VODKA O’CLOCK 1703
AUTHOR STEPHEN BLACKMOORE
AMBER LOVE 30-JAN-2017 The first two FARRAH WETHERS MYSTERIES are available through sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can get Cardiac Arrest (Check on Amazon) and Full Body Manslaughter (Check on Amazon) right now. Both are available on Kindle and for a limited time, Full Body Manslaughter is free on Kindle Unlimited. Please go to patreon.com/amberunmasked to sponsor the show, the site, and my work.
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It’s been quite some time since Stephen Blackmoore was here on Vodka O’Clock. He writes the supernatural action (found under dark fantasy/noir labels) of the Eric Carter series among other things and hosts the LA Noir at the Bar. The third Eric Carter book, HUNGRY GHOSTSPre-Order Now $7.99, is coming out in a matter of days, Feb 7. We dove into the details about why you’ll want to read it. There might be some minor spoilers, but we tried to keep from ruining the story. My detailed review of HUNGRY GHOSTS is posted.
*You can hear me butcher the attempts at Nahuatl words. I’ve never heard them spoken before.
Eric Carter is a necromancer and at the opening of Hungry Ghosts, he’s somewhat cursed. He lives by his own moral code rather than answering to law enforcement or even a paranormal council. His family is dead and while investigating the murder of his sister, he becomes entwined with Santa Muerte. Eric is slowly turning into a jade statue as he swaps places with Santa Muerte’s husband, Mictlantecuhtli.
He’s got this trapped essence of Mictlantecuhtli, an Aztec god, inside him. Then there’s Tabitha who is the walking avatar of Santa Muerte, but Tabitha is dead. And these ancient gods happen to be consorts who want each other dead. Carter and Tabitha journey through Mictlan, the underworld city of the dead.
Stephen gave a little Santa Muerte 101 on the influences that have historically come together to make the worship of her what it is today.
“We fuck up all the time.” ~Stephen Blackmoore
When it comes to researching and writing a culture he’s not part of, Stephen admits authors screw up all the time. He advises other authors not to get defensive when criticized.
“It’s the same conversation we’re talking about diversity in books. We may not get it right, but jumping up and down and getting defensive is not the way to deal with us not getting it right, as authors. You can look online and see so many shit storms.” ~Stephen Blackmoore
He stressed the importance of authors being honest with potential readers when it comes to making the sales. It’s better to say when a book is definitely wrong for someone based on their answers to a few questions or their age appropriateness. Informed choices are key.
“I want them to know what they’re getting into when it’s mine.” ~Stephen Blackmoore
His descriptions of the grotesque environments in Hungry Ghosts are palpable. I have a couple favorite descriptive parts: the scenes at the Island of the Dolls; then the descriptions of one of the outer underworld rings where even the cars are made of bones and sinew and flesh but somehow they run.
“Kewpie dolls, porcelain dolls, clown dolls, rag dolls, troll dolls, bobbleheads, marionettes, puppets. And nailed to each doll is a child’s screaming ghost.” ~Hungry Ghosts
He knew that he wanted to use Quetzalcoatl making three gods against each other. He doesn’t make a lot of notes or outlines, but had a cheat sheet of names and character definitions at hand. There are three more books after Hungry Ghosts scheduled; he keeps the story straight in his head because he already knows where he wants it to go. He’s even prepared for another three books after that if it happens.
He also discussed his preference for writing in first person voice. It allows the character to be wrong and for the reader to only know what he does. Yet, when it comes to writing first person who is a villain, Stephen has only done it once and doesn’t want to do it again because villain characters are often made sympathetic.
So why write about ghosts and the undead? Stephen said it’s easier for him to control his fantasy world than write about horrors of the real world which are worrisome already.
BLACKMOORE READING RECOMMENDATIONS:
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FAN CONTEST #1:
This contest is run by the author, Stephen Blackmoore so all the details are at his website. Deadline is Feb 10 so when this episode is uploaded, listeners have about 10 days to get something together to submit:
“You gotta send me a picture. Make some fan art; cosplay, photos, stick figure drawings, I don’t care. Draw a scene from a book. Take a photo inspired by one. Show me your Santa Muerte altar. Cosplay a gender flipped character, whatever. Or take a shot of yourself with a copy of DEAD THINGS, BROKEN SOULS, or if you get it in time, HUNGRY GHOSTS (or a shot of the cover on your Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc.). But ya gotta surprise me with it. Make me laugh, back away slowly in horror, or more likely just call the police. MAKE IT EPIC.”
He is represented by Allan Guthrie of Jenny Brown Associates. Artwork is by Galen Dara.
FAN CONTEST #2:
This contest is run by AmberUnmasked.com and Vodka O’Clock Podcast. And it’s really simple.
If you have any of the books below in the Amazon carousel, take a photo of yourself showing the cover (or the book and your cat or cup of coffee, whatever, just a photo you’ve taken of the book) OR you can email me a receipt to amberlovescomics at gmail dot com OR if you don’t want to buy any of the books but can find them in a library or in a bookstore, take a photo of them there in the wild and email the picture. Unfortunately, I don’t think libraries carry my books unless someone donates them so don’t count on that.
Two winners will be chosen at random. You will need to supply Amber Love with your mailing address if you win; the address will then be forwarded to Berkeley Publishing. By sending me a photo of a book (not a receipt), you authorize me to use it for promotions like on Instagram and Twitter and AmberUnmasked.com
Monday, February 13, 2017
Each winner will be mailed all three of Blackmoore’s Eric Carter books directly from Berkeley Publishing.
Take a photo showing you own or spotted one of these books in the wild to enter:
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Cardiac Arrest & Full Body Manslaughter by me, All the Bridges Burning by Neliza Drew, Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck (in pre-order), Protectors anthology volume 2: Heroes, Young Americans by Josh Stallings, Protection and Reversal Magick by Jason Miller, The Sorcerer’s Secrets by Jason Miller.
Twitter at @sblackmoore