Good morning! Please welcome author Christopher Calcara to Full Moon Dreaming. He is here to tell us about his new release, Squealer. Christopher will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on his tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!
by Christopher Calcara
GENRE: Crime Thriller/LGBT
tongue-in-cheek and dark overtones, Squealer examines the life of an
impressionable Midwestern Catholic Italian choirboy who grows into a mob-worthy
assassin in order to avenge high school nemeses from his past.
As ‘Pete Casanova’ takes us on a journey through the heart-land, his early ethnic and religious experiences expose the motivations for his deadly actions. We come to realize why, for him, it’s never too late to seek revenge.
Squealer addresses topics of physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse inflicted on students by their teachers and religious authorities. It deals with the difficult subjects of homophobia, prejudice and bullying, but with wit … and suspense!
Word had it that the mob boss controlled every rotten illegal operation between our quiet hamlet on the Missouri River and rough and ready Chicago to the east. Unlawful pursuits included prostitution, gambling (before it was legalized on riverboats), drugs, and booze (legal but susceptible to monopoly). No telling how many enemies he offed, or had offed.
I heard “the family” stuck their black hands in all the local gay bars, typical of controlling interests at the time. If you didn’t play hardball with them, you didn’t play at all. An adversary was typically dispatched in one of two ways: either their livelihood was lost to a mystifying incendiary fire or, if particularly scorned, they could be found dead, hogtied like a sausage in the trunk of their car, which was dumped at the airport.
On our journey across the river to Civella’s, Georgio would tell me how honorable a human being this mobster was, how generous a friend to his family the man had been. Having set up Georgio’s father in business, they were eternally and intractably indebted.
I was told of a secret tunnel in Civella’s basement that led across the street to the house of his brother, Carl “Cork” Civella. Georgio said that whenever the fuzz or the Feds visited Nick’s home, he’d have his punks run contraband through the underground to the safer surroundings at Cork’s. I suspected the reverse was pulled off if they hit up Cork. (Years later, I learned this hidden labyrinth never existed. With the law firmly in Nick’s pocket, there was no need for it. The fabled tunnel under my grandfather’s store probably never existed either, although I don’t doubt there was an excavator in our family.)
For all the buzz, I was afraid of the old man before I ever laid eyes on him. I pictured a menacing Marlon Brando type entangled in the tomato vines, brokering international power deals and assassinating those who crossed him with silencers in restaurant bathrooms.
We were let into the fortress by a tough disagreeable understudy who was plainly more than a butler or manservant. He had the bulk of a bodyguard, and I’m sure he was padded with impenetrable long underwear. Everything about this man said he was prepared to take a slug for somebody. Even his eyes seemed to say, ‘Do not fuck with me!’
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Calcara created marketing campaigns for businesses and institutions featured in print and broadcast media.
He writes fiction and semi-fiction, short stories, memoirs, plays, novels, and screenplays. He has collaborated with composers to write plays with musical scores. Joan is one such musical play that lyrically exposes the soul of Jeanne d’Arc—Joan of Arc.
Calcara was the only Charleston writer to win the 2011 South Carolina Arts Commission Fiction Project. His short stories have been published by numerous literary journals. He has lived in the South, Southwest and Southeast, and currently writes from the Midwest.
The Questions – please choose at least 5
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?
2) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scene using them: hammer, saucer, traffic lights.
Distracted by the unsettling breakfast conversation, she’d taken both the delicate tea cup and its matching saucer along with her when she left home for the office. Stopping abruptly at the yellow signal of the corner traffic lights, the cup tumbled from the dashboard to the floor and crash-landed on the cold steel head of Tom’s hammer peeping from beneath the passenger seat. The piercing sound of the shattering china and the sheer incongruity of the two items sent a shivering chill up her spine, as if both might somehow figure ominously in her day.
What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
5) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
I have some idea of plot in mind, that’s how the story (like SQUEALER) begins. But
when a person or character appeals to me (as in the story mentioned in Answer
#9), it’s usually their particular experience that stands out, so I write the
story around the character. Simple answer: Both.
If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
7) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein, because he was misunderstood. He had the capacity to
be a gentle man. Remember the scene where he attempts to play with the little
girl or when he stumbles upon the hermit in whom he finds a “FRIEND”? If he hadn’t been miswired by a loopy scientist,
things might have turned out very differently for the monster.
8) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
Jefferson. Lawyer, statesman, diplomatic minister, governor, congressman, secretary
of state, vice president, president, architect, author, philosopher, agronomist.
Visit his home in Charlottesville, VA. You’ll learn that he is also credited
with a number of inventions, including the Polygraph for copying his writings.
9) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I’ve written a short story about a poor, under-educated, backwoods, put-upon mother who suffocates her latest infant with a Winnie the Pooh pillow that says, “Some people care too much; I think it’s called love.” Empathy for the woman is roused as her personally justifiable motivations are revealed. I’ve submitted it to a few journals who offer the same canned rejection: We enjoyed reading your story; however, it doesn’t fit our current needs.” Or something ridiculous to that effect.
a Rafflecopter giveaway