Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz + Giveaway

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“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, this should please readers who appreciate a good haunting.”
—The Library Journal

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I love how authors are bringing back the classic shapeshifer characters.  This book is full of suspense along with your gore and of course a werewolf crisis!

There is a predator on the loose in the small town of Lakeview, which actually brings some excitement to the inhabitants.  All is well until a high school reunion brings together more than just old classmates, along with comes an ancient evil that no one is prepared for.

There’s an attack that doesn’t kill everyone…leaving a few survivors from the group.  Unfortunately we all know what happens when you survive a werewolf attack……the victims are changing and having unimaginable cravings.  Soon the town becomes a wolfland wasteland.

Perfect writing that will have you craving more from this author.  The plot was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat.  I was dreaming of werewolves in my sleep!  Highly recommend read!

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Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Land-Jonathan-Janz/dp/1619231166

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-land-jonathan-janz/1122266491

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5624/wolf-land

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Giveaway!!!

Enter to win ONE (1) print copy signed by Jonathan Janz of WOLF LAND! Click the link to enter. There are several things you can do to get multiple entries each day. Forward any questions to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI2/?

 

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We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk + Giveaway

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The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a new, fresh and exciting story ready for you to devour!  Brian Kirk’s writing is amazing to say the least.  In “We Are Monsters”, something dark has been released into the halls of the Sugar Hill mental asylum……although they do not have sharp teeth or claws, what you will unravel as you read will have you mind blown.

An extremely paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side has just been admitted to Sugar Hill.  Dr. Eli Alpert is smitten as he has been working on a cure of schizophrenia and a drug that returns patients to their former selves.  Or so they think….the drug is unapproved and the Dr.’s test subjects are living just inside his reach.

Due to some unforeseen side effects of the drug, the monsters inside the patients start seeping out in a dark, inky goo of inner demons.  Leaving Sugar Hill an extremely dangerous place.

This is a very original tale that will keep you enthralled though out the entire book.  A thought provoking and somewhat horrifying novel delivered to us by author Brian Kirk, served on a sterile medial platter for us to enjoy!  Great work, I look forward to reading more from this author!

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Praise for We Are Monsters

“Keep an eye on Brian Kirk. His ambitious debut, We Are Monsters, is a high-voltage thrill, like watching Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor and Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners on split screens. ” — Jonathan Moore, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Redheads

We Are Monsters is fantastic — a frightening and intense thriller and one hell of a debut novel. I was blown away. Brian Kirk is exactly what readers need — a talented new voice with original, awe-inspiring ideas that can push the genre forward.”
-Brian Keene, best-selling author of Ghoul and The Rising

“Brian Kirk’s debut We Are Monsters is a smart, elaborate novel that weaves together the best and worst of us. Complex, terrifying, and still humane, this book moved me to both horror and compassion, and that’s a difficult thing indeed. Easily the best book I’ve read this year.” (Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy.)

“A tightly woven tale from an author who has a heart, and that makes me excited to see what else Kirk has in store for us. The whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.” (Ginger Nuts of Horror)

“Brian Kirk’s debut novel We Are Monsters is a sure bet. A hippy-trippy jaunt that goes deep into the baser things we keep bottled up… and what happens when they’re freed. Highly recommended!” (John F.D. Taff, Bram Stoker nominated author of The End In All Beginnings.)

“A disturbing, gets-under-your-skin debut novel. I expect to read much more from Kirk in the future.” (Robert Ford, author of The Compound and Samson and Denial.)

“Cleverly told. Psychologically complex.” (Scarlet’s Web)
“A gorgeous display of conceivable terror that resonates long after reading.” (Ranked as one of the Top Ten Horror Novels of 2015 by Best-Horror-Movies.net)

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Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Monsters-Brian-Kirk/dp/1619229803/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-are-monsters-brian-kirk/1121694935?ean=9781619229808

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5494/we-are-monsters

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Giveaway!!!

Click the rafflecopter link below and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Brian Kirk! You can perform several tasks for entering each day here or at each stop that posts the giveaway link. Best of luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI1/?

We Are Monsters tour graphic (1)

 

 

Author Interview…Brian Kirk, author of “We Are Monsters” + Giveaway

brian kirk

Well, aside from writing fiction, I’m a father of five-year-old identical twin boys: the rarest form of human offspring (a very technical term for kids). Only fraternal twins are hereditary; identical twins are a random anomaly. So it came as quite a surprise. In fact, the first thing I did when I found out was Google search the phrase, “The best thing about having twins.” I needed a pep talk.

Actually, it turns out I didn’t. We were blessed with wonderful boys. Raising them has been a special privilege.

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author-interview

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

 

Reading and writing have been the two things I’ve enjoyed above all else for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’d say that learning how to read is one of my favorite memories. I’ll never forget begging my teacher to let me take my lesson book home to show my parents what I had learned. What I had unlocked. Because that’s how it felt, as though I had broken some kind of seal. One that allowed me access to all the stories in the world.

 

And I realized I had somewhat of a talent for telling stories early on, as students started looking forward to hearing my stories read aloud in class. My English teachers all encouraged my writing, and I won a poetry contest in 5th grade from a homework assignment that my teacher submitted on my behalf.

I took a brief detour after college when I set out to start my “big career” in advertising. But the urge to tell stories never left, and I soon returned to writing in the evenings and weekends, or whenever the bosses weren’t around. At some point I started submitting my work for publication and, after accruing a massive stack of rejections, finally sold one. Then another. After a while I decided to quit my full time job at the ad agency to work freelance and write a book. That’s how We Are Monsters came about.

 

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

 

We Are Monsters is a story about a brilliant, yet troubled psychiatrist named Alex Drexler who is working to create a cure for schizophrenia. At first, the drug he creates shows great promise in alleviating his patient’s symptoms. It appears to return schizophrenics to their former selves. But (as one may expect) something goes wrong. Unforeseen side effects begin to emerge, forcing prior traumas to the surface, setting inner demons free. His medicine may help heal the schizophrenic mind, but it also expands it, and the monsters it releases could be more dangerous than the disease.

 

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

 

I’d say it chose me. Since as early as I can remember, my imagination has always veered into dark places. Which is strange, as I’m generally a cheerful and optimistic person. In fact, most authors of dark fiction are. Conversely, many comedians tend to be somber and depressive. There seems to be some counterbalancing agent at play. Maybe we’re so cheerful because we exorcise our demons, and comedians are depressive because they export all their joy.

 

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

 

My favorite part was writing, “The End.” I’m not sure anything beats that feeling. My favorite chapter was probably the first chapter, which I actually wrote last. This was my first novel-length work of fiction, and I was intimidated by the scope of the project heading into chapter one. Despite having already written and published several short stories, I found that I had inflated the importance of writing a book so much that it suddenly seemed insurmountable. I had made it a seminal moment in my life, setting the nonexistent stakes unreasonably high. And so I started out tentatively, on shaky knees that were threatening to buckle under the weight of such a heavy load.

Rather than give in to this early desperation, however, I just kept going. I was struggling with the first chapter, so I skipped it, and started writing the second one. This one began to flow better. My word count increased, and I fell into a rhythm as the story started to take form. By the time I finished the first draft, I had a clear idea of the story I was trying to write and was able to return to the beginning and write the first chapter with the confidence that eluded me when I started out.

 

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

We Are Monsters takes a close look at the world of mental illness. This is not only a subject I find fascinating, it’s an issue I personally face, having dealt with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) my whole life, a condition that, for me, produces chronic anxiety, physical tics, negative thought loops, and bouts of depression.

While I conducted a great deal of research to understand the mindset of someone suffering from a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, I was able to pull from my personal experience in dealing with panic attacks and so forth when describing what certain characters were going through.

Nice to turn those delirious nights where you irrationally think you’re going to die into something positive!

 

 

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

 

While I read broadly, and have been inspired by a spectrum of authors, the biggest influence has been Stephen King, who I was fortunate to meet a few years ago. I literally ran into him at the entrance of a hotel in Atlanta. I was so stunned that, without thinking, I reached out, took his hand and said, “Mr. King.” Equally stunned, he shook it. If I were thinking clearly I would have left it at that. But I wasn’t, so I started to blab, “I’m an aspiring horror writer who has published a few short stories and just started writing my first novel. I owe all my inspiration to you.” More gratuitous praise followed, I’m sure.

He received the praise graciously, untangled himself from my grasp, and started to stroll away before a crowd could form (it was just the two of us). Then he stopped and turned. “Hey,” he said, catching my eye. “Good luck with your work.”

Not story, not book. But work. That was a fine moment.

 

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

 

I’ve experienced times when I felt like it was more difficult to write than others, and/or that my writing was not as fluid or precise. I feel like there are ebbs and flows in all things. The best pitcher in the major leagues can throw a no-hitter one day and not find the strike zone the next. That’s why showing up every day whether you feel like it or not is so important. You never know when you’ll have your best stuff.

When I’m blocked for longer than a week or so I find that it’s usually because I’m trying too hard, or because I’ve allowed for my inner critic to become too loud. Trace it back, and the blockage is often caused by fear. The best remedy for that, in my opinion, is to try and express whatever it is you’re trying to say as plainly as possible, without worrying about the outcome or quality of prose. Turn your mind off and open your heart and sooner or later the blockage breaks and the words begin to flow.

 

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

 

While I enjoyed meeting Stephen King, as described a couple of questions ago, I prefer to let an author speak through their work. We often paint a picture of what we think a certain person is like, especially someone we idolize, when the reality may be quite different, which can be disappointing. I’d hate to have an unpleasant encounter with an author taint the way I view his or her work.

I think it would be cool to meet Helen Keller, though. Writing can be so hard with all of today’s modern conveniences. I’d love to hear her talk about overcoming obstacles and the power of perseverance.

 

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

 

I have a new short story titled Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave coming out in the anthology, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, alongside two of my idols: Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. When one of the editors, Doug Murano, announced the story he said, “This is the kind of story that starts book burning parties,” which leads me to believe the story works. I’m honored to be part of this project, and can’t wait for the anthology to come out.

In addition, I am currently working on the second book in a trilogy of dark sci-fi thrillers. The first book is complete and currently in the hands of a literary agent whom I’ve recently signed with. We are putting the final touches on the book and plan to submit it to publishers early next year.

 

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Ah, hindsight…

No, to be honest I’m pleased with the way things have gone so far, and feel very fortunate for the opportunities afforded me. I’m happy to have worked with one of the legendary horror editors in the industry, Don D’Auria. I’m blown away by the praise the book has received from authors whom I’ve long admired like Brian Keene, Mercedes M. Yardley, Jonathan Moore, and John F.D. Taff. And I’m thrilled by the generous reviews and kind feedback I’ve received from readers.

While there may be some structural changes I’d make to the book through the lens of additional experience, that would negate the clumsy rawness that comes with a debut novel.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

First, don’t listen to me, as I don’t know shit. But, if forced, I’d say the following:

Never settle for something that feels safe. Always strive to surprise yourself. Try and make yourself laugh, gross yourself out, make yourself mad. Write stuff you’d never want your parents to read, then send it out. Write what you fear is way too strange or personal to be published and then make it as good as it can be. Know that everyone secretly believes their work sucks but they keep doing it anyway. Rebel against your inner critic.

 

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

To anyone who has read, or is considering reading my debut novel, We Are Monsters, I would love to say, “Thank You!” I hope it was, or will be, a great ride.

In addition, I would love to connect with folks through one of the following channels. Don’t worry. I only kill my characters.

Brian Kirk

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

We Are Monsters tour graphic (1)

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Click the rafflecopter link below and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Brian Kirk! You can perform several tasks for entering each day here or at each stop that posts the giveaway link. Best of luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI1/?

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Monsters-Brian-Kirk/dp/1619229803/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-are-monsters-brian-kirk/1121694935?ean=9781619229808

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5494/we-are-monsters

 

Author Interview….Erika Swyler, author of “The Book of Speculation”

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I’m a in love with learning. I’m happiest when I’m figuring out how to do something new. Sometimes that means I know just enough to get myself in serious trouble. Generally, it means I’m looking at something and thinking of how I could make it myself, better, and on the cheap. That’s probably how I wound up being a writer who draws, bakes, binds books, and does calligraphy.

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Erika:  I’ve always been writing. I recently unearthed a pot boiler thriller I wrote in the third grade. I didn’t start pursuing writing as a career until my twenties. Final edits on The Book of Speculation were completed in 2014, though you never really stop working on a book. Every time you pick it up to read, you change a word. I’m still writing it, though no one’s paying attention to my little edits.

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

Erika:  The Book of Speculation is about a librarian who receives a mysterious book that reveals a curse that’s been killing women in his family for 250 years, including his mother. His sister is poised to be its next victim. It follows Simon as he tries to break the curse, and his ancestors—a mute tarot card reader and a carnival mermaid—who live and work in a traveling circus in the 1790s. It’s a book about the magic of books and families.

Click on the book to see my review!

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Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Erika:  I tend not to write in a single genre, instead pulling elements from many. I like the romanticism of fantasy, the pacing and thought that comes with mystery, historical fiction’s escapism, family saga’s emotional intensity, the allegory of fairy tales, pretty much everything magical realism does, and literary fiction’s devotion to language. I read all over the map, so it only made sense to try to use what I like best in what I write. I find the idea of trapping something in a single genre to be more limiting to readers than helpful. The word genre also comes with a stigma. To me, labeling something as a particular genre is the best way to ensure that lots of people who might otherwise enjoy a book won’t find it. That’s a shame.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Erika:  I got to write some truly terrible weather in this book. Writing bad weather is a joy. When you’re writing terrible weather you know you’re writing something everyone can connect with, because we’ve all suffered through it. Weather spares no one. Essentially, huge storms or weather events are scenery chewing, going-for-the-Oscar moments. Late in The Book of Speculation I decimate a historic building, which was deeply satisfying in a way I shouldn’t examine too deeply.

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Erika:  The fictional town of Napawset draws heavily from the area around where I grew up. If you drive along Long Island’s North Shore after reading the book, it will feel achingly familiar. The contemporary storyline has emotional roots in my own experience of growing up in a small shore town. The 1790s narrative is entirely imagined, save for the historical details. Much as I wish that I’d run away with a traveling circus, I haven’t. I’d still like to though. Desperately.

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Erika:  Geek Love is the most influential book in my life. I picked it up in college and was totally smitten. To this day I haven’t encountered another book like it. The voice is fierce, unapologetic, and bawdy. Olympia is the boldest narrator—male or female—I’ve ever read. It’s impossible to read it without having a very strong opinion about it. That’s what I want from every book. I’ve been known to judge whether or not I can be friends with someone based on their opinion of Geek Love. I like to gift it to people and watch them squirm as they read.

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Erika:  All the time. There are plenty of days when I sit down and it just won’t happen. I swear a lot. I try to do other things, draw, read, take walks, anything that will get my brain moving away from feeling stuck. The antidote to writers block is change. And forgiveness. You have to forgive yourself for not being brilliant. That said, working on those two things is as difficult as the writing process itself.

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Erika:  I’d very much like to meet Kirsty Logan. The Gracekeepers was recently published and it’s perfect. I’d love to be able to tell her that in person. In my imagined meeting there is tea, and we get to talk about folklore, fairy tales, and trashy television. Sadly, there’s a large ocean preventing that meeting.

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

Erika:  I’m in the very early stages of my next book. I can tell you that I’m exploring concepts of time, that it’s set in Florida, and it revolves around a young girl and science. Everything else will shift as I go. Books have a way of turning themselves inside out as you write them.

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Erika:  I wish I could have worried less. It’s so easy to become neurotic during editing and prepublication. I wore myself out with worry. During revisions, editing, and the period before launch you get these intense fears that you’re letting people down. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that your book isn’t just yours anymore. It belongs to you, and everyone who works with you. The sooner it becomes less me and more we, the better.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Erika:  Get off the computer and write longhand when you can. You’ll worry less and write more. You’ll edit when you type it up later. If you write longhand, you’re far less likely to lose a draft to a ham dinner colliding with a keyboard.

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Erika:  Thank you. May you all one day write books and have people be as kind to you as they’ve been to me. It’s humbling, and I’m profoundly grateful.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

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The book is a beautifully broken window with an obstructed view of what is killing us, and something is definitely killing us.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I would like to thank the author for sending me her book! Right from the start this book draws you in and I simply couldn’t stop reading.  This unusual story, revolves around a very old book and the people connected to it.

Simon Watson lives under the weight of his family’s past. His mother, a circus performer, drowned when he and his little sister Enola were children, leaving the family heartbroken and even more dysfunctional. Her death is strange because as the circus’ mermaid she was able to hold her breath for long periods of time. When Simon receives an old book from a complete stranger, he discovers that his family’s cursed past and present are blended in unexpected ways. The book leads him to suspect that Enola may be in danger.

After doing some digging, Simon discovers that the book is a daily diary of sorts detailing the events of a travelling circus in the 1800s. Moving back and forth in time between Simon’s current life and the story of the people within the book, this is a fascinating story that is both well developed and well constructed.  Fans of “Water For Elephants” and “The Night Circus” should find extreme enjoyment from this book!  I loved the writing style, the incorporation of sketches and passages in handwriting.  This book is haunting and certainly builds in tension and intrigue.  I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!

*Featured Author of the Month…Ronald Malfi* Interview & GIVEAWAY!

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Praise for Ronald Malfi and his novels

“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
—FearNet

“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books

“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon

“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly

“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”—Suspense Magazine

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Ronald is a 38, a native New Yorker who transplanted to Maryland when he was just a kid, married to a psychologist (read into that what you will), and the father of two young girls.  His newly released book “Little Girls” is amazing and you should check it out!!

(Click on the book to read my review!)

Little Girls small

(Click on the book to read my review!)

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Ronald:  I started writing, at least with some sort of discipline, when I was around 10 years old or so. I had an old manual typewriter and would hammer out scores of short stories, for which I would draw covers and staple the “books” together so I could pass them out to friends and family to read. My first published book was released in 2000, a year after I graduated college—it was a desperate attempt to stave off having to get a real job after graduation—but I had written several novel manuscripts much earlier than that. I was probably in my early teens—maybe 13 or so—when I finished my first novel-length manuscript. I still have all of these stories packed away in steamer trunks in my basement.

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your newest book, “Little Girls.”

Ronald:   Little Girls is about Laurie Genarro’s return to her childhood home after the apparent suicide of her mentally unstable and distant father. Along for the ride are her husband Ted and daughter Susan. While staying in the house, Laurie begins to uncover secrets about her family’s past while Susan befriends a peculiar little girl living next door—a girl who is the spitting image and, as Laurie comes to believe, the possible reincarnation of a terrible little girls who had lived (and died) next door when Laurie was a child.

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Ronald:   I’m not sure any writer actively “chooses” their genre. I’ve always been attracted to dark things, even when I was younger and afraid of those very same things that also piqued my curiosity. I’ve written some more “mainstream” fiction in the past, but even these stories tend to have a darkness about them.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Ronald:  Very interesting question!  There’s a section late in the novel where Laurie ruminates on the fears she had when she first learned she was pregnant with her daughter Susan.  There’s a passage where I relate those fears, and describe how she began to see young children in the wake of those fears—children as horrid, disgusting, tiny people, so strange and unappealing that they’re depicted almost like aliens or monsters.  For some reason, I love that passage.  I think I managed to touch on some of the things childless people might think about other people’s children—the rudeness of them, the brazen effrontery, the grubbiness of their little hands and dirty clothes. It was a lot of fun to write.

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Ronald:   There’s always a little bit of real life that seeps in—the occasional anecdote or character trait, something like that. But for the most part, the characters are wholly fictional creations, and the stories that they populate come from that place where all stories come from—which is to say that, perhaps subconsciously, there are parts of real life tucked away beneath the veneer of fiction. But I rarely use real life experiences in my fiction.

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Ronald:  Oh, there are so many. I’m still influenced by authors and books, almost every time I read a new author or a particularly wonderful book. Early on, Stephen King was a huge influence, of course. Later, I grew to love the works of Peter Straub. And while I still adore Ernest Hemingway’s fiction, there was a period of time, right after college and a few years thereafter, that I was obsessed with his work and reread his novels until the pages of the books fell out. “The Sun Also Rises” still stands as my favorite novel.

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Ronald:  You know, I used to joke that I was too unimportant to suffer writer’s block. I think maybe that was a glib answer at the time. I’ve gone through periods of stagnancy, questioning what I’m writing, if it’s good enough, if it fits what my current editor is looking for, that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, I somehow manage to get over that hump and get back to the stories.  And once I start writing, I’ll go off and knock out maybe 20 or so pages at a time.  When I’m really cooking, I can finish a whole novel in about two months.

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Ronald:  I guess it would be something to meet Stephen King, more for bragging rights than anything else.  I’ve met Peter Straub, albeit very briefly, a few years back in New York, but I would certainly welcome the opportunity to sit down with him and pick his brain about his books.  His writing is very layered and seems to allude to hidden truths between the lines, and I’d love for him to wink conspiratorially at me and let me in on all the little secrets that make his books so brilliant.

Sierra: Will you have any new books coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

Ronald:  Next year will see the release of a novel called The Night Parade. It’s about a father and daughter on the run from the government and police during the final stage of a disease epidemic that has wiped out much of the population.  While it’s arguably an end-of-the-world novel—something I thought I’d never write—it’s much more intimate in its scope and is really about the relationship between the father and his daughter. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Ronald:  I think my drive for having a book published superseded my ability at the time. My first novel was a thing uncooked, and should have remained in the steamer trunk with the other early attempts. However, it was published and was instrumental in starting my career, as it helped me gain a small audience and ultimately led to my second book deal with a better publisher. Thankfully, that first novel is long out of print, though I’ve been alerted to a few copies for sale out there on the secondary and tertiary markets for exorbitant and ridiculous prices. Save your money, folks.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Ronald:  The advice is always the same—if you want to write, you must read.  Read everything, and read a lot. And when you’re not reading, you should be writing, of course.

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Ronald:   I’ve just been overwhelmed by the positive responses from my readers and with the wonderful emails I receive from fans.  The horror community is a wonderful brotherhood (and sisterhood) of supportive peers and dedicated fans. It’s great to be a part of it.  And thanks for your time, too, Sierra. Much appreciated!

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Links to Purchase

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Girls-Ronald-Malfi/dp/1617736066

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-girls-ronald-malfi/1120137979?ean=9781617736063

Or pick up or ask to order at your local independent bookstore or anywhere e-formats are sold!

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Author Interview with Michael Pang, author of “In the Eyes of Madness” – *BOOK GIVEAWAY*

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Michael is 31 years old and is married with two kids. He was born in Hong Kong and moved to the US when he was about 3 years old.  Michael grew up in Central Florida and went off to Atlanta for college. He graduated from Georgia Tech back in 2005 and worked for an energy company as a project engineer up through 2013.  In 2014 he started working for an IT company as a project manager.

“I am a person that gets bored extremely quickly, so I like to dabble in a lot of different things.  I have many passions in life that keep me from being idle.  Writing and reading, of course, being two of my passions, have taken up much of my time.  Other passions that indulge upon are Cooking, Eating, Singing, and teaching.”

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Michael: I’ve always been very addicted to reading urban fantasy novels.  After a long day at work, it feels great to be able to dive into a book where I can be drawn into a world that parallels my own, but filled with magic and wonder.  If I had a good book in front of me, I used to be able to stay up all night reading (gone are those day though; I have kids now and I try to get as much sleep as I can get).

Although, I’ve always wanted to pursue writing, I didn’t really attempt writing a book until one night when I had a very strange dream about 4 years ago.  My wife and I had our first baby. Months of sleepless nights went by and we both looked like zombies. Then, one night a very strange dream (more like a nightmare) came to me about a teenager working in a mental asylum. The patients there were all gaunt and ghastly with very abrupt demeanor changes. Some of the things the patients were doing were fairly odd and supernatural (like levitating, retrieving objects via telekinesis, and speaking with multi-vocal projections). And I remember wandering to myself, are these people all just insane or demon possessed. Then the teenager went into a room and called the patient residing in the room, “mom.”  She turned around abruptly, and the expression on her face was terrifying as she pounced on him. I woke up immediately. As shaken from the dream as I was, I couldn’t help wanting to find out what happened to the teenager.  I tried to go back to sleep in hopes of getting the dream to continue.  But it didn’t work.  The next morning, I told my wife about the strange dream and how I had hoped that it had continued when I went back to sleep.  So my wife told me that it sounded like it would make an excellent novel and that I should write my own ending.  And I did.

It took me about two and a half years to finish the story.

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

Michael: .It is a Young Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy that is book 1 of a book series called Declan Peters Chronicles.  The story is about a 17 year old boy who had an traumatic experience when he was seven.  His mother went insane and tried to drown him.  Now that he’s graduated from high school, he starts working for the institution here is mother is being cared for.  Strange things start happening around him, and he afraid that he might have inherited his mother’s mental illness.  The story surrounds all the different discoveries that he makes about himself during this time.  Are there really supernatural things happening around him, or has he truly inherited his mother’s condition.  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

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Click the Photo to see A Simple Taste for Reading’s Review!

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Michael:  Since the whole story came about from a nightmare I had, I’d have to say that I didn’t choose it; it chose me.  I hope I didn’t sound too much like a mystic there.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Michael: My favorite part in the book (without giving too much away as a spoiler) is the scene where Declan comes to a realization about his own state of mind and what he can really do.  That feeling of being free from all the baggage that he had been carrying for 10 years, made me leap a little bit as I was writing it.  I’m sure that there is always something about yourself that you are self conscious of or you don’t like (whether it is something that has happened in your past or something about yourself physically).  And sometimes, you can get obsessed about it so much that it consumes you. But learning to like yourself for who you are and how you got there is probably one of the most freeing experiences of your life.

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Michael: The story is mostly imaginary, being that it originated from a dream.  However, there are a lot of moments throughout the story that has very intense emotions, that are reflections of the emotions that I’ve had in different parts of my life.
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Michael: I’m a big paranormal fiction fan. A few of my favorite writers are Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan. Jim Butcher has definitely influenced some of the ways I write my fight scenes in the book as his books are always so packed with supernatural action.  And Simon R. Green always has such witty characters that are very unique.  And Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan simply have a way of creating a world that draws you in.  These are all amazing writers and I really hope that one day I can attain their level of excellence.

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Michael:  I’m not sure if it really counts, but I honestly cannot sit and write for more than two hours at a time.  My brain feel like a bowl of pudding after that.

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Michael: Jim Butcher!  The Dresden Files is my absolute favorite book series of all time.  I’ve probably re-read the entire series at least 4 times.  The world that he built in his book series is so intricate that every time I re-read it I realize that I had missed something important the previous times.

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

Michael:  Not quite in the near future.  I’m still in the beginning stages of writing book 2 of the Declan Peter’s Chronicles.  And concurrently, I’m working on a spin-off book series that goes back to the genesis times, starting with the first Nephilim.   And yes, there will be crossover characters.  You have to read it to find out how.

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel for getting it published that you would change?

Michael: No, I like the story as it is.  However, I’d like to believe that my writing has improved since then, and just rewrite the whole thing!  Haha!  But I feel like, I’m always going to feel that way as I continue down my writing journey.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Michael: As my wife was reading some of my first drafts, I kept hearing sighs and grunts.  And I ask her what was her deal, and she told me “Don’t just flat out tell the readers what is going on all the time, you have flirt with them.”

You don’t’ want to be so cryptic where you readers are confused about what’s going on in the story, but also don’t just give it all away!  Tease them! Make them work for it! 😉

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Michael:  I’d just like to thank all the readers for their support.  I know that some of the topics touched upon in the novel can be quite taboo in certain arenas.  But, I feel that it’s what makes for an intriguing tale!  I hope you enjoyed the first book enough to continue with the series because it’s really about go deeper into the madness!

Click On the Book Cover to Enter to Win a  Digital Copy of “In the Eyes of Madness”!25466295