04 January 2013

Guest Post & Excerpt by Joseph Spencer, author of Grim!


Joseph Spencer began writing non-fiction for regional daily newspapers in Peoria, Il., Burlington, Iowa, and Grand Junction, Colo., shortly after graduating from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. After an award-winning ten-year career as a print journalist, he switched careers to work in public safety at a 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center in Peoria, Il.
He missed writing four years ago when he switched professions and began developing and writing his first fiction project, his debut novel Grim, released by Damnation Books in Sept. 2012. Grim is the first book in the planned Sons of Darkness series of paranormal crime thrillers set in the corrupt fictional town of Prairieville. His sequel, Wrage, is finished and moving to editing stage with a planned release in late 2013.
From the author
My stories attempt to blur the line between crime fiction, horror and paranormal genres. In Grim, the title character Heath Grim is written with more of a suspenseful horror slant. He’s possessed by a supernatural entity bent on hunting down and executing killers for their crimes against the souls of innocent victims stuck in spiritual limbo.
The detective character Adam White is written with a traditional crime angle. He’s a paragon of justice in a town which is rotten to its core. He battles an organized crime boss who uses a casino as a front to launder his dirty money, corrupt politicians and the guilt he feels for being unable to solve his wife’s murder.
Grim and White soon find out they’ve got more in common than they could’ve imagined. As White investigates a series of murders leading him to Grim, he’s got to choose between his humanity and his obsession for avenging his wife. Grim, who has made his choice long ago, forces White into an ultimatum which will change his life forever.
People often ask me about my inspiration for my work. I write dark and gory fiction because I assist emergency responders every day in my public safety job which exposes me to an up close and personal look at the criminal element. I try to make the personalities of my police characters similar to officers I work with on a daily basis.
I believe the choices people make have a tremendous impact and often shape their lives. When I write a story, I try to reflect my belief. I present characters with a choice in how they’ll react to a situation, and their decision sets in motion a chain reaction of events which dramatically alters them and their environment.
Grim will always hold a special place in my heart because I wrote it with no expectation. It started as a challenge. I’d always told myself I’d write a novel some day, but kept putting it off. I worked extremely hard, a couple pages a day, for a few years in the writing and publishing process and made it happen. Damnation Books accepted the manuscript the day after I got married in March of 2012. I’ll never forget the feeling.
I’d encourage anyone with a story in their heart to hammer away at their keyboard. The creative process provides a thrill you can’t simulate doing anything else.  

Title: Grim
Series: Sons of Darkness Series, Book 1
Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Crime, Dark, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller,
Publisher: Damnation Books
Paperback/Ebook
Words: 93,000


Book Description:

When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what's most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife's murder, and become the type of killer he's hunted for so many years?  

Excerpt:


Adam heard a few sounds of Velcro peeling from its straps. Suddenly, Black Mask shed the mystery and ambiguity of his head gear. He became another mystery altogether. What happened to this guy? He looked like he’d seen hell, escaped, and doctored his face to give everyone else on Earth a preview.
Black Mask obviously suffered from rosacea because his skin was inflamed, swollen, and the angriest shade of red Adam had ever seen. A jagged circular scar similar to a clock face ran from Black Mask’s forehead down his cheeks to his chin. A vertical scar ran straight down the middle of his forehead and along the bridge of his nose. Two horizontal scars extended from the side of his nose and curved upward toward the temples. Two additional scars extended outward at angles from just under his nose, across his lips and ended on either side of his chin. All of the scars connected to the outer circular one like spokes to resemble a starfish shape. Adam struggled not to have any reaction, but failed to keep the corner of his mouth from inching up into a grimace.
Black Mask smirked and put his right hand up to his face. He pretended to be admiring himself in the mirror. “It’s okay, Detective. Your reaction is fairly common and a lot more subdued than most. Of course, I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrors in your line of work.
“So, you want to know the tale of Heath Grim, do you?”

About the Author:

INTRO
Joseph Spencer is the author of the Sons of Darkness series launched by his debut novel, Grim, on September 1, 2012. Work on his second book of the series, Wrage, is already underway and is expected to be released some time in 2013.

THE ROAD HERE
The Sons of Darkness is a series of paranormal crime thrillers following investigations into mysterious deaths in the central Illinois city of Prairieville. Home of the notorious serial killer, The Reaper, Prairieville has had a history of violence centered on an ongoing feud between the Marino and Black organized crime families. When bodies start showing up again at the abandoned Marino State Hospital, many fear the Reaper has returned. The people of Prairieville are about to find out their problems stem from a supernatural source which has lurked in secret for decades.

THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.

Website | Twitter: josephspencer00 | Facebook |

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