Independent author Erick Drake was an avid reader from an early age and the day his father brought home a computer, Erick knew he wanted to be a writer. “I’ll never forget the moment I first saw that computer. It was pretty basic, just a glorified word processor really. But I felt anything was possible, I could go anywhere, do anything! Dad may as well have brought a TARDIS into the house. I started writing that day and have never stopped since.”
His first short story won a Writers News Magazine competition in 1995. He has written sketches for BBC radio comedy and in 2004 was commissioned by BBC South to write a Doctor Who TV story (‘The Paradox Device’ – production was cancelled due to some upstart genius called Russell T. Davies rebooting the series).
A career in IT meant that Erick was well placed to take advantage of the advances in technology that allow independent creatives to produce and publish their work. “I love the freedom that gives. My creative choices are my own. I can make what excites me and if the audience likes it too, well then that makes the slog worth it. Being an independent author is a bit like being a pirate or a Viking. Except without the violence and pillage. And the beards. And the ships. Actually, it’s nothing like being a pirate or a Viking.”
Whilst a life-long lover of science fiction (Dr Who, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Peter F. Hamilton, and James S. A. Coreyare particular favourites), Erick’s introduction to fantasy came about when he stumbled upon ‘Lord Foul’s Bane’ by Stephen R. Donaldson. “I was hooked,” says Erick, “the depth of Donaldson’s writing, the world he described, the psychological dilemma of his protagonist – it made my head spin.”
Despite his love of fantasy and science fiction, Erick’s natural inclination is to write comedy; “It was the first thing I wrote that I felt entirely comfortable with and which seemed to work for the audience, both on and off stage.” Indeed, his comedy drama stage play ‘Robin Hood – The Spirit of Sherwood’, was very well received as it toured east England. When the world gets too depressing, his go-to comedy is Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series, Gary Larson’s Far Side, Dilbert by Scott Adams, TV’s Blackadder, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and sketch show Big Train. His audio collection includes his evergreen favourites, Bleak Expectations by Mark Evans and John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme.
But it is the draw of the oblique and the odd that informs most of Erick’s writing within the realms of comedy, science fiction, fantasy and magical realism.
Currently living in Essex with his wife and cat, Erick is surrounded by the rich landscapes of the Essex countryside. His first full novel was the science fiction space opera parody ‘The Doomsday Machine’, which was the result of a fever dream and too much cheese.