Sue Vincent has very kindly asked me to write a piece for her site to introduce myself to WordPress. As a relatively newcomer to WP, I am staggered by the incredible kindness and welcoming warmth of the WP community and I thank Sue deeply for her invite.
Without any further to-do, I give you a glimpse into my life.
Considering what some folk out there endured, my childhood was rather normal. I grew up in rural Victoria, Australia with my mum, dad, brother, two cats and a dog. That said, there were notable differences between my childhood and a normal childhood. Where my friends listened to Take That and East 17, I listened to Pink Floyd and Nice Cave. My friends played sports and had ‘makeover’ sleepovers. I read Stephen King and wrote dark poetry. My friends watched Neighbours and Friends. I watched the X-Files and American Gothic. My point is, I was a little bit left of centre right from the get go, and when you’re a kid, being a little bit different means not fitting in.
So, in order to find a world where I did fit in, I wrote one. Then I wrote another. And soon, all I was doing was writing worlds and filling them with quirky, miscreant characters. I discovered a love for living in my head, a love that would follow me throughout my entire life.
Despite my love for writing, I was also drawn to the normal, accepted societal conventions of getting a job, getting married and making money. I knew early on that the convention “having kids” was not a convention I would ever follow, but I felt pressured to get the rest achieved as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, setting my sights on making money and getting a good job required a university education and I found myself walking down a path where writing was slipping further and further away.
Finally, in the beginning of 2017 I decided enough was enough. I was in a very high paying position, Disability Services Team Leader, with a management role on the horizon. I was good at my job and my organisation was very happy with my work, but my heart and soul were no longer in it. I wanted – I needed – to return to writing.
So, recently, I have massively downgraded my ‘day job’ to two days a week case management work (still in the disability sector), but I now have three days a week to dedicate to my writing, be that personal or freelance writing. With this extra time and newly found enthusiasm and motivation to write, I’ve picked up my proverbial pen again and begun what will be my first full length published novel, Guns of Perdition.
And with that segue, let me now introduce Guns of Perdition…
– It takes grace to hunt in the dark.
Johnny expects he’ll be forever cleaning up after the patrons of the Bad Hoss Saloon. Until the day when a drifter enters the saloon, blowing away a blood-sucking demon, along with Johnny’s belief in an everyday world. Johnny is captivated by the enigmatic Grace with her pearl-handled revolvers and feral wolf companion. He throws in his normal life to follow her across the Wild West as she hunts down and executes the evil souls who roam the frontier.
Along the way they seek the aid of a Native American warrior, a Cajun Madame, and a small town tycoon with gold-rush fever. Animosity and distrust run rife through the strange band of miscreants, but for the sake of vengeance they must unite if they’re to have any hope of finding and defeating the man responsible for setting their feet on the path of vengeance; The Darksome Gunman.
Guns of Perdition will be released in December 2017, and I will be announcing news, updates and the all-important cover reveal in subsequent months. I will also be seeking Beta readers in a month or so, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out for my call to action.
Finally, I would like to leave you all with an excerpt from Guns of Perdition.
“Looks like he was mauled!” Johnny called out when he trusted himself to speak.
Grace studied the dead man intently. Half of his face had been chewed off and his throat was a ruin of sinew and exposed muscle. His shirt had been ripped open and something had gnawed through to his ribcage. One nipple was completely gone and a good amount of flesh had been stripped from his belly. A string of intestines spilled out from the hole like sausage links.
“Not so much mauled as chewed on like a piece o’ jerked beef.” Grace said as she stood up. She withdrew one of her Smith & Wesson’s and stepped up to the closed double doors of the whitewashed church. A dark spray of blood stained the pretty paintwork.
“Chewed? Like by some kine’ o’ mountain lion?” Johnny glanced around nervously and nearly dropped the Colt.
“Chewed… by somethin’.” Grace said quietly.
She reached out and placed a gloved hand on one of the church doors. She pushed but something was barring the way. She put her shoulder to the door and heaved. Both doors gave way and swung open. Grace was knocked back by a wall of fetid stench. The sinking sun outside bathed the dark church in fiery orange light. The inhabitants stilled against the sudden stab of sunlight and turned to the doorway. Grace looked on a score of hunched, squalid figures that looked back at her with round white eyes. Skin sloughed off their bodies and the clothing that still clung to them hung like rags. Some were in a more advanced state of decay and had lost limbs, leaving bones protruding from blackened, festering stumps. They all stopped what they were doing and fixed their white eyes on Grace. One opened a glistening mouth and a chunk of partially chewed meat plopped out and landed on the floor with a splat. The creature’s jaw creaked loose and tumbled down to the ground to thunk beside the chewed morsel. The sound of its own jaw coming loose seemed to startle the creature and it suddenly unleashed a ragged throat-rending roar from deep in its chest.
“Lord’s sake!” Grace breathed and unloaded two bullets into the ruined, putrefying face of one of Coppercross Creek’s thirty-three strong populace. The thing’s head exploded in a shower of gore and it went down heavily, flipping over a church pew and squashing another hulking figure. The remaining ghoul-like folk roared, their white eyes flaring with feral hatred, and began scrabbling towards Grace. She fired into the horde as she backed out of the church. A hand suddenly grabbed her leg and Grace jerked. The corpse outside the door looked up at her with opaque eyes and opened its mouth and snarled. Its tongue lolled out hungrily as it clawed at her leather pants. Grace sucked in a sharp breath and fired at the corpse. The thunder from her six-gun shattered the thing’s skull and Grace yanked her leg free from the twitching hand and spun around. She bounded down the path and cried, “Johnny! Cut out!”
Johnny started to swing around to Paul but he stopped dead as he caught sight of movement from the church doors. His mouth dropped open in horror as the good folk of Coppercross Creek writhed out the doors, scrambling over one another in their haste to get to Grace. To get to fresh meat.
Thanks again to Sue for inviting me to introduce myself, and to the WP community at large. You guys have taken a wandering delinquent in and treated her with untold kindness and warmth. I thank you so much for that!
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