Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doyle After Death + Giveaway

Synopsis ~
From award-winning author John Shirley comes an inventive whodunit featuring the master of mysteries, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
           
When Nicholas Fogg, an unsuccessful private investigator, dies on the job he learns that the afterlife is not what he expected. Disappointed, but not too surprised to find himself in the very dead town of Garden Rest, he befriends the famous Arthur Conan Doyle to crack a case from beyond the grave and solve the ultimate riddle: Is it possible to be murdered if you are already dead? 


About the Author

61958John Shirley is the author of numerous books and many, many short stories. His novels include Bleak HistoryCrawlersDemonsIn Darkness Waiting, and seminal cyberpunk works City Come A-Walkin’, and the A Song Called Youth trilogy of Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona. His collections include the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild award-winning Black ButterfliesLiving Shadows: Stories: New & Pre-owned, and In Extremis: The Most Extreme Short Stories of John Shirley. He also writes for screen (The Crow) and television. As a musicianShirley has fronted his own bands and written lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult and others.


1. What do you have in common with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and what are some of the things you love about his characters or writing.
In common with him?
I’m a bit of an Anglophile, that is a fan of Britishness, and while Doyle was born of Irish parents he was raised in Scotland and made his home in England. He very much identified with the British empire and its values—he was late Victorian/early Edwardian. And I enjoy British culture from that era.

As for his writing—he had a marvelously facile voice that was at the same time literate and intelligent. Words just rolled out of him and they came with a kind of natural musical aplomb.  He had a grand sense of humor—despite the drama, it comes across in the Holmes stories and The Lost World, amongst other works—and yet he could tackle social issues quite seriously. He created truly memorable characters, Professor Challenger, Holmes, Watson, Moriarty...These are larger than life characters who persistently shine across the ages.  I loved how he tackled them with a sense of humor, and with affection, but also gave us glimpses into their depths. The more Holmes tried to be reserved, the more he revealed about himself, it seems to me...

2. It would be interesting to know what scares a writer that writes in your genre of horror and mystery. Name a few things that frighten you, or if you can't, tell us about your scariest nightmare.
My “genre” in Doyle After Death isn’t exactly horror or mystery, here—though mystery is closer. This is a mystery novel set in an afterlife world, entirely in the afterlife, and while there are dark moments and while there’s some nightmarish imagery, the book is really in a category of its own.  I try to devise an afterlife world that has some elements of classic Spiritualist (Doyle was a Spiritualist, a believer in séances and mediums and spirit guides and so on), but is also original, a kind of “world building” exercise, and is internally logical.
However, I do write some horror at times, eg my novels Crawlers and In Darkness Waiting, and what scares me is not the supernatural, but humanity. I find people who devise nerve gas weapons to be quite frightening; I find the thought of being helpless in the hands of a brutal interrogator or madman terrifying. In the putative supernatural realm, the idea of possession is horrifying to me—losing free will is losing what is most precious. . .Raised as I was during the cold war I used to have nightmares about nuclear holocaust, and roasting to death in the explosion of the bomb. These were recurrent nightmares I had for years. At last I was able to leave them behind.  But the recollection is shudderingly fresh.  Certainly the possibility of nuclear terrorism is another thing to be frightened of.

3. Name Five things on your writing desk.
1) earphones, as I listen to music while writing, often. 2) an empty box of 75% cacao dark chocolate bars. Inspirational. 3) CDs by the Blue Oyster Cult. 4) Reference books 5) a (real) scorpion inside a lollypop, which I got while traveling in the Southwest, as a souvenir.
 
4. Name us Five Random Facts about yourself.
I also write songs, for the Blue Oyster Cult (eg the album Heaven Forbid) among others and I’ve had record deals of my own in the past. I have been married, er, quite a few times but am now married for more than 20 years to my wife Micky Shirley. I have two little “chiweenie” dogs (part dachshund, part Chihuahua) and much affinity with animals. I have much interest in spirituality, especially Zen and the Fourth Way of GI Gurdjieff. I have three sons including two who are twins—all three are creative persons and each is much handsomer than I.

5. Where is the best place for you to write?
I used to write only at my desk in my office, am learning to write more comfortably with a laptop and a special table in an easy chair. I want to save every bit of my energy for writing, waste none on discomfort.


Check the tour here

Up for Grabs

Tour-Wide Giveaway  (Open Internationally)

10 ebooks of Doyle After Death.   Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive free download.







 

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