Welcome to the first day of Bad Moon On The Rise! Today the featured author is Calvin Dean – I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book, as well as another of Calvin’s and am anxiously awaiting the next one.
Popular high school senior, Daniel Townsend, is dead—victim of a suspicious car crash. As classmates Marc and Angela investigate, a chance discovery pinpoints Daniel at a crumbling antebellum mansion—the old Jonas Barloff estate.
The house looks uninhabitable. Haunted. Evil.
While inspecting the Barloff family cemetery, Marc notices a towering grave marker with a perplexing inscription. What does the epitaph mean, and who is the old man claiming to be Jonas Barloff?
To solve the mystery, Marc and Angela must comb through a phantom infested antebellum mansion. Witness a sordid grave exhumation. Attend a wicked, hair-raising séance. And learn the true identity of Jonas Barloff. Will any of these pieces of the puzzle help them lay the mysteries to rest once and for all? Oh, no. Not hardly. Not until they come face-to-face with an evil no one could possibly imagine. Even if they live to tell the story, no one will believe them. Not in a million years.
How long have you been writing horror/thrillers and what drew you to the genre?
As kids, my sister and I took chairs from the kitchen table, dragged them to a nearby bedroom and arranged them like a movie theater. We’d turn the television channel to a locally emceed Creature Feature and enjoy a good old-fashioned horror flick complete with popcorn and soft drinks. We’d pick a chair and get comfortable, but before long we’d find ourselves in bed beneath the covers. Frankenstein, Dracula, and a host of other classics forever sealed my love for horror and the paranormal. I also grew up on The Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Presents and anything that produced shivers or made my heart skip a beat.
It’s no small wonder that I gravitated to the horror/mystery/thriller genre as an author. My first foray into the occult came in the ninth grade when my English teacher instructed the class to write a short story. I returned with three whole pages of paranormal prose worthy of Rod Serling. The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff did not receive rave reviews from my teacher. In fact, she accused me of plagiarism though she never cited the work I supposedly copied. After a visit from my mom, the teacher relinquished and changed my grade from an F to a D. I credit my teacher’s rebuke with fortuitously convincing me that I had a tale to tell.
The story remained buried deep inside for decades. One day, I decided to turn those original three pages into a three hundred-page novel. The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff premiered on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 2013 and reached the top of Amazon’s Horror/Occult listing.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
We’ve all been told to ‘write what we know’. When my English teacher assigned that ninth grade short story, I patterned my narrative after the Twilight Zone television program. It’s what I knew. I had seen all the episodes—each a short story acted out on film. With this blueprint, I sent my protagonist on a joy ride into the country where he encountered a character of my own imagination.
If you could erase one horror cliché, what would it be?
Erase horror clichés? Heavens no! I mean, somebody has to chase the evil villain with clubs and torches. If the priest does not wrestle with dark forces, the author may not have much of a story. And if our heroine is forced to run through the dark forest in daylight, those imaginary goblins may not manifest. No. I insist on keeping all the clichés. Future generations need and deserve them.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a series of novellas entitled “Curses”. The first book is about a bachelor who moves to the country and must exorcise his house of ghosts in order to lift “Stone’s Curse”. For anyone who remembers Madam Zelda from The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff, let me warn you she is back and this time she has more than just a cameo role. I’m not sure when the first book will hit the shelves. Stay tuned. I hope to have big news soon.
Favorite horror movie and book?
My favorite movie? That’s easy. The Grudge is possibly the creepiest movie I have ever seen. I also love the old black and white horrors featuring Boris Karloff, but I’d have to give preference to movies featuring Vincent Price. Now that I think about it, choosing a favorite is not so easy. I liked The Pit and the Pendulum and House of Wax. Ask me again tomorrow and I may have a different answer. As for my favorite book, you’d think I’d pick Edgar Allen Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum. But no. Dean Koontz is my biggest influence along with Robert McCammon, Greg Iles and even Arthur Conan Doyle. If I had to pick a favorite book, I’d probably say Dead Sleep by Iles, Speaks the Nightbird by McCammon or perhaps an Odd Thomas book by Koontz. No wait! How about Hound of the Baskervilles by Doyle. I really enjoyed that book.
Calvin Dean is the author of two bestselling novels: “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” and “A Door Unlocked”. His short story, “The Rookie Umpire”, appeared in Junior Baseball Magazine and is now a free read on Wattpad. When he isn’t at the gym or umpiring Dizzy Dean baseball he is working on the next paranormal, mystery, or suspense book. Calvin lives with his family in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee.
Where to find Calvin: