<— SCI-FI THRILLER/HORROR ALERT!! This one sounds all sorts of exciting and scary, and when the author (this week’s newsletter sponsor!!! 😀 ) approached me about his series, I couldn’t help but jolt on that short-and-not-so-sweet blurb!! His girlfriend disappeared, and nobody seems to remember her… Eeeeeep!!
P.S. Both books are super-bargain priced today AND they are in KU!! If you’re looking for something different, this just might be for you!
He’s sent over a “Five Fun Facts” about the series to give you a sneak peek behind the series. 😉 Plus a couple of “excerpts” for our taste-testing pleasure. 😀 I absolutely love what he divulges in regards to his approach on this genre!!
FIVE FUN FACTS:
INSPIRATION: I had the idea for the story about a year before, or at least the basic elements. I have always loved to write short stories, but this was the first time I decided to knuckle down and finish something longer. What inspired me was watching numerous Science fiction and Horror films and always finding that the stories were never anything new. They seemed to keep churning out the same ideas and basic twists time after time, and I felt that there were other ways to approach the genre and try and keep it fresh. Whether that has worked or not is down to what the readers think of course, but I just strive to create something different and original.
WRITING PROCESS & DIFFICULTIES: I found it difficult at times to get the peace I needed to write. I am easily distracted by noise, so I had to put my headphones on and drown out external noise with long ambient mixes on Mixcloud or soundcloud. They acted like white noise and filtered out traffic and the blasting of horns etc.
Another difficult thing for me was consistency. In the sequel, the story was constantly evolving the further it went on. I had the end idea, but was making up how to get there as I wrote, which meant that some times I changed the character involved in a particular situation. When I went back to see how it read, I would find strange anomalies in that situation that didn’t match up with what the character was later involved in. So, a few re-writes were in order in some chapters!
THE CHARACTERS: I had the characters in my head from the first moment I drafted the story, and I wanted them to be a diverse range of race and ethnicity (there is a subtle reason for this, that I’m not sure any reader has picked up on yet). The characters range from Brandon, who I see as an almost comedic cross over between Richard Pryor and Wesley Snipes, and Danny who I see as looking something like a blonde-haired Chris Evans.
There are a lot of characters (again, there is a reason for that too), and my image of them in my head evolved over time. Originally Monique in my head looked like Halle Berry, but then changed to Lisa Bonet, although I have no idea why. Gina brings to mind a shorter young Lucy Liu, while I think of Olivia as a kind of young Meg Ryan.
THEMES: Even though it’s a Horror/Science Fiction (the lines are very blurred throughout each book as to which one it wants to be), I try and sprinkle it with themes and thought-provoking ideas. From, ‘What does it mean to be human?’ to situations where a character realizes that their life is full of choices and that the tiniest second can alter the rest of their existence. I also wanted to have a bit of fun with the ideas and see how far I could take them. It’s quite graphic in grotesque details in places, which is then instantly lightened with dead pan and dark humor.
I think my writing is a reflection of my own life, in that, bad things happen at times, but I carry on through, put a brave face on it and laugh it off (eventually!). The biggest theme I play around with is what makes up reality. My reality and understanding of the world is different to the reality of a cat, or a dolphin, so I like to tease out strange possibilities of what could be. Is there more to our reality than we can sense? Can we trust our senses?
Another prevailing theme of the books is hope. No matter how bad things are, how dark and disturbing things get, they will always change, and something better will come along eventually.
BOOK THREE: I have a third book I am gathering ideas for. It will relate to all the characters again. People were surprised that in the sequel ‘Fragments’, that I was able to introduce the same characters, due to how ‘Survival’ ended. But I had an idea up my sleeve, and I have another idea for the third.
It will be very different to the first two, and in fact the first two are very very different from each other, something I was deliberately doing so as not to just repeat similar scenario’s. I have plenty of ideas for the third, and the fact that there will be a third was down to my editor challenging me to it. I like a challenge 🙂
About book #1:
It was just a normal week for Danny. At least it was, until Olivia disappeared. His friends have no memory of her, leaving Danny to start doubting his sanity. Did he imagine her? Was she ever real?
One by one, his friends become hunted by something terrifying and Danny is helpless to stop it.
What follows is a mind-bending chain of events that cast Danny’s view of the world into question, as he struggles to survive, all the while questioning what his reality really is.
SERIES READING ORDER:
- Survival: A Sci-Fi/Horror, where reality begins to bite.
- Fragments: A Sci-Fi/Horror: The sequel to Survival: The rules of reality have now changed
- Book #3 – title and release date TBA
“There” Danny said pointing to Brandon’s TV, “Can you seem them?”
Brandon was too busy looking at whatever was going on in the middle of the screen to notice anything else, but looked over to where Danny’s finger was pointing.
That’s when he saw them. Shadowy forms that seemed to flicker in and out briefly for the odd second, before vanishing again.
The afternoon had become something like out of a movie. Brandon had been sitting down, chilling out watching the local game on TV, pizza and beer in hand, when there was a furious banging at his front door. When he opened it, Danny was there, looking dishevelled, dried blood covering his head and down his T-shirt, a terrified look in his eyes. He welcomed him in and his first question was obviously what on earth had happened to him. Danny sat down on the sofa, fidgeting wildly, looking both confused and angry. He picked up Brandon’s remote and changed the channel.
“Hey I was watching the Falcons game” exclaimed Brandon angrily.
“This is what happened to me” He said pointing at the screen as a local channel flashed up headlines of the breaking news.
Brandon sat down and watched the news forecaster seemingly as bewildered as Danny, as she recounted a tall tale of a mysterious creature that no one could fully describe in any meaningful detail, that appeared in a local bar, devoured some customers and then set off to turn a cab and its occupants inside out, making them vanish into thin air. This was crazy, this was surely some kind of joke Brandon thought.
She got to her feet and noticed what looked like figures flickering out of it, humanoid looking, but utterly strange. This was the last straw, she decided, and turned to run and flee from whatever these unusual creatures were. She only got twenty meters away when she felt the same static charge around her, and this time it seemed to create a force-field around her body, wrapping on to her tightly.
Her legs seemed to stop moving and she was being pulled back by a beam of light. The beam prized her feet off the ground and she was floating in the air, traveling backwards and up. She tried to scream out, not because of pain, but fear; but her vocal cords had seized up. She told her brain to let her scream, but somewhere between that instruction and her vocal cords, the signal was interrupted and overridden.
She was helpless, yet again, having to surrender to something she didn’t understand. She was now thirty feet in the air, praying she wasn’t suddenly going to be dropped, floating backwards. She was half thankful she couldn’t see where she was headed; maybe she didn’t really want to know.
The beam began to pass through her body, like it was scanning a bar-code; pockets of information seeming to flow in and out of her. With utter astonishment, she felt the beam seem to play with her cells, like a child playing with a Lego set for the first time, prodding and poking to check and understand each piece.
That’s when she felt her mind being invaded, with other entities jumping in and out of her own thoughts, a communication like she had never felt before. It felt like her mind was being torn apart, her body being used like a novelty toy, and then with an instantaneous flash, she felt nothing more.