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Writer Vs. Writer: Terry Miller

Today, we have the pleasure of diving into the world of horror with the talented author Terry Miller. Known for his unique take on both traditional and extreme horror, Terry has captivated readers with his novellas and short story collections that take them on thrilling journeys to the darker side of human existence. Terry's upcoming short horror collection, "We All Die Eventually," promises to offer a different flavor of horror. For those who dare to venture into the darker realms of horror, Terry's novella "Love You to Death" awaits release via D&T Publishing. Falling into the extreme spectrum of horror, this work is a testament to Terry's fascination with exploring the boundaries of human depravity. With a liberating sense of creative freedom, Terry pushes the limits, crafting gripping narratives that delve into the darkest corners of the human psyche. Let's chat and learn more about Terry.

Thanks for joining us today, Terry. Let’s start with your novella "Den of the Wererats" was published by Gloom House Publishing/Bastardized Books. Could you provide us with a glimpse into the world and story of this novella? What drew you to explore the concept of wererats, and how did the collaboration with Gloom House enhance your work?

Before I even began, I knew I wanted to write a quick-paced, fun novella. It takes place in my hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. Jonathan and Paul are new to the area and are looking for members for their pack. They quickly find two in Devin and Kelly. What it means to be a wererat is pretty obvious on the surface, party, get laid, and kill. But that is only the sweet toppings on a multi-layered cake. Soon, the two new pack members find themselves in a world they never dreamt of. Devin has a conscience, but it doesn't stop him in indulging in the fun. Kelly has a destiny that becomes the worst if her nightmares. While all this deceit and malice going on, there's another secret one of their favorite bartenders keeps which eventually rattles the pack to its core.

It's intriguing to hear that you have a short horror collection titled "We All Die Eventually" releasing this fall via Gloom House Publishing. Can you share any insights into the themes or stories readers can expect from this collection? How does it differ from your other works in terms of tone or content?

“We All Die Eventually" is a collection of my early stories and a few poems. These were all written before I decided to go the more extreme route. These stories are more traditional horror. There's werewolves, creepy night visitors, the devil, and even a tribute to the great Edgar Allan Poe based rather loosely around “The Raven" and “Annabel Lee".

That's interesting. May I know about your novella, "Love You to Death". What attracts you to this particular subgenre, and how do you approach crafting stories that push the boundaries of horror?

Oh my…where to begin? I simply love the freedom to explore the darker side of things. Extreme horror is a genre that isn't scared to lay all the cards out on the table. I suppose, for me personally, it's a bit therapeutic to write these over-the-top scenes of blood and gore. It's just so satisfying to think up creative ways of killing off characters. I just go full in and write what comes to mind at the time. Sometimes I look back and think, what the hell?

I can relate to that. Whatever I've written, I looked back and said the same. What inspires you to write such stories?

We all have a dark side. Perhaps some of us more than others. It wouldn't be too far off to say that writing stories like Love You to Death is a bit of me exorcising my own demons. The mind can go to some dark places. I guess that's why so many say man is the greatest monster of them all.

That makes sense. I realize that collaboration plays a significant role in your work, as evidenced by your split collection with Stephen J. Semones called "Monsters." How did this collaboration come about, and what was the experience like working with another author to create a cohesive collection? Do you have any plans for future collaborations?

I met Stephen at a convention in Harlan, Kentucky. We just started talking about writing and added each other on Facebook. We talked here and there and he mentioned to a split collection someday. I considered it for some time and then agreed it'd be a fun project. A couple of those stories of mine appear in “We All Die Eventually”. At the moment, there's nothing set in stone to work on another project with anyone, but I'm not against it.

I like it when you mentioned that your creativity is sporadic and your mind tends to wander. How do you manage to channel and focus your ideas when they come to you? Are there any particular strategies or rituals you employ to overcome creative blocks or maintain a consistent writing routine?

Cell phones are a wonderful creation. Anytime I have an idea, I can just jot it down and save it in my notes. They usually hit while I'm lying in bed, of course, so the phone comes in handy. Sometimes, you just got to force yourself to sit down and write. One time, you might stare at a blank page endlessly. The next time you might get a couple sentences down and the floodgates open.

That's true. That's what I discovered last year and finished first 2 books of my upcoming trilogy. I wrote two books in Gmail. That was every evening for 3 hours nonstop writing process. What about you. I'd like to know about the process of writing "Den of the Wererats" which took you a full year, and you expressed satisfaction with the end result. How do you balance the desire to create quality work with the need for productivity? Are there any specific challenges you face as a writer that you've had to overcome during your journey?

I see authors releasing new books every month. I don't know how they do it. I can't write that fast. Part of it is the obsession with going back through a manuscript and feeling the evil Impostor Syndrome creeping in. Other times it’s simply because of my memory. If I had to take a break of a few weeks for self-care or whatever reason, I find I have to fully reacquaint myself with the story. I have so many ideas, but getting them to where I want them can be a challenge. I wish, in all seriousness, that I could write a new novella every three months. For me, that would be ideal.

You're an inspiration. What is your advice to aspiring writers?

I'll say what I've heard so many other writers say. Write. It's okay that it's not perfect the first time. It's okay if you need to go back over a manuscript multiple times. We all do it. Just get your thoughts down. You can rewrite and edit later.

With more books in the series of "Den of the Wererats" planned for the future, what can readers expect from the continuation of this series? Are there any new themes or directions you plan to explore within this world?

The first one had lots of twists and turns. Readers can experience much of the same for the planned sequels. I already have a twist for the second book that turns the series on its ear and, hopefully, have readers curious as to what in the world can be next. Also, after these main wererats tales, I hope to bring more were-creatures out to play.

As a writer who delves into traditional horror as well as the extreme spectrum, what do you believe are the unique qualities and impacts of each subgenre? How do you navigate the different expectations and audiences that come with writing within these various horror categories?

With traditional horror, it's practically impossible to create something that hasn't been done before. But there's a huge audience for that, way more so than for the extreme end of the spectrum. So, writing those traditional stories, I just tried my best to have fun with it and hope people enjoy them. With extreme horror, there's a growing audience and so many horror readers that have no idea that this stuff exists. So, if something I write is one of their initial experiences with the genre, I want it to leave its mark.

Thank you Terry for joining us today. Look forward to future collaborations. If you would like to know more about Terry and his books you can visit the following links or you can leave a question in the comment section below:

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