December 17, 2012

Top 10 with Authors Brian Palmer & Jason Rowe {& excerpt from XII}

Today I have not one BUT 2 Authors participating in Top 10.
Please welcome the writing duo Brian Palmer & Jason Rowe.

First up is Brian Palmer...
1. fav movie/actor/actress? Wow, this question is brutal! So many great ones to choose from on all fronts. :) I'm going to cheat a little here and give my favorite movies based on their respective categories: The Shawshank Redemption (drama), Demolition Man (dystopian), Wonder Boys (film centered around the literary world), Se7en (thriller), Dumb & Dumber (comedy), The Cutting Edge (rom-com), Harry Potter (young adult), Star Wars (series), Lord of the Rings (fantasy) and a toss-up between Inception, Looper and Memento for the most genre-bending mindjob ever shown on screen. Favorite actors: Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Nathan Fillion, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Favorite Actress: Sandra Bullock, Keira Knightley, Helen Hunt   

2. fav song/singer? This one's probably even worse! Rock, jazz, electronica, film scores...I enjoy most styles of music as long as it isn't rap or anything that would even remotely be considered country. Here are my best guesses - Song: "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis; Singer/Musician: BT

3. fav place you would love to visit? I think it would be fun to go to Four Corners, that way I could actually say I've been in four places at once, just for fun! 

4. one item you can not live with out? Does air count? :) Aside from that, I'd say my laptop.

5. who would you like to meet?(dead or alive) Jesus

6. fav hobby? Watching hockey, baseball, football or soccer

7. guilty pleasure? Heh, probably fast food!

8. fav author and/book? My favorite author would be a tie between Langston Hughes and Michael Chabon; and I'm not going to say that this is my favorite book (again, there are SO many!), but no piece of fiction has ever struck such a chord with me and stuck in mind for days like the climax of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game did. I had to chew on that ending for days before I could accept how brilliant it was.

9. do you collect anything? Signed copies of old or limited edition books. Also, signed copies of CDs.

10. fav color? I feel like this changes by the day. Deep blue, red and forest green are always jockeying for the top spot in this category. 

Now we have Jason Rowe...
1. fav movie/actor/actress? Star Wars

2. fav song/singer? I love a lot of music ranging from Mozart to Metallica - depends on my mood

3. fav place you would love to visit? Australia (Italy is favorite place I've been)

4. one item you can not live with out? Love ...or Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

5. who would you like to meet?(dead or alive) My father
6. fav hobby? Writing

7. guilty pleasure? ...did I mention Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream?

8. fav author and/book? C.S. Lewis / the Bible (I don't think a lot of people realize how many epic stories there are!)

9. do you collect anything? Sports & Film Memorabilia

10. fav color? Black (if that doesn't count because it is technically the absence of color ...then Red)

Get in touch with these guys here...

Official website:


Official Facebook:

Official Twitter: @RowePalmer

Brian's Facebook:

Brian's Twitter: @Brian_C_Palmer

Jason's Facebook:

Jason's Twitter: @DigitalDigmInc

Now an excerpt from the book....

Population Center-New York: October 31, 3 N.E., 11:48 p.m.
The air is biting cold beneath a crimson moon as citizens of PC-NY prowl the streets in search of self-gratification. At the center of Times Square, a forty-foot effigy of a man on a cross continues to burn, casting an eerie, orange-red glow on nearby residence towers.
            Around the fire’s perimeter, men with painted faces and torsos bloody each other as part of the holiday fight club festivities, while others guzzle homemade whiskey, howling at the moon between mouthfuls. Women dressed in little more than body paint gyrate to the drone of seductive, primal music, their bodies covered in sweat from the heat of the fire while others engage in sexual acts for all to see. Most of those present are sporting an erotic-themed, Egyptian crest somewhere on their bodies, whether in the form of a tattoo or jewelry.
            A few city blocks away, a runt of a man exits a run-down, all-night food stand, clutching a small bag to his chest nervously, his sunken eyes darting back and forth down the dimly lit street. Lighting a serenity stick, he takes a couple of drags before shuffling off to his right, away from the raucous activities taking place a mile or so in the other direction. Moving fast enough to make good time, but not daring to run for fear of drawing attention to himself, he keeps his gaze fixed on a crosswalk that is only ten strides away.
Two strides short of his objective, a small group of painted men steps into his path from behind the edge of a nearby building. Even in the dark, their bald silhouettes cause the serenity stick in the man’s hand to tremble as adrenaline rushes through his veins. A member of the group steps into a small strand of light from a fading streetlight and the man goes pale at the sight of his would-be assailant’s coal-black eyes, surrounded by sockets full of ruptured blood vessels.
The man turns away in an all-out sprint, desperately looking over his shoulder after a few strides, only to find that his pursuers are merely walking after him. Hope courses through him briefly and he quickens his pace, but when he faces forward again a moment later a second group steps out from the shadows, blocking his escape from the first. Corralled from both directions, the man throws the bag at his attackers in a panic, hoping the sacrifice will suffice, but it is trampled as the two groups soon overwhelm him.
            While the small mob satisfies its bloodlust, a jet black patrol vehicle comes to a silent stop at the curb behind them. The nose and rear of the vehicle are inscribed with the word SECURITY while the doors of the vehicle are adorned with the large, gold letters: ONE, an acronym for “Overseer of New Earth.” The roof is decorated by an enormous red sun that is partially blotted out by the visage of a black dragon in flight. Inside the vehicle, a security officer points a video camera at the scene, watching briefly as the murder plays out with green, night vision clarity on the camera’s viewfinder. After a few brief moments of filming, the patrol vehicle pulls away as the victim’s screams are swallowed up by the night.
            Across town, another ONE Security patrol methodically makes its way past city blocks filled with tents and makeshift huddles. Barrel fires scattered throughout the skids do little to warm the families living there and the eyes of hungry children with poverty-smeared faces stare at the vehicle accusingly as it passes. The officer inside pays them no mind as something a block away catches his eye. A woman is desperately trying to fight off three men and failing miserably. The patrolman pulls off to the roadside, readying his video camera. Just outside the passenger window, a small child sits on the ground rocking as she hugs her legs tightly to her chest. Her clothes are dingy and tattered, her face streaked with tears. She doesn’t seem to notice the officer as she calls out to her mother between sobs. The officer unemotionally points the camera at the girl before turning to her mother who has now been wrestled and pinned to the ground. After collecting enough footage, the patrol car leaves the curb and moves past the rape in progress. One of the rapists becomes aware of the car’s presence and looks back at the officer as he drives past them. The rapist’s black eyes reflect no light as he licks his caked lips and smiles before turning his attention back to the woman. The patrol car leaves the woman and her daughter to the whims of the mob, passing a steam-filled alley before turning south on its assigned route.
            Down that same alley, an old man, made older by his life choices, is slumped against one of the alley walls fighting a case of the nods while cradling a bottle. He wakes from his current blackout and makes a mighty effort to remove the bottle’s cap when Mikhail instantly appears out of the cloud of steam to his left. The wino drops the bottle with sudden sobriety brought on by the presence of the imposing figure that is slowly walking toward him. Despite his drunken stupor, the wino reckons the man must be over ten feet tall and built like a thoroughbred, his muscular arms and legs making mountaintops out of the sea of white and grey that marks his clothing. A grim look is etched onto Mikhail’s chiseled jaw. Looking up at Mikhail, the old man notices that he radiates a different light than what is seen in the alley, or anywhere the old man has been in his lifetime.
Just as Mikhail is about to pass by the wino, he stares down at him and his look softens. The wino squirms as Mikhail’s form shrinks in size to more earthly, but still imposing, proportions. At the same time, the glow that blankets him drains like water from his massive frame and coalesces into his eyes before they turn dark brown. Then, Mikhail smiles at the old man as if he knows him and reaches an inviting hand out without saying a word. Hesitating briefly, the old man accepts Mikhail’s invitation.
The moment the wino takes Mikhail’s hand, warmth spreads over his body. Like a child clinging to its mother, the old man buries his smiling face into the chest of his new friend and weeps tears of joy. After several moments, the wino steps back and smiles at Mikhail, before walking away with renewed hope, his eyes and mind both clearer than they have been in many years.
Mikhail resumes walking without looking back, his steely gaze remaining fixed on his ultimate destination somewhere in the cloud of fog at the end of the alley. As though on command, the fog-like haze that fills the alley parts before him obediently. Clusters of men, women and children who are huddled around barrel fires pay him little notice; neither do they note as Mikhail passes by them that the very shadows created by their fires along the alley walls begin to break free from their natural places to slither after him.
Mikhail stops when he reaches the far end of the alley, a look of calm expectation on his face as the fog in the area closes around him, concealing him and his dark stalkers from the view of any who might be looking on. The sound of laughter is heard faintly from somewhere unseen before fading out, and the shadows form a perimeter around the man, his stoic gaze softening into a smirk in response.
            “This is our domain, Mikhail,” a hissing voice says from behind him. “You have no power here.”
“This place may be yours for the moment,” Mikhail says without turning around, a hint of menace in his Eastern European accent, “but try me if you doubt my power.”
            Hoarse cackling erupts and then spreads throughout the shadowy ranks.
“Even you are no match alone against a legion. Leave now or fall you will.”
            Mikhail is unfazed by the threat. “I’m merely passing through, admiring the festivities. But since you’re in a conversational mood, I have two messages for you.” After more cackling and hissing, he continues without waiting for them to reply further. “First, tell your master not to be late for his funeral. Second…tell my brother I’ll see him soon.”
The next moment, a pulse of light illuminates the fog like a storm cloud and a clap of thunder is heard before a torrent of wind rushes down the alley, drowning out the shrieks of Mikhail’s dark stalkers as it blows out all of the barrel fires and leaves the alley in total darkness.

1 comment:

  1. It was so nice of you to interview us, Mandy! Thanks a lot!