Wednesday 27th November - P.C. Darkcliff

Sixteen Questions for Sixteen Authors

Contributor spotlight : P. C. Darkcliff, author of “A Poisoned Gift”

Today, the interviewer's spotlight tightens its beam on P. C. Darkcliff, known as 'PC' by his many writer-community friends. You can read all about PC's writing work in his interview below. To that body of work, you can now add "Dragon Bone Soup" - it was his original idea ("Hi Douglas, I've been thinking about publishing an anthology... with some of our friends."). He wrote "A Poisoned Gift" for inclusion in this anthology, and before anybody cries "foul", Douglas gave it the same rigorous selection and editing process he put all the other submissions through. PC's story 'made the grade' and appears in the “Dragon Bone Soup” anthology (published in December 2019). It asks the question whether you should ever do a deal with a devil, despite (or even if) that devil is your own grandfather?

What is your real name and what name do you write under (if they are different)?

My real name is Petr Cihacek. The surname has three accents and is so weird that not even my common-law wife can pronounce it. That’s the reason I write under the pen name P.C. Darkcliff.

Where do you hail from?

I was born in the Czech Republic but moved to Canada to finish my studies there. As I missed the Old Continent, I returned and lived in Spain, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Turkey. Then I moved back to Spain… for now.

What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?

If you mean my homeland, the first thing that comes to mind is the vast woods and ruined castles. It’s a great place to write a fantasy. A castle near my parents’ house inspired my debut novel, Deception of the Damned. The best thing about my current home is the climate and beaches.

Do you see writing as a career?

That’s my biggest dream. I don’t need to be filthy rich (although a bit of fame would be nice), but I would love to quit my day job and dedicate all my time and strength to producing new books.

What is different that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

I strive to blend different genres and create magic worlds that drag the reader in from the very beginning. My style has been described as, “rich in color and texture, bizarre and almost grotesque, but somehow still beautiful.” I take that as a great compliment.

When did you start writing?

Probably sometime in Grade 1 or 2, almost as soon as I learned my letters. It was a natural, even compulsive thing. I still remember sitting in my grandparents’ dining room, scribbling a story about a talking dog.

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t think I’m that much of a philosopher. I simply want people to have fun, visit the worlds I created, and experience the same emotions as my characters, from fright to hilarity. Nevertheless, my second novel—which is set in Turkey—takes a harsh stand on religious fanaticism and domestic violence.

What makes you laugh and cry?

Since I teach English at a private language school, I deal with a lot of restless and hot-blooded Spanish kids. At times, they make me mad, but they haven’t reduced me to tears… yet. They do make me laugh quite often, though.

Which person, past or present, would you love to meet? Why?

It would probably be H.P. Lovecraft, the late master of cosmic horror. His stories influence me quite a bit while I’m creating my fiends and demons, and I would love to find out where his inspiration had come from.

What are your hobbies?

Apart from the obvious, reading and writing, I love cycling and swimming in the sea. I’m very lucky to live in a country where I can go swimming most of the year, and where I can ride my bike anytime I want. I also love traveling, but I’ve been too busy with my books to do that, lately.

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but I can’t imagine a future without writing. I guess I would travel until I ran out of money—which would be soon—and settle down in a jungle village somewhere in Southeast Asia to become a farmer or a fisherman.

What is your favourite genre to write in, and why?

Fantasy. If you have a good imagination, this is probably the easiest genre to write. After all, magic worlds are boundless and eternal. You are free to make your own rules on how to run them, and you can fill them with whatever creatures you feel like. The possibilities are endless.

And what is the most rewarding aspect of the genre?

To me, a fantasy is an escape. You can read about real lives in newspaper or magazine features, but I prefer books that transport me into different epochs and dimensions. Saying that, I don’t read or write epic fantasy as it usually deals with different worlds exclusively. I like novels where magic slithers into ordinary lives because it feels more material.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve started the second draft of Curse of the Immortal, which is the first installment of my new fantasy series, Deathless Chronicle. I’m also promoting the hell out of my second novel, The Priest of Orpagus, which has just come out.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m launching Curse of the Immortal mid-2020 and hope to publish a new installment of Deathless Chronicle every year. Luckily, I’ve got the outline under my belt, and enough ideas to keep going for nearly a decade.

How can readers find you online and on social media?

You can find all my links in this bundle:

More interviews

These are listed in Sixteen Questions for Sixteen Authors.

About “Dragon Bone Soup”

“Dragon Bone Soup” is an anthology of Fantasy and light Science Fiction short stories, showcasing the very best in Indie writing talent from across the world. Published in December 2019, it is edited by P.C. Darkcliff and DW Brownlaw.

About the editors

For more information about the editorial team, click on the following links...

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