The Pinch: Kevin Wallis

I’ve mentioned before about the nurses and how some of them are slightly sadistic. Well, today we get to meet an old friend of mine who just happens to work in the medical field and he likes to kill people, but not in real life. You know, because that would be bad and well, it is what it is. Sadistic, maybe? Yes, I do think so. Coming to the Donor Center today is Kevin Wallis, a master of the pinch.

Let’s talk Soulmates, why don’t we? Tell us about your novel, Mr. Wallis.

Soulmates developed from an idea I had for a story about 15 years ago. I was shooting pool with a buddy when the song Eulogy by Tool came on the jukebox. In the song is the line “Not all martyrs see divinity,” and over the next couple of hours I was more interested in the story idea that had popped into my head than in the game. I’m sure I won, but still.

Over the years I had filled countless notebooks with, well, notes on the story, but of course the final version turned out nothing like what I originally had planned. Basically it’s the story of a man who discovers through an act of violence that he cannot die, and how he reconciles this with his desire to one day see his deceased wife in the afterlife. There are others with this ability, and I tried to explore the vastly different ways people would handle having such a gift, and whether they would use their immortality to help or hurt.

I have had some people respond to this idea with, “Oh, it’s Highlander,” but let me just clear the record and say I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE DAMN MOVIE!

Soulmates is your first novel. Before releasing it you wrote mainly short stories. Why did you decide on a novel?

When I first came up with the Soulmates idea, I had not started writing seriously yet. I had dabbled in fiction since I was a kid, but this idea was so intriguing I decided to give it a try. So I wrote the prologue to the novel. Basically 35,000 words of crap. That’s right, 35,000 words on a PROLOGUE. (For you non-writer types, this comes out to about 125 pages. Of prologue.) I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. It took many more years of writing short stories, gathering hundreds of rejections, finally gaining enough experience to land a few professional sales, and eventually publishing an anthology of my stuff before I had the guts to try a novel. I still have the occasional short story idea pop into my head, still often inspired by a song I might hear (Chevelle’s Hunter Eats Hunter gave me a wicked idea a few days ago), but I want to focus mainly on novels now. Hopefully people will want to read them.

Julie Ann Dawson owns and runs Bards and Sages, the press that published Soulmates. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple stories published by Bards and Sages Quarterly, but I would think working with someone on a novel would be different than working with them on a short story. What was it like working with Julie and her staff?

Julie Dawson and Bards & Sages have been nothing but supportive and professional in publishing both Soulmates and my previous collection in 2010, Beneath the Surface of Things. When I originally contacted Julie, it was with more than a little trepidation because B&S had already rejected several of my short story submissions. But I figured this meant they had high standards and only published what they saw as exceptional works, and this is what I wanted. I had a bad experience with another publisher at another small press company before, which left me with a bad taste in my mouth concerning the entire process, but Julie has since eliminated any lingering doubts I had on the professionalism of some small presses. Plus, she decided to turn my work into audio books, as well, so this makes me do cartwheels of glee. Which is the title of my next book.

Any chance we get another novel from Mr. Wallis?

Definitely. Just not sure when. I have the first few chapters of a new one written but it’s been slow going. The next one isn’t so much a horror novel, but more of a suspense story. Knowing me, though, it’ll wind up being my sickest one yet. They always do.

One last thing: Do you enjoy giving people shots?

Only if the needles are dull and rusty.

Folks, Kevin Wallis is a cool dude with a love of needles and horror fiction. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with and alongside Kevin on various projects over the years. His short story collection, Beneath the Surface of Things is exactly as it sounds. He tried to get beneath the surface of the human persona and peel back the layers until exposing the true person inside.

Soulmates is a good, easy, fast-paced read that any fan of horror will enjoy. Check him out on Amazon and Bards and Sages Publishing at the following links:

Soulmates

Beneath the Surface of Things

Bards and Sages Publishing

In the Interest of Writing…

In the interest of writing:

Flash Fiction Chronicles, a website dedicated to flash fiction (obvious, right?) puts out a daily dose of advice on writing and publishing. It is owned by Every Day Publishing who also owns Every Day Fiction and Every Day Poets. You can subscribe to all three of the publications through your e-mail and get those daily updates with articles, stories or poetry (all three if you subscribe to all three).

I’ve found many of the articles at Flash Fiction Chronicles to be informative and entertaining. Does that sound like a cheesy infomercial to you? Just picture me holding a Shamway in a Snuggie while saying that…

There are several regular contributors to FFC and often times they are witty in their articles–I would be lying if I said I haven’t chuckled a time or a hundred while reading. My favorite of these contributors is Aubrey Hirsch. I like the way she writes and her Dating Advice for Writers is a terrific piece relating writing/submitting into dating terms, which I am sure all of us can relate to in one way, shape or form.

Oh and there’s one other tidbit that I would like to share about Flash Fiction Chronicles: they are always on the lookout for articles related to the writing business, whether it’s on the craft of writing or publishing or marketing. If you would like to write an article for FFC, check out their guidelines HERE

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My friend, Deborah Walker, has a postcard sized story titled Grandma’s Cottage up at Postcard Shorts. Give it a read if you will and explore the site for other stories under 250 words in length.

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Also, check out Belinda Frisch’s blog page, Belinda Frisch, Writer with a Dark Side. It’s informative, with great links to other blogs, and entertaining–a great combination. While you are at it, check out her novel, Dead Spell. It’s there on your left with links to the various places you can purchase it. You’ll like Belinda and you’ll enjoy her writing. Go ahead, check her out–I mean, the book. Come on, men, get your heads out of the gutters.

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Beneath the Surface of Things by Kevin Wallis is one of the best single author collections you will find this year. Twenty-five stories that tingle the spine. I’ve yet to read a negative review on this collection. Kevin is a tremendous author who continually crafts terrific story after terrific story. There is something for almost everyone in this collection. Pick one up today–you won’t be sorry.

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Normally I like to say something witty or leave you with a lasting impression. Today, I have nothing witty to say. Sad, I know. So, I’ll leave you with this: It’s time to get my sanity on…

Musings From the Week of October 16th through October 22nd

Musings from the week that was October 16th through October 22nd.  I will go ahead and warn you, there is some language in one or two of these musings, so if you don’t want to read, just skip to the next segment. 

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I hate having sick kids.  As any parent will tell you, sick children are pitiful, but they are also a TON of work.  I’m usually more exhausted after a day with a sick child, than I am from a typical day of work. 

I knew my son was feeling better when he came up to me and said, “Daddy, I’m going to beat you up.”

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My wife and I celebrated the 15th Anniversary of our first date this past week.  We went to Grecian Gardens, the place of that first date.  It was the 25th Anniversary of Grecian Gardens, as well.

We did not order dinner, but went straight for dessert.  Catherine ordered Baklava and coffee.  I ordered the chocolate cake and a glass of milk.  Thank God for milk—that cake was rich and I needed every drop of that mile to wash it down. 

Interestingly enough, quite a few folks watched us eat.  Yes, that’s right, people, we went straight for the dessert—forget real food, give me sugars and chocolates and a tall glass of milk, oh my… oh and can you please stop staring?

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I lamented a few months ago about men getting on elevators and doing stuff with their crotches.  Well, it happened again.  This time the gentleman was in a nice blue suit with matching tie.  Most men check their hair or make sure their tie is straight.  Nope, not this fellow.  He went straight for his crotch, adjusting it, pushing and shoving it until it was apparently in the right place, all the while staring into the mirrored doors.

He exited the elevator a moment later and I turned to the two women that were on there with me and raised my eyebrows. 

“He must have a hot date,” one of them said.

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I mentioned earlier about the 15th anniversary of Catherine and my first date.  We left Grecian Gardens and proceeded to go to Food Lion to get… well, milk, of course.  On our way out, milk and candy corn in hand, we noticed this rather large woman.  (Yes, I realize what I am about to say could be deemed insensitive, but come on…)  This woman was maybe five and a half feet tall.  She was also probably around 300-350 pounds.  That was not the issue, though.  I couldn’t care less about her weight.  The issue is what she was wearing. 

No, she was not wearing spandex—thankfully.

 No, her shirt wasn’t too tight.

No, she was not wearing a thong, as far as I could tell.  Again, thankfully…

What she wore was a green shirt that held two words on it:  The Pig. (yes, I know this is in reference to Piggly Wiggly, but when you are that height and weight, you may not want to wear THAT shirt.)

Yes, I could make many jokes about this, but I don’t want to risk appearing even more insensitive about this than I already to.  So, YOU can make your own jokes… Go ahead.  I’ll wait…

This could be considered a T-shirt FAIL… or maybe a WIN.  I’m not sure.  The only thing that was missing was the Food LION…

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I love this song by The Saw Doctors:

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HERE IS WHERE IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED BY LANGUAGE YOU SHOULD SKIP ON TO THE NEXT SEGMENT…

There is an inherent difference between men and women, other than the sex organs and other significant differences.  What is it, you asks?

Simple:  It’s the difference of how they react after they stab you.  Yes, that’s right.  Don’t asks how I know this or how I came to this conclusion.

When a man stabs someone, he may feel good about it for a minute or two, but then the innate fear of what he has done kicks in.  He then either flees the scene of the crime or tries to hide the body.  And men are really sloppy when it comes to hiding bodies.  They never quite think about everything…

However… when a woman stabs someone they’re proud of it.  Not just proud but damn proud of it.  And they will tell you so.

“That’s right.  I stabbed your ass.  What are you going to do about it?  Nothing.  ‘Cause I’ll stab your ass again.”

And if you are a guy and a woman stabs you, it’s worse.

“Go ahead, call the cops.  I’ll tell them too.  I stabbed you.  Go ahead, put me in jail.  When I get out, I’ll find you and stab you again.  Who’s the bitch now, bitch?”

Just think about it…

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With Halloween comes a new television series on AMC, The Walking Dead, based on the Graphic Novel of the same name…

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One last thing and I’ll be done for now.  Sue Babcock recently created a trailer for Kevin Wallis’ short story collection, Beneath the Surface of Things.

It’s a great collection.  You can check it out at Amazon or go straight to Bards and Sages Publishing at:  http://www.bardsandsages.com/kevinwallis

I’m done for now.  Check back next week and we’ll get the ball rolling again…