Podcast Interview

Recently, Mike Phillips asked if I’d like to be on his podcast and talk about the struggles with my old publisher and what it took to break free from their shoddy practices. We talk about drug addictions, death, and many other fun things that can be found in my writing. Here is a link to Mike’s Podcast

As a reminder, I’ll be reading from Hounds of the Hunted tonight at 6pm at the awesome taproom named Three Mugs in Hillsboro, Oregon. They have something like 22 beers from all over the world on tap. That’s just right for a hot day like today — 98* is the forecast — ouch! Hopefully I won’t drink too much before I read, but then again, it might make things more interesting. Jake Elliot

Seven Questions with Lee Mather

Lee Mather lives in Manchester England with his wife and new baby. Similar to Edward M. Erdelac, (my last guest) Lee is in a few anthologies being considered for a Bram Stoker Award in June 2013. Lee is coming out swinging, here is the good stuff.

1) Hi Lee. If you had three words to define yourself, what would they be?

If I could describe myself in three words I’d be a better writer than I am.

I’d only mess it up and throw in an adverb or something…

 

2) My first ‘Lee Mather’ experience was through the short story Wrath from the anthology Fading Light. Tell us a little about that fine gem?

Wrath is pretty dark, even for me. Primarily, it’s an apocalyptic tale about the wrath of God but it’s also about the concept of whether it’s ever too late for a second chance. It was hard to write. We had our first child this year and I think some of my angst at being a father came out in Wrath.

 

3) I’ve got an anthology sitting here on my desk named Corrupts Absolutely. It is ready to be cracked open and read. Your contribution is Crooked. What can I expect from Crooked as well as in Corrupts Absolutely?

Corrupts Absolutely is about superheroes that aren’t necessarily heroes, and the notion of whether their powers would corrupt them. I know you enjoy Ed Erdelac’s writing and Ed has another cracker in Corrupts

As for me, I was excited about the concept of a play on power and that’s why I wrote a story specifically for the anthology. My effort, Crooked, is about Leon, a stroke victim who is also a thief. He’s on the run from an angry mob boss who assumes Leon is helpless. There’s a twist, and not the fact that Leon has a secret power (that’s kind of obvious).

 

4) Do you have any other writing projects to boast? Or scorn?

I have an urban fantasy novella out from Lyrical Press called First Kiss, Last Breath. It’s about a teenager who believes he has brought a demon into the world from a mural he has painted.

I wanted to write something where the reader can’t quite trust the viewpoint of the protagonist to create an ‘is it really happening vibe’. I hope I’ve managed that with First Kiss, Last Breath and, so far, reviews have been kind.

I also have a dystopian sci-fi short included in No Place Like Home, a forthcoming anthology from Angelic Knight Press. My contribution is Natural Selection and it’s about the response to a pandemic in an alternate Britain where the soul of a person is externalised in the form of a youthful twin.

 

5) Getting pissed in the US is a bad thing but in England it is fun ––are you a drinker? If so, what is your poison?

It’s a big rite of passage over here to go out drinking when you’re young / underage which means our town centres are full of drunken sixteen year olds. This is not always as fun as it sounds.

I am partial to a drink but not so much this last year due to my wife being pregnant and us subsequently having our first child. These days it isn’t a good idea to be drunk! If I do, it’s usually beer – Weissbeir or something like that…

 

6) A time machine travels back five years offering you a brief chance to meet yourself, what would you say?

I’d pull up in my Delorean and shout, “Mather, where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”

 

7) I’d recently read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for the third time. I love that book. If books were banned in the UK, which book (or books) would you protect at potential danger to your own livelihood? List as many books as you think you could smuggle safely, or would you agree that books are dangerous to the cohesiveness of a working society?

Yes, any art can be dangerous. You only need to look at what happened to the US Embassy staff in Libya following the release of the Innocence of Muslims film earlier this year. The film did not cause the underlying problems between the Arab world and the West, nor did its contents excuse the actions of the protestors. But let’s be honest. It lit the flame on the dynamite.

So I do think an element of censorship of our art is required. That might start with the artist (a la Kubrick and A Clockwork Orange – he withdrew the film from circulation in the UK) or it might be through governing bodies or transparent regulations.

I’m not envisaging the fascist states of Orwell or Bradbury here, either. Who in their right mind would want a government with that level of power? We still need enough freedom to challenge the establishment, as long as it’s in a constructive way…

As for a book I’d risk my life for, well, the pregnancy guide we bought has proven pretty useful…

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Find out more about Lee and his writing at www.leemather.org.uk

 

Or follow Lee on Twitter, where he moralises about all sorts of things.

 

First Kiss, Last Breath” is available now from Lyrical Press.

 

Bloody Parchment“, featuring Lee’s story, “Masks”, is available now from Amazon.

 

Fading Light“, featuring Lee’s story, “Wrath”, is available now from Angelic Knight Press.

Seven Questions with Author Dina Rae

Halo of the Damned was released in the springtime of 2012. It is a pleasure to have this seasoned author write a little bit about her craft for us. Here is Seven Questions with Dina Rae, explorer of the paranormal, with cunning stories of both urban and historical conspiracies.

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1) Hi Dina, welcome to my little corner of virtual space. Where in the world are you? Tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks so much for having me!  I used to be a teacher but got laid-off.  During my lay-off I wrote three novels and almost finished a fourth.  I currently work as a substitute teacher and chess instructor.  Although I live outside of Chicago, I take advantage of the city and enjoy all it has to offer.  Besides author, I am a wife, mother, Christian, and professional tennis player (in my mind, but I love to play)!

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2) I just downloaded your story, The Last Degree, what can I expect inside. Tell us a little about your other books.

 It’s a work of fiction, but a great deal of research about Freemasonry, Apocalypse, New World Order and other conspiracy theories, secret societies, and the prepper movement went into the story. The Last Degree is one of those books that you will either love or hate.  In fact, I haven’t received a three star review yet.  I have a 4.0 avg./23 reviews.  Some people were offended by it and others have no prior knowledge on any conspiracy theories.  If you like Alex Jones, Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, History Channel, etc., you’ll love it!

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3) I stole this question from another author, now I ask it to everybody. The zombie apocalypse arrives: who do you want on your response team?

The cast from Doomsday Preppers, the Boy and Girl Scouts, FEMA, and whoever holds the keys to the Denver Airport’s underground maze of bunkers!

4) Who are your favorite authors and/or books?

I love Dan Brown, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George RR Martin, Tom Wolfe, Preston and Childs, LaHaye and Jenkins, Joel Rosenberg, too many to count.

I know this sounds bad, but I prefer male authors to female ones.  Generally speaking, men add a lot of researched details and don’t get wordy with descriptions whereas women generally sound like they are bullshitting––E.L. James comes to mind.  I’m of course the exception to this rule––LOL––and James is bullshitting her way to the bank!

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5) I know what scares me; what scares you?

The scariest thing in the world is losing someone you love.  Nothing can ever compare.  Heights terrify me.  Whenever a movie uses them for suspense my heart picks up several beats.

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6) I’ve heard really good things about Halo of The Damned, would there be any other fallen angel books on your horizon?

Thanks so much for asking. It’s a paranormal lover’s type of horror story.  Again, lots of research went into it. It’s about fallen angels, Enoch, a real religion that worships angels (Yezidism), nephilim, and the advertising world. It received some great reviews-4.3 avg/42 ratings on Goodreads and was chosen as the Paranormal Horror Group’s September Read-very proud of that.  It is currently being given away on Goodreads.  And yes, I am almost finished with the sequel.

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7) A friend of mine says these two movies defined our generation. He, my smart friend, suspects these two movies have great cultural significance. Do you like Star Wars, or Grease? Which is better?

Great question!  I’m 43 years old so am very much a product of the Star Wars vs. Grease segment of society.  I just took my daughter to see Grease the play and it sucked compared to the movie, but loved it as a little girl.  Played the record too many times to count and have all of the songs memorized.  Didn’t get Star Wars back then.  Watched it many years later as an adult-the lightbulb flashed on.  So many hidden symbols, made me think of the Bible, God vs. Satan.  Really brilliant series.  George Lucas was one of the smartest business men, really knew how to market his product.

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Here is an excerpt from The Last Degree by Dina Rae

Prologue

“I am sending you a master craftsman named Hiram-abi, who is extremely talented.  His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre.  He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood.

2 Chronicles 2:13-14

The mystery of Hiram Abif originates from the Biblical passage above.  Secret societies have given him credit for constructing Solomon’s temple.  According to legend, Hiram used talented craftsman and secrecy, such as passwords for orchestrating its construction.

Solomon didn’t like Hiram’s growing power, along with the attraction the Queen of Sheba had for him.  Some scholars imply he may have had something to do with his death.  Hiram remains the primary protagonist and martyr in modern day Masonic circles.

 

Chapter 1

Chicago, 2000

It was a rainy, dark fall day in Wrigleyville, an upscale north-side neighborhood.  The rain violently splattered onto the concrete of Waveland Avenue.  Although a big city, in this neighborhood crime generally amounted to alcohol related offenses such as DUIs, bar room brawls, and public intoxication which was usually festive Cub fans oblivious to the limits of celebrating. This day was different.

“911?  There’s a body in my alleyway, behind a dumpster.  I’m behind Waveland Avenue, 1269 West.  I think he’s dead!  He looks like my neighbor…don’t know his name.  I’m checking for his pulse right now, but nothing,” reported an elderly resident who was walking her dog.

At 10:02 a.m. an ambulance appeared on the scene, minutes after the initial phone call.  The paramedics confirmed no pulse, and then called the coroner for an official ruling of death.  The scene was then turned over to Lead Detectives Ann Wilson and Rich Stephanski.  By 11:00 a.m., the 1200 block of Waveland was declared a crime scene.  The detectives yellow-taped the area while uniformed officers coned off the street.

Due to the relentless rain, both detectives wore raincoats and carried traditional black umbrellas. They hurriedly moved in to investigate, fearing the rain might wash away the evidence.  The victim appeared to be a young white male without identification, dressed in a gray wool cable-knit sweater and blue jeans.  He was clean shaven with dirty blonde hair.

Ann took several pictures of the surrounding area and body with her Olympus digital camera.  Her partner lifted the shoulders of the body to have a better look at the victim’s face.  Rigamortis began to set.

“Ann, check this out.  His throat has been slit.  This sweater is soaked with blood.  The wool acts like a sponge.  Maybe we’ll find some blood in there that isn’t his,” Rich said.

“Let’s move the body into the meat wagon,” insisted Ann as she motioned for assistance from two uniformed cops.

“Looky what I’ve found,” yelled Detective Dan O’Leary from across the alleyway.  “Is this a human tongue?”

The detectives surrounded him for a closer look.

“Good work, Dan,” praised Ann.  “It’s definitely a tongue.  The tendons are hanging off of the thicker end, like it was ripped out of the vic’s mouth.  Look at the tip.  It was intentionally split.”

Detective Wilson crawled into the back of the ‘meat wagon’ and unzipped the body bag.  She took her pen and pried the victim’s mouth open.  “What do you know…We have what looks like a tongue and a victim that’s missing a tongue.”  Ann glanced back.  “Coincidence?”  She had a hard time seeing through her soaked grayish brown hair that was pressed against her small face.  She had to keep putting her umbrella down in order to take more photographs of the scene.

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Dina has me over at her site, here is the link — http://www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com/2012/10/author-jake-elliot-stops-by.html

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