Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Experiments in Terror has finally arrived!

Today is May the 5th, Cinco de Mayo for some, and for me, a mark of a rebirth of my own.

Experiments in Terror is a print book, the first horror print book published since Mistress of the Dark from Leisure Books around 2006. It is comprised of two novellas, Captured Souls and Flesh Failure.

This book has themes of resurrection, rebirth, love, lust, horror, narcissism, and more. It has been freeing for me to return to the horror genre and I believe that is where I'm carving out my niche for now.

Experiments in Terror required massive historical research for Flesh Failure and even some research for some of the technological and neurological concepts in Captured Souls. I didn't really look at Frankenstein by Mary Shelley during these re-imaginings as I've read it while writing other homages such as Cyber-Prometheus and Aries: Swinging Into Spring.

Captured Souls uses the diary of the mad scientist as its narrative device. This story follows Dr. Miriam Frederick as she tracks Experiment 698 in her journals. Her current premise is to isolate the sensation of "falling in lust and love" and keep it indefinitely. She hopes to build a family to realize her vision. Her hypnotic methods include music, drugs, and sex on unsuspecting specimens. 

Specimen 1 is a brilliant novelist. He has the intelligence she craves.
Specimen 2 is an athlete. He has the stamina she desires.
Specimen 3 is a gorgeous woman. She has the physical attributes.

Dr. Miriam keeps her specimens in the secret lab in the basement of her Gothic mansion. By day, she teaches at the University. By night she haunts sex clubs and conducts her experiments.

How far will Dr. Miriam go to get what she desires?

Find out in Captured Souls.

Flesh Failure is told in first person from the point of view of the creation, Agatha, who was left for dead in 1888. She pulls herself together and sets off to White Chapel where she attempts to earn a living. However, her hideous looks and foul smell seem more fitting for a freak show. While she looks for the Elephant Man and is wary of Jack the Ripper, she searches for the doctor who created her. 

Will she find her answers in the fog-shrouded streets of London?

Although both of these stories have related themes and subject matter, I never envisioned them as being together in a book, ever. So when Don D'Auria suggested it, I was thrilled.

When I first wrote Captured Souls, I wasn't sure what I was writing. I wrote it in various voices and played with third person narrative a bit. I thought about weaving the story from each person's POV but didn't feel capable of the expertise that would require when I was still emotionally drained from  dealing with some real life stuff. In the end, I chose the journal format because it's fun. It allowed me to write in small snippets as I rediscovered my passion once more after a couple of years of not writing. 

The original form of Captured Souls was much shorter. Right now, Captured Souls is around 55,000 words. Nearly a novel. The original finished product was 17,000 words. At the time, it felt momentous that I'd finished a piece even that long-short. I was in a place in my head where I thought I'd never write again yet I had this story that proved me wrong. 

It took a couple of years to create the piece that is in Experiments in Terror. This final product is a work that I'm proud of and it is my dear hope that others enjoy reading at least parts of it.

How Flesh Failure was created is another matter entirely. Samhain Horror was taking submissions for Gothic novellas. I wrote Flesh Failure with that goal in mind. I didn't get into the anthology but I did get to publish with Samhain just the same and that's all I wanted at the end of the day. 

As I hold my new baby, Experiments in Terror, in my hands, I remember what a rush it is to see my own words on paper. It's like there's a little place in the world for me now and it shines a bit of light in. Next to be published is the erotic horror novella, A Penny Saved. I'm hard at work on a new novel, a full novel, my first in many years. It's been slow going, what with this thing called a life and all, but I'm getting it done!

Please let me know what you think about Experiments in Terror with your comments at the end or on any of the online review sites such as Amazon or Goodreads. All authors appreciate your comments and reviews. Without them, we wouldn't know if you like us or hate us or something in-between! 

I always appreciate it when someone takes the time out of his or her day to leave me a review. And thank you to all who do it!