Saturday, 23 September 2017

Diana talks to the inimitable Poppet

Hi Poppet. I am thrilled that you agreed to talk to me....

I am sure that you are tired of being asked the usual questions that would be interviewers ask authors, so hopefully this interview is an interview with a difference and I have come up with some unusual questions!
First things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!
The answer is cake (lol)
What is the genre you are best known for?
Dark / horror romance

If your latest book Sinnergog Part 1 was adapted into a TV show or a film, who would you like to play the lead role? 

''I love that cover, it embodies: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil''
PS: Most folks 'miss that' subtlety

That's a great question. It's a sad and brutal tale which follows from childhood to adulthood. I can't even imagine making a child act any of those scenes, but I suppose the adult Christopher could be played by someone trendy and popular. Honestly I have no clue because that's not my area of expertise. I'll leave the casting to the professionals who know what they're doing.

What made you choose this genre?
Another good question. No one has ever asked me that before. If I answer honestly I'll offend a lot of people.
I chose this genre not deliberately, but I wrote the first book to make a point. I wrote this series in its entirety to highlight how mankind has twisted scripture to suit his own agenda (this is especially prevalent in politics these days too) – and also because when I read the Old Testament (and even some of the new, Saul-Paul's work especially), I am horrified by what 'God' sanctions and condones. He tells his people to murder, to kidnap virgins for themselves (Judges 21:21 /Lamentations 5:11 / Numbers 31:9, he makes the people of Israel buy back their newborn children from the Levite priests (Numbers 18:15), he sanctions stoning to death sinners, he has a moment where he makes them sacrifice their newborns 'to prove that he is God'*, he tells them to wage war and commit murder (despite that breaking one of the 10 commandments) – and when I read that I know it's no God I could possibly respect. Most folks gloss over the nasty stuff, they don't want to look at it that hard, they simply follow this ritual and religion because they were raised believing that to do otherwise would utterly condemn them. I wrote this series to show the reader what I would see if we met God in the flesh, if we knew this guy face to face and listened to his orders, and put under the microscope his cruelty and capriciousness. The series has moments of redemption, but alas like most brainwashed generations the damage done to young and innocent children shatters the psyche early on, leaving us alone in a world with broken and dangerous people. (On this matter I've written a non-fiction novel highlighting the issues I have with this religious text as a guideline for humanity to follow – and we wonder why we don't have peace on Earth. That novel is titled The Nephilim Cartel.)
***Then I gave them laws that are not good and commands that do not bring life. I let them defile themselves with their own offerings and I let them sacrifice their first born sons. This was to punish them and show them that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 20:25.
The Douay Reims bible says; in that they caused to pass through the fire all the firstborn, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know, understand, and realise that I am the Lord.
The share of the community was the same as that for the soldiers: 337,500 sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 virgins. From this share Moses took one out of every fifty prisoners and animals, and as the Lord had commanded, gave them to the Levites who were in charge of the Lord's Tent. Numbers 31:41
And watch; if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards and catch every man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin. (Judges 21:21)

How do you get ideas for plots and characters?
With the Darkroom Saga (series) my experience with religious zealots was all the inspiration required, my other works are mostly inspired by dreams.

Favourite picture or work of art?
The Sistine Chapel

If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!) you could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind?
Yes, and yes. I am planning to write a dystopian and futuristic novel, with huge metaphysical and sci-fi overtones. However, this novel will be written under a mystery pseudonym so my readers won't even know I wrote it. My publisher already knows about it though

Was becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How old were you when you first started to write seriously.
I like that you choose to use the words 'writing seriously'. I started writing seriously in my early 20s, and was published in magazines by the time I was 25. I spent 6 years doing that before turning to fiction full time (but by that time I had written a series of over 1000000 words.) I wanted to be an author from the age of 12, and wrote my first novel when I was 14. So definitely a conscious decision. But, the publishing world has changed a lot since I was 12, it's now excessively competitive and very easily influenced by bloggers and public opinion.

Marmite? Love it or hate it?
LOVE it!

Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...??
I make a playlist for each novel and listen to it on repeat (with headphones on) for the entirety of it being written.

I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters?
The muse whips me hard I am her servant.

Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job?
Acting, or archeology.

Coffee or tea? Red or white?
Coffee, red.

How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way?
It depends on the book. Some novels I know completely from start to finish before writing the first word.
If you had free choice over the font your book is printed in, what font/fonts would you choose?
I'm really not fussy about fonts. I just follow the rules (cue eye roll).

Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be?
The Key of Solomon – (there's a version online which is clearly falsely translated) – or the grimoire belonging to Honorius of Thebes (or even the original Book of Jubilees, or that "new" bible discovered written in gold, which is completely different to the one considered 'god's word' today.) I also wouldn't mind getting to read in one cohesive document everything ever written by Leonardo Da Vinci.
(As an aside, Diana learned Classical Greek and Latin in order to read the earliest known version of the Septuagint for herself, rather than relying on translation...)
A late aside from Poppet: In fact to add to that one question, I'd love to read everything ever written by Nikola Tesla too..

Have any of your characters ever shocked you and gone off on their own adventure leaving you scratching your head??? If so how did you cope with that!?
This does happen sometimes. Usually it's female characters behaving like feeble nitwits. I'm an alpha female who doesn't condone victim mentality. I just write it as fast as I can so the plot can get back to business.

How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips?
I do a ton of research. My life feels dedicated to research (I write a lot of nonfiction), but alas my budget means all research is done via books especially ordered in for me because they're never in stock, or via the internet. If I place a character or plot in a place I've never been, I even drive around the neighbourhood using Google maps plotting routes and noting shops along the way to give credence to the setting.

Fiction authors have to contend with real characters invading our stories. Are there any ‘real’ characters you have been tempted to prematurely kill off or ignore because you just don’t like them or they spoil the plot?
No, I let it unfold as it should. If one character suddenly becomes domineering, I go with it.

Are you prepared to go away from the known facts for the sake of the story and if so how do you get around this?
The story has to be credible, life does not. So often life happens, and I say to hubby, if I wrote this no one would ever believe it and I'd get 1 stars for cruddy writing. I keep it credible using logic or physics to explain that which seems supernatural. Supernatural however is a matter of opinion. If we can transmit photons across space now, imagine what is 'possible in real life' in the future. I think everything is possible, it's simply our limited understanding (currently) that makes the possible seem 'far fetched'. Perception is everything.

Do you find that the lines between fact and fiction sometimes become blurred?
Lol, I find this question ambiguous. I don't believe that fact and fiction can become blurred. I know the facts, and I interject them into fiction as part of the plot.
Have you ever totally hated or fallen in love with one of your characters?
I love them all. Some characters I do not like, yet even in their madness I have empathy for them.

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
Nonfiction mostly.
What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book?
Ummm. Holy water? (lol)
Last but not least... favourite author?
I have a lot of favourites, this isn't a cut and dried question for me. I love to cook, and Nigella Lawson is my favourite foodie author. My favourite health food author is Dr Andrew Weil. I love Charles de Lint, for being the first urban fantasy author I read. I love Tolkien and Rowling for the alternative realities they presented. I love George Orwell, Charles Dickens, and William Golding, for showing the basest sides of humanity and highlighting what we needed to acknowledge. But then I also love authors like Helen Fielding for giving me a good laugh. Mostly now I support indie authors. They need champions in their corner, and indie publishers, because these folks are changing the future, making dreams possible for everyone. However I also love a good metaphysical read and I absolutely love James Redfield, and Deepak Chopra. I also love the action classic authors, like Eric Van Lustbader, Desmond Bagley, Ian Fleming, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King.
Thank you Diana, this was definitely different. I apologise for not being more mainstream and making this a quick and easy Q and A  Poppet, I am delighted to have such an exciting and informative talk about such a range of subjects. Thank you.

About Sinnergog: Part 1 (Darkroom Saga Book 6)
Part I
Sacrifice wears many masks. In the claustrophobic walls of the Sinnergog untold horrors splatter the walls. It was created as a sanctuary for those possessed by Satan, the last refuge for exorcism and redemption. Named after a temple to worship god, the only thing worshiped here is trauma.

Christopher Ward: It occurred to me that the manifestation of God among mankind was unique in itself. Did He know he was god? Was he always different? Is that why I was persecuted, because Satan never rests and temptation is a rope bridge across the character chasm?

It took me years to understand I am the chosen one, and it is my legacy, my only purpose, to rid this world of evil. I’ve come for the lost, for the sinners. A reaper is not death, it is mercy, it is love, it is compassion. So I taught my firstborn son to show mercy, I taught him to give sinners a chance to repent, I taught him that Eve can’t help herself. If it’s forbidden the female will crave it, and she’ll drag good men down with her into her cesspit of cunning evil. Me and my kind stand between her and good men. We are the intervention, we are divinity and nothing can stop this. Satan has no power here, I am all powerful.

Part II
Victor Ward: knows his father, the Alpha who becomes god, who is so narcissistic and deranged he cannot tell fiction from fantasy - must be stopped. Victor spent his life in service to his father’s cult, but now the veil has lifted from his sight and he knows good from evil, he knows his father is the biggest crime lord of our time, and yet Christopher cannot recognize that he is the personification of the very thing he claims to thwart.

There is only one man who can stop god. His son. Will he die for our sins? Will they follow the script? Or will Victor become the Lucifer of our time? Victor is ostracised from his Eden, and it’s time for payback. The hunt is on. Their egos have grown, they know how to make bodies disappear, they know how to enslave the powerful with drugs and blackmail, and this time the massacre will not end until the father and the son become one, or one destroys the other.

Once, Christ threw men out of the temple, because they desecrated it. Now Victor must exorcise Christ from the temple, because now Christ-opher is the one who destroys all that is holy.

This is the final installment in the Darkroom Saga. Now we learn the origins of pain, and how it perpetrates the legacy for seven generations.

About Poppet:

International bestselling author, Poppet writes romantic horror, romantic comedy, non-fiction, paranormal romance, and is currently published with Wild Wolf Publishing, Tirgearr Publishing, and Eibonvale Press.

Poppet was first published in Mobius Poetry Magazine, and then spent years writing natural health articles for The SA Journal of Natural Medicine and Renaissance Magazine, before turning her attention to writing fiction, seeing her reach the number 1 spot on Authonomy - run by Harper Collins. Interviewed by journalist David Kentner, Poppet gained exposure across North America with the release of her debut novel Darkroom. Previously published by Night Publishing, Endaxi Press, and Thorstruck Press, Poppet now has more than 50 titles to her credit.

Poppet turned to writing full time after becoming paralysed by Guillian Barré Syndrome. She still takes one day at a time, living a life where joy and peace are her main focus, leaving drama for her novels only.

You can follow Poppet here ...

© Diana Milne January 2017 © (Poppet, August 2017)


  1. Thank you Diana, this was so awesome. <3 Huggages Poppet

  2. Awsome interview. Thank you both for sharing. B