ED- The Eerie Digest has had the honor of presenting the short stories written by author Dianah Brock over the past months under the name of Ava Sprayberry. Her haunting tales are a perfect match for our magazine, and have thrilled our readers with their great mysterious qualities. We’d like to introduce Dianah to our readers and let them get to know her better. Dianah, how did you begin your writing career, and who first encouraged you to do so?
DB- Well, I came from a family that reads the encyclopedia and dictionary for fun, so I became addicted to the written word at a young age. As a Freshman in High School, My literature teacher, Susan Campbell, took an interest in my writing, and began to push me to use my talents to their full potential. It was then that I decided to take my hobby to the next level, and pursue a career as a novelist.
ED- You love the area that you live in and have a goal to ‘put it on the map’. Please tell us about where you live and your attachment to it.
DB- I come from the small town of Kingston in Northwestern Georgia. I lived there until I was eleven, and then was relocated to Adairsville after that. The entire area where I was raised holds vast amounts of history dating back past the civil war era. During that time, the area was thriving with the railroad running through, and multiple cotton plantations and lumber mills. I love history, and the fact that I come from an area that holds so much of it intrigues me. The history of the area sparks my creativity. I believe that by putting the area on the map, and telling others about it will give Kingston, Adairsville, and other small towns in the area the credit they deserve for playing such vital roles in our nation’s history.
DB- On a professional level, where writing is concerned, I have to give credit to my three favorite authors, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Laurell K. Hamilton. On a personal level, I also have several great influences. My aunt Diane Hightower, who helped my mother raise me, pushed me as a child to develop my natural flair for writing. My mother is also a great influence as she shares the talent of writing. My teacher from high school who is responsible for my transition from short stories to fictional novels is also a strong influence in my writing, and life in general.
ED- What is your favorite genre?
DB- My favorite genre is horror. I fell in love with it after discovering the masterful work of historic literary writer, Edgar Allen Poe. My ideas, and love for horror began with The Tell Tale Heart.
ED- Your novel ‘The Story of Michelle Brown Vandivere’ took some time to write. Tell us about your efforts and the goal you hoped to achieve with it.
DB- I began writing The Story of Michelle in 2003. During that time, I was suffering from a severe case of depression. The book was used as a method of therapy for me. I finished the novel in 2007. However, I lost the entire manuscript to a fire when my family home in Kingston burned to the ground. I was discouraged and decided to leave the story buried in the ashes. As fate would have it, I went to work for the local Waffle House in Cartersville, Georgia a year later. There, I met a group of regular customers that were devoted readers. I began discussing literature with them, and shared my famous first line of my book with them. They encouraged me to re-write the story. A year later, I finished The Story of Michelle Brown Vandivere for the second time. It was released not long after that. My goal with The Story of Michelle is to reach out to a greater demographic sphere of readers.
ED- Tell us the theme behind the story, and the main protagonist in it.
DB- Well, the theme behind the story is a blend of paranormal activity and conspiracy. Michelle goes from a poor small town girl to a wealthy heiress when her biological grandfather, Charles Vandivere, leaves his entire multi-million dollar fortune to her. Charles Vandivere is the main protagonist in the story. He was a ruthless tyrant; a modern day plantation owner with a mentality stuck in the 1800’s. He is the type that gets what he wants by any means necessary, no matter how cruel, illegal, or sadistic the means may be.
ED- How would you classify the genre of this story ?
DB- My genre is classified as a horror suspense thriller. However, even though this particular genre is my favorite, I know that not everyone enjoys reading horror. Therefore, I created a story that will appeal to not just the lovers of Horror, but also suspense, conspiracy, supernatural, and even romance. This story is a clever blend of multiple genres all wrapped up into one story so that it will appeal to almost any reader out there despite the genre of literature they prefer.
ED- Your love of the history of your area is well known. How has that influenced your writing, and to what degree do you incorporate it in it ?
DB- As previously stated, my home town area holds a lot of history within the streets, buildings, homes, and memories of the older residence. This influences my work a great deal. History can spark ideas and plots in the minds of many talented writers. Given the fact that I focus my work primarily on horror and the supernatural, historical locations allow that spark to ignite into a blazing inferno if creativity. I use the history of my home town area to one, inform others that there are place that played vital roles in the history of our nation, and two, as a fuel for the fire.
ED- Your short stories are also in league with our reader’s interest. Are you considering a book with this collection?
DB- Actually, I am. I am currently working on a collection of short stories entitled “Short but Not So Sweet” that I plan to have released after the first of the year.
ED- Do you have other works on the drawing boards that you can tell us about, and where can our readers find your novel?
DB- Right now, I am in the final stages of completing my second novel, Achievement By Possession. I plan for that novel to be released by July. Aside from that, I have twenty-six other novels in the works, four of which are a series featuring a psychic detective that utilizes her abilities to open the eyes of the justice system, and the world to the supernatural. This character has some amazing adventures, trials, as well as some chilling events that change her throughout her life and career. This series is written in a first person point of view which is proving to be both fun and entertaining. I am anticipating the completion of this series as well. The Story of Michelle Brown Vandivere can be found on my website www.dianahbrock.yolasite.com www.amazon.com and the bookstore of my publishing company at www.publishamerica.net
ED- Dianah, it has been an honor and a privilege to be able to have this interview with you, and for all your contributions to The Eerie Digest. Our readers have said they love your work, and I know that they will be seeking to read your novel. We want to thank you, and wish you much luck in all that you do.
DB- It has been an honor working with the magazine. I am grateful for the opportunity to allow my work to reach a wider range of readers. I thank all of the devoted readers of the magazine who have taken an interest in my work. I look forward to a long, professional, successful relationship with The Eerie Digest. I have become a fan of the magazine myself. To be featured three times now is an honor that I will cherish in the course of my Career.