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Author Interview with Robert Swartwood, new horror/thriller release THE INNER CIRCLE – and a GIVEAWAY

October 16, 2012 12 comments

UPDATE: Winners announced, check the bottom of the comments. Thanks everyone!

I’ve met some great fellow authors online over the past couple of years, but in this social media day and age, the vast majority of them have been online. Certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s the way of the world, but I consider it a rare privilege to be able to get together in person with some of these fine folks. One fine folk I call a friend is Robert Swartwood, the successful self-published author of several horror and thriller novels, the latest of which is THE INNER CIRCLE, and someone who was a woman the first time I met him.* This is the second in his horror/thriller trilogy, and he was kind enough to put together an interview about this, and the first in the series (MAN OF WAX).

* Okay, I can’t put that statement out there and leave it hanging… One of the first e-books I bought was NO SHELTER by a new female author, Z. Constance Frost, who I “met” in an online writers forum (and you know how those ‘meeting online’ things can be…mysterious). I had numerous conversations with her, noticed she was very good friends with Robert Swartwood (and even did some interviews with him!), promoted each other’s books, and so on. I even encouraged young Z. Constance to join Twitter, where so many other helpful authors reside! So imagine my surprise when Z up and turned into a man. (Robert wrote No Shelter under a pseudonym because it was a different type of novel than he normally wrote.) It took several days before I stopped feeling dirty… (Cut to bathroom scene from The Crying Game.)

Robert and I live less than two hours from each other, so we had a fantastic couple of hours at lunch (in a brewpub…writers don’t mess around) discussing writing, marketing, and other highbrow activities. Looking forward to doing it again. Make sure to visit his site and take a peek at his books, all very highly rated.

Short and Sweet Third-Person Bio

Robert Swartwood was born in 1981. His work has appeared in such venues as The Los Angeles ReviewThe Daily BeastPostscriptsChiZineSpace and Time,Wigleaf, and PANK. He is the editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, which was chosen by The Nervous Breakdown as one of their favorite books of 2010, and was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon.

Oh, and check out these covers…they drip professionalism. Love ’em (click to enlarge):

       

Now without further ado, my interview with Robert, and a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY at the end (so read all the way through, folks…no cheating):

SU: If someone put a gun to your head and said, “Send a promotional 140 character tweet about The Inner Circle, and make it good”, what would you type?

RS: “The Inner Circle is The Hunger Games meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but even better!” … or something like that. I’m not good at promotional tweeting.

SU: Is the story more horror than thriller, or thriller than horror?
RS: Well, I guess that all depends on your definition of horror. Most people, I think, view horror as zombies and vampires and ghosts and everything else that goes bump in the night. Me, I view horror the same way Douglas Winter does. As he wrote in the introduction to his 1982 anthology Prime Evil: “Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction or the western. It is not a kind of fiction, meant to be confined to the ghetto of a special shelf in libraries or bookstores. Horror is an emotion.”

So is The Inner Circle (not to mention Man of Wax) horrific? Very much so, yes. In fact, I have received some one-star reviews of Man of Wax where readers make it about 15% into the book and stop because, they claim, it’s so “dark and disturbing” and “disgusting.” Personally, I don’t think it’s THAT dark and disturbing and disgusting, but I can see where some people would think so. Thing is, though, I am not one to show the dark and disturbing and disgusting. I’m not a fan of “torture porn”; in fact, I find myself almost bored by it, because it’s the same thing again and again. Some might argue there are instances where torture porn applies to these two books, but that again comes down to what your definition of torture porn (and horror) is. The books deal with a secret group of people who get off watching other people tortured and put through extreme situations, but the books are much more than that. In many ways they’re about survival, about the dark depths of human nature, while at the same time trying to show there is still hope.

So, to get back to your question, more horror than thriller or more thriller than horror? That, again, would have to depend on each reader’s definition of what horror (not to mention thriller) is. But the books are very fast-paced, so there’s that. I try to keep the action going as much as I can. At the same time … well, as some other readers have noted, they are dark and disturbing.

SU: In the first book, Man Of Wax, you have two very central protagonists: Ben Anderson and Carver Ellison. Considering they have such different backgrounds and roles, did you find it difficult to get into their heads writing the story?
RS: First, let me talk about where Man of Wax came from. Many years ago I’d had this idea about someone waking up in a strange place with no idea how he got there. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea, but I kept returning to it until one day I sat down and knocked out that first chapter. I don’t outline, at least not on paper; oftentimes I’ll think about the book for awhile in my head and get a good sense of where I’m starting and heading before I actually start writing. Like Harlan Coben says, it’s like taking a road trip across the country; you know where you’re starting and where you’ll end up, but you don’t know what will happen along the way. That’s sort of how I write. But in this instance, I had no clue where the story was headed. I just wrote that first chapter. Then I wrote the second chapter. Then third. Then fourth. Before I realized it, a week had gone by and I’d written close to 30,000 words. When I saw how much I had gotten done and the speed at which I was writing it, I pushed myself to keep going, and ended up finishing the entire 90,000-word novel in three weeks. (And no, I have never participated in NaNoWriMo.)

Now, let me clarify something: I had just graduated college, I was still living at home, my two jobs were substituting for a middle school and high school and working as an assistant manager at a movie theater. So, with all those factors, I had the opportunity to write as much as I could. There were mornings when I would get called to take a subbing job and would turn it down. When I went to work at the theater, I would take my laptop along and work up in the projection booth and write between sets. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) understood how hard I was working on the novel and didn’t press me to spend time with her … well, okay, not that much time.

Anyway, so when I started Man of Wax, I knew a little about Ben Anderson’s character, but none of Carver Ellison until he showed up halfway through the book. And then … everything just happened to fall into place. I didn’t have trouble getting into their heads because they were already there, just waiting to be written.

SU: The Inner Circle picks up where Man Of Wax left off, with Anderson joining Ellison against the mysterious, behind-the-scenes Caesar who runs the “games.” How have those two protagonists changed since you first introduced them?
RS: Ben has changed greatly. In Man of Wax, my idea was to create a “realistic” thriller. Meaning the good guys don’t always win. Meaning the protagonist isn’t necessarily the hero type. You drop the majority of us in a situation where we wake up in the middle of nowhere, with our families gone, and are forced to partake in a terrible game, and we don’t immediately become Jason Statham. Especially when our family’s lives are on the line and any false step on our end might mean their death. So it’s a delicate situation, and I have found some readers really love Ben while others don’t care for him much at all. Again, he’s supposed to be “normal,” whatever that means, plus he has a dark secret to his past, something he never even told his wife about, so there’s that.

But in The Inner Circle, two years have passed and Ben has changed drastically. He hasn’t found his family yet, and doesn’t think he ever will, so he doesn’t have much left to live for. Instead he becomes a soldier in Carver’s army against Caesar, and he steps up in a major way — in fact, he almost becomes that Jason Statham character we all like to think we would become in dire situations.

As for Carver, he is still doing whatever he can to get to Caesar and those in the Inner Circle. We do, however, learn more about his back story, and why and how he has become man he is.

SU: Man Of Wax, as the first in the series, was very mysterious and dark. Now that much of the mystery is out in the open, what does The Inner Circle bring to the table?
RS: Man of Wax showed what the games were like from the player side of the table. In The Inner Circle, we now see the aftermath, about those few who managed to leave the games alive, and how they’ve struggled with the consequences. We also get much closer to learning the truth about what the games are all about and what else Caesar has in store, not just for the Inner Circle but for the entire world.
SU: Give us one line, whether it’s description or dialogue, from The Inner Circle that gives a good example of the story.
RS: As I mentioned, in the second book Ben has become a completely different person. And near the beginning of the book, when he’s headed into a really bad situation and one of the other characters tells him not to, that he might end up dead, Ben says, “All of us are already dead, Ronny. We just don’t know it yet.”
SU: And I can’t end this without asking the logical question – what are the plans and/or progress on a follow up? Will this be a trilogy, or continuing saga?
RS: It will definitely be a trilogy. I haven’t started working on the third book yet — I want to work on something lighter, a new Holly Lin novel perhaps — but I hope to start working on it next year. It will be just as long as The Inner Circle, which ended up around 120,000 words.

Thanks for having me here, Steve!

GIVEAWAY TIME: Easy stuff here. Robert has generously donated a free e-book copy of the first in the series, Man of Wax, to ANYONE who helps spread the word about this interview and comments below. Simply link to this blog page, retweet it, share on Facebook or Google+, even post it on your MySpace wall. Then make a quick comment below saying “I did it!” or something creative along those lines, and you’ll find yourself with a horror/thriller book in your hands (e-reader).

And ONE LUCKY RANDOM winner will receive an AUTOGRAPHED copy of BOTH novels.

Ready? Go share!

Just published some short stories – need some horror or scifi in your diet?

April 3, 2012 2 comments

Well, lookie here… I snuck some published works in without the publicity frenzy of the media circus that usually surrounds my novel releases*.

* Disclaimer: I’ve never had a media circus. Not even a flea circus, actually. I totally made that part up.

Over the past year, I’ve done some short fiction, sometimes based on prompts, sometimes for informal ‘writing contests’, and sometimes just for fun. (I’ll ignore the short fiction that resulted from me writing a Chapter 1 and abandoning it…that doesn’t count, though lord knows I’ve done that enough.)

I took two of those works, polished them up, put together a cover, blurb, etc. and whipped up some ebook files. And here they are:

       

Now, coincidentally (or not*), both of these were from two different prompts/reasons from my good friend Al Boudreau. Special Delivery was his personal challenge to me (and keeping me in practice – the way a writer gets better is practice..therefore, writing) to write outside my usual genre. He gave me 24 hours, and if I remember correctly, I had it back to him in three. He gave a few lines to open it, and told me to run with it. It ended up just over 1700 words, and was quite different to step outside my usual scifi mindset.

The second one, The Awakening, was part of Al’s “Cage Match“, where two writers in similar genres are given the same prompt and 24 hours to write a short story under 2,000 words. Much more back in my wheelhouse, and very enjoyable. I was honored to go up against one of the most successful independent scifi writers today, Michael Hicks (he of the In Her Name series and Season of the Harvest).

* Coincidence that what I feel are my two best shorts came from Al’s prompts? Not if you know Al, a fantastic supporter of the community who tends to bring out the best in many a writer.

Both are now available for public consumption for all e-book platforms. Unfortunately, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble make it difficult-slash-impossible to publish a book for free all the time (first person to suggest KDP Select gets keelhauled), and I honestly have a hard time justifying charging anything for these stories. Therefore I also posted them on Smashwords, and eventually they’ll feed through to iBooks, Sony, Kobo; they are listed for free. Free as in beer.

Here are the links:

Special Delivery: Amazon Kindle ($.99) • B&N Nook ($.99) • Smashwords (free)

The Awakening: Amazon Kindle ($.99) • B&N Nook ($.99) • Smashwords (free)

 

Enjoy…would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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Watched The River last night…yeah, creeped me out. You?

February 14, 2012 7 comments

Yes, finally watched the premiere of The River on ABC last night….as you may remember, I’m a timeshifter (no, it’s nothing scifi – I just always watch shows on DVR, never live…can’t stand commercials, which is ironic considering I have a marketing background). I have to say – I loved it.

I heard a lot about “it’s Blair Witch in the jungle”, or “manufactured & clichéd chills”, but what really caught me up in it was the documentary-style filming. I loved the third person narrative as told by a “film crew” – not necessarily documenting the overall story, but bits and pieces. I was impressed with the way they used stationary cameras mounted on the boat (it’s not a ship, contrary to what the mechanic says – that little sucker is a boat. Ask Chief Brody.) to film the scenes not being filmed by the camera crew, and the way they were able to stitch the entire story together using combined footage.

The River, in a phrase used by the young girl in one of the opening scenes, “It is [UNTRANSLATABLE]” (coolest closed caption ever). Oh, and did I mention the dolls?

I have an innate fear of those kind of dolls. Actually more of a fear of ventriloquist dummies, but that’s probably a blog post for another time.

I was creeped out, and the previews for the remaining six episodes look even creepier. How about you, anyone see it? Like it, love it, loathe it??

Special Delivery – A short piece from WAY outside my normal genre

May 24, 2011 16 comments

Maybe a second glass of wine will help my nerves, thought Kerry Jensen as she changed channels for the umpteenth time, finally settling on a cheesy horror movie. Must be from the 70’s, judging from the bell bottoms and big hair the girl being chased sported, she mused.

She splashed a few more ounces of cabernet into her glass and set the bottle down on the side table with an audible thunk, which echoed through her sparsely-furnished studio apartment. The sound startled her a bit, as she had muted the television’s audio several channel flips ago. The apartment was small, as suited to a single woman new to the area, but tonight, with the thunder outside the window and the anticipation building inside her, it felt cramped; claustrophobic, almost.

She checked her watch. Ten more minutes, she thought, her stomach churning a bit more. She picked up her wine glass to take a sip, when a knock sounded at her door.

“Oh shit, early. Here we go,” she said out loud, her last syllable echoing off the plaster wall. She stood from the couch, punching the Off button on her television remote, and walked to the door.

Kerry was new in town, having just transferred from Springfield two months ago for her job. The only people she knew in Waukegan were the twelve people she worked with in the new office, and her overbearing, borderline sexually-harassing boss. Her cousin knew some people in Waukegan from years past, and had convinced her to give a blind date a shot; a friend of an old friend, she had called him. Thomas. Sounded harmless enough. Thinking back to the movie she had just turned off, she thought, No undead or serial killers would ever be named Thomas, right?

She reached the door, and with one last straightening of her new blouse, she turned the knob and opened it, and was greeted by a dazzling smile.

“Kerry?” the man asked, extending his hand.

She was caught off guard by his gentle voice, his crisp shirt and muted tie, and his whiter-than-white smile. And his gorgeous green eyes.

“Ah, yes, sorry,” she stammered, taking his hand. “Thomas?”

“Yes,” he said, his smile growing inconceivably wider. “Pleased to meet you. Mag told me so much about you.”

She felt herself blushing, and tried to turn aside. “Only the good things, I hope.”

“Are you ready to go, or am I too early?”

“No no, this is fine, let me just grab my coat,” she said.

Thomas dipped his chin to the carpeted floor next to him in the hallway. “Is this yours?” he asked.

Kerry looked down and saw a large package, wrapped in plain brown paper with a small handwritten mailing label on it. She narrowed her eyes and leaned down slightly.  No, it couldn’t be…that doesn’t make any sense.

“That’s bizarre,” she said, cocking her head. “That looks exactly like the package I just dropped off at the post office.”

Thomas leaned over and read the label. “It’s from Heffernan Corporation, to a Liberty Media?”

Kerry shook her head, trying to clear the fuzziness. “That is the same package I dropped off. That creepy little woman behind the counter kept giving me a hard time because it wasn’t in the proper box for Priority Mail. She kept on and on about it. ‘White box only’ and all that. And she had this weird eye that kept looking up at the ceiling.” She giggled. “I think she saw me staring at it too.”

Thomas chuckled. “Maybe she was a witch, and sent this back here as a punishment for making fun of her.”

She laughed in return. “Yeah, maybe! I guess I shouldn’t have made the ‘going postal’ comment either.”

“Ooh, be careful with that one,” Thomas said, holding up a finely-manicured hand. “My brother worked in a post office. Joking about going postal is something they take very seriously. Here,” he said, bending over to pick up the box. “Let me bring it inside for you.”

Kerry was about to tell him to not worry about it when she saw Thomas’s body go rigid as his hand touched one corner of the box. A groan escaped his lips.

“Thomas, are you okay?” she asked, taking a step forward.

His groan became a growl, and he began to shake. Kerry looked on in horror as his eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he collapsed onto the floor, white froth bubbling from a corner of his mouth. A last gasping breath wheezed from Thomas, and he was still.

“Oh my God!” she screamed, stepping back. Her eyes grew wide as she watched the man’s body begin to disintegrate, skin sloughing off his face, exposing bloody bone and muscle tissue. She covered her mouth, frozen to the spot as if witnessing a train wreck in slow motion.

Thomas’s eyes bulged from their sockets, extending farther and farther, until they dropped from his face with a wet popping sound, a sick green vapor rising from the empty holes. More green vapor was coming from his formerly-starched shirt collar, which was already seeped through with bodily fluids.

The hallway was beginning to fill with the green haze, and finally Kerry snapped from her hypnotic state. She turned back into her apartment and slammed the door behind her, sobbing uncontrollably.

“Omigod, omigod, omigod,” she said in a high-pitched tone, frantically searching her apartment for something, anything to latch onto, anything to make the nightmare end. Looking down at her feet, she saw a wisp of green vapor slip from under the door.

“No!” she screamed, running from the door to her kitchen. The panic was really beginning to set in, and she felt it. She was shaking and crying, tears streaking down her face, leaving rivulets of beige foundation in their wakes.

She grabbed a large kitchen knife from the wooden block on the counter and backed up to the refrigerator, watching the green haze seeping into her apartment. Looking down at the knife, it dawned on her that it was most likely going to do her no good against vapor. She dropped it with a clatter.

The sound of the knife falling crystallized her mind. Out, she thought. I need to get out.

She spun, heading for the back door, the one that led to the complex’s alley entrance. She ran through her study, knocking over a flimsy bookshelf on the way. Reaching the door, she flung it open, only to be knocked backwards at the sight that greeted her.

On the landing that led to the stairs sat an identical package to the one in the front hallway.

She screamed, holding both hands to her face, staring at the package. It lay motionless, waiting, she thought. Watching her. Out, she thought again, logic once again cutting through her fear.

She slammed the door and ran to her bedroom, towards the window that led to the fire escape. She had come in that window several times over the past few weeks, having forgotten her apartment keys on more than one occasion, and knew it was an easy way out.

As she entered the bedroom, her heart leapt into her throat. There, propping open the window, sat the package. Waiting. Her scream this time could have woken the dead.

She stumbled back into her kitchen, the mind-numbing fear now taking control of her body. Her vision was growing gray as she struggled to maintain a grasp on reality. She saw the phone sitting on the end of the counter. Help, her mind said as she reached for it. I can get help.

She picked up the receiver from its cradle, but instead of a dial tone, soft instrumental music was playing through the speaker. It was the overhead muzak from the post office, she realized, the dread now nearly overwhelming her.

She threw the phone down onto the counter, watching more and more vapor oozing under the door. Her front living room was now almost completely enshrouded in the green fog. She frantically looked around her kitchen, now the only safe haven from the haze in that section of her apartment. She saw her purse on top of the wine fridge. Cell phone, she thought, her spirits rising.

Kerry covered the ten feet in two long bounds, snatching her purse and spilling the contents onto the counter. Spying her phone, she grabbed it, swiped to unlock, and hit the phone key. A pop-up notification appeared, and upon reading it, she nearly fell over in shock.

“No service. Phone has gone postal.”

Her crying intensified and she dropped the phone onto the floor. Between sobs she heard a faint creaking sound, and she looked up for the source, hoping beyond all possible hope that someone was here to help.

The creaking seemed to be coming from the large white plaster wall adjacent to the kitchen. She squinted through her tears. The wall appeared to be changing color, taking on a brown shade. The creaking intensified, and she rubbed her eyes to try to clear her vision. No, she thought. It couldn’t be.

A handwritten label appeared where a small painting once hung. The wall had become the package. And it was moving towards her.

She backed away, knocking over a fruit basket and stack of mail as she scrambled towards the far side of the apartment. She turned to run that direction, but stopped dead in her tracks. She gasped as she saw the far wall had also turned brown and was bulging outwards.

The dread and horror finally got the best of her, and she collapsed onto her knees, crying and sniffing. She held her head in her hands and began rocking back and forth as the walls closed in. She heard pieces of furniture sliding and crashing into each other as the walls pushed inexorably towards her.

As the walls approached their final destination, Kerry Jensen heard an echo of her boss, the last thing he had said to her as she left the office.

Make sure to use Fed-Ex.

———————————

A big thanks to Al Boudreau for shooting me the prompt and the motivation. It was a fun write to go way outside my usual genre. As a scifi/technothriller author, it was a tough leap to go into a scary horror story, but after reading R.A. Evans’s Asylum Lake, I thought maybe I’d give it a shot. I know I’ve got several horror writers as friends (including R.A.), so if you read this, be gentle on me…

Here is the prompt Al gave me:

Kerry Jensen’s blind date arrives at her place. She opens the door and sees her evening companion lean over to pick up a package left for her at her doorstep. No sooner does he lift it off the porch floor, when he is stricken and falls to the ground dead.

Are print books a dying breed? Guest post by horror writer R.A. Evans

March 19, 2011 26 comments

What if my next page-turner doesn’t have any pages?

As I write this post I am up to my elbows in finalizing the formatting and interior lay-out for the print version of my new thriller Grave Undertakings (sequel to the acclaimed Asylum Lake). The entire frustrating process has me questioning the future of my titles in print. The far-less cumbersome e-book formatting has been done for some time and it begs the question: am I committing author suicide if my next page-turner doesn’t have any pages at all?

Don’t get me wrong, I love print books. I still haven’t invested in an e-reader (although I have read e-books on my laptop). I guess I’m just old-school when it comes to books – as a reader that is. As an author I have to take a good hard look at the bottom line and time investment of having my books available in print.

It’s not just the formatting, cover art, and printing that takes time, either. There are separate channels of promotion that are tackled when your book is in print. And as any self-published author will tell you, time is everything. Most of us are juggling careers, families, and this writing dream on the side. The more time it takes us to edit, format, and promote a title the less time we actually have to write.

Let me break it down like this. Asylum Lake was printed on an Espresso Book Machine. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s a $100,000 color copier ripped right from the pages of the future that prints, cuts and binds a title in less than 4 minutes. When I started down the path of self-publishing the e-book craze was in its infancy and the emphasis was still all about print. It costs me $10 a book to print – whether I am printing one copy or one-hundred. I couldn’t be happier with the finished 6×9 product.

At a $15 cover price, I receive $5 on each sale of Asylum Lake. That’s a nice round figure that adds up quickly, right? Well, yes and no. I get paid royalties twice a year. Asylum Lake was published in July of 2010 so I have received a grand total of one royalty check. If I had to guess I would say that I have provided roughly 75 copies of Asylum Lake for review and marketing purposes. The quick math puts that investment at $750 in print fees and doesn’t even include the shipping. That investment has landed me some wonderful reviews in traditional media outlets, but just to recoup that investment I had to sell 150 copies of Asylum Lake. You see where I’m going with this, right? Everything is more expensive with print.

Without giving specifics, I’ve done fairly well with sales of Asylum Lake. I had 300 paid pre-orders via the official Asylum Lake website before the book even went to print and was able to use that capital to have more copies printed and on-hand. You see, I released the book online in early 2010 one chapter at a time over the course of six weeks. That’s six free chapters – just enough to get people hooked. Within two months of that first July 2010 printing the Facebook fan page for Asylum Lake had swelled to more than 600 fans – all reviewing and discussing the book. Readers from across the globe were actually talking about my book. It was quite a rush.

Fast forward to when reality sets in. I plateaued. I do marketing & public relations for a living and I was at a loss for what I could do on a shoestring budget to continue the momentum. I did radio interviews, TV interviews, had my book featured on Top 5 lists, did multiple author events at libraries and bookstores, and even was the subject of newspaper article detailing my success as a self-published author. All of these activities increased local sales, but I wasn’t making a dent beyond the 150 mile radius of where I live in West Michigan.

And that is the conundrum I am now faced with. Asylum Lake was a fairly big deal locally and with the upcoming release of Grave Undertakings I am confident that interest will again rise, but my goal is a reach beyond my own community and state.

Recently, I started to promote the e-book version of Asylum Lake via Smashwords and Amazon and have had some success. It’s still time consuming, but there are so many options at my disposal. I can tweak the cover art or description of Asylum Lake with the click of a button. I can use the Kindle Boards to promote and discuss how my title stacks up against others. I can generate coupons and giveaways on Smashwords for discounted and free copies. The possibilities are nearly endless.

So here I sit, roughly 45 days out from the release of Grave Undertakings, and I wonder – what if Grave Undertakings wasn’t on bookshelves? Is it time to focus all of my attention on this brave new e-book frontier? Vanity says I couldn’t live with myself if I weren’t able to walk into a library or bookstore and see my own titles next to those of the iconic Stephen King or his very talented son Joe Hill. I grew up with a book always in-hand and can’t imagine a world without them.

What are your thoughts, as readers and authors – are print books a dying breed?

About R.A. Evans:

R. A. Evans writes.  By day he pours his creative energy into meeting the varied needs of his clients. By night, he writes for pleasure. It’s what he does. It’s who he is.  If you like your humor dark, your blood-letting messy, and the creepiness factor cranked to eleven, he’s the author for you. His debut novel, Asylum Lake, hit the shelves to rave reviews and its sequel Grave Undertakings will be unearthed in May 2011.

A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Evans started his career at a small town newspaper, and has spent the past fifteen years working in marketing and public relations.

For more about R.A. Evans, visit his blog here.