I’ve read the featured book by today’s author, and it’s a perfect, creepy selection for this time of year. It comes with Clovis, a lethal assassin on the outside, but kind of a softie underneath – and absolutely one of my fav characters. If you’re a doll collector or your kids have dolls in the house, after reading this book, you may be inclined to find them a new home. You’ve been warned.
Thanks for having me over, Teri. This is my third year of Bad Moon Rising, and I’m so excited to be here again. Sadly, I didn’t write a paranormal novel this year. I wrote one that’s more of a portal fantasy that isn’t ready to share with the world, and a science fiction sports book.
Don’t despair, because the paranormal tales I have written are still valid. Today, I want to talk about The Playground. This is a fun one, because I experimented a bit. I stole the style from Quentin Tarantino and Frank Miller, and relay this story from three different points of view. They reveal the main story by reading them all together.
Rather than do a basic blurb, I sent Teri a blog post I recycled and updated. I hope you like it.
It really isn’t necessary for an author to have something to say in order to have a cracking good story. I’ve found that many of the works I’m most proud of will include a “soapbox” issue.
This may be because I’m concerned about where the future will lead us. It might be because others have some of these same concerns. I’ve written stories with and without “soapbox” issues.
One of the dangers of having something to say is in letting the story get too preachy. I think it’s important not to draw conclusions, or to let the main character come right out and deliver the sermon. Nobody likes to be lectured, and I feel the same way.
The Playground has something to say, and I hope I left it subtle enough to get readers thinking about it. The fact is that our children spend an inordinate amount of time online these days. They aren’t learning how to personally engage with each other. There is a lesson to be learned in meeting someone after school. Maybe it’s a pop in the mouth, but as kids we learned about boundaries in a way nobody teaches it today.
Today, kids get pretty raunchy on social media. There is bullying and shaming galore, and none of it would happen in a face to face world.
The Playground includes some of this, and takes the risk way down that wormhole. The Playground Network is all about a social network for kids. The devices are built into high tech dolls and plush animals to make it even more appealing. It comes with subscription fees, purchasable items for the toys, and everything else we’ve come to expect.
The problem involves a ruthless businessman who intends to brainwash our very-own children into his personal army.
My wife and I might be slightly removed from this era, but we weren’t above putting a VHS tape on for the kids. A couple of hours of sanity isn’t always easy to get when you have little ones. I used these memories to relate how children could play with an artificial friend, and the parents can ignore them for a few hours. It’s what that artificial friend did while the parents are relaxing that becomes the concern.
To that end, I created Chloe. She’s a typical American kid, and feels like an outsider without her own Playground doll. I used her to represent the true victims in this story, and tensions rise as her story gets darker and darker.
Of course the story needs more characters. Gina is a doctor who narrowly survived cancer. She’s in a rough position spiritually at the beginning of the story. Her life takes a turn for the paranormal, and she becomes the heroine.
Things get moving when some important software goes missing that will take the Playground scheme to the next level. This is where Clovis comes in. He is hired to retrieve the software using any and all methods he deems appropriate.
The Playground is told in alternating chapters using these three characters. It’s a different style for me, and I’m really excited about it. It’s peppered with dead oracles, the Fae, a bad dog, and minor demons that are based upon the seven deadly sins. I hope you’ll take a chance and give it a read.
Now on to the interview questions:
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
Wow, I don’t know that I was very cool. This time of life was the 1960s for me, and we bought costumes at the grocery store. They were pre-packaged and came with these nasty plastic masks. My favorites were always the super heroes, and I remember being Spider-Man more than once. These days parents get a lot more creative, but that was state of the art in my day.
What fictional character would be your nightmare neighbor?
I think any of the popular horror characters would fill the bill here. I’m going to try to pick someone that nobody else will pick. (Maybe I’m wrong.) I would not want to live next door to the special kind of crazy Alexandra Forrest brought to the table. She was played to perfection by Glenn Close, in Fatal Attraction. In fact, she reminds me of someone I used to know.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a paleontologist. I love the idea of excavating and studying dinosaurs and ice age mammals. As I got older, I realized there really wasn’t a lot of career opportunity there. You either get into micro-fossils and work for the oil industry, or you struggle through the university system to find funding for the rest of your life.
What are you working on now?
Just this morning, (August 18th.) I put down the first 3000 words of The Hat. I intend for this to be a novella length project, but it could get longer in the writing. It’s a paranormal adventure, almost a superhero kind of story. I’m pretty excited about it.
When you finish a book, do you take time off or jump into another project?
I don’t think I quite fit this mold. I usually have a side project going on while writing a novel. Sometimes, you have to put the main project aside and clear your head. This is when I take out the side project and work on it. Aside from that, finishing leads to a spiral of edits, beta feedback, publication, and promotion. If that’s a break, that’s what I get.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve created?
Honestly, Teri, how many authors can directly answer this one? I’ve created a lot of characters, and some of them are pretty memorable. I love the good humor of Roald the Dwarf, the femme fatale nature of Lindsay Pennington, and the drive behind Patty Hall.
I keep going back to Clovis, in The Playground. That’s his only name, and he is a force of nature. I enjoyed writing him as much or more than any character I’ve ever created. He’s pretty simple to understand, but underneath he’s complicated. The guy is a brutal, violent, thug for hire, but he has a soft spot for children and dogs.
If you want to learn more about Clovis, check out a copy of The Playground, and happy Halloween.
Purchase Link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01D6EF6RI
Follow my blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com
Check out my novels here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack
Note: There is a Pinterest board for The Hat if you’re game.
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.