Be forewarned. I play favorites. And I gladly bring one of them to you today. I'd like you to join me in welcoming Teric Darken, author of K-I-L-L FM 100, U-TURN KiLLuR, Feckless, and I have it on good authority that he's working on another awesome book!
Plus ~ He's just signed on with Treasureline Publishing, so please send him a hearty congratulations!
Thank you Mr. Darken for being here today!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Thank you for having me, Amanda; I am sincerely appreciative! I am originally from Jefferson City, MO. I was born in 1971. Music and books are the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion. Musically speaking, I enjoy everything from blues, to soul, to rock, to hip-hop, to metal. Books: where do I begin? To Kill a Mockingbird… The Screwtape Letters… Comes a Horseman… The Oath… Adam… all are books that have influenced me, right off the top of my head.
I began writing in 1987 when my English teacher gave our class an assignment to script an original poem. For me, it was a great way to relieve the angst of life’s pressures as a teenager. From there, I began writing short stories. Those skills soon morphed into song lyrics, as I began writing songs for a Christian rock band I was in from about 1991 till around 2003. From there, well, I’m currently putting a lot of heart and soul into writing books. Most of all, I have a relationship with the Messiah Yeshua- Jesus, the Christ. I acknowledge Him as LORD; I strive daily to match my walk with my talk. I am thankful for His grace when my humanity gets in the way. I invited Him into my heart when I was ten years old… best thing that’s ever happened to me.
How did you come up with the idea for K-I-L-L 100 FM? And was Cart-man based on you? (yes. I can see you playing air guitar in your chair.)
I am a master at air guitar… though usually prefer to play it standing up in front of my air audience. To date, I have played over five thousand air concerts!
The idea for K – I – L - L FM 100 began while I was lying in bed at my work (the fire station). I had been reading a Dekker book, and thinking about how far Christian fiction of the thriller variety had come in the past two decades. I was laying there and thinking, “If I were to script a thriller, how could I make it unique?”
I’ve always heard, “Write what you know, then, more than likely, it will be believable.” I know music. While concocting this story, the idea for a twist- or perhaps a more appropriate term would be “subliminal message” hit me, first. I offer the reader a major tip in the story by actually giving a partial revelation of the subliminal within the storyline itself. Take the first word in every chapter- that will be the first word of every song in all caps- and write them down on a piece of paper. They reveal two sentences that coincide with the story.
When I first mentioned my idea to the company I published through, they were elated and told me that they had never heard of that before. That said, there are a zillion novels out there. But maybe I have done something unique.
The “KILL” part is actually in reference to being crucified with the Christ- putting to death our old, sinful nature. My book titles usually have a double meaning. I am forthright in painting darkness for what it is, meaning I try to keep the script as real and believable as possible, but I do not condone the darkness. I also script the Light for what it is, and who He is. My promise to the reader: as dark as one of my stories may seem- I will always expose humanity’s need for the Light. The Light always receives the glory. And I back every one of my books up with scripture. I am a firm believer in the power of The Almighty’s Word. It is a double-edged sword. Jesus, Himself, the Prince of Peace said that He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword (Mat. 10:34). If someone is looking for “edgy” material- look no further than the Bible. It’s ALL in there.
Was Cart-Man based on me? No. I only wish I was half as cool and kind-hearted as Cart-Man. He is my kind of earthly hero.
Please tell us a little about your book and where we can purchase a copy.
My books can be found at the following venues in-store and online: Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, Borders.com, BooksAMillion.com, Lifeway Bookstores, etc… My website also has a store section where a person can click on the various links.
You've written more than just K-I-L-L. Would you please tell us about those, and what are you working on now?
My second thriller, which also includes a healthy dose of the supernatural, U-TURN KiLLuR, was released this past January. The idea for that story hit me as I was still typing away at K – I – L – L FM 100. It involves a serial killer who is preying upon a firefighter’s family. The firefighter tries desperately to defend his loved ones, and it simply gets raw, gritty, and dark. But again, it serves a purpose in that inasmuch as the darkness waxes gruesome, it exposes our dire and utter need for the Savior. I can promise the reader this: they will be surprised at whom the killer is, and the method in which the deed is done.
Feckless was also a hoot! Ellen Maze, the editor, tapped me and asked me if I’d like to throw my hat in the ring of a supernatural, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, atypical anthology with eight other writers. I was up for it, as A) it was an honor to be asked, and B) it allowed me the opportunity to get a couple short stories out there that I had written “outside of the box.” My contributions were the supernatural/thriller spoof “Road-trip,” and an allegory entitled “Man.”
By the way, if I may, I’d simply like to say that I’m in EXCELLENT company amidst the Feckless authors. My fellow contributing writers include: Ellen Maze, Krisi Keley, Kat Heckenbach, Elizabeth Little, Angela Dolbear, Pete Turner, Kevin Maze, and our brilliant Aussie author, Stu Loudon.
I am actually putting the finishing touches on the first phase of my newest supernatural thriller. I’ll say this about it: I’ve held nothing back, whether in depicting the darkness disguised as light, or in displaying the true Light which unveils the darkness for what it truly is. If the reader will choose not to miss the forest for the trees, I believe they will develop a deep appreciation for this story. If all goes well, and The Almighty willing, it should be available before July 2011.
I am also speaking with a publishing company that I have a great deal of respect for. Again, The Almighty willing, they will retain interest in me, and, hopefully, they will see me as an asset. My wish is that we will be a blessing to one another.
Where else on the internet can we find Mr. Darken?
Let’s see, how ‘bout: Facebook, www.tericdarken.com, and www.tericdarken.blogspot.com. I also lurk about on Goodreads, Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers, and A Flame in the Dark quite a bit.
Scripture verse that has meant the most to you.
Honestly, different verses have stood out and ministered to me at different stages in my life. Right now, this portion of scripture, from 1 John 3:8, has really made my heart soar: “…The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.” That is one of the main key verses that I’ve been utilizing for my new novel. The devil has done some kind of work, alright, but Jesus, the King, destroyed his work. He already has, for as the Risen Son stated prior to His resurrection, “It Is Finished!” (John 19:30) Three words, right there, but- WOW! -they sure do say something amazing!
What is your source of encouragement?
Not to sound cliché, but the Bible. I try to read at least one chapter per night, usually more. This world is not our friend, not our home. We are fish out of water here. The Bible- the True and Living God’s Word- those are messages from home… that’s The Almighty texting and tweeting us (He also throws in an e-mail or two)!
My author friends have also been a great encouragement to me: Toni Nelson, Nike Chilemmi, Krisi Keley, and the author of The Price of Trust… they have all been a major source of encouragement to me as of late. I also have to throw in Linda Boulanger… she has been a tremendous blessing.
Thank you for the interview, Amanda. I am genuinely appreciative!