Publisher: Night After Night Publications LLC
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Synopsis: Inside a small village within the Great Plains of Montana, a ritual initiated in blood will be performed. This ceremony has been executed only once before and will mark a rite of honor and justice. Commonly, the Assiniboine are a harmonious people with strong pride and passions, but will turn to the spirits for vengeance when wronged. The tribe’s chief will summon the Great Spirit on behalf of his people, for no earthly man can make evil suffer like a greater evil.
Legend of the Chupacabra finds Jessie and Suzanne living peacefully in Portland, Oregon, six-years after they believed to have put an end to the curse of the chupacabra. But the women soon learn of their failure and futile sacrifices when a remarkable reunion brings horror back into their lives; only this time, what they face will be unlike any creature they previously encountered. Legend of the Chupacabra marks the end of a trilogy but the start of a saga that will leave this moment of history drenched in blood.
Series: Hunt for the Chupacabra (prequel), Night of the Chupacabra (1), Curse of the Chupacabra (2), Legend of the Chupacabra (3)
Interview: Q. How did writing this book affect you?
A. It’s affected over 20 years of my life by now. From the moment I was inspired by the idea to crossbreed the genres of western and horror, the idea continued to manifest. Originally, the story wasn’t even about “el chupacabra.” IT came into the narrative about five years later. Originally, I wanted to do a story about a serial killer in the Old West, but somewhere along the way, it became a creature. I think the idea of a mythology was what attracted me. But even then, the chupacabra did not get involved until I watched an episode of “The X-Files.” As it turned out, the creature I created and their description of the chupacabra were very similar.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A. Proper use of my time, because writing is not just about writing. Writing is about marketing and promoting oneself, regardless if you’re traditionally published or independently. My previous occupation was a publicist; however, the field I worked in was film and book publicity is a whole other monster. Very few resources transfer from one occupation to the other. Basically, I can write my own press release and pitch to media without coming across too forward. My current ratio is about 25% writing / 75% promoting. It’s difficult to get it closer to 50/50, and it can be annoying when inspiration strikes when I have a deadline to send out 20 promo emails, update Facebook and Twitter status, and participate in Goodreads discussion groups to keep an active image.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
A. The Chupacabra Series will be a 6-part series as of now. The first three, which you have read and reviewed, is its own trilogy within the saga, which I personally call the Jessie Trilogy. What I can reveal about the others is that Book IV, “Dawn of the Chupacabra” will be a prequel (like “The Hobbit” to “The Lord of the Rings”), Book V, “Return of the Chupacabra” will jump into the 1990’s and will mostly be a standalone novel, but then Book VI, “Blood of the Chupacabra” will tie the standalone with the Jessie Trilogy and bring it full circle. This is why I doubt there will be a 7th book, but I’ll never say never.
Q. What are you currently reading?
A. I am STILL reading Stephen King’s, “Doctor Sleep.” I’ve been reading it since November 2013, but the reason why it’s taking me so long is not because I don’t think it’s good. I can never read much during the holidays because I’m usually promoting my children’s picture book, “The Night After Christmas.” It’s the one time of the year I can market it. And then, starting January 1st, I began the recording sessions for the audiobooks of all three current chupacabra novels while rewriting [Legend]. Audiobooks are a necessary evil that are a pain in my ass. They are much more time consuming than I expected. So beginning a book in November was poor timing on my part. I’m really excited to finish “Doctor Sleep.” It’s the sequel to “The Shining!” How could I not? I think I might have it finished by summer… 2015.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
A. I wish I had something to tell that wasn’t book related, but the fact is that books consume my life. I suppose one thing would be that back in March, a film I worked publicity on, “The Great Beauty” (La grande bellezza) from Italy won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. That was kind of exciting, and would be even more so if the Oscar sat on my shelf. I did receive the honor of Best Horror for “Night of the Chupacabra” from the National Indie Excellence Awards last month. That’s probably my biggest and most current news.
Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
A. I write a screenplay version of my novels first. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve had an active career in film. I’ve had jobs in development and publicity and during that time, just like everybody else in the industry, I also had a couple of scripts tucked under my arm. I came close to getting a screenplay called, “el Chupacabra” produced, but when it fell through that’s when I decided to adapt it into a novel. After writing “Night of the Chupacabra,” I really enjoyed the process of working off the script because it acted as a comprehensive outline. I had the story, dialogue, conflicts, characters, plot twists… everything all worked out. I also like to listen to music when I write. I had Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End on replay throughout [Legend]’s entire first draft.
Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!
A. I think I might be a descendant of Pocahontas. I’m still doing the research because genealogy is a passion of mine, but all signs are leading to her; either her or her sister.
Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?
A. Oh, I have tons! There were a couple of other screenplays I had written that I would love to adapt, and even a few ideas that never made it as far as the computer. However, I did transition one idea already. It’ll be a novella that will come out October 7, 2014 called, “The Ghost of Christmas Past.” I take a more literary approach about the notorious Dickens character and give the Spirit a journey through its own afterlife, and human life, while aiding a woman’s complicated past. I also have a dark carnival idea I’m excited about, but I’ve been holding off because it’s a cliché idea and I’m waiting to be inspired by a unique take. I also love dark comedy. I have one comedic screenplay I would love to adapt.
Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A. Tie: French and the piano. I’ve attempted both but became sidetracked.
Q. What gives you the most joy in life?
A. I love being entertained, whether its movies, books, music, video games, etc. I love getting lost in someone else’s imagination. My 11-year partner is life also gives me a lot joy… I suppose I should mention him. I did dedicate [Legend] to him.
Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?
A. Hmm… I have to think about that one. I’ve been asked who were my favorite, but never who I would want to be. I suppose it would have to be Mitchel… just kidding! Suzanne because I love her strength and her ability to overcome any obstacle, but I definitely don’t want her life experiences, just her persona.
Q. How do you like to spend your spare time?
A. I’ve always considered myself a closeted geek. I love movies and video games, and I’m also a roller coaster nut. There was a time when I used to run 4-5 miles every other day, but my knees were giving out and I had to stop. I miss running.
Q. How did you come up with the title?
A. “Legend of the Chupacabra” was just continuing the format of “Curse of the Chupacabra.” However, “Night of the Chupacabra” went through multiple titles when it was a screenplay. It was first called, “Dark Sunrise,” before the chupacabra was involved (and even a few drafts after it was). Then I changed it to “el Chupacabra,” and then just “Chupacabra.” By that time, I already knew I had the trilogy and prequel set in place and gave them their current names [Curse], [Legend], and [Dawn]. But it wasn’t until I decided to adapt the screenplay into a novel did I add, “Night of the…” As series of novels, it made more sense to keep a consistency. “Chupacabra” only sounds more appealing when it’s a screenplay.
Q. When did you know you would be a writer?
A. I began writing in my teens-I wrote a sequel to “The Goonies” for myself-but I was set on being an actor at the time. I was a theatre major in college and while I acted, I also wrote and produced a couple of one-act plays for fun. Then one day, the head instructor of the theatre department said, “You’re a better writer than you are an actor.” At the time, I was devastated, but for the short period I tried to become a professional actor after college, I realized I had lost the drive. I was over it. But not writing. I still loved to write. The instructor, Alex Golson, was right! Thank you again, Alex.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A. Thank you. I really hope you are enjoying the series, and that you are excited about “The Ghost of Christmas Past.” Hearing readers’ thoughts is a lot like watching them react to an original play on stage. That type of response and feedback motivates and inspires. You feed my brain with your nutritious dedication, so thank you.