Tag Archives: Lee Thompson

Interview: author Amy Grech

Today we have an interview with author Amy Grech. Enjoy!

Author Amy GrechRage and Redemption cover

Hi, Amy! Congratulations on your book. Tell us about your latest release, please!

Amy: New Pulp just published my collection of crime stories, Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City! Here’s the publisher’s description: Amy Grech’s stories shock, like a sudden, splash of cold water. This latest collection delivers gritty profiles of people snarled in the crime and seething anger of inner city New York at its most violent. Here you’ll encounter five dark tales: “Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City”, “.38 Special”, “Cold Comfort”, “Prevention”, and “Hoi Polloi Cannoli”. These startling stories will convince you that Grech is noir and horror writer you want to watch.

Lee: What piece of fiction are you most proud of? Why?

Amy: Definitely the lead novella from Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City. It’s my most brutal work to date. It’s set in NYC’s gritty Alphabet City, where a young, aspiring Author, Ruby Fuji meets Dr. Trevor Braeburn, an Eye Doctor looking for a thrill. She invites him up to her apartment, a potent cocktail of overwhelming lust, coupled with lax inhibitions leads to poor judgment on Ruby’s part, with tragic consequences for the young girl. Ruby’s older sister Gia seduces Trevor and their father, Mr. Fuji seeks Redemption after Gia lures the doctor back to their apartment. It’s extremely visceral, with lots of unexpected twists and turns…

Lee: Very cool. Who are some of your literary heroes? Your biggest influence?

Amy: My literary heroes include: Franz Kafka, H. P. Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mary Shelley. I know I’m not the only one, but Stephen King is my biggest influence. An Aunt introduced me to his novels when I was 12. I started with Cujo and have been hooked ever since!

Lee: What is your process like?

Amy: For shorter works, I go where my muse takes me! Sometimes, I start with a title, like “Dead Eye”, and build the characters around it, or I’ll start with a place, like Hell’s Kitchen, in NYC and go from there. For the novellas I keep several pages of notes, which is a new way to work for me, but it’s actually extremely helpful!

Lee: I’m a note taker, too. I love it. Where has your work been published?

Amy: I have sold 100 stories to various anthologies and magazines including: Apex Magazine, Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled, Dead Harvest, Expiration Date, Fear on Demand, Funeral Party 2, Inhuman Magazine, Needle Magazine, Reel Dark, Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine, Space & Time, The Horror Within, Under the Bed, and many others.

I have stories forthcoming in Detectives of the Fantastic, Volume II and Fright Mare.

Lee: What have you had to learn the hard way?

Amy: It’s virtually impossible to be a perfectionist. In fact, it’s downright stressful, so I’ve learned to let things go – no matter how many rounds of edits there are, typos will still escape the Editor’s attention and wind up in the finished book – it’s just human nature!

Lee: I hear you on that. What are you working on now?

Amy: I’m working on several horror stories; some of them might evolve into novellas…

Lee: How did you come up with the title for your collection?

Amy: The title actually popped into my head while I was in the shower one day; it sums up the lead novella, which takes place in Alphabet City in NYC and features equal parts rage and also redemption, thus Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City was born.

Lee: Is there a message in this collection that you want readers to ponder?

Amy: It’s a good idea to tread lightly when meeting a stranger in a bar. Never let lust trump logic. Always trust your instincts—if someone makes you uneasy, find a non-confrontational way to remove yourself from the situation, before someone gets hurt…

Lee: Are any of the events—or any of the characters—in these stories based on real life?

Amy: Most of the stories feature various sections of NYC: Alphabet City, Central Park, Hell’s Kitchen, and finally the posh Upper East Side. I actually have a fraternal twin brother, but I wanted to play with the idea of having identical twins trade places in “Prevention”. The character Jack Masoch in “Cold Comfort” was modeled after an ex-boyfriend I had in college. He was my first serious boyfriend, so I our relationship was intense—ah, young love—I was devastated when he broke up with me, so I wrote about the traumatic experience to help me heal.

Lee: Where can readers sample your writing?

Amy: New Pulp Press has an excerpt from Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City available on their website. (Sample is here.) 

Lee: What was most challenging about writing the collection?

Amy: I’d have to say fleshing out the characters, giving them little quirks my readers could relate to, so they’d be eager to learn what fate had in store…I kept detailed notes for the two novellas in the collection, “Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City” and “Hoi Polloi Cannoli”, so I could ensure all of my thoughts wound up in the finished works.

Lee: Do you have any advice for novice writers?

Amy: For writers who are just starting out, I recommend carrying a notebook at all times—there’s no telling where inspiration will strike, so be sure to jot down seemingly random thoughts before they vanish into the ether. Read other authors in the genre to get a sense of what’s being published and how/where your work fits.

Lee: Thanks for taking the time to answer questions, Amy! Best of luck with Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City!

Amy Grech: Website, Google +, Twitter 

Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Kobo

 

Cover reveal: After the Fog Clears by Lee Thompson

I’m very excited to share the cover for my next DarkFuse novel! Cover reveals are always one of my favorite parts of the publishing process (although all the parts are pretty sweet.)

About AFTER THE FOG CLEARS:

When a policeman accidentally runs over a young boy on a fog-shrouded street in Saginaw, Michigan, it thrusts three families into a head-on collision with grief, violence and chaos…

Officer Nathan Hazzard: for years now a dirty cop and on the brink of losing touch with reality, willingly releases himself from society’s shackles… 

Luther Anderson: a young man whose only true concerns up to the day of the accident is to care for his crippled brother and their grandmother, becomes the target of intense hatred…

Raul Spencer: a disgruntled son working at his father’s funeral home; an adulterer, who fears his sins will find him out, blames everyone else for his problems even as his selfishness leads him ever more astray…

Geneva Spencer: the wounded mother who holds her dying son in her arms and finds that there is no one there to hold her as the life she knew takes a dark turn once Officer Hazzard starts pursuing her for reasons she can’t begin to understand… 

In the fast-paced Suspense novel, After the Fog Clears, author Lee Thompson probes the fractured psyches of the lost, the abandoned, and the psychotic.

The novel will be available in February 2016. Hardcover, paperback, and digital.

I’m really excited about this one!

Released: THE LESSER PEOPLE

Super excited that my Crime novel The Lesser People is out today! Thanks to those who pre-ordered. Now the rest of you can get your copy! Feel free to leave a review on Goodreads or wherever. Spreading the word is essential with any book and since I’m kind of reclusive, I can’t do much on my own.

You can grab your Kindle copy here.
And other formats (Nook, etc.) here.

About the book:

Cover THE LESSER PEOPLE-page-0 (2)

On a snowy Detroit night Elijah Irons, now an old man, tells a black nurse a haunting story from the darkest summer of his childhood in Forksville, Mississippi. He shares his experience with the rising racial tensions in their community and the discord within their own home since Eli, like his father Hank, think of Negroes as ordinary people, while the rest of their community think of them as The Lesser People.

He shares how his father arrests Uncle Tommy for stealing Army rifles and selling them to the KKK, and why he walks free since Eli’s grandpa is the mayor. He talks about Isaiah—a blind black boy, and servant of a local preacher—who Eli finds murdered on a river bank, and how that boy had sung the blues until people robbed him of his innocence and his future.

After the police investigate and brush Isaiah’s murder aside, blaming a transient for the crime, Eli’s father decides to make a stand against his father and the town. But things go severely wrong. Other than Preacher, everyone wants Eli’s family to get out of town. Elijah’s father refuses to go anywhere. The consequences of his decision, coupled with the desperate move his sons make, produce a mountain of heartache, grief and sorrow for his family, but they also produce unlikely heroes.

The Lesser People is a poignant, brutal, and touching story about how our decisions, and those of others, haunt us. It explores family and social conditioning, and how we exorcise our demons–often too late–in our struggle to become more human.

There is also a new interview up at The Gal in the Blue Mask. Check it out if you haven’t!

New Interview on The Gal With The Blue Mask

I have a new interview on The Gal in the Blue Mask. (Thanks, Meghan!) It was fun. Check it out, leave a comment, share the link. Thanks!

You can also pre-order The Lesser People on Amazon (or on Smashwords for other reading devices). It’s coming out in four days! I’m very excited about this novel. I think it’s a damn good book and I learned a lot writing it.

Best wishes to you all!

Lee

I need your help in choosing a narrator

I’m going to release an audio book of my novel THE LESSER PEOPLE next spring, and need your help in choosing the narrator! Just leave your feedback below. Thanks!

The ebook and paperback will be coming out in October (you can pre-order your copy from TLP on Amazon, and TLP from Smashwords, and TLP on Goodreads.)

Here are the two audio samples. I really like both of them and look forward to hearing your picks of who should read it!

Clay’s reading:

 

Tom’ s reading:

You can check out their other work:

Clay Lomakayu

Tom Sleeker

Cover THE LESSER PEOPLE-page-0 (2)

About THE LESSER PEOPLE

The Lesser People is a poignant, brutal, and touching story about how our decisions, and those of others, haunt us. It explores family and social conditioning, and how we exorcise our demons–often too late–in our struggle to become more human.

On a snowy Detroit night Elijah Irons, now an old man, tells a black nurse a haunting story from the darkest summer of his childhood in Forksville, Mississippi. He shares his experience with the rising racial tensions in their community and the discord within their own home since Eli, like his father Hank, think of Negroes as ordinary people, while the rest of their community think of them as The Lesser People.

He shares how his father arrests Uncle Tommy for stealing Army rifles and selling them to the KKK, and why he walks free since Eli’s grandpa is the mayor. He talks about Isaiah—a blind black boy, and servant of a local preacher—who Eli finds murdered on a river bank, and how that boy had sung the blues until people robbed him of his innocence and his future.

After the police investigate and brush Isaiah’s murder aside, blaming a transient for the crime, Eli’s father decides to make a stand against his father and the town. But things go severely wrong. Other than Preacher, everyone wants Eli’s family to get out of town. Elijah’s father refuses to go anywhere. The consequences of his decision, coupled with the desperate move his sons make, produce a mountain of heartache, grief and sorrow for his family, but they also produce unlikely heroes.

The Lesser People is a poignant, brutal, and touching story about how our decisions, and those of others, haunt us. It explores family and social conditioning, and how we exorcise our demons–often too late–in our struggle to become more human.

Released: WITH FURY IN HAND

With Fury in Hand book cover

I’m excited to let everybody know DarkFuse has released my latest Crime novella WITH FURY IN HAND! You can grab your copy from Amazon here.

The first reviews have come in.

Michael Parker at Crime Fiction Lover.
Paul Nelson at Paul Read or Dead.
And reviews on Goodreads.
And reviews on Amazon.

I hope you’re all well and living life to the fullest!

Best,

Lee

With Fury in Hand

With Fury in Hand book cover

Super excited about this book coming out in May, 2015 from DarkFuse! You can pre-order it here!

Over the next seventeen hours, on the unforgiving streets of Flint, Michigan, five people with troubled pasts and uncertain futures will collide in a devastating chain of intertwining events.

Through the eyes of a homeless orphan, a banking executive with disturbing fantasies, an adulterous wife, a young prostitute with a stash of money, and a man trying to leave his criminal days behind, you will witness their pain and feel their loss.

Redemption requires forgiveness, but fury serves no master.

Inside THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS Character/Conflicts

Inside “The Devil Gave Them Black Wings” Characters/Conflicts

I’m doing a series of fun insider posts on my novel THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS which will be released March 17th, 2015. I’ll share why the setting is personal and unique to me; I’ll share about the main characters and their conflicts; my beliefs on Grief and Healing—which is essential to moving on with our lives after tragedy strikes us; I’ll share the inspirations for segments of the storyline; how racism isolates a small black family when their daughter is kidnapped; and we’ll hit the points of curses and blessings, how each can pivot into the realm of the other.
I hope you find this interesting, and I’m glad to give you a look inside my head and the inner mechanics of one of my latest novels.
Please feel free to share the posts. And if you have any questions you can ask me on my Goodreads Q & A here

Happy reading!

Lee

black wings cover for kindle

 

In THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS a cursed angel battling a paternal complex shadows an abducted child with a vengeful father who will do anything to get her back… He mourns the loss of innocence in the young neighbor girl who is determined to find the kidnapped child… And he seeks to offer peace to a despondent husband returning to his wife’s childhood home after her death on 9/11…

Through triumphs and setbacks, unlikely friends forge an unbreakable bond, and find a way to always remember the value of love and courage.

*****

Welcome to the second post about the inner mechanics of my forthcoming Supernatural Thriller THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.

There are a number of major characters in this novel, which I like because they’re all connected and are irrevocably so by the end. Having multiple POVs offers a lot of room for contrasts and misunderstandings between characters. I’d like to share a quick sketch of each character, what they want and need, and the major dilemmas they face.

Sebastian: A doomed angel, he takes his charges very seriously, and it drives him crazy that all the girls he guards are cursed with tragic lives. He can do very little to protect them, since he is unable to communicate with them. Until the end of this book he sees the human story as one large tragedy.

Jacob Elder: Wants to be left alone to deal with his grief (he tends to wallow in it for a while until the angel Sebastian begins bothering him.) When a local black girl is kidnapped from the park where Jacob has been sitting and watching children play for the last three days, a policeman puts Jacob at the top of his list of suspects.

Nina Kunis: Wants a purpose for her life, wants to matter, wants to clear Jacob’s name and find out who really kidnapped young Robin Stark. When she begins to suspect that her older boyfriend, who is not shy of his attraction to young girls, is behind Robin’s disappearance, she isn’t sure what to do. A local reporter named Caitlain Reno also interviews her because Nina lives across the street from the park and Robin Stark’s father works with Nina’s mother. Caitlain is upset when Nina says the reporter is exploiting Robin and her family to make her career. But Caitlain tells her little black girls have been taken for the past decade and no one with any power has done anything because there is still a deep-seated racism permeating the town.

Victor: Jacob’s brother-in-law. Wants to bring Jacob home, back to New York, afraid that Jacob will hurt himself due to depression and hopelessness. He tracks Jacob down using his credit card purchases, and ends up knocking on doors until he finds Nina, who he believes has seen Jacob from the way her face changes when Victor shows her Jacob’s photograph. Nina’s stepfather Rick calls the police but Victor has ties to the mob in New York, and doesn’t tolerate much from small town law enforcement. His contempt for them only gets him and Jacob into more trouble.

Caitlain Reno: A reporter whose main goal is to write a book about the abductions of ten young black girls (over the past decade) in a town that tries to appear spic and span. She doesn’t realize the danger she’s in until the child murderer visits her home.

Richard Stark: Robin Stark’s father. More than anything he wants his daughter back. He was there at the park with her the day she was taken, had left her on the merry-go-round while he ran to the ice cream truck to get each of them their favorites. When he thinks the police are taking too long to save his daughter, and under his wife’s demands that he do something, he compiles a list of local sexual predators and begins knocking on doors, hoping he can shake his daughter’s kidnapper out of his nest. He has always been a law-abiding man, but fully accepts he will have to break laws, and live with the consequences, once he finds Robin and the man who took her from him.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share this. If you’d like to pre-order a copy of THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS, you can do so here

Inside “The Devil Gave Them Black Wings” Setting

 

I’m doing a series of fun insider posts on my novel THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS  which will be released March 17th, 2015. I’ll share why the setting is personal and unique to me; I’ll share about the main characters and their conflicts; my beliefs on Grief and Healing—which is essential to moving on with our lives after tragedy strikes us; I’ll share the inspirations for segments of the storyline; how racism isolates a small black family when their daughter is kidnapped; and we’ll hit the points of curses and blessings, how each can pivot into the realm of the other.

I hope you find this interesting, and I’m glad to give you a look inside my head and the inner mechanics of one of my latest novels.

Please feel free to share the posts. And if you have any questions you can ask me on my Goodreads Q & A here.

Happy reading!

Lee

  

Inside “The Devil Gave Them Black Wings” Setting

black wings cover for kindle

 

In THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS a cursed angel battling a paternal complex shadows an abducted child with a vengeful father who will do anything to get her back… He mourns the loss of innocence in the young neighbor girl who is determined to find the kidnapped child… And he seeks to offer peace to a despondent husband returning to his wife’s childhood home after her death on 9/11… 

Through triumphs and setbacks, unlikely friends forge an unbreakable bond, and find a way to always remember the value of love and courage.

 *****

When I was in my early twenties I was reckless and impulsive. I was an alcoholic without a car, a violent young man with a large chip on his shoulder, and I had tired of where I grew up. I wanted adventure, a calling, a purpose for my life. I started reading the Bible, and believed that if I learned to rely on something outside of myself, I’d make better choices, maybe I’d be happier. Self-pity and anger were holding me back and I did my best to purge myself of their venom. I decided, somewhat out of the blue, that I wanted to be a pastor. I wanted to teach something good, values that I believed I needed to aspire to, and I wanted to learn by listening to others, maybe help them in some small way. So, without a car, with sixty-something dollars to my name after buying a bus ticket, I rode down to Cleveland, Tennessee with a small bag of clothing and a guitar.

I choose this place in Tennessee because it had Lee University, where I could go to their music school and study to be a preacher. I figured the influence of others with a devout seriousness would help me stay on track. But I was dirt poor when I got there, I didn’t know a soul, I was homeless, hungry, and frustrated. In a homeless shelter on the bad side of town there were all kinds of addicts. I could relate to them because, although I hadn’t had a drink in a year, I wanted one every single day.

It was a time of turning points, big changes. I did great for a while, got on my feet, made friends, stayed away from the bottle which pretty much represented a loaded pistol I used to stick in my mouth for the better part of every day.

Cleveland, Tennessee is a Bible belt. A dry county. That helped for a while. But then I visited a local music store and made friends with this guitar player (Don Wade) who was kind of a mentor to me. I went out and watched his band play. As much as I wanted to be good, I missed the seedy sides of life, and I liked the neighboring town Chattanooga for all the enticement it offered. I didn’t fit in with most of the Christians I’d met. They were all so naïve (or so it appeared) and I felt out of place, like a square peg among a bunch circles.

It was more natural to return to the type of things I knew. I walked everywhere (I love walking because it’s good exercise and gives me time to think). I went all over town, all the time, the good parts, the bad parts, just a wayfaring stranger in a strange land. I didn’t hunt trouble, but I didn’t shy from it either.

I gave up the idea of preaching. I didn’t feel worthy, didn’t feel as if I had anything to say, and to me Christian meant Christ-like, and I was far from that. But I watched everybody and listened, and there were a million small heartaches all around, and I found I could listen to a stranger and it seemed to help them because nobody else gave them the time of day.

In THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS, my thirteen-year-old character Nina Kunis has this trait. She likes to give people a chance to open up. For her—pretty much still forming into who she will be when the story begins—life is full of mystery, darkened corners, and exquisite possibilities. But there is a danger in the connections we make, a risk we have to take if we want to truly connect with someone else, which Nina learns the hard way.

And then there is Jacob, who brings his wife Santana’s ashes back to her home town from New York. After she dies in the towers on 9/11, he carries an excessive amount of guilt because she had wanted to return home, to Cleveland, Tennessee, the week the Trade Towers were hit, but Jacob had refused her. He was a bit of a control freak then, and like most control freaks, he did not want to risk losing her to her childhood memories when the life he had built for himself in New York was exactly what he wanted. But his refusal to give her what she wanted, just a simple trip home, carried her down among the rubble at Ground Zero. To make matters worse for him, a young black girl goes missing, and a local policeman designates him as the prime suspect because Jacob appears homeless, and has spent three days in that park watching the children play before the girl was taken.

There is so much more I wish I could tell you, but I’ll save it for other posts about the inner workings of this novel. I’ll wrap it up for now with the whole point about what I learned while living there and why I felt it was the perfect setting for this story.

When I lived down there, one of the first places I lived was in a shitty motel room that cost about a hundred bucks a week. I went to this church I liked, and there was this constant bombardment of the wholesomeness and sincerity of the congregation in contrast to the shitty neighborhood, the fights and drug deals and crack whores, I had to return to. I could have just returned home, back to Michigan, but I was stubborn, and I think there was a part of me that liked how vastly different the two worlds were that I resided in.

The light and the dark meet in certain areas. There can be great love, tremendous hope, butted up against violence and despair. And that’s what THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS is all about: great love and tremendous hope butted up against violence and despair. The novel is a slow burn and I hope that by the time you finish it you’ll know these characters better than you know your family.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share this. If you’d like to pre-order a copy of THE DEVIL GAVE THEM BLACK WINGS, you can do so here

Thanks again for all the support!

If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you can do so here, and receive a FREE Kindle copy of my Supernatural Thriller EARTHLY THINGS.