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Meet The Kirbinator E-mail
Written by Craig Jones on Friday, 14 December 2012 19:46   

Stewart Kirby… author, poet, father, Redwood-loving hick… is the subject of the first of my Interview with the Authors… let’s learn some more about the man I like to call ‘The Kirbinator.’

 

In line with the way in which Isaac Asimov’s ‘Black Widowers’ grill the guest at their monthly banquet… Stewart Kirby, how do you justify your existence?

I justify nothing, but I do write books. Cracking good stuff, quality-wise. Really affordable, too. So perfect for gifts.

 

Stewart Kirby – the person – in five words…

Devoted to his awesome daughter.

 

Stewart Kirby – the writer- in one word…

Undiscovered.

 

And if there was one word you’d love to see in a review of your work?

Oh, I’d be fine with that as long as the review was really glowing.

 

So Stewart, you’re kind of in your mid-forties… how did you get here?

Listen, from where I live, I can practically see Russia. And yeah, I think that counts as foreign policy experience. You betcha.

 

And when did your hair leave you behind?

I thought this was going to be about my books. I thought that you were my friend. YOU SAID WE WERE FRIENDS!

 

Two words. Cro-Mag. Explain.

Well bro, in addition to being a novelist, I’m also a rock star. Can we make sure to get that part in the close-up of my  interview? I’m the lead singer. I am a very big deal. Why ya gotta harp on the hair?

Tell me about the world you create in your writing.

There’s a county in the Northern California redwoods called Humbaba, and that’s where everything happens. It’s Lovecraft’s Arkham meets Steinbeck’s Monterey. Humbaba County has the savage gloom of Shirley Jackson, the dystopian grandeur of Philip K. Dick, and the counter-culture satire of George Carlin. And not only that, Craig, it’s a groovy land where ancient alien technology, deep underground, having finally corroded, bleeds into the biosphere with uncanny yet thought-provoking results.

 

Okay, so moving quickly on… what is your favourite song lyric?

And I just also wanted to add that rampaging Bigfeet barge into Bargerville, witches ride on ATVs, and levitating Hippies battle the forces of globalization. My prices are way down from what they could be.  Certainly money should be no object.

Who is the Mesmerizer?

The Mesmerizer is the reanimated corpse of Will Todd. He’s on a mission of terribly flawed revenge with the help of a deadhead Sancho Panza. Stalks the tunnels of the Victorian town of Fernden, in fact.

Here are the UK and US links to that very story… a personal favourite!!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Mesmerizer-Stewart-Kirby/dp/1477577270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355068684&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mesmerizer-Stewart-Kirby/dp/1477577270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355068744&sr=8-1&keywords=mesmerizer

If you could be one character from one book or movie, who would it be?

I do not hesitate in the slightest when I tell you it has to be Montressor, from “The Cask of Amontillado.” Simply put, the man has dash. I’ve just always thought that was a really funny story.

 

Stewart, you are stuck on the moon for one year… you can take…

One book: Stuck on the Moon for a Year—A Beginner’s Guide for Living in Humboldt.

One album:   The new double-album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill.  

One movie: The Rolling Stones in Gimme Shelter.

One fantasy woman: Just one?

 

What is Lost Coaster?

http://stewartkirby.blogspot.co.uk/

A serialised novel I started writing to draw people to my blog with the aim of selling books. It’s the story of Zen Mendosa, a guy living in ‘The Lost Coast’ of Northern California who makes redwood coasters for sale and constructs his “hallucimotion” entry for Local Motion Days, a three-day race featuring elaborate people-powered machines. LOST COASTER is the world’s only e-pistolary novel. This means it’s an epistolary novel comprised of forms of social media—Zen’s blog posts, Facebook messages, and cell phone texts, for example. An underground alien projects a mental manifestation that looks just like Johnny Depp.

 

Who are your heroes?

My kid. Family, friends. Neil, the Stones. Various Bigfeet.

 

How have you promoted your writing?

Really poorly. I’m thinking about cutting off an ear in the name of art to draw some attention. Not my ear, of course.  I never want to feel that pain. But something’s got to be done.

 

Does Bigfoot exist?

Bigfeet are real.

 

And how closely are the two of you related?

We are all less than a 100millionth of a genome from being Bigfeet.

 

And finally… the lightning round… with no pause or hesitation…

Rock or Pop: Rock!

Beer or Liquor: Beer!

Horror or Comedy: To me, horror is comedy!

Blonde or Brunette: Loving will do.

Butt or Boobs: You filthy sinner! Both, please.

King or Koontz: King!

City or Sticks: Dude, please. Redwoods.

Star Warsor Star Trek: Star Wars! Chewie is a Bigfoot.

 

I’m here in Wales, you’re in California… I’ve been over there, and I believe you’ve been over here too?

 

Indeed. Had a chance to visit Bangor several years ago. Beautiful town, lovely people. There’s a great Italian restaurant down by the pier—I hope there still is, anyway. Some of the prettiest women I’ve ever seen are in Wales. Not too keen on the black pudding. When I asked on the ferry to Dublin what those two things I ate on the Farmer ‘s Plate breakfast were, the waitress told me. “Black pudding?” she said. “Black pudding is pig’s blood. That was patty of pig’s blood you ate.” Discover the magic.

Thanks Stewart, it’s been a pleasure. Check out Stewart’s work via the links above, you know it makes sense

 
FREE SHORT STORY: Crown of Blood E-mail
Written by Craig Jones on Monday, 19 November 2012 17:30   

Hi everyone... here it is, as promised, a FREE short story. This is an alternate history based on the infamous 'Edward and Mrs Simpson' British monarchy abdication... hope you enjoy it!

Edward stood at the window, the lamp outside framing his chiselled features in silhouette as he watched the gentle flurries of snow weave their way down to the courtyard below. Off in the distance he could see the locals from the town of Cannes extinguishing the blazing coals that had acted as his temporary runway lighting. He hoped the snow would not stick. He simply had to return to England the next morning. Despite the roar of the fire in their room, Edward shivered. Dressed in just his trousers and undershirt, he wished he still wore his layered flying jacket but that, along with the rest of his clothes had been torn from him the moment they were alone.

Because the thirst of her passion was insatiable.

He turned to the bed but she was no longer there. She was sat in the deep, lavish arm chair, the silk sheet wrapped around her sensual, sumptuous body. Her dark hair was slicked back from her face and even in orange glow of the fire her red lipstick could not be missed. A single, slender exposed leg teased him, tantalised him, reminded how he had kissed every inch of her. A soft moan slid from between his pursed lips.

"When I return to England I shall have to sign the documents my love. By Christmas we shall be free," he said, formerly.

"Have to? Who dictates that you have to do anything?" she probed, her voice not angry, not confrontational.

"I cannot continue to do my job and marry you, my love!" he stated, his voice piqued with the slightest degree of anger.

"Because I am divorced?"

"Yes, Wallis, because you are divorced!" He plucked a cigarette from the humidor and met Wallis's eyes. She had tilted her head to one side and her eyebrows were theatrically raised.

"And?" she asked dismissively.

"And because I am the bloody King of England!" he shouted, her arrogance finally tipping him over the edge. He brought his fist down onto the table with a crack, crunching, splitting the cigarette.

"But what if I told you it didn't have to be this way?" she asked, her eyes suddenly keen, focussed.

"If you think that the Prime Minister and his cronies are going to be swayed by the King's little fancy from Pennsylvania then you are deluding yourself, my dear. They're already grooming St-St-Stuttering Bertie to be their war time puppet."

Wallis smiled. The moonlight entering through the window made the teeth behind her wide grin glow an eerie white. "You can be the greatest King your country has ever seen... the greatest leader the world has ever known."

He walked over to her and kissed her gently on the forehead. "I know. But I want none of that without you. I sign the abdication papers in two days. On the 11th of December, 1936, King Edward the Eighth will be no more. The King is dead. Long live the King. Long live King B-B-B-Bertie!"

"But what if you could have it all? What if I could give it all to you?"

"And how in God's name do you intend to do that?"

Her smile turned to a frown, deep furrows bore a path across her forehead. Her pupils expanded, grew, filling her eyes with darkness. Her mouth opened wide and her gums bled as her canine teeth extended from her upper jaw and she thrust her face up at him, a guttural growl emitting from deep within her chest.

"Because I renounced God a long time ago," she snarled.

Edward stumbled backwards away from her, his legs refused to work properly and his ankles clashed, sending him to the floor. He hit the carpet flat on his back and his breath was forced out of his lungs in a short sharp blast. Suddenly the sheet wrapped around Wallis was swirling through the air and she was upon him and, despite his fear, her hot, naked body elicited a throbbing in his groin. Her breath was hot at his throat and in any other situation she would be making him purr but he could not dismiss the image of those sharp teeth from his mind. As if she could read his mind he felt tiny pin pricks on the skin of his throat and he stiffened against her pulsating body.

"I can make you like me and these fools who rebel against you will worship at your feet or die in their beds!"

"What the Hell are you?"

"Hell itself, my lover! Did you never wonder why we only ever met at night?"

"Because you were married! And then because Special Branch trailed us! Because they thought you were a Nazi sympathiser!"

Her lips moved up to his ear and his breath hitched in his throat as her tongue flicked across his lobe.

"Because I am a vampire," she whispered and closed her eyes in pleasure as his fear permeated her lithe body. "More Transylvania than Pennsylvania!"

Edward scuttled backwards away from her. Wallis was already on her feet and prowled toward him like a lion advancing upon an injured deer. Her naked body was like a beacon in the moonlight. He could not draw his eyes from her. Her lips remained parted, two razor sharp blood stained teeth on display, her hair now hung lose across her shoulders.

"You've said time and time again that you cannot live without me. Trust me when I say that your words have never been truer. Let me show you what I can give to you."

She advanced upon him, swatting the arms he raised aside like they were nothing more than the wings of a gnat. She dropped to her knees between his trembling legs and clamped the palms of her hands against his temples with a skull jarring slap.

"Look into my eyes," she commanded but Edward was already lost in the murky pool of whatever was left of her soul. The fear on his face faded and a confused smile stretched his lips. His eyes opened wide like a child's on Christmas morning.

"I see," he murmured. "I see."

And he did.

He saw Stanley Baldwin, the British Prime Minister who was driving him towards abdication, cower at his feet. He watched himself reach down and tear the man's throat from his body with his fingernails. He watched Baldwin's blood surge out of the wound and he watched himself lift the dying man's body up with a single hand and shower in his blood.

"I see," Edward groaned.

He saw Parliament burn and he heard the words of his nation declaring their loyalty to him. He watched as his closest generals dragged his brother, the usurping, stammering Albert, and hung him by his neck in front of Buckingham Palace.

"I see," Edward moaned.

He saw his specially trained kill squads sweep across Europe, driving back the Nazis as Hitler's fools looked to take advantage of the turmoil that Britain appeared to be in. Bullets could not stop Edward's elite. The two tiny scars at their neck ensured that. He saw himself ride around Berlin on the back of a tank, Adolf Hitler's head in his hands.

"I want," Edward gasped.

And all the while, as Edward became the most feared dictator in Europe, in the World, she was in the shadows behind him. She who advised him. She who had her own trusted soldiers and who was more feared across his Empire than the King and Emperor himself. She who was now asking him the question that he longed to hear.

"Do you, my love? Do you want what I show you?"

"I do, I do---"

And she silenced him with her teeth at his neck. He pushed against her at first, his breath exiting his body in one long heave as her lethal canines slid into his artery. Her lips locked around his skin and she drew his blood into her mouth. Finally he relaxed against her and allowed her to feed, allowed the blood from her torn gums to mingle with his own, and as she detached herself from him, allowed the pulsing holes in his neck to suck their mixed blood back into his body.

Edward slumped to the floor and Wallis left him there as she climbed to her feet, wiping the residue of her feed from her mouth, smearing her lipstick across her cheek. When he suddenly sat up, gasping deep and hungry breaths into his lung, she had wrapped the bed sheet around herself like a dress.

"Are you hungry?" she asked. The dark glower and mischievous smile told her what he was truly hungry for. She ignored his passion and instead opened the wardrobe. With the strength of ten men she lifted the bound and gagged man stowed inside and threw him to the floor in front of Edward.

"Lord Brownlow!" Edward said.

"Yes. Your Lord-in-Waiting," Wallis snarled. "Sent here to force me to sign a letter where I renounced you, my love. An appropriate first meal."

Brownlow's eyes widened with fear and he shook his head as Edward advanced.

"Good health," Edward said, and fell on his former friend's throat.

 
Review of the Alien Apocalypse series by Dean Giles E-mail
Written by Craig Jones on Saturday, 04 August 2012 14:09   

dean giles_coverI hate to admit it but I grew up in the seventies. Yes, that makes me fairly old. However, my wife is ten years younger than me so as far as I am concerned, I win!!! The bonus of being 7 in 1977 means I got to see Star Wars in the cinema first time around when it blew everybody away: at the end of the movie the whole audience got to their feet and applauded. This was before they added CGI Jabba, this is when Han definately shot first and, praise the force, before Jar Jar Binks. Simply amazing. But it had its downside. All other sci-fi didn't do it for me. I'd seen the Holy Grail, everything else was a cheap rip off.

And then I read Dean Giles' Alien Apocalypse series. Simply. Brilliant. Fresh, exciting, and very, very real. The first of the series, The Storm, is an absolute sci-fi treat.

Alien Apocalypse: The Storm is a creepy sci-fi horror reminiscent of classic episodes of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone. It does not let the reader sit still for a second and from the first line I was intrigued by the circumstances of the main characters... and then the story bursts into visceral and horrific life in a flash of green and white light as all Hell breaks loose.


It's written with great pace and the action scenes are extremely visual but this is not to the detriment of character development and I found myself rooting for the main protagonist as he pushes on towards his goal. I'm not going to give too much about the plot away but I will say that I had hoped this would be the first in a series and I was proved right. Since reading this I'm keeping one eye on the heavens, because what Dean Giles has created with Alien Apocalypse has me more than a little worried...

And then he goes and pushes the outer limits a bit further. First in his free e-book, Alien Apocalypse: The Hunger (this by the way is very, very clever. Just cos a book is free does not mean it is not a piece of the author's heart and soul) and then in the direct follow up to The Storm, Alien Apocalypse: Genesis.

What more can I say but give these stories, and Dean Giles a go! Where can you find him?

Well first of all at TWB Press...

http://www.twbpress.com/authordeangiles.html

but also at Amazon...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alien-Apocalypse-The-Storm-ebook/dp/B005JE2W7Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1344089187&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alien-Apocalypse-Genesis-ebook/dp/B007EG96WQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1344089187&sr=8-4

 

 
I forgot the most important people E-mail
Written by Craig Jones on Friday, 13 July 2012 09:53   

In my last blog I highlighted some of the great people I'd met through writing... and as great as Terry and Dean and Stewart and Brandy are, well, they ain't as great as the people who read my books. So I just want to take this chance to say a huge thanks to anyone who has downloaded a Craig Jones to their Kindle and especially to those who have taken the time to post a review on Amazon.

Outbreak- The Zombie Apocalypse has been by far my most popular book and it keeps getting 5 star rating reviews. The latest of these is from Martin and you can check it out below. Since he posted this review we've swapped a few messages and I've promised the follow up to Outbreak (in my head it is all mapped out and called Breakout) will start to make its way onto the pages over this summer.

 
By Martin  TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE™ VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Oh my god this book is AMAZING! It starts off as a pretty regular Zombie story and then halfway through just when you think it's all over, a sudden almost comic twist turns it into a frightful, horrific journey into Zombie hell of a totally different kind. You just have to read this book if you are into Zombie fiction, incredible!
Matt and his Brother, Danny live together in their late parents house just outside the town of Usk, Wales, UK. Life seems very boring until one day the slow shambling walking dead appear outside their front gates and they begin to realise that people are being infected by being bitten and turning into Zombies. Along with Nick and his family who they take in, they all take shelter in the house and try to prevent the Zombies getting in. It appears from TV news that Britain is the only country in the world affected by the Zombie virus. The British army start to take control and eradicate the zombies first from the major cities and then town by town and village by village until they are saved and try to return to their normal lives. BUT is it all over?? Without giving any spoilers, what happens next will have your jaw dropping open in sheer disbelief...... One of the best Zombie novels I have ever read. I even resorted to cheekily reading it on my kindle app on my HTC mobile phone whilst at work, when I should be working, as I could not wait until I got home to carry on reading!
 
 Also, a huge shout out to Sue from Wigan... she actually contacted me via this website (see the contact tab at the top of the page? It works, honest, and I will ALWAYS  reply) so please feel free to do the same. Sue had me at WOW, which was the subject line of her email.
 
So a huge thanks to Martin, Sue and any other Craig Jones Horror fans out there.
What would you guys like to see from me next????
 
The best things in life are free! E-mail
Written by Craig Jones on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 19:49   

I get asked all kinds of questions when people hear that I write.

"Have you been published?" Yes, thanks, several times over! Have you?

"Do you make any money?" Loads. More in a month than you make in a year (Cos only the gobshites ask that question).

"Do you know what I think would make a great book?" No.

One question that I welcome is "What is the best thing about being a writer?" That is an easy one to answer. It's meeting and getting to know other authors, publishers and agents. I have been  lucky enough to learn so much from so many people and I hope I too give them something back.

Take Dean Giles. I met him through TWB Press (www.twbpress.com) and he is a top class sci-fi/ action writer. His Alien Apocalypse series is a personal favourite (said in the manner on Patrick Bateman) and I will be posting a review on the series next week right here. Dean has been kind enough to review 'What Happened to Rhodri' and 'Gem No Loose Ends' on his blog and you can check out what he had to say right here...

http://deangiles.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/a-review-of-craig-jones-short-stories-gem-no-loose-ends-and-what-happened-to-rhodri/

While you are there please make sure you check out the rest of Dean's site.

I mentioned TWB Press a little earlier and I cannot thank owner and editor Terry Wright enough for his impact upon my writing. He is honest enough to tell it like it is, to tear apart a story and help me rebuild it that much better. Please, please, check out www.twbpress.com not just for my work but for the bunch of skilled writers Terry has assembled.

Next up I have to mention a real life giant of a man, Stewart Kirby. Check out his blog and serialised novel at www.stewartkirby.blogspot.com We have become great virtual friends and have made a pleasant hobby out of reviewing each other's writing. Check out his site and especially his great story The Mesmerizer.

Also a shout out to (boo hiss) a literary agent! I know, I know, most of them are allegedly evil but I've finally met one who is filled with positivity. If you read this, you know who you are!!!!!! 

And finally, cos she'll kill me if I've mentioned everyone else and not her, there's Brandy De Cusack. Basically mental. Check out her blog or she will hunt me down and remove my spleen www.brandydecusack.blogspot.com

I promise I'll update this blog more regularly.... 

 
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