Drusilla Winters Interview

Drusilla Winter’s mind is like a horrific landscape of comedic brutality. When we read her first manuscript, we instantly knew she was a 711 Press candidate. Filled with tales that would probably even shock the likes of Stephen King, people are surprised to find that she’s a small, gentle looking woman with an innocent voice to match. So, we decided to interview Drusilla, so that her readers could discover for themselves, what makes her mind tick and why she writes such nightmares. Be prepared to be shocked by what you read below:

711 Press: So. Drusilla, how did you get into writing?

Drusilla Winters: Well, most of my story is in my 711 Press bio on the website, but for my fans (if I have any after they read my book, lol) here’s my story in a nutshell. I grew up in Philly, after moving to the states from England. I was exploring the house we moved into and found a box full of old books by Stephen King, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier. I became an addict real quick and went through the entire box that first summer. The rest is pretty much history, as they say.

711 Press: That’s scary. I am sure those books warped your mind. So, have you written in any other genres or has the macabre always been your calling.

Drusilla Winters: Well first, let me clarify, my mind was already warped, lol. I loved, loved, loved all the old horror flicks from the ’50s on. And especially the ’80s, each and every evil being from Jason Vorhees to Freddy Krueger to Jigsaw, they all warped me. I remember watching a Jason Vorhees marathon when I was a kid. It freaked me out. It was so graphic and gory, but well done. I thought what better way to influence my own writing than to watch movies that have been inspiring horror movie lovers for decades. Other than the typical stories we had to write in school, it’s always been darker things. I get a lot of my influence from Tales From the Crypt. I’m sure I’ll write something completely serious in the horror vain eventually, but for now, I am Tales From the Crypt bound. I just love the comedic humor that eliminates the goosebumps. I want my readers to be scared and horrified, but I also want them to be able to sleep at night. After all, it’s during my 7-hour comas that I come up with these stories.

711 Press: Then you must have a lot of stories?

Drusilla Winters: Trust me, I do, journals and journals of them. Most are small stories that can be read in 10-20 minutes. I always write my stories out freehand and I keep my journal in my purse because I am constantly influenced. I go to the mall, I see a particular person, I get an idea, I sit at a bench while my girlfriends, continue to shop, and jot down my thoughts. In fact, that’s how Flight 666 came about. I was at an airline waiting for my plane and I saw this tall, blond Swedish man with the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. He had a little bit of blond stubble on his face and the line of it running down his cheek made me think of a pristine scar. That’s all it took. The entire flight I looked around at the patrons for inspiration.

711 Press: So, you’re saying that every character in Flight 666 is based on real life people you saw on the plane?

Drusilla Winters: No. My mind runs a million miles an hour, so I’ll catch sight of someone and blow their persona out of proportion. For example, Tony Tulgrin was actually inspired by my girlfriend, Toni, who was with me on that flight. She’s a stick thin girl addicted to sweets. She had a chocolate bar and was eating it as they called to board. She shoved it down her throat and got chocolate on her cheek. She made the comment about weighing 400 pounds if she keeps it up. The next thing you know, I have a character. That’s how I’ve always done it and probably how I always will. Ideas come to me, I write them on paper and let the story unfold as my hand scribbles text on the blue lines. I do transfer to a word processor once I get the ideas out, but I feel like the pen and paper is my tool for releasing my creativity. I have so many short stories I probably need a bigger hard drive.

711 Press: Well, maybe we should put your creativity to work and turn all those horror stories into a TV book series, to help you free up your hard drive :)

Drusilla Winters: Well, if we did, I’d have enough for twenty seasons!

711 Press: That’s great. So, now that Flight 666 is off your hands, how are you feeling about Long, Cold Winter, which is your next 711 Press Movie Book release?

Drusilla Winters: Flight 666 was tough to write because it was so claustrophobic, being on the plane. Long, Cold Winter was much easier being out in the open woods. I actually wrote it in half the time it took to write Flight 666, but that is probably because I am now learning the 711 Press formula for a Movie Book, which has to fall within a certain criteria, including a certain amount of words that will allow it to be read in the same time it takes to watch a movie.

711 Press: Well, that’s our formula and we’re sticking to it!

Drusilla Winters: It’s a great formula, but I must say, I believe when I handed in my first draft, it was around 45,000 words and I as biting my nails because I just knew I’d have to add more wording to make you happy. I am a short story girl and I guess I just didn’t catch on to the fact that that is exactly what you wanted. So imagine my surprise when Ii get back the draft from you and you literally cut out over 20,000 words, and then your editor, Rich Dalglish, cut out another 4,000. For a moment, being the girly girl I am, my feelings were bruised. But then I read it and was blown away. Between both edits, there wasn’t really anything missing. It’s made me look at writing in a whole new light. Forget the fodder. Getting to the heart of the story should be the 711 motto!

711 Press: We are so glad you feel that way. Since we’ve started this venture, it’s been hard for us (Daniel and Jaime) to enjoy 300+ page novels. We both have favorite authors we love, but being in the 711 Press world bends your thinking to writing and reading a certain way.

Drusilla Winters: Oh my goodness. Exactly! I have many favorite authors that I love, but suddenly, it’s so much harder to read them, especially since being a 711 Press author makes each of us privy to reading the other 711 Press author’s Move Books before they come out. I so much enjoy reading James and Gordon’s trilogy, and Jami Lynn’s books. I wasn’t a big 007 or Jason Bourne fan, but Roger Vallon’s Kill Factor was awesome. Especially since I like the deadly action. Although his book isn’t horror, it’s already inspired me for the third 711 book we’re releasing, Moment of Death. And don’t even get me started on Ronald’s Legends of the Dread Realm series. I do love fantasy, though it’s not my area of writing expertise. I just can’t believe we all get to read each other’s stuff and feed off one another.

711 Press: It’s part of our process, which is why we have the weekly meetings. 711 Press is one big universe, in which every story takes, like the worlds of Marvel or DC Comics.

Drusilla Winters: I totally get it. And I love it when we all feed off one another, coming up with names for characters for each other’s books, or offering ideas when someone is working out details or plots.

711 Press: Shhhh, you’re giving away too much, haha.

Drusilla Winters: Whoops, sorry. You know how us girls are ;)

711 Press: Well, it’s been great, Drusilla, we are so happy to have you on board and we thank you for a wonderful interview.

Drusilla Winters: I’m happy to be on the team, and as for the was my twisted pleasure :)

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