In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at M.T. DeSantis and her story “Drums.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
An email conversation with my now-boyfriend sparked DRUMS into life. He told me about how, years ago, he and his friends would have jam sessions. The drummer was so loud, he had to play in the attic as to not blow out the sound system/drown everyone else out. The idea was born.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
I did a little research for my character names, and I learned, well, about the figures my names are taken from. For those wanting a puzzle, I won’t spoil.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
I don’t know that DRUMS really has a protagonist, but if I had to pick, I suppose it would be Suppa. She’s the last one, and she’s paranoid.
Tell be about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
I purposefully gave little in the way of setting. The house is meant to come off as dark and sinister. There’s a staircase leading to the beat above. That’s about it. Otherwise, picture that creepy broken-down old-style home on the edge of town. You know, the one where a kid disappears every year.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
Sleep with one eye open. Kidding, but there’s not much in the way of lessons here. I suppose if I want to be literal, it would be “march to the beat of your own drum.”
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
“We cried until our eyes were deserts of dust.” I don’t know that there’s anything particularly unique or poetic about it. It just hits the right emotional spot for the story for me.
If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?
Steady Drumming Lures Five into its House—What is the Beat, and What does it Mean?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
That would be my shiny desktop computer. I bought it refurbished. It works like a charm, and through a clever combination of gift cards and price drops, I got it for $40. It’s okay. Feel jealous.
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
Wicked by Gregory McGuire—though, more the Broadway than the book version. I love stories behind the story, and my first thought when I discovered Wicked was “I whish I’d thought of that.”
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
Hah, more like “which time?” In 2012 after taking a semester off after college, I dove into a MFA in Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. This, I suppose, is when I started taking writing seriously. After graduation, I experienced the “now what?” panic, and so stopped taking it seriously. At the beginning of 2015, I gave self-publishing a go, realized it wasn’t something I loved, and fell off the wagon again. In the last six months, I moved states and have been more serious about my writing. I have a more settled feeling about it now—like I don’t have to be amazingly successful right out of the gate. This has taken some of the pressure I put on myself away, which is letting me enjoy writing, rather than viewing it as this thing I have to do and do better than everyone else. So, perhaps not taking it too seriously is really the key for me.
Born a New Englander, M.T. DeSantis moved south in early adulthood, realized she actually liked winter, and promptly moved back north. Currently, she’s trying out life as a Midwesterner with her boyfriend, who also actually likes winter. When not writing, M.T. can be found practicing yoga, attempting to make friends with the oven, or plotting her next adventure.
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