Talking with Connal Bain

About the Author

IMG_3026Connal Bain is a freelance writer and novelist living a peripatetic life in the Western United States. He has worked as a journalist, long-haul truck driver, short-order cook, labor organizer, and bookstore clerk, among other odds and ends.  Traveling from job to job around the great American West has provided him the opportunity to spend much of his free time writing, often gathering story and character ideas from his experiences on the road.

An avid reader from an early age, he became a horror and mystery enthusiast upon discovering a treasure trove of paperback originals in his parents’ basement in junior high school, beginning with John D. MacDonald and Manley Wade Wellman and working up through King, Herbert, and the late great Jim Thompson.

His fascination with all things dark and creepy grew as he expanded his tastes to the classics and the pulps, always finding pleasure in the genre at hand.  This brought him a great respect for the printed word, regardless of the merits of canonical “literary” value.  Always in search of a tale well-told, he began writing his own detective and supernatural horror stories in high school, and has been writing ever since.

Links:

TWITTER BLOG  AMAZON GOODREADS

Talking with Connal Bain

When did you decide to start writing stories?

I started back in high school. I’ve always been a voracious reader, so it was natural for me to shift to writing my own stories. Writing was an escape for me, as I was painfully shy and more than a little socially awkward as a teen. Most of my early stories were just imitations of writers who impacted me (King, Thompson, Ketchum), but I gradually began finding my voice as I continued. I wrote short stories for many years before finally taking the plunge and tackling a novel.

While Blood Moon Fever is my first published novel, it’s the third I’ve written. The first two were experimental, and while they never quite came together as a cohesive whole, they were important parts of my overall process. From that I learned that no writing is ever wasted. Even writing that seemed like failure at the time ended up paying off in experience, dedication, and relentless practice.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a small writing desk in a corner of my living room with floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides that give me a lovely view of the Carlsbad hills to the east. Writing with a view is very special to me. I try to start each day writing, and the sunrises are spectacular. With the window open and the scent of eucalyptus and bush sage drifting in to mingle with the fresh cup of coffee in front of me, I feel like I’m on top of the world!

Who is your favorite character in Blood Moon Fever and why?

Hmmm… good question. I’d have to say Rachel Lewis. Even though she’s a criminal without an ounce of good in her heart, she’s a determined woman who’s more than equal to the male convicts and crooks in her world. She has guts, intelligence, and is a survivor. If not for the supernatural evil confronting her, she’d probably be sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping tropical drinks, and watching her fortune grow.

I’ve always been drawn to smart, compelling female characters who live on the wrong side of the law and are smarter than the men around them, like Lily in Thompson’s The Grifters and Phyllis in Cain’s Double Indemnity. She’s cut from the same cloth as those great literary crime women.

What are your plans for the next writing project?

I’m working on a new novel tentatively titled Killing Rose. The story centers on a small-time con man in Omaha named Pike who runs afoul of a violent mobster and has to hide out in a small farming village. While he first sees the opportunity to run a long con on a local widow while staying off the radar of the mob, he soon finds himself drawn into a paranormal mystery that runs counter to his grifter logic concerning human nature. I wanted to take the themes of an H.P. Lovecraft story and filter it through hard-boiled crime language. Most of my stories begin with the “what if” set up of combining two different literary genres. I hope to have the novel out for Valentine’s Day. A bit of a bloody Valentine from me to my readers!

What question do you wish I had asked you and what is the answer to that question?

Oooh, good one! Since I’m an intensely musical person, I guess it would be what music I listen to as I write. For Blood Moon Fever, I had a long playlist of Tom Waits, Warren Zevon, Leonard Coen, and old blues masters like Howlin’ Wolf and Bib Bill Broonzy. When writing scenes with Rachel, I listened to a lot of Michelle Malone, Joan Osbourne, and No Doubt.

The writing soundtrack to my current work features some old John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen to get into the midwestern groove, along with Shivaree, Blue Oyster Cult, and John Carpenter movie soundtrack tunes for mood. As the novel is steeped in Celtic mythology, I also am listening to Paul Brady, Planxty, Mary Black, and the Chieftains. It’s a decidedly eclectic mix, but then again, so is the novel (and my brain)!

Dogs or Cats?

Have to go with cats on that one (although I love dogs, as well). My current constant feline companion is the wonderful Daisy Buchanan. As long as I keep her food bowl full, she’s my biggest fan.cat

 

Blood Banner

IMG_3029Blood Moon Fever

By Connal Bain

Genre: Horror, thriller, crime

About the Book

Crime … Corruption … Werewolves. Just another day in LA.

David Goodwin isn’t having a good month. Sent on a manhunt after escaped felon ‘Hard Time Jake’ Griffon, he finds he has bitten off more than he can chew as he moves from the wooded Northern California wilderness to the mean streets of LA in pursuit of a man who has become something beyond human.

During Griffon’s bloody prison break, something happened in the woods of the Modoc Forest. Something inhuman. Something evil. Something terrifying.

Now, as the full moon prepares to rise over the City of Angels, Goodwin must piece together elements of a puzzle involving a fugitive on the run, a crooked lawyer, a violent drug cartel, and a string of bloody corpses left in the wake of an ancient terror now awake and hungry for fresh carnage.

Combining the hard-boiled realism of Jim Thompson with the gritty horror of Jack Ketchum and Clive Barker, Bain introduces a new brand of horror noir.

Savagely dark and wildly inventive, Blood Moon Fever introduces a powerful new voice to horror and crime fiction.

da- excerpt

Water ran down the bathroom sink drain, stained red and then pink before finally running clear. Griffon splashed water on his face, clearing away spots of blood and bits of flesh and hair. He ran handfuls of water over his hair, slicking it back with his fingers before looking into the mirror over the sink. He turned his head from left to right, mesmerized by the return of normalcy to his features, then wiped the sink clean with his hands before turning off the water.

He grabbed a towel off the bar mounted to the wall and glanced at the slip of paper resting on the toilet tank. A Home Depot invoice with a photocopy of a returned check attached. He studied the name and address on the check copy while he dried his hands.

“Well, pleased to meet you, Mr. Hollister,” he chuckled, crumpling the papers and burying them beneath a pile of used tissues in the trash next to the toilet.

He froze, listening intently. Moving silently out of the bathroom, he slunk to the living room and stood still, listening. A light breeze blew in through the open windows, stirring the mesh curtains.  He turned to the front door and dropped into a crouch.  For a moment, the only sound came from the radio in the kitchen. Suddenly, the door crashed open, swinging from broken hinges. Tear gas canisters crashed through the window screens, filling the room with a haze of chemical smoke. Black-clad SWAT team members burst through the door frame in respirators and full body armor.  Beams of light crisscrossed the room from flashlights clipped under the barrels of their assault rifles.

Griffon whirled as the back door shattered and more SWAT officers swarmed in. Smoke rapidly filled the room.

“On the ground! On the ground now! Hands behind your head. Do it now!”

Griffin let his face go slack and complied.  One officer stood over him, the barrel of his M4 aimed at his head while another landed with one knee on his back and cuffed his wrists behind his back.

“We clear?” said the man aiming at Griffon.

“We’re clear,” said a voice from the kitchen. “Sir, you’d better come back here.”

The team leader stepped away from Griffon’s prone form, another officer immediately stepping into his place. He crossed to the kitchen where a group of officers were huddled, staring at something partially hidden by the door.

The walls and counters were bathed in streaks of blood and gore, running in the crazy patterns of a psychotic abstract painter.  Behind the island counter, a pair of nylon-clad legs protruded, ending in bloody knobs where they had been torn off at the knees. White bone and cartilage glistened under the florescent lights.

To call the room an abattoir would be an insult to abattoirs. Bits of flesh and muscle lay scattered across the floor and a slimy blood trail led around the corner to the side.

“Where’s the rest of her?”

“Something over here,” said another officer in a shaky voice, pointing at the sink.

The team leader walked to the sink, sidestepping the pools of blood on the floor.  He peered inside, ignoring the gagging sounds from the other men in the room. In the sink lay an eyeball, a gangly network of nerves still attached. The blue iris stared back at him, the whites shot through with a spiderwebbing of thin red lines.

“What the fuck did he do to her? Check the knives, power tools. Everything. Anything. There’s still a lot of body missing.”

“Sir,” said an officer standing at the edge of the blood trail at the opposite end of the kitchen. He vomited into an empty evidence bag and stepped back. The team leader edged the crime scene and peered around the corner.

“Aw, Jesus…”

Available at Amazon

About the Author

IMG_3026Connal Bain is a freelance writer and novelist living a peripatetic life in the Western United States. He has worked as a journalist, long-haul truck driver, short-order cook, labor organizer, and bookstore clerk, among other odds and ends.  Traveling from job to job around the great American West has provided him the opportunity to spend much of his free time writing, often gathering story and character ideas from his experiences on the road.

 

An avid reader from an early age, he became a horror and mystery enthusiast upon discovering a treasure trove of paperback originals in his parents’ basement in junior high school, beginning with John D. MacDonald and Manley Wade Wellman and working up through King, Herbert, and the late great Jim Thompson.

 

His fascination with all things dark and creepy grew as he expanded his tastes to the classics and the pulps, always finding pleasure in the genre at hand.  This brought him a great respect for the printed word, regardless of the merits of canonical “literary” value.  Always in search of a tale well-told, he began writing his own detective and supernatural horror stories in high school, and has been writing ever since.

Links:

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2q9Mai6

Blog: https://bit.ly/2CB0sQk

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OJemar

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2RaLPHg

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