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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Interview & #Giveaway with Joseph Spencer, author of Grim! #FMBBooks



Please help me welcome author Joseph Spencer to Full Moon Bites today with an interview, excerpt and giveaway! Read on below for more. :)


Holly: Would you tell us a little about yourself?

Joseph Spencer: I’m the equivalent of a literary gym rat.  I worked for ten years at regional daily newspapers where the deadlines and the pressure to produce compelling content on an everyday basis became a challenge I relished. I covered mainly high school sports, and the turnaround time of a game ending and writing the story for the paper the next day would blow your mind. I switched careers about four years ago because digital media is making things in daily print newsrooms pretty scary. Now, I’m a supervisor in an emergency 9-1-1 call center in central Illinois. We’re the ones you talk to on the phone when you call for police, fire or ambulances. I thought it’d be fun to mesh my careers, so now I write crime fiction with a twist of paranormal. I’m also proud to say I married the love of my life last March, which is also when my debut novel was accepted by my publisher, Damnation Books. We went on a tour of Paris in September to celebrate.

Holly: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Joseph Spencer:My wife and I enjoy movies a great deal. My gift to her this Christmas was an autographed poster from the cast of Princess Bride, which is an all-time favorite movie for her. There are several movies we enjoy watching all the time from comedies like Bridesmaids and Office Space to thrillers like Seven.  I’m also a big Batman and Sherlock Holmes nut, so I enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and both of the latest Sherlock adaptations from the BBC and CBS. I love to read as well. Over the past year, I’ve read YA books like Beautiful Creatures, Hunger Games, and the Mortal Instruments series. I’ve also read every bit of George R.R. Martin’s Songs of Fire and Ice series, and I’m currently reading my friend Eric Miller’s anthology Hell Comes to Hollywood.

Holly: Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?

Joseph Spencer:Honestly, I didn’t do a lot of prep work in the form of outlines and character sketches for the first two books in my Sons of Darkness series. Grim  and Wrage, which will come out later this year, started with a few small concepts and I grew them from there. However, I recently began a project where I asked my wife, Amy, who is an avid reader, to join with me in planning a book. We are developing a novel using Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method at www.advancedfictionwriting.com. I’m toying with working on our idea as a brief break from my series. For those who liked Grim, I’m planning for seven Sons of Darkness. I hope there’s interest enough from readers to make it quite a series.

Holly: Can you tell us in your words a little bit about the book?


Joseph Spencer:Grim is a tragedy. There’s a man who has no idea who his family is, who grew up with no sense of identity and no parental figures, and who loses everyone who truly mattered to him in his life. He’s felt like he’s had to prove himself his entire life, and the only way he knows how is to make a deal with a supernatural being. His deal forces him to hunt down killers and fiends to avenge the souls of victims who can’t move on in the afterlife. The being convinces this desperate man that what he’s doing is just, even though he’s becoming as despicable as the men he hunts. To justify his own actions, he seeks out a virtuous heroic figure, and attempts to engineer his fall from grace in that man’s time of need. His thinking is if this man, who has symbolized justice for so long, becomes a man like him then maybe he’s a heroic figure, too, rather than a monster.

Holly: Which came first for you the characters or the plot?

Joseph Spencer:Grim started with the character Heath Grim. He was inspired and named after Heath Ledger. Ledger’s performance as the Joker in Dark Knight was nothing short of brilliant in my opinion. I wanted to create a character which created chaos like the Joker character, but had more of a sympathetic story. I’ve always loved gritty, edgy characters which are morally gray. I wanted to take my readers down a more chaotic path than what was explored in the Dark Knight. I get tired of the hero always wins somehow story, so I wrote something a little different.

Holly: Where can we purchase this book?

Joseph Spencer:I like promoting my publisher, Damnation Books, as best I can. They have ebook formats to fit the Kindle, the Nook, or other devices. Damnation’s link is: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727520. If you enter coupon code - 289snake, you get 25 percent off all Damnation purchases. I’m also available in both ebook and print at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com if you search Grim by Joseph Spencer. There are several 4-star reviews which are posted at each site to give you an idea of what others think of my novel.

Holly: Can we expect more novels from you in 2013?

Joseph Spencer:Yes, the second book in my Sons of Darkness series, Wrage, will come out later this year, possibly in September like Grim did last year. Wrage picks up where the action leaves off. It tells the tale of Jeff Wrage, whose wife was brutally murdered in Grim. He’s seeking revenge against the killer. We also learn a lot more about Detective Adam White’s colleague, Anna Duke.

Holly: Are you working on anything right now?

Joseph Spencer:I am in the planning stages of my third Sons of Darkness novel, which will be titled Malice. It will feature a rock star named Malice Madsen which is styled somewhat in the vein of Marilyn Manson in that he’s controversial and receives a lot of scrutiny for the message portrayed by his songs. Like Heath Grim, he’s made a deal with a spiritual entity, but it’s a different entity than Grim’s partner in crime. As mentioned above, I’m also working on an as-yet-to-be-titled project with my wife and here’s the blurb we’ve developed:

The search for a missing girl leads police to a playground where her body is posed with a toy. Days from retirement, Detective Jack Carpenter reluctantly accepts the case and recognizes the calling card of the Toy Box Killer, who has eluded capture for over twenty years. When Carpenter’s investigation takes a tragic turn, homicide division rookie Aarika Williams must aid in exposing the killer before he strikes again.  Nobody knows Williams, hungry for her first collar, harbors her own secret, which she’ll develop with Carpenter’s help in order to identify the killer from a pack of child predators.  The detectives race against time to unravel the mystery before the enigmatic murderer disappears again. 

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Joseph Spencer:I’d first like to thank everyone who has read my book. Whether you liked it or didn’t like it, I’m honored that you gave a rookie writer a chance to entertain you. When I started writing Grim, I missed writing terribly. I worked on the project to prove to myself I could do it. I’d never taken a creative writing class or wrote fiction in my life. I know a lot of people think writing a novel is easy, but it’s not. There were a lot of people along the way who rejected it, and some had scathing criticism. Yet, it’s something I accomplished which will always make me proud. I didn’t do it for fame or for money. I did it out of love. I love to write, to tell stories, and to entertain people. If I’ve entertained you, then you’ve given me one of the greatest honors of my life.


Holly: What is your favorite part of writing?

Joseph Spencer:For me, writing is freedom. There are so many things in your life that you do because of duty or responsibility for your job, for your family, for your bill collectors, etc. I write because I love to write and I want to write. There’s a story in my heart to tell, and the thrill of figuring out how to tell it the best way possible is a rush which is hard to recreate in any other way. It’s like creating your own world and having complete control over it. 



Title: Grim
Series: Sons of Darkness Series, Book 1
Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Crime, Dark, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller,
Publisher: Damnation Books
Paperback/Ebook
Words: 93,000


Book Description:

When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what's most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife's murder, and become the type of killer he's hunted for so many years?  


Adam heard a few sounds of Velcro peeling from its straps. Suddenly, Black Mask shed the mystery and ambiguity of his head gear. He became another mystery altogether. What happened to this guy? He looked like he’d seen hell, escaped, and doctored his face to give everyone else on Earth a preview.
Black Mask obviously suffered from rosacea because his skin was inflamed, swollen, and the angriest shade of red Adam had ever seen. A jagged circular scar similar to a clock face ran from Black Mask’s forehead down his cheeks to his chin. A vertical scar ran straight down the middle of his forehead and along the bridge of his nose. Two horizontal scars extended from the side of his nose and curved upward toward the temples. Two additional scars extended outward at angles from just under his nose, across his lips and ended on either side of his chin. All of the scars connected to the outer circular one like spokes to resemble a starfish shape. Adam struggled not to have any reaction, but failed to keep the corner of his mouth from inching up into a grimace.
Black Mask smirked and put his right hand up to his face. He pretended to be admiring himself in the mirror. “It’s okay, Detective. Your reaction is fairly common and a lot more subdued than most. Of course, I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrors in your line of work.
“So, you want to know the tale of Heath Grim, do you?”


INTRO
Joseph Spencer is the author of the Sons of Darkness series launched by his debut novel, Grim, on September 1, 2012. Work on his second book of the series, Wrage, is already underway and is expected to be released some time in 2013.

THE ROAD HERE
The Sons of Darkness is a series of paranormal crime thrillers following investigations into mysterious deaths in the central Illinois city of Prairieville. Home of the notorious serial killer, The Reaper, Prairieville has had a history of violence centered on an ongoing feud between the Marino and Black organized crime families. When bodies start showing up again at the abandoned Marino State Hospital, many fear the Reaper has returned. The people of Prairieville are about to find out their problems stem from a supernatural source which has lurked in secret for decades.

THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.

Website | Twitter: josephspencer00 | Facebook |


Enter below for a chance to win a eBook copy of Grim!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the great feedback to those who posted comments.

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