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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eric Johnston 9111 Interview




Can you tell us a little about how you got started in writing?
Writing has been something I always wanted to do growing up. I come from a family of writers and English teachers. My great aunt, Ruth White, the author of the Newberry Honor book Belle Prater’s Boy, Sweet Creek Holler, Memories of Summer, among other titles, has always been an inspiration to me. The idea that someone so close to me was a successful writer made that dream seem within reach.
I attended the University of Michigan in Flint, where I studied history and English. I became a master of research and creative writing after writing literally hundreds of research papers, stories, and literary analyses throughout my coursework.
But it wasn’t until October of 2009, when my friend, Andrew Utley, and I, decided to write a novel together that I actually wrote a novel. We had been talking off and on for a year about writing something together, but could never come up with a story to fit both of our interests, but then I suggested the story for what would become Harvester: Ascension.
The original idea was a story about aliens coming to earth and doing to us what Europeans did to the Native Americans. I thought that would put a little twist on the concept, as it was to follow strict historical parallels. But the story evolved and grew into something that became what it is today.
I have been writing novels ever since. My current library includes: Harvester: Ascension, An Inner Darkness, A Light in the Dark, and 9111 Sharp Road. And I have three in the works: City of Evil, Harvester: Evolution, and a Christmas-themed horror novel called Santa Claws and Fangs.
What is one of your favorite things to write about?
I like the dark side of our psyche combined with the struggle for acceptance…so in all of my novels you will find a struggle with insecurity and doubt…in other words, struggling with one’s own personality. In Harvester: Ascension, the character Lou Bryan has to struggle with the destructive power of his on-air personality. In An Inner Darkness, Decon Mangler and Teret Finley must deal with something that makes them question their oaths and traditions. In A Light in the Dark, Julian has to overcome his own insecurities and disbelief. And in 9111 Sharp Road there is an internal and external struggle with dark forces.
What do you think makes an unforgettable fantasy story?
An epic conflict involving well-developed, and flawed, characters that come alive and find a greatness within. I am a definite proponent of the idea that good fiction involves ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Can you tell us about 9111 Sharp Road?
This is a novella featuring Amanda, an 11-year-old girl who has just experienced the death of her father. The surviving family, which includes her mother and her 6-year-old sister, Lori, moves in with their gramma because they can no longer afford their own house. Gramma lives in this strange town called Orchard Hills, which is essentially a large cemetery that contains a few houses, a school, and a single road, known as Sharp Road. The house—its address is 9111 Sharp Road—is the biggest house in Orchard Hills. 
Amanda thinks the place is creepy and her gramma, who she had never actually met before, is strange, but she doesn’t know just how off this place is until the first night when she sees a humanoid bat creature staring in at her through her bedroom window. She’s terrified, but tries to pass it off as her imagination, as a dream. The next morning her sister says she saw the same thing through her window.
It isn’t until her sister begins changing into one of these creatures that she realizes just how serious things really are.
And then there are those ghostly voices pleading from behind a mysterious door to be let out.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
I really like the Gramma in this story. She is so bizarre, she will make you laugh in every scene she’s in despite the fact this is a horror novel.
What made you decide to write this story?
I used to live in a house very similar to the house in this book. I spent many wonderful years of my life there and just wanted to include it in a story.
What is the one thing you would like to tell up and coming writers?
Don’t think you have to include everything about the characters or setting in the novel itself. One of the mistakes I see a lot in new writers is they want to tell the reader everything about the life of the character or what the setting looks like, even if it doesn’t do anything to advance character or story. You do not need to go into a lot of detail about what the character or scenery looks like unless it is relevant to the character or the story. There is a meme going around facebook that says something to the effect, “The curtains were blue—what your english teacher thinks it means: ‘The blue curtains represent the character’s depression.’ The Author says it means: ‘The curtains are blue.’” You know why your English teacher looks for deeper meaning in the description of BLUE CURTAINS? Because the writer made it a point to say they were blue. If the fact the curtains are blue has no deeper meaning, a good writer would not even bother saying what color they are.
Do you have any other work coming out?
I am working finishing up a horror novel called City of Evil within the next few months. This is much darker than anything else I have ever written.
Which do you prefer, self-publishing or traditional and why?
Self-publishing allows you to get your work out there immediately and to get audience reaction…that was one of the reasons I self-published 9111 Sharp Road instead of going through my publisher. But self-published titles often lack the proper editing.
Any advice to give writers?
Write every day and read constantly.
What is your fave color?
Anything Off-color
What is your fave number?
9111
If a cow walked into a bar, what would it say?
I knew I’d find you here with that tramp!
Can you share the blurb of 9111 Sharp Road?
Amanda Gates' world is turned upside down when her father dies and she, her sister, Lori, and her mother have to move in with her eccentric gramma. The house is old and strange, and the entire town is a grave yard. Not the most pleasant place for an 11-year-old girl to spend her last years of innocence. But even worse are the strange creatures resembling humanoid bats that lurk through the night and peer in through her bedroom window while she sleeps and the ghosts pleading to be released from behind a mysterious door
Where can readers purchase 9111 Sharp Road?
99 cents at

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Interview

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Hungry Heart Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Hungry Heart: An Excerpt Whoever said a cold shower could cool your ardor didn’t know what they were talking about. Ten minutes of standing under freezing cold water had turned Nora’s skin blue, but it had done nothing to dampen her desire. “Agh!” She allowed free rein to her frustration, not caring whether or not the running water covered her scream. She turned off the faucet and sat on the edge of the tub. This was so unfair. They had come so close. Hunter had wanted her—seemingly as much as she wanted him. She still wasn’t quite sure what went wrong. Dammit, I should never have agreed to stay for dinner. This was her fault. It wasn’t that she was in love with Hunter. She was too smart to allow that to happen. But she had made up her mind, made a decision that she would allow herself some pleasure—and why not? Then having done so, she had set out to try to make it happen. Not that she would have seduced him or done anything quite so bold. She’d just decided that she wouldn’t pass up any opportunities that came her way. She knew he found her attractive. He had said as much, demonstrated it, too. He wasn’t a saint, and given his reputation it wasn’t unreasonable to expect him to make a move on her while they were sharing the same suite. Only now they weren’t. She inhaled deeply and willed away the threatening tears. No, she wouldn’t cry for him. It was only sex. She shouldn’t allow herself to feel this much anguish over one night. She stood and towel-dried her hair. It was probably for the best, anyway. What was the point of one night of mindless sex? She thought about Taylor and wondered what her relationship with Hunter had been like. Was she in love with him? Or had the sex been that good? Whatever the reason, the woman was still crazy about him, although he seemed to have little interest in renewing what they’d had. Nora rubbed the condensation off the mirror and stared at the face looking back at her. She tried to be objective, but all she could see was a woman about to turn thirty-five. Tiny lines were beginning to form at the corners of her eyes—he’d called their color cafĂ© noir when they’d first met—and there were more lines just above her top lip. Her age had never bothered her—in fact, she’d always felt she’d accomplished a lot while still quite young—at least professionally. But dammit, it would be nice to experience fantastic sex at least once before I’m thirty-five. What was it about turning thirty-five that disturbed her so much? It was just a number. Her lips were a rosy pink and slightly swollen. She touched them gently, remembering the feel of Hunter’s mouth as it grazed hers, and then the hard urgency with which he had kissed her in the garage. Stop it. She turned away, frustrated. This was getting her nowhere. Forget it. Forget him. None of it mattered anyway. Tomorrow morning she’d be back in her real world, and all this would be nothing but a memory. She heard a noise and paused to listen more intently. Was that banging? She slipped on a robe—the scratchy generic one provided by the hotel, not at all like the luxurious plush one she’d borrowed from Hunter—and opened the bathroom door. Yes, someone was definitely pounding on her door. “Who’s there?” she called, tightening the belt of the robe. “Room service.” What? “I didn’t—” She stepped up on her toes to peek out the peephole. Her knees felt like jelly and she leaned against the door, closing her eyes and murmuring a heartfelt “thank goodness.” Then she looked again to make absolutely certain her eyes weren’t playing tricks on her. Hunter was magnificent in a fresh pair of dark khaki pants and a red golf shirt. His hair looked damp, as if he had just stepped out of a shower, too. In one hand he balanced a platter, covered by a large silver lid. He was impatiently shuffling from one foot to the other. She pulled open the door and stepped back, waiting. Hunter’s eyes widened and then he dropped his gaze to take in her bare toes. Slowly he raised his head. His appraisal of her was slow and intense. She felt exposed, and rubbed her palms against the fabric of the robe just to assure herself she had actually put one on. When he got to her face he paused, and then broke into his seductive, heart-stopping grin. “I see you’re expecting me,” he said. © 2012 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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