Named one of the Examiner’s 2014 Women in Horror: 93 Horror Authors you Need to Read Right Now, Danielle DeVor has been spinning the spider webs, or rather, the keyboard for more frights and oddities. She spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino. Visit her at http://danielledevor.
Where did your inspiration to write Sorrow’s Point start?
I was discussing with my cousin about how there aren’t any good horror films anymore. And, the history of Blackmoor flew out of my mouth—the hideous murder, dark magic, torture. It was only later that I connected that to possession and exorcism.
What was the hardest thing bout writing Sorrow’s Point?
Pulling on my foreign language skills I haven’t used in quite a long time. I found myself digging through my college Latin and Russian textbooks.
Writer’s block: How do you beat it?
Stubbornness? When I have a deadline, I tend to just crank out stories. My brain attributes a deadline with the idea of being late. I’ve always been an early bird, so whenever I’ve had to be late, I can go as far as having a panic attack. Missing a deadline is the same way. Of course, it kind of helps that I have several books planned out in advance.
Do you have a favorite book or author? What do you love about them?
I have three books I read once per year, religiously. They are Night Film by Marisa Pressl, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. All three books struck a cord of familiarity and horror. I love the way these books make me feel while reading them. They keep me grounded.
What do you absolutely need in order to write?
A steno pad, glitter and metallic gel pens, and silence.
What do you love outside of writing and reading?
Movies—I am a pretty well-watched connoisseur. The only genres of film I don’t watch a lot of are romantic comedies and westerns.
Crochet—I create some pretty unique crochet art. Some of the pictures are on my website.
Take a Sneak Peek at Danielle Devor's Sorrow’s Point Below
The Devil’s Brood
O’Dell drove up the hill toward Blackmoor. What was left of his hair blew in the wind like the last strands of cotton candy left in the machine. It was too damn hot to have the windows up.
With the extra weight he’d put on over the last few years, the sun beat down on him more brutally, but this year it’d been a hard summer. He’d lost count of the amount of times he had to yell at kids for messing with the fire hydrants.
He adjusted his uniform, pulling at the hem of his shirt. The stiff fabric clung to his skin like nothing else. In this heat, he’d rather be home in his cotton undershirt, sitting on the back porch and drinking a beer. But work came first.
Pulling into the drive of Blackmoor, O’Dell parked the cruiser. He looked up at the monstrosity before getting out of the car. Damn thing was massive—about double the size of a football field. Three levels to it. Way too huge for any normal family, but then, the Blacks were anything but normal. To him, the house seemed like Moby Dick: massive, vengeful and misunderstood. He took out his hanky and wiped the sweat off the back of his neck.
“Just what I need. To hell with you, Doris. I don’t need Black breathing down my neck.”
He softly closed the car door as he stretched the kinks out of his neck and took in his surroundings. No birds or any little creatures stirred. No sound could be heard other than the ragged snorts of his own breath. Goosebumps traveled up his arms. He walked up the stone steps to the front door and pressed the button. The doorbell peeled in some tinkling tune O’Dell couldn’t name.
No one came to the door.
Failing at the front entrance, he wandered around to the other side of the house. The place was so big it took a while to find the back. By the time he got there, his breath tore out of him and the air felt like twenty pounds in his lungs.
He stood in some sort of garden area. Flowers bloomed in beds arranged strategically around the back side of the house, like something you’d see in an art book. A stone patio led up the steps. He hobbled up them, still panting. Damn porch was large enough to host a “quiet” party of three hundred people. Yes, the Blacks were a whole different breed.
He knocked on the back door. Still no answer.
Then, he heard it, a noise at last, a thump from inside the kitchen. He peered into the side window.
It was too much for his brain to process. Flashes appeared as if his mind could only handle it in pieces. Red ran down the walls like a sprayed Jackson Pollock painting. It covered the doorway and dripped from the top as bright as cherry syrup. On the kitchen sink rested a dish drainer. Long black hair pooled around the severed head of Mrs. Black. The blood dripping from the neck stump had matted the hair to the counter.
O’Dell turned away from the windows and puked. Nothing like this ever happened in Sorrow’s Point. The most he usually dealt with was a stupid kid shoplifting from the five and dime.
He ran off the patio, around to the front of the house in record time, and back to his car.
His sides ached and his head swam. Nausea beat at his gut. Fumbling with the driver’s side door, he jerked it open, hopped inside, and pulled out his radio.
“Jesus Fucking Christ!” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and pressed the button on the receiver. “Mable?”
“What?” Mable answered, the receiver crackling.
“I need goddamn backup at Blackmoor!”
“Oh God. Sorry, Walt. I’ll make the call.”
O’Dell released his radio and waited. The sour sweet smell of the vomit on his shoes turned his stomach. He forced the bile back down into his throat.
One at a time, the deputies arrived. For a town the size of Sorrow’s Point, two deputies was all the town could afford. O’Dell’s fist tightened on the handle as he got out of his car.
“Sheriff, what’s going on?” Deputy Jones asked. Boy was a young one, fresh out of the
O’Dell hoped he’d be able to pull his weight. He took a deep breath. “It’s bad, Jake. Real bad.”
Jones glanced over at the other deputy, Parker, and then turned back to the sheriff. “I’ve never seen you this messed up, Sheriff. You okay?”
The sweat dripped from O’Dell’s head in rivulets. He glanced at his reflection in the side mirror of his cruiser. His face flushed bright red. Before this case was done, he’d need more blood pressure pills. He threw his hat off and into the dirt. “No, I’m not fucking okay. Black has gone and killed his whole family!” He poked Jones in the chest. “I want you to go get that sumbitch. Cuff his ass and get him in the car. You hear me?”
Jones swallowed. O’Dell watched his Adam’s apple bob. Then, the deputy motioned for his partner.
“Go round back,” O’Dell said.