Publisher: Vinspire Publishing LLC
Publish Date: February 28, 2013
Synopsis: Torn from her home and fighting bouts of suicidal depression, seventeen year old Aileen McCormick lands in the small coastal town of Redcliff, North Carolina. Her first day of school promises to be the worst day of her life when a menacing group of boys targets the new girl. A stiff arm shoves Aileen into the arms of Addison Wake. When he catches her, Aileen knows she will never be the same. Addison’s otherworldly charm and drop-dead gorgeous face leave her breathless, but only for a moment. Grim and painful secrets lurk in his dark soul.
Addison Wake isn’t exactly like other boys. Far from it. He’s dead and has been for 300 years, locked in an ethereal prison by a lethal enchantress named Donelle. When she hungers, she blesses Addison’s tortured spirit with moments of freedom, allowing him to roam the mortal world as Shadowflesh. But that dark blessing comes at a price. He must deliver the souls of five unsuspecting humans to Donelle.
Knowing he’s here only for a short amount of time, Addison refuses to let himself fall in love and break Aileen’s already fractured heart. He pushes her into the arms of another, but destiny throws the two shadowy lovers back together. In the darkness of her room, Addison confesses his love and his deadly secret to Aileen.
When four dead bodies pop up in Redcliff, Aileen asks herself is her love for the mysterious boy unconditional? Is the love worth the risk? And will she be the next victim?
Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.
Shadowflesh is the story of Aileen, a lonely seventeen year old girl who has been torn from her home and friends, ending up in the small coastal town of Redcliff, North Carolina. While Aileen struggles with the first day blues at school, she's targeted by a group of bullies. They shove her, and she lands in the arms of Addison Wake. Aileen finds herself breathless, not just because she had been stiff-armed by a linebacker three times her size, but because Addison is the most wonderful being she has ever seen. But she notices a darkness about this handsome creature in his leather jacket and black Wayfarers.
Addison isn't like other boys. He's dead and has been for over three hundred years. An enchantress took his life only to imprison his soul. Every few decades, the enchantress releases Addison from his ethereal prison to roam the mortal world as Shadowflesh, tasked with gathering souls for her to consume.
Even though Addison has confessed his secrets to Aileen and pushes her away, she falls in love with him anyway. However, when dead bodies start popping up in Redcliff, Aileen wonders if she'll be the next victim.
Q. How did writing this book affect you?
My wife and I bounced this story back and forth for about a year before I decided to write it. Back then Shadowflesh didn't have a title and it was a fun-loving little story. When I began writing, most of which took place in the sleepy hours between midnight and four in the morning, the story grew several shades darker.
I couldn't write a story about a heartbroken girl without opening the doors which led into her nightmares, her fears, and her pain. Aileen, who started out superficial, grew into a complex person who struggled with depression and even thoughts of suicide. I opened Pandora's Box, releasing all the evils upon her and myself. And like that old Greek box, I found hope resting at the bottom.
Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to writing?
I had always loved writing, but endeavored in the brutal art for my own enjoyment most of my life. I had other plans.
I had charged through college ambitiously preparing myself for law school. But upon graduation, I went Kerouac and hit the road for six years. After bouncing around from state to state, I settled in Missouri and decided on a whim to try my hand at fire fighting. And made a career of it.
Through the years, I continued quietly writing for my audience of one - me. Then I was injured on a pretty good-sized fire, and had one of those epiphanies. I decided to share my writing with an audience. Shortly after Shadowflesh came into being, and Vinspire Publishing had confidence enough in the story and me to offer a contract.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I've found the hardest part of writing is slipping into the mood and into the character. I didn't want seventeen year old Aileen McCormick to sound like me. She needed to have a voice all her own, and it needed to be consistent throughout the book.
Some days I would type away, only to trash everything. If the character's voice isn't true and believable, then the whole world shatters like a fragile stained glass window.
Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to while writing? If so, what kind of music?
In order for me to slip out of myself and into the story, I do my best to lose myself in music. I suppose it's not much of a stretch to say you find your muse when listening to music. As for the kind of music I enjoy when writing, it depends on the mood I'm in and the mood I'm trying to create. I prefer the cool echoes of Ian Curtis and Joy Division for a midnight mood. For heartbreak and sadness, coffeehouse rock by Okkervil River and Modest Mouse takes me there. And for a burst of energy, the Bouncing Souls provide a good beat.
Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
My writing desk is set up in a dark and quiet corner of the house. Before writing, I go through a little ritual of lighting a candle and asking a plastic skull sitting under my desk lamp what we'll try to write. The skull is carved with runic symbols, very closely resembling the Bob from the belated TV series "The Dresden Files." He has yet to respond.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
When I finished Shadowflesh, I left a few questions unanswered in hopes of making the otherwise stand-alone story open for a sequel. Thankfully Vinspire Publishing invited me to make Shadowflesh a series. As of now, I have four additional books in mind. The second, Forget-Me-Not, has been completed and is being polished. It should be released late this year or early next.
Each book will take Aileen through her high school years, challenging her confidence and her love. She is only human, which means she can make mistakes and can even die if she isn't careful. Beyond that, I can't say much more. Sorry, no spoilers.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
Shadowflesh is in the process of also becoming an audio book. I'm hoping to have a release date and a cover reveal for Forget-Me-Not in the months to come. And I'll venture into the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City in May 2013. Other than that, I'm grinding away as a firefighter while working on book 3.
Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!
I'm a pushover when it comes to poor little animals without a home. About two years ago, I found our neighbor's plump dog barking and growling through our fence at what appeared to be a wiggling blob in the yard. The blob turned out to be three orphaned gray doves. I took the three little birds in to the dog's dismay and fed them bugs and fruit for several weeks until they became brave enough to fly around the house. They still live with us today, though outside in the vines growing along the side of the house.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
First of all, I want to thank Star and The Bibliophilic Book Blog for inviting me to chat with you. It was really fun.
To the readers, sometimes life can feel like a three hundred pound wet blanket thrown onto your shoulders. It's cold and weighs you down. I've always found picking up a book lightens the load and warms the heart. I hope you'll find Shadowflesh and enjoyable escape.
Mr. Martin is offering one (1) e-book copy of 'Shadowflesh' for this giveaway.
The winner will be chosen at random on May 1, 2013. Please leave a comment on this post with your email address to enter.
Thanks and good luck!!