Thank you, Erika. I am honoured to be here.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. Often, I am asked: “Is Teric Darken your real name?” My reply: “Would you believe it’s my real pseudonym?” LOL! I formed my pseudonym from the words “esoteric” and “darken.” I initially wanted to make my surname obscure, known only to the initiated alone.
What kind of stories or topics do you like to write about in your book(s)?
I typically don’t go about writing my material with a specific topic in mind, but at the time of this interview, here’s what’s come out in the wash: KILL FM 100 deals primarily with abuse; U-TURN KiLLuR addresses the horror of neglect; and the main thrust of Wickflicker is hedonism. The stories all seemed to create themselves in a way. That is, the more I crafted them, the more I began to understand the direction they were heading, and the focus sharpened.
I do tend to root for the underdog – those who have taken some hard knocks in life. My stories are full of underdogs. And though there are no fairy tale endings, there is definitely hope. Real and tangible hope.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
The genre chose me. With each of my books, an idea simply popped up in my head, and I began writing down the images I was seeing and hearing. After completing each book, I actually had to look up genre classifications to see what best described the book. Sometimes, people classify them for me. For instance: After U-TURN KiLLuR was released, I simply thought it was a thriller. Author Ellen Maze posted a review of it on Amazon, and the main caption said: “Teric Darken knows horror.”
I’ve come to the conclusion that I naturally write in a supernatural thriller vibe. Sometimes the thriller portion is prominent, peppered with a touch of the supernatural (KILL FM 100 Night Shift Edition), and sometimes the supernatural element takes the lead, injected with a dose of thrills and chills (Wickflicker).
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Yes, all of my books contain real life experiences. Since KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition) is the book in review at this time, I’ll disclose the following:
I have seen abuse firsthand, sometimes physical abuse, sometimes mental/emotional abuse. Take Killer Queen, for instance, one of two main characters in KILL FM: Her father abused both her and her mother through physical and emotional means. I have witnessed that type of abuse in my life. That said, keep in mind that I change things around to fit a fictitious story. While I have seen the abuse of yelling, name calling, and even black eyes and torn ligaments, I’m not saying that my dad abused me or my mom as in the story. But I have seen that type of abuse happen with people that were once in my life.
Another form of abuse resides in the other main character, DJ Carter Jackson. In various ways, he was abused by a man-of-the-cloth. After this form of abuse, and seeing the dark heartedness of man, he has some particular assessments of mankind’s religion though he retains a simple faith.
I was not abused in the manner that Carter was, but I have felt the weight of legalism crushing me from the time that I used to be a staff minister at a church. By legalism, I’m referring to this train of thought: “You can’t do this, because that’s bad. You have to do this, because it’s good. You have to walk this certain way, and talk this certain way, and look this certain way, etc...” I have been in a situation like that until it became too much to bear. That’s when I resigned from my ministry position. It got to the point where I was afraid to blow my nose for fear that I was doing it the wrong way! LOL!
So, while I never experienced the type of abuse that Carter Jackson has, I have felt a different form of abuse firsthand.
Is any part of the story directly influenced by another book or author?
I have been generally influenced by the following authors: Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, CS Lewis, and Robert Liparulo. I will say this: A little over a year ago, I read a phenomenal book by an author named Krisi Keley. The book was On the Soul of a Vampire, and though it does deal with a vampire, that is not the main focal point of the story – and it was not a tag-along on the coattails of the Twilight Series. On the Soul was initially written in 1997, way before Twilight was even thought of.
But in Keley’s book, which concentrates on the essence between the physical and spiritual union of two souls, she used a most shocking word in the dialogue. It smacked me upside the head when I came upon it. I worked up the nerve to ask her, “Krisi, why did you place that in there? It floored me!” Her response: “Because that’s what this character would have said at this point and time in their life in this story.”
That single incident served to shape my writing. You see, I write about the underdog, and along with that comes some mighty dark situations in life, but I also include a redemptive theme in each of my books. I took a long, hard look at myself and my works and came to a crossroads: Am I going to continue writing in a way that I think will keep people and the “powers that be” pleased, or am I going to be honest – to script in a genuine and authentic manner of how these characters, who are going through what they are going through, would speak and think and act?
I chose authenticity. I took the road less traveled and never looked back. And that has made all the difference. (Sometimes that difference has meant receiving ridicule and scorn. LOL!)
Does religion play a big part in your story? How so?
Religion does play a part in KILL FM (Night Shift Edition) though I personally am not a religious person. I’m all about relationship. Man’s religion states that to achieve paradise, heaven, nirvana, etc... You have to be good enough, work hard enough, or go by this or that formula/ritual. As Carter, the DJ in KILL FM, exposes and questions in one portion of the book: How can man achieve that state of paradise or godhood when our hearts are filled with darkness? Even the little white lies and webs of deceit that we spin are dark. Religion is man’s attempt to reach god. It’s like paying taxes. Relationship tells a different tale of one God who came down to reach man. The work has already been done; the price of darkness has been paid – it’s tax free.
Because he flew the coop!
Your favourite episode of your favourite tv show?
I always liked the episode on Friends when Chandler was trying to quit smoking and played the subliminal cassette tape while sleeping. The female voice on the tape kept saying: “You’re a strong, confident woman...” As the show progressed, Chandler kept becoming more and more effeminate, like applying lip balm like lipstick and stuff... I always liked that show.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Actually, I’d like to mention something different that I’ve injected into KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition): When the story had first entered my mind, I thought, “How can I make this a little different from all the other books out there? How can I set this apart and make it distinguished?” The answer: Inject the storyline with a subliminal message. And so I did.
Beginning with chapter one – not the prologue – if the reader will take the first word beginning each chapter and write it down, and do the same for all subsequent chapters – excluding the epilogue – they will then have a few sentences made up by those words that coincide with the KILL FM story.
And just for you, Erika: I remembered when you perused the initial version of KILL FM 100, back when it was a mere novella. You’d mentioned you would have liked to have seen a song list as represented in the story, sort of like a soundtrack. Well, for the benefit of all the readers, here you have it:
KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition) Soundtrack Listing:
Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane
Closer to Home by Grand Funk Railroad
Rubberband Man by The Spinners
The Last DJ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Muskrat Love by Captain and Tennille (Also by America)
The Cisco Kid by War
No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley and the Wailers
We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Workin’ for the Weekend by Loverboy
Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas
Please Please Me by the Beatles
Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper
Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
Message in a Bottle by The Police
Help by The Beatles
Can’t Get It Out of My Head by Electric Light Orchestra
Me and You and a Dog Named Boo by Lobo
One of These Nights by The Eagles
Lady by Styx
Rock the Casbah by The Clash
Hurt by Johnny Cash
Be My Baby by The Ronettes
Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan
What a Wonderful World by Louie Armstrong
I’m a Believer by The Monkees
With or Without You by U2
A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
Killer Queen by Queen
Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds
Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
You Know What to Do by Stryper
Glory and the Dream by Vigilantes of Love
People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield
Far, Far Away by King’s X
From This Moment On by Frank Sinatra
The Way You Do the Things You Do by The Temptations
Nightshift by The Commodores
I’m No Angel by Gregg Allman
Imagine by John Lennon
Goodbye by Def Leppard
Love Sick by Bob Dylan
Let It Be by The Beatles
My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder
Crazy by W.A.S.P.
Friends by Michael W. Smith
Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Into the Maelstrom by Narrow Road
DJ by David Bowie
Thank you for hosting me, Erika. I’ve enjoyed the interview. Best wishes with Suddenly Books!
As iron sharpens iron...
Thank you, Teric! Find out more about his book KILL FM 100 below:
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned... and Killer Queen is back with a vengeance!
KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition) is the expanded and revamped version of the thrilling original! Containing ten additional chapters and an extended storyline, brace yourself for the thrill-ride rush of this high-octane, adrenaline injected, 2010 Grace Awards finalist (voted top three, Thriller genre, original edition)!
Disc jockey Carter "The Cart-Man" Jackson has been climbing the stairway to heaven - keeping his life as simple as possible by living from one song to the next. He had the world by the tail, coming from a family of power, prestige and politics... until he let it all go.
Killer Queen is burning up the highway to hell - terrorizing a town in her crimson-red stilettos by holding random men at gunpoint. She had nothing except a dad who abused her... and now she has nothing to lose.
KILL FM 100 is the visual soundtrack of two opposing lives colliding head-on at a destined radio station. As Killer Queen puts the DJ under the gun during his night shift, she begins to question who the real hostage is as she confronts the demons of her past. And as the DJ shines his light into her darkened world, a few shadows of his own begin to loom from his closet.
When the lane narrows on this solitary stretch of highway, both captor and captive realize that something's got to give. Someone's got to go. Closing in fast on this dead-end drive, two souls discover that their lives are not so different; each has lived under a mask, and each is in dire need of genuine love.
A full-throttle storyline, injected with one of the most unique twists ever unleashed, KILL FM 100 is the thriller that reads like a soundtrack.
There's a time for everything under heaven. Killer Queen knows there's a time to kill.
Buy it on Amazon, Amazon Canada, Chapters, The Book Depository, or Barnes & Noble
Or you can add it to your Goodreads or LibraryThing list.
Teric Darken bleeds the ink through his thrillers: KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition), U-TURN KiLLuR, and Wickflicker. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in religious education, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and has released five albums with his former rock band. He resides in the United States with his wife and children and serves his city as a lieutenant on the fire department.
You can find Teric Darken online in the following places