Book - Eternal Prisoners

At The DreamCage we enjoy championing independent creators in all media and genres. Find out more about the Kindle Vela chapterwork Eternal Prisoners: A Story in the Cthulhu Mythos in this interview with indie author Thomas Davison...

Press Release

The Cthulhu cult has never been closer to unleashing the Great Old One.

With the help of modern technology, the unthinkable goal of the Cthulhu cult is closer than ever to being realized.

As the remaining days until the worshippers of chaos gather to open a portal that will unleash incomprehensible horrors on the world wane, Professor Henry Silberhutte and his team must find a way to stop them.

As Silberhutte, psychic Sierra Masters, warrior John Steele, and soldier Frederick Masters fight the old gods and their human enablers, the revelation of a secret threatens the team.

Will Silberhutte and John Steele, the team's strongest warrior, prevail against the Cthulhu cultists?

Find out in this five-part chapter-work series, available through Kindle Vella.

Find out more about the series and its influences in this interview with author Thomas Davison.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in writing?

I am 65 years old. I have been a teacher all my adult life. I spent my time learning the craft of teaching until I retired. Three months into retirement, I was going crazy. I accepted a job teaching college coursework inside two State Prisons in Ohio. I am starting my sixth year of teaching incarcerated students or felons.

I was so profoundly moved by my observations and interactions with these students that in 2019 this motivated me to create poems and short stories about their day-to-day lives and experiences. I found myself starting new and learning a different craft, the craft of writing. I have been very fortunate and have been published over sixty times.

I have recently started a not-for-profit Entrepreneur Services for Felons (ESF). I have dedicated 100% of my writing profits since I started in 2019 to provide free one-on-one support services for felons and ex-felons. Also, I have created two Writing Clubs within the prisons. These incarcerated students are my beta readers to ensure that I speak in their voice and keep it honest.

What is the name of your latest book, and what inspired it?

The name of the book is Eternal Prisoners - A Story in the Cthulhu Mythos. It is available on Amazon through Kindle Vella. It is being released in five parts or serials. You can read the first three serials utterly free if you are an Amazon Prime member.

My inspiration for writing this book is fascinating. I discuss it in the foreword of the book. I am a lifetime fan of horror. As a young boy, the first horror book I read was by H. P. Lovecraft many years ago. I was hooked. My published work is predominantly about my prison experiences. I wanted to try my hand at my favorite genre of horror. The serial story Eternal Prisoners is that attempt. I intended it as a salute to the master. The author of that first horror book. My close circle of fellow writers, and my beta readers, state it is a scary story. We shall see if what little I have learned about the craft of writing is enough. I must share with you that while submitting this story, I felt much like that nervous 12-year-old boy reaching for that Lovecraft book.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I have tons of unusual writing habits. First, I keep daily journals about events inside and outside the prisons. I use these journals as my source documents when I want to write a prison-themed story or poem.

Next, I am totally into ekphrastic [descriptive - Ed] writing and poetry. Writing is a craft and an art form. Paintings, sculptures, and even landscapes (nature's art) often motivate me to write. All forms of art are interconnected. Some of my best work (in my opinion) comes from viewing other art. I see a piece that interests me and create an entire story around that piece. It happens in art all the time, ekphrastic creation. Also, vice-versa, for example, an artist reads a book or poem. They are moved by it and create a painting or sculpture depicting what the writing made them feel and see.

Another example is the art form of music. I like to listen to music when I write. It helps me to set a mood. I select what music I listen to and match it to the perspective of the poem or story I want to write. I believe writing is different for everyone. What one person might view as unusual might make perfect sense to someone else.

What authors or books have influenced you?

I read every genre: westerns, mysteries, non-fiction, fiction, and science fiction. If forced to choose, my favorite genre to read is fantasy. My favorite books and their authors include a wide variety of genres. Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Time Machine, Dracula, The Art of War, I Have no Mouth, and I Must Scream, Peter Pan, I could go on all day. I like anything that speaks to me or moves me in some way.

What are you reading now?

Absolutely nothing. When I am writing, I don't read. I only read when I step back and take a hiatus from writing. I am currently in writing mode, so I am not reading anything now. I am always a huge stack of books behind.

What are you working on now that you can tell us about?

I am working on my memoirs or my life story. I worked on it for a while, then set it back down and went to another project. I believe it would make a good read. I was raised as a military brat, served in the Army, and traveled the world. I have experienced and seen so many exciting things over my lifetime.

What's next for you as a writer?

There are two things on my writing bucket list. First, I would like to finish those memoirs. Second, I would like to create a complete poetry chapbook of ekphrastic work in its entirety.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Yes, I do. If you believe you have something important to say in your heart, do not give up on that dream. Stay with it! Teach yourself, takes classes, and seminars, find a mentor or learn from those who have already mastered the craft. For every piece I have had accepted for publication, I would guess I have had ten pieces rejected. You will get better if you learn from each rejection. 

I have always heard writers complaining about editors. Sure, some of them are bad. I have found many to be generous mentors. With most rejections, I will send an email politely asking for help on how I could improve on the story or poem. It is incredible how many of them will respond with solid free advice.

Editors like Caitlin Jans, Amber Thompson, Rick Taubold, and Katie Winkler. A great example is John C. Mannone; his publication rejected one of my poems. John took it to another publication as a visiting editor and had it published with them. I probably forget a dozen others who deserve thanks, and I apologize for that. Also, generous folks likeJean-Paul Garnier. When I complained to him about how difficult it was to obtain enough reading materials for my incarcerated students in my Writing Clubs, he raided the closets and emptied the drawers at Star*Line. Then he shipped me boxes full of magazines and books. You do not forget acts of kindness such as that.

In the foreword of Eternal Prisoners, I personally thanked one editor, Filipe Lichtenheld, for his time and efforts in mentoring me. Editors are not the enemy; they are a valuable resource. I know that I am a mediocre writer at best and will never be a master of the craft. However, I can enjoy writing and become a well-polished writer. That is enough for me.

What about the next step? What is your best advice, method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

Word of mouth? Seriously, I have no idea. I know E-marketing is the big craze for now. To be completely honest, I love writing. On the other hand, I am not too fond of the day-to-day administrative tasks required to make a book successful. I am too lazy or too busy to ever self-publish. Input/Output Enterprises is my publisher. They have been great to work with. They are doing all the heavy lifting on the promotional and marketing stuff.

And what is the best advice you have ever heard? What do you live by?

It is a quote by Jodi Picoult. "You might not write well daily, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page." It sounds so simple, but it is profound. So many authors want to write only perfect stuff. If they cannot get it perfect, they get stuck. The key is to get it all down on paper. Then you can go back through revisions until you polish up all the rough stuff. Great quote and great advice.

Finally, if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books (not your own!), what would you bring with you?

The Bible and the first three books that popped into my head when you asked me what books influenced me the most. So, my list would be 1) The Bible, 2) Lord of the Rings, 3) To Kill a Mockingbird, and 4) Grapes of Wrath.

Eternal Prisoners by Tom Davison, published by Input/Output Enterprises, is a five part Kindle Vella series. Readers can enjoy the first three episodes, which can be accessed either through the Kindle app or online, for free. The final two episodes can be unlocked using Kindle Vella tokens.

Images & info - courtesy of Tom Davison

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