Tag Archives: #behindthebook

“DOLL PARTS: Tales of Twisted Love” Goes on Tour & Inspiration behind the book

Forgive me for my four months of silence, but I’ve been busy reading, writing, & living. On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, I’ll be releasing a collection of short stories entitled, “DOLL PARTS: Tales of Twisted Love.”

Each short story was inspired by various song titles. Below are the songs and the story they inspired:

APARTMENT STORY – THE NATIONAL

SCARED OF GIRLS – PLACEBO

POST ORGASMIC CHILL – SKUNK ANANSIE

(Granted, the album was called that and not a song, but here’s one of the songs from that album that was the mood of my short story).

Below are the blog tour dates for DOLL PARTS! Check it out & stay tuned for an exclusive giveaway coming soon!

doll parts tour banner

Blog Tour Schedule

December 8th

Mythical Books http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/ Promo Post

My Nook, Books & More http://mynookbooksnmore.com Promo Post

Paper Skies http://www.paperskies.org Promo Post

The Readdicts http://thereaddicts.blogspot.in/ Review

December 9th

the Blacksheep Project http://theblacksheeproject.blogspot.com/ Review

CBY Book Club http://cbybookclub.blogspot.co.uk Promo Post

Novel Ink http://novelinkblog.com Review

Kimber Leigh Writes http://kimberleighwheaton.com Review

December 10th

Bibliophilia, Please http://www.bibliophiliaplease.com/ Promo Post

My Book Fairy http://mybookfairy.blogspot.com/ Promo Post

Booknista http://www.booknista.com/ Review

Live Laugh & Love Books http://livelaughandlovebooks.wordpress.com Promo Post

Comfy reading Www.comfyreading.wordpress.com Review

December 11th

Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions http://crystalschaoticconfessions.blogspot.com/ Promo Post

Books Babies Being www.booksbabiesbeing.com Review

Books Direct http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au/ Review

The Voluptuous Book Diva http://voluptuousbookdiva.blogspot.com Review

December 14th

This Girl Reads A lot http://www.thisgirlreadsalot.blogspot.com Review

Galleywampus http://galleywampus.com Review

Cover2Cover https://chocomeiske.wordpress.com Promo Post

Around the World in Books http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/ Promo Post
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves http://www.jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk Promo Post
Tine’s Reviews http://tinesreviews.wordpress.com/ Promo Post

Pre-Order DOLL PARTS!

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Behind “CUT HERE,” Part Six.

When I began writing “CUT HERE,” in January 2011, I hadn’t readily decided right away that it was going to be about angels. But I knew that I needed to explore a paranormal premise if I wanted the students’ deaths to be linked to a book. At the time, vampires and werewolves were extremely popular (Twilight, anyone?), but I also knew that I needed something radically different (I’m not going to say original, since a plethora of fiction with angels exist out there). However, my choice to go with angels was more of a personal one.

I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of angels (guardian angels, fallen angels, the whole she-bang of the spectrum). But it wasn’t until my grandmother (whom CUT HERE is dedicated to) was dying of lung cancer did I become acquainted with the knowledge of death angels. One night, while I was sleeping, my grandmother woke me up in the middle of the night and said, “A beautiful man came to me tonight, and told me that I’m never going to get over this illness.” Of course I told her, “You must’ve been dreaming. Don’t take those words to heart, you’ll get better,” although we both knew my words were drenched with lies. But we both wanted it to be true. That she could get better. My grandmother was never the type to have visions or hallucinations, and she was very lucid up to her death. She wasn’t taking any meds that could’ve altered her perception of reality, and I somehow didn’t believe that who/what she saw was a figment of her imagination. So I pressed her for more details, clearly fascinated. When I asked her if the handsome man spoke to her, she said that he told her that he was angel.

“So he had wings?” I inquired.

“No,” she said, “Don’t be ridiculous, of course he didn’t have wings. He was like a normal male, only very tall with long brown hair.”

Curious, I decided to do a little research about this, and to my surprise, I noticed that a lot of people who are facing death have encountered angels (not necessarily with wings), and that such angels are referred to as “death angels” (pretty much aiding a dying person to crossover). I did more research and discovered that the archangel Michael (better known for being a warrior and banishing the Devil to Hell), is a death angel (amongst his other duties of eliminating evil). What I found very interesting is that across the three major religions (Catholic, Jewish, & Muslim), the archangel Michael was present.

So when I chose to write about angels, I thought that Michael would be perfect. His physical description was based on what my grandmother told me about the angel she saw (although I added in the emerald green eyes, as I figured as an angel he would have striking looks). I know that throughout the novel, Michael’s actions may not always make sense, but as I explored what his personality would be like, I imagined someone who’s a warrior, mostly known for being rigid and set on accomplishing his mission. Feelings (whether they’re love or hate) have no place with him, because he’s not human. So when Michael does feel something for Lena (for the sake of simplicity I have him call that feeling “love,” but for an immortal who has never loved, a strong lust is closer to the reality of the situation), and reason why he’s incapable of controlling said feelings whenever in her presence. But he never wavers from his mission though, despite being occasionally distracted by his feelings of lust and jealously.

The only way I could rationalize that an immortal would actually put themselves though high school is if he had a mission to accomplish (because I honestly do not understand characters like the Cullens’ clan in Twilight or the two brothers from The Vampire Diaries, that decide to go to high school pretending to be humans). Why would an immortal ever do that? Especially if a vampire in normal vampiric circumstances, only comes out at night? But I digress.

CUT HERE was inspired by a nightmare that I had in 2008, while Michael was inspired by the angel that visited my grandmother in 2010, and in 2011 I decided to weave those two principle ideas together that would provide the majority of the plot for the novel. Writing CUT HERE was an intimate journey for me, and I hope that you, as a reader, can be swept up in this crazy rollercoaster adventure. I’d suggest to fasten your seatbelts, but I think you’ll appreciate the ride more if you’re reckless. There’s no airbags for this crash. Abandon yourself to the journey, and believe in angels.


Behind, “CUT HERE,” Part Five.

During the writing of CUT HERE, there were several songs that I listened to on repeat as a way to create the ideal mood for me to emerge myself into the dark world of Lena and Jonathan. One of these songs is the infamous Smashing Pumpkins song, Today. Appropriately, this song is about suicide (a major theme in the book), but many people don’t seem to know this. Throughout the years, many listeners have misinterpreted Billy Corgan’s of the lyric, “Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known,” as it can be evidenced by the use of this song in the movie, If I Stay, where the characters of that movie were singing the song together in a sort of happy gathering amongst friends. To them, the song was supposed to be interpreted just as it sounds, “Today is the greatest day,” but boy are they wrong. Dead wrong. Pun intended.

When Corgan sang that lyric, he meant that it was the greatest day he’d ever known, because he wouldn’t be living for a tomorrow. The song is musically upfliting in sound, which gives the lyrics a darker twist. The song sounds happy, because looking towards death was seen as the best thing that could be happening to the singer. Now, a character in my story, Amelia Stevens, loves the Smashing Pumpkins, and there’s a brief reference to them. But the reason why I found listening to to the song so powerful in helping me get into the right mind-frame for writing CUT HERE is that each of the characters in CUT HERE are broken in their own way. The lyrics of Today drip heavily with the blood of a broken person, and what better way to delve into the psyche of broken characters than by obsessively listening to a song that does just that?

CUT HERE availabe for pre-order HERE. Book releases on February 13, 2015.

Add CUT HERE on Goodreads!


Behind, “CUT HERE,” Part Four.

Sometimes attraction occurs in a flash. Such as when someone says, “You had me at hello,” and something similar is what happens when the two main characters, Lena Martin and Jonathan Russe meet. The two bond over their mutual love for Italian director and master of horror, Dario Argento. What sparks a conversation between the two is when Lena notices that Jon has the word “SUSPIRIA” written down the side ofhis binder. Suspiria is a horror movie that was first released in 1977, which narrates the story of a young American ballerina that transfers from New York to Germany so that she can attend a prestigious ballet school. Little does she know that it’s a coven for witches.

When Lena and Jonathan share which Dario Argento movie is their favourite, Lena says, Deep Red, while Jonathan mentions Tenebrae, particularly because of a certain scene that stars Italy’s former First Lady, Veronica Lario (at the time a budding actress) and a killing spree that is reminiscent of a Dahli wet dream:

Like in real life, characters need a common ground that initially attracts one to the other (it can’t always be just about the looks that draws them to someone). So I think it’s important to create some sort of chemistry between the characters by giving them something in common, even if the one thing that gets that talking is something as banal as their love of horror movies. I think it creates for richer characters, and differentiates between a beginner writer to an experienced one.

CUT HERE will be available February 13, 2015!


Behind, “CUT HERE,” Part Two.

I began writing “CUT HERE” in January of 2011. Jonathan Russe is the male protagonist of the novel, and many influences went behind the creation of that character. He’s originally from New York City, where he lived till his parents divorced at the age of twelve. He lost his brother in Coney Island. Not lost as in his brother died, but that he actually lost his twin brother. The inspiration of having a twin lose his twin came from the novel, “The Solitude of Prime Numbers,” where the male protagonist of that book leaves his twin sister at a park, because the thought of bringing his retarded sister to a birthday party with him was far too appalling.

Coney Island

Having Jon lose his brother through a slight distraction on his part gave him the baggage needed to become a self-mutilator. Jon spends his nights awake for fear of having the same dream every night, of finding himself at Coney Island and losing his brother, Robert.

When it came to creating Jonathan’s looks, I was highly inspired by the actor, Ryan Donowho. Many times while I’m writing I create a mini-cast in my head of possible actors that could play my characters, and when I imagined Jon, he had the lanky, tall body of Ryan Donowho, with the lackadaisical look of someone who is disgustingly gorgeous, but not one to be smug of their own attractiveness. One of the first things Jon thinks when he sees Lena Martin for the first time is, Your lips would make a lollipop too happy. That is a phrase that a guy who reminded me of Jon personality wise, told me years ago.

Ryan Donowho

Not only did that guy inspire Jon’s thought about Lena, but also Jon’s unhealthy obsession with the grunge band, Nirvana. Although I was a pre-teen during Nirvana’s reign, I never really paid much attention to that little Seattle band that changed the music scene for years to come. Chalk it up to my personal obsession with bands such The Doors and David Bowie. In other words, I was stuck in the 70’s when it was the 90’s. Up until 2008 I probably only knew a handful of Nirvana songs. You know, the ones that any idiot with radio or MTV (back in the day when it played music videos) has heard, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, and Heart-Shaped Box. So when said charming guy gave me a mix CD with the song Molly’s Lips from Nirvana saying that it reminded him of me, I was intrigued. During the nine months that we knew each other, he bestowed upon me all the useless trivia about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain that could only impress a die hard Nirvana fan. Nonetheless, all this useless trivia turned out that it wasn’t useless at all. Nirvana was going to be Jon’s obsession. The useless trivia would be his to know.

When it comes to writing, inspiration comes from various sources. You never know which people or what art may inspire or help flesh a character out. A character is merely two dimensional, unless you breathe life into it. Let the character have passions, obsessions, a past. In other words, a life that lives beyond the novel and before the novel. The novel is merely a snapshot of a medias res moment. A photograph of what occurred during a short span of time.

“CUT HERE” is available on sale on February 13, 2015.


Behind, “CUT HERE” Part One.

First posts are always difficult. It’s like trying to introduce yourself at a party. First impressions can be so crippling, especially when everyone you know has a blog, and they’re all awful, navel-gazing trainwrecks (both the blog and the bloggers). Unfortunately, this is no exception. I’ll tell you from the start that this is going to be one hell of a navel-gazing trainwreck, so hit that back button right now. You’ve been warned. Unless you’re a masochist. In which case, carry on reading this blog. It may feed into your pain-seeking thrills.

The concept of “CUT HERE,” all began with a dream I had in the summer of 2008. It wasn’t really a dream, but more of a nightmare. It was Christmas time in Catania, Sicily and a girl sees a book on display at a bookstore kiosk entitled CUT HERE. The book’s cover had a bloody line across a faceless person’s neck, bleeding the title. Shortly after, sounds of sirens invade the dream, and as the girl rushes to the sounds, she sees a trail of blood on the asphalt and a mink coat on the ground. Everything is red.

Christmas in Catania

Flash forward to me seeing the same girl again, but this time she’s in a bookstore, holding a copy of the book, CUT HERE, waiting for it to be autographed by a Japanese author. But the girl is in danger, and so she runs away. I soon wake up with a sense of dread. I usually don’t write down my dreams often, but that time I wrote down that dream cause it left me with a haunting feeling. At the time I didn’t know if I’d ever use that dream for a short story, poem, or novel. It sat there gathering virtual dust on my computer for three years before I decided to re-read that dream, one night in Janury of 2011. Soon, that dream would become Lena Martin’s tortured past.

Being a huge music addict, I don’t know if the title of the book that the students of St. Lucy Academy are obsessed over, came to me because of the infamous Cure song by that title, or because of a shirt I saw long ago that had a scissor pattern along the neck with the same words, whatever the case, enjoy the song below, as that may make you feel as though you didn’t entirely waste your time by venturing into the depths of this blog.

Keep your eyes peeled, CUT HERE will be unleashed upon the world on February 13, 2015 (I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the book launch on Friday the 13th. There will also be a blog tour starting the 16th of February, but more on that when the time comes.

As an ending note, just remember aspiring writers, inspiration can come from anything. Just because you don’t use something right away doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually use it for a project. My nightmare was stashed away for three years before it became the protagonist’s backstory. So never underestimate the worth of something just because it doesn’t click right away with an idea. File it away, and eventually it can be used for something.

As for what I wish to accomplish with this blog? The short answer is, take you behind the scenes of the development of, “CUT HERE,” which will include how Dario Argento was a prime inspiration, Clive Barker’s Dread, Ryan Donowho, and Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘Today,’ all fell into a melting pot of thriving ideas to help forge a novel that is dark, and a little twisted. Stay tuned.