Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful
by Justin D. Herd
The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he’s done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.
Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine’s mob organization. It’s only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.
As the pantheon returns to the city they’d abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality – even gods can die.
The figures disappeared around a jagged line of barrels. Cale kept the same speed, listening to their movements. Running his fingers along cold steel of the shipping container, he moved around to catch one of them, the largest one, venturing towards the labyrinth, retreating moments later. Quiet laughter followed as they teased and jostled each other.
Coming to a stop, he stared at the silhouettes, considered his action. The children crept forward, toying with the lines of shadows as they went. Cale balled his hand into a fist and rapped on the metal with the white bone shards that wrapped his fingers like a gauntlet. One, two, three times in a slow, measured beat. A breeze coalesced with the beat, twisting into something entirely inhuman.
The whispers stopped. So did the thump of the children’s footsteps. The three children froze, stared into the darkness. The sound of happy jostling was gone, replaced with the splashing of choppy waves.
Cale struck the crate once more.
Shrill shouts hit his ears as the silhouettes retreated, tripping over each other in their haste. Cale watched them, making sure they didn’t stay. He rested a hand on his gun, wondering what he’d do if the Stalker actually showed up again. His heart thudded, anxiety creeping into his chest. As he watched the last leg disappear over the last step, he turned back to the docks. He had a long night ahead of him.
With the area empty once more, he felt a wave of relief wash over him.
An Interview with the Author:
1. How long have you been writing?
This year marks ten years of me writing novels. Though I guess it’s not that impressive seeing as I’ve only written four and got one to the point that it’s publishable.
2. How long have you been a published author?
Fresh off the boat! It’s an incredible experience, exhausting but totally worth it!
3. What titles do you have available?
My first book is Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful. It’s about a gangster who becomes a god, only to discover they die too.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
Honestly, I kinda stumbled into it. The story went through multiple iterations before I finally settled on the current setting. Everything else grew out of this atheistic world where the gods lived side-by-side with the humans.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
Right now I’m mainly focusing on making sure Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful is successful. I have three novels that are waiting to be edited and ideas for sequels to the current novel, but those are just in development right now.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
Although I’m a fantasy writer, my favourite genre is Horror. It was my first love with Goosebumps in Elementary school, then I tripped into Dean Koontz, John Saul, and Peter Straub. Some Robin Cook in there too. My parents wouldn’t let me read most Stephen King because of his language and all that, but somehow they read the one Dean Koontz book that was reasonable and thought he was a cleaner analogue to King. You can imagine that they were shocked years later when they finally started reading his stuff.
I love the way Horror puts you on edge, shows you a part of the world that you aren’t used to seeing. It’s almost as if it’s shining a light on the dark corners and asking you to gawk at it. My favourite author has to be Clive Barker just for how weird his ideas are and how he’s willing to take you fully into the insanity, even if it isn’t a fully realized reality at the end of the day.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
That’s a tough one. The writing itself can be thrilling, but I’m a constant analyzer. I spend hours, days, weeks, worrying about a small problem, all the ways that my characters could react to the situation and, often, they end up doing something else that I just speed through without a second thought.
For me, I think it’s the editing. I tend to hard edit, meaning I print out a loose copy, grab at least three different color pens, and proceed to chop up my manuscript. I use different pens to show the different thought processes, including when I’m wanting something word for word, when I’m wanting to expand on an idea, or when I’m identifying repetition. There can be, and have been, more delineations, but those are the core three. I love moving around paragraphs, streamlining the story, and getting it down to its essence.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Wow. The idea itself is intimidating. I actually have no idea how collaborators do it! Terry Pratchett once said that, while working with Stephen Baxter, that they’d just split up and write their own stories, then try to blend them together. That sounds like a tremendous amount of work and I’m not sure there’s a writer out there that I’d be able to sync with since my ideas are so strange. I absolutely love Patrick Rothfuss’s fantasy, but I think we’d both worry ourselves out the door and nothing would ever get completed!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obssesed with all things digital. He is married with two children.
You can buy his books at the following links:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1FJIeHf
Justin D. Herd will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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