What’s the hardest part of being an author?
The hardest thing about being an author is that it never really gets easy. Sure, you’ll have good days—days were your mood is high and the words flow. But the same problems come back to trouble you. So many lessons are constantly being relearned. And there is always more to do. There is never a point where you can no longer write any better than you are. You can always do better. The goal keeps moving.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Mr. 8?
Just before Christmas, a small New England town is plagued by a series of disappearances and murders. The victims leave behind strangely scrawled figure eights, prompting the police to call the unknown killer “Mr. 8.” A local psychology professor is asked to give his opinion on the eights and gets dragged into the case. As he chases down the culprit, the evidence begins to point to a supernatural cause behind the strange crimes. And the string of killings begins to look simple compared to the intricate conspiracy that’s hiding behind the surface of everyday life.
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea came from a very elaborate and horrifying dream. I woke up believing I was dying and the images were burned into my mind. Working it into a novel, I expanded upon it and rationalized some of the more nonsensical parts, but many of the concepts were there—the eights, why people were drawing them, and the big twist, they were all in that dream.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I’ll spend anywhere between one and six hours a day writing. An hour is my minimum. I’d love to do more than six hours, but days without other responsibilities are rare and I find there are diminishing returns after a while. Eventually, I’m spending more time staring at the page or finding excuses to research than actually writing.
Name your top five favorite books.
That’s a brutally hard thing to narrow down, but if I had to name five I’d say: Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, Jose Saramago’s Baltasar and Blimunda, Barry Unsworth’s Morality Play, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, and Jim Crace’s Being Dead. I picked these maintly because they represent my favorite works from some of my go to authors. I probably could have picked other titles from them just as easily, or had you asked for a top ten list, added another five equally skilled and beloved writers. And I also chose to completely ignoring a host of classics.
What are you working on now?
My current project is a three book cross-genre series called The Things We Bury. Frequently in stories involving the supernatural there is a threat that if the creature, superhero, or alien got discovered they would be taken to a secret government lab for experimentation. These books follow a group of misfits working in such a laboratory. I’m currently writing the first book as a serialized novel on Wattpad. It should be finished in early spring.
Title: Mr. 8
Author: David J. Thirteen
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror
Psychology professor Denton Reed has been pulled out of the classroom to find a killer. Bodies are turning up all over the quiet town of Bexhill. They are found dismembered and burned beyond recognition in a snow covered farmer’s field, by the abandoned mill, and under the train bridge. The only clue linking the victims is the bizarre figure eight patterns left behind in their homes.
Denton must use his unique profiling techniques to uncover the murderer, who the police have dubbed Mr. 8. As he begins to unravel the mystery, a strange pattern begins to emerge. Before their deaths, each victim was seized by dark obsessions and inexplicable changes in behavior. Whatever strange forces are affecting the people of Bexhill, they may actually be more dangerous than any killer.
As a wave of insanity sweeps the town, Denton will put his life on the line to get to the source of the madness and risk all to protect the woman he loves.
But is it already too late?
David J. Thirteen has studied English Literature, Film Making, and Media Studies. He has lived and worked in the technology field for twenty years throughout the North East, in both Canada and the U.S. Writing has been a hidden passion for most of his life.
Mr. 8 is his first published novel and will be in stores on February 5th, 2015. It was first written as a serial story on Wattpad, where it became a #1 ranked feature novel. He still writes and posts new stories on Wattpad every week.
David currently lives in Toronto, Canada and lives a bright life, while dreaming dark dreams.