Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, March 27, 2015

What could possibly go wrong? What can’t? - Victim Souls by Andrew Terech

"The characters are interesting, funny and engaging. The story sweeps along at breakneck pace. I couldn't put this book down. It's a thrilling romp, definitely worth the read (which I did in almost one sitting). Highly recommended." - Amazon


Sometimes, only bad guys can beat the Devil… 

The plan is simple: get the money and deliver the car. What could possibly go wrong? 

What can’t? 

Things start to go south when Sam Drake realizes that his brother Johnny is hiding something, a secret about Sam’s troubled childhood that goes beyond his most feverish nightmares… 

Then Johnny’s girlfriend, Ash, starts sending Sam the kind of mixed signals that can only lead to big trouble… 

As the trio of small time crooks falls deeper into an abyss of betrayal and violence, they will discover that the greatest danger they face is not of this world. 

With everything he believes about himself and the world around him shattered, Sam will become the unlikely champion in a battle with true evil, a fight to save a soul that has already been forfeited to darkness. 
His own.

Thank you, Mr. Andrew Terech
1. What an author could do to rise the interest for horror stories? 
The horror genre appears to be at its height in popularity. I’ve been a massive fan of the genre most of my life, and I feel like there’s more quality content out there now than there’s ever been. However, with the horror genre you’re inevitably going to lose some audience simply because they don’t like to watch scary things or read scary books. I think most people are turned off by torture and gore, which is where a lot of the genre is leaning these days. Personally, I find that this type of “shock” horror can lead to lazy writing. It’s easy to write about someone being torn apart and gross out your audience; it’s a lot harder to write something that subtly crawls under a person’s skin. I think the latter is where you capture an audience. As writers of the genre, we need to find ways to turn the events of everyday life and turn them into something terrifying. 

2. What is the most important thing that is missing to our day horror literature? And what is, in your opinion, the key of a good horror story?
With so much content out there, I think the genre needs an original voice. For my money, Joe Hill is creating some of the most original content in the genre, and forging a path to greatness similar to his father. That being said, so much of what I’m seeing out there, especially in the independent market, is zombies, vampires, and witches. I’m sure the writers of these novels attempt to bring an original voice to these staples, but there’s so much of it out there it begins to all blur together. The key is to create an interesting character or set of characters that an audience can invest in, regardless of the originality of the plot. You become a fan of THAT zombie series because you love the main character and can’t wait to see how he/she is going to deal with the difficult, apocalypse-laden decisions. The bottom line, horror writers need to try something new. The key to a good horror story is to write about something that terrifies you as the writer. Forget about what you think other people are looking for—look inside yourself and get in tune with your own fears. If you can put it on the page, you’ll have something genuinely original and honest. The problem is—how do you market that? People like zombies, vampires, and witches. I think it’s a catch-22. You’re more likely to draw an audience if you can tap into these commonly loved themes, but will it give them nightmares. I choose to chase the nightmares. 

3. Good Guys VS Bad Guys – how bad a guy should be (sometime) to beat the Devil?
I’m going to have a huge bias with this question. I feel like there’s no place for righteousness in horror. I prefer the “hero” be the “villain” and the “villain” be the most deplorable thing/person I can imagine. I hate the good guys—they’re predictable, consistent, and they often lack depth. Think about it—the best heroes are always flawed. Writers try to find ways to make them more relatable by giving them a few bad habits (alcoholic, womanizer) and a troubled past (former criminal). I admit it works, and I’m more than guilty of these practices in my own writing. However, it’s so much more fun to just commit to bad. The villain is the personality of the story, the unpredictable force that tears shit up. Think about how awesome it would be if the Joker from the Dark Knight was the protagonist, up against something more sinister than him! That’s my kind of story. Sacrifice the self-righteous hero with a drug habit to the maniacal villain in chapter one, then let the bad guy have all the fun.

4. Between short story and novel – which one is harder to create and why? How different is to write them?
I’ve heard people argue that short stories are harder because you have to have some twist or catch to make it worth reading, but to those people I have two words—word count. Writing a novel is massively harder than writing a short story. The amount of time and attention to detail it takes to put together a 60,000+ word story is mind-numbing. Plus, if you’re writing a short story and feel that the confines of “short” are cramping your long-winded style, then just write on and turn it into a novel or novella. Writing a short story is like taking a snapshot, one single picture that has enough detail and scenery to capture an audience. Writing a novel is like putting together an entire portfolio of pictures that perfectly line up to tell one complete story. And if one picture is out of place, the whole thing falls flat. Short stories are easy to tinker with, and a good concept done poorly can be edited until its done right. A novel has too many elements to be tinkered with. My first draft had so many issues I had to do a massive re-write that included adding and deleting full chapters. It took over a year to finish the book after I completed my first draft. 

5. Please, tell us and motivate 3 reasons that make a character interesting.
1. Unpredictable. Characters with wild behavior, mood swings, or a nasty sense of humor always make the story more fun. Readers will hang on to the character’s every word not knowing what he/she is going to do or say next.

2. Stubborn. I like a good stubborn character who’s going to stick to his/her guns no matter what’s laid out in front of them. This will create much more tension in the narrative. You know that the character is going into that dark, murder-friendly cave to get his/her revenge no matter what. Then he/she learns that it’s a trap. Do you want the character to turn around and play it safe? Hell no! You want him/her to stare death in the eye, and stupidly walk his/her stubborn ass into that trap.

3. Witty. My favorite types of characters are those that can deliver a wry and witty sense of humor without it being campy. That’s a fine line to walk when you’re writing horror, but it can’t be argued that a character is always better when he/she has something interesting to say.

About the author: 
Andrew’s a horror fiction writer who is also a massive fan of the genre. He’s been writing short stories and working on his novel for over 5 years. He has several short stories published, as well as some editing credits. He moderates a writing workshop in Phoenix, AZ where he’s been exposed to many different forms of fiction, which have broadened his influences. He aims to write stories that creep out his readers, while offering well-developed, rich characters they can sink their teeth into. He’s also a fan of experimenting with form and structure to create something uniquely my own. 

Andrew grew up on Long Island in New York, and has lived in Arizona for the past 7 years. His professional background is in psychology where he’s carved out a nice career for himself. However, writing has always been his passion. 

Currently, he’s hard at work, developing additional content to publish. He hopes to find an audience that loves the genre, and is up for a good scare. 

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Andrew Terech said...

Thank you for the support. I had a lot of fun with the interview.

Jan Lee said...

I love short stories. I love when a good short story is made into a full book too!! :)

CCAM said...

@Andrew - I'm glad you had fun (in a good sense I hope :P).

personally, I like/prefer the "antiheroes" - I think that their creation is a/the real challenge.

In what regards the short stories, I think you made o valid comparison, with the mention that those all details of the picture must send a message, a sentiment etc, and, unfortunately, I didn't find to many authors who succeed to do that.

I cannot wait to find out how your bad guy has beaten the Devil

Unknown said...

I really love the cover of this book, and the blurb is great, thanks for the giveaway.

smiles said...

Love that the protagonist is a crook! It's always fun to have that twist to a story. Doesn't happen too often! And like you wrote, "What could possibly go wrong? ... What can't?" So much room to play with this cast!