Updated: Jun 19

In the seventh of our Q&A features, we chat to the contributor behind our opening poetry piece, Those Who Come After, which sets the scene for both the terror and beauty that awaits in the pages of The Needle Drops... Volume One. With such a diverse portfolio, Alex provides much insight, several recommendations and a unique tale or two about his many personal and professional forays into the world of media, whether videogame journalism or the performing arts.

Alex loves Mega Drive classics such as Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and ToeJam & Earl

Alex De-Gruchy is a writer (and infrequent singer and actor) whose work has included comic books, videogames, film, short prose fiction, poetry, radio and other audio, and more. You can find him at alexdegruchy.wordpress.com and on Twitter @AlexDeGruchy.

So, Alex - the ominous, foretelling Those Who Come After is the first experience our readers will have within Volume One, a glorious lead-in to all things horror. Could you give us a little insight into your writing process in regards to poetry?

Funnily enough, Those Who Come After is the first poem I ever wrote, in late 2020. Poetry was just something I never dabbled with or read much of. But I’ve sung in a few bands over the years and written plenty of lyrics so this experience helped since I wanted to work with rhyme when it came to poetry. I’ve written a few more poems since Those Who Come After and my process is pretty straightforward, starting with a sentence or two summing up the basic idea and then fleshing it out with a list of relevant images, moments, emotions, themes, etc., most of which usually make it into the poem in some form. Then I write the actual lines and hammer it into whatever structure I think works best, and it’ll take a few drafts and a lot of picking over the smallest details before I’m finally happy with it.

Aside from poetry, your portfolio encapsulates a broad and diverse selection of works, from short fiction to videogame journalism to comic books. Which is your ‘preferred’ space to work within?

As much as I enjoy writing non-fiction, if I really had to choose then I’d pick fiction over it as I’ve been telling my own stories in one form or another all of my life. As for mediums within fiction, it’s a tough call. I like the control I have over something like prose fiction or poetry