An Interview with Kristin Dearborn

Published August 1, 2016 by MommaCat

KristinDearborn

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

My second full length novel, Stolen Away, was released from Raw Dog Screaming Press in June of 2016. My third novella, Whispers is coming out in October from Lovecraft Ezine. There are a few other short stories coming out in the not too distant future, but those are like Fight Club and I can’t talk about them yet.

If you were to make a deal with the devil what would you ask for?

I feel like this is going to be the most boring answer, but I’d do the whole “sell my soul for talent” kind of thing like an old blues guitar player on a crossroads at midnight. I know those deals are never as good as they sound, but I don’t think I could resist.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

It sure would be nice to have one more Richard Matheson tale, wouldn’t it? I wonder what he would think of 2016, and what he’d be coming up with these days. He’s got some of the hardest hitting horror in the business.

If you could live in any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I know it would be awful, and I’d probably die in about three minutes, but I want to go to Westeros. I want a dragon or a dire wolf, and I want to fight the white walkers above the wall. I think it’s such a richly depicted world that even though there’s nothing good going on here, I want to try my hand at the game of thrones. In reality, I’d just be a peasant and get murdered (or worse) before I turned 5.

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day includes something outdoorsy like hiking or rock climbing, or maybe motorcycling. I’d wake up early and adventure all day, with excellent company. Beautiful sights would be seen, and by the end, I would be exhausted. Then I would eat something ridiculously awesome, probably something in the beef or salmon family, there would be epic dessert—ice cream? Cake? Both? And then, because this is my perfect day, there would be a hot tub, and horror movies. I consider myself lucky that I can make pretty much all of this happen (minus the hot tub) with some regularity.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I think it would be pretty neat to experience a day as a gentleman. Peeing standing up, getting the good side of the patriarchy…I don’t need to be a famous dude or a particular person, I just want to be a guy for a day.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

I just got back from NECON and my birthday is in early August, so I’ve got more books than I know what to do with. I’m currently reading (and loving) Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. After that I think End of Watch is up, by Stephen King. For my birthday I got myself the entire Locke and Key graphic novel series, so I’ll chew through that, and then I think it’ll be Alan Moore’s Neonomicon. I just got a hammock, so I hope to do a lot of this reading from that vantage point in my back yard.

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I’ve tried to get away from the idea of guilty pleasure reading and let all my flags fly. A well-structured romance novel can hold my interest just as well as a well-structured horror novel. The thing I most feel guilty about is the amount of goddamn time I spend reading my Facebook page, particularly when I find myself staring at my phone and have an open book in my lap.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

There’s a part of me that wants to list my closest friends here, but I can do that literally any time I want to. I would invite Stephen King for sure, as he is my favorite author. JK Rowling. Edith Wharton, another favorite. Freddie Mercury, John Lennon…um, now I’m feeling kinda guilty that they’re all fairly recent pop culture figures (minus Edith, but she was kinda poppy in her day). Maybe I’d throw in E.A. Poe, though he might bring the party down. Maybe I’d do Mark Twain instead, so Edith would have someone to hang out with. Or Shirley Jackson. Or JFK…

How do you want the world to remember you?

Two of my heroes are JK Rowling and Stephen King. Not only are they two of the finest writers of our times, they’re also both huge philanthropists. JK Rowling has been bumped off the Forbes list of billionaires because of her charity contributions. King too spends a lot of his hard earned money on philanthropy, focusing his energy in the state of Maine. He focuses on local communities (a baseball field in Bangor), education and libraries, and the arts. He’s given millions of dollars to our shared alma mater, the University of Maine. Both King and Rowling aren’t afraid to get sassy on Twitter, standing up for liberal causes they believe in. One of my favorite moments came when King knocked Maine’s idiot tea party governor down a peg or two after LePage accused him of not paying his share of Maine state taxes. Likewise, Rowling isn’t afraid to hop on Twitter and slap down haters, particularly conservatives.

This was my long winded way of saying I want to be like them. So talented it makes you sick (probably because I made a deal with the devil), but using my powers for good instead of evil.

Thanks for letting us get to know you, Kristin!  Looking for more?  Check out her Facebook and web page and be sure to follow her on Twitter.  Keep scrolling…I got to read STOLEN AWAY!

www.kristindearborn.com

https://twitter.com/narfnitsirk

https://www.facebook.com/kristin.dearborn

STOLEN AWAY is available at Amazon.com

9781935738848-Perfect.indd

STOLEN AWAY is Kristin Dearborn at her utterly demonic best.  This is true horror, and fairly graphic.  Visions of hell, rampaging demons, drugs and rape all play a part in this story.  But so does hope, and the main characters are likable. DEMON has a child with human women and has no interest in joint custody.  We’ll just see about that.  Collectors will recognize the cover art Daniele Serra and I think that’s reason enough to spring for the paperback to display on your shelf.

An Interview with F. Paul Wilson

Published July 1, 2016 by MommaCat

FPaulWilson

 

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

Panacea is out July 5. I’m writing a sequel of sorts, The God Gene, now. Not really a sequel, simply another mystery-adventure with the same two lead characters. Lemme tell you, it was with no little trepidation that handed in Panacea — my first non-Repairman Jack novel in many years. It’s a significant departure, since the Jack books are noirish crime stories with a fantastic back story. Panacea is a continent-hopping mystery adventure in search of the legendary cure-all. But the publisher loved it and even wanted another like it. Thus, The God Gene.

And sometime this year Tom Monteleone and I will finish The Silent Ones, third and last in our YA series, Nocturnia.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Tons. In no particular order: H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Sax Rohmer, Bill Blatty, Robert Heinlein, Victor Hugo, Robert B. Parker, Poul Anderson, Raymond Chandler, Larry Niven, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Dickens, Fred Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner, Charles Fort, and lots of others whose names escape me at the moment. And I suppose I shouldn’t leave out EC Comics, Captain Video, The Shadow, King Kong, the old Flash Gordon serials. Anyone and anything that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.

I’m standing on the shoulders of all of the above, but the one still influencing me thematically (not stylistically), is H. P. Lovecraft. His cosmic horror, his materialistic take on the universe as indifferent at best, but most often malign, shook up my worldview when I was in my teens and has stayed with me since. It echoes all through the Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack novels, and even into Panacea.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

I wish Henry Kuttner were around to write more Gallagher stories, and I could do with a couple more Hogben tales.

If you could live in any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d very much like to live in Barry Schenck’s Retropolis. You can find it at http://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/ It’s sort of the way the present was supposed to look from the perspective of the 1930s (if that makes any sense). Check out the website or check out the 1930 film Just Imagine. (Full feature at http://tinyurl.com/h4bomxf – it’s awful in the way only early talkies can be, but visually it’s a jewel. Watch the first 3 minutes to get an idea of the retrofuture I’m talking about.)

This wouldn’t be an interview with you if we didn’t talk about Repairman Jack and The Secret History of the World. How far into writing your books did you realize you could convert your stories into one epic world? Were you influenced by anyone? Is there a story behind the story?

Well, the Secret History sort of grew. It starts with Lovecraft’s materialist, mechanistic universe – his so-called cosmic horror – amplified by the Fermi Paradox which boils down to: Where is everyone?  With billions of Earth-type planets in our galaxy with the potential for supporting life – many of them much older than ours – why haven’t we been contacted?  The answer could be that sentience and sapience don’t occur very often in the universe. What if the human level of sapience is so rare that when it occurs it attracts… attention? What if we are under the scrutiny of (to quote Wells) “intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic”?  Lovecraft and Charles Fort (who declared “We are property”) mined that vein, and I’m following in their footsteps. Those unsympathetic intellects have shaped human history from behind the scenes, that’s why it’s called the Secret History.

Humanity being the plaything of vast, unknowable forces percolates through The Keep, The Tomb, and The Touch even though they were all intended as stand-alones. I started another completely unrelated novel with the working title The Chadham Clone. I meant for it to look like Rosemary’s Baby or The Omen on the surface but actually be something different (just as The Keep looks like a vampire novel for a while, but it’s not). I wanted to use an evil entity other than the tired old Antichrist, but who? Then I realized I already had that entity in Rasalom from The Keep. I needed a suburban setting convenient to Manhattan, and realized I already had one in Monroe where The Touch took place. I became intrigued by the challenge of tying those two novels, and The Tomb as well, into Rasalom’s reincarnation, bringing the books full circle. It worked so well that I suspect my subconscious might have been linking them all along.

Things grew from there. The result was an outline for a 1,000+ page novel. Nobody was going to publish that, so I broke it down into a trilogy that became Reborn, Reprisal, and Nightworld. When I was done I called all 6 novels The Adversary Cycle, and that formed the foundation of the Secret History. When I brought Jack back in 1998, he was already part of the Secret History, so I used him to expand on the story.

We also know that you are a medical doctor specializing in family practice. But like Repairman Jack, do you have plans to retire? What will you do when that time comes?

I’ve been a part-time physician working 2 days a week for quite some time now (I’d never have been able to write all those books had I been full time). I’ve got a few more practice years left in me. I love my patients, but the government and the insurance companies are conspiring to drive me insane. As for writing, I’ll probably keep that up till I die or develop full-blown dementia.

And Jack? He’ll be back. I have no doubt that a suitable novel will come along and I’ll bring him in from the pasture and put him to work. Can’t say just when, though.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Willie Dixon in the late 1950s. I’m writing “Little Red Rooster,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” “Spoonful” and other blues classics. I’m doing session work for Chess Records, I’m playing upright bass in Chuck Berry’s band. I’m not a household name, but I’m defining the Chicago Blues sound. (Later on, in the 60s, my songs will be covered by the Stones, Led Zep, Cream, the Doors, Hendrix, even Dylan.)

Willie Dixon

Then again, maybe Kim Kardashian – pre-Kanye, of course. I mean, what’s it like to sit on that butt?

Kim Kardashian Paper magazine cover

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Just started Watched Too Long by Ann Voss Peterson and J.A. Konrath. The books ahead haven’t been published yet – ARCs by Norman Spinrad and Charles Stross.

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I’ll read old pulp novels from time to time, but I’m not guilty about them. The snoots turn up their noses but, y’know, who cares? It’s my comfort food. That’s why I wrote “Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong.”

I do have guilty music, though. I’m a blues guy, but I have a weakness for good harmony and a catchy tune. My iPod hides an occasional song by the Partridge Family, the Carpenters, Air Supply, and others too uncool to cop to. (“Easy Come, Easy Go” by Bobby Sherman – yoiks!)

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

The obvious one is keep writing…write every day. When I started out, writing part time, I found a minimum of 3 first-draft double-spaced pages per day did the trick. That’s 21/week. At that rate you’ve got over 540 pages in 6 months. That’s a decent-sized novel.

In writing those 3 pages per day, avoid tinkering with them. This stalls you by fooling you into thinking you’re still writing. You’re not. And you’re losing momentum. Get those 3 pages down and then leave them alone and go on to the next 3. The time to fix and hone them is after you’ve finished that all-important first draft – what I call the vomit draft. You’ll know your characters better then and can go back and make meaningful edits and additions.

The other is less obvious: Avoid envy. Other writers are going to be more successful than you. Applaud their success rather than begrudge it. Just remember, there’s objective success and subjective success. Objective is counted on bestseller lists and dollar signs. Subjective is defined by you: what are your goals in putting those words on paper? Don’t lose sight of that.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Dorothy Parker, Ambrose Bierce, Ogden Nash, Oscar Wilde, and H. L. Mencken. A veritable torrent of wit. Can you imagine the laughs? The unbridled cynicism?

How do you want the world to remember you?

A stand-up guy who poured a mean gimlet and told lots of good stories.

 

You can find Paul on Twitter and follow him, look for @fpaulwilson.  Check out his Facebook page too!  Thank you so much for the interview, Paul.  And thank you for letting me read Panacea.

This is an exciting book! Think Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton. Then, boom! You’re off off on an around the world (Paul’s World – it fits into the Secret History) whirlwind thriller as competing forces attempt to find a cure-all. Can it truly exist? Dead bodies are turning up that were otherwise perfectly healthy…and they shouldn’t have been.  Have fun reading this – I sure did!

Find PANACEA at Amazon.com

panacea

An Interview with David Bell

Published June 1, 2016 by MommaCat

david_j_bell

 

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

My next thriller, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, will be released on June 21st. It’s about a single mother and her teenage son and their involvement in a missing persons case.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

I think good stories start with characters. Character drives plot not the other way around. So the short answer is—“Yes!”

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

So, so many. But to name a few: Harlan Coben, Raymond Carver, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rosemary Sutcliff, Elmore Leonard, Ed Gorman. The list could go on and on.

Your publisher must love to see your manuscripts come in. Being an English professor, you have must have the ability to self edit, true? Would you talk about the importance of editing one’s work?

Over time, I think writers learn to step back from their own work and see it critically. But no one can be completely objective about their own work, which is why it’s essential to have good readers to help. My editor, agent, and my wife all read my work carefully and give me a lot of feedback. It takes a village to write a novel…

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I’d like to hit a baseball like Joey Votto.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Who knows? Maybe NO ONE KNOWS by JT Ellison, SEE ALSO DECEPTION by Larry Sweazy, and COMMAND AND CONTROL by Eric Schlosser

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, and Rosemary Sutcliff

What if you were given a million dollars with the restriction that every penny must be spent to benefit others. If you got rid of the entire amount within one week, you would receive two million dollars for yourself or lose it all. How would you spend the money to benefit the most people? Limit $1000 per person.

I’d buy them books!

How do you want the world to remember you?

A hard working writer…who lived long enough to see the Reds win the World Series one more time.

Look for David Bell on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @davidbellnovels and on his website.

Look for his newest novel SINCE SHE WENT AWAY everywhere books are sold!. It promises to be a chiller of a thriller! All of Bell’s novels are thoughtfully plotted and character driven. This promises to be more of the same. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

SinceSheWentAway

 

An Interview with Sean Costello

Published May 1, 2016 by MommaCat

SeanCostello

I recently “discovered” author Sean Costello when I was browsing the Goodreads shelves of people that I follow.  One of his books caught my  eye and I looked it up on Amazon.  As I looked over his books, I was surprised to see that this unknown to me author had nearly all five star ratings on his books!  So I bought one and also downloaded SQUALL, which was free.  The rest, as it’s said, is history.  I went back and bought more; emailed Sean asked him for an interview; now I hope all y’all go check out his books.  I’ll talk about HERE AFTER after his interview, so stick around.

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I’m currently working on the second draft of a novel called Terminal House. In many ways it’s a departure for me. I tend to write action-driven stories, but this one rides more on character and deeper issues, like aging, Alzheimer’s, euthanasia, and romantic love. At its core, though, it’s a tale of psychological horror. One man’s journey into oblivion.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Stephen Hunter, Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, Thomas Harris, and a host of other great scribes.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

I’d resurrect Elmore Leonard and tell him to take his time . . . I mean really take his time finishing the novel he was working on when he died. The man was a genius, and when you met him in person he was just the sweetest guy. To end such a uniquely creative mind was a crime against humanity.

If you could live in any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

It would be this one, but in the 1960s. I’d see Led Zeppelin again, and make damn sure I got to Woodstock this time. I’d start writing as a young man instead of an older one, and maybe—just maybe—I’d be doing it for a living now.

Most authors have held many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

Not counting a paper route, my first job was as a salad chef at a harness race track. I was 16. The kitchen skills came in handy for my next job, which was slinging hoagies at a place called Fat Albert’s in my hometown of Ottawa. I was a night watchman at a pulp and paper mill, a working musician and, briefly, a model. Then I hit med school, internship, four years of specialty training and a 35-year stint as an anesthesiologist. Now I wanna be a writer.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I guess I’d swap with Jack Nicholson—with all due apologies to Jack for the uneven trade—just so I could see what it’s like to be the coolest dude in the universe.     

Jack

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

No plans right now. When I’m writing, I try to avoid reading fiction. I’m too easily influenced.

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

Reader’s Digest. But only on the throne.

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

This brings up a fun anecdote. In the summer of 1985, I took a drive in my turbo Volvo to Lake Kezar in Maine to do some windsurfing. I’d heard the lake hosted some serious blows . . . and knew that Stephen King had a summer place in the area. I thought, Get in some epic surfing and maybe run into King in the village.

Well, upon entering the vicinity, don’t I see the man himself coming up this rural road in the opposite direction. He’s driving a champagne-colored Mercedes convertible—and he’s alone. He saw my head swivel as he passed and he smiled, accustomed by now, I’m certain, to the star-struck gawks of yokels like myself. So I pulled a U-ie, passed the man at considerable speed, and bailed out of the car at the next stop sign. He rolled up behind me, I said, “You’re Stephen King,” and he said, “I know that, who the hell are you?”

The long and the short? Steve got out of the car (he’s six-foot-six, so I was pretty sure I was about to get decked by Stephen King), chatted with me for twenty minutes, then signed the hardcover copy of Pet Sematary I happened to be reading at the time. Before he left—he was headed for a Red Sox game in Boston—I asked him the question you just asked me, and he said, “Read a lot and write a lot; it really works.”

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Well, Jack, of course. And if we’re talking reanimated, deodorized and civilized dead: John Bonham, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and my maternal grandmother; she was a great cook.

How do you want the world to remember you?

The world has very little use for me, Momma. But I would like to be remembered by my son as someone who loved him more than anything else—ever—and wanted only good things for him, always.

You can find Sean on Facebook, on his website and on his Amazon.com author page. He’s on Twitter as SeanCostello51. Get on his Mailing List and grab a free copy of LAST CALL!

Thanks very much for giving me this opportunity.

 Buy HERE AFTER now at Amazon.com!

hereaftereHERE AFTER is an edge of your seat thriller in the style of very early Dean Koontz novels.  It’s a little bit paranormal, a lot mystery, and very heartwrenching.  There’s a kidnapper loose in Canada and the police aren’t having any luck tracking the person.  Two men meet in a victims group and become friends.  Can they find their boys when the cops have failed?  Check this and all of Sean’s books out at Amazon today.  He won’t disappoint.

An Interview with John McIlveen

Published April 1, 2016 by MommaCat

john mcIlveen

John McIlveen, Bram Stoker nominee for his first novel, HANNAHWHERE,  is Cat After Dark’s April guest. No foolin’!

You currently work for MIT. Would you talk about your position there?

I am an Electrical and Mechanical Designer and coordinator for the qualification and of certification cleanrooms, and for the toxic gas monitoring systems at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington MA. I work in FSD Engineering. We are a part of the US-DOD so I will mysteriously disappear if I say anything else.

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have recently finished a big fat mainstream novel titled GONE NORTH, which (from fly leaf) is the story of Thalia and Emma Holden, two sisters from the Lower Ninth Ward in 1961. Raised in a home of limited means but abundant love and happiness, life is as good as it’s ever been, despite the vicious battles for and against racial segregation across America, and right there in New Orleans. When nineteen-year-old Emma Holden accepts a job with a prominent white family outside of Boston, a job that would enable her to attend college, it seems a dream opportunity. And then tragedy strikes, claiming the life of her parents.

With her parents gone, her sister in Boston, and her brother in California awaiting deployment to Vietnam, Sixteen-year-old Thalia Holden suddenly finds her life in shambles, now living with her grandfather and her hard-drinking, lecherous Uncle Carl. She tolerates her new life until a late night encounter makes her realize New Orleans is no longer home. Home is with her sister Emma, and that was where she needed to be.

Carrying only a duffle bag packed with minimal necessities, forty-two dollars, two Steinbeck novels, and accompanied by her three-legged German Shepard, Thalia embarks on an extraordinary Journey from New Orleans to Boston. In her travels, Thalia encounters her greatest fears, going face to face with extreme prejudice, perversity, but also compassion, offered by a diversity of characters ranging from despicable to eccentric, to delightful. Each day Thalia fears for her survival yet hungers for life.

Meanwhile in Boston, Emma struggles with grieving her parents’ deaths and worrying for her missing sister, while caring for the Merrick family, a wealthy but sympathetic family of five, the youngest of which is a fifteen-year-old son with Down Syndrome. To top it off, Emma discovers she has unwisely but helplessly fallen for the boss’s oldest son, who only complicates things by sharing the infatuation.

GONE NORTH is a tale of family, love, humor, conflict, and ultimately hope, involving humanity at its best, and at its worst. A firm publication date isn’t set yet, but it’s in the not too distant future.

I am almost finished a thriller titled CORRUPTION, which is about a Boston drug cartel, babies falling from windows, and a “common day Joe” who is pulled unwillingly into the midst of it all to help the mother of one of the children.

I am ¼ of the way into another horror novel titled ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?, which deals with a new type of “Super Ecstasy” which has some very unnerving after-effects for one poor son of a gun.

I understand that you’re friends with Christopher Golden. How did the two of you meet? Are there any plans for a collaboration?

Chris is a mensch in every way. He has been a mentor and very instrumental in my (and many others) writing career. We met in 1987 at a convention called NECON (www.campnecon.com) which is the best convention – bar none. He was living in New York and working at Billboard at the time, and I was in Hudson, NH working in the semiconductor industry. Ironically, we both ended up in Haverhill, MA. As for collaboration…I’d like to preserve our friendship. Joking aside, I’m not opposed to the idea, but it’d be like the tortoise and the hare; Chris writes full time at high speed with an astronomical output…I’m rather sluggish, seeing as writing is my second career.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

This list could take pages, but in my opinion, John Steinbeck was a master in every way. Stephen King of course, for story lines. Who hasn’t he influenced in one way or another? Margaret Atwood, because she’s a phenomenal stylist and so amazingly diverse. Harry Crews, who was the king of flawed characters and mastered black humor. John Irving, or more-so his earlier writing. Read A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY and you’ll understand. Rick Hautala, who passed away March 17, four years ago. I befriended Rick in 1984 and he introduced me to the writer’s side of books, and to NECON, and he kept at me to start writing. Finally, Chris Golden, who has been a coach, a teacher, a cheerleader, and most importantly, a fun and goofy friend.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

William Shakespeare, especially to see his reaction to this modern world (400 years after his death in 1616), and how he would translate it into his writing.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

My first thought was Kate Winslet, so I could stand naked in front of the mirror all day. Seriously, maybe Stephen Hawking (stressing the “one day”), so I could experience existence from his perspective. To understand what drives him, what keeps him positive, and to see the correlation between his genius and his handicap, if one exists.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

I am currently reading and enjoying HAVEN by Tom Deady, which is due out later this year from Cemetery Dance.

Next in line are THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill, DEAD WAKE, non-fiction by Erik Larson, and THE GIRL YOU LOST by Kathryn Croft.

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

Always believe in your art and always strive to improve it. (Okay, that was two, but it was one sentence.)

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

(Outside of family and friends)

Jon Anderson – (From the band YES)

Harry Crews – (author – deceased)

Martin Luther King

Stephen King

Marilyn Monroe

Would make for an interesting evening.

 

How do you want the world to remember you?

Fondly

You can find John on his website, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on his Amazon.com author page and on Google+.  You can follow him on Twitter also – @jmcilveen.  Stop by any or all of those and say hello! I think he’d be delighted that you came by.

Thank you for reading and reviewing my books, and thank you for inviting me to participate in your blog and this interview.

Thank you to everyone who pimped HANNAHWHERE, which helped get it nominated for both The Bram Stoker and The Drunken Druid Awards.

Buy HANNAHWHERE at Amazon.com!

hannahwhere

HANNAHWHERE is the story of twin sisters Hannah and Anna whose mother is in an abusive relationship.  What she teaches the girls will amaze you and give you hope.  If you read only one book this year, make it HANNAHWHERE.

Norman Prentiss, An “Odd” Promotion

Published March 27, 2016 by MommaCat

Norman-Clarissa

 Two-time Bram Stoker Award-Winner Norman Prentiss has a new book, but it’s not yet available for purchase. ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER is currently on preview at Kindle Scout, hoping to win enough reader nominations to sway Amazon into offering the book a publishing contract. It’s currently halfway through the month-long campaign, so I thought we’d ask him some questions about this “odd” novel!

 

What’s different about this book, compared to your other books/stories?

I’ve written several novellas–INVISIBLE FENCES, THE FLESHLESS MAN, and THE NARRATOR (in collaboration with Michael McBride)–and have one collaboration that’s the length of a short novel, THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN with Brian James Freeman… but I only had to do about a novella’s worth of writing on that one, with Brian writing the other half. For that reason, I consider ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER to be my first novel. Definitely my first big book “flying solo.”

More importantly, though, the content and tone of the book is different from my other stuff. It’s still horror, but it fits a lot of other categories as well. I call it a queer road-trip adventure with horror/fantasy elements, all wrapped up in a coming-of-age frame tale. It’s about an adopted daughter who learns about her deceased father by hearing the supernatural tales her surviving father tells her. The adventures should definitely please horror fans, with creepy scenes and some unusual monsters, but the daughter’s story is important too (and ultimately, I think, gives more meaning to the adventures).

 

Why try Kindle Scout to publish it? Can you explain the process a bit?

Mostly for the same reason I mentioned above: the book fits so many categories, so I thought I might have a chance to reach beyond the small-press horror audience I’ve aimed at previously. At the same time, it’s also so unusual that a conventional path to publication didn’t seem right, either. Kindle Scout seemed like a nice way to connect with different groups of readers, maybe build some momentum and buzz.

At Kindle Scout, authors post a description, cover, and 5,000 word excerpt from a book, and readers vote for stories that intrigue them. The nice thing is, if Amazon selects a book for publication, everyone who nominated it gets a free pre-publication copy of the eBook. The process seems to be going well so far, but I’m only halfway through the month.

 

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

I’d have to say the ending, because it was a tricky emotional moment that I worked really hard to pull off. Of course, I can’t be more specific without spoilers, so I’ll pick a moment from early in the book, when Jack has been abducted. Shawn has recently learned that Jack has a psychic way to communicate with him—and with him only—by projecting images into his boyfriend’s mind. It’s a shared bond, but also a kind of curse, since Jack can only project disturbing images. This excerpt also conveys some of the interaction with the daughter, Celia, while Shawn narrates the stories:

 

I crawled blind, scraping forward along my stomach, elbows out and legs bent to scoot me forward. I expected the roof of the tunnel to open up once I’d crawled and slid forward a few feet. The ground opened up instead.

I felt the drop-off with my hands, the slide of the tunnel breaking away along a rough ledge. I dug behind with my toes to keep from sliding further, then paused for my eyes to adjust to the limited light.

The ledge formed the lip of a small pit. The distance wasn’t too far—about ten feet or so, and if I twisted my body as I emerged from the tunnel, I could probably land without hurting myself.

Only one problem. Spikes pointed up from the floor of the pit. Blood gleamed from the sharp tips of two dozen wooden spears. The carcass of a possum was skewered on one post, through the bottom of its neck and out the eye socket. The body slid partway down the spear, but the eye jelly remained, blood gleaming on the tip.

It was impossible, like so many other things Jack had shown me in this haunted forest. But I thought about those strangers who abducted Jack. They beat him and dragged him off a parking lot and into the woods. Wouldn’t that be the same kind of people who’d set an awful trap, pretending to catch animals but hoping for human prey?

It’s too real, Jack. I can’t follow you. I can’t…”

I let myself fall.

#

(Let’s try an experiment, Celia. Pretend my finger is a sharp wooden spike. Now, you know it’s not, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Right?

Now, I’m going to bring it close to your face. Sit still. Try not to blink. I’m bringing this pointed spike right to your nose. There.

Did you feel it? I didn’t touch you at all. But you felt it, didn’t you? And not on your nose. In your eyes.

That’s what I felt as I dropped, head down, into that pit. Spikes coming towards me, toward my eyes, poking each of them, tearing through them, through my brain and out the back of my head.

A horrible sensation. Because your eyes always wince, don’t they?

Even at something false.)

 

What impressed me about the story was that I felt it could be about any relationship.  Was it your intention to point out that a gay relationship was just like any other?

I don’t know if it was my intention, but I’m very pleased you read it that way! Jack and Shawn’s relationship begins in the 80s, which is also when their adventures take place. They couldn’t get married at that time, so Jack’s psychic gift is a kind of “compensation.” It sets them apart, in some ways, but you’re right to pick up on the fact that every relationship is like this: a couple shares a private world that others don’t have access to (supernatural, in this case), and that brings them close.

 

Do you have anything else in progress? 

I’m planning a sequel to this book called HAUNTED PLACES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER–which I haven’t told anybody about yet, so you’re the first! I also have a short YA novel that’s almost ready to go, called LIFE IN A HAUNTED HOUSE. And Cemetery Dance announced a new mini-collection last week called THE BOOK OF BABY NAMES, and I was very surprised that the book sold out its limited run in less than 24 hours!

 

Thank you so much for letting Cat After Dark  help promote your book, Norm!  

Be sure to tell everyone you know  about this “ODD” Promotion!  You won’t find the excerpt from the book anywhere but here.  Then get yourself over to Kindle Scout and VOTE for Amazon to publish ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER!  My husband and I both read it, and it’s a must read for horror fans, for parents, for teens or for anyone in a relationship.  It’s damn good writing.

 

OddAdventures

An Interview with Joe Hart

Published March 1, 2016 by MommaCat

JoeHart

 

Being an aspiring published author is_________________.

Not sure I like the term “aspiring” when describing a writer. You either write or you don’t in my opinion.

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

The next book I have coming out is a thriller called THE NIGHT IS DEEP. It is the second book in a series I’m writing about an ex-homicide detective who has a future waiting for him but can’t let go of the past.

lastgirl

Are books 2 and 3 of THE LAST GIRL written and what are the expected release dates?

Book 2 is finished and is the editing stage. It’s due out in September of this year. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft of the last book and that one should be out sometime in early 2017.

It’s clear to me that the world we live in is a misogynistic one. And that’s the premise, at least from the outset of TLG. And that just blows my mind! What made you come up with the idea that men were so destructive that they wouldn’t nurture and revere the few women that remained?

It’s funny because several people have asked that same question, “Why wouldn’t the remaining women be treated well?” When I first came up with the idea of the birthrate for female infants dropping to nearly nothing I asked some of the most important women in my life a question. It went something like this- If there were only a limited number of women left on Earth do you think they’d be treated like queens or like possessions? Every one of them answered (without hesitation) possessions. I’m not sure if even the threat of extinction would stop people (especially men) from trying to take what they want. Pretty sure history supports this.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

Absolutely. MacArthur Gray from WIDOW TOWN came pretty much fully formed into my mind and I built the plot around him. Zoey from THE LAST GIRL was pretty much formed the moment after I had the general premise for the book as well as Evan Tormer from THE WAITING.

Most authors have had many jobs on their way to a full time writing career. What are some of the jobs you’ve held?

Very true! I’ve worked as an auto mechanic, a line technician at an airport, a customer service agent for Northwest Airlines, an electric motor technician, a personal trainer and manager of a gym.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Mr. Stephen King would be at the top of the list. I was reading him around age ten or eleven. I wouldn’t be doing what I am without his work. Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, R.L. Stine, Blake Crouch, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Richard Adams, Harper Lee, Clive Barker, Justin Cronin, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Lovecraft, Poe, the list goes on and on.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

My son who has autism. Since he can’t tell me, I would give anything to know what he’s thinking.

What scares you? Have you written about it?

I’ll have to echo King here. Everything. Everything scares me. Losing those who you love most. Leaving them alone. Whatever lurks under the bed at night even after you’ve checked it. Things like that. And yes, I’ve written about nearly all the things that scare me, but there’s a lot less to write about.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Oh wow. I just finished Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF BLADES, which was excellent and I started reading THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. Past that I have a few books waiting on blurbs and whatnot.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen King, Jackie Onassis, and Michael Collins.

hemingway

How do you want the world to remember you?

Someone who tried their best at what they loved.

Thanks very much for all the great questions, it was a blast!

Thanks for a great interview, Joe! THE LAST GIRL is available on Amazon.com and anywhere else books are sold.

You can find Joe on Twitter @AuthorJoeHart and on his website. Check them out! If you would like to read my review of THE LAST GIRL – click here!

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