Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kickstarter Campaign: Death of the Horror Anthology

Interview with Artist/Writer Kelly Brack 
Subject: Death of the Horror Anthology Kickstarter

I’ll start off by saying, I saw that beautiful cover art for Death of the Horror Anthology by Adam Gorham on Twitter and it stopped me dead in my tracks! Did you have a vision for the cover that Adam worked from or was he inspired from one of the stories? I’m curious what the story is behind that cover.

Kelly- To be perfectly honest, I was a little taken off guard when Adam Gorham even agreed to do the cover in the first place. I didn’t anticipate a yes and was merely asking for the sake of asking. So, when he agreed to do it, I had zero idea of what I wanted. I briefly mentioned the idea of a werewolf. I thought that with a theme of (Inner Demons), there is no greater inner demon in the horror genre of a beast trapped inside the man. Other than that, I got out of Adam’s way, and he came up with a beautiful cover with an ominous feel that looks like an instant classic for all that love horror.

I’ll tell you, I was turned on to Gorham’s art from seeing his illustrations in Nick Cutter’s book, Little Heaven. I actually wish more novelists would seek after illustrations for their books—how can we make this happen Kelly! *laughing*

Kelly- I agree! I don’t know how we can make this happen. But I am on board! I love the use of illustrations in novels.

There are so many talented people involved in this project. Was this the collaborated effort of multiple artists or was this your idea and you approached everyone to see if they wanted in? Tell me about how this idea was born.

Kelly- It’s funny how it came about. Firstly, I was looking to get more content out there and was given advice to do some more short stories while I wait for a couple of my larger projects to conclude. I love the idea of community projects and the anthology seemed like a great collaborative endeavor. I approached a few writers that I have a huge amount of respect for (John Ward, Cody Sousa and Jed McPherson) and asked if they would like to take part. Subsequently, I asked Bryan Hill (Postal, Romulus) if he would be interested in taking part as well. I asked him after a night of drinking and a higher level of courage. After he said yes, I kept the train rolling and asked Ryan Ferrier, Vita Ayala, Katy Rex, the writer’s of The Dregs. These are all people that I never thought i’d ever get the chance to work with, so as you can imagine, I was very humbled but up for the challenge.

Kelly, are you comfortable telling us a little about what your story is about? Maybe a little teaser? I know that all the stories have a theme of “Inner Demons” so maybe you want to elaborate on that a little for your personal contribution?

Kelly- The thing that intrigues me so much about ‘inner demons’ is that it’s such a broad concept. I don’t think anyone would feel restricted to their story telling and will make for some very compelling horror stories. In my case, I am doing a story with one of my favourite artists on the planet, Chris Shehan. I’m very aware of Chris’ wide range and skill level, so I felt very free to go as big as I wanted. We are doing a story titled ‘Old Wounds’. When writing, I really wanted to take a familiar concept and put our stamp on it with a new and fresh take. There’s not a whole lot that I want to give away, but I will say that we play with the idea of no free will.

So, why horror? Are you a big fan of this genre in literature or film? If so, what artists are big influences for you—movie directors, authors, etc.

Kelly- I’m not entirely sure why I picked horror. I believe I was on the phone with John Ward one night going over the details, and after being asked what the genre would be...I just said “horror”. It was a first instinct and felt right, so we stuck with it. It’s actually funny how I came up with the name of the anthology. I had a night of paranoia and felt that I was going to mess this project up. I said to myself that if I mess this project up, it will be the death of the horror anthology. After hearing that out loud, I thought it had a ring to it. I am a fan of the horror genre, but often feel that a lot of the tropes are being over used to an incredible extent. For film, I love the classics. Halloween is probably the movie that truly terrifies me the most. The simplicity of the tone, directing and concept really captured my imagination. For books, I’m a massive fan of Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing. What he did with that character will always be transcendent and influential on anything that I do.
Even if the story isn’t the best, I always appreciate horror films with practical effects. Books will obviously be Swamp Thing. Alan Moore’s entire run is breathtaking. Tom King and Mitch Gerads had a single issue of Swamp Thing within their Batman run. Not only did I love that one shot story, but it is probably the most influential to the story Chris and I are doing. Sandman by Neil Gaiman is always a classic, but most recently I would recommend The Dregs by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson, both of which are a part of this anthology.

So Kickstarter, if this project gets fully funded, what will be your initial plan of attack—is it full steam ahead for all the artists involved or will this be happening slowly over a period of time? Do you have a soft target date?

Kelly- Once funded we have deadlines set in place. We have a lot of variables to take in account. The creators involved are not only busy with other, better paying projects, but have personal lives as well. With the holiday season coming up we added a little buffer for that reason as well, just to be safe. We plan on all of our stories to be complete by end of January and we will have digital copies ready for our backers in February and project an April print month.

It would be awesome if a publisher got a hold of this and it was available to the public at large, is that part of this project’s potential? Tell me about your projected goals?

Kelly- I agree. I would absolutely love if this book was not only successfully funded, but published after the fact. With the talent involved, and the story concepts, I very much think it’s of high potential for that to be a possibility. I tend not to think that far a head however. Currently, my goal is to give the best horror anthology that we can.

Finally, If this project is successful (and I think it will be) could there be more collaborations like this in the future??

Kelly- I certainly hope so! Death of the Horror Anthology Vol. 2 does have a ring to it! But again, I am not thinking that far ahead with anything. I’m very much grounded and hands on with what is happening currently. So, thinking of those possibilities doesn’t really cross my mind at the moment.

Kelly- I would like everyone to know that this anthology isn’t just full of talented people, but great, supportive people as well. We are having a blast doing what we are doing, and it will show in the 200+ pages of stunning black and white! Before we go, let me say thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you. Any and all help making this project come to life is truly appreciated!

Thank you so much Sadie!

 Brendan Purchase-- "Come In"
MELISSA HUDSON - "Watcher on the Bridge."

Friday, October 6, 2017

Author Interview: Ania Ahlborn

The first Ania Ahlborn book I read was titled, Brother.
I haven't looked back from there. This book blew me away. Up until that point, I had not read a book I binge-read since Gone Girl. Basically reading the whole book in one sitting. I didn't see my family for hours on end, there was no good place to set Brother down for later--It begged to be finished. You can read my full review HERE
Since then, I've read these other books by Mrs. Ahlborn...
Through Instagram and Twitter (Ania has this disturbing loathing for Twitter and likes dumb ol' Facebook better *eyeroll*) we struck up a friendship and talk about anything that strikes our fancy. The other day, I casually dropped her a line, "Hey. You should do an author interview for my bloggy." she's like, "I'd love to." to which I was like heart eyes for hours. She loves me. (not nearly as much as I love her.) So here are the results of that interview. Enjoy, party people! (By party, I mean: introverts awkwardly standing around.)

1. Ania. I’m super curious about your reading and writing habits so some of the following questions will be in that vein and you can rapid fire answer them or whatever but don’t skip any! I’m serious. These ones are important.
a) Is horror your favorite genre to read/write?
    - If I had to pick a favorite, yes, I'd say horror is definitely at the top of the list. But I do love thrillers and true crime as well, and I've written a couple of thrillers myself.
b) What authors are influential to you, both in your formative years and currently?
    - Beyond the obvious Stephen King answer? Poppy Z. Brite, Bret Easton Ellis, Anne Rice, and I'll throw in Poe for good measure. Poe's writing hasn't been as influential to me as, say, his tone and the atmosphere he creates in his work. I was a huge Poppy fan back in my college days, and I actually wanted to be Bret Easton Ellis for a while as far as writing went. I devoured all of his early stuff and mimicked his style for years before I got published. And Anne Rice, well, she was definitely my 'first' when it came to real horror. I picked up Interview with the Vampire while in junior high and was immediately enamored--though, to be fair, I may have just been madly in love with Lestat.
c) What does your writing space look like?
    - Like Ikea's Ingatorp dining room table. We have a sitting room-slash-library where I have a desk, but I never work in there. I prefer the breakfast nook. It's got a big bay window overlooking the backyard and comfy upholstered chairs. And, bonus, it's close to the refrigerator. 
d) Do you outline your stories or are you a “fly by the seat of your pants” author?
    - Oh, definitely outline. I used to be a take-it-or-leave-it girl when it came to plotting stuff out, but I learned my lesson the hard way. When I was writing The Bird Eater, I wrote forty thousand words worth of absolute drivel before having a meltdown. I decided to 'power through it', which was mistake number two. In the end, I had an absolute nightmare of a first draft that I didn't know what to do with. I had way too many ideas, and I was trying to pack them all into this one book. I actually sent the oh-so-horrible draft to my editor, which was the scariest thing I'd ever done. His response: we have a problem. In the end, I cut out a ton of stuff, did a rewrite, and ended up with what The Bird Eater is today. So, I guess the moral of the story is, even if the book is awful, there's still hope. But moral #2? Outline your stuff. Or don't. It's your funeral.

2. Brother is probably my favorite and the first book that I read of yours, can you tell me what inspired that story?
    - I watched a movie called Chained that jumpstarted the idea. I wanted to explore the life of a captive, but from a really different and unexpected angle. And my angles are always, um... shall we say really, really dark?

3. What fascinates you right now?
    - I just finished watching the series Feud: Bette and Joan. I couldn't stop watching it. Had I had the time, I would have binged the whole thing in a single sitting. It was some of the most riveting TV I'd seen in years. I've always been somewhat fascinated with Joan Crawford as it is, especially after Mommie Dearest (which is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time). Those types of characters always get my imagination rolling. Anyway, if you haven't seen Feud, I highly recommend it. It's so good.

4. What do you do in your downtime to relax? Do you have some unique hobbies you want to tell us about so we can point and laugh at you? That sounds fun—for us anyways.
    - I build tombstones for a front yard Halloween cemetery, Sadie, and it's super-easy to carve anyone's name onto them, if you get what I'm saying. My dog is also my hobby. And of course, I read. I watch stuff. I terrorize the neighborhood. You know, the usual.

5. This is a weird question but it’s an important one for me: Does your husband read your books-is he a beta reader? And if he a little bit scared of you?
    - He does read them, but he isn't a beta reader. Sometimes it takes him months to read something that's been released. I literally have to guilt trip him into it. But that isn't to say that he doesn't want to sit down and read. He's just an incredibly busy person. And of course he's a little bit scared of me, but that has nothing to do with my books. I'm his wife, after all. If he wasn't at least a little wary, I wouldn't be doing my job.

6. If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
    - Blood orange sorbet. I don't know if it exists, but if it doesn't, it should. No explanation necessary, right? I mean, it's right there in the name.

7. Are you currently working on something we have no idea about and can you tease us with that information and maybe even give us a little spoiler or something secret??
    - I just finished up a revision for my agent of a book tentatively titled Good and Joyful Things. It's a pretty big departure for me in terms of genre. This one is more of a domestic thriller. Branching out a little bit with that one. But I'm also about to start drafting out the book after that (no rest for the wicked!) which is going to be 100% supernatural. I foray into thrillers every now and again, but I always go back to the ghosts in the end.

8. What scares you?
    - Cockroaches. Ugh! Living in the South, you see them a lot, and they're huge. And they fly. I've yet to get used to those bastards. I scream my head off every single time I see one. My husband doesn't even ask "what" anymore. He knows. And my dog won't touch them, because he's smart. If he ate one, I'd probably die right there.
sub question: What books scared you?
    - Books don't really scare me, probably because I'm on the same creative wavelength as the author who wrote what I'm reading. If something is really creepy or tense, I don't get scared, I get writer's envy that I didn't come up with it first. Because how dare someone be more clever than me? I mean, am I right?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kickstarter Campaign for Corpse Cold: New American Folklore

Cemetery Gates Media is launching a Kickstarter campaign on Sept. 30 to fund a fully illustrated book of spooky stories inspired by 80s and 90s horror books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The book, CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE, features 17 stories, written by John Brhel and Joe Sullivan and illustrated by artist Chad Wehrle.

I'm excited for this project because I'm a HUGE fan of the 80s editions of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and I've read all the stories--the illustrations burned into my memory:

“We grew up watching Twilight Zone and Are You Afraid of the Dark? and reading books like Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book and various American horror anthologies,” said Brhel. “The unsettling stories and imagery found in books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark made an impact on Joe, Chad, and myself, all the way back in elementary school. In fact, those books are one of the biggest reasons why we write today. With Corpse Cold, we hope to provide that same sort of reading experience for people like us — readers who are grown up, but still nostalgic for creepy art and new takes on well, and lesser known, urban legends and folktales.”

 These illustrations by Chad Wehrle take me right back to all the horror anthologies I read from my childhood. They are amazing!
The Kickstarter Campaign starts on Sept. 30th, 2017 and you can visit the preview page in order to choose to be notified as soon as it launches.
John told me, "We are offering levels for an ebook, paperback, hardcover, then tiers that include our previous books and the artist's previous book."
As a fan of this, I hope others get excited to see this happen and join the campaign! Good luck to Cemetery Gates Media!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

JORD Watch $100 e-code and Book Giveaway

Hey there my friends! It's been awhile since I've hosted a giveaway so I have a very special one for you today, starting now and going on until October 11th, you can enter to win these two prizes:
Gift One:
A $100 e-code gift certificate to JORD Watches for Men
or JORD Watches for Ladies
To see a close up of the watch I selected, you can click this link: Frankie 35 Sandalwood & Slate
*if you win this $100 and you're a lady, I would choose this watch too! It's so smooth and delicate and the slate grey, rose gold and dark wood go with all of my outfits! I never thought I'd be a "watch person". I mean, I admire watches on other people but I have never found a timepiece that really speaks to me or says "Sadie's style". But ever since I got this watch, I find myself more and more in love with it every day. First, the wood is warm, earthy and feels good against my skin. I feel like the band is the perfect size for a feminine look. It's not too flashy with too much metal-but just the right amount of bling with the rose gold accents. Perfect for people like me who enjoy an understated elegance. Lastly, I love the slate grey. It's a cool tone that literally goes with everything I wear (which is mostly black, white or grey if I'm honest!)

Your JORD Watch entry will also automatically qualify you to win a copy of my current read that I am enjoying very much at the moment, Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt
I bought this book because Nick Cutter recommended it on Twitter but then I got a second copy in my Nocturnal Readers Box so my double up is your gain! I love, love this book so far and I'm 4 stories into this collection.

How to win:
Simply click this link: Sadie_Reads_Them_All & JORD Watch Blog Giveaway
And fill out the details. This will enter you in the $100 e-code and the book! Open to International friends too! This contest will end October, 11th, 2017. One winner will be chosen.

Wooden Wrist Watch

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Thoughts on the Dark Tower Movie

There will be movie and book spoilers in this post so if you haven't read the series (DO IT) and if you haven't seen the movie (consider yourself lucky) then you probably shouldn't read this post. BUT if you are a Constant Reader/Tower Junkie--then let's play, shall we?

I'll start with me. I read the first book, the Gunslinger, in high school. I'm not really sure when or exactly how old I was so we'll go with the idea that it was in the mid-nineties and I was between 15-17 years old. I loved the book enough to keep going. Lucky for me, I was able to binge the first three books from my mother's collection. Wizard & Glass came out just a few years after I finished. Then we had to wait an epic-length of time for Wolves of Calla. Which was followed very closely by the next three books-including the last one. My point in telling you this is that the Dark Tower series of books has been a part of my life since I was a teenager and carried me through marriage, jobs, pregnancies, etc. It's always been there for me. It's woven into the fabric of my literary experiences--a part of my worldview even. I love this series more than any other books.
So when my mom and I first heard Hollywood sniffing around for movie rights, I was concerned and rightly so, I mean, ever since movie rights were negotiated the project has seen a lot of changes. Directors have come and gone, actors have been rumored to be a part of it and then bailed on it, it just seemed like this movie deal has had some problems since the very beginning.
Then came some important announcements:
Writer/Director: Nikolaj Arcel wait, who?? I mean, we had Ron Howard and JJ Abrams on this project at one time, so who the hell is this? This is the guy that did the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which he also wrote the screenplay for and directed and I found major problems with the translation from book to screen.
Roland Deschain: Idris Elba. No. Nope. I mean, don't get me wrong here. I love Idris. I love him as Luther--I do not love him as the Gunslinger. He's too big/thick physically and there's an almost awkward quality to Roland that I was sure Idris would overlook or abandon for the sake of just being "bad ass". I nailed it. That's exactly how he played it-there was nothing endearing about Elba's portrayal of Roland. Plus, I hated how the writing focused on Jake and even at times, put Roland in the position of getting "schooled" by him. Just, no. And where was Roland's fucking hat? When you think of Roland--you think of him wearing THAT HAT!!

The Man in Black/Randall Flagg/Walter O'Dim: Matthew McConaughey. I have grown to like him as an actor. I liked him early on when he did A Time to Kill but then he went on to do a series of shitty movies like Rom-Coms and such. He has since reinvented himself as an actor and earned some stripes so I was on the fence with this choice. The verdict: HE SUCKED. He played this role like he was a grease-slicked-Vegas pit boss with mutant abilities in an X-Men movie. I hated it. That hair! That voice! GAH! NOOO!!

And according to the dumb writing of this screenplay, what even is the history between Roland and Walter? Who are they to each other? What is their relationship? Why do I CARE? Did the movie manage to tell the story of the Gunslinger at all? What the purpose is? The theme? I mean, if there's going to be more movies, wouldn't it at least serve your franchise to set up a theme? A goal? And shouldn't it tie-in to the actual overarching tale of King's opus:
"The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is traveling southeast across Mid-World’s post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower."
It's about the DARK TOWER!! Not a dumb vendetta against Walter. GAH! That really pissed me off. My family who didn't read the books were like, "Oh, so he killed the Man in Black then?" Game Over? GRRRRRRR!!!
Quote from the movie: "The Tower is all that stands between light and darkness. For thousands of generations the gunslingers were knights. Sworn to protect it. Now I'm the only one left"
Oh, but he's giving all that up to kill the Man in Black? UMMMM NOPE! Like Jake has to sit there and remind Roland what his journey is all about? Do you remember that?? I hated that scene. If we know that this is a continuation story to the dark Tower saga, then how are we supposed to buy into the fact that this is another journey, another time around the wheel for Roland when Jake has to be the one to remind Roland what his purpose is? Damn it. I'm really pissing myself off here.
Speaking of the Dark Tower, according to the movie, what even is Mid-World? Do we have any sense of world-building in this movie AT ALL? We are shown a "thinny" but is it explained? No.
But maybe if the director throws a bunch of Easter Eggs for King fans into the movie, King fans will overlook the total and complete lack of regard for world-building, character development and storyline?
"During the first act of the film, several Stephen King Easter eggs are visible. The twins from The Shining (1980), the family (including the dog) from Cujo (1983), and the car from Christine (1983) (as the toy pushed by Jake in his room) are each shown briefly" --IMDB 
Oh thanks for all the Easter Eggs. I'm so easily amused with them. Like, I love how Roland sees talking raccoons in a commercial and I get this cheap nod to a lovable character that nobody else will understand-that totally makes up for this disaster and won me over. *rolling my eyes*

I think it worked for some fans, but not for me and not for millions of other moviegoers as you do a comparison of The Dark Tower and IT
Dark Tower opening weekend 19.5 million $$
IT movie opening weekend 123 million $$
Rotten Tomatoes for IT movie 87% 4.8 star rating
Rotten Tomatoes for The Dark Tower 16% and 1 star rating
That's just pathetic. And I think it speaks a lot to the initial press for both movies, trailers and early critical reviews. Blame negative reviews from critics on the Dark Tower all you want, if you're going to defend the movie, they were negative for a reason. The movie sucked on almost any level. I'm not sure who the intended audience was for that film. It didn't resonate with anyone. Well, I mean, I've seen some people praise it, but I still don't understand what anybody liked about it. It wasn't an honest telling of King's story in any way, shape or form. I agree with what this critic said,

"Unfortunately, this adaptation fails on almost every conceivable level, whether it’s from a fan’s perspective or a newbie’s. The characterization is string-like thin, the majority of the acting is wooden and in some circumstances, laughably theatrical. In this day and age of technological advancement and mind-bending cinematic possibilities, even The Dark Tower’s special effects are instantly forgettable"--Daniel Seddon

Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant. Maybe I'll do a review on IT to cheer myself up, later. Because THAT is how you make an adaptation, folks.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Author Interview: Nick Cutter

In the Fall of 2016 I read a book called, The Deep by Nick Cutter. It starts off normal enough, an engaging read that sucked me into its pages and kept me interested. But in a short amount of time, I was noticing that there was something different about the writing. The details were very bright. I could see everything the author was translating to me in vivid, almost startling color. I began to worry about where this could ultimately go...I was scared.
When I finished the book, I looked up this, Nick Cutter guy to see if he had more for me. I learned that his actual name is Craig Davidson and had some books published under that name too. I wasn't interested in "that guy". I wanted more of this Cutter stuff. Next, I read his book called, The Troop. I had seen this one a little bit on #bookstagram. People said this was one of the gnarliest books they had ever read. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!
I found it at a thrift store and swooped it up and had the extreme pleasure of reading it on a camping trip. It blew my mind! I couldn't stop reading it and when I wasn't reading it, my mind was reeling from it.
Lastly, I was over the moon excited to get a signed copy of Little Heaven in my Nocturnal Readers Box! This is my favorite of the Nick Cutter books. In contrast to The Troop where the intensity started right off the bat, Little Heaven is a slow burn--a subtle reach into the pitch black madness that he actually wants to drag us into. My favorite part of Cutter's books: where the shit hits the fan.
My friends on #bookstagram will know that when I fangirl over something, it's not half assed. It's *full on*. So my love of these horror books is pretty full on and I talk about them all the time on both Instagram and Twitter. One day, on a whim, I worked up the nerve to ask Craig if I could interview him for myself and our community. He said, "sure". I was floored. I gathered up all my burning questions and petty quickly, he responded with his answers. I'm pleased as punch and honored to share those with you now:

Sadie: What authors have a huge influence on you? Both when you were a young reader and now?

Nick: Well, anyone who has read the Cutter books will see Stephen King’s fingerprints all over them. Maybe too obviously, for some readers, which is a fair criticism if they want to levy it. I think his work imprinted so deeply because I kind of skipped the whole YA spectrum of books—they weren’t really known as that back then—and went straight to King at, like, 12 years old. Maybe even younger. As I’ve said before, my parents were just happy to see me reading so they weren’t worried about what exactly that was, so long as I wasn’t leafing through Penthouses for the articles or whatever. And I think that was good on them. Back then EVERYONE was reading King, which isn’t much different from now, but I think in the 80s King was even more prominent than he is now. Maybe. So that work, his worlds, they imprinted so deeply on me. I was like a little gosling imprinting on the momma duck. And those lessons stuck deep—more deeply than I was even aware until I sat down and started to write horror. The thing with King is, he’s accessible and his style, at least to me, opens itself to both readers and writers. Unlike, say, Clive Barker, who is an enormously talented writer but his ornate, baroque, lush sentences seem so inimitably HIM that you wouldn’t necessarily imprint on him as a fledgling writer. But King and McCammon and Koontz, I think they feel more . . . they’re original and all their own, yes, sure, but also familiar and their works are those a new writer might feel like taking their early cues on style from. Anyway, other than those fellows, I was influenced by a lot of my fellow Canadians: Atwood and Munro and David Adams Richards and Wayne Johnston, none of whom write horror (well, Atwood can get pretty horrific) but in their sense of community and relationships and the wide open spaces our country has in abundance, their essential Canadian-ness, yeah. Of the 5 Cutter books (I’ll include the one I’ve just written), 2 take place in Canada, one in the States, one underwater, and one in an unnamed spot. So I do like to give a dap to my home country in the Cutter books.

(Sadie's note on this: I knew it. I knew Cutter was a King fan.)

Sadie: Is there anything you can tell me about your current writing projects? Are you writing as Craig and Nick?

Nick: My current writing projects . . . well, I’ve just finished, in first draft, a Cutter novel. It’s off with my father now, my perennial first reader. We’ll see what he thinks. From there it would go to my agent, and he’d have some suggestions, then I guess we’ll go out to publishing houses and try our luck. Little Heaven was my last Cutter book under contract, so we’ll just have to see. Beyond that, I have a collection of stories coming out next year with Knopf under my own name, and a novel also under contract with the same publisher. And every so often I heed the dubious siren song of Hollywood and put together a pitch for a TV show, often with a collaborator, and try to see if something can happen in that direction. So far no luck.

(Sadie's note on this: HOLLYWOOD! Get your shit together. We want a Little Heaven TV show!)

Sadie: The thing that strikes me the most about your writing is the very detailed, descriptive imagery-are you a natural observer of things? Are you constantly forming words for what you see around you-(I'm laughing at myself because I know what I'm trying to ask you but it's sounding flat) just tell me how you take what you see in your mind's eye and translate it to me; the reader.

Nick: Yes, people mention the details. That can be something some readers like and others find too much. Either too gory or simply too exhausting—they’re like, get on with the story and stop describing the intimacies of this slug or whatever the hell! So yes, I guess I have something of a photographer’s or a miniaturist’s eye for certain details. Some things, like the furniture in a room, I couldn’t give two shits about—other writers might dwell on those, or texture of light details, or landscapes. Anyone who has read me knows I tend to focus more on organic details. The intimacies of human (or not so human) bodies. It’s likely about finding the right balance: enough of those details to immerse a reader without punting other readers out of the narrative because they’re simply too much. It’s one of those things as a writer: you can and should write to your strengths, but often those same strengths can be weaknesses, or interpreted that way by certain readers. But writers are obsessives, too, in a general sense I think, so we can’t always help what compels and fascinates us.

(Sadie's note on this: Who are these readers that complain about "too gory" or they're "exhausted from the details"? Go read boring books!)

Sadie: Did you or do you have a bug collection?

Nick: I never had a bug collection, though it’s not surprising you’d ask. Not really a fan of bugs … or I should say they fascinate and repulse me in equal measure. A lot of people feel that way, I imagine. Other than the things lurking at the basin of our seas, nothing strikes me as alien quite like bugs. I saw a tank full of Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the zoo . . . each one as big as Andre the Giant’s thumb, it seemed to me. All boiling over each other in the tank. Not pleasant. That’ll show up in a book at some point.

(Sadie's note on this: RIP Andre the Giant. Also, I can't wait for more gross bug stuff.)

Sadie: Lastly, what fascinates you, currently?

Nick: Neurosurgery. Or really, surgeons in general. Thoracic, transplant, neuro. That God complex. The sense that one of them could lose a patient on the table at 9am, go golfing, and worry more about their slice into the woods than the person that died under their blade hours ago. That runaway confidence and sense they can defy the powers of Nature—a mentality they need to have to succeed. So I’ve got a couple of doctor/surgeon characters lurking in the next few books. And hospitals are creepy places. Nobody save a hypochondriac ever wants to be in a hospital. As a parent, and as a child of aging parents, hospitals inspire dread.

(Sadie's note on this: I CAN'T WAIT!!!)

Thanks so much to Nick Cutter (Craig Davidson) for his willingness to take time from his busy writing schedule and answer my silly questions. Also, people, if you've read all the Cutter books and you want some more of his writing, read the Davidson books! Cataract City is AMAZING!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author Interview: Michael Reid Jr. Author of the New Release, "Sins of the Father"

A year ago in June of 2016, I won my first #bookstagram giveaway. It was a signed copy of "Debt of Fear" by Michael Reid Jr.
I quickly read the book and reviewed it which you can read, HERE
And the synopisis:
"Logan Falcone had finally stopped reliving the events in Iraq when a phone call from Samantha forced him to leave his detached reality. A terrorist attack in Paris hinted at American involvement and she feared a cover-up. A second attack, this time in Chicago, starts to open a deceitful door into a terrorist cell. Logan uses his old connections, a group of recon marines, and as much assistance as Samantha can give without compromising her job with the FBI. Leads fall through their fingers and it appears there’s a leak in the government. In the end, it comes down to Logan’s intuitive training and ability to read people. Will Logan be able to tap into who he used to be? Or will his fears of another loss dictate his actions, causing even more attacks and American deaths?"
Flash forward a year and here we are anticipating the release of the sequel to Debt of Fear, called
Sins of the Father. Check out this great cover!
You can read an exerpt from the book by clicking HERE
and if you find it intriguing, preorder the Kindle version for .99 HERE
Being that I'm a fan of Reid's books and a friend, I scored an exclusive author interview! And I know you'll enjoy it. So without anymore fuss, pretend that you are observing Mike and I on the set of my incredibly famous book related talk show with my special guest, Mike Reid:

1. Mike, It’s been about a year since I’ve read Debt of Fear, do you want to give us a refresher course on the plot before we read Sins of the Father?


Amir turned traitorous monster against his own country, 'Merica, then double crossed his handler Jenkins, murdering him and escaping the custody of the US government.

Meanwhile, Logan overcame some of his issues getting close to people as he solidified an old romance, but also nailed together a 4 man team, who will ultimately be tasked with hunting down Amir.

That's about as concise and spoiler free as I can make it.

2. For those of us with literary crushes on the protagonist, Logan Falcone, is there anything you want to tell us about him that we wouldn’t get from the books? Did you use a photograph for a reference? What does he look like in uniform?

I used no photograph. He's amorphic, taking on anyone's ideal soldier type. Fill in the blank with your imagination. That's who Logan Falcone is. A dreamy, mysterious hero. But have no fear. You get more of his dark and troublesome backstory in Sins of the Father. You'll love him even harder.
*Sadie's note: Here's what Logan Falcone looks like (just pretend the flag is American. It's Tom Hardy in camo, who cares where's he's from, right?)

3. This book is in the Military Thriller genre and your previous release, The Beyond Experience, is Spiritual Sci-Fi (I made up that genre classification for you, by the way, you’re welcome) which do you enjoy writing more?

That genre actually exists so quit patting your own back now. But I appreciate the love. I don't want to nail myself down to a particular genre. Reason being, this is fun for me. A great story comes to mind and I want to write it. I refuse to write a military thriller, a sci-fi whatever, simply because that's where my reader base is. That leads to poor, watered down writing in my opinion. The most flattering thing I could ever imagine hearing, is that I turned someone on to a genre outside their norm, simply because they loved my writing and wanted to follow along.
*Sadie's note: I never stop patting myself on the back.

4. Can you tell us more about your creative process? Anything unique to you? I’ve heard some weirdos get their best ideas while mowing the lawn. Isn’t that crazy? Where do you get your best ideas?

I actually get my best ideas mowing the lawn. I've heard the color green stimulates creative centers in the brain so maybe that has something to do with it. Going for walks has also helped me come to some of the exciting plotpoints and how they play out as well.

I think possibly the strangest thing I do is when I come up with a new idea. I don't write it down. That makes too much sense. I literally obsess over it for weeks, build the entire story in my mind, and when I finally want to scream because I can't stop, the story finishes itself. Then I write a brief outline, and usually, since I've rehursed it in my mind about a million times, I never forget the story.
*Sadie's note: Mike is clearly a weirdo.
5. If Sins of the Father was an ice cream flavor, what would it be?

Stupid question. But I'll answer. Moosetracks. Because it's got soft bits that pull you in emotionally, hard pieces which represent the crap the characters go through, the chocolate and caramel are the dirty deeds, and whatever. You get the point. There's a lot going on but somehow it's a symphony.
*Sadie's note: It's actually a great question. Probably everybody's favorite.
6. Let’s say some readers have never read a Military Thriller, what would you tell those readers so that they would be compelled to make your books their first try?

Ever watched Borne? How about Black Hawk Down? Band of Brothers? Zero Dark Thirty? Well imagine fusing all that together, and crank it up to 10. You're halfway there.

Still not sure? I interviewed several combat helo and f18 pilots, special operations agents, navy SEALs and government agents overseas to ensure the plot was both accurate and relevant to today's world. You won't find anything as intense and accurate, whether on screen or print.

7. What do you love most about self publishing and sub question, what do you hate about it?

I have complete control. Nobody tells me what to do. The bad, everything else. The promotions, the cost, the time. I would really love an agent ha. That way I can just write and write and write.

8. Do you have any exciting projects that you’re working on for the future and can you tease us with some details on those? If you’re not currently working on anything, what the hell is your problem?

I'm always working. Woman please. I guess I can make it official here, to some degree at least. I'm working on a massive sci-fi series, told in three books with big plans for book 1 tentatively entitled The Aurora. The series is OMEGA. It will follow an AI Droid who's tasked with assisting in the saving of humanity. But, you'll have to wait to read about how or what happened...and I promise that story hasn't been told. It's scope is incredible and I've been interviewing an astrophysicist who's excited about the idea. So you know right there it's good.

9. I heard a rumor that you know someone named Lucas Gravy. Is that right? Gravy? He sounds weird. Tell me about him.

Oh I know him. Lucas Graeves. And he's a psychopath so watch out. Just misspelling his name drives him mad. He writes some dark stuff, horror, keep you up at night sort of things. He's creepy, but I love him. He told me in confidence he's publishing in 2018. But don't ask him directly. Go through me. He's touchy.

10. Lastly, why am I the coolest person you know?

Cause you ask the questions that nobody else will. And you shoot straight with me. I appreciate that very much. Thanks for the support Sadie. Now go sell me a million books.

Well, there you have it. If this interview hasn't convinced you to buy both of these books and get on the Logan Falcone fanclub train, I don't know if you're doing your life right.