Darren R. Scothern is an independent author, poet and blogger. He was born in Sheffield in 1965, and had an average working class education before graduating from The Open University with a first-class honours degree in literature.
He describes himself variously as an author, poet, atheist, rationalist, sceptic and armchair revolutionary. After finding some success in the small presses, Darren made a breakthrough into the American paperback market, when his award-winning science fiction story 'The Key to Heaven's Gate' was included in The Best Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2009, published by the Absent Willow Review. This might have been the start of a new chapter in his writing, but instead of taking the established path of finding an agent and writing more stories like Heaven's Gate, he decided to go down the route of self-publishing.
'I was becoming increasingly frustrated with submission guidelines syndrome,' Darren comments. 'More and more publishers want their authors to write to tried and trusted formulas; the number of words used, the length of paragraphs, what types of characters to use. My creativity was being stifled, and my output dropped as a result. In the end, I felt I had no option but to strike out on my own.'
Darren describes his style as slipstream. 'Slipstream stories are at the little explored frontier of literature; edgy, different, intended to make the reader a little bit uncomfortable. They're intriguing page-turners.' He has certainly pushed the boundaries with his recent work. His short story 'Isobel' was unveiled in segments as it was written, on Darren's Facebook fan page. 'Isobel was a creative breakthrough for me; a strange story where nothing is what it seems. No publisher would have gone near it, but my readers on Facebook loved it.'
Read David Kempf's revealing interview with Darren here.