Monday, November 26, 2012

GUEST POST: RELEASE OF 'TOOL SHED' by Armand Rosamilia



Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he eats too much, drinks too much, and doesn't worry about the impending zombie apocalypse. And it is coming. He is the author of many, many stories and novellas (which are all awesome… seriously!), and his Dying Days zombie series is pretty cool, too. He loves talking to fans and friends about horror, zombies, Boston Red Sox and Heavy Metal music. Feel free to e-mail him at armandrosamilia@gmail.com or visit his blog at http://armandrosamilia.com. He also loves speaking in third person. 

TOOL SHED

When Michael Zaun takes possession of his late grandfather’s farm, he finds out he inherited more than he bargained for. Dubbed the “Tool Shed Murders,” the details of the deaths of two girls on the property, and his grandfather’s, seemingly by his own hand, are a little murky. Was his grandfather a monster or a hero?
The discovery of his grandfather’s journal awakens within him a new confidence. But what about the demon his grandfather mentioned? Is it real or just the ranting of a diseased mind?
 With the help of his friends, old and new, Michael will find not only the answer to that question, but a new strength within himself.
A SMALL INTERVIEW

1. What was the inspiration for Tool Shed?

The initial idea for the story began many years ago, when I was buying every Leisure Books paperback I could get my hands on. I loved the stories that Don was editing, and they were all classic horror tales. I wanted to someday write a 'traditional' horror tale, with a monster or demonic entity harassing our hero. I originally thought it from the grandfather's POV, with the murders happening on the farm. Then I put it away and began writing a dozen other stories. But while reading The Rising, or one of Brian Keene's zombie books, I came across a point where he talks about dead cows in the field. The line 'The cows had exploded' came to me, and I immediately thought of my Tool Shed idea. I rearranged the story a bit and began writing.


2. What other books in the genre would you compare it too?
I'd love to think my story holds a candle to classic Leisure Books work from John Everson, Keene, Douglas Clegg, and Simon Wood. But those books are amazing, and the period when Dorchester was firing on all cylinders is still my favorite books to read and re-read. I started writing it with them in mind, to be honest. Then, when it all fell down and burned, I decided to find another publisher that I wanted to be associated with. That was Angelic Knight Press. I was lucky because they obviously loved it enough to publish it, and I didn't have it sitting at half a dozen publishers, trying to get sold.


3. Is it a series? Will we get to revisit the characters?

Kind of. There is a longer novel I've written called Chelsea Avenue, 'starring' the elementals as well but set in Long Branch New Jersey beginning in 1987. I'm doing edits on the story and hope to get it ready to make the rounds as well very soon. It's another story that is many years in the making, and another more traditional horror tale.

4. What made you step away from the zombies that populate some of your other writing?

I never set out to be known as a zombie author. I wanted to write horror stories, period. When I wrote Highway To Hell it was only my second zombie story, after the flash fiction piece "Anything But Luck" starring Darlene Bobich (who has been my main character in all the Dying Days zombie stories) and I thought I wouldn't be writing too many more. Wow, was I wrong. The zombie stories struck a chord with readers, and I still find myself adding more and more to the Dying Days universe. But I still write horror stories, and just released a print horror short story collection, Skulls And Bones, that contains nine stories and none of them are zombies. I swear.

5. The main character, Michael, is a large man. No chiseled abs or buff physique there. And yet, he's basically the hero. Why write him that way?

I'm a big guy, pushing 300 lbs. I can relate to the character and his physical limitations, although I'd like to think I'm in better shape than Michael. I didn't want a Vin Diesel He-man in the story. I wanted a group of normal people, and even his best friend is more geek than anything. Characters that are relatable to a reader, instead of buff male strippers hanging out with super-hot chicks. I only do that in my real life. 

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Monday, November 19, 2012

MY WISH ... PARDON ... WORK IN PROGRESS

What's cooking on the grill?
This is what I'm working on right now. Weird, complex, and believe it or not, a bit romantic.
Here's Chapter One. Enjoy!


WHATCHAGONNADO?

What would you do if you knew you are going to die?

Oh, I’m not meaning in the traditional way; we are all bound to die now or then. I’m talking about knowing the exact hour and day of your departure, and how you’re going to buy the farm.

Would you spend your shortening time with your family? Taking care of things—and affections—you took for granted? Making love to your partner every darn day, instead of the usual Saturday night quickie; listening to the rants of your love-struck daughter, and making peace with your ungrateful sister that kicked you out of the family house so many years ago?

Would you spend it by dating as many as possible, one or more a night, or wrecking away your liver with so much alcohol you could fuel all cars in Detroit for a whole year?

Or would you retire to a monastic life, praying every day to repent your sins and for peace in the world? Amen.

Me?

I’m doing nothing special. I’m just wearing my best suit, after shaving myself clean, combing my hair in front of my three thousand dollar mirror, and looking at my tanned reflection.

For I KNOW I’m going to die today.

I have a date with Ms. Reaper at eight PM, down at the crossway between Okeechobee Drive and Lakeview Parkway, right in front of Meeks’ Fish & Tackle, when my black Porsche will be so attracted to a lonely willow that it will rush at it in a passionate hug, and this romantic moment will be underscored by a soundtrack of grinding metal, shattering glass, and my own scream.

I know, I know, a zillion questions are crowding your mind right now.

Why don’t I simply skip my appointment with the Grim Lady and go somewhere else, or just avoid driving the whole day? How do I know about my death? Why I do believe in such daft stuff? And most of all: how can I afford a Porsche?

Yep, I see that.

First let me introduce myself, then I’ll tell you everything—about my death, my forecast, and my fortunes.

The name’s Arthur, Arthur J. Dale. The J stands for Jefferson.

And up to one year ago I was a hobo. Yes, you read it well. I was a bum, a vagrant, a homeless bastard shunned by everyone here in Prosperity Glades, one of those people you look at like a discarded and crumpled can, or worse. Well, you’ve got the idea.

But now I’m a respected son of a bitch, with more green in my bank account than the whole Glades. I own an excessively large mansion at Johnston Hall Estates, have a personal jet in Fort Lauderdale, a very big yacht anchored at Biscayne Bay, and thirteen percent shares in a name company. Luckily, I have no family. No wife or kids.

No one.

So, no one will miss me when they’ll extract my mangled body—this time really looking like a bent soda can—from the car’s metal, coming out of it like a stillborn fetus in a parody of life and death.

Except …

Well, except Sandy.

Sandy the Dandy, to be more precise. Dandizette would be more fitting for she is a chick; and a pretty one, too. She is a bum, like I was, eking out a living in the dirty streets of West Bend. She makes her carton home in the parking lot, just to the Banshee’s Cry’s left. I still do not understand how she can sleep with all the mess coming out of that coyote ugly nightclub. But she likes the place and there’s no way of moving her out of it.

She was born Sandy A. Carver, the illicit daughter of a Texan motherfucker that placed a loaf inside her mom’s oven down in Miami, then ran back to his legitimate wife and kids in Amarillo. However, years later, he took plight of his hidden secret and came back when she was sixteen, when Darleen, Sandy’s mom, had died of cancer, and offered her his surname and a large sum to clean up his conscience. But it was too late. Sandy spat on his face right in front of the few mourners at the funeral home and kicked him straight in the jewels, sending him howling out in the green fields. People who saw the scene still recall it as the funniest thing they had ever seen at a burial.

I missed it. I was twenty-one and working like a mule for a packing company up in Vero Beach. That was before the first Bad Thing happened. Even long before the second Bad Thing happened. Or the Real Bad Thing.

The first Bad Thing happened on a bright day of June 1995 when my whole family disappeared in a big crash on the Turnpike. I had no relatives, and all of a sudden I found myself alone in the world. It was a tough thing to swallow, like gulping down a damn gator for sure. And I wasn’t so good at swallowing.

In less than a year I was out in the streets, depressed, boozy, and busted, by God. I had not an ounce of clean blood in my veins, or better, my system was so full of alcohol I could explode just by lighting a cig. What a wreck.

Well, to make a long and boring story short, I lived as a wino for more than sixteen years, drifting around from hamlet to town in a never-ending search for something I didn’t want or care for. I simply existed; more a vegetable, or a fungus, than a man. I had no balls to kill myself, and mostly had lost all the primary functions in my intoxicated brain, so that I lived in my own mental reservation, talking to imaginary people and shaking my fist at trees stealing my shadow.

Yet, everything changed on a rainy October night (yeah, I know this is a cliché, but it really happened on a rainy night, whatchagonnado, kiddo?) in Cortez street when I took refuge inside that damned abandoned house. I was feverish and on the verge of dying for sure had not that strange guy come out of nowhere to rescue me.

And you know what? It would have been better for me had I died that night.

For that was the second Bad Thing. Or the Real Bad Thing.

Do you believe in scary stories? No? Well, take a seat and help yourself with the rum bottle over there, for I’m going to tell you one of the weirdest you’ll ever hear, something to chill the blood in your veins.

Something to die for.





Friday, November 16, 2012

'BOOGER' by Franklin E. Wales



I'm a fan of Frank E. Wales, so I may be a bit biased here, having read many of his short stories and some of his novels. When he offered me the opportunity to pick one of his books free, I immediately went for his first; not because I wanted to see his evolution as a writer, but for its theme. I'm simply in love with legends: urban or old.
And the bogeyman legend is one who is staying with us from humanity's dawn. Tales on this creepy kidnapper of kids have been told and retold, but Wales found a different approach to it.
He made it even scarier than the stories out there.
We are immediately treated to a terrible experience suffered by the protagonist, David. His son vanishes in the wee hours of night right under his disbeliever nose, but what he sees is enough to send him to the nuthouse for more than seven years.
Once he comes out, he has lost everything: his son, his marriage, his job, even his mind. Convinced he was the cause of his own son's demise, he tries to start a new life, but soon old horrors resurface and people around him start to die. This will lead him on the verge of alcoholism - and madness - until he meets Arthur, a hobo with a back-story very similar to his. Soon, they join forces to understand what killed their kids and most of all how to protect those they care for.
Booger is well written, filled with angst, and occasionally even cinematic (it would made for a perfect horror movie) but what will fascinate the reader is its dramatic ending.
The Booger - or Boogerman, as the scared kids call it - is something that both Lovecraft and Stephen King would love to add to their `unnameable things' cosmogony.
A must read.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

RAVISHED BY TALES - Or why I'm always pregnant.


Originally titled 'Broken Routine', Home Invasion is one of the most disturbing stories I ever wrote.

And it's a clear example of why and how I write. I always think about writing as a gift and a curse, for putting out a story is indeed wonderful, but it can also cause you to lose sleep, fight with your significant other, and generally be absent from the breathing world for hours. I try to work on stories I'd love to read, of places I'd like to see, and of characters I'd like to meet.
Unfortunately, it rarely goes that way.

I always dream about writing a hard science fiction novel based on the Nommos and Nephilim mythology, but I'm not yet able to put a single word in that awaiting blank file.

For I'm raped by tales.
They seep inside my mind out of the blue, strike at my soul in the most unexpected of times and places, breaking my routine, and leaving me exhausted once they are over. 
Stories tend to rape me. And I always get pregnant.
It's like the xenomorph in 'ALIEN': the idea being the facehugger and the finished product the chestburster.


It happened with ‘REVENANT’ while I was trying to write my science fiction novel, then with ‘Stryx’ while penning down ‘Thrill of the Hunt’. Armand the revenant had it easy; there was a power outage in Ao Nang, which lasted three days, and I spent the evenings chatting with my wife about old horror stories. I recall her mentioning those horror comics (there weren’t graphic novels then) of the ‘70s and out of the dark – literally – the revenant assaulted and placed its weird seed inside me. In less than a week, the monster was out of my brain. Now it has reached adult stage and goes hunting by its own.


Cardinal Lodovico Strigidi invaded my mind while I was writing ‘Echoes from a Distant Desert’ – a short 3-acts tale, I’m planning to finish next – and didn’t let me go till I wrote his cursed story, banging on the walls of my melon, and pacing back and forth in the dark recesses, perpetually repeating his tale like Poe’s telltale heart. This time the delivery was harsher and left some scars, but I swear it burst out almost by itself.


Again, I was writing the outline of a new novel about pirates when a funny guy started asking me what I would do if I knew I was going to die. And he kept asking me that for days, distracting me from those fantastic voyages of the age of sail.
His story, ‘FIVE’, is on the final stage of development and turned out to be one of the most beautiful and humorous tales. I’m really enjoying Mr. Arthur Dale’s voice.




But, a week ago, a new monster took hold of me. And this one was uglier, scarier, and nastier than the others were. Hell, I was still pregnant with Arthur’s tale when this ugly beast ravished me, forcing me to write about the horrors that humans do, and having me describe scenes, even I, consider disgusting. Like all big monsters, its embryo developed faster and has burst out, caked in blood and other fluids, last night and it’s selling already.

My wife uses to say, ‘Jeff, if you were a woman you’ll be always pregnant,” for I rarely say ‘no’ to a request of help.
But this time she is wrong.
I have no choice.





Meet the Andersons, the perfect upper class family of suburban America.
Kevin is a respected attorney-at-law, loyal husband, father of one, and esteemed member of the community. Samantha is his venerating, classy wife.
But what happens when their apparent idyllic existence is shattered by a stranger armed with a gun?
Jeffrey Kosh invites you to a tour de force of violence, sex, and unexpected twists, in this one-night tale of human terror and treachery.
There are no monsters in this story … or maybe they just wear different masks.
It also includes an excerpt from the erotic thriller ‘Thrill of the Hunt’.

Classification: EROTICA