Friday, February 28, 2014

Pathways of the Dead tour

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Pathways of the Dead tour', hosted by Dark World Books. To view other stops on this tour just click on the banner.

Pathways of the Dead
(Among the Dead #2)
Matty doesn’t want to end the world. Unfortunately, she has no choice.
Through a series of harrowing events, Matty DiCamillo discovered that she is the heir to an ancient prophecy, destined to destroy her own reality to save countless others. Now she finds herself locked away and interrogated by beings known as the Aetelia, who are out to force the apocalypse to their liking. After a breathless escape and an attack by the band of rebel Aetelia known as the Watchers, Matty must not only cross worlds but time itself to elude capture and face her destiny on her own terms. Aided by her lover Kristy; Tommy, a man trapped in a boy’s body; and an ageless woman named Omarosa; she must face death itself to reach the City of the Dead.
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About The Corridors of the Dead (Book #1)

Long ago, a mysterious being known as The Lost Aetelia crafted an elaborate series of Watchtowers, along with their resident guardians, the Aetelia, to watch over the Universe. In time, they sent a select group of their own to Earth, tasked with watching over the fledging human race. This group used humanity to challenge the established structure of the Universe. A bitter war ensued, and these rebels, who had come to be known as Watchers, disappeared from history.
The time of the Aetelia – now known as angels – is returning. After a fateful night of violence, Artist Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.
Both driven by and fighting the words of prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel, follow this mysterious savior on a journey from Northern California to Las Vegas on a path that crosses through the boundaries of time and space.
As Matty struggles to understand her destiny, she discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself not only racing to rescue the woman she loves, but learning that she herself could be the cause of the Universe’s day of reckoning.
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Author Interview

  1. Where did you come up with the inspiration behind the book? It’s impossible to talk about inspiration for this book without discussing inspiration for the entire series. It began with the idea of turning the “hero’s journey” trope on its head; I just needed a mythological framework to do so. I found it in the Enochian Magick system. Enochian was created in the 16th Century by John Dee, a well-known occultist and agent to the throne, and his assistant Edward Kelley. Dee and Kelley claimed that angels provided them with lost knowledge regarding the metaphysical structure of the universe. I studied the system as a teenager and it kept coming back to mind during the formative stages of planning this series, so eventually I accepted the setting as the series’ fate.
  2. What inspired you to write your first book? Like any other kid, I told stories with my toys from a very young age. I can’t remember the exact age, but I began writing those stories up at some point. Around age 12, after reading mostly fantasy, I got deep into Stephen King’s novels. Not long after, I wrote my first book, The Reaper’s Blade, as part of a class project. Talk about aping King, the story was about a bloodthirsty machete haunted by the souls of the people that it had killed. I even hand-bound the thing in a cardboard cover before turning it in. That experience hooked me on writing.
  3. What books/authors have influenced your writing? See the mention of King, specifically the Talisman. For those who haven’t read it, the book is about a young boy who has to travel cross-country (and cross world) to rescue his dying mother. It’s an interesting twist on the coming-of-age road novel. It absolutely grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
  4. What was your favourite scene to write? I had tremendous fun writing any scene that involved the character of Jazshael. He originally came from a dream, where he served as a guardian angel for a family – actually a story that became a “trunk novel”. This version might once have done such a thing, as there’s a core of a decent being in there somewhere, but he’s become unstable, narcissistic, and power-hungry. He’s the Joker of the series and is a lot of fun to write. My particular favourite is the scene where he informs his former apprentice, Grabbe, of the political situation within the enemy’s organization, making his points with physical and psychological jabs.
  5. What was the hardest part of writing your book? Revisions. I enjoy planning a book and writing the first draft is usually a breeze, but revisions consume way more time and require a lot more thought than even plotting, as you’re dealing with words and sentences at the micro level. I’m fortunate to have a great critique group who have helped me grow as a writer and better identify those spots that need work, but it’s always a gruelling exercise. Worthwhile, but tough. 
  6. How do you overcome writer's block? I write every single day, even when I don’t want to or feel like my emotions are locked up. When I feel like that, I focus on writing just enough to “show up” for that day, 100 to 300 words, maybe a snippet of dialogue or something like that. I have to get something on the page. It keeps me primed for the days when the words flow more readily.
  7. What are your current projects? I’m writing the first draft to the next book in this series, City of the Dead, and am in the revision stage of a literary novel that I plan to shop around to traditional publishers. That one is called Came to Believe and is about a small-town dentist who happens to be a sex addict and his struggles after his wife dies.
  8. What book are you reading now? Sleights of Mind, a book that examines the neurological tricks used by stage magicians and how those tricks can help advance the study of the science of the human brain. It has lots of interesting brain hacks and information on how the brain works. I favor literary and dark fantasy fiction, but every now and then I like to read a good psychology, science, or history book. Keeps you sharp.
  9. If you could have dinner with any fictional character who would it be and why? Dean Moriarty from On the Road (based on the real-life Neal Cassady). I would love to pick the guy’s brain about his exploits and better understand his philosophy – or lack thereof.
  10. Do you have any advice for other writers? The simplest possible advice there is: just write. Whatever you do, write. It doesn’t have to (and usually won’t) be good, it simply has to exist and help you get used to expressing yourself through the written word. Pick a sane weekly word count and try to hit it as often as you can. You can slowly up the amount as you get used to writing such a volume. The idea here, however, is not to churn out stories as quickly as you can – a lot should be revision, in order to hone your craft. It’s a painful cliché, but it’s true: the one defining trait of writers it that they write, no matter what.
 About the Author
Jonathan D Allen
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.
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