On Hiatus

I'm taking a short break from the internet for August, so this blog will be a little quiet for the rest of the month and into the first week of September. In the meantime, there are scheduled posts going up every Wednesday at my cosplay blog - The Intergalactic Seamstress - and at the review blog Critique de Book, plus the odd up to date post at Spacefreighters Lounge on a Tuesday (or you can find my fellow crew mates posting Monday-Friday). See you when September comes! 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Meet the #Author Monday - Joe Chianakas #horror #adventure



Please tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a college professor of communication. Just last year, I earned our teacher-of-the-year award! In addition to teaching, I love fitness and martial arts, and of course writing. Rabbit in Red is my debut novel published with Distinguished Press.

Tell us about Rabbit in Red:

It’s an adventure in horror, not simply pure horror, but more of a tribute to great stories, exciting action-adventure, and deep coming-of-age. I’m a fan of cross-genre, so you get a little bit of everything here, even satire! Here’s our back-of-the-book blurb:

Bill Wise has blood in his past, so he turns to horror films to wipe it clean. Jaime Stein has felt the betrayal of death, so she too takes refuge in the on-screen deaths of others. Now Bill, Jaime, and seventeen other horror-loving teens have gathered at Rabbit in Red Studios, the brainchild of eccentric horror producer Jay “JB” Bell, for the terror-filled, blood-drenched contest of their lives.   

JB has presented this competition as a race between the best of the best that will reward the winners with cash, internships, and a career making the movies they love. But things aren’t always as they seem at Rabbit in Red, and soon life starts to imitate art. Will Bill and Jaime be strong enough to confront real horror to save their friends, or will they all fall victim to JB’s twisted plans?



What inspired you to write this particular story?:

I love horror. I was most inspired by Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which is not a horror story but a nostalgic tale of adventure. But Cline took pop culture and made a story out of it. When I first read that book, I wanted to do the same, but with horror. I used to eat, sleep, and breathe nothing but Stephen King. So I got the idea of making an adventure of the stories I love.

But it’s A LOT more than that. This book started out as pure fun. It’s the adventure I, as the self-proclaimed #1 horror fan in the world, would love to do! But this is my art, too. I wanted meaning behind it. I wanted to explore fear, loss, love, death, coming-of-age, and more from my own perspectives and experiences. That’s all there. I hope you love it.


Please share a favourite snippet from your book:

This was the moment! He seized a knife that was on the kitchen floor and stabbed the hand—his own hand!—pinning it to the floor. He hesitated a moment, looking at this image in front of him. It was the strangest thing Bill could have imagined. There he was, on the floor of JB’s game chamber, but all around him he only saw the infamous cabin in the woods from The Evil Dead. And he had stabbed his own hand, but thankfully he felt no more than a sharp pinch. The knife was virtual, but the glove was real, and whatever technology JB programmed in it, the glove reacted in perfect real time to everything happening on screen.  

He knew what he had to do next, and he was both excited and terrified at the idea. This was the epic moment with Ash in The Evil Dead. He had to cut off the possessed hand. That was the only way to get rid of the evil, to not become fully possessed. With his right hand pinned to the floor gushing out blood, Bill reached for the chainsaw that Ash had used earlier in the movie, which of course happened to be right next to him.

Remembering this iconic scene from those younger memories when he and his friends cheered, Bill picked up the chainsaw with his left hand, bit on the cord and yanked it back with as much force as he could to start the gas-powered hacking device and brought it down on his right arm. The screeching noises, the loud mechanics of the saw, the crunching of bone, and the splattering of blood coalesced in a cacophony of noises, an orchestra of pain. 

Bill cut off the hand.

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:

Personality! Everything else is shaped around that!

Any tips for aspiring authors?:

You absolutely must read these two books (no matter where you are in your writing career, these will provide you with many insights): Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and On Writing by Stephen King.

Questions for fun:

If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?:

It’s such a fascinating subject to explore in fiction! But no, I wouldn't change a thing. I believe we’re all here and who we are now based on a domino effect of choices we’ve made and a domino effect of forces within the universe. Change one thing, any one thing, and you and I may not even be here today. More than that, I want to take responsibility for all of my decisions in the past. Even the wrong ones: they make us who we are today, and we make better decisions because of them.

What super-power would you choose?:

I want to fly! I’m terrified of heights. Does that sound ironic? No, I think if I could fly I would no longer be afraid!

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?:
I want Stephen King to tell me and the world that he loved Rabbit in Red. I want all of my friends and family to live long, healthy lives without any (more) tragedy. I want to wake up and go to bed happy each and every day of my life. 

Coffee, tea or wine?:

Coffee in the a.m. Wine in the p.m.

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):

Stephen King’s The Stand

Favourite genre and why?:

Horror. When it’s good, it makes us think about our end in this world. When it’s great, it makes us think about how to make our lives matter so the end isn’t as scary.

Favourite colour?:

Blue

Upcoming news and plans for the future?:

I’m currently working on Burn the Rabbit, the second in the Rabbit in Red series! It’s “done,” but it’s time for revisions and editing and all of that fun stuff! Look for that book in 2016!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!




Blurb:
Bill Wise has blood in his past, so he turns to horror films to wipe it clean. Jaime Stein has felt the betrayal of death, so she too takes refuge in the on-screen deaths of others. Now Bill, Jaime, and seventeen other horror-loving teens have gathered at Rabbit in Red Studios, the brainchild of eccentric horror producer Jay “JB” Bell, for the terror-filled, blood-drenched contest of their lives.   

JB has presented this competition as a race between the best of the best that will reward the winners with cash, internships, and a career making the movies they love. But things aren’t always as they seem at Rabbit in Red, and soon life starts to imitate art. Will Bill and Jaime be strong enough to confront real horror to save their friends, or will they all fall victim to JB’s twisted plans?


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