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Wednesday 19 August 2015

The One You Feed by James Drummond ~ Author Interview + Giveaway


About The Author

James Drummond

James is the author of The One You Feed, Something Wiccan, and The Agreement - the first three books of the Out of the Dark series. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Angela and two cats named Tim and Ruby. During the day James is a Senior Instructional Designer for an e-learning development company. A Graphics Designer at the company, Wojtek Batko, designs the covers for James' books.

Author Interview 

1. What was your inspiration for the Out of the Dark series?

I just really like the horror genre. It started as a fun hobby. I wanted to write my own stories using established horror creatures. I started with werewolves in The One You Feed and tried witches and warlocks in Something Wiccan. Vampires are up next in The Agreement, which comes out this fall.

2. What was your inspiration for the book covers for the series?

I’ve always liked illustrated covers in the style of the Harry Potter series or some of the old Lord of the Rings books. I thought it would be fun to recreate scenes from my books for the covers and am very fortunate to have some very talented illustrators as coworkers. One of them was willing to take on the challenge and has come up with some great designs. I’ll explain to him how I envision the cover looking and he’ll use his creative powers to create the scenes and integrate the book titles in creative ways.

3. If you could choose ANY Author, who would you choose as a mentor and why?

I’d love to pick the brains of William Gibson to talk science fiction and cyberspace or Richard Price to learn more about his research process and how he created incredible characters like Ronald "Strike" Dunham and Rocco Klein. Seeing as how I have no access to them, I was actually pretty excited to find a way to hear some stories and learn a few tips and tricks from a multi-best seller when I found the MasterClass web site:

4. Do you have any writing quirks?

I often live in the world I’m creating, even when I’m not writing about it. I think that’s something a lot of writers do. When I’m out with friends and there’s a lull in the conversation, I’ll often want to get their opinions on character and stories they know nothing about yet. It’s like wanting to discuss a favorite television show nobody else is watching.

5. How did you come up with the title?

I don’t remember how I stumbled across the Native American fable of The Wolf You Feed (which, as it turns out, might not actually be a true Native American fable), but I just felt like it was a perfect fit. First off, a couple of the main characters are Native American. Second, the story’s lead, Toby, fits the allegory perfectly. He wants to be brave and take action when needed, but struggles to do so because of fear and self-doubt.

6. Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always known I wanted to tell stories. I started with screenplays because I thought they’d be easier to actually start and finish in the limited free time that falls between work, friends, relationships, feeding the cats, trying to occasionally exercise, etc. My first two books are actually based on screenplays. The scripts were fun to write, but they didn’t feel complete. About a year after I finished them I decided I needed to turn them into novels.

7. What would you say was the hardest part to write The One you feed?

Ugh, it’s such a lame answer, but finding the time to write it. I told myself when I started that it was just going to be a hobby. I’d get around to working on it when I had the time. I wasn’t going to rush the process. I was kidding myself. If I went more than a day or two without working on the book I’d start to feel really guilty, and I would have so much fun when I did work on it. There were plenty of nights when I’d get home from work and be too fried to do much, but I’d always try to write a page or two. It still took me over a year, which was frustrating, but still pretty fulfilling.

8. In hindsight, would you change ANYTHING about The One you Feed?

Well that’s the perk of publishing e-books. You CAN change things. I haven’t altered the story at all, but I have gone back and edited spots where I felt the writing was clunky. I cut my teeth with this book, so there were some rough spots. However, I am planning on publishing all three books as paperbacks during the Halloween season, so I’m going to have to get to a point where I’m happy with all three pretty soon.

Thanks so much for helping me get the word out about the One You Feed and letting me take part in this interview. It was fun. Good questions!

About The Book

The One You Feed

by James Drummond 

Series: Out of the Dark #1 
Date Released: October 2013
Genre: YA Horror

Like most kids who grew up in the small Oregon town of Silver Falls, Toby Hoffman had heard all the scary stories about the monsters living in the neighbouring woods of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Now a teenager, he knows the stories are made up to keep the town’s children from wandering where they aren’t wanted.

Then his best friend, Nate, wakes up covered in blood in the reservation woods, with no recollection of whose blood it is or where it came from. When even more brutal attacks follow, Toby can’t help but wonder if one of the fables he was told as a child might be true. With the help of Rachel, a determined Native American girl who has moved off the reservation and into the house next door, he begins searching for an explanation for the recent carnage. He also develops feelings for his new neighbour, which are put to the test when he and Rachel discover that her uncle may be responsible for the emergence of a legendary monster that does in fact exist.

To make matters worse, there’s evidence that Nate was turned by the beast, and that he has every intention of holding onto his extraordinary new creature capabilities no matter the cost. In order to save Silver Falls from a true scary story, Toby will have to face off against forces he doesn’t fully understand – and his closest friend. 


Henry Jennings wasn’t sure of when he’d first become aware of the squealing. The high-pitched cries might have found their way into his dream at first. After seventeen years as a pig farmer, he often found himself working the paddocks even after falling asleep. Sometimes his high school sweetheart, a Sasquatch, or a renowned historical figure might join him to lend a hand—his dreams weren’t entirely void of imaginative elements—but hogs were frequently the focal point.

However, this time the ruckus in the stables wasn’t merely part of some unpleasant dream. As the stout farmer blinked away the cobwebs and progressed further into consciousness, the frantic oinks and squeals from outside intensified, overpowering the strong patter of rain against his bedroom window.

What the hell was going on out there?

Turning on his bedside lamp, Henry dragged himself out from underneath the covers and surveyed the floor for a suitable pair of jeans to pull on. Kicking a few options aside, he uncovered a pair spotted with dry mud. He looked again at the downpour outside and quickly decided to don the already soiled jeans along with a worn flannel shirt.

The clock above the kitchen stove read 4:35 a.m. Trying to fall back asleep after investigating whatever was going on outside would be pointless. By the time he settled back into a good slumber, his radio alarm would wake him with the day’s weather and the latest country hits. He might as well check the farrowing huts as long as he was up. Maybe Betty had finally had her new litter. Betty, of course, was an exceedingly pregnant pig.

Most folks were surprised when they found out Henry named his swine. They assumed that by doing so he was just increasing his chances of growing attached to them, making it harder to slaughter the animals when the time came. Henry figured that people assumed this because that’s how they would feel, and because at fifty-two years of age, he hadn’t developed many relationships outside of the ones he had with his pigs.

But Henry didn’t name them out of a need for companionship. That wasn’t it at all. He named them simply because they deserved names.

They were intelligent animals that would provide for folks in innumerable ways. Pork was obvious, but most people didn’t realize that weed killers, rubber, makeup, and antifreeze all came from hog fatty acids. Their glands and organs sometimes supplied insulin for diabetics and ventricles for certain heart surgeries, while the skin of a pig could be used for gloves, shoes, and various types of clothing.

These were just a few instances of how Henry’s hogs might one day benefit society, and already far more examples than he could come up with for most people he knew. That being said, his precious animals were just being a raucous pain in the ass at the moment.

Snaring his jacket and a flashlight from the hall closet, Henry headed outside. A blaze of lightning and the boom of thunder greeted the gruff farmer as he stepped out into a torrential rain. He flipped on the flashlight and jogged over to the stable. The door was securely locked, just as he’d left it. Cursing the downpour, he dug out a set of keys from his front pocket and, shining the light on them, thumbed his way to the one he needed. He then slid the key into the padlock and opened up the stable.

Once inside, he became instantly aware of how the stable’s usually close, pungent odours were diminished, almost replaced, by the fresh smell of rain. That was when the gaping hole in the structure’s side wall became apparent. Henry shone his flashlight through the large, splintered opening. The rainfall outside sparkled as it passed through the beam.

Stunned, he moved the light to the ground, expecting to find tire tracks. It would have taken one drunk or reckless driver to veer this far off the road, but Henry couldn’t think of another explanation for the damage he was seeing. To his surprise, there were no tracks in the mud.

Henry then spotted one of his hogs, Milton, toddling for the breach. For all he knew, the exterior fence had been damaged too, and he couldn’t afford to lose half his stock out in the surrounding forest. He moved toward the makeshift exit to keep the pig from escaping, but only made it a couple of steps before a low, muffled growl stopped him dead in his tracks.

A predator.

And just like that, Henry’s main concern was no longer preventing his hogs from getting out of the stable, but determining what had gotten in. Spinning around, he shone his flashlight into a nearby stall, then another. All he found were squealing pigs. He caught only a glimpse of the intruder, out of the corner of his eye, just before the animal struck. It was powerful, whatever it was. The creature knocked the hog farmer off his feet and sent him sailing across the stable. As he tumbled to the ground, Henry felt a sharp pain shoot up his left side. At first, he thought it was strictly the result of a hard landing, but when he brought his hand to his ribs, he discovered his jacket and shirt had been torn open by the animal’s strike. And although he couldn’t make out anything in the darkness, his fingers were now covered in a sticky wetness Henry could only assume was his own blood.

He spotted his flashlight laying several feet away and considered scrambling for it. Then, out of the shadows at the far end of the stable, appeared two glowing yellow eyes. They were all Henry could see of the creature that had attacked him. They were all he wanted to see.

No longer caring about the flashlight, he rolled onto his hands and knees and began crawling for the door, adrenaline overtaking any pain. After a yard or two, he lurched onto his feet. The ache in his side returned with the effort, and his hand instinctively went back to the wound. His clothes were now soaked with blood.

Henry heard the heavy patter of the animal’s footfalls on the dirt floor behind him, just prior to feeling its teeth gliding through his calf. The beast’s jaw clamped down like a bench vise. It then yanked him back, and before he’d even really registered the attack, Henry found himself soaring though the air again. He hit the ground hard, skidding across hay and manure. When he finally he came to rest, he was lying beside the hole the massive beast had created in the stable wall.

He had to get through that opening. Maybe this thing had decided to claim Henry’s stable as its own and was simply defending it. If he could just pull himself out into the pen, maybe he’d be safe. He reached out and grabbed at the splintered wood with his bloody hands, his muscles straining as he pulled himself through the breach.

The sensation of rain pelting his face lasted only a second. Then Henry felt the beast’s razor-sharp teeth chomp down once more. He cried out as the creature jerked him back inside the stable. There would be no escape. The squealing of his hogs grew louder, but their commotion was no competition for Henry’s own terrified screams. He felt the sensation of claws cutting through him, but no pain. Henry could no longer feel pain. In the next few moments, he’d stop feeling altogether.


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