A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

My commute to work is 10 minutes long. Not a long time, but it’s empty time. Time I could be spent doing something. And that new thing is listening to audio books.

The first one I checked out of my local library isn’t something I would have likely picked up but a cute guy, (in truth, the boyfriend), picked it up and shoved it under my nose. I think he may have been trying to joke with me, but after reading the premise my interest was certainly piqued…

horrorstor_final_300dpiSomething strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
 
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

It’s true…

Horror Happens in Every FlatPack

If you’ve ever had to put together flatpack furniture from IKEA or JYSK, you know the feeling. The simplicity of the design is overwhelmed by the difficulty of the actual assembly. You inevitably end up asking yourself if they could have made the instructions any more ambiguous and the special tool always gets lost about halfway through resulting in the frantic search of the floor now strewn with oddly shaped pieces of wood, screws, wooden pegs, strange metal pieces that you have to seat in the pre-carved circular indentations, and an inquisitive cat looking to test if it really has 9 lives… The 30 minute project turns into a daunting all day gauntlet of a task sure to test the strength of any relationship as well as the boundaries of sanity.

This is where Horrorstör and ORSK come in. The seemingly innocuous shopping experience replete with a bright and shiny path and box upon box of flatpack furniture, ORSK is something altogether different. When strange occurrences start happening overnight, manager Basil is certain someone is breaking in, and in an effort to stem the damage to store property, he’s been tasked with staying the night to discover who it is. Along for the ride are Amy, a sarcastic store partner looking for a cushy desk job and RuthAnn, a 14 year veteran of ORSK loved by everyone. But what does ORSK have waiting for them once all the customers and store partners have left?

The answer is nothing good…

The audio book was well done – heck, it kept me listening to the point that I’d leave a few minutes early just to get some extra time to find out what happened. Tai Sammons did an excellent job telling the story and Bronson Pinchot was eerily fantastic as the voice of ORSK. Each chapter started off with what could only be described as an advertisement for the products of ORSK and as the plot got deeper, each one got more sinister.

The plot flowed easily and quickly, with just enough set up to give you what you needed to understand the characters—the biggest character being the store itself. As with all horror stories, there is a level of disbelief that must be suspended but I honestly don’t feel that detracts from a well crafted tale. And this certainly is one.

If you’re looking for something dark and a little reminiscent of your last trip to IKEA, minus the penitents of course, take a chance on Horrorstör. Just make sure you have your magic tool ready to help you out of any problems you may run into.

My rating: 4.5 tanks of gasoline out of 5

(because I drive to work)

BLOG TOUR: One Bad Fur Day by K. Trap Jones | #Interview #Horror

Thank you for stopping by The FlipSide of Julianne today. I’ve got a treat instore for you today in the form of K. Trap Jones and an interview with him regarding his writing and his most recent release One Bad Fur Day. One Bad Fur Day is a special type of horror novel in that it’s completely anthropomorphized—he tells the tale through the eyes of the animals. It’s a great read and one I think you should all pick up. But first off, let’s learn a little bit about its author…

KTrapJones_photoK. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.

His novel The Sinner (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, The Drunken Exorcist has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, The Crossroads is available from Hazardous Press.

He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.

Welcome K. Trap! Let’s start off by asking an easy question: what does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Writing is a hobby for me. I really don’t talk about it too much in my ‘real life’. With that said, my wife and family think it’s cool. I brainstorm a lot of ideas with my wife and she has edited a few stories. I don’t push my books on to my extended family, simply because you either like horror or you don’t like horror. And I would never expect some of my extreme horror novels to be discussed at a family reunion J

That’s fair. You’ve mentioned using your wife as a sounding board but do you have any other critique partners or beta readers?

I actually don’t use any critique partners or beta readers. I have nothing against them; they’ve just never been a part of my writing process. Once written and a self-edit is completed, I usually work with the Publisher/Editor to complete the story.

What one word best describes you?

Imaginative

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I think the writer I idolize the most is Edward Lee. I really admire his style of writing. I look at extreme horror/splatterpunk as pushing the envelopes in the horror genre and Lee is the Godfather of the style.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

I have a few things in the works. I have two contracted novels coming out in a few months. The first is a splatterpunk novel called ‘The Charm Hunter’, coming 12.11.15 from Necro Publications & Bedlam Press. This is a crazy story about a bounty hunter who crosses path with Lady Luck. For the reward of everlasting luck, she tempts him into scouring fairy tales worlds in search of her beloved lost charms. The second novel due out this winter is ‘The King’s Ox’ from Strigidae Publishing. This one is a narrative dark fantasy/horror story which reinvents old time executioners into a merciless breed with the only task of providing death. There’s an unlikely friendship between this killing machine and a young prince as they travel through an unrelenting realm filled with barbarian hordes and insane creatures.

Of course, I will always fill my down time by continuing to write short stories.

All sound very intriguing… What are you passionate about these days?

Besides writing, I really enjoy watching my three sons excel at what interests them. My oldest plays a mean guitar and creates music. We go to a lot of music concerts and festivals throughout the year. My middle son plays baseball and I help coach the team. My youngest plays basketball. Most of my free time is spent traveling between the sports/music venues.

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of why we’re here: who is your favourite character in One Bad Fur Day?

Difficult question because there is always a special bond between the main characters when you write narrative. So much emotion goes into him and it really does outweigh the others. Besides Sid, I think I would have to say the two possums, Phil and Parker. While writing these two, I always had a smile upon my face. The way they converse with one another and haphazardly set traps. They were fun to create.

What was the hardest part of writing One Bad Fur Day?

The hardest part about writing OBFD was the creation of the animal characters. I spent a week or so researching the mannerisms of them. I had a long list of animals I wanted to include, but ultimately had to trim it down. Each animal had certain limitations and I had to constantly be aware of those when writing the interactions.

Why write an anthropomorphised horror tale?

Inspiration for One Bad Fur Day came directly from my three sons and the ton of Pixar movies and cartoons I watched with them. During one of these movies, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if one of these were geared towards adults?” An animated horror movie based on animals? Sounded great to me. I spent the next few weeks conjuring up the tale and researching different habitats and the species who dwelled within them.

If you could tell readers one thing about One Bad Fur Day that you think would interest them in reading it, what would it be?

OBFD is a unique look into the animal kingdom during the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane. The story is filled with some of the most memorable characters I have ever created. Even after writing the story, I still think about them and wonder what other types of chaos they could get themselves into. It is unpredictable with heavy twists and quite simply a roller coaster ride through Mother Nature’s landscape of turmoil.

The story begins with a famous quote from John Muir (1838-1914) which sums up the experience perfectly: The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

Using 10 words or less, tell me about One Bad Fur Day.

A suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery.

Thank you K. Trap for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re interested in reading a little more about One Bad Fur Day, here’s the information…

KTrapJones_OneBadFurDay_FrontCoverCall it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…

As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.

K. Trap Jones does a fantastic job of pairing the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that pulls you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!

One Bad Fur Day is available at:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

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