I’ve gone horror today! :) Every once in a while, it’s nice to get a little scary hahaha :) so I wanted to help promote a little horror for you guys and it sounds quite interesting, so I’ll let you decide for yourselves… And there’s a little giveaway for it too :P
Series: Sons of Darkness Series, Book 1
Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Crime, Dark, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller,
Publisher: Damnation Books
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When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what’s most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife’s murder, and become the type of killer he’s hunted for so many years?
Adam heard a few sounds of Velcro peeling from its straps. Suddenly, Black Mask shed the mystery and ambiguity of his head gear. He became another mystery altogether. What happened to this guy? He looked like he’d seen hell, escaped, and doctored his face to give everyone else on Earth a preview.
Black Mask obviously suffered from rosacea because his skin was inflamed, swollen, and the angriest shade of red Adam had ever seen. A jagged circular scar similar to a clock face ran from Black Mask’s forehead down his cheeks to his chin. A vertical scar ran straight down the middle of his forehead and along the bridge of his nose. Two horizontal scars extended from the side of his nose and curved upward toward the temples. Two additional scars extended outward at angles from just under his nose, across his lips and ended on either side of his chin. All of the scars connected to the outer circular one like spokes to resemble a starfish shape. Adam struggled not to have any reaction, but failed to keep the corner of his mouth from inching up into a grimace.
Black Mask smirked and put his right hand up to his face. He pretended to be admiring himself in the mirror. “It’s okay, Detective. Your reaction is fairly common and a lot more subdued than most. Of course, I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrors in your line of work.
“So, you want to know the tale of Heath Grim, do you?”
WELCOME!! First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
Grim is a tragedy. There’s a man who has no idea who his family is, who grew up with no sense of identity and no parental figures, and who loses everyone who truly mattered to him in his life. He’s felt like he’s had to prove himself his entire life, and the only way he knows how is to make a deal with a supernatural being.
His deal forces him to hunt down killers and fiends to avenge the souls of victims who can’t move on in the afterlife. To justify his own actions, he seeks out a virtuous heroic figure, and attempts to engineer his fall from grace in that man’s time of need. His thinking is if this man, who has symbolized justice for so long, becomes a man like him then maybe he’s a heroic figure, too, rather than a monster.
I’ve always loved anti-heroes and morally-gray stories, so I wanted to create a character who is sympathetic to readers while doing unspeakable things.
WOW! sounds awesome! Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I worked for ten years as a print journalist for regional daily newspapers before switching careers to work in public safety at a 9-1-1 emergency call center. Though, I find my new job challenging and rewarding, I missed writing and figuring out ways to tell a story.
I bet you get some interesting calls ;) What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
The story gained inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in the movie. My title character, Heath Grim, was named after Heath Ledger. I was intrigued by the Joker’s storyline as an engineer of chaos in his environment, and I wanted to create a character every bit as impactful. However, I didn’t want to merely rip off the movie. I wanted to explore a storyline where the environment grew even more chaotic.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think there’s a part of me in each and every character I write. I grew up in a home in which there was a lot of verbal abuse and sometimes physical abuse as well. I also didn’t have much of a father figure in my life after my grandfather died a few days before my birthday. So, I could relate to a character which has questions about his identity because I had questions about myself for a long time.
Some of the police characters are inspired by officers with whom I work with on a daily basis in my public safety job. I try to make the characters believable by giving them personalities similar to people I know.
I’m so sorry for your loss and even more sorry you had to go through that. How do you choose when/which characters die in your books?
Since I have quite the body count, it’s certainly a fair question. In my literature or entertainment, I appreciate a story which I’m not expecting. I don’t believe the good guy always wins or the hero always gets the girl. I loved George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series because he’s not afraid to kill a popular character. I think there are times when you can pull the rug out from under a reader, and they appreciate it a little bit. As long as I stay true to a character and a storyline, then death isn’t always a bad thing.
Hmmmm interesting take on death ;) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I think anyone who is a fan of horror and Tinseltown should check out Eric Miller’s anthology Hell Comes To Hollywood which was released this fall by Big Time Books. It’s written by a lot of guys with experience making movies and it pokes fun of the lifestyle while still being scary. I’m also impressed with Hunter Shea’s work for Samhain Publishing. Evil Eternal and Swamp Monster Massacre are enjoyable for all old school horror fans, and he’s got Sinister Entity coming out in April.
I will!! If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I might change my Cyrus Black character a little bit. It was pointed out by one of my friends that he may be a little too “mustache twirling” cliché, but some of that was intended. I didn’t want him to be a perfect criminal. I wanted him to be flawed so that a stronger villain would rise in his wake, and you see that in Wrage. Grevis Black takes over and is a much more powerful and disciplined monster. In intending to make Cyrus a bit of the comic relief in Grim, I might go back and make him a little more serious.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Setting the scene is a little difficult for me. I want to get straight to the action. There’s not a lot of flowery prose in my books. As a reader, I hate when an author spends pages at length describing trees, houses, and things to me which are secondary. I guess I’m more visceral in my imagination. I write as if I’m watching a movie of it in my head, and sometimes the scenery details suffer. I’m also trying to be a little less formal with word choice in certain situations.
What book are you reading now? My followers love author’s opinions!
I worked in reverse with my last literary choice by watching the movie first. I was intrigued by the Jack Reacher movie, so I went home and purchased a copy of The Killing Floor for my Kindle. I love the fast-paced narrative and the character’s irreverence. To think an ex-army MP just wanders the country righting wrongs whether it’s within the law or not is a great idea. I’m jealous I didn’t come up with this character first. I think anybody who loves hard-boiled mysteries should give Lee Child a shot.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
My cover was designed by the lovely and talented Dawne Dominique. She’s a veteran artist in both horror and romance genres. She basically ripped the art of what my character looks like out of my head. Her work is top notch.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
The most valuable lesson I learned is that I could accomplish something that seemed impossible before I went to work. When I started, I didn’t know if I’d get published. I just set out to write a novel as a life goal and challenge. I didn’t know if I’d finish or if it’d be any good when I finished. There are many people who think writing is easy, but most of those people probably haven’t ever written a novel. I get pretty emotional over my work because this is a dream for me. I am exhilarated when someone writes to let me know they liked the book or I get a positive review.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d first like to thank everyone who has read my book. Whether you liked it or didn’t like it, I’m honored that you gave a rookie writer a chance to entertain you. When I started writing Grim, I missed writing terribly. I worked on the project to prove to myself I could do it. I’d never taken a creative writing class or wrote fiction in my life. I know a lot of people think writing a novel is easy, but it’s not. There were a lot of people along the way who rejected it, and some had scathing criticism. Yet, it’s something I accomplished which will always make me proud. I didn’t do it for fame or for money. I did it out of love. I love to write, to tell stories, and to entertain people. If I’ve entertained you, then you’ve given me one of the greatest honors of my life.
About the Author:
Joseph Spencer is the author of the Sons of Darkness series launched by his debut novel, Grim, on September 1, 2012. Work on his second book of the series, Wrage, is already underway and is expected to be released some time in 2013.
THE ROAD HERE
The Sons of Darkness is a series of paranormal crime thrillers following investigations into mysterious deaths in the central Illinois city of Prairieville. Home of the notorious serial killer, The Reaper, Prairieville has had a history of violence centered on an ongoing feud between the Marino and Black organized crime families. When bodies start showing up again at the abandoned MarinoStateHospital, many fear the Reaper has returned. The people of Prairieville are about to find out their problems stem from a supernatural source which has lurked in secret for decades.
THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.
Website | Twitter: josephspencer00 | Facebook
The author and host of this tour are very generously offering TEN ebook copies for this story! I think that’s pretty awesome :) So if you think you’d love it, I think you should enter! :P LOL So, GO HERE to go directly to the rafflecopter, OR GO HERE to the host’s link for this tour which also has the rafflecopter there too! The tour site also has all of the other stops, which include reviews and more interviews and special posts if you are interested. :)
I wish everyone a good luck today! I sighed up for this tour slightly last minute and didn’t have time to review, but I think I’m definitely going to get this story and read it because after reading his interview and an excerpt, I’d really like to read this! And as always, thanks to you guys for stopping by! And I should also say special thanks to the author and FMB Blog Tours for today. Thanks so much everyone! ;)
Happy Reading and later gators!