Title: Kavachi’s Rise
Series: The Devouring #1
Author: Mike Kearby
Genre: Damnation Books
Publisher: Horror, Thriller
A Dark Secret. Thomas Morehart and his sister, Kara are vampyre, not the undead, but creatures evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to mimic their prey, man. Then – rescued from a Nazi Prison Camp, Thomas and Kara are brought to the U.S. and forced to work inside government-owned mortuaries. Now -betrayed by the government sixty-seven years later, Thomas and Kara are in a race against time to transform back to their feral states or risk Exsanguination by government sanctioned hit squads.
The soldiers knew this lieutenant. Knew of him, anyway. Nikolai Borisoff was his Russian name, but if all the rumors were true, nobody knew his real name. Others of his kind referred to him as, “Rom baro,” the big man. But in the stories he was known simply as the necromancer hunter.
“Shall we put him in with the others, sir?” one soldier asked.
Nikolai ignored the question and squared himself off to stand face-to-face with the prisoner. He stared into the darkness of the creature’s eyes. “How do you write yourself?” he asked in Amria.
The creature stopped rocking. He looked up and opened a dark pit of a mouth. A word tumbled out: “Death.”
Nikolai frowned, “But where are the others?”
Death tilted his head right and left, like a confused animal trying to make sense of an unfamiliar sound. After several seconds of the head movement, he parted leathery lips and emitted a rattling laugh.
“Yes, the others, like yourself.”
“Killed, dead. All meat.”
“In the showers?”
“A death they would have welcomed.”
Nikolai leaned back. He stared across his left shoulder, down the rows of barracks where the camp’s prisoners were being assembled. The 48thhad found only a handful of them, yet intelligence had said there would be thousands. Reports had indicated as many as twenty thousand. He turned back to Death.
“Where?” he asked.
Death lifted his chin toward the camp entrance. “There,” he whispered. “Only a short way from the death gate. Toward the sea.”
Nikolai looked past the gathered prisoners and through the opened gates of the camp. Pine and aspen lined the road for as far as he could see. He turned back, questioning, “In the woods?”
“In the ground.”
Nikolai frowned. “Can you show me?”
Death shook his head. “I prefer here. It’s very bad luck to go to that place.”
Death began to rock again. “It’s a madhouse filled with all kinds of madness.”
Nikolai studied Death’s face. “Then you’ve been there?”
Death wagged a finger in Nikolai’s direction. “Oh, I went there once. It might even have been twice or maybe three times. I can’t be sure, for the madness takes away one’s sensibility.”
“And your job there?”
“I helped push the carts back to this camp.”
“Back? What had been on the carts before?”
“And when you returned?”
“Shoes…and pyjamas…and hair.”
“And what of those who once wore the shoes and pyjamas and hair?”
Death rested his chin against his knees once more and resumed his monotonous cantillate. Then, just as quickly, stopped. It looked up at Nikolai. Its pupils contracted. “Porrajmos!”
Nikolai narrowed his eyes and pinched his bottom lip between his thumb and forefinger. His gaze darted back to the front gate and to the forests outside. “Are you saying violate?”
Death’s face twisted. He screamed again, “Porrajmos!”
Nikolai shook his head and released his lip. “To open? To open one’s mouth?”
Death stopped rocking and stared ahead, rigid. His pupils dilated back to their dead state. He exhaled a short breath, then pushed his right index finger into a spot just below his right ear and directly above his jawbone. He held his finger in the spot for several breaths, as if to make sure Nikolai understood, then slowly dragged the finger down his neck to his collarbone.
Nikolai watched, fascinated at the visual. “Rip open?” he uttered.
Death shook his head, exasperated, exhaled a rattling breath, and motioned with an outstretched finger for Nikolai to lean close.
Nikolai stooped forward and turned an ear toward Death’s mouth.
A gush of stagnant air rushed from the man’s lips and flowed across Nikolai’s cheek and nose.
Nikolai jerked away from the dead gas — and from the two words that had drifted on the offensive fumes. He sucked in a quick breath and jerked the pilotka from his head.
Death nodded blindly, as if pleased, and then started rocking again.
Nikolai could only stare at the living corpse swaying in front of him.
Such a simple word.
And when translated into Russian, two words: The devouring.
I’d like for you guys to welcome the author over! WELCOME!!
First, tell me a little about your book ….
The Devouring is based on my premise that vampire are not the undead, but an animal species evolved over millions of years to harvest a specific amino acid chain in human blood. I make the distinction by calling my characters vampyre in the book. After WWII, vampyre are domesticated by the U.S. government. The domestication is achieved by allowing the vampyre to run government owned mortuaries where they have an unlimited supply of blood. That’s the storyline. The plot, of course, is much more involved.
How awesome does that sound! Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I have to credit Ray Bradbury’s, Something Wicked Comes This Way with turning me into not only a reader, but a writer as well. I would be remiss however, if I didn’t also credit many encouraging teachers during my public school years.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
In 1968, as a junior in high school, I worked after school delivering furniture. I worked with a sixty-eight year old black man whose name was Hilliard Smith. One Saturday, Hilliard and I delivered two full bedrooms of furniture to an officer stationed at Fort Wolters, at the time the largest primary helicopter base in the world. After completing our delivery, the officer presented both Hilliard and I, with a dollar tip, a large sum of money in 1968. As a growing boy of seventeen, my thoughts turned immediately to food. I asked Hilliard if we could get a hot lunch before returning to the shop.
Hilliard said, “That would be fine,” and then asked, “Where do you want to eat?” I mentioned a local establishment that served what was once termed a blue-platespecial.
Hilliard’s face turned serious. He looked at me in disbelief and said, “I can’t go in there.”
I, of course, knew exactly what he meant, but being naïve in the ways of the world, I replied, “Don’t worry. If you go in with me, no one will ask you to leave.”
Hilliard shook his head and said, “You don’t understand. It’s not what happens to me if I go inside. It’s what happens to me after I go inside.”
What I didn’t understand was this:
As a black man in my hometown in 1968, there were certain things you had to know.
You had to know where you could go and where you couldn’t go. You had to know what you could say and what you couldn’t say. If you knew these things and followed the “rules”, you might be allowed to live your life in peace.
So what might have happened that Saturday if Hilliard had walked inside that diner?
Maybe he would wake up Sunday and find that someone had doused his lawn with gasoline and set it ablaze.
Maybe he would wake up Sunday and find that someone had painted that word on his house.
Maybe while walking to church that Sunday, a truck might pull up beside him. Maybe several men would jump out and give him a beating.
Hilliard didn’t know.
He only knew one thing.
He wasn’t going into that diner.
I later realized these types of events were not unique to my hometown. They were occurring in every town in America. I began to wonder, How far back would I have to go to find a man who didn’t know the things that Hilliard knew?
The answer is of course . . . all the way back to the Civil War. If you were a freedman during that period and you were foolish enough to believe that the Emancipation Proclamation granted you the same rights and privileges as all other Americans, it could very well cost you your life.
Thus my first novel: The Road to a Hanging was born. The novel was written to explore the cost of a man’s freedom.
Wow, now THAT is inspiration! GREAT ANSWER! How do you choose when/which characters die in your books?
I try to ‘kill off’ characters that occur within the natural progression of the storyline, but there are times in writing when you also want a character to die resulting in the reader exclaiming: “Wow, didn’t see that coming.”
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have just finished SecondWorld by Jeremy Robinson. It was a very enjoyable read.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
For pure Storytelling: Stephen King or Ray Bradbury. For dialogue: Robert Parker.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I always strive to make sure my fiction has a basis in real events. This sometimes means a ton of research is necessary in order to present my vision.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Dawne’ Dominique. I provided character descriptions and she did the rest. I have worked with four different publishing houses during my career and Dawne’ has provided my favorite cover.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
I think everyone should read:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and 1776 by David McCullough. Both are powerful in their information.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading! Please remind your non-reading friends that the benefits of reading anyone’s books are instrumental to one’s brain health and should be done regularly.
About the Author:
From Wikipedia: Mike Kearby (born 1952) is an American novelist and inventor. Since 2005, Kearby has published ten novels, one graphic novel, and written two screenplays: (2011) Boston Nightly, with fellow writer Paul Bright and (2012) The Devouring. Boston Nightly is scheduled for filming in the spring of 2013.
Kearby was born in Mineral Wells, Texas, and received a B.S. from NorthTexasStateUniversity (now the University of North Texas) in 1972. He taught high school English and reading for 10 years and created “”The Collaborative Novella Project”" The project allows future authors to go through the novel writing process from idea to published work.
“”Ambush at MustangCanyon”" was a finalist for the 2008 Spur Awards.
“”A Hundred Miles to Water”" was awarded the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Best Adult Fiction.
“Texas Tales Illustrated” was awarded the 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Best YA Non-Fiction.
I would like to thank Mr. Mike for stopping by! I really enjoyed the interview. I would like to thank the rest of you for stopping by! Happy Reading everyone! Later gators!