Please welcome BODY FARM Z author, Deborah Sheldon, to alternative-read.com!
What makes a good story?
Emotional honesty: the writer trusting themselves enough to express their own worldview and internal landscape, rather than writing what they believe will sell or appeal to the marketplace.
And a satisfying ending. It doesn’t have to tie up every loose end – in fact, I dislike stories that tick all the boxes – but the ending has to answer the central question posed in the first few chapters. Did the character get or achieve what they wanted, or not? Beyond that, I’m happy with ambiguity. As a reader, I prefer it. Let me make up my own mind.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Most things I do to relax are story- or word-oriented. I guess it’s how my brain is wired. I don’t watch much television, so when I do, I prefer dramatic films or shows that will hopefully challenge me intellectually and make me cry at some point. (The TV series Hannibal is a terrific example of that. If you haven’t seen it: oh, come on, what the hell are you waiting for?) I’m a big fan of comedy TV shows too. Schitt’s Creek is a giggle.
I enjoy cryptic crosswords, although I seem to be better at them when I’m tired. Perhaps mental exhaustion allows greater leaps of association?
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Probably in mental and emotional paralysis. Getting drunk would spring to mind…on ludicrously expensive chardonnay
To solve murders, you must understand the process of decomposition.
Australia’s newest body farm, the Victorian Taphonomic Experimental Research
Institute, is hidden in bushland some four hours’ drive from Melbourne.
Scattered across its 150 acres are human donor cadavers and pig carcasses
arranged to mimic some of the ways in which police might find murder victims:
exposed to the elements, buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in tarpaulin.
Forensic scientists and graduate students meticulously track each stage of
putrefaction. Today, Detective Rick Evans of the Homicide Squad is at VITERI
for the re-creation of one of his cold cases. A human donor will be locked
inside a car. But the donor has other ideas… So begins a facility-wide
outbreak of the reanimated dead.
I’m an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. I write short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum.
My latest releases, through several publishing houses, include the horror novels “Body Farm Z”, “Contrition”, and “Devil Dragon”; the horror novella “Thylacines”; the crime-noir novellas “Dark Waters” and “Ronnie and Rita”; and the dark fantasy and horror collection “Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories” (winner of the Australian Shadows Best Collected Work 2017).
My short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo. My fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award, and included in various “best of” anthologies. I’m also guest editor of this year’s edition of Midnight Echo.
Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours and Australia’s Most Wanted, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books published by Reed Books and Random House, and award-winning medical writing.