Tag Archives: Brent Abell

Guest Post: Brent Abell

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The Music of Our Literary Worlds

Brent Abell

Every movie has a soundtrack. Each scene is brought to life by the tunes playing in the background during a fight, a love scene, or the climactic ending. Books can be the same in that regard. When I write, I have my headphones on and I’m rocking out to whatever metal song comes out of the shuffle. There may be some rock, but metal is my poison.

When I wrote The Calling, I had to step back and think about the time period I was writing in. The novella isn’t set in the present, so I had to try to go with what the sounds of the time were. Most of the year was dominated by pop and the birth of Nu Metal, but here are the ten songs I put on a track list and why they helped me to set the mood for The Calling.

  1. Aerosmith – Living on the Edge: I love Aerosmith and I felt this was a good song to listen to in the book’s opening chapter. Ashley has to come face-to-face with the entity she’d been running from, living on the edge since she escaped it the last time.
  2. Soundgarden – Fell on Black Days: I miss Chris Cornell already and this song is Frank Hill during the entire book. He never seems to be in a good spot as White Creek’s sheriff and the events of the book really fit with the vibe of the song.
  3. Slayer – Serenity in Murder: Something is killing people in White Creek and when I got to places where a death was about to happen, I put this on to set my mood. I can imagine the killer would like this song too. It is dark and moody with a good kick to the teeth.
  4. Tom Petty – Mary Jane’s Last Dance: There is a scene with some death and this is the song I heard playing in the car as people died. There seems to be a theme here…
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Hurt: This is another song I had in mind for Frank while he sits alone on Thanksgiving Day. Over all, I wanted the reader to feel the isolation and responsibility Frank puts on himself to protect White Creek and how those same feelings influence his decisions later in the book.
  6. BlackHawk – Every Once and a While: Telly’s sits on the outer edge of the town and is really a blue-collar bar where the workers of the town go to drink beer and listen to some country music on the jukebox. This was a song from around the same time and brought back all kinds of high school memories.
  7. Garth Brooks – The Night Will Only Know: This was the other song I picked for Telly’s and if you listen to it the second time Carl visits the bar, you get a sense of where things are heading. While released in 1993; this song was a favorite of mine too because of how dark the song is and really nobody has a happy ending in it either.
  8. Queensryche – I am I: The guys from Queensryche are another of my favorite bands and this song is a perfect one for the book. Who are we? Well, I am I and I can be nothing else but I. The book deals with identity and how we can only be what we are intended to be in the end. We can run and hide from our true nature, but somehow, the real us comes out in the end.
  9. Warren G featuring Nate Dogg – Regulate: When I imagined Prater being out on patrol in the book, I heard him listening to this song and trying to rap along with it. Of course, he does a horrible job, but it helps him get through those cold nights in White Creek.
  10. Megadeth – A Tout Le Monde: When they released this song in 1994, the video was banned from MTV because they thought the song represented suicide. The song is more about coming to the end of your life and saying goodbye with dignity and respect for those being left behind. There are many journeys ending in The Calling, but for Frank Hill, his life is only now beginning. I felt this was the perfect song for him to have playing in the background when he says his last goodbyes in the end.

So, if you have some of these tunes handy, listen to them while you read the book and see if you agree with how they were used in my head. Maybe someday we’ll be able to watch the movie adaptation together and listen to the same songs on the big screen. I like soundtracks…

 

The CallingBrent Abell

Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard.  As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.

Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.

White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.

As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!

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Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.

Facebook: Brent T. Abell

Twitter: @BrentTAbell

Blog: https://brentabell.wordpress.com/

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Blog Hop With Armand Rosamilia

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Brent Abell (http://brentabell.wordpress.com/) was kind enough to pass me these questions along, and I am honored to answer them. Then I will choose three authors at the end to keep it going, and answer the questions themselves…

Questions for Armand Rosamilia

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What are you working on right now?

 

Besides keeping my weight over 300 lbs.? I am in the midst of Dying Days 3, my continuing zombie story. I should have the first draft done by May 1st and then it goes to the editor, with a late June release planned. I’m also working on 16 other stories at once, too…

 

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How does it differ from other works in its genre?

 

It is just better. OK, maybe it isn’t… but I like writing it, and other people like reading it so far. And it has zombies in it. But it’s more about the people. But it also has zombies in it.

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What experiences have influenced you?

 

I think you need every experience to influence you, either good or bad. As a writer I’m constantly people watching and committing conversations or ideas to memory. Monday, for instance, I witnessed a sixty year old woman breaking up with her fifty year old boyfriend because his kids are ‘animals’, as she put it. I eavesdropped on the entire conversation, and added a character or two to a future story.

 

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Why do you write what you do?

 

I can’t help it. I have always read horror and been fascinated by apocalyptic ideas and stories, so zombies are just another means to an end (pun intended). The old adage ‘write what you know’ applies to what you read a lot of as well. I’ve read a ton of horror books in my life so far.

 

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How does your writing process work?

 

Better some days than others. I set a daily goal of 2,000 words and then attempt to get there between 8 am and noon Monday through Friday, and get up early on the weekends and hit my goals before the kids are fully awake and bothering me to eat.

 

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What is the hardest part about writing?

 

The daily discipline. Some days I just want to play on Facebook and push it off until tomorrow. But then I know my goal for tomorrow will be 4,000 words and I’d be rushing. So I bust my butt to get it done. Or else.

 

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What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

 

Getting out of my comfort zone completely. I’d love to write a romantic comedy or a straight action thriller, or maybe even a historical dramatic piece. I’ve dabbled in erotica and enjoyed it, and I know straying too far away from horror might piss off my fan base, but I will eventually expand my range.

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Who are the authors you most admire?

 

Anyone who braves the rejection and fear and just writes and completes a story. I run into so many people who swear they are going to write, and so many more who have something incomplete. Rare do you find someone who finished a story and submitted it or published it themselves, and then kept writing. I have over seventy stories/novellas/etc. on sale right now, and my goal is fifty times that… and that would be a lot of stories! (I can’t figure out the math on that)

 

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Who are new authors to watch out for?

 

I was recently in the Fifty Shades of Decay anthology, and I found some amazing authors in there I will be reading more of. Some might not be new to you, but to me they are. I love when I read someone’s work and it blows me away and I have to pile on their back-list and catch up.

 

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What scares you?

 

Fear of losing you… and dogs. Maybe dogs more.

 

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Thanks for taking the time to read this senseless crap. If you want to read even more senseless crap, next Wednesday go over to see authors Tim Baker (http://blindoggbooks.wordpress.com/), Tonia Brown (www.thebackseatwriter.com) and Lisa Woods (http://LisaWoodsWrites.com) as they answer these fascinating questions and try to outdo me with my subversively interesting answers.