Five Questions: The Desolate

Old Farmhouse Stormy SkyIn an obvious attempt to generate some exposure for a book I’d like more people to read, I’m interviewing myself so that I can dig deeper into what the book is all about.

So, without further ado, I’ll start the questions.

1. What’s this book about?

Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Not really. 🙂 It’s about a guy who has some serious mental problems. After his divorce, he moves to a new town to escape his ex-wife and the problems he’s caused for himself. Everything seems to be going well until a series of murders occur and our protagonist finds himself in the middle of a situation from which he can’t run away. He finds his true nature in the process, but what he finds isn’t at all what he expected.

But on a higher level, on a more existential level, it’s about accepting who we are as people. You can’t change who you are by simply changing your surroundings. You have to start from within. You have to be honest with yourself. Scott (our protagonist) realizes this, but not soon enough. It’s also a story about perception of reality and how mental illness can alter that perception (thus, altering reality). It’s kind of a mind-bender, in that respect.

2. You say it’s a horror thriller. What does that mean?

Effectively that means it’s written in the style of a thriller (tightly-plotted and fast paced), but with clear horror overtones. Pretty much all my books are thriller-style in terms of prose, but tend to have very genre-specific overtones (post-apocalyptic, horror, even sci-fi).

3. Is this book for thriller readers or horror readers?

Definitely for horror readers. Straight thriller readers? Well, that depends. If some gore and darkness aren’t your thing, you’ll probably want to steer clear. The horror crowd should be fine with it. It’s also a bit of a murder mystery, so mystery fans with a stronger stomach might also enjoy it.

Oh, and there are four-letter words, so there’s your warning. Don’t even get me started on people who give 1-star reviews to horror novels for language. It’s a horror novel! What did you expect? If you’re squeamish about the word ‘fuck’ then don’t read my books. They’re not for you. I’d rather you buy someone else’s book and save me the bad review. I think most of the Christian and YA books are pretty clean, so those with fragile sensibilities might want to start there.

4. What was most rewarding for you about writing this book?

This book came from a premise I’d toyed with back in the late 1990s. That premise–then heavily steeped in the supernatural–died on the vine at around 20k words. The idea never really went away though, and always seemed wedged tightly in my subconscious. Dusting that idea off and making it a reality was incredibly rewarding, mostly because the finished book grew into something much more substantial and important than the original idea. I think it ended up having real substance in the end. I’m pretty proud of it.

5. Where can folks pick up a copy of the book?

On the Kindle, Nook and Kobo ereaders, as well as at most other major outlets. It’s also available from Amazon in paperback.

So there you have it, my first interview with myself. I know the format of this piece is a little silly, but my hope is that you know more about this book than you did before. Maybe you’ll even decide to add it to your summer reading list.

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“The Desolate” Gets a New Cover

I’m taking a little time out of my NaNoWriMo word crunch (I’m only slightly behind the eight ball now) to toss up a quick post about The Desolate‘s recent cover change. I noticed over the following few months after The Desolate‘s release that the stock photo I’d chosen for the cover was a pretty popular image. Too popular, in fact. I saw at least two other books with the same image on their covers. When I received a piece of promotional email using the same image I knew that I needed to change my cover. I needed something that would differentiate my book, not confuse my book with others’.

I went on the hunt at Dreamstime.com and found five images I thought might work. I mocked up covers and sent them to former beta readers and some friends whose opinions I trust. They unanimously chose the image I also thought was best, so I worked up the cover and pushed new files up to Amazon. Continue reading