Our guest this week, Tom King, a former CIA Counterterrorism operations officer, discusses life fighting on the front lines post 9/11, and his life now as a husband, father, and full-time author. We discuss the strong themes in his novel A ONCE CROWDED SKY about war, avoiding a world full of violence, and the pull between being a hero and being a husband. Tom discusses how he still doesn’t know if he made the right decision to leave the CIA, and how his novel illustrates the lack of cut and dry answers in life that are also the hardest to live with. For the superheroes in his novel who lose their powers, they go from living the dream, to having everything taken away, and having to deal with their new, unglamorous lives. PenUltimate, the only superhero who didn’t give up his powers, is hated, and doesn’t want to leave his wife to help save the day. As the enemy returns, that decision becomes more difficult, and his story really touches the heart.
We are now halfway through my contribution to the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour, and to recap, I have been interviewing other authors from the upcoming Monsters! anthology put out by A Flame in the Dark. The theme for this anthology is the same for my theme here: should Christians write Horror and can they do it without being preachy or predictable (Deus ex machina- Latin term referring to an outside solution or force as a means of resolving a plot.)? Today, I have the honor of presenting a written interview with Pauline Creeden, a Fantasy, Horror and Devotional writer who “breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways.” As a thanks for stopping by to read what Pauline has to say on this subject of Christian Horror, I’m running a giveaway. Continue reading
I sent in my first contract and final draft of what will be my first published story, “Cornhusker: Demon Gene,” to A Flame in the Dark Magazine, to be published in their Monsters! Anthology, October 31st. The behind the scenes story for this first publication credit is a fun one. When I heard about this anthology, I sent them my zombie novelette, “Small Town Scourge,” which they accepted (my first acceptance!), but were inspired in that story to publish a zombie-specific anthology NEXT fall.
Okay, I thought, what about this fall? They said they had a little more room, and immediately an idea for another story came to mind. I wrote 5k words the next day, and finished it the day after, all with the idea of playing on an emotional pondering about what it would be like to live in the fear that your life would be taken before you hit your prime. As an unpublished author (at that time! ), I often thought about what it would be like to die before I fulfilled my dream of publishing novels. For this story, I took a young man a week from graduating high school, who has a crush on a girl, but doesn’t want to make a move because a gene that he may have inherited, the Demon Gene, could turn him into a monster any day now. I love this story for the emotional roller coaster from hopelessness, to seeing one’s dreams being fulfilled only to have them snatched out from under one’s feet. Continue reading