such a host of great artists, and to be recognized.
About Sandy DeLuca
Sandy DeLuca has written and published numerous novels, two poetry collections and several novellas, including the critically acclaimed Messages from the Dead and Descent. She was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for poetry award in 2001.
Her paintings have been exhibited widely and a number of them have accompanied the wonderful poetry of Marge Simon, including Marge’s Bram Stoker award-winning poetry book, Vampires, Zombies, and Wanton Souls.
At present, Sandy DeLuca is a full-time writer and painter. She lives with three faithful felines in an old Cape Cod House in Rhode Island.