Hello and welcome back. First things first, the winner of the ebook of Children of the Plague is... Wulf Francú Godgluck AND (yes, and) Jane Aschtgen Bowen. Congratulations! Send me a private message on the event page with your email address.
For those of you who missed out, don't worry there's more chances to win tonight, with not one but two chances to win! Gregory is kindly offering an ebook of his newest book 'The Shadow of the World' AND a signed paperback of 'Tales from the Mist.'
Keep your eyes peeled on this post for how to win.
Okay, so on with the show. You may remember last nights little excerpt from Children of the Plague, well I'm going to continue on with that scene for you. Enjoy...
Children of the Plague. Cont.
And then it all came back. With no warning, the aches, the sounds, the smells, and the inexplicable terror came crashing back. She could see again. Her brother was beside her, watching her with a hopeful expression.
The energy that nearly killed her was still there, inside her. But now, it felt no different than her arm or leg. It had become just another part of her.
Alex breathed a relieved sigh as she started to act normally again. “Come on,” he said. “We have to get out of here.”
Then she remembered her mother, and the screams, and the pain. But where had they gone? The house was still silent. Even the moaning and whimpering had stopped. The waves of energy still rolled through the house, but they didn’t
hurt her anymore. They broke against her like water on a stone.
Alex must have understood what she was thinking, because he shook his head. “No. Stay beside me,” he said. “We have to leave.”
“Leave? We have to help Mom! Find a phone,” she said. “Call 911. We need that ambulance here, now!” She ran to her mother’s room without waiting for him to answer.
“Lanni, wait! Don’t go in there,” Alex said. “You can’t help her.”
“Alex! Mom is dying. Get the damned phone.”
“You don’t understand, Lanni. It’s her. This is all coming from Mom. I don’t know how or why, but she’s been doing it for weeks. It’s never been this bad, but I’ve felt it, and I know it’s her.”
“What are you talking about? Please don’t go crazy right now. I really need you.” She started crying. Why was everything going so wrong?
“I thought I was going crazy, too. I keep hearing voices in my head. They sound like you, and Mom, and Dad, and other people, too. It’s mostly just bits and pieces, but now I know they’re real. One of them makes me want to
do things…terrible things, but I think I’m stronger. I get these urges, and…”
“GET THE PHONE!” she yelled. He was raving. It was ridiculous to blame their mother, or anyone. It had to be a freak power surge, or a solar flare, or something, but that didn’t matter to her. Nothing mattered except getting to her mother. She pushed the door open, and her heart sank.
“Oh no. Please, no,” she sobbed.
“Lisa Ann! It’s not safe, yet. Stay with me.”
Lisa Ann. She hated her name. He always called her that when he wanted to sound important, or if he was nervous about something. It was an odd thing to notice, given the scene she had just stepped into.
Blood covered everything. It dripped from the ceiling and down the walls, and soaked the bed. Her mother’s contorted, blood-spattered face gazed vaguely in Lanni’s direction, frozen into a rictus of horror. Her legs were both twisted to one side at an unnaturally sharp angle, and her belly looked like it had been scooped away with a giant grapefruit spoon, leaving only an empty red cavity.
Her father’s feet stuck out beyond the footboard on the other side of the bed, toes down.
Lanni took small steps around the foot of the bed, not wanting to see what awaited her.
One of his feet rocked gently from side to side. As his body came into full view, she knew that she was losing her mind, just like her brother. An impossible creature stood on her father’s back. It looked like a wrinkled, black football with four bowed bulldog legs and yellow clawed feet.
Glistening with blood and gore, it made wet, slurping sounds as it rocked back and forth, clinging to her father like a demonic tick.
I must be dead. This is Hell.
Blood poured down her father’s side from beneath the little monster, and his body jerked as it tugged him from side to side. It pulled away from him and sat back on two legs.
The center of its chest was split open from top to bottom and filled with several concentric rows of pointy shark-like teeth. Each row opened and closed in turns as they shredded an apple-sized chunk of her father’s flesh, working it deeper into its body. If it had a head or any sensory organs, they were very well camouflaged.
Ignoring her, the monster dropped down on all four feet and bit into her father’s back. It must have hit a big vein or artery, because blood sprayed from the new wound. He was still alive!
In a blind rage, she screamed and charged at the creature. She wanted to hurl it against the wall and stomp it to death. It didn’t even try to move as she reached for it. She was vaguely aware of her brother saying something from the hall. His tone sounded urgent, but his words didn’t register with her.
The strip of floor between the bed and wall was barely wide enough to accommodate her father, so she fell to her knees, straddling his legs, and tried to pull the little monster off of him. It was hot and slippery, though, like it was covered in oil, and it slipped right through her hands.
A bluish substance dripped from her fingers, leaving no residue behind. It flowed like liquid but felt as dry as powder. She scarcely noticed these details before lunging forward to try again.
This time, as she reached for it, the monster quivered slightly, and another wave of energy slammed into her. It definitely came from the little toothy football beast. She felt most of the energy flow around her as it had done in the hall a few moments ago, but the tiny bit that managed to affect her felt like a bare-knuckled punch from a professional boxer.
Completely dazed by the attack, she fell forward on her father’s back, while the impossible little beast easily hopped aside.
It sat up on two legs again, right in front of her face, giving her a very clear, up-close view. She noticed that two of its legs were longer and thinner, and the conical section of its body between the shorter limbs was covered in twisty raised ridges, very reminiscent of a human brain.
It moved toward her tentatively, taking small, searching steps with all four limbs, but it pulled back when a yellow claw grazed her chin. Aside from the momentary burning feeling, it didn’t hurt, though she knew it had given her a pretty good cut. She could feel what must have been blood flowing from the spot.
Her eyes drifted shut, but she fought to stay awake and forced them back open. Instead of the little monster, she saw her old pet rabbit, Carver, sitting in its place.
Now I’m hallucinating. I must be in shock.
Her eyes closed again, and when she opened them, Carver was gone and the monster was back. The slightly raised ridge on its underside split open, and the shark-like maw chewed the air in anticipation. It smelled like burning plastic and rancid meat.
It jumped at her and landed on her head, digging its thick claws through her scalp. More warm sticky fluid flowed down over her face as it lowered its jaws to her head, just above her left ear. The last thing she noticed was the horrible crunching sound of its teeth digging into her skull. Unable to fight back, or even move, she hoped that Alex, at least, would escape from the surreal, chaotic nightmare that had descended upon their waking world
You likey?? Yeah you do... now quick go buy it here http://www.gramico.com/blog/gregs-books/ and add it to your virtual bookshelf here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17670436-children-of-the-plague?from_search=true
Fancy learning a bit more about the fantatsic Gregory? here you go then.
Gregory, take it away.
Name: Gregory Carrico
Other contacts/social media sites:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GregCarricoAuthor
Link to your Amazon page and or any other place that your books can be purchased:
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Orlando, FL, but grew up in Summerville, SC, not far from Charleston.
What made you start writing?
I've been making up stories since I could talk, often acting them out with toy figurines or role playing with my twin brother. I wrote my 1st real story, a ten page epic fantasy (lol) for an 8th grade literature assignment. I've been writing ever since. The really short answer is, I can't draw or paint, so I write.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
I feel like I've always been a writer, so have I always wanted to do it? No, because I've always done it. Stories, songs, poetry, role-playing games, you name it. I've always wanted to get rich as a writer. I'm not one of those people who says "I don't care if I ever make a dollar, I just love to write." I do love to write, but it's my also my job. I work very hard at it, and I'd love to get tons of cash for it.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend?
My favorite genre to read is fantasy. But it's also my least favorite. If it is done well, I get lost in it, if not, I won't
finish the 1st chapter. I also love Science fiction and horror, and tend to read much more of those than anything else.
TW Brown's zombie novels are among my new favorites. I'm also reading Anvil of the Craftsman by Dale Amidei, and am blown away by how good it is on every level.
Do you ever base your characters on anyone that you know, or are they solely from your imagination?
I do have certain people in mind sometimes when I write a character. I'll take certain things I like or that stood out about a person and build around that. I think every writer does this to some degree whether they intend to or not. We can't help
being influence by the people and events around us. Why would we want to, if those details breath a little life into our made-up worlds?
Tell us about your latest book. The story/plot.
Children of the Plague is the story of teenage twins, Alex and Lanni, and their roles in events that either save or damn humanity. Which one depends on how the reader defines humanity, which is a major thematic question of the book.
The story begins as the human race succumbs to an alien plague. One side effect causes unborn fetuses to mutate into horrible monsters which mature and are "born" in a just a few weeks.
The plague kills off most of humanity, leaving the handful of survivors to fend for themselves in a world overrun with mutant
This is the world in which Lanni and Alex travel from South Carolina to New York City, where they assume the role of hidden protectors over a small group of survivors, including a pregnant woman who appears to be carrying a normal human baby instead of a mutant. If this child is born human, it could signal the end of the plague and give a thin ray of hope to mankind.
First, they have to survive hoards of monsters, betrayals, and their own demons.
What gave you the idea?
In the short story Killing Tiffany Hudson, which Children of the Plague is based on, the protagonist finds a group of humans
holed up in a Manhattan prison. In a world (I just love saying those words) overrun with monsters, where cities are
the most dangerous places in the world, how did this group of survivors manage to… well, survive? That's the story I set out to tell with the new book.
What genre is it?
It's Science Fiction with strong elements of horror. It isn't YA, per se, but it is suitable for a younger
Who is your favourite character? And why.
Diane is a great character. I think she is the reason so many people connected with "Killing Tiffany Hudson." She plays a vital role in CotP, and I wanted readers to get to know her better. For having a small role, Lee was fun to write, too. But my favourite has to be Alex, because he's just so…
No. Wait. It's Lanni. She's the one who has to…Hold on. There's so much mystery around Alex, but… Gah! I can't decide. I like them all. Oh, I almost forgot about Junior! I'll have to think about this one :-)
Leonard is a nasty character. He's got all the makings of villain, but keep in mind: good and evil are never monolithic in my stories. People are people. We all have the capacity to great good and great harm, and sometimes people can see the error of their ways and come around. But sometimes they get worse…
What are your hopes for it?
I hope people read "Children of the Plague" and "Apocalypstick" and have a fun time with them. I hope they like the characters and the world enough to want to read more stories, and want to talk to their friends about them. One day, I'd
like to walk into Starbucks and hear strangers talking about the characters I created.
What’s the project that you’re going to be working on next?
I've just finished the first volume in an episodic prequel to Children of the Plague and Killing Tiffany Hudson, called
Sand. Part one is titled The Shadow of the World, and I'll be releasing it in the coming days. It's a bit of a mash-up of classic super-hero comics like X-Men, mixed with elements of Dexter and The Wire. It's a bit more mature than Children of the Plague.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing, and by whom?
I'll share three.
First is a quote by Peter De Vries: “I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning."
Second: Ernest Hemmingway is attributed with saying, "All first drafts are shit."
Third: The best marketing any writer can do is release the next book. I've heard this from tons of sources, but most of a writer's effort should be spent writing.
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Okay, so fancy winning those books now? All you have to do is Follow him on Twitter (link at the start of the interview) and tweet him... Claire C Riley sent me.
That's it. Winners will be picked at random and announced tomorrow night. Good luck,
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