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Vampires and a Bad Ass Heroine: Review of ‘The Crimson Calling’ by Patrick C. Greene

crimsonThe Crimson Calling by Patrick C. Greene is a suspenseful, fast-paced tale featuring a strong, bad ass heroine, and lots of non-stop action. It puts a new spin on vampire lore by combining the old myths with the modern military.

In a world where just a few hundred vampires secretly remain after the eradication of 1666, Olivia–Liv–Irons is a young woman with unusual military talents who is emotionally tortured by the loss of her child and the man she loved. One day, she is a approached by an ancient alluring vampire with a proposition she can’t refuse.

Now, it rests in her hands to save the good vampires–as well as humankind–from a sect of the evil undead who want nothing more than to rule the world on their own terms. Including turning humans into foodbags. But at the heart of this mission, there lies a secret…

Olivia is a lovable character, strong and independent, yet kind and vulnerable, the perfect combination with her bad ass attitude. There is also an array of interesting secondary characters as well as a villainess readers will love to hate. Intense and entertaining fight scenes between the immortals will satisfy fans of the military/vampire fiction sub-genre. Adding to this mix are the alluring forests and rolling hills of Eastern Europe, as well as erotic descriptions of vampire transformation.

Greene has a gritty writing style that doesn’t shy away from the nastier side of things–and language. His combat descriptions are awesome. At the same time, he does a skillful job in getting into the mind of his young and vulnerable protagonist, showing us her doubts and fears with a caring touch. The ending seems to be open to a sequel so I’m definitely looking forward to read more. Entertaining and recommended!

Find out more on Amazon.

Character Interview: Jimmy Wade from Russell James’ horror/thriller ‘Q Island’

We’re thrilled to have here today Jimmy Wade from Russell James’ new thriller, Q Island. Jimmy is a 24 year old career criminal living on Long Island, New York.

Hey, that’s a little, well, pejorative, I think’s the word. I’ve had jobs. They just don’t work out long term.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Jimmy. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers? 

Where do I start? Somehow at the end of this, I end up being the bad guy. The people who weren’t trapped on Q Island don’t know what it was like.

 When the Paleovirus broke out, it turned people into crazed killers. The government quarantined the island, locked millions of people in.

 People needed to survive. I needed to survive. If they were there, in my situation, they would have done all the same things. Maybe even worse.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Look, people got infected. I got infected. But I didn’t go bonkers, I improved. I was able to touch people’s minds, direct them to act certain ways. I used it to get control of Mozelle’s syndicate. I mean, they guy wanted to kill me. Who wouldn’t do that? How did that come across in the book as such a bad thing? 

I was the next stage of human evolution, like homo sapiens 2.0. Shouldn’t I do everything I can to keep my evolution progressing, to keep myself alive, to rule the people on Q Island? Sure, but this book twists all that around to make it look criminal.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m adaptable. If one plan goes wrong, I can switch to another right then.

Worst trait?

I was probably too tolerant of my goons who screwed up. I should have killed more of them earlier.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

I see it as a Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum kind of role. But Hollywood would just cast the usual bad guy in it, given the way this book is written.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Nah. I got more important things to do.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

There’s a scene where I let one of my men turn after he gets infected. I’ve got a plan for how he can help me. It’s a little gruesome, sure, and I don’t want to go all spoiler about it, but it was a real beautiful, transcendent moment. The book just makes it sound disgusting.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Melanie Freaking Bailey. All she had to do was hand her son Aiden over to me. Simple. I would have let her and her friends go about their lives. But no, she has to fight me, fight the infected, fight the government every step of the way. No common sense. No vision of my destiny at all. I’d hate to go through life that blind and ignorant.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

All I’ll say is, it could have been better.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

You know, now that you mention it, I could get a love interest. It would let me show the tender side that this book never dives into. Yeah, I could do that.

Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

If you do, next time I hope it’s from a writer who knows what he’s doing.

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Title:  Q ISLAND

Genre: HORROR

Author: RUSSELL JAMES

Website: www.russellrjames.com

Publisher: SAMHAIN PUBLISHING

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book

Epidemic! An ancient virus surfaces on Long Island, New York turning its victims into black-veined, infectious, psychopathic killers. Chaos and madness rule.  In desperation, the military quarantines the island, trapping Melanie Bailey and her autistic son, Aiden. Somehow, Aiden survives the infection. He could be the key to a cure—if Melanie can somehow get him to the mainland.

A taut, tense, terrifying thriller that teems with intensity, Q Island is an eerily realistic tale. With a chilling plot, compelling characters, and a pulse-quickening storyline, Q Island will leave readers breathless.  Earning nods as one of this year’s best horror novels, Q Island is an extraordinary story exceptionally well-told.

About the Author

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, Russell James now spins twisted tales best read during daylight. In addition to two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, James is the author of seven paranormal thrillers:  Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, Dreamwalker and Q Island. His next novel, The Portal, is slated for release in 2016. Visit him at www.russellrjames.com.

On the Spotlight: Nightscape: Cynopolis, by David W. Edwards

SYNOPSIS
 
Detroit’s eastside has seen its share of horrors. Once-proud factories gutted for scrap. Whole neighborhoods burned out and boarded up. Nature drained of color. But nothing like this: a thought-virus that turns the city’s dogs feral and its underclass into jackal-headed beasts.
 
The city erupts in chaos and nightmare violence. Communication in or out is impossible. The skies fill with lethal drone copters and airships bristling with heavy-duty cannon. Abandoned to their separate fates among hordes of monsters, the few surviving humans must find a way to elude the military blockade preventing their escape or to defeat the virus at its source—before government forces sacrifice them all.
 
Breakneck action, rogue science and deft portraiture combine for a grand and gripping tale of urban terror.
 
 
 
PURCHASE
 
THE AUTHOR
Website
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Facebook  /  Twitter
 Goodreads  /
YouTube

David W. Edwards is the writer, director and
producer of the feature film Nightscape and author of the novels Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils and Nightscape: Cynopolis. He attended the University of Southern  California’s prestigious screenwriting program and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature while working for a variety of Hollywood production companies. He’s the founder and former CEO of a successful high-tech market research firm, and a former two-term state representative. He currently lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his family.
 
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the entire NIGHTSCAPE
TOUR HERE

Book Review: The Book of Thoth, by Paul Leone

TheBookofThoth_fullsize

The Book of Thoth is volume II in Paul Leone’s Vatican Vampire Hunters series. Unlike the first book, which takes place in London, this one takes place in New York City, where not only criminals and the Russian mafia but also demon vampires roam the streets, preying on the innocent.

One night, beautiful Manhattan socialite Nicole Van Wyck is violently exposed to the hidden wars between the living and the damned, and discovers a secret band of vampire hunters posing as “Pelton Investigation.” Thus enter Wally, Marty, Sarah, Riley, and Lamar, who are more than dubious about letting what they believe is a spoiled “princess” join them – but that Nicole does, and with a vengeance.

Like soldiers of the night, or modern knights, they arm themselves with pistols, fireman axes, big scary knives, rosaries, crucifixes, and bottles of holy water in order to rid the city of these evil demons. Soon, however, they learned about a powerful vampire who is preying on young lives, a so-called “Count” who has a minion named Alice – both sadistically cruel and despicable villains who seem to be after a mysterious book of ancient secrets and magical wisdom, possibly written by the devil himself. Will Nicole and her new vampire-hunter friends get to them before they find the infamous Book of Thoth?

The Book of Thoth was an exciting read! I have to say, I enjoyed this instalment even more than the first. I loved the characters, from the protagonist – brave and noble Nicole Van Wyck, the NY-socialite-princess-turned-vampire-hunter – to the interesting array of secondary characters, to the two villains every reader will love to hate. There’s a lot of action fight scenes – very well done without being overwhelming, and the author did an excellent job developing the double chase as the hunters go after the villains and the villains go after the Book of Thoth.

There’s a lot of tension with just the right amount of comic relief. The dialogue is crisp and gritty, too. I also appreciate how the love-story sub-plot doesn’t get in the way of the main storyline. The ending is satisfying, sad and happy, all in one. In sum, I really enjoyed reading this novel and can highly recommend it to fans of Christian fantasy and vampire-slayer type tales.

Visit the author’s website.

Find out more about the book on Amazon.

View the original article on blogcritics.org

Character Interview: Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s psychological thriller, STRINGS

Strings_Cover_253x391We’re thrilled to have here today Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s thriller, STRINGS.  She’s coming to us all the way from the great state of New York.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Madam.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

It’s as truthful a portrayal as one can ask for. It was brutal and I wish people hadn’t seen some of the things that had happened, particularly with Victor, but I hope people can understand how trapped I felt.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m a survivor, through and through. Dante, my chosen father, taught me well in that regard.

Worst trait?

I crave power and control.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Frances Fisher or Tilda Swinton would be wonderful.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh Benny Rosen… I wouldn’t call him a love interest necessarily, though he nearly had me fooled.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I had a feeling it would all go south with Nina. There was always something about that girl…

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

As poorly as I have things, I don’t know that I could survive any length of time a captor in the Ballas house.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Some endings satisfy you. Others make you crave more.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

I suppose I could ask for mercy, but given my life up to this point, I should know better.

Thank you for this interview.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I don’t think I’ll be staying put for long.

—————————————————————–

Allison Author Photo1Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction living in Dayton, Ohio. Though STRINGS is her debut novel, she has been writing for a number of years, with several short stories (including “Dust” and “Under the Scotch Broom”) available on Amazon. Two of her stories were featured The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing. In 2014, Hobbes End will also be releasing her dystopian science fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, and she is independently producing her pulpy dieselpunk noir novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER to be released in November of 2013. When she isn’t writing, she’s one of the co-hosts of the weekly Creative Commoners podcast.  She might also be found gaming, watching movies, hiking the local nature preserve with her husband and two kids who also serve as willing guinea pigs for her many culinary experiments.

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Interview with Jeani Rector, Editor of The Horror Zine

 

earp1While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?

Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Dark River Press, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, and others.

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself and what got you into horror?

When I was a little girl, I spent nearly every Saturday night at my best friend’s house. We would try to stay up late and watch the Bob Wilkin’s Creature Feature here in Sacramento. (I say try because we always fell asleep on the floor in front of the TV). Wilkins always showed gothic vampire films and B-grade monster mashes. That started my love of the genre…and then came Carrie by Stephen King. Need I say more?

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

Every Christmas my mom (or was it Santa Claus?) would give me a Nancy Drew book. But I also loved reading about fairies, and odd monsters such as WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. I also had a favorite comic book about a ghost ship, but I can’t remember the title. Too bad I didn’t save it, huh!

Tell us about your anthology, SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE. What themes or ideas do the authors explore in the stories?

Glad you asked! SHADOW MASTERS goes from classic horror and exciting suspense to Twilight Zone-type speculative fiction with twisted endings. As the editor of an award-winning ezine, I have sought only the finest fiction for this book. SHADOW MASTERS combines best-selling authors with the most talented lesser-knowns.. Featuring never before published works from best-selling authors such as Bentley Little, Yvonne Navarro, Scott Nicholson, Melanie Tem, Elizabeth Massie, Earl Hamner, Simon Clark, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Ronald Malfi, Lisa Morton, Jeff Bennington, JG Faherty and many others, this amazing collection of works also includes a foreword from Joe R. Lansdale.

11736839-22769210-thumbnailWhat’s inside the mind of a horror writer?

An active imagination and the ability to ask, “What If?” Some of the best fiction in this genre takes a normal character and thrusts that character into an abnormal situation. In my mind, that turns into the scariest fiction of all, because it could happen to anyone, including you and me.

From the moment you conceived the idea for this anthology, to the published book, how long did it take?

It takes a long time to wait for the best quality to come across my desk. As the editor of The Horror Zine ezine, I receive submissions every day, a lot of them. I comb through the submissions to separate the good from the not-so-good, and once in a while, I receive a GREAT. This book contains the greats.

Who is your target audience? 

Anyone who enjoys roller coaster rides, or haunted houses, or tales told around the campfire. Anyone who remembers The Twilight Zone, or who reads contemporary Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Anyone who reads Joe Hill or Joe McKinney or loves zombies, vampires, and werewolves, but even more, those who love the unexpected, unusual monsters that are not over-saturated in today’s media. SHADOW MASTERS has a surprise or two up its sleeves.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? Did you have to pitch your idea first?

Fortunately, Cheryl Kaye Tardif and I have worked together before. Imajin Books has published an earlier The Horror Zine anthology titled WHAT FEARS BECOME: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE.

How easy or difficult is it to promote and market anthologies these days?

It is easier for me because I have an ezine that receives 30,000 hits a week world-wide. But for others, I would suggest developing contacts first before one tries to market an anthology. Book reviews are a great way to get word out about your book. On-line ezines are a great market for your book reviews.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work? 

LOL, I have been talking about The Horror Zine, maybe now it is time for you to see it for yourself. The Horror Zine is a monthly ezine that has been published since July 2009 here:

http://www.thehorrorzine.com

Do you have another book or anthology on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

At this moment in time, I am working on the 4th Anniversary issue of the ezine. Happy Anniversary to The Horror Zine, July 2009 to July 2013!

Purchase SHADOW MASTERS from Amazon (paperback) and on Kindle.

Book Review: Mysterious Albion, by Paul Leone

 

17605079The Catholic Church fights the Legions of Hell in Mysterious Albion, Book I in Leone’s Vatican Vampire Hunter series.

American college student Lucy Manning is visiting the London nightclub scene when she loses her best friend to a vampire. Traumatized by her friend’s death as well as by the fact that she herself was almost killed, Lucy flights back to the States.

But soon after, she is visited by two members of the Church — Father Gelasius and Sister Anne — who make her an offer she can’t resist.

Against her family’s wishes, Lucy heads back to London and joins a secret society of vampire hunters. Together with Father Gelasius, Sister Anne, and two other young members like herself, Lucy begins to fight the vampires who haunt the streets of night-time London — of course, not without going through a tough training first.

As more innocent victims disappear, it becomes obvious that the situation is getting worse…for an ancient, powerful vampire has risen from her slumber, and she’ll stop at nothing to shed rivers of blood upon the earth.

Mysterious Albion is an entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable read. I used to be a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and this story, though different in many aspects, has a similar tone that will be relished by fans of the genre.

Lucy is a very real, sympathetic character, and Leone did an excellent job in bringing London and the English countryside to life.

I also especially enjoyed the traditional vampire lore where vampires are depicted as evil monsters and not sexy creatures — quite refreshing!

This is Catholic urban fantasy, so there’s also a lot of religious references. However, I didn’t find these detrimental to the plot.

Witty dialogue isn’t lacking and there’s a fair share of fun battle scenes.

Recommended!

More on the author’s website. Purchase on Amazon and B&N.

Originally published in Blogcritics Magazine.

Book Review: Khost, by Vincent Hobbes

 

I was doubtful when I picked up Khost for review. I’d never read a military horror novel before, though I’ve always been a big fan of the first two Alien movies. The Alien movies are military science fiction, so I thought that perhaps the two genres would be similar. They were.

 

Well, as it turned out, I had no reason to be apprehensive. Khost was a very pleasant surprise, and I found myself caring about the characters and their predicament and engrossed in the story until the end.

 

The tale begins in 1984, with the Soviet Union engaged in the bloody war with Afghanistan. Afraid of losing, the Soviets develop a chemical weapon unlike any other in history, one with the power to enhance their soldiers in the battlefield.  They soon put it to the test in the province of Khost, where the Mujahideen hide inside a massive cave complex.

 

But things go awfully wrong. Instead of enhancing the humans, the chemical mutates them into beings that are way beyond human, into something horrifying and evil.

 

Move forward to 2010. The USA is at war with Afghanistan. And it becomes increasingly challenging in the province of Khost, where already an elite team of Delta Force Operators has gone missing. That is, except only one survivor, who has an incredible, terrifying story to tell, and whom nobody believes—nobody except the CIA, which soon sends a top-secret team to deal with the situation…

 

Khost is nonstop suspense, action, and thrills. The story moves at a heart-racing pace. The dialogue and descriptions ring with authenticity, and I was especially impressed with all the military language and details. I also found compelling the dynamic between the characters and their sense of comradeship.

 

None of them are your regular nice guy, yet they show admirable courage, honor, and responsibility for the wellbeing of their team. The scenes inside the cave are quite graphic and violent at times, but somehow they all felt essential to the story and not gratuitous. In sum, I enjoyed reading this novel and can fully recommend it to fans of thrillers, horror and science fiction, and well as those of you who would like to try something different.

 

Purchase KHOST on Amazon.

 

Character Interview: Abner Summeral from Patrick C Greene’s horror novel PROGENY

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Abner from Patrick C Greene’s new horror adventure PROGENY.  Abner is a fifty four year old hunter living in Eagle Ridge North Carolina. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Abner.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Progeny for mayraPleasure to be here, (ma’am/sir.) I reckon he done a right smart job-I was a skeered all over again, even after all this time, when I read his book. I would like to say that I don’t think I was quite as skittish as he made me out to be, but all them other fellers-the ones what stayed alive, they all say I was actin’ purdy womanly, and I gotta admit–I try not to think about it too much anymore, so I reckon I was frazzled, what with them monsters and the storm, and Zane arguin’ with that Owen fella.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

I aint claimin’ to be as brave and tough as our leader Zane, or even them other fellers. But considerin’ we was surrounded by huge monsters, in the dark, with rain a pourin’ and lightning crackin’, THEN they made me stay alone in that basement with a dead body, I think I deserve a little credit for not losin’ my damn mind! I mean, Mister Greene is the one tellin’ the story and all, and I don’t presume to tell him how to do his job, but I wouldn’t a minded him talkin’ ’bout me holdin’ it together while all that craziness was a goin’ on. I mean, there wasn’t no need to tell about me peeing myself.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Well, I’ve always trusted ol’ Zane to lead us in the right direction when push comes to shove-and he’s given me a pat on the back now and then for my loyalty. So I guess that’d be it-loyalty.

Worse trait?

Yeah, okay, I spook a little easy. Them monsters was the scariest thing I’ve ever known, so maybe I’ll be a little bit braver from now on.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

Now that’s a right nice question! I like ol’ Robert Mitchum, Clint Eastwood, fellers like that that you see in westerns, but I get the feeling they’d probably go with that guy that played Newman on that crazy Steinfeld show.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Well, no. I’m married, but that don’t come up in Mister Greene’s book. That fella Owen, the guy whose house we hid in, he got to get up with that nice lookin’ Deanne girl from the local tribe. Judgin’ by how little she was wearin’ when we got there, I bet…well, you know.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Zane was already in a sour mood when we started out on the huntin’ trip, ’cause we wasn’t supposed to be on Owen’s land.  Zane’s boy Byron didn’t wanna be there and they was arguin’, so we was all on edge a bit. Then Byron told that damn spooky story over the fire. Next day, wouldn’t you know it–Yancey and them saw that monster. We shoulda left right then and there–but that wasn’t how Zane wanted it. That’s when I knew we was all lookin’ at trouble.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Everybody had a pretty rough time that night, to say the least. But Mister Greenementioned the Sheriff comin’ in after all the mess.  He got away with not havin’ to deal with them beasts, or nothin’. So, even though he aint in the book much, I’d take his place in a heartbeat.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I’m just glad the whole thing’s over; and when I read the endin’ I’m glad all over again. That was the most terrifyin’ night of my life. He told it right, that’s for sure. We went through hell, if you’ll pardon my French.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

I’d just like to say, aint nobody wants to read about me peein’ myself when the shit hits the fan. Also, I’d like for everybody to know I aint that scared all the time no more. Least ways, I hope not, and I don’t feel the need to find out.

Thank you for this interview, Abner.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Might  be, but I hope it aint a monster story. None of us wants to go back up on that damn mountain. But I’ve always thought, when I’m all alone with my thoughts–aint nothin’ keepin’ them things from walkin’ offa their own territory. Leastways, I caint think of anything capable of stoppin’ ’em.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal patrick for mayrainvestigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes.

Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene’s writing.

Website: http://www.PatrickCGreene.com

Purchase PROGENY on AMAZON.

Beyond the Books with Maryann Paige, Author of Hidden Shadows


Maryann Paige was born in Brooklyn, New York, lived in Nevada and Texas and landed back in her home state.   She resides in the beautiful Hudson Valley and uses the area as the setting for her novels and stories. She attributes the idea for her first novel, Hidden Shadows to her younger son, who claims to have met the shadow people on a nightly basis.  After researching and learning of them, she decided to write a novel loosely based on her son’s experiences.  Please visit Maryann at www.maryannpaige.com to find out about her latest novel, Cemetery Gates.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Maryann Paige.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: Hidden Shadows was my first novel.  I have also released my second novel entitled, Cemetery Gates.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: The first book I had ever written was called They are Here, a science-fiction attempt, and something I would never try to bring to publication.  I was eleven years-old and had a bit of an obsession with the mysteries surrounding the Egyptian pyramids.  One can easily tell it’s a book written by a child.  It remains at the bottom of my junk drawer, exactly where it belongs.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: Hidden Shadows received close to eight rejections prior to making a sale.  It’s a cumbersome task because many publishing houses do not allow simultaneous submissions, so one presents their work and waits.  The time frame between penning the novel and publication of Hidden Shadows was about eighteen months.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: The rejections didn’t feel good.  Unfortunately, the publishing houses are so busy; they are unable to give any suggestions or tell a new writer where they have gone wrong.  However, I was determined and kept submitting my manuscript.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: Hidden Shadows was published by Club Lighthouse Publishing whom carries an array of all genres from erotica to horror.  Terri L. Balmer and her staff are amazing people and perfect for new writers.  I decided to go with CLP because Terri was responsive, professional and supportive.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: When I heard the news of be offered a contract by CLP for Hidden Shadows, I had burst out of my office at work, and jumped up and down.  It was very exciting.  I went home that evening and starting writing my third novel, Wolf Strap.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: The first thing I did to promote Hidden Shadows was to made flyers and put them all over my town, trying to drum up some interest in the book.  I think it was successful, too.  Anytime, I went into my favorite deli, the owner kept asking me for more leaflets.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: If I had it to do over, no, I would not choose another outlet.  CLP took a frustrating situation and turned it around for me.  I loved the individual attention I received, although I’m a new author.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: Oh, yes, I have grown as a writer.  Cemetery Gates has been released and I’m working on other novels, too.  I’m currently editing on my third novel, Wolf Strap, and can see how much I’ve grown as a writer.  It becomes easier to see your own mistakes, those wonderful grammatical errors, and where you need to slow down or speed things up within the story.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: If I had it to do over, I would have done more research on the publishing industry.  I had always focused only on the writing part.  If I would have had a better understand of the semantics of the industry, I would have known what to expect and that would have made it less frustrating.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: The biggest accomplishment for me since being published has been receiving a positive review from Bitten by BooksHidden Shadows received 4 out of 5 tombstones. The reviewer said she enjoyed the story, empathized with the characters and wanted more.  She also offered a critique on what she thought may have been a problem within the novel.  I welcomed it and have taken it into consideration for my future projects.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Writing is not how I’ve made my living over the past years.  Professionally, I have been a manager in corporate America for an import company.  I would love to hang up my business suit to write full-time, and am hoping someday I may be given that opportunity.  My business background has helped me in the writing profession.  Writing is so much more than penning a good story.  It’s a business and needs to be approached as such.  There is marketing, sales, art work decisions and many other things involved in each project.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: As my future as a writer progresses, I would love to eventually become involved in film.  I can see Hidden Shadows as a scary and interesting movie playing on Saturday night on the Horror or SyFy Channels.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: My final word to other writers is to believe in you.  Take your passion and keep writing.  Don’t let a day go by where you forget your dream.  And, today there are more opportunities than ever before to become published and get noticed.  The electronic age we live in makes all of this possible.  Keep up the good work!

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