These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Friday, 23 June 2017

MASHED Interview with Nicholas Paschall.

MASHED is an anthology of 17 sensually sinister stories curated from over 200 submissions from around the world.

Each story is a unique blend of horror, humor, food and sex, resulting in tales that will leave you both scared and slightly turned on, while laughing out loud and contemplating whether or not you should have your next meal.

Stories including:

“A Woman’s Corn” – By J. Donnait
“Charlie’s Chunky Munching Meat” – By Stephen McQuiggan
“Halloween Nosh” – By Brandon Ketchum
“Biscuit: A Love Story” – By Grivante
“Burnt Scrambled Eggs” – By Devon Widmer
“The Disagreeable Dinner” – By Mark Daponte
“Sugar” – By Darla Dimmelle
“The Henry Problem” – By John Grey
“Nibble, Nibble, My Wolf” By – J.L. Boekestein
“The Wrath of the Buttery Bastard-Taters” – By Alex Colvin
“Sauce” – By Steven Carr
“The Care and Feeding of your Personal Demon” – By Maxine Kollar
“P.A.C.D. : The Kitchen of Tomorrow, Today!” – By R.A. Goli
“Arabica” – By Cobalt Jade
“Toilet Manners” – By Eddie Generous
“The Stray” – By Calypso Kane
“The Tall Man in the Hat” – By Nicholas Paschall

Do you like food? Sex? Horror? Humor? Then this book is for you! Guaranteed to leave you scared, aroused and possibly a little hungry.

From the twelfth to the twenty-fourth of June, get inside the minds of twelve of the authors from the anthology. Find out what inspired the stories, what other projects the authors are involved with, and generally get to know the authors better.

Today, get to know more about Nicholas Paschall and The Tall Man in the Hat.

In the age-old first date manner, tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m thirty-one years old with a degree in History, a Buddhist, and a writer. I enjoy Amaretto Sours on the occasion I choose to drink, and belong to a few book clubs. I write horror and fantasy, all of it with a dark bend as I feel the light-hearted Twilight and Piers Anthony novels have made both genres a little soft.

Who has influenced you most as a writer?
I would have to say my time as an editor at my college newspaper really influenced me, and my Junior year high school English teacher had a way of making the words come alive. I guess I also wanted to leave my mark upon the page, so to speak, as I never plan on having children. Whereas I have nephews and nieces, I treat my stories with the delicate care one would a finely tune instrument or a carefully crafted ceramic doll. As such, they’re all my children.

What are your favourite books and why?
Horror, obviously. I have a few favourite authors at the moment: David Wellington and his Laura Caxton series of vampire novels are a must have, and Sarah England’s Magda series is amazing. If I had to nail down a favourite book I’d say The Exorcist. It was a shock of the generation, and is far better than the film adaptation.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a child. I would love to create intricate stories, and would often find myself writing out short tales for the sheer joy of it. I think there are over a dozen notepads from every year I was in high school that need to be burned, as my voice hadn’t quite formed yet. By the time I took my first Creative Writing course in college I was ready, and wrote a knock-off of the marvel character Dr. Strange. I’ve adopted the persona sans the hubris and have yet to drop him into one of my stories. Perhaps a novel…?

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I start numerous novels at once and then write a chapter a day for each of them. Sometimes I’ll get burnt out on one so I’ll write two chapters for each of the other books. Now, I have four novels being considered by publishers, one coming out June 15th, 2017, and ten more on my computer waiting for me to finish/edit them.

How did you become interested in writing this particular genre?
I was working a dead-end job as a salesman at this rip-off gym, and on break I was reading a horror novel I’d scooped up from the bargain bin at Half-Price Books. I finished it in one sitting and wasn’t impressed. A co-worker expressed interest in the book, so I gave it to her (never lend a book, you’ll never see it again) and thought nothing of it.

She came in the next day and threw the novel at me. Surprised, I asked what happened and she said she had trouble going to sleep after reading two chapters. I thought, are you serious? So I decided to try and write something scarier, with better suspense, and got it published as a piece of flash fiction in Dark Moon Digest.

What was the inspiration behind your MASHED story?
Funny story, my wife and I like to try and come up with the most bizarre stories imaginable. She dared me to write an erotic horror story, as horrifying as I could make it. So, I spent three days making this and came up with the first draft, which totally had her on the edge of her seat. The problem was, this child of mine was too mean and had no place to go. So, when MASHED came around, I tweaked it a little and sent it in. The editors and I combed over it and changed a few things around, but the story on the whole remained true to form. I love the gingerbread cookies!

With over two hundred submissions, what was your reaction upon finding out your story had made the cut?
Amazed. I laughed for like five minutes and sent back a positive response and said I’d be free to have it edited whenever. They sent me a copy they wanted revised, I laughed at the awesome ideas they inserted and came up with a few new ones on the spot. I think we laughed at the story and how disturbing it is as we worked on it, twisting the knife deeper and deeper as we tried to find the nerve of every reader.

Each story is a mix of horror, humour, food, and sex; what kind of reaction should a reader expect to have upon finishing your story – will they be more turned on or terrified?
I am by no means an erotic author, so terrified and disturbed is more my direction. Little to no gore, mostly suspense and wonderment. There is some sex, of course, but the story doesn’t revolve completely around it like some of the other stories do. If my story had a rating, it would be R instead of NC-17.

Do you have another writing project in mind or in the making? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I HAVE A NOVEL, THE Father of Flesh, coming out through Darkwater Syndicate June 15th 2017. It’ll be available for order from major retailers and should be in stock at more than a few big box book stores. It’s an Indiana Jones/Lovecraft story where an aged professor takes on an ancient evil, hoping to make it out in one piece.

Excluding your own, which of the MASHED stories is your favourite?
Arabica. I’m not going to say why as that would spoil it, but the action is full of suspense and leads up to a climax you don’t see coming.

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