Hello, peeps. First and foremost, I wish you all a happy Halloween (with delay), and I apologize for not delivering a WL for October.
But, in order to compensate for that, I have prepared something most unique for today. And interview with none absolute other, but one of the most kickass members I've seen on this page during my time here: the one and only, MrDupin, author of stories such as Between Ice and Stars, Of Blood, Gold and Holy Light, and An Ode to Carnage. So, let us delay no longer and dive into this.
Helel ben Shahaar - Would you, KyrDelfin, be so kind as to tell us something about yourself for start?
MrDupin - Hey all! I am MrDupin, I have been a member of the community for quite some time. I started as a wee writer of crappy pastas and somehow fooled everyone and rose through the ranks to become an admin here. If you noticed a dip in activity here, that was me messing the wiki up.
Underneath the fancy hat lies the noggin' of a computer science nerd. I am currently a PhD student in the field of Artificial Intelligence, trying to take over the wor- I mean, to further our understanding of the universe and stuff.
Also, once a year I write a story, to keep up pretenses of an artistic curiosity.
Hel - My my, what a guy. And how did you come to discover out community? Or rather, the concept of creepypasta itself?
Dup - To be honest, I'm not quite sure. I think my main introduction to the creepypasta genre was the Russian Sleep Experiment story, or the Ben is Dead Legend of Zelda story. I remember that its video in particular scared the crap outta me!
The main reason I joined the community is because I wanted to share my writing. I had written three or four horror stories and wanted to share them with the world, and this place seemed as good as any. After I posted them, I became more active, started giving reviews, helped in maintenance and before I knew it I was hooked.
Hel - So you found a place and made it your home. But you said you started by writing: and how did that start?
Dup - Oh god, that's a long one. I'll try to keep it as short as possible.
Ever since I can remember I've always loved books and stories and I wanted to write stuff on my own. In long family trips I would tell stories I was coming up with. I wrote some stuff down, but the first written work I shared was for a school assignment. I still remember how I was reading it to my classroom for half an hour and they seemed to be enjoying it a lot, laughing along at my silly jokes. At the end they gave me an ovation, a magical moment I will cherish forever.
Fast forward to my adult self, and reception hasn't been that warm, to put it this way! But still, I mostly write because I love it and could never see myself stopping. Also, it is a way for me to improve my English, since I am not a native speaker.
Hel - Aww! That's actually fairly sweet! How nice of them. As for reception, maybe a few more stories...
Would you say you have a particular writer(s) that inspire you or who you based your writings on?
Dup - Hmmm, that's another tough one.
In general, with every piece of writing I try to do something different. Not only with the plot, but stylistically as well. Therefore my inspiration varies depending on what I want to try in that moment.
One example is my story Of Blood, Gold and Holy Light, which was inspired by the game 'Darkest Dungeon' and Empyre's story Paid for in Blood (which was also inspired by the same game, I just got jealous and wanted to do something similar).
Overall, I think my biggest inspiration is Lovecraft. The atmosphere he creates not just through his storytelling, but also through his prose, is something exquisite that I am trying to replicate in stories every once in a while. Currently I have been reading some Orwell and Kafka, and quite probably in December I will try to crank out a story in their style
Hel - And would you say that the ancient writers and writings of your homeland had anything to do with your love for reading and writing?
Dup - To be honest, not at all.
I am Greek for those who don't know, but I sort of have a love-hate relationship with Ancient Greek literature. On one hand I am proud of my heritage, but on the other hand I struggled mightily at school with these texts. So, I have mixed feelings about them.
Also, I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of Ancient Greek myths. I understand how they might be exciting for people, but they are mostly stories we Greeks encountered as children, so we outgrow them quite quickly.
Hel - Well I encountered them as a kid too and I've yet to out grow them...
Would you say you believe in paranormal?
Dup - Nope, not at all.
I could leave it at that, but it would be a boring answer. I will say that I do believe in some sort of god though, who can affect us in some way. I haven't given it much thought and I am not religious, but I do believe there is something out there that we can't understand.
Hel - Ah, a response vague enough to leave us wondering... good job.
So, you aren't much of the believer in supernatural, so I wager that it doesn't frighten you. But everyone has a fear. Question is, what's yours?
Dup - Oh, we are going deep now.
Since I am Greek, my fears are mostly of the financial nature. Being unable to support my family, not making ends meet etc.
As for phobias, the only that pops to mind is long stray hair. That is, long strands of hair that are not attached to their owner's head. If it's wet, even worse. One of my greatest fears is getting gagged with a ball of hair. Like, I'm kidnapped and the bad guys open my mouth, stuff it with hair and then tape my lips shut. My first reaction, after blind panic, would be to try to kill myself. I once thought about writing such a story, but I doubt many share this phobia. It's a weird one, I know.
Hel - Gotcha: your biggest fear are homeless people.
Do you have any stories on wiki you enjoy in particular?
Dup - I have a whole section on my profile!
One of my favourite writers on the wiki is WriterJosh, with Shut That Damned Door being probably my favourite story on the entire wiki. Sticking with the 'W's, another of my favourites is Whitix. Sadly they no longer contribute to the wiki, but at least they left us with stories such as The Blood Canvas, a masterpiece. Another author whose work I adore is Banningk1979. His Tobit series is phenomenal, although it veers away from pure horror at times. EmpyrealInvective has also produced some great stories, and I should definitely check out his vast catalogue a bit more. Right now, one of my favourite stories of his is A Small Piece of Lead. Not exactly horror, but a splendid tale nevertheless. Last but not least, there is HumboldtLycanthrope. If I had to pick one of his stories as my favourite, it would probably be The Number of Darkness.
Hel - I'm not included? I see this as a sign that I must work better to please my overl- I mean, make my friend happy!
And maybe some stores that you dislike?
Dup - All of yours! Just kidding, of course.
Oh, that is hard. I am not going to count any of the true horror I deleted as an admin. From the remaining stories, I dislike most of the classics. I especially dislike all the TV show pastas, except Squidward's Suicide, which I think is quite good for what it is and set the trend for later knock-offs.
Hel - Which would you rather eat: half a kilogram of feta and watermelon, or one unshaven wookie steak?
Dup - Of course I would eat the feta/watermelon power combo. My fear of hair disqualifies unshaven steak as possible food, wookie or otherwise.
Hel - Lastly, but not leastly, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Dup - First and foremost, practice. Nobody was born perfect.
After practice, I think it is understated how important it is to learn to cut losses. If your current project doesn't seem to be going anywhere, you should stop trying to make it work. Up to a point this is a good exercise, but if you overdo it you are just wasting your time. Don't double down on your work, especially when you are starting out. Let the project go, learn from your mistakes and move on to something fresher.
Another way to improve is to read the work of others, the professional and amateur, the successful and unsuccessful. This way you will gain a wider understanding of what makes a story tick and what makes it bomb. Also, reading works in various genres helps you gain a more complete look on how stories work in general.
And lastly, you need to enjoy the process. If you don't enjoy it, there is no way to get anywhere. Of course, you don't have to enjoy every second of it. Combing over your work again and again for typos is not exactly inspiring work, but it is necessary to love most of the writing process.
Hel - That would be all. Thank you so much for your time!
Dup - Thanks for the interview, much appreciated, it was a blast!