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Welcome to NightTide's Author Snapshot! Snapshots are quick, engaging, bite-sized interviews with writers that we love! This week, we chat with the mysterious Dominick Darkk.

1. Give us your best elevator pitch on your work.

"Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soulless" takes readers on a dark exploration of the human psyche, asking a haunting question: Which is more terrifying, the monsters of our imagination or the reflections they cast upon the true nature of humankind? Penned by Dominick Darkk, this collection of macabre tales delves deep into the shadows, inviting readers to confront their fears through chilling narratives.

2. What was your first published work?

My first published “book” was a fun little project I worked on with Illustrator C.C. Lynn and a major divergence from what I’m used to. Believe it or not, the title is “Mama Always Says…” a children’s picture book. However, I’d consider “Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soulless” my first publication, written in my true style and for my usual age demographic. 

3. Is there a story inside that you have seeds of but can't seem to connect that's dying to get out? 

Waaaaaayyyy too many!! Many authors say one of the hardest parts of writing is finding something to write about. I personally have the opposite problem. Piles of either half-written books or just loose pieces of paper with ideas written on them cover my home office. I’m not organized either, so I always find small scraps of paper with plot ideas in every corner of my house.


8. The truth is often stranger than fiction. What has been the hardest scene or chapter you've had to write if you were channeling personal experience?

A memoir of a dark but hopeful scene from my childhood. It was never meant to be published and never was. Only a couple of people in my life ever got to read it. I had written It a long time ago and, for some stupid reason, only had one copy I’d printed. I lost it somehow; it may have become mixed into a stack of papers I threw out. I had a very special connection to that piece of literature, but I’ve made peace knowing it’s gone. It’s healthy to let go. 


9. What inspired your latest work? 

I’ve always used reading and writing to escape the more unsavory aspects of my life and mental anguish. Sometimes, the goal of completing my collection of short horror stories, “Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soulless,” was the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning. Things got easier after publishing it and creating that success both in the book and myself. I can say that a sense of necessity inspired the book, but now that the book is finished, it inspires me each day.

4. How do you handle a rejected story?

I thrive on it. You can't become a better writer without someone pointing out flaws. I’ll listen and take it to heart if someone offers constructive criticism. If someone decides they want to demean my work, it’s better to ignore that energy. Sometimes, you must accept the impossibility of pleasing everyone in the world. Most of the time, their words are more likely a reflection of them. Luckily, I haven't come under too harsh of criticism yet.

5. What does literary success look like to you?

If completed, I have two goals that would equal literary success to me. One is to get all these stories and books floating around my head and house completed and published. The second goal is to make enough money to live off of while I write. It seems like a simple plan, but as many authors and writers know, it can sometimes seem impossible. 


6. Do you read your book reviews and if so, how do you deal with bad or good ones?

I try not to act like it, but I’m vain. Besides the great feeling of seeing those five stars or the ability to take notes from criticism, I also find the curiosity to see what people are saying excruciatingly overwhelming. There is no way I could ever hold back from reading my reviews. Here's a quick PSA for the readers out there who are seeing this. Drop everything you are doing right now and give your favorite small-time authors a rating on their last book you read. You have no idea how much this helps the author, even if it’s not a five-star review; leaving a review makes a difference.

7. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Focusing and ignoring distractions. Sometimes, I feel like I need horse blinders on my head, so I don't look around the room for something to procrastinate with. I’ll be in the middle of a sentence and suddenly find myself loading the dishwasher or raking the yard. I call it the “writer’s fugue state.” One second, I’m filling plot holes in my story, and the next minute, I’m fixing potholes in my driveway. Ha!

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10. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? 

Don't go to college! This sounds like terrible advice, but I wasted time studying something I never used. I have a degree that costs me thousands of dollars (And is still costing me). I cringe to think of all the writing workshops, tutors, literary classes, and publishing programs I could have invested that money in. Instead, that pile of cash is being burned paying back a debt to a wealthy institution for a piece of paper I will never use. I may be a bit salty about it… ha.

11. What's the best advice you've received from a fellow writer?

“If you’re bored writing it, they are bored reading it.” This one really stuck with me. I try to take a step back and reread my writing to see if it’s something I would enjoy reading or if I'm Information dumping, overexplaining, or using bland verbiage just because I'm lazy and it's easier to do. We all have parts of our books and stories that we wish we could get past writing to get back to the exciting parts, but it’s always worth it to take the extra time and create something worth reading.

12. What is your go-to comfort horror/Sci-Fi book? 

If I’m being honest, I love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I have a well-worn copy that I may have glued back together several times. I know this isn't exactly the answer someone would hope for from a horror author, but reading outside of your genre is important. Expanding your literary scope is as necessary for writers as exercising is for athletes.

13. If you were to genre-hop, which genres would you most like to try writing? 

I’m currently working on a Sci-fi/Fantasy series, but shhhhhh…. You heard it here first. I’d like to think that by the end of my life, I’ll have several different genre books published and multiple series. Then again, life happens when you are busy making other plans, so we’ll see what the future holds for me when I get there.

Born in the stunning state of Washington, Dominick Darkk resides there with his two feline companions, Mischief and Hokis, and a beloved Pitbull/Husky mix, Ava. While at home, he immerses himself in the creative process of bringing fantastic worlds to life on paper. He also indulges his passion for travel, exploring various locations to find new sources of inspiration.

The recently released debut book Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless hit the Amazon best-seller list for paranormal Horror in its first week. Get your copy here!

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