Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Cover Artist: Ashley Ruggirello
When the Angels attack, there’s NO REST FOR THE WICKED.
Father Montgomery, an elderly priest with a secret past, begins to investigate after his parishioners come under attack, and with the help of Jones, a young businessman with an estranged child, Montgomery begins to track down the origin of the Angels.
The Angels are naked and androgynous. They speak in a dreadful harmony with no clear leader. These aren’t biblical cherubs tasked with the protection of the righteous – these are deadly creatures of light that have the power to completely eradicate.
When Jones himself is attacked, Father Montgomery knows he has to act fast. He speaks to the Angels and organises a final showdown where he’s asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Montgomery stayed behind long after the service, sweeping the floors and adjusting the religious displays. In the glory days, they’d had a cleaner; now, the church was falling apart. It was tiring, but the priest worked hard to look after the place himself. He liked the hallowed silence that the church offered, and he wished he were strong enough to carry out repairs. As it was, he satisfied himself by dragging an old broom across the dusty stone and polishing every surface he could reach.
It started on a quiet November night. Most people had to work in the morning, and those who didn’t were kept inside by the cold air and the dark sky. Cars rumbled hypnotically past, as easy to ignore as a ticking clock.
He was wiping down shelves in the old rectory when he heard the commotion. For centuries, the room had mostly been used for storage, but meetings were occasionally held there. Strange noises startled him, but the courage and curiosity of his youth prevailed. His old brain decoded the pattering of running feet, and a pair of heavy fists smashed against the door.
The voice had a thick Irish accent, and it radiated panic and despair. The oak portal rattled in its hinges, and Montgomery raced towards it, wrenching the rusty bolts back and fumbling with the key. When the bolts snapped open, the door flew out and almost knocked the Irishman over. As soon as the drunk was over the threshold, Montgomery slammed the door behind him and jammed the bolts home.
“Ah,” said Montgomery, calm and composed in the face of insanity. “Niall. And what can I do for you?”
“They’re after me, Father,” Niall whimpered, grabbing Montgomery’s arm and steering him into the shadows. “I seen ‘em, I really did.”
“Calm down. What is it?” The lairy Irishman was a notorious drunk, and Montgomery often looked after him. Niall didn’t have a home, so he slept on the floor in the rectory. This arrangement was under threat since he’d been caught with the communion wine.
“I seen ‘em, Father. All in a line behind the bushes. Well, we’ve all heard about ‘em, sure enough. It’s all anybody talks about, these days.”
“Slow down, Niall. Start from the beginning.”
“Sure thing, Father,” he said. “They can’t set foot in the house of the Lord. We’ve got all the time in the world.”
The priest was used to the Irishman’s ramblings, but he normally flowed through topics as though the boundaries didn’t exist. For once, Niall made sense – sort of.
“You were being followed?”
“You don’t know the half of it. It’s these Angels. That’s what I reckon.”
“I’ve heard of them,” Montgomery said, and he had. Half of the country was alive with the rumour. “Go on, I’m listening.”
“There I was, sitting in the car park and minding my own business. You know how it is, Father. I was drinking my medicine, if you catch my drift.”
“Out of nowhere, this fella comes up to me… I thought he was the fuzz until I found my glasses and got a proper look. D’you know what, Father? He was naked, I’ll swear it. Naked as the day he was born. He was handsome, though. Reminded me of my younger days.” Now that the sense of imminent danger had passed, Niall was settling into the story.
Montgomery was patient though, and he said nothing as he parsed reality from the tale.
“He was a strange fella, and not just ‘cause he was naked. He seemed to shine. I thought I was seeing things. It’s happened before, it’s the nature of the beast. It was like he was lit up by a spotlight, only more like he was the spotlight, and I was on the stage.”
“Did he say what he wanted?”
“You see, that’s the weird thing… he did. He had a deep voice that echoed like he was standing inside the church. And he said to me, ‘Justify yourself.’ Then he told me to wait, and I was just about to run. He said there were more on their way, and that’s all I needed to know. I’m telling you, it was hard to move my legs.”
“Catatonia,” Montgomery murmured. “Interesting.”
“And then he said, if you’ll believe me, ‘His fear is building. Follow him, but don’t catch him yet. This fruit is not yet fully ripe.’ Well, Father, that got me moving all right. I ran across town and they followed me all the way here. They ain’t coming inside the church, though. They wouldn’t dare.”
But Montgomery was no longer listening. He could hear voices through the walls, and he sidled over to the door to listen. He wondered if they were real. Could the drunkard’s tale be a trick? Cautiously, he slid the bolts across and opened the door, peering out into the darkness. He couldn’t see anything unusual.
“Hello?” he called, but there was no response except for the faint echo, which mimicked his gentle accent and faded into the night. He tried again, and then a third time, but nothing changed. It was raining, and a fine mist was rising from the river and tickling the horizon. He called one last time, before giving up and returning to the warmth.
The old Irishman had slumped to the floor and fallen into a dazed half-sleep in his absence, and Montgomery frowned at the recumbent figure like a mother at an unruly child. It was getting late, and it wouldn’t be easy to take Niall to the shelter. With the long, deep sigh of an impatient man, he grabbed Niall’s legs and dragged him to the corner.
The Irishman smelled like a distillery, and the priest marvelled at his aptitude as a drunken raconteur. Montgomery poured a glass of water and stood it beside him, knowing all along that Niall would only touch it if his life depended on it. There was nothing else to do – Montgomery couldn’t make the stone floor more comfortable, but comfort was a luxury that Niall could rarely afford. Montgomery’s heart was racing, and the rest of the cleaning would have to wait for another day.
He turned off the overhead lights and left Niall on the floor, illuminated by dim side-lights that skirted the great religious precinct and lit the pews. He knew from experience that the church could be unnerving at night, and who knew what hallucinations his alcohol-riddled mind might produce?
Montgomery dismissed the experience as the work of a gullible fool with a drunken imagination, and he felt no fear as he walked through the churchyard in the near-darkness. He left the doors unlocked so Niall could leave, though he’d never left them open before. There wasn’t anything worth stealing, but he held a secret dark opinion of human nature. He was a deeply spiritual man, but he was also a realist – faith wouldn’t protect the church from graffiti and vandalism.
He was deep in thought as he began the long walk home through the dusty estate. For a fleeting moment, he thought he was being watched, but he shrugged it off and walked calmly through the sleeping city. It was a feeling he was about to get used to.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be a rock star – that’s how I got into writing, by writing songs. That lasted from an early age until I was about fifteen, when I started to take writing a lot more seriously.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Ha! I posted this meme from my Facebook page the other day:
Personally, I don’t think there’s much difference – if you write something, you’re a writer. It’s just that some writers are better than others.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Ten years. Yep, welcome to life as a writer.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I work as a social media specialist for a marketing agency – basically, I help brands to run social media marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and the like. My main piece of advice for up and coming writers right now would be to learn about online marketing and to get a job in the field, if possible. The cool thing is that online marketing relies so much on written content nowadays that if you’re a writer, you’re already a pretty good candidate for a vacancy.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
No Rest for the Wicked is a supernatural thriller where the bad guys are good and the good guys are bad.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
My book is being published by Forsaken, the horror imprint of Booktrope publishing. We’re about to take over the world, so keep your eyes peeled for us – we’ve got about a dozen books coming out in July and more coming after that, so lots to look forward to!
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on the type of book, but usually 12-18 months. I write most of my work by hand, so it takes a long time!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
A lot more experimentation – No Rest for the Wicked is my ‘mainstream’ book, and so we’ll see where the experimentation takes me.
What genre would you place your books into?
It’s hard to place them in any one genre, although this particular one is a horror – I tend to mix different genres together to see what happens!
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
The fact that I’d never written a horror novella before!
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Father Montgomery, for sure – despite the fact that he’s a priest and I’m an atheist, I look up to him a lot. He has his flaws and he’s aware of that, but he’s still a fundamentally good person. To me, that’s something worth admiring.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve written songs for as long as I can remember – there are some cassette tapes somewhere of me aged five or six, singing some songs I’d made up. But I got pretty serious about it around sixteen – I’m just compelled to write, I can’t not do it. It’s not a case of inspiration, I just sort of go through life and leave words behind me.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
YES! Let me copy and paste an answer I sent to someone else though, because it can get kind of complicated:
Ha! Oh dear, this is where I start to sound crazy. I have something that I call ‘the system’, which helps me to stay productive – whenever I’m at home, I listen to music and then every time that the song changes, I switch activity. I start by doing stuff on my computer, such as formatting websites and checking e-mails, then move on to tidying the house and doing stuff that involves me leaving my desk, and then finally spend the third song writing before repeating the process. I think I might be a little bit OCD about it, but it helps me get stuff done and so I’ll stick with it.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yeah, for sure – I also encourage people who know me to be as harsh as they like with their reviews. I want to learn and get better – you can’t do that if you don’t take a look at the feedback.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I used to begin with the title, but ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ came about as a title after a line that a character said, and I’m thinking about taking another look at an old manuscript that I wrote but with an entirely different title. So I suppose it depends!
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Most of my books are set in our reality, and so a lot of the places in my novels are actually real places. As for the characters, I guess it just comes to you. You know how sometimes people have a name that really suits them, for some reason? That’s what happens with characters.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
For the major characters, that usually needs to be decided in advance, otherwise they won’t act consistently throughout the book – the exception is when something happens in the novel which changes their disposition. For minor characters, however, you can have a bit of fun and play around with things!
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..")
In No Rest for the Wicked, surprisingly not – I tried to avoid that to make it accessible to everyone, at least for this book.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I have a book blog myself (SocialBookshelves.com), and I only accept physical books because I collect them. I prefer paperbacks over hardbacks, just because they’re more portable.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, because it’s just the most incredible book I’ve ever discovered. I must’ve read it a couple of dozen times!
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Well, the worst book to movie transfer is Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, which was released as a movie under the American title, The Golden Compass. The best, in my opinion, is The Princess Bride. But in general, I try to read books before I watch movies or adaptations – that’s why I still haven’t watched Game of Thrones!
Your favorite food is?
I’m a vegetarian, so I’d probably go for a vegetarian hot pizza!
Your favorite singer/group is?
It’s too hard to choose just one! I’d probably have to go for The Beatles as all-time favourite.
Your favorite color is?
Red, followed by black, if black’s allowed as a colour. And I like when the two of them are used together!
Your favorite Author is?
I’ve read more books by Terry Pratchett than by any other author, and he’s definitely up there – I think I’d choose Charles Bukowski as my current favourite, though. It amazes me how he says so much, so simply.
Dane Cobain is a writer and poet from a place you've probably never heard of, somewhere in England. His debut novella, a supernatural thriller called 'No Rest for the Wicked', will be released by Forsaken in the summero f 2015. When he's not writing books, he's reading and reviewing them on his book blog, SocialBookshelves.com - Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene and Phillip Pullman are favourites.
Find him at www.facebook.com/danecobainmusic or follow @DaneCobain on Twitter.