Derek Milman, who recently made his literary debut with SCREAM ALL NIGHT, a fresh piece of YA, offers inspiration behind his work, influences that propelled him, and awareness for Millennials
What inspired you to write SCREAM ALL NIGHT?
I was inspired by loving movies as a kid, and training to be an actor at Yale. We all lived and worked together in a strange insular world, and my experiences there definitely helped inform the world of Moldavia. I spent time on movie sets working as an actor, and they are all their own worlds with their own dreamy logic, rules, manners, and sense of time. I had the idea many years ago about a kid who inherits a horror movie studio. People in publishing encouraged me to write the book, and I began to flesh out the characters, and all these interesting themes began to emerge which gave the story this sparkling spine. Doing research into actual B-horror movie studios helped further ground the world.
In addition to being an author, you are also an accomplished actor. How has that, if at all, influenced your writing?
In lots of ways, there are many parallels. I worked with language, developed an understanding of dialogue, pacing, story stakes, conflict, and how to develop and flesh out a fictional character’s psychological profile.
Tell me about this interesting youtube channel called Derek and Lindsay?
Oh, glad you found our little channel, haha. When your book gets announced you get invited to join a Facebook support group for authors who are debuting (YA or MG books) in your given year. We’re called the Electric Eighteens. We even have a website!
The NYC offshoot of this group has a lot of people, and we see each other whenever we can in the flesh, get drinks, and support each other’s books. Lindsay and I met through this group, and started making vids, just kidding around and having fun, as we marked our progress through our debut year, sharing our experiences. We had a blast. We’ve done some library and bookstore events together too.
Did Scream All Night always present itself as YA?
Yes, because of the character’s age and voice, and also because my agent wanted me to write another YA after my first manuscript didn’t sell (but came close) because publishers were eager to see more from me. It’s also, at its heart, a coming-of-age story or Bildungsroman. Also, told in the first person, this would be ideal for the YA market.
I’m sure we’ll continue seeing a lot of innovative fantasy because people really want to escape the world we’re currently living in. Thrillers are also having a moment. It’s all about escapism.
The main character, Dario (a gem of a name) inherits a B movie studio. What B movie and or B studio particularly stands out to you?
Hammer Horror films and Troma films.
Who are some of your influences, literary or otherwise?
I love Donna Tartt, John Irving, Johnathan Tropper, Hemingway, Rimbaud, and Salinger.
In keep with the generational theme of my website, what would you say should be something millennials should be aware of and even consider top priority?
Voting, being politically active, caring about the environment, getting involved.
Anything you wanna promote?
My next YA novel will be out on August 6th. You can add it to Goodreads here: SWIPE RIGHT FOR MURDER