Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where Darkness Dwells by Glen Krisch - Interview | Horror/Thriller

During a hot summer night in 1934, tragedy strikes when two local boys search for the truth behind a local legend. They stumble upon the Underground, a network of uncharted caverns just below the surface of Coal Hollow. Time holds no sway in the Underground. People no longer age and their wounds heal as if by magic. By morning, one boy is murdered, while the other never returns home.

The Underground is hidden for a reason. Certain locals want to keep their lair secret, no matter the cost.

After learning a long-held family secret, Theodore Cooper is set adrift. Once well off and set in his ways, he is no longer sure of his role in society. He leaves his comfortable life in Chicago to tramp the countryside, searching for meaning in this new context. During his travels, he's drawn to an abandoned house in Coal Hollow and impulsively buys it.

Cooper doesn't know that a massacre had taken place in his new house. In 1851, a group of bounty hunters tracked a family of runaway slaves to the home. They wound up killing the homeowners as conspirators, then chased the runaways into a cellar tunnel leading to the Underground. The bounty hunters cornered the slaves and killed them. To everyone's astonishment, the slaves then rose from the dead. Over time, the bounty hunters chose to stay below ground, taking advantage of their new slave labor to build what they term "Paradise."

Their numbers are augmented by deathbed miners who are offered immorality in exchange for their subservience and labor.

Below a town struggling to survive both the Great Depression and the closing of the local coal mine, there lives an immortal society built on the backs of slavery and pervasive immorality.

Kindle  |  Goodreads  


Glen will giveaway up to 10 digital copies of Where Darkness Dwells to readers who link to this post on their blog or facebook.  To be entered please email Glen with the URL of your link.  Put "My Link to Your Interview" in the subject line.
Giveaway ends Feb 4th 11:59PM Central Time.


Where Darkness Dwells
Knowing he wouldn't comprehend the weight of her words, Greta spoke to her son.  "Terrible things will happen to people I love."
Kneeling near the kitchen table, Arlen worked a mound of clay against the wooden floor.  Face taut with concentration, he rolled the gray slab into thin bands.  He pulled off smaller pieces and worked these as well, setting aside finished pieces to a larger whole.
She wanted him to more than hear her voice; she wanted him to understand.  She was desperate to share her burden.  But it was her burden and hers alone to bear.  Involving others would ruin any prospect of ending decades of pain and degradation of human life.  If people had to die to reach this end, it had to play out through its natural course.  Otherwise, nothing would change.
So she voiced her worries to the only person she could.
"Mama, we still gonna be together?" Arlen asked.  He looked up from the floor where his claywork took shape.  Seemingly disparate puzzle pieces, melding together to form a singular vision of something far more grand.
Her son was no longer a boy.  He hadn't been a boy in so long, yet he still had a child's mind.  His tangled beard was graying, his scraggly pate thinning.  While he lived with childlike exuberance, time weighed on her heavily, slowing her movements and shrinking her bones.  She was an old woman, near her end.  
Innocence shined in Arlen's eyes.  He minded adults and would never purposely cause anyone grief.  He had such a kind soul.  Given the choice, she wouldn't want him to change.  She wouldn't risk losing who he was for anything.
"We'll always be together," she answered him.  "I will always be in your heart."
Placated by her words, his mind flitted to other matters.  He picked up a small gray blob, rolled it in his palm.  "I miss picking with the others.  I don't mind my gopher hole, but it ain't the same as the old mine."
Arlen had worked for years as a pile sorter for the Grendal Coal Company.  Picking coal was a job fit for a child, sitting atop a tipple pile all day, sorting valuable ore from waste rock.  When the company left Summerset seven years ago, Arlen was twenty years older than the other pile sorters.  They'd given him the job, aware he could never advance beyond it.   
"You're doing a good thing for your mom, digging that gopher hole."
Arlen grinned.  The best part of his smile was an aged, yellow ivory.  The rest, empty gaps and decay.
It had been Arlen's idea to open the gopher hole at their property's edge overlooking
Tipple Road
.  Townsfolk would stop off the main north-south road through Summerset, buying coal Arlen had dug from the shallow mine.  High-grade ore ran in twisting veins just below the topsoil, all he had to do was scratch the surface.  People would procure enough fuel to warm their homes, allowing Arlen to help support his mom.  There were other places to buy fuel--stores and other gopher holes aplenty--but people went out of their way to buy from Arlen.
Arlen pieced together the finished pieces of clay, realizing the image from his muse.
She could tell his thoughts were skittering off to the starry skyscape of his mind.  She continued: "Good people will suffer, oh God in heaven, will they suffer.  If I walked the streets of Summerset, I could point to certain people, say, 'You will be dead by the first frost.'"
Arlen looked up from his claywork, staring out the window as the moon rose above the trees, a beacon cutting softly through the nighttime sky. 
"But it has to be.  Has to be, or nothing will change."
Arlen smiled.  Her voice had always soothed him.
"Sometimes death leads to life.  Sometimes there's a greater good."  She thought back to the visit from the two boys earlier today.  They'd come to her, as all the town's children did at one point or another, to hear her stories.  Looking those boys in the eye, she told her tales, setting them on the path to their end.  "Until the day I die, I will damn my ancestors for cursing me with this supposed gift."
Arlen scooped up his artwork, offering it to her.
She held it in shaking hands.  A gray flower more delicate than the clay of its origin.  Finely articulated petals, a thin, twisting stem.  Beauty rendered from a slab of shapeless gray earth.
She smiled and it was all the thanks Arlen needed, all the approval he so desperately sought.  He looked away, staring once again at the rising moon.
No, she would never wish her son to be different, to be normal.  To be whole.  He was more than the sum of his parts, more than whole.  And he was a better person than her.  Better than those who came before her.


Tell us about your current release.

My most recent release is a paranormal/psychological horror novella called Loss.  It’s sometimes hard for me to describe my stories off the cuff, so here’s the Amazon description: After Angie Chandler's husband dies in a car crash in which she was driving, her life comes undone. Though her soul mate is gone, her memories of Paul linger as she tries to recover at their secluded wooded estate. Ostracized from Paul's family--the only family she has really known--Angie's life spirals down a dark path of alcohol and pills. In the blur of constant self-medication, Angie is in no position to know what is happening to her. Is Paul haunting her? Has she gone mad?  Or is there another possibility, something far worse?

I’m curious to see readers’ reactions to Loss.  I have a feeling it might be quite divided; people will love it or hate it.  But I’m okay with that.  It was a story that wanted to be written, so that’s just what I did.  The story might not go in the direction readers are expecting, and there’s at least one major twist in the ending.

Tell us about your next release.

My wife pointed out awhile back that I often write about “children in peril.”  When I thought about it, I had written a bunch of stories with children protagonists in the ensemble of characters, and since I write edgier material, there’s often peril involved.  But I also realized I had never written a full-blown coming-of-age story.  So that’s how my upcoming release Nothing Lasting came about.  It’s about a boy named Noah who moves with his father to take possession of his recently deceased grandfather’s house.  Noah’s parents are divorcing, and he’s a stranger in a new town, but his life seems to brighten when he meets a girl named Jenny.  Since I’m writing it, there are some dark sections and a slight supernatural element as well.  I will be releasing Nothing Lasting in the next month or so. 

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I love hearing from readers!  I wrote for two decades before I started my indie publishing journey, and throughout those years I wrote in isolation.  I had no way of knowing if I had talent, or if anyone would ever want to read my stories.  Every time I hear from a reader, it brings a smile to my face.  Readers often drop me a note to let me know how much they like my characters and that they feel like real people. 

Tell us about your family.

My wife and I will be celebrating our fifteenth anniversary this summer (and twenty years total as a couple)!  I married my high school sweetheart.  We have three boys; 9, 6, and 5 months.   

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I don’t currently use a pen name, but I’m planning on developing one over the next year as I branch off into a genre that no one would ever expect from me.  Don’t ask me what it is, because it’s a secret!

Do you play any sports?

I ran cross country and track all through high school and college.  I try to keep at it, but it gets difficult with how busy my schedule is.  A few years ago (when I had more time to train) I actually raced a 50k (31 miles).  My day job has changed since then.  Right now, I just want to stay fast enough to stay ahead of my kids!

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
If you don’t love writing, don’t bother.  If you can’t stop thinking about your current story, if inside your head lives a tapestry of your plot and characters, keep at it.  Hone your craft.  Never stop learning.  Never stop challenging yourself.  If you’re planning on being an indie writer, take pride in your story, sure, but work just as hard on your editing, formatting and cover.    

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

I do most of my writing before my family wakes up.  I oftentimes wake at 4 a.m.  I get up grudgingly, and I’m a grump.  Hmm… can I be neither? 

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Beatles a million times over.  “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Eleanor Rigby…” I could go on.  The Beatles were my first favorite band when I was a kid.  There music still holds up.


I have written three novels:
The Nightmare Within, available at  Amazon and Smashwords: Where Darkness Dwells: As well as a coming-of-age horror novel titled Nothing Lasting. My short fiction has appeared in publications across three continents for the last decade. Dog Horn Publishing (U.K.) will publish my story collection debut in 2011.

As a freelance editor, I have worked on books by Tim Lebbon and Lawrence Block, among others. I have recently accepted a staff position at Morrigan Books.

I can be reached at kelcher_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com. Or, if you prefer, you can find me on Facebook


Amazon   |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Blog  |  Twitter


Anonymous said...

Love Love love this Authors work

glenkrisch said...

Thanks, anon!