Nine Questions with… Scott M. Goriscak

Today I’m joined by the magnanimous Scott M. Goriscak, an author and advocate of the horror industry. Welcome Scott, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

ScottGoriscakI began writing in high school but it wasn’t until a conversation with Horror Writer Clive Barker did my writing turn to the dark side. I published his first collection of short stories, Grim and Ghastly in 2008 and followed up with a second collection Dead and Decaying in 2009. Also in 2009 my first story submission Home Sweet Home was selected for the 2010 Masters of Horror Anthology! The following year I was again chosen for the 2011 Masters of Horror anthology Damned If You Don’t with his story Easy to Digest. In 2011 I was published in numerous anthologies. Soup of Souls Anthology (No Man Left Behind), I Believe in Werewolves (Parenting-Not for the Faint of Heart), Satan’s Toy Chest (Playing with Dolls), Satan’s Toy Box: Toy Soldiers (The South Shall Rise Again), Post-Apocalyptic Raids (Who are the Faithful),  Spirits of the Night (Lost and Found), and Field of Shrieks in The Spirit of Poe anthology which all proceeds of the publication go to keeping the home of Edgar Allan Poe open to the public due to the city of Baltimore cut its funding. In 2012 I founded THE HORROR SOCIETY.

The HORROR SOCIETY is a community of authors, artists, screen writers, filmmakers, actors, editors, publishers, and musicians who work and contribute to the universe of Horror. The goal of this community is for the individual to share and promote their work by networking with others in the industry to further their careers. We also want members to share their experiences to educate and help others avoid making decisions that would prevent them from achieving their goals. In addition we want to promote conversation between the individuals of the horror community that may have never met under normal circumstances. We want to bridge the gap between the veterans of the industry with the new generation. This is not a fan page; all applicants will need to be contributing to the industry of Horror in some fashion to be accepted. We want to encourage creativity, discuss ideas, inspire where we cannot be critical and discourage. The Horror Society, making the world darker than we found it.

Tell us about your writing process, Scott?

Having a full-time job, I write at night when my wife and children are sleeping. My writing sessions usually last a few hours before my imagination starts to fade.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I have had moments where I think about writing children’s books but problem that I seem to run into is the stories never seem to have happy endings. Just ask my kids; “Goldilocks and the Three Vampires” didn’t end well for the little girl. So at the moment I am content with horror being my home.

I think that’s a fair answer – though I’m sure many of us are dying to read “Goldilocks and the Three Vampires”… What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

1. The first horror comic I read.

ScoobyDo

2. The first book I read about horror.

HowtoCareForYourMonster

3. Clive Barker’s Books of Blood – It was so cutting edge at its time. Made me really think about being original.
4. Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot – This was the freshest story I had read about Vampires.
5. Edgar Allan Poe’s Collection – Poe’s work to me was so far ahead of both his and our time. Don’t know if we can ever catch up to his talent or the way he thought. One can only wonder what he would have achieved if he didn’t die so young. You can read his stories over and over again without losing interest.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

First I would choose my short story Easy to Digest and as a main character selection I would have to say DJ Qualls from the film Road Trip would be my choice to cast as the main character.

Great choice, Scott. What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

I would thank everyone that made it possible. First and foremost the fans, then my Editor, and last my Publisher. Enjoy the moment and continue writing.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

No I’m sorry I don’t.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

This is my problem. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. I write all the time. I have a dream diary; I have a tape recorder in my car so that I can record my thoughts while driving and I carry a mini pad to write down any ideas that may come to me while out and about.

I have notebooks upon notebooks of ideas and sketches – glad to hear that my need to jot it all down before I forget it isn’t odd. Please share with us the first nine lines of a current work.

From “Field of Shrieks”:

My sleep was once again interrupted in the middle of the night. I jolted upright with the same, but more intense apprehension as the night before, that I wasn’t alone! Unlike the previous night I was able to focus and I hesitated to turn on the light, intrigued by the sensations before hearing the most blood curdling shriek I ever heard. The hair stood up on my neck and the room suddenly felt cold. The scream was so clear that I sprung from the bed and ran outside to offer assistance.

I stopped running when I didn’t hear any further sounds toward which to run. There I stood, barefoot in the dew soaked grass in the middle of the back yard surrounded by the silence of the dark and listened hard with dismaying observation. Then I heard a low moan, then another from behind me. A scream followed. I frantically spun around after each sound to see where the sounds originated, but I didn’t see anyone. A chorus of suffering and crying screams, shrieks, and moans continued and escalated in volume, echoing through the darkness. I shielded my ears with my hands against the cacophony, as if I was in the middle of a crowded room closing in on me. I felt a touch upon my shoulder and ran panicked, back into the house. Glancing back over my shoulder as I ran I thought I saw numerous shadows gathering where I had been standing. The screams and moans continued until the back door slammed closed behind me. Then all was silent.

Great excerpt Scott, one I definitely want to read the end of! Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions and for giving my audience a glimpse into your career as an author. You can find Scott’s books on Amazon. Now let’s take a sneak peek into Horrorism – Scott’s current collection…

This is the collection Scott M. Goriscak’s fans have been waiting for. With three previously published stories and five brand new ones, Scott delivers the scares his readers have become addicted to. Compared to an early Clive Barker, Scott’s writing pulls the reader in to the story, before plunging them straight into a fear filled finish. Don’t read this book at night, especially if you’re alone in the house…

Horrorism

Don’t forget to join me next week when I will be interviewing author Tim Miller.

Get your stories in ladies!

The Sirens Song

Ladies! Calling All Ladies Who Write Horror!

The deadline for our 7th issue of The Sirens Call – dedicated to Women in Horror Month close on February 1st!

As official Ambassadors for Women in Horror Month, we want to make this issue rock – but we need your help!

Dust something off; write something new – just send it to us before the 1st!

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity!

Women in Horror Recognition Month image

Guidelines can be found on our website.

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AJ Brown writes a blog post that many authors should read – and read carefully!

Type AJ Negative

I had a cool blog all figured out, based on a quote by Albert Einstein, but then something else came along. Let me explain.

On Facebook I always see people posting about their successes in the writing world. You know, things like ‘hey my story just got accepted at such and such anthology,’ or ‘I just signed with an agent,’ or even better, ‘my novel was just picked up by The Most Awesome Publisher In the World.’ These are all great things and I enjoy reading how people have had success in the business.

You know what I don’t see a lot of? Go ahead, guess. I’ll give you three chances, and your first two don’t count.

I don’t see a lot of the failures. People just don’t post about them. I don’t see much about the books not being picked up, the short stories being rejected, the agonizingly excruciating…

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Nine Questions with… Alex Laybourne

Today I am joined by the fantastic author Alex Laybourne. Welcome Alex, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

I was born and raised in England, in a coastal town called Lowestoft, but I relocated to The Netherlands in 2006 just before my first child was born. Now, 6 years and 4 children later I am still here. I never regretted my move, although it certainly doesn’t work in my favor with regards my writing and promotional work.

I have always written, from simply copying down the text out of books to creating my own stories. The progression to thinking of myself as a writer was an easy one, finding the time to make the state of mind a reality took me a long time to get my head around.

I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen and expected to have my life changed overnight. Of course, that was just stupid, and the book never even saw the light of day. Still, it lit the fire and although it took me another ten years to sit down and pen a real novel again, my mind had never stopped, and I found myself with a wealth of novels ready and waiting to be written. I currently have around 20 novels and short story collections planned out in my head, and a 10 book series on a serious subject.

My debut novel Highway to Hell has just been published via MayDecember Publications LLC and they also have the rights to the second and third chapters in the trilogy, which are currently scheduled for a June and January release. They are also reading some short stories of mine, so it is all systems go at the moment which means a lot of coffee, little sleep and lots of multi-tasking. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s great news Alex, congratulations! Tell us about your writing process?

My writing process is pretty structured, now. With 4 kids, aged 6(almost), 4(just), 2, and 4 months, free time is not a commodity I have, and so my alarm goes at 4:30am every morning, 5:00am on the weekends. Within 5 minutes I am downstairs, with a coffee in hand. I sit down and start writing, check my emails and social media feeds. I reply to any comments I have received on my website and social media posts. On an average morning I can have 1000 -1500 words written before 6am. I then have to go to work, which takes around 10 hours of my day including travel time. I spend my 30 minute lunch break writing, and then write for around an hour or so again in the evening once the kids have gone to bed.

Of course anybody with children will understand that even the best laid plans can be turned on their heads in the blink of an eye.

Multi-tasking is a big part of my process, writing with children in my arms, or having multiple screens open. At this point in time I am answering two different interview questions, and writing two blog posts, along with editing two pieces of work for friends. I am lucky that until now, touch wood (my head is the closest thing to that around me), I can manage it all just fine.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I have never really thought about it. My work is all very much based in the horror genre, and the multiple avenues that lie within it. That being said, I have just written a short story, an anthology submission in fact, which is Urban Fantasy. It actually turned out as a YA piece, and the characters really called to me, so I have sketched out provisional ideas this afternoon for a 5 book series. So I guess, YA Urban Fantasy would be the genre that I am most likely to move into.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

The Books of Blood by Clive Barker,

IT by Stephen King

The Shining (but not the movie, I am one of the few people who think the movie butchered the story into something almost unrecognizable, however well shot it was) also by Stephen King

1984 by George Orwell

The entire Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

All of these books influenced me in different ways. Barker for the fantasy and colorful worlds he created, for the prose that reads like poetry, they are like a silk cushion caressing my brain every time I sit down to read a few pages. I first read IT when I was about 10 years old, and ironically, Pennywise is the only clown that doesn’t creep me out. The Shining was the first book to every truly scare me. I studied 1984 at school, and it is just a book that stuck with me. I have read it several times since and will undoubtedly do so again. It rings true in many avenues of life, and on top of it all is a damned entertaining story. The Dark Tower series simply because of their mass, the simplicity of the story, seven books about a man walking along a path to get to a tower, the way it weaves through worlds, and comes across characters from other novels; the details and intricacies of it all are just staggering. I guess that is why King is the master storyteller… until now… oh, wait, that sounds a bit big-headed right?

Of course, these are just some of the books I have read in recent years. There are a great many other wonderful stories that have inspired me, kept me up late at night because my drive to write was so strong. I have read several short stories from Lovecraft and Poe, each one amazing in their own right, but most have been found online or as part of other things, and so don’t really count for the question at hand. There are too many to choose from, these five were just the first ones jut jump from the crowd.

Great choices Alex. If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I only have one book published, so let’s go with Highway to Hell. There are six main characters in the first book, and two sub characters that will become important.

Marcus – Shemar Moore

Becky – Olivia Wilde

Richard – Josh Hutcherson

Helen – Amy Adams

Sammy – Chance Crawford

Graham – Anthony Hopkins

Raguel – Christian Bale

Nemamiah – Joseph Gordon Levitt.

A major recurring character in books 2 and 3 would have to be played by Gary Oldman, because I love that man and think he is the best actor around.

Now that I look at it, I have quite a few pairs of characters there, people who have worked together and who are paired up in the books in some way also. Bale, Levitt and eventually Oldman from Batman, but I guess not only do I find them to be great actors, but they had a good chemistry also.

The characters of Richard and Sammy are the only two in my mind that are doubtful, they are young, and my knowledge of young up and coming actors is a lot less than it used to be. Also, Olivia Wilde is beautiful, but may be a bit old for the character of Becky.

To be honest, I always liked the idea of casting some unknowns in a few of the roles. So I guess what I am saying is that besides the final three names, all slots are still open. Man, I didn’t do very well on that question.

You did just fine – it’s hard to pick people that we have seen in roles depicting the characters that have spent so much time living in our heads. What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

I haven’t ever really thought about it. I would probably just do a quiet little dance, post it on Facebook and then get back to my writing or whatever it was I was doing. Being on the list would be awesome, but staying there means continuing to work hard.

Yes it most certainly does. Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Besides coffee, no, not really. I write at such early times for the most part, that I don’t have time for any vices. I guess, if I have the house to myself in an evening to write, a bit of junk food always helps (just a little).

Geez, that’s not too bad – where’s the dirt?? All kidding aside, what do you do when you’re not writing?

If I’m not writing, I am either, at work (shudder), playing with the kids or relaxing with my wife; reading a book watching TV or a movie, etc. I lead a pretty simple life in the respect.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

I had to cheat a little, as the final sentence went onto line 10,but this is the opening paragraph of an anthology submission I have been working on, and will also turn into the prologue of a (currently set at 5 books) YA Urban Fantasy series.

“Hi, my name is Glenn Hawke, and I am… well, you can call me a freelancer. I have a certain set of skills, which I put to good use, hunting down a very specific sort of being. My parents died when I was young, and ten years ago, just before my tenth birthday, my sister, Megan, was murdered before my eyes. She was the only family I had left. Her death was what caused my change.  You see, my family was gifted, as are so many families out there. Normally, on our sixteenth birthday our change was set. Me, I changed for the first time on my tenth birthday. The rage of my sister’s death has consumed me, and brought me to my age of change ahead of time. The anger I felt made me a werewolf. Megan was a shapeshifter, gunned down by a man for no reason other than…her ability.  Her death drives me. Revenging her has consumed my life and now. After all these years, I am this close, to catching the man responsible.”

Great beginning! Now it’s time to take a quick peek at Alex’s novel Highway to Hell

highway to hellMarcus, Becky, Richard, Helen, Sammy, and Graham. All complete strangers, different ages, backgrounds and even countries, but they all have one major thing in common…they all must DIE.

Sentenced to offer their penance in the many chambers of Hell, their lives are nothing but a torturous experience. They are brought face to face with their past, their mistakes and the implications that had for others. Until one by one they are rescued and thrown together. Walking in a dying world, they are introduced to their rescuers who do anything but conform to their angelic stereotype. Together, bonded by an unknown destiny the group is set on their quest; to find one individual buried deep within the many Hell worlds. Not only does the fate of their world rest on their shoulders, but that of existence itself.

Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons, these things were once considered opposites, but what happens when they become neighbors, allies…friends?

Don’t forget to click the cover to be taken straight to Amazon!

Thank you Alex for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to connect with Alex, find him on his blog, his Amazon Author Page, Twitter, or Facebook.

Join me next week when I’m joined by Scott Goriscak!

Nine Questions with… Angela Brown

Today my guest is Angela Brown, author of the recently released Neverlove. Welcome Angela, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

AngelaThank you, Julianne, for having me here today. Name’s Angela Brown and when I’m not at my paying gig for eight boring hours, helping my kiddo with her homework or sneaking in some sleep between jaunts around the interwebz, I write…oh, and read. My novel, Neverlove, is an upper young adult novel with elements of action, romance and the paranormal infused throughout. It’s the first book in my Shadow Jumpers series. I also enjoy reading and writing middle grade stories.

Tell us about your writing process?

Not exactly a writer with a process, unless I’m working on a high fantasy novel where I have to construct everything from the ground up. But with most of my stories, I prepare a skeleton outline of the story so I have an idea of where I’d like to start and where I’d like to finish, then start clacking away at the keyboard. For the first draft, I tend to allow myself to be more of a conduit to what the characters want to share, which can take the story on some interesting detours and back roads I would miss if I tried to adhere to a detailed outline. From there, I try to ensure I’ve done my best by having beta readers and critique partners check for gaping plot holes a Mack truck could plow through, ridiculous abuse of adverbs or overly purple prose and inconsistencies. I use their wonderful feedback to rewrite/revise and revise again until the story runs smoother without losing its unique voice.

That’s a great process! Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I wish I could do horror. When I had the honor of hosting you on my blog, Julianne, a horror story idea was planted, but I’ve been scaredy-cat afraid to really see what could come of it. I still question my fear of horror given I love to read and write paranormal. I’m such an enigma.

Angela – you need to write that story and you can consider this a challenge! *wink* Tell us about the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis introduced me to a spectacular world reachable through our world. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien energized my imagination for completely separate worlds and made me believe in the triumph of good over evil, even when outnumbered a thousand to one. Evelyn Palfrey’s “marvellously mature” romance/suspense novels, such as The Price of Passion, opened my eyes to recognizing there is an audience for much of what our imaginations can devise. Eragon by Christopher Paolini challenged me in realizing that age is nothing but a number when it comes to reaching for your dreams. And Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight reminded me that more times than not, it isn’t about the writing, it’s about the story, which is most important since the story is what readers focus on, not whether or not a sentence fits some perfect grammar structure.

I remember the first time that I read Lewis and Tolkien. Such great memories! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

When it comes to Abigail and Basil, I would choose Sahara Garey to play Abigail and Jiro Wang to play Basil.

Let’s take a sneak peek at Neverlove

NeverloveFor seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V’Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil’s off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

Neverlove even has a book trailer!

Awesome huh?

Well Angela, we all know the best way to get your tale the movie treatment is to end up on one of those bestsellers lists. What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

LOL!! Well, first I’d have to make sure I actually woke up. So there would probably be a bit of pinching of my arms. Then there’d be a whole lot of “OMG!”, “Thank you, God!”, “Is this real?”, “OMG! This is real!” Then I’d probably just go through the day like it’s any other day because that’s what it’ll be. Just another day.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Wild Cherry Pepsi. It and chocolate are uplifters of my spirit when I feel a little beside myself.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Reading or spending extra bonding time with my daughter by watching movies or playing with her xbox 360 kinect.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

This is from a novella I’m working on tentatively titled JOURNAL OF THE DAMNED:

I start this journal knowing I’m breaking the first rule an assassin must live by: never leave a trace.  Most rules are made to be broken.  So here goes.

My name is Tsuka and by the age of six, I knew how to paralyze a man with a six point touch.  Not my proudest boast, but the first truth I can recall.  Being raised by a grandfather better suited for the era of the samurai explained a few things.  Being a girl made it all the more…awkward.  The fact that I took to the tortuous training better than most men three times my age made me well known in our village.  So of course someone had to be jealous.  Leave it to Omi to fill that position.

Here is a quick excerpt from Neverlove...

The following morning, sunshine filtered through her blinds and mottled her bedroom floor. The beautiful day beyond her window could not break the perfect storm that consumed Abigail. She struggled, pained in all the wrong places, and got out of bed. Glancing at her clock, she knew she had the house all to herself. She pressed a finger to her cheek and moaned at the soreness. Abigail trained all her thoughts on putting one foot in front of the other, leaning on the wall for support. She was determined to make it to her parents’ bathroom if it killed her.

Ironic, since that was her intent anyway.

Minutes passed to an hour when Abigail finally sank into her parents’ claw foot tub. Steam rose in white, smoky wisps from the water’s surface. Stinging warmth seeped into her skin, her pores taunted open by the heat. Just the thing to cleanse her father from her system. Release the filth of his still-lingering touch. Not that it would matter soon. After last night, she’d made up her mind. Seventeen wasn’t such a bad age to die.

Abigail cast a glance toward the bathroom floor. Ripped pieces of her mother’s stationary littered every inch, her failed attempts to come up with a poetic message, something meaningful to leave behind.  The lace edging of each pink scrap curled from the steam, pitiful imitations of rose petals. Her tired gaze slid up to the mirror where her final words stood out bold in her favorite shade of dark red:

Deciding to die should have been the hard part. Not the stupid note!

Three empty lipstick tubes sat on the pedestal sink.

Yeah. That’s about all her life amounted to.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to answer my questions. If you like to connect with Angela, you can find her on her blog – In a Pursuit of Publishness, on her Amazon Author Page, or on Twitter. Angela can also be reached with Partner Gwen Gardner at Partners in ParanormYA and on their Facebook Page.

Don’t forget to join me next week when Alex Laybourne will be my guest!

New Release: The Haunting Season

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

New Adult/Horror Recommended for readers 17+

Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

Available now!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

***

If you’d like to connect with Michelle, you can find here at the following:

Check out Michelle’s other booksVisit Michelle’s BlogFollow her on Twitter, or join her on Michelle’s FB Fan Page

Nine Questions with… F.P. Curti

Today I am joined by F.P. Curti, an Italian author who is steadily making waves around the world. Welcome F.P., why don’t you take a few moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

fpcMy name is F.P. Curti, I live in northern Italy and in the last four years I released three novels. The novella Bitch Caliber 45 and the short story Gore: A Ghost Story were translated in English and are now available on Amazon.com. I’m inspired by the American province and my stories combine horror, psycho-thriller and noir themes.

Thank you F.P., tell us about your writing process?

I think a good novel needs strong foundations to stand up. I usually start with a single idea or image (often people say my books are narrated like the scenes of a movie), then I work hard on the structure of the full story. No typing before the structure has been done…

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I’m fascinated by dark and eerie atmospheres. I grew up reading of vampires, ghosts, zombie etc., and I continue to love them. Normally, I don’t write about monsters, but I do tell tales of the human mind: in my stories the boogieman is not under the bed, it’s embodied by the psychosis of the characters.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

Good question. The author who has influenced my style the most is Stephen King. Pet Sematary and Roadworks are probably his best works to me. Richard Bachman (SK’s pseudonym for Roadworks) uses a raw and direct writing-style which is closed to mine – this is what people say – and I’m very proud of it! Rounding out my top 5 are Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, James Ellroy’s Black Dalhia, and Stevenson’s Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hyde.

Great choices! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

Jack Nicholson as the old villain, of course! Cillian Murphy would be perfect as the main character and Scarlett Johansson as the dark lady.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Wow! A little party and then I’d start another book… It may seem strange, but being on the NY times for me would be a new starting point.

That doesn’t seem strange at all. One cannot simply rest on their laurels. Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

I think every story should have an original soundtrack. I choose a particular music-genre for the book I’m writing and let it inspire me. Vices? As every story has soundtrack music, every story has also an alcoholic drink!

I find that music can inspire certain moods for writing as well. What do you do when you’re not writing?

In 2011, I started a video-production company. We have a lot of projects as documentaries and commercial videos.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

My new manuscript is in editing and my agent would kill me if I shared part of it! But here are the first lines of my last short story called Gore: A Ghost Story. It was translated into English and is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook editions. What’s better than a ghost story for Halloween? Hope you like it!

It was mid-July. The red RCA radio was sounding the notes of “All of Me”, an old version sung by Billie Holliday. A glass bottle lay shattered on the floor and there was milk everywhere. Madeleine was there, in the darkest corner of the kitchen, with her arms wrapped tightly around her bare legs. Tears had smeared her make-up all over her face. Madeleine remained perfectly still, staring at the broken bottle in the center of the room. Some fragments of glass had cut her feet, and she had never liked the sight of blood. But that evening she wasn’t crying for the wounds under her feet, but because of the blood on her apron.

Blood that wasn’t hers…

Thank you F.P.! If you want to connect with F.P., you can find him on Facebook and his website.

Now let’s take a sneak peek into Bitch Caliber 45 and Gore: A Ghost Story!

bitch - coverThe whore pushes that damn bitch caliber .45 into my mouth. She smiles at me with her scar-laced lips. She knows she can blast my brains out in a split second. The bitch’s barrel is cold on my tongue. I can feel it pulse, ready to peer down my throat and blow a hole as big as the heart of a pig. The whore has fucked me, she has overturned the game. Now she’s handling the bitch, and the gun barrel is in my mouth. I’m not even trembling anymore. Her eyes stare at me full of rage and anger…

***

cover-gore (eng)In the 60s two lesbians would never have been allowed to live downtown, then Madeleine and Matilda moved to the open-minded black neighborhood. Life went on, and it was good. Matilda’s gloom for her brother Edward’s death seemed gone and summer was coming… the best time of their lives, until Edward’s ghost came back, and it sure didn’t like his sister’s lover…

Join me next week when my guest will be Angela Brown!

Guest Post: Joshua Cook

Today I’m joined by Joshua Cook, who is again touring in support of his novel AiZ: Alice in Zombieland. For those of you who don’t know who Josh is, let’s take a moment to introduce him.

Josh and BradiJoshua Cook was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, late in 1977. This where he spent most of his life. There have been short bursts throughout his life where he has spread his wild oats to other parts of the United States, though.

Briefly Josh lived in Arizona and a brief – dark – time in Indiana and Ohio. Finally he landed in Washington state. He now calls Washington home where he lives with his girlfriend and dog. 

This is where he created the growing fan favorite web site ZombieACRES.com, which spawned its first book in 2012. After many years of writing non-fiction, news, and various other articles, Josh decided to poke around in fiction – and is loving it.

And now let’s hand it over to Josh…

I Miss Writing

So I did it. I can sit here at the mess my girlfriend and I call our office (I use that term very loosely) and say that I am a published author. Sure, I am a self-published author, but that does not change the fact that somewhere in the world people are having a reaction to something I created. After all, isn’t that the whole point of being a writer – to elicit a reaction?

But now what?

I published my first novella AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) a year ago, with the final edit being released earlier this year. I have also been included in 100 Horrors, an anthology featuring one hundred talented authors. Many writers would ride this high and continue on to their next big project.

I tried that. It didn’t take.

The hardest part of writing is the focus. Blocking out the real world and engulfing yourself in a world that is still being created is fun, but not easy. My personal life took another series of ups and downs (as it is prone to doing), and it became necessary for me to focus more on a paycheck than writing. Unfortunately I have become accustomed to working for myself, and the thought of working for someone else again was (to be honest) scary as hell.

To appease the Gods of Responsibility, I changed my gears from continuing down the path of my dreams and began FreeBookDude.com, a site aimed at helping indie writers find new readers. This is transitioning into a book tour and promotion company, which was the ultimate goal. While that is awesome, the time and energy it takes leaves absolutely no time for writing.

At first this did not seem to bother me as much as it should have. I had begun fighting to see my daughter, had a family to worry about and was starting a new business that would help other authors. Even if there was a piece of me that missed writing, I was too stressed and busy to give it the time of day. Then one day it hit me…

I miss writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy what I’m doing with FreeBookDude.com. Every day I hear from authors and readers thanking me for helping them. There is a future here and that should make me ecstatic, but it doesn’t. Each day that I’m not writing, I feel a little more sadness creep inside me.

I read a lot about what to get your first indie book published. I’ve read a lot on marketing your book and trying to get readers interested in your work. The one thing I never read one thing about is what to do once reality sets in and your dreams are once again forced onto the back burner and you feel crushed.

So here I sit, in this mess that my girlfriend and I call an office, looking over To-Do Lists and stressing about numbers. I know deep down that someday I will write again. That focus will come back to me, I just need to find the proper key to unlock it. Until that day I am faced with the simple act that…

I miss writing.

***

Angel on the grave - dramatic lightingAiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga)

In a world where corporate greed is allowed to run wild, Roslun Global has become the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. As head of this juggernaut of a company, Richard Roslun wields unheard of global power. To obtain and hold onto this power, Roslun is willing to do anything, including killing innocents.

When Richard Roslun realizes what he must do to save everything, his sights become set on a young girl named Alice. When Alice’s mother returns home from work with an infection, all hell breaks lose in Alice’s fragile world. Alice and her sister Georgia are hiding as death is literally banging on the front door when the unthinkable happens.

A second outbreak tests the love between Sam Ashe and and his fiancé Heather. Sam is a horror geek who has always been obsessed with zombies. When his fantasies become a reality, the man inside him will have to rise to the adventure ahead.

Fate brings Sam and Georgia together in the mission to save young Alice. Will love be enough to fight off the undead and stop pure corporate greed?

Find AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Paperback, and many other online retailers.

Thanks Josh!

Nine Questions with… Jeff Jake

Today I’m joined by an author new to the Indie publishing. His name is Jeff Jake and if you’re unfamiliar with him and his work, let’s take a moment to acquaint you. Welcome Jeff, why don’t you introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

JeffreyJakeI’m originally from St. Louis Mo. and currently live in Southern Illinois. I have been happily married to my wife Heather for almost 19 years. I have two children, Alyssa (22) and Matthew (15). I work for a company full time and have recently taken up writing on the side. Assassin’s Retribution is my first novel to be published. I hope to add more to the list in the near future. I’m currently working on my second novel, The Valiant Incident. I’ve wanted to write a novel for over 20 years. So for me this is kind of a dream come true.

Tell us about your writing process?

I like to use a dry erase board to block out a framework for my novel and develop my characters. From there…. I dive in.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I plan to write in many other genres. My first and second books are sci-fi, mainly because that is an area that I am most comfortable. That said, I plan to write some fantasy, WWII, and even have an outline for a zombie novel.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

To narrow myself to just 5 books would be hard. I’ve read so many. Ever since I can remember, my dad would take me to the library with him. We would spend hours looking at books. So, I can’t really say with any certainty what the top 5 would be.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

Well I only have one and a half books right now… So that’s easy. In Assassin’s Retribution, my main character is a female assassin named Natasha Frisk. My first choice would be Angelina Jolie. Should she not be available, I would go with Scarlett Johansson.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Wow… What if?? After I told my wife, I would call my mom and dad to let them know.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

I like to have background music playing (instrumental) and a large glass of sweet tea.

I sometimes need music in the background as well; it gives me something to ignore and actually helps me to concentrate. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I like to spend time with my family. We like to watch various TV shows and enjoy going to the movies. If you’re asking what I do to bring home the money, I work at a local fuel pump manufacturing company, Airtex Products, LP. I’m in the human resource department.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

An excerpt from ‘The Valiant Incident’…

With a blinding flash of light, the heavy cruiser Valiant drops back into real space and begins to drift. Her massive main drives sputter and die. It’s taken all that they have to bring the ship here out of harms way. Her exterior shows the scars of battle. Several spots still venting precious atmosphere into space. As the ship drifts and pitches over like a dying and beached whale, the crew scrambles to repair critical systems.

On the bridge, a haze permeates every corner. Panels spark and crack as circuits overload and fail. Several stations have to have fires put out. Captain Rosek turns to his navigator, “How far did we make it?” He is concerned the drives didn’t hold out long enough to get them out of the Xeneg’s sensor range.

“We managed to jump 24 parsecs.” She glances at her captain with a hopeful look.

“Good. That should be enough. Get me our location. Comm’s, see if you can reach command and advise them of our situation.” Walking over to the damage control board he motions for his XO to join him. “Harlan, I need you to go over the damage and start prioritizing the crews. We need to get propulsion, shields, and weapons back on line yesterday.”

Nodding to his captain, “I’ll get right on it.”

Thank you Jeff! If you’d like to connect with Jeff, you can find him on Twitter or Facebook. And now for a look at his book Assassin’s Retribution…

AssasainsRetributionIn the future, technology is the new currency. Assassins are used by companies to stop or steal the latest cybernetic designs. Natasha is one of the best in the business. However, a nemesis from her past has found her, and now she must hunt him down or be killed.

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be taken to Amazon!

Join me next week when my guest will be F.P. Curti!