Genre: Gay mystery/urban fantasy
Publisher: DSP Publications
Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 152,000
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.
Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.
HE was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the backyard.
Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television. This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and he’d forgotten to replace it.
Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.
He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either, and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make damn sure of that.
He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb; you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.
He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon, made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.
It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.
He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.
First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.
Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what he’d stepped in.
At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week, and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.
It was a Rottweiler leg.
Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But where was the other two thirds of the dog?
The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now. But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.
He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I think I always did. I think I may have brief considered space emperor and veterinarian, but never seriously.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Possibly five or ten minutes ago.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
A few months. But keep in mind I wrote online and waited to approach any publishers. In a way, I crowd sourced my writing before trying to make something of it.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I’m a home health care worker, a live in. It’s kind of a stressful job, so writing is relaxing to me.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Infected: Paris. And it’s when Roan met Paris.
Who is your publisher?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It really depends on a lot of factors, but a few months is the least possible amount of time.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I go wherever the story tells me to go. And I love so many genres – mystery, science fiction, horror, comedy, superheroes, fantasy – that I want to tell a story in each and every possible combination of them.
What genre would you place your books into?
I agonize over this question. Mystery, I guess? But it’s also a little bit of speculative fiction (i.e. science fiction). So call it what you want.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love mysteries and science fiction! In fact, I love most genre fiction. I find “literary fiction”, for the most part, to be utterly boring.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
If I didn’t pick Roan, I’m sure he’d have a word with me. I suppose I like him because there’s very little quit in him. He just puts his head down and goes, no matter what obstacle is thrown in front of him. He’s a remarkably resilient individual.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing forever, it seems. My grandmother was a (mostly aspiring) writer, so it always seemed like a viable option for me. I loved reading, and writing my own stuff seemed like the natural progression.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair
? Not so much. Although I do have a specific chair and desk, because I do most of my writing on a desktop PC. I know, right? But I like desktops.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Oh no. I don’t have the ego integrity to do that.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I’m terrible with titles. They’re usually the last thing I come up with.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Usually they just come to me, if not based on a real person/place.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Not usually. Usually, the character shows up with their name. I’m trying to remember when I had to come up with a name for a character, but I swear I haven’t done that for ages.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Along with the names, they usually come fully formed. I could answer a questionnaire as Roan, as Paris, and as me, and none of the answers would be the same. The character traits are right there, before I write word one. I need to know who they are to judge how they react to others and the plot.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Not really. Beyond “be yourself, and be unashamed”.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I love them all! But paperbacks are easiest to shove in your pocket.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
This is so hard for me! I love so many books! But … I guess I usually pick The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Because it informs so much of my own writing and sense of humor, whether that’s obvious or not. And I believe I have read it more than once.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
It really depends on the book. Some need the TV treatment – more time, more ability to go in depth on a character or a situation – but often it depends on the screenwriter/director/actors. Favorite book to movie transfer …. L.A. Confidential is the first thing that pops to mind. The worst list is long and lengthy. (No, I didn’t like the The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy movie adaptation, but I got the sense the people behind it meant well.)
Your favorite food is?
Oooh. That’s a tough one. Chocolate is probably the safest best.
Your favorite singer/group is?
Another tough one! But clearly I love These Arms Are Snakes.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
I’m going to have to pick Douglas Adams here, aren’t I?
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you - framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Andreaspeedwriter