Talking to Ourselves: Blogger-Turned-Author Christopher Lopez on His New Book
|Lopez's new book|
I recently got a chance to catch up with one of our very own writers, who's recently made an exciting jump, from journalist to novelist. His debut, Everything Howls, just went on sale. A horror novel full of blood, guts and suspense, it's set in a small snowdrift named Keme in upstate New York, where unspeakable murders are uncovered just as the worst storm in years blankets the town.
Hi, my name is Christopher Lopez, and I am that serial blogger-turned-author. Sounds like an introduction at a support group, doesn't it? Purely coincidental, I swear.
New Times: So, Christopher, this is your first attempt at fiction. How hard was the transition?
Lopez: To tell you the truth, Christopher, not hard at all. I think most who've read my work would agree; I'm full of shit half the time anyway.
You rely on humor a lot. Does that work in a horror story?
Well, this story's not really funny. Unless you find humor in disemboweling, dismemberment and other atrocities against humanity.
Um, OK. You set it in upstate New York, even though you're a South Florida native. South Florida isn't scary enough for you?
The inspiration came from an ancient Algonquin legend that I gave my own spin, and that's where their tribes originally settled. Not to mention, a blizzard makes a nice backdrop for a lot of grisly murders.
Besides, the rest of the country isn't prepared for the horror that is local politics and corruption, the 836 during rush hour, Miami drivers in general, or attempting to make sense of Hialeah.
...You're kind of a douchebag, you know that? This interview's done.
Can I at least finish plugging the book?
Fuck that. We'll run an excerpt:
Paul Franklin sat up in bed like a bolt, rolling his wife Betty over in the process. She'd been sleeping with her head on his shoulder and her arm draped over him, and she groaned in her sleep as her naked form fell from his.
He blinked, groggy and disoriented for a moment. Had he been having a bad dream? He didn't think so. He didn't remember it, if he had. But his chest and back were slick with sweat and his hair was damp. His breath came in harsh, frantic gallops and he felt dizzy. His head swam.
Then he heard the wind howling.He turned to look out their second floor bedroom window and saw snow already swirling in time with the rhythmic pant of the gusts.
The storm had begun. He peeled the covers back from his legs, which he discovered as the chill nipped at them, were also covered in sweat. He stood up and stepped first into his pajama pants, then his slippers. A shiver rippled through him, and he grabbed his nightshirt from the floor at the foot of the bed, where he'd slung it as he and Betty rolled into one another's warming embrace before going to sleep.
Paul made his way to the bathroom to relieve himself. When he'd finished, he looked in the mirror to see his own red puffy eyes staring back at him, and wondered how long they'd been asleep before the wind?
His nightmare woke him. He realized he hadn't checked the clock radio to see what time those little red glowing numbers displayed.
It was as he turned that thought over casually that he first noticed that, even from the bathroom, he could still hear the wind blowing.
"Must be one hell of a storm," he muttered, and went downstairs to the kitchen for some water. But when he reached the kitchen, the rear door, not the refrigerator, called his attention.
Paul stood at the French doors that led out onto the porch, shivering as he gazed at the mounting snowstorm. He started to shiver and wrapped his arms around himself, but it did little good. Soon his teeth began to chatter. From somewhere in the back of his mind came the complaint that they'd turned the heater on, that it shouldn't be this cold inside the house. But the part of his mind that was awake just missed the thought and it fluttered away before he could get his fingers around it. Just another snowflake in the big storm.
His body continued griping about the cold. But he didn't move away from the door. Instead he just stood there, watching the snow as it eddied in the wind. Round and round, over and under and back again. Paul paid little mind to the silver swirl of mercury illuminating the breeze.
He was too mesmerized by it to really notice it. By it, and the steady yawl of the wind.
The Storm had begun.
Christopher Lopez's debut novel Everything Howls is on sale now at Bad Moon Books.
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