Interview with Richard Schiver
We are delighted to have author Richard Schiver amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book Shadows of the Past !
Please read on …
They hide in the shadows..“Tell me about the warehouse, Carl.”
“I don’t want to go there,” Carl whispered.
Sam could feel something crawling around inside him, a thing dark and oily, responding to Carl’s terror. He recalled the solitude of the warehouse. The thoughts that went through his mind upon entering its shadowy interior.
He who walks between the rows.
Carl pointed a shaking finger at the building behind them. Among the pedestrians moving in and out through the seven revolving doors, Sam caught a glimpse of something dark. A shadowy figure, seen for a brief moment, then gone as quickly as it appeared.
“The shadows,” Carl whispered with a shaky voice.
“What’s in the shadows?” Sam’s throat was constricted and he struggled to get the words out, “tell me, Carl, what do you see in the shadows?”
“Ssssshhhhh.” Carl put his finger to his lips. He whispered, “don’t let it hear you.”
They have watched from the shadows since the beginning of time. Waiting impatiently for their chance to return to the world of the living.
Their opportunity comes by way of a brain damaged four year old whose fathomless black eyes hold the secrets of life and death. A child who has the unique ability to bargain with death itself.
They will do anything to possess this child.
Sam Hardin must come to terms with the guilt he feels over his wife’s death in time to protect his son from the forces of evil who seek to use him as a conduit from the ancient past.
Inspired by the Cthulu Mythos, Shadows of the Past takes the reader on a pulse pounding journey that spans three days as the ongoing battle between good and evil is joined. Sam Hardin and Jack Griffith go head to head in a fight to the death from which only one can emerge victorious while in the balance hangs the future of all mankind.
So Richard, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question
1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.
My name’s Richard Schiver, but I prefer Rick. Married with the usual kids, grandkids, pets, and a house in the country. I wouldn’t say my life is idyllic, but it’s not depressing either. I’m unemployed right now due to the economy, gives me plenty of time to write, but the bank account suffers.
2.What brought you to writing?
A lifetime of reading.Honestly I’ve read over two thousand books in my lifetime so it’s only natural that I write.
3.How long have you been writing?
Started seriously in 1991. Stopped in 2001. Started again in 2008. About thirteen years total.
4.Which was your first literary project? Wrote a weekly outdoors column for a small local newspaper.
5.Is this your new/latest project?
Yes and No. I’m currently working on my next novel, Reprisal, as well as a novella, Enter night.
6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published?
Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?
Either format is fine, I know some people prefer holding a book in their hands, that’s the way I am. I find something I like, I buy the book. Reading on the screen is okay but I grew up reading books and to me that’s how a book should be read. It’s portable, if it gets wet it won’t short out, and if I happen to leave it somewhere I’m not out a hundred bucks.
Yes, I’ve had several short stories accepted in the past, and actually had an editor at Random House interested in one of my novels but it didn’t pan out.
7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.
Of course, see below.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )
8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.
Woodworking, working on my house. I like working with my hands. I like fixing things.
9.Who is your favourite author?
There are so many. Poe, Lovecraft, King, Bloch, Ketchum, Little. Just to name a few. I don’t have any one author that is my favorite.
10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?
Horror, supernatural fiction.
11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?
12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?
They start innocently enough. I might read a news report, or a story, or even see something happen during the day that stays with me. It’ll sit in the back of my mind as I mull it over until it grows to the point where I think, what if? Once that question comes to mind I then ask Who? A good story has to have a good character.
13. Do you have a pseudonym?
14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.
For me it’s been positive. I’ve run several businesses in the past so I understand better than many why a company may do what it does. After all they’re in the business to make money, that comes first, followed by the art of the work. In the past I’ve heard so many writers complain that the publishers only care about the bottom line. They have to if they want to stay in business. The biggest thing for me though is I’m a do it yourself type of guy. If I can publish something myself, why do I want a company getting between me and the reader.
15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?
Writing full time, retired from the rat race.
16. What motivates you to write?
That’s like asking someone why they breathe. I write because I have to, I don’t know why, I just do.
17. How important is good cover art for your books?
Not as much as I should. I’m more concerned with the story inside, making sure the reader is entertained, is given a chance to escape into the pages of the book.
18. Do you have a price strategy for your books?
I’ll look at similarly sized books to see what they are selling for and price accordingly
19. Have you read a bestseller that you felt was not as good as yours?
I don’t feel anything. Publishing is a subjective business. What one person likes another won’t. It works the same way with editors at the publishing houses. One editor like what he reads, he has more clout than the other editors, so his project gets more of a cut of the marketing expenses. Honestly I’ve more important things to worry about than that.
20.Why do you think readers should buy your book? What can you offer them through your book?
Entertainment, a chance to escape, to feel fear without the potential harm associated with it.
21.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?
Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RW9RYK
22.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.
I currently have a link to the first three chapters of Shadows of the Past available on my blog.
23. What advice would you give to other writers?
Get some formal education early. Take a creative writing class or course. Don’t try to do it the hard way like me.
24.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers.
I hope you enjoy my work, but if you don’t, I understand.
Thanks again from Team MusikDIV
Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter
Shadows of the Past By Richard Schiver
First Chapter for Shadows of the Past.
There was no denying he loved the horses. The sights the smells and the sounds. Nothing beat the thrill of the pack thundering around the last turn as they entered the home stretch. Or the excitement of holding a winning ticket. Unfortunately he had no idea how to pick a winner. He always bet on the long shot., firm in his belief that, this time he had just chosen a winner.
Bookies loved him. He was their paycheck. So it was no surprise that he’d racked up an impressive amount of debt, turning him into a thief just to survive and bringing him to this warehouse to settle up.
Tom glanced at the white box on the seat beside him. Stealing it had not been easy, it went against everything he had been taught while growing up. But once he’d made up his mind and come to terms with it the actual act had gone off smoother than he expected
His chances of ever seeing fourteen grand at one time were zilch. Maybe in ten years, but certainly not by midnight tonight. Not unless he called his dad.
He’d gotten himself into this mess and he’d get himself out. The days of blaming others for his mistakes were behind him. It was time he grew up and took responsibility for his actions. That included his gambling debt.
His gaze turned to the blank wall of the warehouse as a chill crept along the base of his spine. Beneath a bare bulb, the only point of light in the darkness, a man-sized door interrupted the seamless emptiness of the wall.
The rain, that had begun falling earlier in the day, dampened his hair as he got out of his car. He turned up the collar of his jacket as a chill caressed the back of his neck.
/It’s gonna snow./
The thought jarred him with its familiarity. His father would say that as he looked into the overcast sky when it was cold. The memory awakened a longing and he gazed up at the dark sky. Trying, in a sense, to achieve an equal footing with the man he used to call dad.
“You gonna stand out in the rain all night.” The voice startled him, breaking the spell and he saw that the door was now standing open. Framed by the light from inside stood the silhouette of a small man. It was probably Carl. Carl the Knife, he called himself and according to the rumors Tom had heard the name fit.
/Where’s Harry?/he wondered.
“Well, what are ya waiting on, an engraved invitation.”
Tom reached into the car as revulsion washed over him. The surface of the box filled him with distaste as he lifted it from its resting place. It was colder than anything he’d handled before. As if it carried the memory of the place it had been found.
He knew it had come from Antarctica. Had heard rumors about something happening at the research facility down there, but nothing had been confirmed. At least not to him. After all, he was just a first year intern.
Who would confide in him about matters such as that?
Everybody he dealt with was more concerned with seeing him get out of their way. He was a nonentity in the Professor’s research lab so stealing the box had been a piece of cake. After all, nobody paid attention to him?
He’d be happy to get rid of it though. Just being close to it was enough to give him the willies. On the ride over he had felt it. Something had reached out to him. Something ancient that awakened an overwhelming sense of dread. Someone might say it was a bad case of nerves after all he’d been through over the past twelve hours. But Tom knew better. It was the box and what it contained.
Let Guardino have it if that’s what he wanted. He was more than welcome to it. But as he approached the opened door doubts surfaced.
What if they had lied to him?
After all, they couldn’t have him running around telling anybody who would listen that he had stolen a priceless artifact to pay off his gambling debts.
“It’s about time, Tommy boy, we was beginning to think we was gonna have to come after you.” The voice carried a hint of disappointment that Tom didn’t fail to notice.
/What if I never leave the warehouse alive?/He tried to push the doubts away but failed and they continued to nag him like a small dog nipping at his heels.
Hesitantly he approached the door then stopped.
“Where’s Harry?” He asked.
“He’s around,” Carl smiled, heightening the rat like appearance of his face. He stepped back as Tom entered.
Tom glanced again at the dark sky as he entered the building and was seized by the certainty it would be the last time.
/Don’t be ridiculous./He chided himself. Everything was going according to plan. What could possibly screw it up now?
Behind Carl, vanishing into the hazy distance of the warehouse, rows of crates were stacked to the ceiling. To the right, just inside the door, was a well lit office.
Through the open office door the massive bulk of Harry the Bull stepped into the warehouse. He was the other half of this odd couple, his head swiveling on his neck like the turret of a tank. His cruel green eyes taking in everything before settling on Tom who shivered under his uncompromising stare.
He was happy he’d chosen to steal the knife. Even if he was caught, jail was preferable to what Harry would do to him had he picked his only remaining alternative.
Tom held the box out to Carl who took it from him with a sly smile. A look of disappointment fluttered across Harry’s features and Tom allowed himself to relax.
/Not tonight. I’m smarter than that./Tom thought. Harry would have to find someone else to fulfill his sadistic needs.
Carl gazed at the box. His eyes glazing over as he fumbled with the hasp.
“Maybe you shouldn’t ought to do that, Carl,” Harry looked over Carl’s shoulder at the box, “you know Mr. Guardino might get mad.”
Tom backed towards the door behind him. They had what they wanted, maybe they would forget about him now.
“Hey! Where’re you going?” Harry’s cold gaze locked onto him and Tom’s knees went weak as his bowels loosened. They had lied.
“You got what you wanted,” Tom waved at the box, “I can leave now, right?” He could sense the darkness behind him. A yawning pit of emptiness. All he had to do was turn around and run. By the time they got to the door he’d be long gone.
/But my car?/
/Forget the damned car./
A look of indecision crossed Harry’s face.
“Don’t be in such a big rush, Tommy boy, it’s not polite. Come in, sit for a while,” Carl waved to the lighted office, “we can be friends now that our business is finished.” Carl’s gaze returned to the opened box.
They weren’t going to let him leave. They were afraid he’d tell the police.
“That’s all right, really, I should be going,” Tom could sense the freedom behind him, so close, yet so far away.
“Harry, show our new friend to the office,” Carl reached into the box as a look of joy filled his narrow features. He reminded Tom of a small child on Christmas morning, rushing downstairs in the pre-dawn light to find the floor beneath the tree filled with brightly colored packages.
“I don’t think you should be doing that, Carl,” Harry glanced away from Tom and watched Carl with a concerned expression so out of place on his cruel face.
Carl removed a slender dagger from inside the box. The knife was encased in what looked like a block of clear acrylic plastic. Carl pulled the case apart and wrapped his hand around the ebony hilt of the dagger as a look of pure joy spread across his face.
Released from Harry’s gaze, Tom slowly backed towards the door behind him. Just a few more feet and he’d be free.
From the back of the warehouse came the pop of a light bulb exploding, followed by the muted tinkle of glass striking the floor. Tom stopped backing away and looked towards that darkened section as several more light bulbs exploded. He could sense movement. A sinuous shadow of emptiness that bled through the dark.
An icy hand of fear wrapped itself about him. He wanted to flee, to run from the sight of this apparition. Yet a strange fascination held him in place.
“Who’s back there?” Harry called out as he turned from Tom and walked towards the darkness.
More bulbs exploded and from that strange emptiness came the sound of someone, or something, breathing softly.
An entire row of lights shattered and showered the floor with glass fragments that glittered like stars in the dim light.
Harry vanished into the shadows, his figure swallowed by an ebony cloud, leaving only the sound of his footsteps over the broken glass to mark his location.
His eyes alight with a feverish glow, Carl held the knife in front of his face. The blade measured a full twelve inches long and was as black as the night itself.
Buy Shadows of the Past by Richard Schiver On Amazon Kindle >> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RW9RYK
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