Lamar Giles
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Quick Q&A with Brandon Massey

I’m starting something new here on the blog. I’m reaching out to my favorite authors, authors I’ve just discovered, and any author in between to participate in a quick Q&A session just for the hell of it…

I LOVE talking shop with anyone who’s willing to listen (most of the time that’s other writers) and I know there are people who like to know more about the process from the inside.

I hope to feature a different author AT LEAST twice a month. Most of the writers I’ve met are gracious, open people who like exploring new forums. Maybe over time, this can become a favorite hang out for notable wordsmiths. The literary version of Inside the Actors Studio.

Without further delay, our first author, Brandon Massey

Brandon is the author of a dozen acclaimed novels. His latest, COVENANT, is a real thrill ride, as I’ve stated before.

LRG: A lot of writers have a goal of getting published. Beyond that they tend to target sustainability. I would say you’ve accomplished both, so what sort of goals do you set for yourself now?

BM: My primary goal these days is keep growing as a writer, and for me, that means writing pretty much every day, reading constantly, and seeking out new life experiences and insights.  That last point is especially important. I’ve found that I get my best ideas by ripping a cloth from something that I’ve personally experienced or have some knowledge of, and using that as the basis for a story.

LRG: What has been your greatest accomplishment during your time in the publishing world? What about your biggest disappointment?

BM: Probably my greatest accomplishment is that, for the most part, I’ve always written exactly what I wanted to write, and I’ve managed to find an audience for my stories.  That is extremely gratifying.  I’ve never paid much attention to following the fads.  I write the kind of stories that I’d like to read, and fortunately, a number of people other than myself enjoy them, too.

Biggest disappointment?  Definitely realizing that traditional publishing is basically like gambling.  Talent and hard work has very little to do with success in that realm.  It’s all about the numbers and someone’s subjective (and unproven) opinions of what’s worth publishing.

LRG: eBooks and Independent Publishing…a lot of people make it seem like we’re living in the Publishing End Times. What’s your take?

BM: I don’t think the so-called Big Six Publishers are going anywhere.  I think they will adapt to the new delivery models.  Furthermore, so long as there are writers who want to be taken care of, who want to avoid the business aspects of publishing, traditional publishers will always have a crop of writers from which to pick.

With that said, I do think you’ll see independent authors continuing to carve out a niche for themselves, simply because the channels have been opened.  A few will earn fortunes, a number will earn a good living, and still more will make “hobby money.”

The most gratifying thing of all?  Writers finally have options now.

LRG: You fall through a time warp and land at the feet of a younger version of yourself as they type “The End” on the first novel they/you will ever publish. What would you say?

BM: Start on the next book. Immediately.  Don’t get hung up on one project.  Keep moving and building momentum.

Brandon, thanks for stopping by and giving us a little insight into what you do.

Remember everyone, COVENANT, is the new novel and you NEED to add it to your collection. It’s available in paperback and on your favorite eReader.

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Draculas (yes, plural): a review

There’s something you need to know right now: I don’t like my vampires sparkly.

Neither do Crouch, Kilborn, Strand, or Wilson…the authors responsible for DRACULAS, a new horror novel collaboration available exclusively through eReader devices like the Amazon Kindle. Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about story medium (particularly surrounding Kilborn AKA JA Konrath), the digital revolution, and the future of publishing. This tag-team match of high octane thriller-horror writers may very well stir that pot once again, but I’m not here to talk about that.

I want to talk about sweet red candy. Blood. Particularly the RIVERS of it running through this tale.

The premise is simple enough. Terminally-ill billionaire Mortimer Moorecock purchases what tabloids call a “Dracula skull”, supposedly the fossilized skull of the Count himself (or one of his cousins). The goal: immortality. Upon pressing this skull’s crocodile-like fangs into his own neck, Moorecock succumbs to vicious seizures. His caretakers rush him to the hospital where things go horribly wrong. The infection changing Moorecock into a blood-crazed predator spreads quickly and what should’ve been a quick trip to the ER turns into a battle for every single person in the hospital to survive the night.

And what a battle it is.

I haven’t read a book like this in…well, ever. The mix of comedy, gore, and horror combine for cycles of laughter, wincing, and heartbreak. When you consider that four different authors put the words together, it seems like a miracle that the story is even coherent. They pull it off though, with seamless transitions between characters and voice. As an added bonus, this book comes with DVD-like extras that pull the curtain back on the process that birthed this beautifully bloody gorefest.

Some may call DRACULAS a throw-back to blood-soaked vampires who didn’t shop at Banana Republic and romance brooding teenage girls. On well level, I agree, but I would simply add this type of vampire probably should’ve been the standard all along.

If you feel the same, then this is a must-read.

Sidenote: Did Sam Raimi ever make a vampire movie? One of his old-school, guerilla style horror films that’s gained cult status but has somehow escaped my memory? If not, and if I ever have an audience with the man, I would beg him to adapt this. There’d be very little for him to do. Hire great actors. Hand out Kindles. Let the cameras roll. I may start a petition. And if you read DRACULAS, I think you’d be happy to sign it.

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