Friday, September 16, 2011
Stavros, welcome to Ramsey's Reviews. Thank you for taking the time to share a piece of yourself and your books. I have been looking forward to your interview for a long time and excited to finally meet the man behind the writing.

Tell us your latest news. Do you have any current projects your working on?
Yes, I’ve just released Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie tale of Revenge and this September the sequel to Blood Junky is coming out. So, I’m very excited about that.

I have been reading Blood Junky and the world building is amazing. There is so much detail to the main character's life that you feel as though you are really connected to them. When and Why did you begin writing?
It’s always been something that I’ve done.  I like to tell stories and create characters.  Though, I began writing poetry and short essays.  This started when I was in my early teens, and as I grew, sharing my work with friends, family, teachers, I noticed that they seemed to like what I wrote.  So, I continued to work on it.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Mostly, the idea springs internally and I research the rest.  Life experience adds a flavor and direction to any piece, but I like to get out of my head with a character or story and see where it wants to go.

What do you think makes a good horror story?
Good writing, good characters, and good situations.  Horror is so diverse that literally you could apply a broad technique.  As long as the piece is consistent and well written I’m hooked.

What is your favorite scary movie or book?
Too many favorite horror movies to mention really.  I grew up reading science fiction long before I got into horror, and then my horror tastes were limited to mostly werewolves and vampires.  Mostly werewolves.  But I read The God Emperor of Dune twice, and I love Patrick Suskind’s Perfume and Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Grey.  Of course, Dracula and Interview with a Vampire were seminal.  The works of Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, the Conan books, Isaac Asimov, and Sir Author Cannon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes were enjoyable and influential reads.

What makes you interested in the genre you write?
I love horror.  I grew up on it early.  My Dad used to wake me up at night to watch Creature Feature with him, so I learned at an young age to appreciate the strange and unusual.

When you were a child, what creature or story scared you the most? And did it propel your creative muse to write about it later?
Night of the Living Dead had me terrified.  I was too scared to walk through the house.  John Carpenter's The Thing made a deft impression, and I still love those special FXs!  I love all of those black & white Universal monster films and had model kits for all of them, including the Hunchback and Invisible Man.  And the Hammer films and all of Vincent Price’s movies fed my hungry for the macabre.  So, yeah, its fed the coffers of my creative muse.

Do you remember ever coming up with anything so wild that you scared yourself, leaving you to wonder where that came from?
I always wonder where it comes from, and give thanks to God.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory description and/or erotic content?
For me that’s easy.  It all depends on the nature of the piece I am writing and the characters involved.  I tend to write as my character thinks.  If a particular character is having sex or killing or disfiguring a person or plotting something wicked my motivations are all character based.  My personal interests and feelings about it are completely left out.

Could you share some of your blurbs or exerts with us?
When I buy a book I always read the first page.  So, here’s the first or so pages of each book.

Blood Junky:

Lin looked out over the tawdry lights of the city of lost angels.  A million pinpricks that filled the moonlit night with brilliant noise.  There’s no real dark anymore.  The earth is crowded; guttersnipes and trash.  Breathing smoke, a tattooed dragon on the slag stone balcony, she pulled hard from the cigarette.  Its glowing red tip briefly added to the twinkling as Santa Ana winds grabbed the ashen embers and ferried them through the streets like little glowing devils seeking fuel to ignite the desperate pith of the city.  The cancer-stick was stale, at least three years old.  Stuffed in a drawer the last time her thoughts fell on Dominique.
Dull bitterness, in mind and body, a steady ache; the smoky flavor sent spasms through her parasite in angry shudders.  It despised the smoke and pushed it out of Lin’s nostrils, screaming for blood.  Her thin, white robe floated on a breath of air.
From up here, where all the smog gathered around this west coast haven, in her castle in the sky, her deluxe apartment far from the throttle and choke of the world, she could hear the chaos clashing below.  Crushed under the soles of her bare, waxen feet, sounds drifted up to her.  Called to her.  Pleading for scant recognition, each lonely voice clamored in the din, each a single cell in the red tapestry proclaiming its mortality.  A cacophony: pointless conversations, bleating car radios, hookers on their knees in alleys, police thrusting a robber to the ground, a baby’s cry, a drug addict haggling price from the meager metal protection of an idling car, and an old man’s last breath – all circulated into the drumming mood of this sanguine night.

One hundred years ago it wasn’t like this.  The town still held some glimmer of magic.  Hell, it wasn’t like this fifty years ago.  But who’s counting?  Who even notices that the magic is gone, leaving in its wake the lingering remains of an extinguished black wick on an old dusty candle held waiting in the breast of one who still mourns its passing?  Lin sighed.  This used to be such a fun town.  Now there’s just too many people breeding like a damn disease, infecting every living cell, spreading out like a well-fed cancer. Viral.

Dreaming of bygone nights lit by the pale glamour of the same moon blinking down time after time, Lin placed her alabaster hands on the stone railing of the balcony terrace as she jettisoned the soft cotton cargo of the cigarette into the Santa Ana air.  She watched it tumble and turn, spiraling to the fetid street below.  The blood parasite within writhed along her spine and ribs.  It caused her jungle tattoo to quiver into inked life.  Toucans took flight across her back, into that blank spot where Lin was thinking of putting a city scene.  Nature vs Man.  The epitome of progress.  Living on the Pacific Ring of Fire, nestled into the big shoulders of skyscrapers and movie stars, it only felt right to finish the elaborate design with a monument to the civilized state.  Not until Three Hundred, though.  That’ll be a seminal year.  I will finish it then.
Lin curled a finger around the hand-carved spirits glass, swishing the red liquid within.  Her parasite, her Jadaraa Soo, wound around her wrist, pushed into her fingertips with love, and cradled the cup.  It was hungry.  It wanted to go out into the illumined night and drive its tendril features into a warm body.  It yearned, unceasingly, to be fulfilled.  Lin opened her mouth and kissed the cup for a hefty dose.  The parasite cringed at the blood’s cold temperature.  Withdrawing at first into its veiny legs, it receded back to its full girth, seeping throughout Lin’s body like a wave on a beach.  To the painted host, the chilled hemoglobin felt good against this warm, dry night.  It cooled her stillborn flesh and fucked with the Jadaraa Soo.  A ‘lil kick for the bastard to make her smile.  A not-so-brutal reminder to the beast within that she does what she likes despite what it wants.  Lin didn’t feel like going out tonight or calling The Service to have a Sanglant delivered.  So, this cold plate would have to do for them both.
A few seconds after ingesting the blood, the veins of her captor began to purr like a giant, caged cat.  Softly.  Just softly, mimicking the jungle beast tattooed on her left calf.  After all, blood is blood.  That’s all the thing wants: blood.  An endless cycle of self-consumption from the day that Lin let it consume her vital fluids, let the vile thing be born in her body, let the blood become beast and beast become being; the Jadaraa Soo ended one life, and began another.

“Blood.   Blood eats Blood.  That is the rule.  It is as simple as that.”

Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge:

Jamie Lund didn’t hear the splash when her body hit the water.  She didn’t feel the cold grip of swirling liquid engulf her or lift her back up to the surface minutes later.  Jamie never noticed a murder of crows perched on the railings of the dilapidated concrete bridge.  Or, the way moonlight reflected off their coal black wings, shimmered in the rippling river, or her wet hair.  Jamie Lund didn’t see, feel, or hear much of anything anymore.  Because, at twenty-two...Jamie Lund was dead.
The water carried her like a baby and birthed her to the grassy bank on the other side of the bridge.  A branch grabbed the black, mini-skirt she wore that night and held it against the tug.  A thousand ebon eyes watched her body drift and moor like a boat.  A cold wind bent the tall grass on the river’s edge and filled the night with wings.  Against the churning bubble and the damp lights of the city in the distance a cacophony of beaks erupted.  Caws like locust fell from the sky.
As if struck by a hammer to the chest, breath fueled Jamie’s lungs.  An awakening gasp burst through icy, cold lips and teeth that were filled with muddy leaves and liquid.  Jamie’s back arched and her head rose from the water with a jolt.  Her eyes were milky white and distant.  She sucked in a gulp of air with the grate of a straw searching for that last drop of soda under the ice; raspy like thorns – broken as the wind in the hollow of a tree.  Her arms pushed up and drove her hands deep into riverbank mud.  The chips and cracks in her once red polished nails were getting dirty.  Crows swarmed above her as a single mood.  She coughed the river from her throat and pulled her shaking body from the frigid wet.
Ebon eyes glared at the wretched girl from the sky, from the trees, and their concrete perch on the dilapidated bridge as she struggled with stiff limbs to drag her sore and aching body through the tall weeds to the road.  Jamie sat at the edge of the busted tarmac and looked around as her vision slowly tuned into her surroundings.  The moon smiled down on her, a faint yellow, illuminating a patch of earth that she had never known or been to before.  Nothing was familiar.  Everything felt wrong.  Fog peeled back from her memory like Russian dolls, opening into itself, getting smaller and smaller with the same affect, revealing nothing.  She didn’t know how or why she was here.  Worry blossomed inside her chest like a fruit basket.
She tried to call out.  To simply speak, to utter a sound, to work her feeble voice, but her throat burned hot nails all the way down her windpipe.  A tiny squeak parted from her icy blue lips and she placed a hand to her throat.  It was fraught with pain.  She struggled.  She worked her jaw to loosen her voice box, wind the organ up to play, but a flash of memory slammed into the back of her skull.  It shook her shoulders awake, repeating on a loop.  Scorching Jamie’s cerebral cortex, her eyelids fluttered.
 She was looking at herself in the freestanding mirror - getting dressed.  A column of jet-black hair fell past a bare shoulder, framing her pretty face.  She had a lithe, curvy shape, sensual lips, and thin fingers that pulled the zipper of her skirt up the side of her hip.  She turned the cute, little black number around so that the fastener was in the back.  She straightened her black lace bra, smiled, and then did her make up.  She was going out...

But, where?

Suddenly, Jamie felt wet and shivered.  Fear crept past her damp clothes and crawled under her skin as she lifted herself onto the road.  Every muscle rebelled.  Her knees argued at the thought of bending.  The joints in her fingers and elbows ached, popping with movement.  Her back felt as if someone had surgically implanted a slab of concrete and a blinding pain ran from her neck down her spine.  Her shoes were missing, toes numb, the sides of her feet scrapped along the busted edge of the tarmac as she rose crooked and wobbly onto two weak legs.  It was a horrible dream, unspooling limbs for the audience of the blackbirds.  Nothing was clear, nothing was familiar.  A dull ringing filled Jamie’s ears and she felt cold.  Bitter and deep, that sprang from her center.  Jamie Lund felt the cold that no one ever feels, but which, we’re all made to visit.  Somewhere vaguely in the coils of her mind the little lost dead girl was reminded that it was July.  Its not supposed to be this cold out!  Slowly, Jamie wrapped her arms across her chest and lumbered toward the distant lights of the city.

Might I say that you are truly an author who knows how to wrap one's soul around emotion. I will be reviewing Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge very soon. It's one book that I am dying to read. =) Where can your fans go to find more information about you and your books? – affectionately known as BMRH.  You can go beyond the books, download art and other fun stuff, read short stories and poetry, see artwork and illustrations, get tips on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, keep track of conventions and shows, buy cool stuff at the Arti(s)fact Store, and generally peek behind the wizard’s curtain to see how the magic happens.

Is there anything else additional you would like to share with your readers?
Thank you for reading.  I will write more.


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