Saturday, January 25, 2014

ARC Review and Interview: The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife by Kit Power

The Loving Husband and the
Faithful Wife

by Kit Power

A cutesy tale of romance and domestic bliss? Step inside this suburban home to find out what happens when the couple decide to have an extension added. What could possibly go wrong?

The Debt (Short Story)
Meet Del. Meet Tel. Two men from the wrong side of the tracks. Del stayed straight. Tel, well, he didn’t. Now Del is in debt up to his eyeballs, facing ruin. Only Tel can help. Will he though? And if he does, can Del afford the terms?

Two dark tales of fear, paranoia, and good intentions, set in situations where grey bleeds into black, and where there are no easy answers. Kit Power invites you to see the world through the eyes of the faces that pass you every day. Discover how it feels to really know someone.

Published by Black Beacon Books January 25, 2014

My Review
Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a lover of horror, and the more twisted and frightening, the better. The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife turned out to be right up my alley.

I'm sure you've guessed by now that this is most certainly NOT a cutesy tale of domestic bliss.

While I was bored with the husband and wife's (we never learn their names) lives with routines that made me want to shoot myself, it quickly got interesting. Thank goodness I didn't have to wait out the five-day waiting period to get myself a handgun. With fear and paranoia taking over his thoughts and actions, the loving husband broke his routine quickly and that's when the fun starts! From there it is a classic horror story and a fun read.

Bonus Review
The Debt is a short story that invokes the question: how far would you go to provide for your family? I put myself in Del's shoes, and asked myself if I would make the same decisions he did. And the answer is: maybe. Hell, I'm not going to incriminate myself that easily.

Interview with Kit Power
Welcome to Twisted Book Junkie, Kit. Thank you for taking the time to stop by the blog. First, can you tell us a little about yourself, and how you got into writing?

KP: Creative writing was by far the thing I most enjoyed about school - maybe the only thing I really enjoyed. I remember one summer holiday when I was ten writing a 2000 word short story called 'Leach Attack!' - a pretty straight Jaws parody set on a river bank, with a shoal of leeches subbing for the shark. At least until the half way marker, where it became a James Bond style thriller, because the leeches were being controlled by evil criminal mastermind Dr. Fox from his secret lair...


Anyway, I enjoyed it, and people told me it was really good (even some people that didn't otherwise like me) but somehow I never made the connection between that and writing as a thing. And then I became a teenager, and we all know how that goes.

Flash forward, I'm 35, happily married, three kids, a pretty good job. As part of getting that pretty good job, I undertook some study at degree level. It was distance learning, so I was completing it evenings and weekend, 8 - 10 hours a week. The course did what I needed it to do, but it was a slog, because the subject matter was merely necessary, not engaging. And I thought to myself that I wasn't going to go back to wasting this 8 - 10 hours a week I apparently had spare, that I would use that time productively after I finished studying. And around the same time, I read Stephen King's On Writing, and that was it.

TBJ: What five words best describe you?
KP: Writing about what scares me.

TBJ: So, what truly scares you?
KP: I think death has to be the big one. Not exactly controversial, I guess, but there it is. Much as I'd like to believe that there's some form of existence beyond the biological, I do not find the acutal evidence terribly compelling. I desperately love being alive, and the idea of it ending terrifies me. I guess following from that, I also fear being in enough pain of whatever kind that I no longer feel that way about life. Most people I talk to claim not to fear death, and I can never quite understand that.

Ideally, of course, I will live forever. That's definitely the plan.
TBJ: Do you have an embarrassing moment you'd like to share?
KP: Hmm. In a play at college once, I had to pretend to be pulling a pair of boxers on as I climbed out of bed - I was already wearing them, but wanted the audience to think I'd been nude. Long story short, I over-committed to the extent that certainly the first two or three rows got rather more than they bargained for. Luckily for the play, I was oblivious until afterwards.

TBJ: Do you write full time or do you keep a day job?
KP: I have a day job, which pays the bills. It's a good job and I'm lucky to have it, but I can't deny that writing is more fun.

TBJ: What do you do when you're not writing?
KP: Parent, to the best of my limited ability. Try and be a good husband. Read. Rock out with my amazing band, The Disciples of Gonzo. Play poker, with occasional success. Once in a blue moon, play on my PS3. Dream about sleeping.

TBJ: How do you normally decide on character names in your books?
KP: First draft, I'll often use names of people I know, if they are templates or markers for the characters I'm writing about. If I do that, I always make sure to change them as part of the D2 process. Other than that, I try to keep them ordinary and insignificant, because I don't like it when names are symbolic markers for the story. And sometimes, as in The Loving Husband..., I don't employ any names at all.

TBJ: So, why did you decide not to name your characters in The Loving Husband...?
KP: Well, without wanting to give too much away about the story, you could imagine it as a "found document" - an anonymous blog post or Word file, diary entry, whatever - something actually written by the narrator. I think it'd make sense for him to want to leave off identifying marks, so I did.
TBJ: What was your favorite moment when writing your book?
KP: The climactic scene of The Loving Husband... is one I'm very proud of, and it felt really exciting to write.

TBJ: Have you taken a real life experience and used it in any of your books or is it all imagination?
KP: Both stories in my book are fictional. The Loving Husband... started as a pure 'what if?' in my mind, and I just chased it down as best I could. The Debt started with the closing image of the story, which came to me very clearly, and then I just had to reverse engineer it to figure out how to get the lead character into that spot. That said, I worked in a pub in London for a year which is not that dissimilar to the one we visit at the start of The Debt.

TBJ: What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
KP: Assuming On Writing counts, it was "Read a lot, and write a lot." Though "Write every day" comes a very close second. Also "take it seriously."

TBJ: Are you currently reading a book?
KP: I just finished 809 Jacob Street by Black Beacon Books stable-mate Marty Young, which was the best ghost story I have read in a long, long time. Currently reading Dead Letter Depot by Scott Lefebvre, which is, so far, a fine collection of short stories by a writer with a really clear and refreshing voice, and Book 1 of Game Of Thrones.

TBJ:  Now that The Loving Husband... is published, do you have a new project in the works?
KP: I have a short story called Reverse Engineering which is coming out as part of a science fiction anthology called Do Monkeys Dream of Electric Kettles?, which is launching on 24th January, and is being published by MonkeyKettle Books. I'm moving house at the end of the month, and once I'm in and settled, the big job is to get my novel from D1 to D2, which I am dreading. And I have eight or nine short stories that are still collecting rejection slips that I hope will place eventually.

TBJ: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you manage it?
KP: So far, only once, and luckily only with regards to a specific story. What I've done so far is take a break, write something else, do some edits, and promote an e-novella! I may have to abandon ship entirely if it doesn't get easier soon, but we'll see - it's a killer idea, I think, but I'm having a very hard time landing it.

TBJ: Did a specific author motivate you to begin writing?
KP: Did I mention Stephen King?  :)

TBJ: If you could hang out with three famous people, who would you choose and why?
KP: Bruce Springsteen, because he's the best stadium rocker in the world. Dan Harmon, writer of Community, because Harmontown is by far the best podcast I've ever heard and that's a brain I'd love to pick, and Iggy Pop, because he's the best full stop.

Also because I can't say Stephen King again.

Thank you for being here today, Kit. It's been a pleasure picking your brain.

About Kit Power

Kit Power lives in the UK and writes fiction that lurks at the boundaries of the horror, fantasy, and thriller genres, trying to bum a smoke or hitch a ride from the unwary.

In his secret alter ego of Kit Gonzo, he also performs as front man (and occasionally blogs) for death cult and popular beat combo The Disciples Of Gonzo

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