Feature Interview with David Bernstein

February 9, 2017

 

Blue Demon is the title, Sinister Grin Press is the publisher, David Bernstein is the author. Blue Demon is a novella based around a toy and a world brimming with unfairness. 

 

The story opens on a father looking to do right by his son and that involving buying a classic and rare toy. A Blue Demon figurine from a cartoon father introduced to son.

 

“I had a toy demon figure. It was bright and dark blue, furry in a –plastic-molded way. It had large pointed ears like the ears of a Fennec Fox. It had clawed hands, beady eyes and was hulking in form. Oh, and of course it had fangs. It wasn’t very poseable, but I played with it a lot. Wish I still had it,” said Bernstein.

 

This description isn’t so far off from the toy in the tale. Life leaks into art often. Rather than go to the personal well, Bernstein put a cap on much of his existence, keeping it from this story, but there are points of reality herein.

 

“I still collect figures—from horror to superhero ones. There’s something special about a boy and his action figures, and to this day, I still like going to the toy store and seeing what new figures are out. Of course, I buy most of my stuff online. My most recent was a Chucky figure.

 

After an initial tragedy, the storyline of Blue Demon moves along an alleyway of public systems and how they fail the common folk. leariness and dissatisfaction are quickly made to be deserved and commonplace.

 

“Not really from a personal experience, but from friends’ stories and stuff I’ve heard. We put a lot of trust in people and in society. It’s scary how vulnerable we are to it all. When we’re under the knife, unconscious . . . There’s a lot of trust there when you think about it. When we fly in a plane. When we sit on a bus. Get prescribed meds. I’ve seen the “good old boys’ club” at work in law and the system. I’ve seen how the little guy can’t win. Shit ain’t fair, but then again, nowhere does it say things should be fair. I do like a getting even tale though,” said Bernstein.

 

The Blue Demon itself enters the story thanks to a DVD set and a nostalgic father looking to share an interest with his son. The cartoon is a hit with the boy and a bridge connects father and son. Bernstein, like most, had some favorites.

 

“Depends on the age, but it ranged from Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, to GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, Smurfs, Vultron G-Force and He-Man. I was a huge GI Joe, Transformers and He-Man fan. Had all the toys and watched all the shows. I’d guess GI Joe was my favorite. Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander and Destro were my favorites,” said Bernstein.

 

The toy in the tale is a pricy item. Not as expensive as many others, but expensive nonetheless. 

 

“I have spent about $200.00 on a collectible Halloween figure for my wife. I usually don’t do that with figures/collectibles, but it was a special thing. I buy stuff when it first comes out and is “regular” price. It usually goes up over time. But it doesn’t matter because I don’t sell them.”

 

David Bernstein has released numerous titles from a handful of presses. That kind of output takes determination and work ethic. It also suggests a method honed. 

 

“I vomit a first draft. It’s awful. Truly ugly. It’s also longhand. I write everything with pen and paper first. Then, the second draft comes when I transfer it to my computer. Next, I’ll go over it again, further sculpting and hopefully seeing something I actually like. After that, I’ll listen to it on my Kindle so I can hear how it sounds. It helps me find repeated words and the missing words my brain doesn’t pick up like “the” and “a” etc. After making changes, I give it to my proofreader/editor. She makes changes, suggestions, then I go over it and accept. After that, it’s off to the publisher!” said Bernstein of his craft.

 

Blue Demon came out in December and is a quick, suspenseful horror and follows true to the expectation of Sinister Grin releases. I’d like to thank David Bernstein for his time –doubly since he’s got a new baby at home.

 

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Unnerving 
Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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