Friday, January 29, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: Null and Void

Jane Toomb's new gothic horror novel is anything but null and void when it comes to inspiring terror. Below, the author shares what the book's about and a tantalizing taste.

Buy Null and Void here.

Two ten-year-old girls, Ari and Mandy, vanish from the grounds of Null House one evening.  One is found the next morning, so traumatized she can't remember what happened or even who she is--the first ten years of her life erased.  A barrette in her hair identifies her as Ari.  Since her mother is dead, an uncle and aunt arrive and take her to live in another state.  Her memory of the lost years never returns.
Twenty years later, Mandy's grandmother invites her back to Null House. Ari doesn't want to go, but the child's voice that sometimes whispers in her mind tells her she must--because it's time.
When she arrives  she finds she's there because a woman claiming to be Mandy has surfaced and wants to come "home." Ari, lost memories slipping into her mind all the time now, can't be sure whether or not this women is Mandy, even though the woman seems to remember some of the things they did as children.  But she doesn't remember what Mandy now does--the teenager they called "The Snake" who tormented them.
Assisting Mandy's grandmotther is a nephew of the old lady's doctor.  He's a cop on administrative leave.  Attracted to Ari, and certain "Mandy" is a fraud, he delves into the murky past.
Not until Ari is lured into the woods surrounding the grounds of Null House and abducted, does the heroine's memory burst through in full force.  But is it too late?
"Home. I'm going home." Ari London called into the warm breeze from her open car window. There was no other traffic on this narrow black-topped county road, which surprised her. But this wasn't Illinois, after all. And her words weren't the truth.
Null House had never been her home, not exactly. Still, she'd lived in Michigan's Upper Peninsula until--the bad time. Until whatever it was had happened. The first ten years of her life were closed off to her, inaccessible. Uncle Matt had told her what he knew about those years, but it wasn't much. She really hadn't wanted to return. Maybe she wouldn't have if the child's voice hadn't whispered in her head so insistently the past few nights.
<>Time to go back. You need to go back. Now.
Ari's chest grew heavy. What could Henrietta LaBranche want from her after all this time? Mandy, Henrietta's granddaughter, had been dead for twenty years. True, Ari and Mandy were supposed to have been together when Mandy was killed. But surely Mrs. LaBranche knew Ari had no memory of the terrifying experience that had shut down her mind and wiped out the first ten years of her life.
She took a deep breath as she turned her beloved old Beemer off the county road and into a narrow drive between huge trees that looked to be virgin pine and hemlock. Glancing at the late June sunlight slanting through their branches, words popped into her head. <>Harpers hoar. She frowned. Forest primeval? Longfellow?
A sudden clear vision came without warning. She remembered being in fifth grade, of Ms. Gorney reading Longfellow's poem to the class Which had led to her own romantic idea of the Null House big trees as giant harpers using their branches as strings to play wind melodies. Had they been sad or happy ones? She waited for more memories to flood in, but that was all. Everything else about that time was still locked inside the dark closet of those missing years.
Obviously coming here, though, and seeing the old trees was the reason the harper memory had returned. Was it possible being at Null House might unlock that closed door and give her back more of those lost ten years? Ari swallowed to relieve a throat gone dry with apprehension. Uncle Matt had told her no one knew what had happened to her and Mandy. Did she really want to find out?
She swung around a final curve in the long drive and Null House loomed before her--three stories of Victorian extravaganza wrapped in what looked to be worn cedar siding. Balconies thrust out here and there, along with two cupolas at the top. She recognized the place from photographs Uncle Matt had shown her, sent to him by her mother before what Ari always thought of as the bad time.
Nothing about the house seemed familiar to her, even though Uncle Matt had said she'd spent much of her time here with Mandy because Ari's mother had been Mrs. LaBranche's cook.
She sighed, sad that she had no memory of her widowed mother, who'd died of a heart attack shortly after hearing Ari had been found alive. Uncle Matt, her mother's brother, had come to the hospital and taken her to live with him and Aunt Connie in Illinois. He'd shown her photos of her mother with Henrietta LaBranche, but if he hadn't pointed out her mother, Ari wouldn't have known which was which.
What did Mrs. LaBranche want from her? What did she expect? The letter inviting her to stay at Null House had said only that something had come up she hoped Ari could help her with. What?
She parked the car in the circular drive. Before she climbed the wide curving steps to the open porch, she muttered, "I'm here, for better or worse. I hope you're satisfied." Shaking her head at the folly of speaking to the disembodied child's voice that sometimes whispered to her at night, she mounted the steps to the massive front door. No doorbell. She grabbed the bronze knocker, belatedly noticing, half hidden in the twining metal leaves, a satyr face with mocking eyes. Grimacing, she let the knocker drop against the plate. The door opened.
Ari blinked at the man who opened it, only now realizing she'd expected him to be an old man, dressed somberly in black. Expected him to be Arthur, the LaBranche houseman, who always greeted her with a welcoming smile. Another bit from her childhood had surfaced, unsettling her.
While the dark-haired young man did wear black jeans and T-shirt, his unsmiling gray eyes were cold as November rain as he blocked her way in.
"You shouldn't have come," he said.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

DEADLY VISION Now Available in E-Book

For all of you Kindle and other e-book readers out there, I am pleased to announce my print novel, Deadly Vision is now available in a brand new e-book edition from Bristlecone Pine Press.

Click here to get your copy.

What If You Suddenly Became Psychic and Could Stop Two Cold-Blooded Killers?

What if...No One Believed You?

Small-town single mom Cass D'Angelo's life changes when a thunderstorm sweeps into her small Ohio River town. Cass must venture out in it to hunt for her son, seven-year-old Max. Lightning strikes a tree near her and a branch to the head knocks her unconscious. When Cass awakens a couple days later, she sees into the deepest secrets of those around her. Worse, some teenage girls have gone missing, and Cass sees their grisly fates. The discovery opens the door to a whole new life. The police are suspicious. The press wants to make her a celebrity. And the killers are desperate to know how she found their carefully concealed grave. Cass finds an ally in Dani Westwood, a local reporter. The two women begin to probe into the disappearances/murders and start to forge a romance. When Cass's little boy, Max, disappears, Cass must race against the clock to find him...before it's too late.


From Gregg Olsen, New York Times Best-Selling Author
Horror fiction's most original voice knows how to spin a tale that makes a reader double check the door locks and windows. It is at once smart and twisted.

From Victor J. Banis, author of Longhorns
Rick R. Reed moves to the head of the graveyard with this bone-chilling story of a reluctant psychic, a pair of maniacal killers, and the slaughter of innocence. Fiendishly good!

The Summitville Paper was nothing much. It never had been—reporting on the lives of some 15,000 citizens filled usually no more than twenty or thirty pages. The national news occupied the front page and maybe continued on to the second. The remainder was taken up by advertising, editorials about such things as high school activities and earth-shattering decisions like whether local merchants should continue to stay open late on Thursday nights, and reporting who had gotten married, divorced, arrested, been involved in automobile accidents, or admitted to the emergency room of Summitville City Hospital. There was a comics page and a crossword puzzle, sometimes a syndicated movie review. If someone wanted something meatier, they purchased the Pittsburgh paper.

But still, Cass was more than a little intrigued when a nurse’s aide brought her that morning’s edition. It had obviously already been read, clumsily folded, the crossword puzzle attempted. But Cass could count on one hand the number of times she had been celebrated enough to make its pages: her birth, when she had been on the homecoming court in high school (a Carrie-like fluke...Cass had already been deep into her first crush on another girl and hadn’t even known why she had accepted Tommy Nevins’ invitation), when she had given birth to Max, and when she had sprained her ankle and had been admitted to the emergency room.

And here she was on the front page. There was no picture, but the headline was identification enough. Cass had assumed that when people got hit so hard in the head it knocked them unconscious for hours, they eventually died. But, obviously, that wasn’t true, because here she was, feeling better, actually, with every passing moment. The article gave credit to quick action by the Summitville Fire Department in saving the “local woman’s” life.

“We were on the scene immediately,” paramedic John Fore was quoted as saying, “and were able to restore the woman’s breathing within a couple of minutes.” Cass smiled, thank God for that. She went on to read how she had been rushed to the hospital and was now in stable condition.

Cass was just about to put the paper aside when another article caught her eye. “Teenager Reported Missing,” by Dani Westwood. It wasn’t so much the headline that got her attention, but the picture of the young girl beneath it. Pretty. Long blonde hair. And disturbingly familiar.

Even though Summitville was a small town, the girl’s name, Lucy Plant, didn’t ring any bells. Perhaps Cass had waited on her at the Elite, the diner where she worked. But still, no specific recollection came back. Cass couldn’t visualize the girl sitting at the counter, nor at one of the booths.

And yet she looked so familiar, as if she were someone Cass was friends with, or even a relative.

Cass scanned the story. The girl had been reported missing by her mother yesterday afternoon, just before the storm that had caused such a turn in Cass’s own life.

There were no clues. The girl, at least according to her mother, could not possibly have been a runaway. “Lucy’s a good girl,” Karen Plant had told Summitville police officer Myron Briggs. “She wouldn’t even go down the block to visit a friend without telling me first.”

The last time anyone had seen Lucy Plant was when her mother looked outside the living room window. Lucy had been playing with her Barbie dolls on the front lawn.

Cass closed her eyes. She remembered, suddenly, the storm coming, and not knowing where Max was. She sympathized with the girl’s mother and the panic she must have felt when she couldn’t locate her daughter.

A ceiling fan. Beneath her closed lids, Cass saw a ceiling fan. She didn’t know why. She didn’t own one herself, and the one in her parents’ living room was an entirely different model from this one, which was white, with a plain globe. Her parents’ fan had four frosted-glass light fixtures and faux wood blades.

Cass kept her eyes closed, watching the ceiling fan whirl, its blades blurring and becoming singular: there was something wrong with the fan. It didn’t work quite right.

Cass felt nauseated and opened her eyes. Her face was glazed with sweat. Her stomach churned and she was afraid she would vomit. Why was seeing a ceiling fan so disturbing? Or was this some sort of aftershock, an effect of her accident in the woods near her house?

Cass didn’t think so.

She glanced down at the face of Lucy Plant and sucked in some air. “Oh my God,” she whispered, “she’s dead.”

The smell of the Ohio River, fishy and damp, suddenly came to her, even though her hospital windows were hermetically sealed and the river was a good four or five blocks away. Why had she said Lucy was dead?

What did she know about it?

She closed her eyes again and saw a blinking light: red.

What did it mean?

Part of her wanted to close her eyes again, to see if more of the vision would come to her; part of her dreaded ever closing her eyes again. Where was this coming from? It’s just aftereffects, Cass, she told herself. You suffered a blow to your head, brain-jarring. That’s all.

She lay back on the pillows. When she closed her eyes again, she saw the blinking red light and a shadowy figure behind it: a woman’s head. The image, for no objective reason, was horrifying.

Cass sat up in bed, heart pounding. “No,” she said loudly, then whispered, “no.”

She forced herself to breathe deeply. She looked down at Lucy Plant’s calm, smiling face again: the straight blonde hair, the kind someone more romantically inclined would refer to as “flaxen.” The wide eyes, too big for her little-girl face, but which would someday be beautiful. The dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose. The chipped front tooth.

Cass felt her eyes brim with tears, a lump in her throat. “So innocent,” she whispered, rocking back and forth in the bed, unaware that she was even moving. “So innocent. What a waste.” She smelled the river again, and when she closed her eyes once more, she had another vision: the brown murky water of the Ohio River, its tree-lined shores and...and...

Cass bit her lip so hard she tasted blood.

A freshly dug grave.

Cass opened her eyes and batted at her own face, as if she could physically remove the odd imagery. She didn’t want to see these things. It was like a dream, a nightmare, but she wasn’t sleeping.

The images were so vivid—the knowledge so certain.

Lucy Plant wasn’t coming back.

Her gaze fell upon a line of type in the news story about the girl’s disappearance. Her mother was making a plea. “Please, if anyone knows anything about my daughter...if anyone has seen her, please, please, let us know. All we want is to know that she’s safe. No. All that we want is for her to be home again, where she belongs. Her little brother misses her. I miss her. Her father...we all do. Please, if you know anything about our girl, come forward.”

And Cass wondered what she should do. She visualized herself down at Summitville police headquarters, telling them she knew something about the girl’s disappearance. “Yes, I had a vision. The girl is dead and she’s buried near the river. I saw a ceiling fan and a blinking red light, like on a video camera.”

She would be treated with understanding and pity. Scorn and laughter behind her back. The police would call some mental hospital in Pittsburgh.

But what could she do?

She did know something about Lucy Plant. She was sure of it. She wished she didn’t, but there it was.

Cass flung the newspaper to the floor and forced herself to look out the window, where the tree-covered hills of West Virginia stared dumbly back at her, much as they stared dumbly at the shallow grave Cass was certain this poor young girl was buried in.

Footsteps. A child.

Cass sighed with relief. Max.

“I wanna see Mama!” he yelled.

And her mother was telling him to slow down.

It was the real world. Cass wondered if she’d ever be part of it again.

Click here to get your copy.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: Rock My Socks Off

It's nice when the title of an author's new book and the reaction it elicits from a reader are one in the same. Case in point: Rock My Socks Off by Jeremy Edwards.

Below the author shares a little bit about his book and a delicious taste.


Writer Jacob Hastings is uninspired by his latest assignment: a museum full of
hideous rocking horses. But his socks are rocked by Normandie Stephens, a
mischievous astronomer who can match his dry wit, quip for quip, and his sexual
appetite, frolic for frolic, with energy to spare.

Thanks to Jacob's public relations and the machinations of a feisty and frisky
mentor named Kate, an impasse in Normandie's career promises to blossom into
either glory or disaster--with enigmatic photographer Susan and obtuse clubber
Brandon along for the wild rocking-horse ride. Between farcical talk show appearances, sensuous threesomes, horny little quickies, sex-drenched romantic getaways, and close calls with utter embarrassment, the pace never lets up in this smart erotic romp.


Susan's studio was set up as the best-lit bedroom they had ever seen.

"How did you get that bed in?" Jacob asked. It was a luxurious, sprawling
affair--suitable for luxurious, sprawling affairs--that obviously could not have
fit through the door.

"I assembled it here, when I first got the studio," Susan said softly.

"Aha," said Normandie. "So this won't be your first erotic shoot."

Susan put a hand to her mouth to stifle her already-nearly-silent laughter. Her
eyes were pixie-like. "Not exactly. But it will be my best."

Jacob, unsure of how to get the proceedings underway, began to unbutton his

"Would you please keep your shirt on," said Susan, with a distinctive tone of
meek firmness. The combination of her natural timidity and the confidence that
came with being in charge, on her own turf, was an interesting one, Jacob

"You mean my actual shirt?" He'd never heard the expression used literally

"Jacob is such a he-man," said Normandie, with a straight face. "You can't get
the guy to keep his shirt on for five minutes at a time. It's very embarrassing
at formal events."

"I have a gradual progression of scenes in mind," Susan explained. "I promise
you will both be undressed before we're finished."

"I hope so," said Jacob, "or I'm going to want my money back."

"I'm paying you," Susan reminded him.

"Where would you like us to pose, Susan?" asked Normandie.

"The bed," said Susan, indicating what was, in fact, the only piece of furniture
within the area she had lit. "Please take only your shoes off and sit on the
edge, for now. You can touch, but no orgasms or anything yet."

"You heard the lady," said Jacob to Normandie as they assumed their positions.
"Don't go sneaking in an orgasm before she's ready."

"Damn," said Normandie. "I think I'm already having one."

The author, relaxing at home. Visit Jeremy online here.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Snappy new cover for ON THE EDGE!

I woke up this morning to the cover for On the Edge, my forthcoming (summer 2010) collection of gay erotic romance. As always, cover designer at Amber Allure, Trace Edward Zaber, has done an amazing, eye-catching job. The book will be a trade paperback and will contain eight of my hottest, and most romantic tales, previously only available in e-book format: 

  • Incubus 
  • Superstar
  • Riding the El at Midnight
  • Pottery Peter 
  • Through the Closet Door 
  • Fugue 
  • MANamorphosis
  • No Place Like Home
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

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Sunday, January 24, 2010


My latest horror book review is up at Dark Scribe magazine and it's for a creepy little gem you might have passed by, so I hope you'll check it out.

The review says, in part,

"Next to Six Feet Under – one of my all-time-favorite television series – was Carnivale, which was also a product of HBO. It had a weird, convincing, apocalyptic sense of dread about it that I loved. Its story of a traveling carnival and sideshow was gripping, creepy, and in many cases, universal.

Alive on the Inside has a lot in common with that show. It’s the story of a traveling carnival and sideshow called the Phantasmagoria and it’s also replete with a slightly creepy midway, freaks, geeks, and a sinister not-quite-out-of-sight overseeing presence. And while it wouldn’t be fair to compare Carnivale and Alive on the Inside, this new book from two authors whose work I admit to being completely unfamiliar with is original, scary, and thought provoking in its own way."

Read the rest of the review here.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

"I'm Going to Kill Myself A Gay Tonight"

Here's a new twist to the gay hate crime dialogue you've heard so much about lately: Glen H. Footman is perhaps the first hate crime victim to be screwed over by both the miscreant who shot him as he walked peacefully along a street with his longtime partner and then once more, after death, by his home state, Maryland.

What are you talking about? You might ask. How could the state be involved?

The answer is quite simple once you know the story. It boils down to a few hard facts. In September 2008, Foote and his partner of 13 years, Alex Chavarria, were minding their own business walking along a street in Mount Vernon, a Baltimore neighborhood just north of the downtown. Witnesses have said that the man who stopped Footman to ask him a question and went on to shoot him twice was earlier overheard saying, "I'm going to kill myself a gay tonight." As of this writing, Baltimore police have classified the murder as a possible hate crime but have not made any arrests. Footman spent months at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, then a rehabilitation center, then at home. He died November 9, almost a year after he was shot.

To compound the tragedy, Footman died too soon to get any of the state dollars available to victims from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. According to Peter Hermann, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, "A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which oversees the panel, told me an investigator had put the application on the docket in early November, but the board wasn't due to vote until a week after Footman died. And because Footman, 52, had no spouse and no dependents, there is no one for the state to give the money to."

No one to give the money to? How about Alex Chavarria, Footman's partner of 13 years? Surely, he's grieving and could probably use some help with the cost of caring for and trying to save the man he loved over the course of nearly a year? Oh right, Maryland doesn't allow same-sex marriage. Ergo, Chavarria is not eligible for any compensation from the state board. If they were a straight couple, it would not be a problem. Here's a good example to give to your right-wing friends when they say they just can't approve of same sex marriage.

Chavarria is angry over this, but according to the Baltimore Sun's coverage, "he is angrier with what he calls bureaucratic fumbling by the board, which he says repeatedly delayed dealing with the case because of lost faxes, missed information and poor record-keeping. He said one clerk told him she had misplaced his file and that it had to be redone and resubmitted.

"'I am upset and disappointed that this program never helped us and is not organized to work, even for those who do it right from the start," Chavarria said in an e-mail. "Why does the board not recognize that the victims include the family and/or caregivers who are truly the ones supporting everything financially?'"

The compensation board, created in 1968 to help 'innocent victims of crime' has paid out more than $100 million to victims and their families. The money does not come from taxes, but from court costs and fees paid by offenders.

The board was set up to help victims like Footman.

According to the Sun, "The only help (the board) is now offering his friends and family is up to $5,000 in funeral costs. That money is not restricted to a spouse or dependent, but can go to the person responsible for the burial. It is money the state said Footman's partner has not applied for and it is money Chavarria said he doesn't need nor want.

"Chavarria said Footman first applied to the board for compensation on Feb. 7, 2009, (he sent me [Hermann] a copy of his original form dated 2/7/08, explaining that his partner got the year wrong but did send it in February of last year). It typically takes about 180 days to complete a review and vote on a claim, and based on that date, a decision should have been made before Footman died." Although Footman applied in plenty of time to receive compensation and officials even concede his case was "well-documented" time still ran out on his application for aid. Footman could have applied for up to $45,000, but was asking for only $12,000, his out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance. Rick Binetti, a spokesman for the state prison system that oversees the compensation board says it's possible Footman's file could have been "misplaced."

And I sit here, shaking my head in sadness and dismay, with a lump in my throat, over the death of a man who was shot to death in the street simply because he loved someone else's idea of the wrong person, a state who has a system to help victims of crime but who fumbled things on their end for so long they got out of providing that help, and for a damaged survivor of hate crime, having to go on...with the cold knowledge that if  he had been legally married to his life partner, this compensation would not even be an issue.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 Silly Questions with...ME

Okay, it's only fair (and oddly, masturbatory) that I subject myself to those same silly questions I've subjected others to over the past several months.

It was interesting to put myself on the other side of the fence, for once. Hope you don't find my own answers more bizarre or weird than those of my most bizarre and weird subjects.

Or maybe I do. Here we go...

1.  If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, what would you eat?
Since I would be aghast if a dead person showed up at my door for dinner, probably nothing. Since I would be aghast if a live celebrity showed up for dinner, probably nothing. Perhaps for the latter, I would run up the street and get some Thai take-out.

2.  Who do you think you are?
Little Miss Mary Sunshine, spreading it around wherever I go

3.  What’s your problem?

4.  If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?
No. I'm selfish that way. Besides, do you really need a foot long, um, er, ruler?

5.  Where you at?
In my sweet spot

6.  If you had to choose only one vice, what would it be?
Thumb sucking

7.  What’s your favorite brand of cereal?
Cap'n Crunch...morning, noon, or night

8.  When you wake up in the morning, what celebrity do you most resemble?
Tori Spelling

9.    Do you know your ass from a hole in the ground? And if so, how do you tell the difference?
I do. One is much, much cleaner, but I ain't sayin' which one.

10.  Do you have anything you’d like to plug?
Gerard Butler? Never mind. Of course, Rick, my latest book, Mute Witness, from MLR Press.  Here's the all important blurb:
Sean and Austin's perfect world shatters when Sean's eight-year-old son, Jason, vanishes. When Jason turns up days later abused and unable to speak, small town fingers point to the boy's gay dad as the culprit. Meanwhile, the real villain is close by, intent on ensuring the boy's muteness is permanent.
You can read excerpts and reviews here.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shooting Your Child

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot
- Truman Capote

A statement like that makes a reasonable person gasp. The idea of "taking a child out in the back yard and shooting it" is such an arresting and shocking image that it takes one's breath away.

But if you're a writer--or anyone who creates--you might understand. First off, to say that Capote had a flair for the dramatic would be an understatement. In life as well as in his writing, he loved to push buttons, which is probably why he's remembered as much for who he was as much as for what he wrote. But Capote's point, about the sadness and loss a creative person feels at the end of a project is a lot like a death. A death that you bring about by your own hand.

I understand the quote because I feel a sense of loss and despair when I write the words, "the end." For me, who rarely writes a series, it is as if I have effectively killed off my characters. More prosaic people in my life think I'm crazy when I say that my characters come to life for me when I'm writing a book and that they often surprise me with what they do or say. Other writers--for the most part--understand.

For me, writing a book is all about taking a journey with the characters I have created. In the course of that trip, I nurture them. I love them (even the bad ones...and as many parents might attest, sometimes you love the bad ones the most). I don't always see it as me giving them life, but them giving something to me--surprises, emotions, a better understanding of not only them, but myself. They become dear to me, real to me.

When I finished my novel Deadly Vision, I asked my friend Mary, who was an early reader of the book, to give me her opinion on it. In the course of our conversation, I told Mary about that sense of loss I felt now that my characters' journeys were over and how much I missed them. She laughed and said that maybe I should "host a tea party" for my "little friends." She didn't quite get it. Or maybe she did. One of the best tests of friendships is sometimes the ability to be mean with each other and get away with it. But I digress.

The point is, when I get to the end of a book, it's not a cause for celebration, it's an occasion for mourning. Because, to use Capote's rather melodramatic analogy, I have taken my offspring out in the backyard and shot them. They are gone and for me, they won't be back. Once a work is published, I never reread it. And maybe that's why, because when I'm done, I'm done. And those people I came to know so well are gone forever, like dead loved ones. It's bittersweet to revisit their world.

Call me fickle, but after a suitable period of mourning, I find comfort in the arms of new friends, new characters and seldom look back on those I've shot. Heartless bastard.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10 Silly Questions with Author Mark Jackman

When I found that Mark Jackman and I shared the same ambition, to punch a shark, I simply knew I had to have him on my blog for a go-round with my silly questions.

Mark did not disappoint me. Next time I'm across the pond in the UK, I plan on thanking him in person for matching my silly questions with answers that not only equaled, but exceeded their inanity. And for my mama, God rest her soul, I would like to also thank him for being a protector of small Italian women.

1.    If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, what would you eat?
My favourite three meals are chicken fajitas, fillet steak and fish ‘n’ chips, and any of them would be good.  Who would I eat with, any person, dead or alive? I will go for Paris Hilton, and I’ll pick dead.
2.    Who do you think you are?
Spice Girls.  1997. 

3.    What’s your problem?
No-one plays double guitars anymore. 

4.    If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?
I don’t think you’d want her. [RR: You are probably right, unless it's Ali Larter.]

5.    Where you at?
I live in Loughborough, England which is just south of Robin Hood country (the English version, not Kevin bloody Costner!  Who picked him to play Robin Hood?)

6.    If you had to choose only one vice, what would it be?
I’d choose sloth.  To not care for anything, not even yourself, is total freedom.  I’m not a materialistic person, but I always want to achieve more.  Once one goal is reached, the next one presents itself, and so on.  It means that I will never truly rest.  I hope one day that I reach contentment and no longer desire to better myself.  I hope I die the day after.  Actually, scrap that; I’ll go for booze, instead.

7.    What’s your favorite brand of cereal?
I eat porridge in the morning.  I usually buy the supermarket’s home brand as it is significantly cheaper.  I have one teaspoon of sugar with my warm porridge.  Golden syrup is good, too. 
You asked!

8.    When you wake up in the morning, what celebrity do you most resemble?
Wesley Snipes

9.    Do you know your ass from a hole in the ground? And if so, how do you tell the difference?
I think so.  Hang on, just need to pop outside...
  OK, now for exhibit B...  OUCH!
Right, I just need to work out which one, out of these two, is the earthworm.

10.    Do you have anything you’d like to plug?
My website. My blog. My band. My book. And Liz Hurley's hole in the ground.

Who is Mark Jackman?
I’m Mark Jackman. I am England’s foremost author, scientist, sportsman, musician, hunk, and virgin.  My first novel, The Great Right Hope, was released this year by  It is the only novel in the world to combine binge-drinking, benefit-fraud, Saturday night punch-ups, vampires, and dogging.  English eccentricity is a curse.