What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?
Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies has been officially released. It features stories from Jeff Strand, Tara Maya, Matt Hults, Rayne Hall, Douglas Kolacki, Tracie McBride, April Grey, John Hoddy, Jonathan Broughton and me. I’m looking forward to digging into this one. You can find it at the following links:
Here’s the trailer for the book:
What does the future hold?
Well, next Friday may be the end of the world, right? If nothing else, it’s the end of my semester teaching. Yahoo! Christmas break!
In addition, I will be posting my foreword to Somewhere in the Shadows as well as a few words about the stories therein. With any luck, I’ll be able to get through all of them by next week. I’ve read a little more than half, and they’re quite diverse in content.
But without further ado…
I’m pleased this week to be hosting a guest post from my TESSpecFic group mate Jonathan D. Allen. I’ve interviewed Jonathan here before, as well as reviewed his first novel, Corridors of the Dead. Now he has a new release, Room 3, and he’s holding a book tour through Innovative Online Book Tours.
Here’s the blurb about Room 3:
Torn away from everyday life and held prisoner in a tiny cabin, Kelli Foster must harden herself to survive torture and isolation. When Carla is introduced to Kelli’s small world, the experiments they are forced to endure take a dark turn. Kelli is forced to choose: Save her own life, or free her new friend? Sacrifice her dreams or sacrifice her love?
Following a failed escape attempt, Kelli, Carla, and Kelli’s lover Samarta work together to unravel the mystery behind the shadowy group that has kidnapped them all. Their path to freedom lies through mind-bending discoveries and globe-trotting adventures, culminating in a battle between godlike beings that hold Kelli’s fate in their hands.
Jonathan sent me a variety of possible guest posts to use, and I chose the following because I liked what he had to say, not just in relation to Room 3, but also in relation to the craft of writing itself. I won’t say anymore, but will rather let him do the talking from here on.
So NOW without further ado…
Thanks for joining me on the Room 3 Fall 2012 Promotional Tour. Very few of us writers are crazy about jumping onto the promotional wagon; we see it as something of a necessary evil to make sure that you, the readers, know that our novels exist and might be worth some of your precious time. I’m probably not much different in that respect, but I also feel that my novel, and the story surrounding its creation, has some real emotional depth to offer a reader.
Room 3 has been a labor of love from the beginning. The story has its roots deep in concepts that made me uneasy even in my childhood – the idea that others could somehow “hijack” your mind or your body for their own purposes. Stories like Alien, The Shining, and Videodrome use these horrors to stunning effect, and I had always hoped to be able to give my own spin on the concept.
It’s not an easy one to write, however; the very concept is rooted in an intensely personal idea of self, which means that a storyteller must work hard to establish a person within his or her own skin. Would, say, The Shining be nearly as effective if we didn’t have a sense of Jack Torrance as a man with a flawed psychology hoping to make good? I think that awareness of Jack’s inner emotional landscape lends itself to the horror that we then witness through his child’s eyes.
In this way, a tale such as Room 3 lives and dies based on the emotional landscape of a handful of characters. My first novel, The Corridors of the Dead, may have been effective at putting a reader in touch with the core of a woman on the cusp of an important transformation, but it also worked from an action-based premise. It seems a little easier to show such a change when so much of the story is externally-driven; you can show how a character’s reaction to changing scenery and circumstance reflects his or her inner drives and transformation.
Room 3 demanded something a little different. I had to tap into that afore-mentioned emotional landscape. I had to understand and live Kelli Foster’s emotional path. I had to comprehend what it meant to go from being a scared, trapped person who transformed into a hardened, bitter veteran of circumstance. I then had to make a leap from that closed-off person to learning to trust and love again.
It seemed a tall order, and I despaired at times on whether I could ever get it right. The answer came to me slowly: tap into circumstances that I had experienced. Look at my own path from one place to another, for my own life has moved in similar circles. This was the key to understanding Kelli and not only sharing but affirming my own experiences.
Viewed that way, you can see Room 3 as a chronicle not only of a character’s transformation but also of my transformation and learning experience. It means a lot to me to be able to share that with other people, and I hope that you can enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
What do I want from you?
So what are your thoughts? For my readers, does any of this surprise you about the labor of writing? For my writers, have you had similar experiences?
Also, don’t forget to check out Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies (links at the start of this post)
Finally, if the sky isn’t raining fire or something like that (*laughs nervously*), check back next week for my foreword to Somewhere in the Shadows.