Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Was Mary of Nazareth Like?

My novel Fulfillment features Mary as the main character in a drama that pits God against Satan. God sends an angel to ask Mary to become the mother of his son, Jesus the Messiah. Mary accepts this honor. Okay, so now she's an unwed pregnant teenager at a time when the punishment was stoning to death. And Satan is out to kill Mary any way he can to keep Jesus from entering the world. Even worse, Mary has to figure out a way to tell her Dad. Learn more about Mary in the video. Buy Fulfillment at Amazon for a buck-ninety-nine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Munger Road

Director: Nick Smith (Click here for Trib Local interview)
Actors: Bruce Davison, Brooke Peoples, Randall Batinkoff, Trevor Morgan, Lauren Storm, Art Fox, Maggie Henry, Bill J. Stevens, and Hallock Beals

Munger Road blends traditional horror with The Blair Witch Project low budget film techniques. The filming of St. Charles, Illinois is stunning, especially if you know the town. Who knew it could look so good? Same holds for the Hotel Baker. In its own way, the grainy, low budget stuff in the horror sequences work.

Munger Road is a film of contrasts and what ifs. Are the teenagers in it together to make a film and scare the town? Or is it just two guys trying to scare their girlfriends? Is it two boys trying to scare their girlfriends but the ghosts are real? Is it two guys trying to scare their girlfriends and the ghosts are real, and oh by the way, there’s a crazed serial killer on the loose? Is the crazed serial killer the local priest who escaped from the loony farm or another unknown crazed serial killer? Is one of the teenage boys the crazed serial killer who set the whole thing up to murder his friends? Or is the girl who appears to be the innocent sole survivor actually the mastermind behind this night of teenage fright? And is she the sole survivor or not? Is she pregnant or not? And what does that have to do with anything? There may be more what ifs and crazy contrasts but I didn't find them. Have fun counting them.

Most stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Munger Road is not one those stories. It’s scary monster horror, a genre where the first part of the movie involves figuring out what’s going on and discovering it’s a monster of some kind.  The second part of the movie is the “let’s kill it” section where – you guessed it – the main characters go about the business of killing the beast.

Munger Road does an excellent job of the first part of the story up to the point where you are supposed to figure out who or what the beast is. But it stops just short of letting you in on the who or what. You can’t help feeling the movie ends about an hour short of a complete tale. There’s no “let’s kill it” section at all. And unless you pick up more clues than I did, you’re not going to know exactly what’s going on. However, that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?

Munger Road is the telling of an urban legend. With urban legends you never know for sure who or what the monster is. It’s all based on hearsay evidence. Is it some guy with a hook instead of a hand scratching on your car? Or is it a tree branch brushing up against the roof? You never know because it never really happens to you. You only know about it from the telling. And the story changes every time you hear it.

What you’re left with at the end of Munger Road is an urban legend told in the tradition of campfires and make out sessions in late night parked cars. Don’t expect a complete story, but do expect excellent direction and acting. Living near St. Charles, Illinois, I can assure you that town never looked better. And I can assure you of a good horror movie experience right up to the end, when you’ll go: “Huh? Is that it? But what happened?”

Not to worry. Munger Road is what urban legends are all about – the not really knowing that adds an extra measure of scared to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing Munger Road again to pick up any clues I missed the first time around that point to a more satisfying conclusion. It’s like a computer game where the more you play, the more you learn. Enjoy. But don't expect Fulfillment.

Fulfillment comes with a price: $1.99
Have you had a chance to download my new full-length novel, Fulfillment, from Amazon yet? It's the 80,000 word story of the first Christmas retold with Satan added into the mix.

About Fulfillment
In the drumbeat of a million raindrops comes a darkness marching to overpower the world where you and I live. We stand by without sensing the evil, never hearing the constant din of battle over our hearts, never feeling the bombardment upon our souls, never glimpsing the awesome power of our defenders. How can we live in this world and yet be so ignorant of the other?

In the roar of the beast and the hideous faces of the angry demons scampering across her bedroom floor, Mary became the central figure in a drama that changed the world. Her engagement to Joseph should have been joyful, but instead the secret concerning the baby in her womb attracted evil spirits, a king, soldiers and a would-be lover all bent on destroying her. Mary’s journey, while steeped with betrayal and the foul stench of the ultimate demon, is a setup for an even bigger story. She discovers a lost love found, the promise of a newborn king, and a wealth of new friends from a tiny man with the heart of a warrior to the young mother whose husband and children are murdered in a bloody massacre.

Fulfillment is suspense with a huge twist of horror when Satan discovers he isn’t messing with an ordinary teenage girl. This kid has moxie and connections in high places.

If the thought of Satan out to get you isn’t enough to keep you awake at night, how about reading Fulfillment? It will.

Better than caffeine
It’s okay to read Fulfillment late at night with the rain pounding on your windows and thunder and lightning outside, but leave the light on. You’ll need it. And it makes a great stocking stuffer! You can obtain more information and order the slightly higher priced PDF version or the whole lot more priced paperback version by clicking here.

Read Chapter One by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conducting Research for Fulfillment

Today's video continues my interview series with a focus on the research I performed over a two-year period as part of writing Fulfillment. Capturing a sense of time and place in a story, especially one as distant from the present as the first century (C.E. or A.D. depending on how you count) is an essential part of the story-telling art.

If you have a question for this series, let me know by commenting here or send an email. If you'd like to read Fulfillment, it's available on Amazon for the Kindle. Or visit my biz website to find a link where you can purchase the PDF ebook version or the paperback. It's a full-length 80,000 word novel (nearly 300 pages).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why I Wrote Fulfillment

Okay, Mr. Suspense Writer, why did you write a thriller around the original Christmas story? I'm asked that question frequently, so I decided to answer it as the first question in my video interview series. Each video answers one question. Enjoy this first interview video.

If you have a question for this series, let me know by commenting here or send an email. If you'd like to read Fulfillment, it's available on Amazon for the Kindle. Or visit my biz website to find a link where you can purchase the PDF ebook version or the paperback. It's a full-length 80,000 word novel (nearly 300 pages).