The Questions // answered by Anel Viz
1) You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
My boyfriend. He gives great massages, so I opt for body lotion.
2) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
That’s a tough one. There are a number of musicals I wish I could identify with and others I identify with in my fantasies. In a sense, I do identify with Candide, but I’m definitely a cynical optimist and don’t for a second buy into that “best of all possible worlds” crap. So I’ll say Show Boat, and I’m the Mississippi because I’m an old man and I just keep rolling along.
3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them: allegation, exponent, downgraded
I had reason to believe the allegations of several guys he’d slept with. Hell, just from the looks of him and to listen to his spiel, I expected this to be a night to remember. He came across as the exponent of hot monkey sex. I should be so lucky! A brief roll in the hay was all it took for me to downgrade him from a higher power to a square.
4) You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?
Fuck first? Does that mean I have permission to fuck everyone I want? How long do I get to stay in this world of fiction? Can I stay twice as long if they can do me too? I feel like a kid in a fucking candy store.
5) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
How about letting me also have a king size bed on that small island?
6) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
Neither. I start with a situation and the plot grows out of it. I’m not sure what’s going to happen and don’t know who the main character will be until things start happening. I’ve usually written 1/5 of the book before I start planning.
7) If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
Gee, I don’t know. He couldn’t be anyone young and would have to be someone who can make the most uneventful story at least mildly interesting, like Dustin Hoffman or Peter O’Toole or Tom Hanks or… Got any suggestions?
8) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Norman Bates. Anybody that hung up on his mother couldn’t be 100% straight and I think Anthony Perkins is damned cute. I can imagine myself saying, “Toss the knife, slip out of the drag, and hop in shower, pressed up against the wall with your back toward me.”
9) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
Have you ever seen a portrait of Charles-Louis Desaix? I thought not. No matter; there’s more than one and he’s not particularly good looking in most of them. He was one of the generals in Napoleon’s army and died in the Italian campaign. He’s a secondary character in one of my WIPs.
10) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
If I did, it wouldn’t stop me from writing it.
Horror, Dark & Lite
Silver Publishing, Oct. 2012
vol. 1: Dark Horror (ISBN 9781614956266)
vol. 2: Horror Lite (ISBN 9781614956273)
The collection Horror, Dark & Lite came about because I had a vampire story and a shifter story in two multi-author anthologies that didn’t receive much attention and are no longer available and I wanted them back on the market. One was gothic, the other humorous, so I decided on two volumes instead of one with a mishmash of tones. That way, readers who want to be scared could buy one, those who like funny stories could buy the other, and if I was lucky, most would buy both.
The dark volume contains three novellas: a vampire story that may or may not feature a vampire, a Hitchcock-like mystery about serial killings, and a shifter story set in the late 1970s. Like its companion volume, the “lite” stories begin with a vampire, end with shifters, and the two stories in between complements the middle story in that one is about a stalker and the other has to do with an investigation of sorts. The humor is sometimes lighthearted, sometimes totally screwball. They’re not so much scary as creepy, no more horror stories than lite beer is beer, but you’ll see in the excerpt that I could have turned them into something to scare the pants off you if I had chosen to go that route.
Blurb for Horror Lite:
The vampires, stalkers, aliens, and shape-shifters in these stories prove less threatening than the main characters feared.
“A Layover at Atatürk International” – When their plane is delayed, Chase looks forward to sharing a hotel room with fellow passenger Viet Bloedrank.
“Coffee and Aftershave” – Skyler discovers that the creepy individual who followed him home from the subway is also stalking the men he dates.
“Bryce Olson is Pregnant” – Hoping for benefits, Russell decides to play along when Bryce Olson gets it into his head that his ex-boyfriend is an alien.
“The Stray” – John thought it just coincidence that his housemate and the big grey dog that came by for handouts never crossed paths. How long would it take him to catch on?
buy link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/products_id/1218/
Excerpt from “Coffee and Aftershave”
It was their first date, and he looked forward to meeting Claude in person. They had a lot in common, Claude seemed intelligent, and unless his profile photo was more flattering than accurate, pretty darn handsome. Skyler had also spoken on the phone with him, and he liked his voice.
They had arranged to meet for coffee and then, if they hit it off, go for dinner together at a nice restaurant. Nearly all Skyler's first dates began at a Starbucks. Dating services, Internet sites, mailboxes in the free newspapers, phone lines all warn it's safest to have a first meeting in a public place. They invariably suggest getting together for coffee. Skyler had drunk a lot of coffee with men he'd never seen again.
Most of the men Skyler slept with he'd met in public places. When he was younger, he didn't use to make advance arrangements or run into them in the kind of public places the dating services have in mind. They mean somewhere with a lot of people milling around and preferably in broad daylight, not bars, lavatories, the park, adult video arcades, or an alley in the warehouse district. Then he'd had a scare at twenty-three and, although he was neither robbed nor raped, he'd followed their advice from then on and played it safe, but he wasn't so paranoid as to run a criminal background check on the man he'd arranged to meet or ask to see his driver's license as one overly cautious chat room suggested. Still, he ended up in bed less often when he knew who he was hooking up with than in his days of anonymous cruising. But it also happened that he went home with the guy within minutes of finishing their cappuccinos.
Claude would be different on both counts. Skyler couldn't imagine not hitting it off with him. Everything pointed to his having found Mr. Right and, frankly, the closer he came to his thirtieth birthday—just over a year and a half to go—the more wearisome it became to play the field. They would definitely go home together, maybe even spend the night, but not within minutes of finishing their cappuccinos. That half-hour at the gym meant he'd had a light lunch. He was hungry and wanted a filling dinner, preferably in a romantic setting.
Skyler got ready for his big date. He laid out the clothes he had chosen—carefully casual—and went to shower. He cleaned himself inside as well, just in case. Then he shaved, brushed his teeth, and combed his hair. Like an anxiously excited teenager before her first prom but looking as calm and confident as a fashion model on a walkway, he checked his appearance in the large mirror above his dresser before heading for Starbucks. They'd agreed it should be one with a number of good restaurants nearby. The one they had picked had the added advantage of being close to Skyler's apartment.
Claude had arrived before him and had taken his coffee to a table by the window, so he saw Skyler crossing the street on his way to the door and was standing to greet him when he came in. His profile snapshot didn't do him justice: a shorter version of the young Gregory Peck with a smile that would have melted the heart of Muammar Qaddafi. It melted Skyler's.
Skyler went to shake hands before getting in line to order a cappuccino. "I knew you were handsome from the photo," Claude said, "but I wasn't expecting you to be this handsome."
"I'm pleasantly surprised myself."
Skyler got his coffee and joined Claude at their table. "Have you thought about where we should eat?" Claude asked. "You said you live somewhere in the neighborhood."
"Anywhere but Indian."
"You don't care for Indian? I like your shirt, by the way. Nice aftershave, too. Did I say something wrong?"
"No, it's just that you're not the first person to tell me that today. Some creep on my way home in the subway wouldn't stop talking about it. I tell you, it was nothing short of weird. I've even christened him 'Aftershave' in my head."
"Sounds annoying. I can't stand it when strangers try to strike up a conversation on the subway. It's different on a plane."
"I don't really mind it that much. But my aftershave? I mean, like, where was the guy coming from? Said it reminded him of Indian cooking or something. Does any aftershave smell that strong? Anyway, that's why I said not Indian."
"You think he was hitting on you?"
"I know he was hitting on me. He tried to follow me home."
Skyler came to a dead stop. The man from the subway was standing at the window, looking in at them.
"Is something the matter?" Claude asked.
"Speak of the devil."
Claude twisted his head to see what Skyler was looking at. He turned away quickly. His face had gone white.
"He followed you home?"
"Yeah, him. Looks like I didn't manage to shake him after all."
"He's not here for you," Claude said in a frightened whisper. "That same man has been stalking me for weeks."
Skyler did his best to remain calm. "Have you reported him to the police?" he asked.
"How can I? I don't know who he is and there's never a cop around when he shows up."
"There're cops everywhere."
"Except when you need one. I've tried twice, but both times, when I went to point him out, he was gone. Then five minutes later, there he was again."
In a flash, Skyler was on his feet. "I'll punch his lights out."
"Don't! You'll just get yourself arrested."
"It's too late, anyway. He's gone. I bet I scared him off."
"You scared me, too. If looks could kill…"
"You looked scared enough already."
"I was… I am."
"Well, I'm not. And if you like Indian food, I'm ready to eat Indian tonight just to spite him. Not that he'd know."
"If we're together, he'll know."
Sounds like a couple of good books to curl up with on Halloween, Anel! Thanks for stopping by, it's been fun!
Don't forget to visit the Howloween Blog Hop and check in with the authors for fun and giveaways!
Until next time, take care!