Refossileer Spotlight, Day 5 — David Neilsen

Rumor has it that David Neilsen is already looking ahead to a sequel piece for UNICORNADO, and if his contribution to The Refossiling is any indication, we’ll all be in for a treat!

“Now look here,” he said. “I paid good money to see an abomination, and I expect to be fully satisfied or I shall raise a stink. Now you either bring your elder terror forth this very minute or prepare to face my full wrath!” – “Blind Date” by David Neilsen

* What inspired your piece in The Refossiling?

DN: I loved the idea of something happening on a lake, but wasn’t sure what would work and yet be something I hadn’t seen before. I tried to imagine a crystal clear, smooth lake. From there, my imagination just sort of morphed the image into what eventually inspired the story. When I got the idea, I started laughing, and just hoped it would work.

* Favorite / least favorite ___________ and why?
A. extinct or prehistoric lifeform

DN:I’ve always been a fan of the Stegosaurus. They just don’t take no crap from anybody. Yo can diss them, try to eat them, whatever. They just whack you in the head with their tail spikes.

B. dinosaur-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)

DN: Jurassic Park. When it came out, me and a friend spent a good month bouncing around like Velociraptors.

C. aquatic-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)

DN: I’m a sucker for anything having to do with Atlantis. I love the combination of ancient ruins, lost knowledge, and wet people.

D. undersea or freshwater critter

DN: Cthulhu. Any other answer gets me in trouble.

E. vacation destination

DN: Someplace warm and wet. Interpret that however you like, you sick, sick people.

F. time travel destination

DN: I’d like to visit the time in the hopefully near future when I’m a rich, successful writer with enough money to have built my castle on my private island.

G. seafood dish or delicacy

DN: I love to eat shrimp, because a) they taste good and b) I’m bigger than them.

* Where can readers and fans find more of your work?

DN: The best way to find my work is on my website,

* Share your best, or worst, body-of-water-related memory/experience!

DN: I’m not legally allowed to mention it under pain of vivisection.

* Who are your main creative influences, literary/artistic or otherwise?

DN: Right now, I’m in a serious Lovecraft period. Beyond that you got your Douglas Adams, Edgar Allen Poe, Monty Python, and whatever I’m reading at the moment.

* Current ________ and why?
A. cause

DN: I dedicate my days to spreading the gospel of weird horror fiction. I think if more kids were exposed to mind-bending horror from an early age, it would be, if not a better world, at least a far more interesting one.

B. obsession

DN: I think you can just look at the next question for this answer.

C. fandom

DN: Lovecraft, Lovecraftian Mythos, Lovecraft-inspired fiction, and Lovecraft.

D. crush

DN: My wife.

E. music

DN: The Bleachers

F. craving

DN: Chocolate. And my wife. Maybe combined. That would be sweet.

G. peeve

DN: Loud people in theaters. They need to be stopped.

* What’re you working on, what is your process/routine like?

DN: I’m working on my next Middle Grade horror novel. I try to outline the basic events of the story and then start writing the chapters. I generally find that the chapters lead me well off the outline and so I can usually toss the outline into the trash once I start actually writing. But it was fun while it lasted.

* What’s the weirdest object you own? Backstory!

DN: I have a rubber fish that was an actual prop from the movie Waterworld. After the film, all the props were transferred to Universal Studios Hollywood for the Waterworld Aquatic Adventure Show. A friend of mine worked backstage at Universal Studios, and she knew I liked the movie so she stole me one of the fish.

* Most useless advice you’ve ever seriously given or been given?

DN: Whenever I am asked my thoughts from a friend on something they’ve done that isn’t any good, I generally just tell them it was interesting. I’ve gotten away with that for years.

* What kind of question do you always wish these questionnaires would ask, and how would you answer it?

DN: I wish these questionnaires would ask me if I’ve ever performed a ritual sacrifice. I would answer that while I haven’t actually killed any small mammal or other animal in service of any deity, I keep a very sharp knife sanctified and pure in case the opportunity arrives to drive my sacred blade into the heart of a non-believer. It’d be a lie, but I think it’d make a good story.

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