When I moved to Florida, people said “Aren’t you afraid of hurricanes?” I laughed. What were the odds?
In 2005, I got my hurricane. Actually, I got three. This triumvirate of terror ruined the entire summer for the state. All three hit my house. Hard.
A hurricane is an exercise in fear. Weather hits all the extremes; high wind, blinding rain, hail, tornadoes, waterspouts, floods. You always think your home is your literal castle, a concrete block fortress against animals, insects and the elements, the place to go to be safe. A hurricane tests those assumptions. At some point the awful realization hits: all that stands between you and the howling hell outside is a thin pane of glass. One flying branch shatters it, and inside becomes outside in seconds.
Just like you know the character in the hockey mask always kills again, you know the power to house is going to go out. You ride out the storm, watching the hurricane track on the TV news, just waiting for the inevitable blip of the screen and the plunging of the house into darkness. The arrival of that inevitable darkness is almost a relief.
Then the next clock starts running. How long will food in the refrigerator last? How much canned food have we got? Did we buy enough bottled water? You worry that the candles will burn down the house.
While the backyard fills with water, you realize that you are utterly powerless. You can’t muscle the storm away, you can’t reason with it. For the hours or days it thrashes your home, you are at its mercy.
In BLACK MAGIC, my May release from Samhain, a sorcerer calls forth a hurricane to level South Florida. The citizens of Citrus Glade go through hell to survive the storm. I’ve been told that the storm sections are harrowing. For this novel, I used that basic bit of writer’s advice: “Write what you know.” Buy yourself a copy and experience a hurricane the best way possible, vicariously.
* * * * *
In this magic shop the magic is real. And the trick is on you.
Citrus Glade is a dying town that needs new businesses, but the one that just opened is doing much more harm than good. Stranger Lyle Miller’s magic shop seems to only stock what its select customers desire. When four outcast boys buy common party tricks, only Lyle knows what those tricks can really do. As subtle changes occur around town, a few residents realize that something is amiss…and getting worse. But it may already be too late. Lyle’s black magic has empowered more townspeople to help him execute his Grand Adventure, a plan that will reduce the town, and half the state, to rubble.
Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.
After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic and Dark Vengeance. He has two short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Dreamwalker, releases in 2015.
His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.”