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All posts for the month June, 2011

I’ve got a real treat for all my readers today.

This week I interviewed The Daddy of Demonology himself. Sean Hayden! Author of the critically acclaimed Origins; part of the Demonkin Series!

Here we go!

 

What made you choose horror as your primary genre?

Believe it or not, I didn’t. With Origins I was shooting for Urban Fantasy. Things got out of control, there were blood and guts everywhere, and the next thing you know, the main character is lying on a morgue table with nothing but a rib spreader to show for it.  

 

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved reading. Even more so than watching television. The last time I went to a bookstore, I bought a whole series of books at once that caught my eye. I cracked open the first one and read about fifty pages into it. I’d like to say I did something noble like donate them. I didn’t. It irked the hell out of me. I threw all of them in the trash and said, “I can do better than that crap.” So I gave it a shot! 

 

You’re a published author now; how hard was it to get to where you are?

I wasted six months of my life trying to find an agent. I spent another two months trying to get a big publisher to even look at it. That was a waste. I found a website called duotrope.com that lists small publishers. I sent it to the first one that sounded familiar to me and they accepted it. Hearing some of the other horror stories out there, I assume I came out relatively unscathed! 

 

‘Origins’ is the first book in the Demonkin series. Can you give us more details as to what it’s about? 

In the world I created, everyone knows vampires, werewolves, mages, and elves exist. They work, play, and die beside them every day. What no one knows is that every breed of vampire and magical creature out there is the offspring of either a demon and a human, or an angel and a human. I used this to explain why there are so many different kinds of vampires. The main character, Ashlyn is the newest breed. Her father is a major demon lord. Humans had lost the ability to summon demons, but Ashlyn’s mother found a way to do it. Let’s just say she didn’t enjoy the experience. Nine months later Ashlyn came about. She’s a vampire, but different. She can only survive off the blood of other magical creatures. It gets her into a heap of trouble with the head vampire of Chicago. Right when he’s got her, she’s saved and recruited by the FBI. They want her to work for them to take care of the vampires who get a little frisky. Her first assignment after Quantico? Yup. Head back to Chicago and take care of their crazed, prohibition era, gangster master vampire.

 

What about the next books in the Demonkin series? What direction will they be going in? 

The sequel, Deceptions, is written and under contract. It should be out in October. Ashlyn’s back and The Great State of California have elected themselves an undead governor. Needless to say, neither the vampires or most of the human population are too happy about this. Somebody tries to make him totally dead. Ashlyn needs to keep him alive and find out who’s behind the attempts before it’s too late. 

 

It’s clear that you’re influenced by demonology, what do you find compelling about demons?

I like things with pointy nails and wings that drool. Okay, just kidding. I do like the Idea that demons are fallen angels. They chose to be what they are. It’s the ultimate fight against good and evil. The demons in my story aren’t charming, debonair, suit wearing demons. They’re slash your face off and dance in your entrails demons. Way more fun to write. Believe it or not, in the story I chose Asmodeus to be Ashlyn’s father. What’s creepy is I made his main rival the Angel Rafael. What’s REALLY creepy is if you do a little research, you’ll find that Asmodeus and Rafael have been going at it since the dawn of time. Totally unresearched and unintentional. I didn’t know till i was watching a special on Angels on the Discovery Channel after my book was out.

 

Do you have any plans to write a completely different novel from scratch?

I have already! LOL. I’ve moved on to steampunk and YA. I just finished my very first full length YA novel. It’s the first of a series too. My Soul to Keep is the first of the Soul Survivor series and is about a teenage kid who inadvertently writes a binding contract to sell his soul for his fondest wish. When the demons show up to make it happen, he panics. When asked for his greatest wish, he asks to be a demon himself. As it is a binding contract, the demons have to honor it. Things go downhill from there, but he saves not only his soul, but falls in love along the way. 

 

When you’re not writing or working, what are you generally doing?

Editing, blogging, networking, marketing, promoting, and a WHOLE bunch of other things that end in ING. 

 

Angels or Demons. Which is better?

Know that thing we all have as humans? Free will? How much free will do you think an angel has? Do this, do that, smite him, collect that. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Now imagine how much free will a demon has? He’s pretty much turned his back on everything and everyone. As characters they’re just chock full of limitless potential. Plus it would be cool to have big leathery, bat like wings. Just saying.

 

If you were to set a goal for your future what would it be?

I want to be as big as an author as anyone. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a conceited bone in my body. I don’t think I’m the greatest author that’s ever lived. I’m just saying that having the name recognition of some of the greats would be absolutely friggin awesome.

 

And finally who is your favourite horror icon?

Clive Barker, baby. If you ask him what the greatest influence on his work is, he’ll say, “The Bible.”  

 

Click on an image for further details

 

 

Want to know more? Here it is

Sean Hayden works in South Florida as a Fiber-optic Engineer for a cable communications company.

Born in the Suburbs of Chicago he relocated to Florida as a child, where he grew up and attended school at a small Catholic elementary and high school. It was there, in literature class, he fell in love with books. Vampires especially fascinated him as well as the realm of possibilities of the urban fantasy genre. This fascination gave birth to his first novel, Origins.

He lives at home with his wife, children, and a plethora of pets.

Visit Sean at http://www.seanhayden.org/

or follow him on Twitter @shaydenFL

 

I’ve just stumbled across this great looking movie which needs as many donations as possible in order for it to be the best it can. If you’ve got a few dollars, pounds, euros, yen or any other currency spare, donate today and do your bit for our horror community!

 

SYNOPSIS

 

 In 1978 a meteorite crash lands into the Swiss Mountains unleashing a deadly virus. Killing everyone within a 20 mile radius, the incident was covered up by local officials. Now 32 years later the virus is released onto an unsuspecting island off the coast of  England. A group of survivors must band together in order to survive the death and destruction of the once friendly locals in this brutal horror film ‘Invasion Of The NOT QUITE Dead’

Still need a reason to donate? REALLY??? Okay then – This movie is a UNIQUE twist  on the ZOMBIE genre. Also, the film will not  be using any CGI gore or explosions… It’s all real baby! Not only that, the movie will contain an awesome cast including Zach Galligan (Gremlins) Terry Stone (Doghouse) Holly Matthews (Waterloo Road) and Andrew Ellis (This is England)

Still not convinced?    What are you illiterate???     Fine then, for all of you who are unable to read (Don’t worry I understand the irony of writing this) look below and press the pretty little ‘play’ button for a trailer!

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c7qGYPPYWM&feature=player_embedded]

 

Right now I know you’re convinced! Here’s the site for you to find more cool stuff and information on how to donate a bit of spare cash to a great cause!

http://indywood.co.uk/

 

Keep fighting the good fight my Horror Brethren!

Ania Ahlborn

 

Yesterday I was lucky enough to  interview a great horror writer; Ania Ahlborn!  Author of the debut novel Seed!

Here we go!

Okay so we know you’re a horror author, but why did you choose that genre?

I like to think that the genre chose me, not the other way around. I’ve always been drawn to the darker things in life. Even as a little girl, I was more interested in things that went bump in the night than, well… things little girls are into. Don’t get me wrong, I was afraid of things that went bump in the night; I didn’t sleep with the lights off for what seemed like years after I watched The Exorcist. And yet here I am, writing horror. It seems that horror has been pulling me toward it since I was a child.

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Writing has always been something I enjoyed. I discovered writing when I was nine or ten, and I knew I had a knack for it–but to say I decided to be a writer at that age is pretty silly. I had no idea what I wanted to be, let alone what I was going to wear the next day. I think I really decided I wanted writing to be my career my freshman year of college. My major was psychology, and I was enjoying it quite a bit until one of my instructors said something that turned my stomach. He said that in psychology, you legally couldn’t ‘help’ anyone–psychology was all about getting the person to help themselves. That sat really badly with me, and a week or two later I visited my adviser to switch my major from psych to English. That little push assured me that I was trying to resist something that I shouldn’t have been resisting. I was a writer. There was no use hiding from it.

You’re a published author now. How hard was it to get to where you are?

I’m published, but that in no way means I’m making a living off of what I’m doing–at least not yet. My journey has been a long one. It’s been nearly fifteen years since I sent out my first query letter. I tried the traditional publishing route over and over only to be beaten down and rejected, but I can’t say I’m sorry it happened. Without the experiences I’ve gone through, I doubt I would have ever written Seed. I wouldn’t be as driven, and I certainly wouldn’t be as independent as I am when it comes to publishing. Swallowing all those rejections kills some people’s spirit, but it just made me that much more defiant. I’m of the opinion that nobody can tell me what I can and can’t write, and with Seed’s relative success, I’ve only assured myself that I can do this. It’s been a hard uphill battle, and I still struggle with moments of self-doubt, but I’ve taught myself to sit down, shut up, and write… the rest will come in due time.

Your first book was released recently. Can you give us more details as to what it’s about?

Seed is a novel about a rural Louisiana family. Upon coming home from little Charlie’s sixth birthday party at a pizza place, the Winter’s get into a near-fatal car accident. After the accident, Charlie’s sweet demeanor starts to shift and her father, Jack, knows all too well what’s going on. He begins to relive his own childhood nightmares as he watches his little girl transform into a stranger.

Seed is subtle horror. It verges on psychological, and it’s a throwback to the good old days when not all horror was zombies and vampires. It’s deeply rooted in place and family, and it’s character driven. It’s a bit like The Exorcist meeting The Omen, but rather than spinning heads and pea soup, you’re forced to watch a deliberately slow transformation of an innocent child into something monstrous.

What has been the most rewarding part of your writing career so far?

My first reward was when Seed actually went live. Those first few days were amazing because so many of my friends, be it from Twitter or Facebook, really banded together to support me. For the first few days I had incredible sales, and it was all because these wonderful people wanted me to succeed. That was an amazing feeling, and I’ll be forever grateful for their support.

The second best part of this whole experience has been listening to people’s reactions to the book. The reviews have been stellar–better than I could have ever hoped, and as I write this response Seed is ranked #10 on the Kindle Top Rated Books in the horror/occult category. I try not to pride myself too much on rank because it’s ever-changing, but it’s a pretty fantastic feeling to know that the people who are reading Seed are loving it as much as they are. There’s pressure with that, of course… but it’s been great.

What has been the least rewarding?

I wouldn’t say that there’s been one particular thing that’s been least rewarding, but there have been some disappointments, some things that have been hard to come to terms with. When you publish your first book, you expect that everyone will be supportive and excited for you, but that isn’t the case. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but you turn the other cheek and move on.

Do you have any plans of writing a sequel to Seed or is your next book going in a different direction?

There will be no sequel. I think it would be easy to write one, but I’m not a fan of series. I feel like authors today do too many series books and not enough stand-alone novels. Stand-alones are harder. You have to start from square one each time. You don’t have pre-established characters, there’s no formula you follow for each book. I may do a series one day, but at the moment it isn’t something that interests me.

My next project is completely different from Seed. It’s even more subtle, even more heavily rooted in character and back story. I’m a little nervous about it because the vibe is quite different from Seed. Seed is dark and gritty, this next work feels more airy, more prim… but there’s a method to my madness. I just hope it’s as well-received as Seed has been.

If you could change one aspect of your past what would it be?

I don’t believe in changing things about my past. To do so is to erase the present me.

If you were to set a goal for your future what would it be?

 My goal is to stay on task and write two novels a year until I have enough funds rolling in to quit my present job and do this full time. It would be a long-time dream come true.

And finally who is your favourite horror icon?

That would have to be Jack Torrence from The Shining. Talk about the quintessential psychopath. I love the slow build, the subtle changes in Jack as he shifts from father and husband to raging lunatic. It’s perfect because it’s plausible, and I love plausible. Plausible is one of my favorite things

Great right? See below for more info on Seed  and Ania!

Click on an image for more details

 

Want to see a cool promo trailer? Here it is!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9qOplAtULM]

 

Want to know about Ania Ahlborn – I got that too. Check it out below!

Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Beyond writing, Ania enjoys gourmet cooking, baking, movies, drawing, and traveling. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband and two dogs, Beau the Scottie and Galaxy the Yorkie.

Learn more about Ania on her site, www.AniaAhlborn.com, where you can sign up for a direct-from-the-author newsletter on new releases, promos, and more.

Want to connect?

Follow Ania on Twitter @aniaahlborn

or Facebook at www.facebook.com/aniaahlbornauthor.