I am really excited about tomorrow’s upcoming release on May 28, so I wanted to give you guys a little bit of goodies! I’ve been dying to show you guys how cool the author is!! So, now for my review and author interview! 🙂
*click on the cover to check out the goodreads page*
Call of the Jersey Devil
by Aurelio Voltaire
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Five suburban mall rats and a washed up Goth singer find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover two horrifying truths: The Jersey Devil, hellspawn of folklore and legend, is real; and New Jersey (as many already suspected) is the gateway to Hell.
With the help of one lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic in one piece is at stake.
The first novel by musician and horror media personality, Aurelio Voltaire, Call of the Jersey Devil is a hilarious and terrifying homage to 80s horror and genre films. Like a mad doctor, Voltaire has Frankensteined together elements of Evil Dead, The Breakfast Club, Poltergeist,and This is Spinal Tap to create a creature feature that will have you laughing out loud when you’re not glancing nervously over your shoulder.
I was so not thinking this book was going to turn out the way it did. HEH, you know, when you sometimes have expectations, you are slightly blown away when it’s not that, but better. I had that here. There are so many great things about this book, and I will have to say, one of my favorite parts is the fact that everything was so easily believable. I could literally picture everything that was happening as it happened. Plus, it’s very detailed, so you never feel like you are missing something from the back story, or why things were happening now. I will say some details make it a little slow, but not boring, and only in the beginning, so PLEASE don’t stop. Plus it’s hilarious.
The writing is quite fantastic. It’s very different and unique, and I happen to enjoy that. Plus, I giggled alot, which means you’ve entertained me, which is exactly why I read any book! I am not sure if it’s considered a paranormal horror comedy, but that’s how I shall label it, because there’s each of these. Sometimes you are freaked out, then you can’t help but laugh, then you are thinking “cool…”
I also love that the feeling of all those horror films when I was a kid. You know you guys all watched the Jason’s and Freddy Krugers, and the likes, and this book feels like those films. Plus I am a huge horror fan. I totally enjoy horror movies… And yes, I am the kid who turns off all the lights, gets popcorn and candy, and piles my dogs around me to watch, just me and the doggies- and only because everyone I know is SUCH A CHICKEN! LOL nobody ever likes a horror movie, except my aunt, so we sometimes watch together. This literally made my day to read the book, and feel like I was watching one of those films 🙂
I am really hoping that Voltaire comes out with more of these types of books because I am now a fan. I seriously enjoyed this one. The ONLY reason this one doesn’t get the full 5 Paws is that it took a little bit to get all the great action going on, but I am still giving it a 4.5 AWESOMELY HORRIFIC PAWS because it deserves a great rating! I am definitely ready for more!
WELCOME!! First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
V: In short, five mallrats and a washed up Goth singer get stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover that the Jersey Devil is real and that hell, as most already suspect, is located directly below New Jersey.
I originally wrote this story as a screenplay. After making many short animated films I felt it was time for me to direct a feature film and frankly, when I closed my eyes and thought about it, this was the movie I’d make! It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s irreverent and occasionally a bit bawdy, like many of the genre movies I love from the 80s. It’s all of the things I love. And well, now it’s a novel.. much cheaper than making a feature! But who knows, maybe it will be a film someday.
I JUST LOVE all of those 80s films 🙂 I hope you do still make it into a screen play or movie! I’d so buy it! Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
V: I don’t exactly think of myself as an author. But I’ve always made up stories. My songs are all stories and my comic books are filled with them. So I don’t know that I ever dreamed of being a writer per se, I’ve just always thought of myself as a storyteller.
I think all musicians are storytellers 🙂 What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
V: Well, technically, this is my third book. My first two are non-fiction (What is Goth? and Paint it Black: a Guide to Gothic Homemaking”- both by Weiser Books). This is indeed my first novel and well, as you already know, it’s in essence the film I would love to someday make.
Yes please, to the movie 🙂 Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
V: Oh absolutely! I mean, after all, one of the main characters is a washed up Goth singer! LOL! I’m always sure to wink at people and let them know it’s me. But seriously, growing up in New Jersey, the only things I actually enjoyed were hearing about the Jersey Devil and the people I met like myself who were disenfranchised Goth kids or Rocky Horror Picture Show regulars. Everyone else hated my guts and let me know it on a daily basis. So in essence, I wrote a book about the two things about New Jersey I really understand and love.
I somehow think all your love now is major payback to all those haters 🙂 How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
V: Writing this book was a lot like telling myself a story. There really wasn’t a whole lot of planning in the sense of how things unfolded. I basically just started writing and over the course of a few months told myself a story. And now I guess I will be telling that story to you.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
V: This is the part where I’m lynched. I’m really not a reader. I can probably count all of the books I’ve ever read in my life on both hands. Until recently it was one hand! Yes, I can hear the gasps roaring throughout the interwebs as I say it! I’m a day dreamer. I spend ridiculous amounts of each day thinking, writing, creating songs, comic books, short films, toys… I produce an incredible amount of work, I think. And it’s because I have so many ideas in my head that if I live to be a hundred, I will STILL not bring them all to life. It creates in me a desperation to create continuously instead of doing things like watching television or reading books or playing video games or really any other pastime that involves taking in instead of putting out. So I’m a great producer, but a terrible consumer.
Naw, I am a reviewer but never a writer, so I understand 🙂 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
V: No, I don’t think so.
Good, I like it as is 🙂 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
V: Working with an editor has been an eye opening experience. I sort of naively assumed that I could tell a story the same way I might simply tell it verbally to a handful of people in a bar. However, what I learned through the editing process with my incredible editor, Trisha Wooldridge, is that there are conventions to the way stories are told these days in books. There are ways people are accustomed to reading things, being told things and it differs from the way I speak and even from the way I recall stories being told in some of the older books I’ve read. I also had a hell of a time with past perfect tense! LOL! In short, I guess I was at first aghast that there were rules to writing and that they needed to be followed. It was a tough pill to swallow. But I did it and frankly, I learned more about writing from my editor in a month that I had in twenty years on my own.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
V: As you may have suspected by now, I’m not reading any books at the moment. But I am recording an album, writing another novel, writing the script for a feature film, touring the world, planning about six different toy releases for this year and looking for an illustrator for my children’s book.
Jeez, I wouldn’t be reading either if I had your schedule LOL!!! AND I am very cool with you not reading if you’re writing! Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
V: I designed the cover. I drew a truly crappy sketch of what I had in mind and then I went out and found someone who illustrates a thousand times better than I do! His name is Michael Komarck and I chose him specifically because he’s a real master of fantasy art. He’s done work for World of Warcraft, Warhammer 40K, Magic the Gathering and many others. He did an amazing job on the cover of this book! My publisher, Kate Kaynak, came up with the idea that the words Jersey Devil should be written on what looked like a New Jersey Turnpike sign. It was really brilliant and really helps to communicate some of the humor in the book which was missing from the fantasy book art cover approach.
It is one of the most EXCELLENT covers! Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
V: Well, I tend to work in a very solitary way. Ever since I stopped animating and directing TV commercials almost twenty years ago now, I haven’t really had a client to have to listen to. I write my own songs, write my own comic books, there really isn’t anyone telling me how to do it. Working with an editor on Call of the Jersey Devil and having people inform me that perhaps a character needed more development or that a particular scene wasn’t entirely clear and needed revising, (or worse, that a section wasn’t really necessary and should be deleted!) while a bit odd for me at first, I feel ended up making this a much better book. So I guess I learned how to play better with others! LOL! Seriously though, Trisha’s and Kate’s input in particular made this a far more enjoyable story in the end.
HA!!! That’s totally awesome! If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
V: That’s an easy one! I’d clearly be Villy Bats, a washed-up Goth singer still desperately clinging to what little success he’s had in life! LOL! I know, that sounds awful but when you see him at the end of the book, it might very well seem not so bad after all!
I actually thought a lot about you while reading his character- except I think you’d be a bit… nicer 🙂 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
V: I hope you will enjoy my debut novel! If you are a fan of movies like Evil Dead, Ghostbusters, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Breakfast Club and This is Spinal Tap, you will probably get a big kick out of it. However, if the idea of some Goth kids having a battle in a Spencer Gifts store involving a Master Replica lightsaber and a double ended dildo offends you, you are going to HATE THIS BOOK! LOL!
Thanks for the interview!!! ; )
I am sooooo glad I LOVED this book! 🙂 I think you did FANTASTIC for your debut and I cannot wait for MORE!!! Hopefully soon 🙂 THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for stopping by! 🙂
About the Author:
Aurelio Voltaire is a media personality and respected authority on all things Gothic, Horror, Sci-fi, Steampunk and involving “geek” culture. He is often referred to as a modern day renaissance man having achieved success in the fields of animation, music, comics, books and toys.
Voltaire’s career began in the 1980s as a stop-motion animator and director, creating some of the award-winning, classic MTV and SyFy channel station IDs. He worked in television, animating and directing commercials for nearly twenty years when he realized it was time for him to tell his own stories. Finding comic books to be a vastly more economical tool than feature films Voltaire told his first epic tale, “Chi-chian” in comic book form. This dark, Cinderella story set in Manhattan’s future, was published and led to a 14-episode animated web series directed by Voltaire for the SyFy channel’s website. His success in comic books also led to several underground hits including the comic book series Oh My Goth!, Human Suck! and most recently Deady. The latter featured collaborations with some of the biggest names in horror and comics including Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, James O’Barr, Roman Dirge, Gris Grimly and many others. It also spawned a long list of toys including plush toys for Six Flags, Hot Wheels cars for the Japanese market and over a dozen vinyl toy releases including collaborations with Disney and Skelanimals.
In yet another career swerve, 1995 saw Voltaire take the stage at a New York City club where he launched his music career. His songs are a strange brew of murder ballads, tongue-in-cheek exercises in the macabre with just enough bawdy Star Trek and Star Wars songs to keep convention audiences rolling in the aisles. Many in the mainstream know Voltaire as the writer and performer of the songs Brains! and Land of the Dead from the Cartoon Network show, The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy. Almost constantly on tour, he has played his music around the world and released eleven full length CDs to date.
Voltaire also wrote the popular books What is Goth? and Paint it Black: a Guide to Gothic Homemaking (Weiser Books) and has appeared on numerous television shows and documentaries as an authority on Goth, Horror and Steampunk. Appearances include Fox News, Biography, MTV News, Fearnet, IFC, PBS and others.
When not touring, writing books or designing toys, Voltaire teaches stop-motion animation at the School of Visual arts and continues to make short films. His “Chimerascope” series of stop-motion shorts are perennial film festival favorites. The five shorts have won a combined 31 awards and feature the voice talents of Deborah Harry, Richard Butler, Gerard Way, Gary Numan and Danny Elfman
I am actually going to tell you to GO TO HIS WEBSITE! It’s the coolest thing ever and he has the most interesting life plus much cooler things to say than I do 🙂 GO HERE to check it out!
The wonderful Spence City is giving me all this coolness so I had to give them a shout out 🙂
Happy reading everyone 🙂 Later gators!