The Winners of the Coffin Hop 2012

I am super excited to announce the winners from Coffin Hop 2012!!

Each day, anyone that left me a comment on a particular post was put into the draw to win a digital copy of my novel Days with the Undead: Book One. In addition, everyone that posted on any of the posts between October 24th and October 31st was in the running to win the Grand Prize – an autographed print copy of Days with the Undead: Book One and autographed copies of each of the anthologies I have appeared in to date.

In addition, I also won a prize pack of all of the publications to date put forth by Sirens Call Publications which happens to include my book so I’ve asked special permission and I’m allowed to give it away as one of my prizes too!! Super fun huh??

And the winners are…

Daily Prize Winners:

Vince Considine (Day 1)

Penelope Crowe (Day 2)

Jolie du Pre (Day 3)

Laurie G (Day 4)

Heather Powers (Day 5)

Erma Hurtt (Day 6)

liese2 (Day 7)

Brent Abell (technically from Day 2 but no one commented on Day 8… so everyone that did not win got picked from again!)

Sirens Call Publications Prize Pack:

Amy Marshall

Grand Prize Winner:

AJ Brown!!!

If you won a prize, email me – JulianneMSnow(at)gmail(dot)com – so that I can gather the appropriate information from you all! Congratulations to everyone!!

Nine Questions with… Patrick Greene

Today is the final day of Coffin Hop 2012, so I figured what better way to end it all than with an interview with Patrick Greene, author of the new release Progeny. Let’s get to it! Welcome Patrick, why don’t you introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. 

I’m a handsome, intelligent Renaissance Man, happy to share my prodigious talents with millions of discerning intellectuals who have great taste in horror literature. I write screenplays, short stories and most recently a novel titled PROGENY – about a terrifying siege by sasquatches upon a recluse and a group of hunters. I also have a story in the upcoming Hobbes End anthology The Endlands Volume 2 – alongside my oldest son Deklan!

Tell us about your writing process?

Generally it goes thusly: Drinkin’. Then, an insane idea pops into my head and I rush to write it in my notebook before I forget it. This usually happens when I’m already knee-deep in another project, so as I finish that one and get ready to begin something new, I dig into the notebook and see what strikes my fancy. (My notebook is pretty full-it’ll take a few decades to get to all of those concepts.) Being that I write both screenplays and fiction prose, what happens next depends on which option I choose for that particular idea. In either case, I will first begin creating characters — giving them histories, motives, etc. and decide what general purpose they will serve in the story. Then: drinkin’.

Next is a series of ever more detailed synopses, outlines and rambling conceptualizations to make this new world begin to grow inside my head like a suspense – driven form of  brain mold. Once I’m confident that the story will come together — and sometimes even before I have a good climax in mind – I will start writing. I’m pretty excited about it by then, and chewing at the bit to get at the business of manifesting the events I’ve envisioned.

Sometimes, I go right ahead and jump into it before it’s too well-fleshed, because it’s just fun to be surprised by where the story goes. As any writer will tell you, the characters eventually start designing their own fates (as us “real” folk do) – and all you can do is chronicle the events. I don’t like being TOO prepared — doesn’t feel organic and it’s not nearly as entertaining. I feel that if you don’t enjoy writing, if you don’t find yourself invested in the characters and their actions, you shouldn’t be doing it; you will serve no purpose except to clutter bookshelves and take up valuable time that readers could have spent immersed in something more worthy of their money and attention.

While I’m writing, I might have some metal, dark ambient or suspenseful music playing — or sometimes just television. For some reason, a little noise actually helps me focus.

When the story becomes TOO involving-to the point where I’m neglecting the so-called real world, I’ll take a few days off, at least until that inner voice has become so insistent that it wants to explode from me. Then comes re-writes, which can either be terribly tedious or a great opportunity to pat myself on the back. After that — drinkin’.

You may just be the most organized author I have come into contact with. That’s quite the ritual… Moving along, is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I co-wrote a comedy with my partner Lisa Brennan a few years back. Going in, I was very insecure; I never really believed that I was adept at humor. Working with Lisa, who was a veteran of a couple of earlier comedies, gave me an opportunity to take a stab at the genre with the luxury of having Lisa’s discerning comedic eye through which I could filter my attempts. I gained a lot of confidence with that experience. To better answer the question; I believe the action genre has become entirely too predictable and I’d love to take a stab at creating a truly surprising action piece.

Comedy is notoriously difficult to write, but I do see the appeal of it. Tell us about the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

As a martial artist and artist in general, I was tremendously influenced by Bruce Lee’s Tao Of Jeet Kune Do. Far from being just a manual of techniques, the volume is a collection of his thoughts and drawings on a variety of topics, including philosophy. It’s also a fascinating peek into the mind of an intensely driven and creative individual, from whom new ideas were constantly flowing.

Of course, Stephen King’s On Writing is pretty vital. I haven’t looked at it in a while, but only because I still so vividly remember many of the nuggets of wisdom that allowed for what I feel were light years of improvement in my own writing abilities.

In terms of fiction; I discovered Clive Barker when I was in my late teens and rapidly worked my way through most of his work. My favorite among them would have to be The Great and Secret Show. That work is so layered, so baroque in its mesmerizing madness — like most of Barker’s work — it’s like taking a trip to another world.

Back to King: anyone who writes horror could probably fill their top five with any random sampling of his works-but for me, the real standout is Carrie. I think that’s because it came from a time when King was really sort of striking out as a writer and taking on something that was fairly close to his own experiences. It just rings so passionately, like he drew a great deal from personal experience rather than from that collection of stock characters that we all build for ourselves. Further, there is something there with which most of us can relate–feeling like an outcast, or having a deep and secret fear that we are an alien among our fellow humans.

Edward Lee’s book City Infernal stays with me; it has a great sense of black humor, a well-drawn world (Hell!) and plenty of gore and sex.

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

I’ll have to admit, I’m something of an egotist and an actor, so I would obviously be my first choice to play characters who are based on idealized versions of myself anyway. 🙂  Actually, Henry Rollins is a favorite actor and musician of mine; having him play any character would be a huge honor. Christopher Walken — need I say more about him? He would be perfect for the titular character of my screenplay GENOCIDE CLYDE. Charlize Theron is such a captivating performer, as is Jennifer Aniston. She should do a horror film (we won’t mention “Leprechaun”) just for range — specifically one of mine, of course.

Those are some pretty great choices and I have to admit that Walken would be one of my choices should I ever get the chance to cast one of my own works. We all know the best way to have your book made into a movie would be to have it gain enough popularity and notoriety on a best-sellers list. 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?

Probably not all that much differently. Put on some metal of course, then start making a lot of thank you calls–because I’m far from the the only one involved in creating a success out of my work. Writers would do well to remember that everyone from our families to our publishers to the reader is responsible for any degree of success we may enjoy. Then?  Then I’d make “them” all pay for mocking me…oh yes I would.

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

I may have mentioned drinkin’, but actually I jest — mostly. All things in moderation. I’m something of a fitness buff, so I like to hit the gym to get the ol’ endorphins flowing. Bad movies and video games are excellent distractions. I love the Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat games. Caffeine is a recent addition to my diet, with which I’m now trying to find my boundaries.

The only caffeine I drink is the odd Coke Zero – even my tea is decaffeinated, so I do understand the necessary boundaries that need to be made. What do you do when you’re not writing Patrick?

There’s the gym of course-martial arts and weight lifting are long standing passions of mine – and I occasionally get involved in paranormal or cryptozoological expeditions. I’ve been to a couple of investigations of haunted sites and once spent the night along with my brother Egan in the South Carolina swamp where the Lizard Man is said to lurk! I can’t say I’ve encountered anything all that unusual — or have I? I’m not much of a socialite – I live in a pretty rural spot, not unlike the main character of Progeny, and I do some hiking and just wandering around in the woods. I like to hang out with my brilliant wife and kooky eleven year old son Gavin, who has somehow gained the ability to beat me at video games I was playing before he was even born. This can only be the work of the devil.

I try to spread the word about a couple of charities when I can. Scares That Care is a foundation that raises money for families who cannot afford to pay for their children’s medical care. They are always auctioning off cool autographed photos, posters and other memorabilia. The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is another. He was a great performer who really got me into metal and always gave back. With this great charity, his wife Wendy continues to do so by helping those who are afflicted as he was . Jackie Chan has a charity called The Dragon’s Heart Foundation that does so many great things, everything from building schools to bringing food and love to the elderly of China. I’m privileged to have this opportunity to call attention to each of them.

Great charities Patrick! Now it’s time for the fun part… Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

No title yet, and it’s actually only eight lines, but–prepare yourself; here it is!

Liv huffed her exasperation, blowing a longish red strand from her field of vision.  She expected something like this to come along eventually–somehow it always did.  But she had at least hoped to get settled in to her new town and job for a week or so before dealing with any drama.

The clear leader was hardly scruffy at all.  In fact, Liv would have wagered he was clean cut, even handsome underneath his day-glo orange ski mask–except for the bad teeth.  His weapon of choice, a shiny snub-nosed .38, was a good choice, easy to wave around and direct traffic.  

The sweaty, swarthy one had chosen a lime green ski mask and a scratched and scarred sawed-off ten gauge, while the third and final member of the hold up gang sported an unwieldy hunting rifle and what appeared to be a ragged piece of a sky-blue windbreaker wrapped around all but his eyes.

“Ever’ body getcher fuckin’ hands in the air so we don’t have to give ya no lead poison!”

Awesome! Can’t wait to find out what it’s for! if you’re looking for something of Patrick’s that you can sink your teeth into right now, here’s a sneak peek of Progeny

Owen Sterling is a reclusive author living in a secluded house deep in the woods. When he welcomes his son Chuck for a summer visit, the eleven-year-old suspects something is not right at his father’s home. His worries mount when he witnesses a confrontation between his father and some local hunters. Zane Carver is the local gun-shop owner who confronts the author over Owen’s refusal to let anyone on his land for hunting or camping. He defies the recluse, taking a hunting party onto Owen’s property. Soon, Zane and his buddies discover the writer’s secret . . . a deadly secret; a creature whose infinite rage they have unwittingly ignited . . . that is now hunting them.

Now all you need to do is click on the cover and be taken straight to Amazon to purchase yourself a copy. If you’d like to connect with Patrick find him on his website, on Facebook, or on Goodreads.

Don’t forget to join me next week when I interview the exceptional William Butler.

Coffin Hop Day 7 – Buried

This flash fiction of mine is currently featured in The Sirens Call Issue #5 which is available on Amazon and the Sirens Call Publications website. Sharing it today seemed like the right thing to do. Leave me a comment for a chance to win an awesome prize!

Buried

© 2012 Julianne Snow

I awoke to find myself clawing through dirt. My breathing was restricted, a heavy weight pressed against my chest, seemingly constricting my efforts further each time I expelled precious air from my lungs. Pure and unadulterated terror warred with common sense inside my brain. Losing it now was not going to help me, but I was so close to the brink. Closer than I had ever been before. Closer than I could ever remember.

I remember being held under the water as a child. My family had gone on vacation to Florida and we’d spent many lazy days on the beach, sunning ourselves and swimming. The ocean is an amazingly scary thing, especially if you’ve never seen the power contained within each wave before.

It was in that rolling continuum of azure that I had my first brush with death. As I frolicked in the shallows, someone grabbed my ankles and roughly pulled me under. I fought my attacker then, hoping a kick would free me. But the hold on my ankles was solid; too solid, and there was no way I would have been able to simply kick myself free.

The only thing that saved me that day was my father. He had seen the spot where I had disappeared under the surface and run to make sure I was okay. From the story he told the authorities later in the day, he was certain that something had grabbed me. Thinking it was a shark, he’d splashed through the water to save me, only to find that once he pulled me free, I had no bite marks marring my young flesh.

The uncontrollable blathering of a young and frightened child added nothing to the investigation, so the police chalked my accident up to a strong, but isolated undertow. I knew different, however. In a moment of incalculable fear, I had seen its face.

Grotesque is not even a word that can adequately describe what I saw under the water that day. It was a face made only for nightmares and to be honest, it certainly haunted mine. With a deep understanding, I knew it would be back to collect me.

The time had come and as I clawed my way in the direction I prayed was up, I could feel the fear that was born the moment its hands had clamped around my ankles rise again into my throat. I had been so careful. Always locking my doors, never going in the water, always checking my backseat; still he had gotten to me.

My fingers rasped painfully against something rough, wooden. Tearing out fingernails, I ripped at the boards, trying to break through them any way that I could. Splinters of wood pierced my torn hands until I was at last triumphant. My hand pushed through the layer of wood and further into air. My body reacted, hungrily sucking in lungful after lungful. As I pushed my way into the space, I realized where I truly was. My coffin.

It’s getting close to the end of the Coffin Hop, so make sure you check out all of the posts and contests – lots to be won! Before you go, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Days with the Undead: Book One. There will also be a grand prize winner at the end of the hop!

Coffin Hop Day 6 – The Treehouse

This piece was first published on Cabin Goddess and I thought why not share it again during the Coffin Hop. It’s Monday morning and everyone needs a little Zombie action to start the week off right! Leave me a comment, let me know what you think and you just might win yourself something.

The Treehouse

© 2012 Julianne Snow

It walked with a sickening limp. The accompanying noise was akin to the grinding of teeth, only louder. Much louder. It was a sound that reverberated inside your head, warning you of its imminent appearance.

A voice snaked out of the darkness at me. “It’s comin’ this way!”

It was Billy. Stupid Billy.

“Shhhh! It’s gonna hear you!”

The response was barely above a whisper. Too quiet for poor Billy to hear and likely too intelligent for him to understand.

The grinding noise seemed to get closer. Out of the corner of my eye I could see it. Everything about it was frightening. The slack, waxen face. The left eye drooping out of the socket and laying half eaten on the discoloured flesh of its cheek. The gore-pocked clothing relaying the message that it had eaten – recently. The worst sight was its left leg; the skin had been flayed off of most of the lower half and one of the bones was broken. The sound that we were hearing was the scraping of the ends together as it limped awkwardly in our direction.

We didn’t have the best hiding spot but sometimes you have to make do with what is around when you’re on the move. Technically we were just on the opposite side of a large planked fence, but the fence was broken. It looked like a herd of elephants came through a section just a few feet down from us, but we knew what it really happened.

We saw it all go down. About 3 days ago, a group of survivors were fleeing an onslaught of Zombies on the road. With the corpses so thick in front of them, they changed directions and drove straight through the fence.

In any other situation, the action would have been cool to watch but the fence was the only thing keeping the Zombies out of the yard and away from the tree that supported our sanctuary.

As we watched from our vantage point, high above the verdant ground, we saw the truck come through one length only to lose the speed needed to go completely through the length on the opposite side. Instead, it got hung up on the broken fence beneath it and stopped short.

The driver panicked and in their haste to free the floundering truck, managed only to hopelessly tangle it among the hewn boards.

Panic is a funny thing; it can give you superhero capabilities or it can paralyze you. Like a sick game of Russian roulette, it chose paralysis this time.

We listened in horror as the Zombies flooded the backyard and surrounded the car, our minds making movies of what was occurring below us. Each whisper soft sound of their decaying limbs brushing the shiny blue of the truck. The dull pounding of their grimy hands on the glass, almost rhythmic in its intensity. The sharp cracking of the glass as it spider-webbed out from the point of failure. Screams assaulted our ears as the Zombies pulled the occupants through their access point. Not daring to look down lest we give away our position, we were forced to watch the translation of those sounds run behind clamped eyelids.

It didn’t take long but the memories of what we heard reverberate in our minds even now. Everything that we’ve seen and heard have melded together to produce the most horrific montages that play across the black expanse each time we close our eyes.

We knew we had to leave our makeshift home. With the hole in the fence, the backyard became a draw for them. We’ve waited until this moment to climb carefully down the lowered rope ladder, hoping not to attract attention to ourselves. I was the last to descend, cautiously feeling for each woven rung as I watched the scarred and lonely landscape around me, hoping I wouldn’t attract any attention.

Over my left shoulder I saw it. The solitary corpse had spotted me and was now limping in our general direction. It was slow but it moved with a purpose. Our only hope was to confuse it by waiting until it was in the enclosed backyard before sneaking out behind it.

Fate wanted to play a different game with us today. Not only had it stacked the deck against us with Zombies, it had also given us Billy.

Stupid Billy.

As the broken leg of the Zombie came into view around the smashed edge of the planked span of fence, Billy screamed. High pitched and girly.

He froze, his mouth forming a perfect, round hole as the scream choked in his throat. A face appeared around the damaged edge, almost comical in its surprise and hunger. Its eye locked on Billy, the milky cornea searching for something; recognition perhaps.

With another scream, matched by a strident noise of victory from the Zombie, the dance of death resumed.

The rest of us took the moment of inattention to scale back up the rope ladder, knowing that at some point, we would need to escape. The time will come; we just need to be patient.

Check out the rest of the Coffin Hop Extravaganza here and don’t forget to comment!

Coffin Hop Day 5 – The Microwave Tower

It’s Sunday so I’m going to give you something that has never been published before. In fact, it’s only been seen by a select group of people – that’s part of the reason I’m sharing it with everyone during Coffin Hop. Don’t forget to let me know what you think – it could win you something awesome!

The Microwave Tower

© 2012 Julianne Snow

I must have passed the same tower every day for the last thirty years. It stood so tall and yet, it blended so seamlessly into the background. I knew it was there, but it didn’t register as anything other than part of the scenic backdrop to my focused world. That was until the day it all changed…

Have you ever wondered how technology really works? Up until that day, I had taken it for granted. Sure, I had a working knowledge of airwaves, sound waves, and even microwaves, but did I really know what each of them actually entailed?

The answer to that question is a resounding no. As it turned out, the experts really had no idea either.

It was a Friday. I remember the day clearly; it was the first time in ten years I took a different route to work. I hesitate to think of what would have happened had I not taken that right turn when I did…

I made it to work, a little later than usual, but I was still early. I liked that; having the time to grab a coffee from the tiny kiosk in the lobby before my busy day began. Nothing like a moment to yourself to clear and refocus your head after the hectic grind of traffic. It was at the kiosk that I first heard what had happened.

It’s odd, you know. Hearing the news for the first time. I still find it hard to believe and if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes, I may not have.

You’re probably wondering what happened and to be honest, I’d love to tell you. The fact of the matter is that I don’t know what happened. That’s not entirely true either; I know what happened, but I don’t know why it happened. No one knows why.

The only thing we do know is that it was the microwave tower.

At 7:23am, the microwave tower sent out a signal or pulse or something that reached outward in a five kilometer radius around itself. Anything within that radius, simply stopped.

They stopped, but they didn’t stop living. They just stopped moving. Everyone and everything froze in the exact place that it had been occupying at the moment of the event.

The vehicles. The vegetation. The people. All stuck in stasis.

At first, emergency responders were afraid to enter the circle, but with their first tentative steps inside the ring, nothing happened to them. They tried to render aid to those who were affected, but there was no help for them.

While technically not dead, they were certainly not alive either. The site has terrified some; so much so that the government attempted to cover them. You see it was impossible to move them; the pulse fused them permanently with the environment.

I remember the first time I passed the circle after it happened. The eerie feeling of utter stillness washed over me and for a moment, as the world around me slowed, I was sure it had happened again. My throat filled with my fear and I vomited onto the steering wheel of my car. Once the moment had passed and I was dropped back into a world full of movement, the waves of relief, tinged with a fair amount of disgust flowed over me.

Many months elapsed before I even had the nerve to drive by again. My heart still exploded into my throat and my stomach crinkled itself into knots; my breakfast, thankfully, stayed on the inside this time.

It was years before I could approach the ring without the security of my car surrounding me. By that time I was an old man, ancient by the standards of my grandchildren. I know why I felt compelled to search out those that had stopped that day, their souls and actions frozen in time, but that didn’t stop me from being afraid to do so.

I stood just outside the barrier that had been erected all around the ring. It wasn’t the type of obstacle that would stand in your way; it was more of a demarcation for people to comprehend that passing into the inner ring could have disastrous effects should the tower decide to malfunction again.

Even as I fought the urge to turn away, my body propelled me forward, through the fence and into the living monument. In silence, it waited. For what, I cannot say with any certainty. The overwhelming emotions of despair and loneliness played along my nerves like a song of pain and nostalgia. It was a heady phenomenon, this mix of emotions that resonated deep into my soul.

As I walked along the sidewalk, I studied the statuesque people as I passed by them. Men, women, and children caught unaware in mid step, in mid swallow, in mid call. If you haven’t seen inside the circle yet, picture the busiest moment on the street that you can remember and capture it for an instant, as if you’ve taken a photograph. That’s the best way to describe it; a photographic moment etched in life-sized stone relief. Every detail down to the last wisp of hair blown awry by an errant gust, petrified against the elements that now assault it.

When I found her, my heart broke again. After I returned home that fateful day sp many years ago, I had searched the house for her, hoping that she had never made it to work that day. My cell phone pleas had all gone unanswered and deep down I knew what that meant, despite the fact that I refused to believe it. The empty house was the proof I received.

The second piece of corroborating evidence came in the form of two FBI Special Agents about three months after the event. I had reported my wife as missing and potentially within the ring as the authorities had instructed us to do in the days following the pulse. My heart was heavy making that call, but what else could I have done? I wanted the answer even though I knew it would hurt to hear it. I knew what the truth was, but I still wanted to see it for myself.

That was why I entered the ring so long after the pulse. It had taken me that long to build the nerve to do it, the nerve to see Catherine again.

When I found her, it was like so no time had passed. She had been caught in mid stride, her left hand searching the expanse of her purse for something. She looked as if she might topple, but strangely, her body was balanced on the ball of her right foot. By the laws of physics, there was no way that she should have remained upright, but the pulse had somehow suspended them. I stood for a long time, my eyes gazing upon her beautiful face and my heart breaking because I know that deep inside her body still lived. Scientists who studied the phenomenon had recently let it be known that while time had essentially stopped for those caught up in the pulse, life had not.

Life. It’s such a funny word. Those poor people were not living by the standards that you and I would define, but they were alive. Alive. Such a sad word when taken into context sometimes.

Placing one last kiss on her face, I left the circle from the way that I came; dreading the coming months of loneliness as contemplated my own death. Even in death, we will not be reunited and that is a hard truth to swallow.

***

And so the circle around the tower remains; a silenced and creepy garden of statuaries that stand in effigy of what can happen, of what did happen.

One thing is for certain, people no longer live within five kilometers of any tower. Anywhere. A lesson has been learned and a wariness of technology born from that moment. The moment that froze time and space in the oddest of ways.

Leave a comment, perhaps win a prize! Check out all of the other Hopping contests here!

Coffin Hop Day 4 – The Itch

It’s Saturday and the Coffin Hop is still hopping! Today, I’m going to share with you an interesting piece I wrote that appeared in the fourth issue of The Sirens Call. Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end – it could win you something!

The Itch

© 2012 Julianne Snow

It started as an itch.

Just above his appendectomy scar.

A niggle akin to a tickle, then a full-fledged insistence.

Powerless to control the urge, Scott raked his jagged fingernails like scythes over the spot.

The more he scratched, the more persistent the urge became. Like an addict, he continued to collect his epithelials underneath his unkempt nails.

The night was endless with the constant itch in his side. He continued to dig deeper into his flesh, hoping to scrape out the source. Rubbed raw within the first hour, he knew that it would only take longer to heal. Yet, he continued to serve his annoying master. Too lazy to get out of bed to check his corpulent flesh, he resigned himself to the fate of a potential scar. Even in his restless sleep, his fingers sought out the now tender spot of raw skin.

***

In the morning, Scott awoke feeling groggy and thick-headed after a night spent tossing and turning. Taking his time getting out of bed, he absentmindedly scraped at his side. Feeling a stickiness, he pulled his hand away from his side and tried to focus on the tips of his fingers. Red. Blood? Had he really scratched that hard?

Coming to the full realization that he’d done some damage through the night, he made his way into the bathroom to stand before the mirror over the porcelain sink. Looking at his expansive belly in the reflection, he was aghast at what he saw.

Slowly oozing red blood and a viscous, unctuous clear fluid, the patch on his abdomen was larger than he had first imaged. Had he really scratched a hole in the side of his body? It was incomprehensible to Scott that he could have done this much damage overnight. Something had to be wrong; there must be an explanation…

After placing a quick call to work, he dressed and left for the hospital, silently praying that whatever he’d done to himself could be undone.

***

Alone in the stark cubicle, replete with pale blue dotted gown that wouldn’t close over his ample ass, Scott sat on the uncomfortable hospital bed, wishing that his side didn’t hurt. The admitting nurse had taken one quick look at his stomach and immediately set him up in a room with the inadequate gown. Upon her exit, she added that the doctor would be with him shortly and promptly shut him off from the hustle and bustle by swinging round the pale green curtain.

Not wanting to admit it, the fear was all that he could think about. What the heck was wrong with him? Scenes from the past few days played over and over in his head. He ran through the multitude of people he’d encountered; his co-workers, the pizza guy, the pretty check-out girl at the supermarket, even the woman he visited once a week to satiate his desires. He raked his mind for clues as he raked his flesh; could one of them have infected him?

The more he thought about it, the more his mind dwelt upon the possibilities.

The more he dwelt on the possibilities, the deeper he scratched.

The only thing that broke his reverie was the middle-aged, balding doctor that pulled back the curtain. He strode in with purpose and a level of cool aloof. Not glancing up from the chart in his hand, he stopped by the edge of the bed.

“What seems to be the problem, Mr. Harris?”

“Well doc, I have this itch on my side –“

“An itch, Mr. Harris? You came to the ER for an itch?” With that said, he finally looked up, turned and muttered, “You came to the hospital for an itch… You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“What?! You’re leaving? You haven’t even seen –“

“Seen what? Some patch of skin that has you scratching? Let me see it then; just be quick about it!”

The doctor turned on him so quickly that Scott didn’t really know how to react. He stupidly fumbled with the side of the gown, trying desperately to pull the corner of it from under his thick thigh. Finally extricating the worn fabric, he lifted the edge to reveal his swollen belly, the rawness of his skin quite apparent.

For a moment, it looked as if the doctor might apologize for his outburst. Instead, he placed the chart on the bed beside Scott and bent forward for a closer look.

Just as quickly, his head jerked back, surprise covering his face. Turning to the small desk, he opened a drawer and pulled out a skinny metal probe about the length of a pen.

“I’m just going to apply a little pressure, Mr. Harris. Nothing to fear, just need to take a better look…” His words trailed off as he advanced the probe at Scott’s stomach.

Scott felt a tiny bit of pressure deep inside his stomach and then a fluttering. It was a strange feeling and one he couldn’t remember ever having experienced before. Not painful, but uncomfortable.

The doctor’s hand retreated almost immediately, searching for something. He found it by the wall next to the desk and promptly threw up into it. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, the doctor turned to look at him, fear and revulsion painting a picture of horror across his face.

“What is it Doctor? Am I going to die?” The fear in the room was palpable. Scott, afraid for his life; the doctor afraid of his patient.

“You’ll have to wait here a moment, I need a second opinion.” Almost breaking into a run, the doctor left the cramped cubicle, leaving behind the stench of vomit and burnt coffee.

Within moments he had returned, a pretty young blonde haired doctor in tow. She smiled warily at Scott and introduced herself. “Hello, Mr. Harris. I’m Dr. Campbell. Would it be alright if I had a look at your side, please?” She asked with a politeness that almost made up for the way that the other doctor had behaved.

“Sure…” he answered, “Just tell me I’m going be okay and I’ll show you anything.” The comment was a bit off colour, but Scott was a warm blooded male; even in sickness, he’d do what he could to score. Not that she would ever have looked at him, but it never hurt to try…

Bending down, she stared at the spot on his side, intently trying to make out what she was looking at. Her head jerked back up, her hands coming straight up to her face.

“Oh. My. God.”

“What? What is it?”

“See? I told you…”

“But that’s impossible. There’s no way that –“

“No way that what? Could someone please tell me what’s going on?”

Again, Scott felt the stirring within his stomach. Reflexively, he placed his hand on his side and rubbed. Only this time he could feel something else.

Smooth. Hard. Tiny. Square. Plus now there was a definite hole.

“Mr. Harris, you may want to move your hand –“

The pain was excruciating. His fingers were on fire. He brought them up to his face to have a look and was shocked to see what he could only interpret as teeth marks marring the surface. Teeth? Was that what he had felt?

Remembering the tiny bathroom he’d passed on his way to the cubicle, Scott moved faster than he’d ever moved before. With the edges of the gown flapping behind him, he threw the light switch and ripped the fabric across his stomach to get a better look. The sight astounded him.

He had a mouth on the side of his abdomen. A fully formed mouth with teeth, lips and a tongue. Looking more closely, he could see the faint swell that had started to form above the mouth, along with the twin semi-circular arches of coarse black hairs exuding from his skin above that.

Feeling sick, he turned to the doctors who had followed him down the hallway, anguish and confusion written all over his face.

“That’s a mouth right? A fucking mouth on my side?”

“Yes, Mr. Harris. We believe that’s what it is”

“How the fuck did it get there?”

“We have no idea, Mr. Harris. But that could be the least of your problems –“

“The least of my problems? I have a fucking mouth – with teeth – on my stomach. What the fuck could be worse?”

The two doctors shared a glance, “Well, it doesn’t appear that it’s just a mouth –“

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Scott’s world went dark and he crashed to the ground.

***

Waking up in the hospital was an eerie feeling; part of his brain remembered the horror that had felled him, while the other maintained that it was just a bad dream. Trying to move, Scott realized that he couldn’t. Panicking, he fought to move, believing that he was paralyzed with that thing on his stomach. Turning his head to the left, he saw that a restraint covered his wrist. He strained against it, testing it, knowing that it would be effective regardless of his hope.

Looking to the right, he saw that his other wrist was also locked in a restraint. Recognizing the futility of struggling, he laid he head back down on the pillow. Breathing deeply for a moment, he began to take stock of everything. His left leg hurt, as did his left shoulder. His head was pounding but Scott put that to the fall he knew he had taken. His attention turned to the one thing he had hoped he could avoid.

The mouth. With all of its little white pearlescent teeth.

Shuddering, he strained his head upwards, attempting to see the side of his abdomen. Letting his head fall back down in defeat, he started to cry. Scott had no idea what was going on and it scared him. Had the doctor really stated that there was a face forming on his stomach?

The wait for someone to come felt interminable. Once the doctor arrived, he opened his mouth to talk but no sound came out. The terror of that moment radiated from Scott.

“Mr. Harris, you need to calm down. Getting yourself all worked up isn’t going to help you at all.”

Again, Scott tried to speak; his mouth opening and closing with each attempt. Frustrated, he began to sob.

“Mr. Harris, it will be all right. We have you scheduled for surgery later today. Once we remove the tumor, everything should go back to normal. These types of things happen all the time. One of the unique things about the cells within our body is that they have the ability to develop into any of the body’s structures. It’s simply an anomaly, however unfortunate it may be.” With a reassuring hand on his arm, the doctor gave a small squeeze before leaving the room.

Resigned to accept the fate that odd things sometimes happen, he tried to put his mind at rest. At least the itch was gone. And soon the growth would be as well. Closing his eyes, he thought about the glorious void of sleep, hoping to drift into a world unlike the hell he was currently living.

As he nodded off, a small gravelled voice spoke aloud, “But I’m not a tumor…”

Check out the rest of the Hoppers here and don’t forget to leave me a comment!! You could win something!

Coffin Hop Day 3 – The Bermuda Dimension

On this lovely Friday, I have decided to share a longer piece for the Coffin Hop. The Bermuda Dimension debuted in the inaugural issue of The Sirens Call and since then I have had quite a few compliments on it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The Bermuda Dimension

© 2011 Julianne Snow

Her hand firmly grasped the skinny metal arm rest that divided her seat from the empty one next to her as her stomach lurched into her throat. Corrine hated flying and encountering turbulence was the icing on the cake tonight. Especially since the plane had started to lurch and drop just as she had managed to fall asleep. That was how her luck tended to run; bad, well not entirely bad, just never good. It was positive that the plane was still in the air, right?

The aircraft wasn’t full that night; the ‘red eye’ from London to Miami never was. It was a journey that Corrine was used to making. With an ailing mother in Florida and an expanding design business in the United Kingdom, it was the only way to make the commute between her birthplace and her new home.

The plane dropped suddenly causing Corrine to slam down hard in her seat. It was bound to be a rough night and her backside was going to take a beating. Studying the occupied seats in front of her, Corrine noticed that many of the other passengers had similar holds on their respective arm rests. While she couldn’t see their faces, she was certain that all of them wore the same concerned look that possessed hers.

A single ding sounded, announcing the Captain, “Good evening passengers, I apologize if I woke you. We are currently experiencing a disturbance in the surrounding atmosphere due to a storm cell due west of us. The turbulence we are experiencing is a direct result of that. We’re going to increase our altitude in an attempt to pull out of this choppy air. For your safety, I’ve turned on the seat belt sign; please remain in your seat with your seat belt fastened until I advise you otherwise. We are currently on course to land in Miami at 7:42AM Eastern Standard Time as scheduled. Thank you.”

For some reason, Corrine thought he sounded a little too chipper for the middle of the night and for the fact that the plane seemed to drop at least ten feet every minute or so. She knew that turbulence could happen at any point while in the air but that didn’t mean that she had to like it. The next drop was too much for the pins in her hair and as the thick auburn curls tumbled to her shoulders, she felt someone’s eyes on her. Brushing an errant lock off of her forehead, she turned her head to the left, seeking the heat from the intense stare.

A diminutive old woman was studying her intently, her hands clasped calmly in her lap. “It’s not as bad as you think Dear,” she said. “I’ve been though much worse. I’ve taken this journey for the past forty-six years and each year, it gets a little more exciting. Turbulence is the least of your worries tonight.”

“I understand the reasoning behind turbulence; I would just prefer that it not rearrange my internal organs.” Corrine smiled at the old woman after commenting and was rewarded with a conspiratorial smirk from across the aisle. There was something in the woman’s face that made her pause; akin to recognition, but not quite, Corrine couldn’t place where she may have known her from. The airplane dropped again and she was surprised to see the woman seemingly float along with it. The older woman hadn’t even braced herself at all as the plane cavorted among the air currents. Odd.

Another ding announcing the Captain sounded, “Good evening. I apologize for disturbing you once again but the storm cell to the west of us has moved; it’s now directly between us and Miami and we are closing in on it quickly. In an effort to bypass the storm, we are going to redirect our course slightly and attempt to skirt around it. Unfortunately that will delay us from landing in Miami as scheduled. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.”

Corrine glanced at her watch. 11:17 AM; that meant it was 6:17 AM Eastern Standard Time. They should have been landing in about an hour and half. Trying not to be irritated at the change in her schedule, she glanced at the woman to her left and noticed that she’d actually fallen asleep. As she wondered how far this new route would take them off course, she was rewarded with another spanking as the aircraft dropped again.

“How can she possibly sleep through this punishment?” Corrine wondered aloud under her breath. It was strange that this older woman was so unaffected by the turbulence. How was it possible that she was able to sit there as the plane continued to lurch and drop and not show even the slightest of reactions to it? It didn’t make sense; especially now that the woman seemed to be able to sleep through the worst of it.

Sleep was the farthest thing from Corrine’s mind at the moment. The turbulence had gotten so bad that she was sure the wings were going to be torn off. How could such a huge airplane take such a brutal beating and still manage to stay in the air? It likely had to do with the fact they were going so fast, but the fear that something horrible could result remained near the forefront of her mind.

As she studied the checked upholstery of the seat in front of her, Corrine couldn’t help but overhear the conversation occurring in the vicinity somewhere behind her. Two women were talking in hushed whispers, their voices oddly familiar as they attempted to keep quiet. In the relative silence of the plane’s interior however, their conversation sounded loud, their words making no sense to Corrine.

“I swear that tonight is going to be the night, it’s just like it was for me twenty-three years ago.” One of the voices whispered.

“The conditions were similar to these seven years ago as well. Maybe tonight is my night; it is for one of us at least.” The second voice responded in hushed tones. “Remember the trip two years ago? They were both lucky that night.” And then as an afterthought, “I do feel sorry for her though but you know the rules as well as I do. Do you remember what happened when 2006 tried to warn 2009? No one got to go home that year.”

Corrine strained to look behind her while trying to maintain the death grasp she had on her seat. She could only see a portion of one of their faces between the adjoining seats of the three rows that separated them. Something was strikingly familiar about the facial features that she could see. With the familiarity of the voice and now the face, Corrine wondered if she knew the woman. She hadn’t paid much attention to any of the other passengers in the terminal or bothered to scan any faces as she boarded. It was her tendency to attempt to blend into the background if at all possible and developing an obsession for staring didn’t allow one to do that. Besides, she’d been more interested in observing the new lounge that had recently opened in the terminal; comparing her work with that of the other designer and deciding what she would have done better if she’d had the contract.

Her curiosity spiked, she risked letting go of her arm rest so that she could lean into the aisle as she looked backward. Just as she was about to get a better look at the face that was such an enigma to her at the moment, the plane dropped. Since she was already off-kilter, the sudden loss of contact with her seat threw her against the arm rest and tipped her partway into the aisle. Corrine fought against the momentum of the fall, knowing that she’d have a dark bruise on her left side to remind her that curiosity wasn’t always favourably rewarded. Managing to claw and fight her way back into her seat, she gave up trying to place the woman seated behind her. It wasn’t worth the additional beating to her body.

Their voices grabbed her attention as they floated up to her again. “It will only be a few more minutes and then we’ll know for sure. I’m so nervous though. I’ve never felt like this before. I’m going to admit that I don’t want to read too much into it but I desperately want it to be me. I know we all do, but I miss my family so much and I’ve only been gone for seven years. Maybe they haven’t forgotten me yet.”

Corrine could just barely make out the subtle clues in her whispered cadence and tone that told her that tears had accompanied the fervent plea. Her mind began to wonder what the woman could possibly be talking about. Whatever she was hoping would happen appeared to be desperately important to her. Corrine’s mind settled on a reunion of some kind as the likely culprit for the nervousness and the tears. Her mind filled in the blanks with a story she’d recently heard on the news about a missing person that had been located after a long number of years. That was probably the reason the woman had looked so familiar as well. With everything making some semblance of sense again, Corrine turned her attention to the tasks she needed to accomplish while in Miami.

As she was thinking about what to do with her elderly mother, Corrine started to feel odd. She had a tingling sensation which started in her toes and surged through her body within the smallest fraction of a second. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling but after it was over, something just didn’t feel right. As she stared at the back of her hand where it firmly grasped the arm rest, she began to notice each strained tendon and plumped vein. She tried to lessen the hold she had on the metal but her mind couldn’t get the command communicated to the muscles of her hand. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t let go. As the panic started to set in, she looked to her left, thinking to ask the older woman for some assistance.

She was gone.

The older woman must have gotten up to use the washroom. Corrine thought it was crazy for the woman to have tried to navigate to the washroom during such extreme turbulence but sometimes when you’ve got to go, you’ve just got to go. Inwardly chuckling at her own little joke helped to calm her down and as the panic of the previous moment subsided, she discovered that she could unclench her fingers from the arm rest.

Not that she needed to hold on anymore; as quickly as the turbulence had come, it dissipated. As the plane glided smoothly through the air, Corrine began to relax. Everything was going to be okay; she was going to make it to Miami in one piece.

The ding sounded, followed by a new voice; no British accent and younger in tone, probably that of the co-pilot. “Good morning. We will be landing in Miami shortly. I apologize for the delay but we had to redirect around that storm. Please begin to collect your belongings and thank you for flying British United.”

British United? What? Corrine’s mind furiously tried to work that one out as she transferred her belongings from the pouch on the back of the seat in front of her to her purse. Was she so tired that she had actually forgotten what airline she’d flown in on? Normally she always flew British Airways and for some reason, she couldn’t even recall an airline called British United. Her fatigue must be playing havoc with her mind; that was the only explanation.

However, as she looked around the plane she began to notice subtle differences. Her seat was in a row of three instead of two and the upholstery that she had studied only hours before was a different pattern and palette of colour. Perhaps she had actually fallen asleep and her mind had planted her in a bizarre dream.

As the airplane made its descent into Miami’s airport, Corrine tried to separate dream from reality. Not getting very far she gave up, hoping that at some point it would all make sense. She looked to her left, hoping to find the old woman calmly seated there, thinking that it might make her feel less of out sorts. She wasn’t back yet, and in her confusion she wondered if she’d ever been seated there at all.

Once the aircraft had landed safely and was against the skyway, all of the passengers started to quietly disembark. Corrine gathered her belongings and stood to exit the passenger compartment, searching for the old woman. As she stared at the seat the old woman had occupied, she noticed that the seat belt was fastened and thought that was odd. Trying to reason that tidbit out, she left the plane with the rest of the passengers, noting for the first time that most of them were female. All striking familiar; similar even.

From the skyway behind her, she clearly heard a voice call out “I’m sorry Corrine but we’re not allowed to warn the next one. Those are the rules.” She turned to look behind her but all of the women had chosen that exact moment to either look down or away from her glance. Not understanding the comment in the slightest, Corrine pinched herself in an attempt to determine if she was in fact awake. The pain in her forearm was as good of an answer as she was going to get. Coupled with the pain in her left side and the tenderness she could feel in her buttocks as she walked, Corrine decided there was no way that she could have dreamt it all.

As she walked through the terminal on her way to Customs, she felt the eyes of the rest of the passengers on her. They fell into step behind her as she led the way down the concourse. Upon reaching Customs, she noted the area was awfully quiet; likely because her fellow passengers were all behind her. It was early in the morning and it was entirely possible that they were the only international flight to have recently landed.

Stepping up to the desk, she presented her passport to the middle-aged gentleman whose name tag announced that he was Harry. He took the document and placed it under a device that she had never seen before. Thinking it must be some new measure in airport security, she smiled pleasantly at him.

Harry looked up at Corrine and then back to her passport. He flipped through a few pages, obviously looking for something. Not finding it, whatever it was, he picked up his phone and dialed a number.

“Sir, we have another one,” he said causing Corrine’s face to wrinkle in confusion and a small degree of fear. Harry spoke again, “Yes of course Sir, I’ll keep her here until you come.” With that he disconnected the call as his attention turned back to Corrine. “Ma’am, if you wouldn’t mind waiting over there for a moment, my colleague Mr. Maxwell will be right with you.”

“I don’t understand. Is there something wrong with my passport? I was just in Miami last month and there was no issue then,” she offered in way of explanation.

“You’ll understand in a moment, Ma’am. Please allow Mr. Maxwell to explain everything. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help to you,” he returned, the look on his face relaying genuine concern and something that Corrine read as pity.

As Corrine moved to the side, she glanced to the group of women that had gathered behind her. Recognition dawned on her in that moment; she was staring into her own face when she looked at each one of them, just at different stages of aging.

A door opened and a man of about her own age exited, making a beeline for her. He offered his hand, introducing himself as James Maxwell. Corrine took the outstretched hand and shook it mechanically, her mind trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Nothing was making any sense and she was now sure that she was dreaming. It was the only explanation for such strange events.

“Ma’am, I work for the Department of Displaced Persons. I understand that you just came in from London, is that correct?” he calmly asked her.

“Yes. I’m here to see my mother. She’s not well. I’ve been living in London for the past three years. I have a business there. Design, interior design,” Corrine disjointedly answered, offering more information than what was needed.

“Let’s go to my office where we can talk more comfortably,” he soothingly offered as he held open the door he had just come through. Corrine allowed herself to be ushered through the doorway, not noticing the looks that passed between Maxwell and the group of women. As she followed him down the hallway, her mind attempted to connect the fragmented information in her head. Once in his office, he offered her a comfortable-looking chair in front of his large desk.

Taking the seat behind it, he studied her for a moment before asking “Have you ever heard of the Bermuda Triangle?”

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a digital copy of my book, Days with the Undead: Book One and the grand prize of selected print books at the end of the Coffin Hop. Make sure you’re visiting the other Hoppers as well!

Coffin Hop Day 2 – Six Millimeters

Today’s Coffin Hop post is a piece of flash fiction I wrote which first appeared in The Sirens Call Issue #2. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re interested in winning a digital copy of my novel Days with the Undead: Book One. At the end of the week, I’ll even be giving away print copies of a few books – just for fun. Make sure you get in on the actions!

Six Millimeters

© 2012 Julianne Snow

Six millimeters. That’s the diameter of the hole through which I peer. I know that it’s dangerous for me to look, I don’t want to make her angry but how else am I to know what is going on.

Nineteen days. That’s how long I think I’ve been here. I don’t even know where here is but I am not alone. So far I have been left alone, witness to all that is going on around me.

Three. That’s the number of fingernails I broke the first day of my captivity. One of them is really bad and the pain makes me think that it might be infected. I don’t dare ask for help; I know what happened the last time someone did.

It was five days ago. A new one was brought to the collection of wooden crates in what I assume is a basement or perhaps an underground bunker. It’s cold and damp and smells like dirt, mold and unwashed, fetid bodies.

She was smart for the first sixty minutes, keeping quiet. Lessons are learnt quickly down here; crying out is distinctly frowned upon. It’s part of the rules you are given on the seemingly endless walk into the cool clout of the subterranean cavity. Sometimes we cry a little but the minute the telltale sounds of doom approach, silence resonates.

Not five days ago. Five days ago she couldn’t hold it in, begging for her life, promising any number of things. Through my minuscule window I could just make out the svelte but muscular frame of our captor. I’ve only seen her face once and it was as breathtaking as it was frightening.

It took only a few moments for those pleas to enrage our warden of terror. The rest of us listened in silence as the lock was meticulously unlatched and the door opened. From my vantage point, I could see the body of the new one as it flung itself down at the feet of our captor. We listened as a captive audience to the husky sounds of her voice, asking the new one if she was stupid. It was at that moment that we knew a punishment for disobedience truly existed.

It was horrible. The sounds of death beat at our ears like the rhythmic flaying of the drums. The new one ceased to make any sound and we knew that it was over. A part of me wishes that I could have helped her in some way but what good was I from the other side of a sheet of reinforced wood? I exist in my own prison, catching clandestine glimpses of a world not fit to live in.

My guilt keeps me company but what was I to do? I am just an observer of fate revealed in six millimeters.

Don’t forget to visit the rest of the Hoppers here.

Nine Questions with… Vince Considine

Today I am joined by author Vince Considine! Vince has a new novel coming out the middle of November 2012 titled ‘Unable’ and its genre is something I find fascinating – satanic horror thriller! Welcome Vince, why don’t you take this moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

I grew up in Brooklyn NY, but during my teenage years I lived in Southern Jersey, after which I moved back to NY. My life so far has been like the show Lost, not like lost lost but like what the hell just happened. I was a DJ at the age of sixteen. I worked or what we used to say in the late 80’s I spinned LOL – High School dances, Sweet Sixteen’s and New Year’s Eve parties. I remember telling my parents I wanted be a bodybuilding DJ; the look on their faces… priceless.  But one thing, I loved to read. I read The Pearl, Catcher in Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Hobbit, Frankenstein, Bram Stokers Dracula, comic books, etc. After high school my father, who reads a book every two weeks introduced me to Tom Clancy and Stephen King. I hadn’t started writing yet, but I was at crossroad. I didn’t know if wanted to go back to college, or start-up a DJ’ing business – I had no idea. Then I did a total 360 – I took a job as a plumber’s helper. It was hard, but the money was good and 17 years later, I became a toilet expert. I still wasn’t writing but I was still reading. Koontz, McCarthy, King, Tolkien, etc. Then at the end of 2008, all the money in the USA vanished and I was out of work.  That’s when I start writing…

What is your writing process, Vince?

First, I try to read everything I can possible get my hands on with the same subject matter… books, articles, movie scripts etc. Then I outline – I love to character trait – I trait everything, I’m traiter – characters, cities, cars, countries everything. And Seinfeld’s “Don’t break the chain” is a great for daily motivation.

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

Comedy – To me comedy writers are the cream of the crop.

I have always wanted to write a comedy as well. I do have some pieces that border on dark comedy and I absolutely love the freedom it gives me! Tell us Vince, what are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

I have four

Lord of the Rings – The sci-fi bible of good vs evil. The book has everything; war, love, friendship, family, hope, commitment everything and the way Tolkien webbed it all together – genius.

The Stand – like all of King’s books except for the Dark Tower series. With The Stand, it’s like he sitting on your couch and telling you the story and this epic is his greatest tale.

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy – The reason for this book – take way the absolute horrific nature of this book and absorb the art.

In Cold Blood – Capote drops reader on the plains of Holcomb, Kansas, and you feel like your inches from a shotgun blast or hearing the rain drops beat against the metal roof. An American Classic.

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

Michele Williams – I thought about it and she can definitely play Shila.

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?

My parents would be calling me before I saw the paper… I don’t know, that’s a hard question – Don’t get wrong it’s a major accomplishment – But it’s not my goal.

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

Yes… classical music.

What do you do with your time when you’re not writing, Vince?

Work – workout, I just starting juicing LOL…

Now it’s time for the really fun part! We get to take a look at what your writing so, please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

Shades of gray, features distorted, sockets wide, endless and black. A ghostly mouth deformed and frozen – a demonic image… Downward, plunging towards the ghoulish portrait, the horrific mug becomes larger and larger, disappearing in the cavity below its lifeless eyes.

So compelling Vince! Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re looking to connect with Vince, you can find him on Twitter! Make sure to follow him so you can keep up with all the news of his upcoming release!

Join my next week when my guest will be Patrick Greene!

Since this is Coffin Hop, don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a digital version of my book Days with the Undead: Book One or the grand prize for the week of autographed print copies of Days with the Undead: Book One, Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity!

***

THE GORY DETAILS from the COFFIN HOP AFICIONADOS!

1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!

2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!

3) THIS TOUR STARTS: October 24 at Midnight (PST)

THIS TOUR ENDS: October 31 at Midnight (PST)

Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2012

4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!

5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.

6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hoppers here!

***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***

Coffin Hop 2012

As a horror author, there are times when opportunities come along that you just cannot pass up. One of this is the Coffin Hop.

What is the Coffin Hop? I’m glad that you asked. Essentially, it’s an annual event where the Indie Horror Community made up of authors, artists, and publishers all come together to celebrate what they do best. You can find the entire list of blogs to visit here.

Create Horror!

The Coffin Hop runs from October 24th to October 31st and this is what I have in store for all of you:

October 24th – Interview with Vince Considine

October 25th – Six Millimeters (Flash Fiction)

October 26th – The Bermuda Dimension (Short Story)

October 27th – The Itch (Short Story)

October 28th – The Microwave Tower (Short Story)

October 29th – The Treehouse (Short Story)

October 30th – Buried (Flash Fiction)

October 31st – Interview with Patrick Greene

The great thing is that there will be giveaways all 8 days!! Each day, I will be giving away a digital version of my book Days with the Undead: Book One. Want to win one of the daily prizes, all you need to do is leave a comment at the end of the post for that day. Once all of the entries have been received, I will be put them all into random.org and select the winner! At the end of the 8 days, I will be placing all of the entries into the same website and pick the grand prize winner! What does the grand prize winner receive? Autographed print copies of Days with the Undead: Book One, Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity. Hopefully that’s enough to get everyone excited enough to comment!

***

THE GORY DETAILS from the COFFIN HOP AFICIONADOS!

1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!

2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!

3) THIS TOUR STARTS: October 24 at Midnight (PST)

THIS TOUR ENDS: October 31 at Midnight (PST)

Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2012

4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!

5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.

6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?

***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***