THE MONSTER STORY

“Well, that’s mostly true, and I know who and what you are and what your expertise is,” he picked his teeth with his fingernail, “But we’re not going to beat the Russians with rockets and Buck Rogers alone.  We need more.”  Then the President paused and looked away, as if suddenly saddened.  “We are going to lose Vietnam.  There is no way we can win.  What is worse is that it is only a matter of time before they will be in France, Saudi Arabia and even California for all I know.  We need more than troops and firepower too.  We need something else, and your job is to provide that something else no matter what the cost.”

“What exactly are you asking me to do, Mr. President?”

“I want you to work at militarizing wildlife . . .”

From The Deep Cove Lineage

My first book, The Haunting of Pastor Butch Gregory and Other Short Stories, was a mostly spiritual endeavor, as are most of my short stories such as Speculation and The Land Begins to Heal.    To be a writer, though, I think, means in part that I am able to tell stories that don’t necessarily carry a spiritual message.  To that end, I began working on a purely secular plot revolving around a monster.  I chose the monster/horror/science fiction milieu because I personal enjoy these types of stories.  What resulted was The Deep Cove Monster.

I published the first short story last summer and then followed that up with the second one in the winter of 2013.

Last week the third, and by far the longest installment of the series was released by my publisher, bardandbook.com.  It is available at their website or at amazon.com, smashwords, bardandbook.com and it should be available at other outlets soon, such as barnesandnoble.com.  Click on the image below to buy from Amazon.com

Newest Release--Third installment in The Deep Cove Monster series.
Click To Buy

Title--The short story, about 12,000 words, is titled The Deep Cove Lineage.  In essence it is an origins story so I almost titled it Deep Cove:  Origins or maybe Deep Cove Beginnings but decided that both of those seemed a little too copycat.  One of the elements in the story is the successive generations of monsters that are bred in captivity, hence the word lineage.  I decided that I liked that idea better and it felt less used.

Horror--I believe that the horror genre is over populated with mass murderers or homicidal paranormal creatures.  What I wanted to do was bring elements of the horror story motif in a more realistic and less personal environment.  I don’t know if I achieved true horror story status, but there are some scenes I wrote that felt, well, gruesome.

Science Fiction--Somewhere along the way, and we can probably blame Star Trek for this, science fiction turned into outer space.  However, the origins of science fiction are not really outer space as much as scientific innovation that leads to disaster or danger.  It was this concept that I worked on in The Deep Cove Lineage–science that has gone too far and caused a dangerous situation.

Period Piece--I am still intrigued by working on a period piece.  I was not born until 1971, so the 60’s and 70’s are in my thoughts but I still have to work on it.  The Deep Cove Lineage begins in the late 1960s and ends where the first two begin, 1978.  It is fun to think about music, food, and fashion and the way people might think about life a generation ago.  One of the ways I did this was to emphasize the formal feeling of the lab–everyone is required to wear their white lab coat.  No one in my generation would think of enforcing such a rule, but in the 60’s that might be something people are sticklers for.

Sex and Violence--There is sex in this story, but it is not graphic and more suggestive than actual.  The violence is tough though.  People die an alarming rate once things heat up.

Changing Attitudes--Without giving anything away, I worked very hard to drastically show, and hopefully not over explain, how the scientists change in their attitudes toward human beings as their work progresses.  Most of the change is influenced by the villain, Dr. Sleeth.  People change as we slowly warm up to ideas that are convenient.  There is a little political commentary in that concept.  We accept things today we would not have accepted 12 years ago because it is convenient.

The Monster--In the first two stories all we see of the monster is its destructive power.  In this origins story, we learn why the monster is the way she is and who is to blame.  I think, maybe, I might have even been able to build a little empathy for the beast.  Maybe.

I hope you enjoy the story.  If you haven’t already read the first two, you can buy them from my Buy Jamie’s Stories page at the top of this blog.  Thanks for reading.  I really do appreciate it.

 

BOOK REVIEW: INTRODUCTION TO SHADOW

The weather is getting chilly here in the Hill Country, and I know what you want to do when it gets cold.  You want to read a good book.  I am blogging today over at Bard and Book, and it is a review of a novel you might enjoy.  It is called An Introduction to Shadow written by the prolific Derek Elkins.  It is an ebook and available at amazon.com or through bardandbook and other ebook outlets.  Click here to go to the review . . .

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BEHIND THE SCENES OF “DEEP COVE”

This blog is doing double duty.  It is an identical posting I made for Bard and Book, which is going public tomorrow with a major press release.  It is about my newest short story, Deep Cove.  The best way to read it is at bardandbook.com, but it is also available at Amazon and barnesandnoble.com as well as Smashwords. 

“Deep Cove” is the name of one of the streets near our Lake house in Central Texas.  The name stuck with me as I began to write an homage to the  monster movies from my childhood.  I remember watching The Creature from the Black Lagoon on Saturday afternoons.  Even though it was campy and in black and white, there was something about it which pulled me in.  A couple of years ago my family and I vacationed at Universal Studios and they even had a stage show version of it and I looked forward to see it.  Sadly, I was disappointed as the show was terrible.

What  I wanted to do, though, was to use the monster to set a historical backdrop from my own memory and cultural heritage.  What emerged was a story about two ‘good ole boys’ who encounter a lake monster one night while fishing.  A careful reader, though, ought to find t two or three other themes such as the alpha and beta relationship between the two men, their life’s goals, and the irony of fishermen being fished by the fish.

This is the initial story; but I plan others.  In future stories we will see other encounters people have with it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are not some stories located in the 80’s and possibly the 90’s as well as the legend of the beast takes hold in the community of Deep Cove.

Eventually there will be a story about the beast’s origins.  However, I intend to write that one near the end of the collection.  Probably, just probably, we’ll discover a mad scientist involved who experiments with radiation and genetic mutations of aquatic wildlife in the late 1950’s.  But I will not promise that.