*Mistress slips pistol into her belt and unlocks the door* Come in quick, Renee! I’m not so certain I trust that mob outside to remain outside the gates for long. Oh, dear. This event is just turning out to be a disaster. *shakes head* What am I to do? Maybe our next guest, award winning author Renee Pawlish, can help us out. Renee, would you like a nice cup of anti-panic draught? Or will a cup of warm blood do? What? Oh, tea? *snaps fingers* Minions, brew up a cup for my guest! Meanwhile, sit here by the fire, Renee and let’s get this interview started.
Mistress: First off, tell us a little about yourself and your work.
Renee Pawlish: I am an award-winning author of the bestselling Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the first in the Nephilim trilogy, the Reed Ferguson mystery series (This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, Reel Estate Rip-off, The Maltese Felon, and the short story Elvis And The Sports Card Cheat), The Noah Winters YA Adventure series (The Emerald Quest), Take Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a nonfiction account of a haunted house investigation.
I was born in California, but have lived most of my life in Colorado. I love to hike, ride my bike, and chase ballplayers for autographs (you should see my sports memorabilia collection). I love to travel and have been all over the world.
Mistress: *sigh* I love traveling (that is, when it doesn’t involve packing up and leaving because of *peers at windows* angry mobs! I think they’re settling down a little though). So, tell us, Renee, what inspired Nephilim Genesis of Evil?
Renee: Ah, Night Mistress, I’ll bet you think something sordid inspired Nephilim Genesis of Evil.
Mistress: I do hope so!
Renee: Well, it was nothing like that. I had just started rereading ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and I had a dream about a group of people who were trying to get away from some evil entities and they knew the water would protect them from that evil. That was the kernel that inspired the novel. You’ll have to read Nephilim to find out what role water plays in the story.
Mistress: Here’s a few fun questions my minions insisted I include. Don’t worry, this brain-picking won’t hurt (much).
All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Renee: All Hallow’s Eve – what a night to have fun, wouldn’t you agree, Mistress?
Definitely! What’s your favorite scary movie for such a night?
Renee: Paranormal Activity – it really creeped me out.
Mistress: Dr. Frankenstein or Dracula?
Mistress: Candy corn or chocolate?
Renee: Chocolate – I can’t stand candy corn….
Mistress: Oh, well. More for my minions. What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Renee: I don’t dress up anymore (I know Mistress, you’re shaking your head right now) – I get together with my nephews and watch scary movies.
Mistress: Yes, yes I am. You’re never too old to dress yourself up, dear Renee. Oh, well, let’s talk of something other than wardrobes, then… If you could be in any classic horror novel, or story (such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla, Turn of the Screw, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Tell-Tale Heart? The Raven?), which would it be?
Renee: That’s a tough question to answer – I really like Poe, but I’m partial to vampire stories so I’d have to say Dracula.
Mistress: Good choice and seems popular too. Please give us a taste of your work.
Renee: A dark power described in Genesis revisits a small mountain town.
A journalist who witnessed an evil presence searches for answers.
He finds a town succumbing to supernatural forces.
Now, an evil prophesy may be fulfilled by the Nephilim.
It was an evil he couldn’t explain.
This thought weighed heavily on his mind as he thumbed through a book, the muted sounds in the New York Public Library going unnoticed, as were the words on the page in front of him. He blinked hard, once, trying to erase the image of the shapeless thing – that evil – he had seen a few months ago.
He was waiting to cross Broadway near Times Square. Cars droned by, and the chatter of conversation filled the air. And then he saw it, hovering above the traffic, watching him. He studied it as he started across the street. It seemed intangible, almost like a faint haze, and yet somehow it had substance. Its very presence threatened him, and he knew it was evil. It spoke and a chill raced through him. Suddenly, he heard screaming, then a car horn blared and tires screeched. He turned just as a taxi plowed into him. His chest exploded in pain and then he blacked out.
The hair on his arms prickled now as he thought about it. He had felt the evil then, right before the accident, and now, a few months later, it still lingered along with a few aches and pains. He sighed, as if the expulsion of breath could take him away from the apprehension he couldn’t escape.
He tried to concentrate on the book again. He’d spent days researching, trying to tie that black, formless cloud to unexplained sightings, ghosts, spirits, anything, but with little success. The closest thing was vampires transforming into a mist – was that black haze he’d seen some kind of vampire coming after him? He didn’t know, and that troubled him more.
And the fact that he couldn’t explain it scared him almost as much as the experience itself. Because he should’ve been able to explain it. After all, he was an expert in paranormal phenomena; he’d built a highly successful career as a journalist researching not only ghosts and vampires, but other psychic phenomena, people supposedly coming back to life, séances, crop circles, and on and on. He’d spent countless hours exposing charlatans and ferreting out the truth behind “unexplained” things. But he couldn’t explain this.
He sighed again and slammed the book closed, eliciting a dirty look from a woman who frowned at him over her minuscule glasses. He mouthed a “sorry” and picked up another book. He had a stack of them, all about various types of baffling phenomena. He’d skimmed through about half of them, but he’d found nothing about mysterious black forms that communicated with people.
He was about to give up when he saw it, just a chapter heading: Evil presence in Colorado mining town. Curious, he turned to the short chapter and began reading about strange happenings during the 1880’s in a small mining town called Taylor Crossing. As the story went, the townspeople had literally disappeared overnight. One day the place was thriving, the next, it was a ghost town.
Impossible, he thought. That type of thing was hyperbole, it never really happened like that. But he kept reading. The chapter on Taylor Crossing gave a brief history of mining in the area, then discussed the town itself, how many people had lived there and so on. He began skimming, and then he saw it.
A year after the town died, an industrious newspaperman found a few town residents living in Boulder, a town northwest of Denver. They reluctantly spoke of others who had seen a mysterious black form, dark and menacing, coming after them. Rumors of an evil presence had drifted through Taylor Crossing. It had been insufferably hot, and this had fueled rumors that the presence was the devil himself, coming to visit a sinful town. Others wouldn’t say what they thought it had been, fear keeping them silent. If only their friends had left, the surviving town members lamented. But those who’d seen the mist-like thing had disappeared shortly after talking about the evil presence. None of the survivors could explain what their friends had seen, or what it meant, but it was obvious that the stories and disappearances terrified them, so much so that they fled. That was all they would tell the newspaperman, who concluded that whatever had happened at Taylor Crossing would forever remain a mystery. The chapter ended noting that the town had revived itself in the last fifty years as a tourist town. The author of the book described how she had visited the town, and found that although it was located in the idyllic Rocky Mountains, she’d felt a chill unrelated to the mountain air the entire time she was there. She’d never found anything evil, per se, but she still felt something amiss in the atmosphere of the town. The book had nothing more on Taylor Crossing.
As he finished reading he felt his hands go damp and his heart thumped like a piston in his chest. He flipped through the pages again, and his mind raced. Whatever those residents had seen was too similar to his own ominous experience to dismiss. He had to know more about this mountain town and the black form that had visited there. He took the book, copied the chapter on Taylor Crossing, and left the library.
He spent the evening working on his laptop, organizing the notes he’d compiled over the last couple of weeks. He took the laptop and the photocopies he had made, stored them in his briefcase, and packed a suitcase full of clothes for an extended trip, sensing that he would be gone for a while. The next morning he called a travel agent about long-term lodging, made some arrangements, loaded up his truck, and headed out West.
Available at Amazon.
Mistress: That sounds intriguing! Where can our guests find you on that evil little realm called the Web?
If you’re an author, I would encourage you to check out my blog. I have a lot of advice on marketing your books, social media, and I interview indie authors, so drop me a line and I’d be happy to interview you.
Mistress: And where can we find your work, Renee?
Thanks for being here, Renee! We always enjoy guests. (Don’t worry, not for dinner. my minions have a steady supply of blood stored in the basement *innocent look* What?) It was a pleasure to meet you.
Folks, we hope you enjoyed this chat. Please do stay for the refreshments (I believe my staff’s just about to bring out the spider stew? *glares at minions*) but if you must scamper off, do remember to check out Renee’s work, and come back tomorrow for more guests. Have a wonderfully spooky evening!