Tag Archives: Samhain horror 2014

Spooky Guest Article by Catherine Cavendish + Review of Saving Grace Devine

Today I have a SPOOKY guest article by the amazing author Catherine Cavendish (yes, SPOOKY, I got scared as I read it and now I don’t want to go to bed tonight). From across the pond in the UK, she’s just released her Saving Grace Devine novel with Samhain Horror Publishing. I had the terrifying opportunity of reading her book and it is excellent for all the many Gothic and haunting paranormal lovers, with an eerie mystery and a time slip to 1912.

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Her premise, “can the living help the dead?,” had me curious. I am not usually just a straight haunt story reader, because those stories scare me more than anything and I can’t sleep, but with her Gothic style (for those familiar with Victoria Holt and Daphne Du Maurier style of European or Victorian Gothic) I knew I’d love it.

Her protagonist, Alex is a modern woman, set on a vacation to an isolated island with her husband, Greg. She does feel as if she has a specter near here, but she’s never been sure what it all means. She likes to explore and sight see and visit museums and when she sets foot in to a small, local museum near where they are staying she discovers a family history and a painting that she is familiar with. It seems her specter has followed her….or maybe led her….and need her help. Slowly, she beings to unravel the mystery to the sordid and evil family history, being propelled back in time to 1912 by a family member with demonic powers.

It seems that the case is true, to break a curse sometimes deals are made with the devil with after effects you’d never think will come. At the moment you may think you have no choice, and in the end you pay the price.

I loved the mystery she incorporated into her novel. I loved her character development of Alex. I thought differently about one section of it, like who needed to do the forgiving, but I can’t say much or I’ll spoil. It was only because I cared so much about the characters though that I even  had that emotion. I think her book was contemporary and yet she switched easily to the past creating an eerie environment just right in Gothic literature. I could picture both the modern and the past as separately. She offered just the right details at the right time.

I loved the time slip part the best and the ending, yet I was so saddened by the ending. It really did shock me quite more than I expected it too. She wrapped it up nice and neat, then she tore my heart out. Ah, I still can’t believe it. Quite unnerving and terrifying. Then the book came full circle back to the beginning.

On the front half of the book, it was a delightful summer spooky read, but on the back end it left me unsettled and quite sad, which is what it was supposed to do. She messed with  my emotions and now she owes me wine and scones!!  I can’t wait to read more of Cat’s work. If you love Gothic literature, Cat’s the new author on the prowl you should be reading.

Enjoy her guest article!

The Ghosts of Brookdale Lodge
by Catherine Cavendish, Author

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In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.

From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound – searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.

In this account, the ghost of a drowned little girl is not the only spirit haunting the site.

In Brookdale, California, in the shade of giant redwood trees, Judge J.H. Logan built a lodge in 1890, on the site of the old Grover lumber mill. In the 1920s, Dr F. K. Camp built the now famous dining room, with a natural brook running through it, so that diners could enjoy their meal beside the flowing water.

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Today, this lodge is the residential Brookdale Inn and Spa, but back then, it was called Brookdale Lodge, and witnessed plenty of drama and more than one drowning. As a result, it is estimated some 49 spirits now reside there, and many guests have been all too aware of at least one of them.

The beautiful dining room created by Dr Camp is known as the Brook Room and exists to this day. It has certainly seen some interesting events and some colourful characters over the years. The Lodge itself had its heyday between 1922 and 1945 when famous stars such as Hedy Lamarr, President Hoover, Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth stayed there. Songs were written about it, such as My Brookdale Hideaway. It was also a place where secrets were kept and questions went unasked.

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1955 Photo of Joan Crawford

Dr Camp sold the Lodge in 1945, and from then on through the 1950s, it changed hands a couple of times. Its fortunes changed and it became a hideout for gangsters and others of dubious reputation. Secret passageways and hidden rooms were installed and rumours circulated of bodies buried under the floorboards.

It was during this era that six year old Sarah Logan, niece of the then owner, drowned in the dining room brook. It is her ghost that is most frequently reported. She is often seen, wearing a 1940s style white and blue dress – probably her Sunday best – as she walks through the lobby or near the fireplace between the living room and the Brook Room. She is clearly at home in the building as she has also been reported sitting in the Fireside Room and playing on the balcony of the Brook Room. Owners and visitors alike have reported their sightings and it seems she appears in solid form, rather than as a translucent wraith.

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In the Brook Room, after the guests have gone, the glasses and plates still tinkle, and people carry on their chatter. A ghost of a woman has been seen, apparently crossing the brook, using a bridge that has long since been demolished. Could this be Sarah’s mother, looking for her? When the woman is sighted, she is often accompanied by the smell of gardenias – although none exist in the building. Her perfume maybe?

Are Sarah and her mother trying to be reunited? If someone could help them do so, would their hauntings cease? Even if they did, Brookdale could still lay claim to a ‘Most Haunted’ title. In addition to the sounds of ghostly diners, phantom dancers whirl and twirl around the Ballroom and, in the Fireside room and the Pool Room, if you listen carefully, you can still hear the big band play…

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Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:

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Can the living help the dead…and at what cost? 

When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.

But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.

You can find Saving Grace Devine in multiple e-formats at:

Samhain Publishing

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.ca 

Amazon.com.au 

B&N 

Kobo

and in paperback here:

Samhain Publishing

Save 30% off at Samhain for the month of July and save 50% off paperback with code Paperback50 at checkout!

Catherine Cavendish, Biography~

Catherine CavendishCatherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. . Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, has just been published by Samhain Publishing.

She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

You can connect with Cat here:

Website

Facebook

GoodReads

Twitter

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Feature Articles, Guest Posts

A Top Fave Book: Hell Hole, a Western Supernatural, Publishes Today from Hunter Shea

My very good friend Hunter Shea (www.huntershea.com), who has been launching his Kensington/Pinnacle book The Montauk Monster this summer (and I’ve had fun being publicist), has already published a new book with Samhain Horror today (July 1, 2014), called Hell Hole! I read Hell Hole about a year and a half ago as his first draft first reader, to lend any development editing suggestions or concerns. It certainly didn’t take me long to read through it, though nothing else got done that day.

I think he kicked up the sand with this book right from the start. His writing style reminds me of his whole personality, which is pretty high-octane. It isn’t a dull moment being Hunter’s friend and in helping him with his publicity and his books. He’s got mad skills, but he works awfully hard for it and at it, yet I never know what he’s going to say. I try to compete by making off the wall comments, but nothing stirs this guy! He’s a magnet for the creepy tales, so I suppose I should expect his writing to mirror things that will make my arm hair stand on end. He’s written a whole library set of books as of now and all are different, but all excellent.

Not knowing always what might come out of his head though, I wasn’t completely sure about the whole “western horror” books that a few of these guys were going to publish with Samhain (i.e. Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz came out in Feb. 2014–I ended up LOVING it). I certainly didn’t know what to expect when I dove into reading Hell Hole.

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I think this cover is so cool!! Right?

However, as with most Hunter Shea novels, and even though this one is completely different from anything else he’s ever written, I was completely immersed! He’s a GREAT writer, rarely needs copy editing, knows how to keep the action going, and he brings out the most in characters so that they really excel and are totally dimensional. I always immediately feel connected to his characters as if I know them personally. Not only that, they stay with me and are memorable–his stories never leave me, even with as many books as I read a year. He’s very visual and I can see the entire story running in my head, which normally is very hard for me.

With this one he also added the element of history (another fave of mine) by setting it during the time of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, when New York City cop Nat  is given an assignment in the mysterious. This gritty, sandy, dusty feel came through in his novel as Nat heads out west to Wyoming, and to a basically different world in this turn of the century time period, in search of finding out what is happening to the people going missing. Nat seems like Matthew McConaughey, his sidekick for-hire Teta, like Johnny Depp, and the lovely lady who’ll make an appearance, like Selma Hayek. Together, they’ll take on mysterious creatures and black eyed children….YEP, I’ll never enter a mine again. Well, I probably wasn’t going to anyway, but still, you know what I mean.

Hell Hole is scary good fun and IT MADE THE LIST AS  ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME in the horror genre, especially since it had a touch of history. I have a very hard time comparing his work to anyone else as I feel he is so original. But quite probably, I loved it as much and in the way I have loved Stephen’s King The Gunslinger since the first time I read it back in the early 90s.

Here’s the synopsis~

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.  

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine…as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

Sounds pretty entertaining? It’s highly recommended for any reader who likes a good historical with a clever mystery, some supernatural altercations, and the use of haunting enemies that are original and unique to what most writers are using. If you like Ghost Mine or Tales of the Unknown mixed up with the movie “Desperado” and some Larry McMurtry writing, this one is for YOU! It’s spooky, but for my readers who say no to blood and gore, no worries. This one is for the mainstream reader who like thrills and chills. I hope you check it out!

Purchase~

Samhain Horror (and you get 30% off new titles for 30 days)

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Hunter Shea, Biography:

hunter shea photoHunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, came out July1, 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

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Filed under Book Reviews

Octane Loaded Second Review of Jonathan Janz’s Vampire Western, Dust Devils! Plus an Interview (Squeal All You’d Like)!

At the time of the vampire western novel, Dust Devils, was releasing on February 4, 2014, I gave a partial review for author Jonathan Janz and promised I’d be back to give my full review. Here I am!! This month went way to fast and had way too many things happening. So I’m going to give you a snippet of my first review and then head into my review of the second half of the book!  Following that I have a HOT interview with Janz on his newest novel (I know, I know all you screaming fan girls already think he’s hot…well, just read the interview already!)!

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Excerpt from My First Partial Review of Dust Devils (find all of this previous post HERE)….

One of my author buddies, the one I think I like because I make him laugh, or maybe I try to make him laugh and he just smiles not really laughing….or maybe he is really laughing at me and not with me…..ah, I digress, no matter the case I actually like Jonathan Janz  AND his writing. Telling you he is a friend of mine doesn’t make my review, evaluation, or recommendation any less REAL. For me to tell you to read it, I have to like it.  My reputation is gold to me.  So, as my writing friends know, even if I dearly respect and admire you, I won’t sell your book as good if it is not. I’m honest and so honestly, THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ!!!

Now, about DUST DEVILS……published Feb. 4, 2014!

At least so far, I mean I am just a little behind (Feb. 3) and so only 40% in, but that isn’t because I’m NOT sitting here chomping at the bit, thinking of neglecting my children and feeding them bread crumbs while I finish the book. No, I will just torture myself by waiting until bed time and then stay up all night finishing it until I collapse and wake up clutching the comforter in a death grip from the vampirism terror I am bound to come across.

Reading this much so far though, I know a few things. It’s IS the best book I’ve read by him. And yes, I’ve said this each time, but he gets better each time and this one far exceeds any others. His characters have great dimensional depth and emotion. I already feel as if I know the two lead protagonists, Cody and Willet. I’m already pulling for them to leave the winners in any final showdown that may occur. I already know their fears and desires, have seen a father and son relationship blossom between a man who just found a boy who needed saving from some nasty actors, who just happen to apparently also be vampires. I love his use of the traveling stage play and traveling actors as the vampire’s cover and even enjoyed the scenes where they cooked human flesh on the spit….did I just say that?? Ok, ewwww…but it didn’t SEEM gross, because it is so well-done. Kinda like the troll scene in Lord of the Rings?

Janz uses techniques of Stephen King, such as in The Dark Tower series (he may not even realize it) and King’s overall style in creating a character in a way in which we HEAR what is happening in his head. Either through the character talking to himself or some reader asides. Ronald Malfi is a great literary author who also employs these techniques. Beyond that, King is great at creating characterization in which you feel a connection with characters. Janz is spot on in this regard. He’s slowed it down, which creates suspense, and also let his work breathe and live and roll around in your head.

I am not a western or country gal, I know this. BUT I do love history and this time period of the Wild West is so intriguing so I like the setting a lot and his details. I can tell he put a lot of research into the novel. I’ve enjoyed Larry McMurtry in the past, as well as Elmore Leonard. This type of literary western with some horror added to it seems to be blazing new trails. It’s working, at least in Dust Devils it’s a win. From a horror perspective, you might like it if you also liked From Dusk till Dawn. In a vampire market saturated with Victorian era night crawlers, I think, why wouldn’t they have gone through this time period of no holds barred outlaws, too? It’s fits them perfectly! It’s refreshing….well, in a scary way!!

And NOW, what did I think of the second half of the book, you say?? Readers, you’ve been waiting a month!!! Let me finally finish up my thoughts….

The continued spot on (can use that term for horror and not just my reviews for British authors??) in my book…err…in his book, well ok, you know. It continued on with great substance and speed, not falling apart of diverging from its proper path. If anything, it sped up. Ok, it DID speed up, with ALL and every ounce of adrenaline that is UNIQUE to Jonathan Janz. I saw Stephen King-like writing morph into pure Jonathan Janz and he should be proud of that. Why? Because just as I might pick up a book with a hidden cover and read part of it and say, that’s King…I can pick up one of Janz’s books and immediately pick out the writing of his as well.

That means he is an original voice, which creates a fan base and can sell someone ahead of the pack (my marketing mind at work). He’s one-of-a-kind. He leaves every bead of blood and sweat on the page as he writes feverishly with enough emotion and action to make my head spin off my neck. Every time I am reading Janz, I grab Tim next to me in bed and I say, “I can’t believe he is writing this, I can’t believe I am reading this” but he makes me want to read it. And then I even make Tim excited and he wants to read it, and Tim is so laid back it isn’t easy to get that result. Even as Janz assaults every sense, including my gag reflex, I want to read it. It’s like drugs and fuel and running on horror.

So there you go. Intense right? Well, that’s how Janz writes, intense. And he makes me want more of his writing like a junkie begging for his crack. As far as Dust Devils goes, he accomplished this once again so I only have him to blame that now I have the shakes.

I think Janz brought something new to us in Dust Devils in his portrayal of vampires. Not only did he rock killer vampires with evil motives, but he kinda made them zombies (and I hate zombie books and movies…darn you Janz!!) in a way too. They were ruthless. I think this was a spin I haven’t quite seen before, but you know these vamps ate people, didn’t just longingly lick their necks.

He writes the beginning character driven, with so much emotion. In Dust Devils, he explores loss, sadness, finding oneself, healing from hurt, father/son relationships, and love, romantic and for others. He takes on trust and choice and allows us to slowly know and care for the characters and feel terrified for them as things come to pass. Like King, he focus on the characters while we wonder about the dread that might be lingering somewhere in the background. However, unlike King who continues this still into the middle of most of his book, Janz starts to kick it up a notch eventually, leaving his original Janz mark of high-octane prose.

Then the ending….I can’t give it away even though I want to talk about it. But it left me in tears and my own heart on the table for the taking. He took us all the up to the height of emotional turmoil, then….ah, I wish I could tell.  I was so sad at the circumstances, even though I understood. It was such a special sacrifice and you’ll just need to read it to experience it. The very, very ending…it was more than lovely. It was touching, redemptive, and heart-felt. It showed that pleasure can exist with pain and love with loss.  It’s one I’ll always remember, I think, for its touching nature and silent message of hope. Yes, quite an array of emotions. I can only picture Janz as he is writing it….lol!

Final note, Dust Devils is one awesome book that I highly recommend as one of the best horror books I’ve read in a long time. It’s so well-rounded; he’s likely creating his own new brand of literary horror that pushes every single line imaginable.

One final, final note: It includes a lot of blood and gore. I never thought I’d say I would read that, even thought I like King, not any gory things ever graced my shelf. These horror authors I know, and Janz is the main one, have taken me to the very dark side of the dark side and showed me how to enjoy it, while still staying in the light.

Now on the INTERVIEW……

Hey, Jonathan! Glad to have you back on Oh, for the Hook of a Book! We’ve done a full-length interview in the past, but I wanted to have you drop in to answer just a few questions about your latest release, Dust Devils! What’s your drinking pleasure? Heck, for you I’ll even whip up something special….

Jonathan: I don’t drink much at all, but when I do it’s regular old beer. So…how about some no-bake cookies. Or just cookies. I’m not picky.

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Erin: Mmmm, I see you know me too well, assuming I meant alcoholic. *wink* We can drink iced tea or beer, I’ll go see what I’ve got.  Cookies, awesome, there you go! You know I’m great at baking (or in this case, non-baking).  For me, I’ll have a side of your nachos, did you bring any along?

Jonathan: I tried to bring some, but my son ate them before I left the house. He’s always eating my food.

Erin: Darn kids!! I’ll have to make own, hold on a sec and we’ll get started!! OK, here we go…

Q: You’ve grown so much into your role as an author since you and I first met! Since then you’ve started to push yourself and try new things within the horror genre. What made you decide to write a “western horror?” And further, where did you come up with and create your wild west vampires?

A: Thanks for saying I’ve grown. I think the idea of writing a horror novel set in the Old West came from my love of the western genre, as well as an affinity I’ve always had for vampires. I have very diverse tastes—I could see myself writing a thriller, a fantasy novel, or even a period romance someday—so to transition into a western sensibility wasn’t at all difficult for me. I’ve been enjoying western films since I was a teenager and reading western novels for about a decade. I think I’ve absorbed those films and books. From there, it was a simple matter of giving that part of my creative mind free rein. I had a blast writing DUST DEVILS, and I will definitely revisit the western at some point in the future.

Q: Have you notice any other new trends in the horror genre? Are you a trend setter or a trend follower? And why?

A: Definitely a setter, though I don’t want to imply that others follow me. The thought of anyone mimicking what I do is more than a little terrifying—for the human race. But I don’t look at trends that are occurring and think, “Man, I need to capitalize on that.” For me, the storytelling process is very personal, and that would make it difficult to write based on a trend. Ironically, I love zombies, yet I haven’t felt the need to write my own zombie novel yet. Maybe I’ll write one when they cease being popular.

Q: The themes you expressed in your novels such as relationships, loss, redemption, and fear are some important issues that make a horror book even more literary and create lasting connections for the reader. Was it challenging for you to open up yourself and be vulnerable with your writing?

A: Thank you for noticing those themes and issues. At first it isn’t difficult because you’re writing what’s in your heart and what’s on your mind. You’re solitary, you’re cloistered in an upstairs room (at least I am), and you’re just letting the story breathe. In the editing process it gets a bit more challenging because that’s when I start thinking like the reader. I see how raw the things on paper are, and I wonder how folks will react. But as long as what I’ve done works for the story, I leave it in. As you’ve noticed, DUST DEVILS deals with some very powerful emotions and themes, and I hope those elements make the story resonate in a more powerful way for the reader.

Q: What was your process for creating the depth in your characters?

A: I’m a believer in Stephen King’s “Boys in the Basement” concept that stories and characters are largely a part of a writer’s subconscious. In any scene, I really go by feel as much as intellect, and I allow what’s in my subconscious to spill onto the page. From there, I try to “method write,” which means—like method acting—I try to become (mentally/emotionally) the character I’m trying to draw. So with Cody, I went back to my twenties and remembered how incredibly insecure I was, and how much more pain I would’ve felt had I met a woman like Angela, the wife who betrays him. When I wrote the Marguerite character, I thought of how a proud woman would feel if she were physically and emotionally abused by a man who wielded power in a small town; I thought of how infuriating and hurtful it would feel to have no recourse for the wrongs done to me, and then how I’d react to this new stranger (Cody) who rides into town with his own demons. So by becoming Cody and becoming Marguerite, I tried to create a living, breathing relationship rather than a bunch of cobbled-together character traits.

Q: Who was your favorite character and why?

A: Wow, that’s a tough one. Either Cody or Marguerite or Jack Wilson (Cody’s dad). I mean, I love all the characters in DUST DEVILS (even the slimy sheriff), but the above three spoke to me the loudest. Cody because he experiences pain like few people experience. He’s humiliated, he’s broken, and he’s haunted by the mistakes he’s made. But he finds the courage to rally, and as hokey as that sounds, I loved that about him. Marguerite didn’t have the “screen time” that Cody did, but I felt like she had honor, brains, and a sense of humor. I thought she was a woman most men would fall for, even without her gorgeous looks. Jack Wilson isn’t in the book until the end, but he casts a shadow—or a light—over the whole narrative. He’s not perfect, but he’s the kind of dad I would have wanted when I was growing up.

Erin: Marguerite was MY favorite, probably because I recognize a lot in her of things I’ve been through and where I’ve come. I connected to her. I would love to read about her more. Maybe a prequel?

Q: I loved your cover art by Samhain artist Angela Waters. But can you describe how your vampires are different than most mainstream vampire characters many read today? What’s with the long yellowed fingernails anyway??!? It’s the one thing I remember scared me most about Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

A: Angela is amazing. I’m so glad you love her work too! Regarding my vampires, I think they’re a healthy blend of the bestial and the seductive. I feel like many portrayals swing too far in one direction (disgusting, unthinking monsters) or the other (supermodels with fashionably petite fangs). I wanted the vampires in DUST DEVILS to be the best of all worlds. They’re actors, first of all, so they needed to be physically attractive and seductive enough to lure beautiful women into their traveling show at each town.

Plus, they’ve lived for centuries, so that would indicate that they’ve acquired more knowledge than a normal man would have. So on one hand, they’re cultured, handsome, and urbane. However, they’re also slaves to their thirst and unable to resist the slaking of that thirst when presented with the opportunity to do so. And I thought that this facet was a logical gateway into the ferocity within them. They’re extremely prideful and full of rage, so when anyone threatens their supremacy, that atavistic belligerence explodes and leads to bloodshed and death. I think my vampires are as vicious as any in fiction.

As for the yellow fingernails, I modeled those off of my own, which are seven inches long and the color of dying sunflowers. Erin says: OMG!!!

Q: I noticed in Dust Devils that you slowed the beginning down to create character relationships and make us tense with suspense. Can you talk about that a little bit? After coming off reading such a high-speed action focused read like your Savage Species serial, how challenging was this? Which is your more natural writing style and which do you have to work more at?

A: I’ll start by answering the last part of your question first. Both styles are very natural to me, and I think the many other styles you see in my stories, from the 1920s journal entries in THE SORROWS to the fifteen-year-old points-of-view you’ll see in my YA book. I never want to write what isn’t in me, but frankly, I think there’s a lot in me. I’ve been reading from all sorts of genres and periods for a good while now, and I’ve always read with an intensity and interest that has allowed me to internalize the different kinds of writing to which I’ve been exposed.

So with SAVAGE SPECIES, I channeled my inner Richard Laymon and allowed that sensibility to coalesce with my own voice. In DUST DEVILS I really allowed the western stories of Elmore Leonard and Cormac McCarthy to permeate my language and rhythms. McCarthy, particularly, has a lyrical style that requires some patience of the reader, but that also rewards the reader with some lasting riches. In novels like LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER and VALDEZ IS COMING, Elmore Leonard really invites the reader into the inner lives of his protagonists, and I think this intimacy is what really allows their relationships with others to live on the page. Cody Wilson’s point-of-view is the only perspective we get in DUST DEVILS, and I think that allows us to experience what he experiences, feel what he feels, and suffer through the same difficulties. And I agree with you the characterization and the relationships are responsible for generating the suspense that exists in the novel.

Q: I know you have a sequel coming up for The Sorrows and maybe a YA novel (hand claps!!), but is there anything else in that never stopping brain of yours that you’d like to try writing?

A: I’m currently writing a novel that’ll come out in January of 2015 for Samhain Horror. In addition to that, I have a top-secret novella that’ll release this summer; it’s something I’m really excited about, though I’m not supposed to talk about it yet. This summer I’ll be working hard on finishing the first book of a planned trilogy. I have a ton of other projects simmering or incubating, but I’ll talk about those at a later date. Erin: Stomping in frustration from needing immediate knowledge.

Erin:  Thank for coming by, Jonathan!! I wanted to keep it short as your high octane personality has already shown through enough and I have nacho sauce on my chin. Wish all your readers could see your big personable smile (aw, I know you want them to see a serious, scary face of a horror author—alas, I’m just glad you finally showed your face!) It’s been fun, talk to you soon, and keep up your fabulous writing! Best of luck with Dust Devils, my dear friend!

Jonathan: Thank you so much for having me, Erin! It’s always a blast. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of all your friendship and support. You rock!

Dust Devils, Synopsis~

dustdevils-h-1Beware when the vampires come to town.

When traveling actors recruited his wife for a plum role, Cody Wilson had no idea they would murder her. Twelve-year-old Willet Black was just as devastated the night the fiends slaughtered everyone he loved. Now Cody and Willet are bent on revenge, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against.

For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. Even if word of their atrocities were to spread, it would take an army to oppose them. But it is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico, and there is no help for Cody and Willet. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.

Get it on-sale at his publsher, Samhain Publishing/Horror, in e-book for a limited time at:

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/dust-devils-p-73199.html

Author Jonathan Janz, Biography~

CraigJonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a way, that explains everything. Acclaimed author Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story.”

Samhain Horror published his novel of vampirism and human sacrifice The Darkest Lullaby in April and his serialized horror novel Savage Species this summer. Of Savage Species Publishers Weekly said, “Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror—Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows—will find much to relish.” His next release, the superhero/action/horror/thriller Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows, is available now through Kindle Worlds.

His vampire western Dust Devils just released this February of 2014, and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) will be published in July 2014. He has also written three novellas (The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Jonathan at www.jonathanjanz.com. You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

One of Jonathan’s wishes is to someday get Stephen King, Peter Jackson, Jack Ketchum and Joe R. Lansdale together for an all-night zombie movie marathon. Of course, that can only happen if all four drop their restraining orders against him.

For more information, go to www.jonathanjanz.com!

And just for fun, here is a picture of Jonathan Janz and I AGAIN–I love it!!! 🙂

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