The De Sols: Backstory

I started writing about the De Sol family on, or around, the year 1996. It started with AOL RP rooms, and I brought out a table top character I put together once: Gabrielle De Sol. Originally, she started out as my dominatrix vampire. (Hey, I said it was for fun!) She evolved … I evolved … and the story of the De Sols came to fruition. A huge family tree blossomed, I recruited more people to play characters, and eventually … the “saga” was born.

The De Sols are a noble family. Mother De Sol was the goddess of the sun, and Father De Sol was Lord of Dragons and God of the moon. A star-crossed love brought them children, happiness, death, and destruction.

Before UNDERWORLD. Before GAME OF THRONES (TV). My love for dark fantasy took root in this simple concept: A family who was hunted by those who didn’t understand the love of two souls who were never meant to come together. It is a dark story, it is a story of Shakespearean tragedy. But overall? It’s the heart of who I am, and who I became, as a writer.

Some of the influences for Gabrielle were characters like “Razor” (comic book), and of course, there would be no roleplay without my love of D&D. Dragons, Drow, Trolls, Goblins … I love them all. Creatures with an epic story to pull you in, to lose yourself for a little while, and characters who become a part of you forever-those are the stories I love.

I write horror but I always mix an element of fantasy or science fiction to it. I feel it adds color and depth to the formula. With that in mind, I’ve decided to give you the De Sol Storyline, here. In the coming weeks, you’ll see it evolve, you’ll see the changes in real time. Hopefully, you feel a part of its process and growth. Feel free to comment and offer suggestions. Even if I don’t take the suggestions, it helps more than you know.

Until then … May the light fill the darkness and show you the way.

Artwork by Dorian Cleavenger

Something New

I’m going to try something new. Because my time is so limited, there are times I only get a few words in at a time. So, once a week I’ll be adding a piece of a story here. You can follow, or you can binge when it’s done … or don’t read it! (I hope you will, and comment with feedback 🙂 )

What do you think?

If I’m brave, I’ll try designated days. No Patreon, just free reading.

The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride

http://www.unfleshed.com

#amreading #amwriting #horror #womeninhorror #Halloween #Giveaway

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Young Morrigan, the daughter of a local aristocrat, is full of innocence and life. Angus Wulfe is an eccentric and devious doctor who stalks her while he cultivates a plan to win her affection. Their two worlds collide in a grisly twist of fate when the Plague arrives on the shores of their town. With no cure in sight, and bodies dropping incrementally every day, the doctor uses his influence, along with his reputation in medical advances – stemming from his clandestine and macabre experiments-to manipulate Morrigan’s father. In return for her hand in marriage, the doctor would save her life. Clinging to life, Morrigan begins to feel a change. Has the doctor cured her, or did her father make a deal with the Devil?

♦◊Win your own copy on GoodReads


 

Lisa Vasquez proves with her novel “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride” she is a writer of nightmarish vision and a new, poetic voice in today’s horror genre. Her prose sings like a sonnet while driving the knife of dread ever further into her reader’s imagination. In her villain, Angus Wulfe, Vasquez has created someone so dastardly and surgical in his malevolence he lives and breathes on the page. I also hope to see Wulfe again in another installment, if possible, as I was sorry to see the book come to a close. Wulfe is as terrifying in his polished yet sociopathic intent as Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter. “The Unfleshed” sets the standard for the modern horror novel, and raises the bar quite high!

– Peter Molnaron, Author

A copy of The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Lisa Vasquez in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Stitched Smile Publications.

It has been quite a while since I have read anything from Lisa Vasquez. I think this is a combination of me being busy and Lisa being hellish busy setting up Stitched Smile Publications. I have been watching from the wings and this press is putting out some rather nice titles.

The first book I read of Lisa’s was The Unsaintly. I really liked it but it didn’t tick all the boxes for me so I was hoping for a bit more from The Unfleshed.

This is what I thought.

The year is 1348. The Plague is ravaging everything in its wake. In London, Doctor Angus Wulfe is convinced he can find a cure. For this, everyone thinks him a saint. Little do they know the level of depravity that goes on behind his closed doors.

He is in love with Morrigan. When she becomes infected, Wulfe convinces her father that he can save her, as long as he consents to giving Wulfe her hand in marriage.

Is he really Morrigan’s salvation, or is he really going to cause the total destruction of London.

In terms of characters in this one, Angus Wulfe is without doubt the main one. In the times, he is known as an upstanding member of society, purely because he is a doctor. No one truly understands the level of evil lurking inside this man. He is one of the characters I have hated most in my reading career. His sidekick, Marshall, goes along with most of the bad things Wulfe does. But he has a conscience at least. It’s a case of being too afraid to do the right thing. Morrigan is the beauty in this tale opposite Wulfe’s beast. Coming from a well to do family, she is well respected and lusted after by many. She was destined for bigger and better things before the plague hit.

There are a host of other characters that all play their parts extremely well in this tale, but I want to talk more about the writing than the characters in this one.

The plot is simple. Wulfe loves Morrigan but doesn’t stand a hope in hell of ever getting her. Until she gets ill, and he cons her father into his consent to their marriage. He takes Morrigan back to his pad and……….

It sounds simple. It actually sounds a bit like a chick flick, doesn’t it? Ugly boy falls in love with beautiful girl who wouldn’t normally go near him and they end up together. The sort of film you could watch with your mother.

Oh, how very wrong you are!

The previous book I read from Ms Vasquez was very deep. It was confusing at times and the story took a bit of getting used to in terms of how everything came together in the end.

Not this baby. This is horrible. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean it in the most positive way possible. Lisa Vasquez has a really nasty streak in her, in terms of her writing. The previous book was centred around a wholesome girl. This one is centred around, as I said earlier, a character that I hated more than most I have ever read about. He is vile. He is evil personified. If he was standing beside the person you most hated in the world and you had a gun with two bullets and were allowed to shoot them both, you would put both bullets in Wulfe.

The clever thing about this? You wouldn’t hate him as much if it wasn’t for the way Lisa Vasquez has written him. This can only point to one thing. This girl writes good!

The story itself is simplistic, there are no two ways about that. It has the possibility of turning into a rather stale tale but Ms Vasquez keeps the story entertaining and revolting at the same time. Each time you think it is going to go lame, she introduces something else and takes it back to the horrific side of things again by introducing some scenes that I would not like to read whilst eating.

The story develops very well into a fast-paced race against time, for both Wulfe, and those against him.

So why not full marks then? There were a couple of things that I found to be a little off-putting, for want of a better phrase. Even though it is made clear that this story is set it 1348, it felt, to me anyway, like the times got a little bit mixed up. There were a couple of occasions where I found myself believing this was set much later in history and it pulled me out of the story a bit. I have a feeling that I will be the only person alive to think this when reading the book but I need to be honest after all.

I also was a little disappointed in the ending. Again, I am probably being over critical but it felt as if it ended very quickly. A bit rushed.

Putting that aside though, this is a crackin book. Lisa Vasquez has taken some interesting facts from our history and given them a distinctly evil twist, turning this story into a style of horror that some of our ancestral horror writers would be very proud of, if they had written it.

To summarise: a horror tale set in olden times that will thoroughly entertain you while turning your stomach and having you scream for someone to kill the bad guy the whole way through.

General rating:
★★★★ enjoyed this one.

Horror rating:
★★★★ certainly scary.

‘The Unfleshed’ is definitely the scariest thing I’ve read this year. I pride myself on my de-sensitivity to violence and my ability to stomach even the most macabre Rob Zombie flick- but this shook me a little.

From the very first page Vasquez drops us into the proverbial and she doesn’t stop hitting us with gore until somewhere after the second chapter. This is not a ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ horror, nor is it a build-you-up-for-five-hundred-pages slow burner. ‘The Unfleshed’ hits you in the face on page one and doesn’t let you go until long after you realise you are dealing with a serial killer. Hard hitting is an understatement. Reading it is almost a dare…you dare yourself to turn the page, you dare yourself to finish the chapter…It would seem that if you want a good scare you need to get this woman to do it.

The cold depth of the male antagonist gives a fresh approach to the serial killer genre. A true killer- an evil maniac; is not Dexter. He is not approachable and friendly, he is not warm and fuzzy and he does not make you laugh. Vasquez has somehow managed to capture the monster without making us want to throw up all over the page. Great work lady, keep paving the way for women in horror.

And one last thing… Do not read this before you go to bed.

– Katriona E MacMillan
(author: Edelwiess; Dark Science )

Interview With Drew Avera

I had the distinct pleasure if getting into the mind of Author Drew Avera. If you haven’t had a chance, please stop by his page and check him out. Many of his books are free (there’s a link to follow at the end). Thank you, Drew. I appreciate you spending some time with me this week!

Tell us a little bit about you and what you’re working on right now. 

My name is Drew Avera and I’m an active duty navy veteran and self published author. I write science fiction and urban fantasy.

Do you have a writing style? Or do you think it changes with each new book you write?

I prefer to write in first person and try to keep things in suspense as much as I can. My chapters tend to be fairly short and move fairly quickly. I joke that I write action packed thrillers for the attention deficit lol.

What’s your favorite “writing soundtrack”?

My go to album is Sci Fi Crimes by Chevelle, but I mostly listen to the following bands while I write: Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, Chevelle, Pillar, Red, and there’s a few more that I’m forgetting.

Who is the first person you look for feedback from whenever you finish a book?

It varies based on genre. I have a narrator I work with who is doing most of my books so h consistently reads my books. His name is Al Kessel so look him up if you’re in the market for a narrator. I have a few friends who like different series I write who might read them if they have time. Most of them are writers too working on their own books. I try not to take advantage of them because then they might get behind on their own work. I’m always looking for beta readers who are excited to read books before they are available and want to help make the book better.

If you couldn’t write anymore, what would be your next “go to”?

I’ve been playing guitar for seventeen years and I’ve been in a few bands. I would probably go back to that. Though, playing for free in a stinky bar for a bunch of drunks isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. I miss playing the good venues in my area, but most of them have closed or gone under new management.

Let’s get into some deeper stuff and really get to know one another. What are two things that you hope to accomplish before your time is up on this earth? Have you already accomplished those things?

I want to write several hundred books/stories that people can connect with and I want to set my children up for success. My childhood was rough and I want to preserve them from the same hardship I faced. I joined the navy as a way to escape and it would break my heart if my kids did something similar.

If you could go back in time to do one thing over, what would it be and why?

I would start writing earlier. I was thirty years old when I started. Imagine if I started at twenty instead…

Are you a night person or day person? Do you think this affects your creative flow?

I’m a day person primarily because of my job in the navy. I go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 4am. I would prefer to have a schedule that allows me to stay up later, but a guy needs his beauty sleep lol.

What’s the best compliment a fan has ever given you?  Now tell us the worst thing a “fan” or someone who has read your book has ever said, and then tell us how you overcame it?

Most of the good reviews are where people understand what the story was about. There’s always an underlying story to any book and when people get it, it’s pretty radical to me.

I’ve had some bad reviews on my book Reich. It has a swastika on the cover and that has negative connotations to many people. Hitler was a murderer and a whack job, but evil has many faces and that’s what the book is about. It’s a story without heroes, not white supremacy or any of that bs.

I tend to ignore reviews that aren’t constructive. If it says “this book sucks” then I roll my eyes and move on. If it says “there was a lot of misspelling in this book” then I run through the file and try to correct everything I can find. I once uploaded a draft copy without realizing it, it did not make it past a reviewer though, so I fixed it.

What can we expect out of your stories? Do you leave us with cliffhangers? Unhappy/Happy endings? Do you kill off main characters?

Different things depending on the series. I want to leave you with an element of suspense at the end of a book, but it needs to have a satisfying ending. I’m not afraid to kill off characters as long as it fits the story. Some of my books are really dark, but there is always a glimmer of hope in there…somewhere.

If you could play one character on The Walking Dead, who would it be? Who would you have killed first?

I’d be Daryl Dixon, but most people would say that I think. I grew up in Mississippi and know how to use a weapon. I’m also suspicious of things that seem too good to be true. I would question everything and probably pull the trigger first and ask questions later if my group was in danger.

Anything else you’d like to share before we wrap this up?

I’ve got a bunch of free titles available right now so definitely take advantage of it while you can. I’m trying to reach one hundred reviews on those books before I pay for ads. Strike the iron while it’s hot. You can get them at www.amazon.com/author/drewavera

I also have some “The Story Behind the Story” posts in my blog which can give you a behind the scenes look at where my stories came from. You can find them at www.drewavera.wordpress.com

Thank you for checking me out.