In fact, in a recent chat with SciFiHistory.Net Ms. Hammer confessed that she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. “When I young, I was always walking around with the pad of paper or a journal or something that I could write on. I was always writing stories and skits and dialogue … and I’d have my siblings act out the parts.”
Take note: she comes from a family of six siblings … so crafting dialogue for the many and multiple voices is something that now comes easy. And – by her own admission – the yarns she spins do vary but she almost always finds her way back to the world of Horror Comedy.
“With as much as I’ve written,” she says, “and no matter the subject matter, I think I always find the humor in Dystopian-style settings.”
It would seem that her unique voice has certainly put her on the literary map.
According to her website, one of her first published short stories – “The Unpleasantness In Room 27A” – appeared in It’s All In The Story, a 2017 anthology of short fiction centered on California. Other tales – “Ali And Amy,” “The Story Of Lorelei,” “The Difference A Thousand Dollars Can Make,” “Tom The Ghost” – followed not long thereafter in other outlets. For her, 2019 saw the publication of not one but two novels – Dead Viking Rehab and Pazuzu Versus The F***ing Fairies. Lastly, in 2020, Hammer and fellow author Joanna Ramos crafted The Retreat, the story of a mother and son forced to spend a weekend with a religious cult … and it’s a work that went on to win the 13Horror.Com Film and Screenplay Contest in 2020.
With those accolades behind her, Hammer is now focused on her latest project: her novel, The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting, is set to be released in hardcover and digitally on September 6th from Cinnabar Moth Publishing, LLC. While she describes it equally as much a Horror Comedy as anything she’s written, she confessed that it ultimately started out for her as a meditation on the topic of addiction.
“Having known a few addicts in my life, I started to think about what’s the best way to combat addiction,” she explains. “Instead of writing directly about drugs, I instead substituted a form of viral cannibalism, and then went about figuring out how we’d tackle that as a society. Is it control? Is it punishment? Maybe it’s a little of both, but – in the end – I wanted there to be a cure, and that’s what the story is … as told through the eyes of an unlikely hero. I love stories with unlikely heroes.”
Well, scientist Igor Fenenko looks very little like your carbon-copy bookish brainiac.
Towering over six feet tall and built like a Mr. Universe contender (whom she imagines John Cena would be perfect in a movie adaptation, if you’re reading this, Mr. Cena), Fenenko sports the tattoo of a spider etched into the lines on his face. Like so many who were infected by Pestis Manducans, he inevitably succumbed to the taste of human flesh and – as a consequence – winds up being corralled against his wishes into the government’s relocation facilities. Though he’s finally controlled his hunger for his fellow man, he’s startled to find out that there are others out there privately seeking to make full-blown cannibalism a way of life … and the secret mastermind behind it all turns out to be his very own brother!
“I love gentle giants, but there’s nothing autobiographical about this one,” she assures me with a laugh. “Well, except maybe how Igor interacts with Elli (a young player the scientist befriends in the novel). I drew a bit of inspiration on Elli from my daughter, but that’s all.”
Though the book has not seen wide release at this point, Hammer says that her publisher – Cinnabar Moth Publishing, LLC – indicates that it’s pre-selling well. As is the case often when novels are on-the-horizon, several media outlets have been provided advance review copies, and a few notices have already appeared on the Information Superhighway. As of today’s date, the book has 13 ratings on the popular Goodreads.com website with an aggregate score of 4.77 (out of 5.00).
(SciFiHistory.Net has received an advance copy, and our review will be appearing on the site very soon.)
Hammer remains hopeful regarding the success of Fasting and has even taken steps to prepare should further opportunities present themselves. “I’ve written a pilot for a series, if anyone’s interested, and I’m thinking of ways to expand the story.”
Pre-order your copy of The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting on Amazon.com (link)
Dana Hammer website https://www.danahammer.com/
Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC (link)