In your own words, please describe your book.
My own words are the book’s tag line/ hook: JAGANNATH: The monster from your nightmares is here. Since I was a kid, I’ve imagined a monster that could not only change shape and absorb flesh and blood, but that could also absorb our minds and assimilate our intelligence, cumulatively becoming more knowledgeable with each person it consumes. However, knowledge does NOT equal wisdom: this monster has no conscience, and absolutely loves the visions it gleans from our nightmares. Pictures in our minds of the most horrific tortures and unimaginable agony are its sustenance. Hell is a place it longs to create on Earth, because it trembles with ecstasy over feeding off our most unspeakable fears. As an amorphous creature that can transform into amalgamations of monsters out of our darkest imaginings, it especially loves creating incarnations that are serpentine, scaly, and loaded with razor-sharp talons and dagger-like teeth. Every picture we’ve ever conceived of a classic devil or demons, it longs to generate, and transforms into them. To the creature, love is a weakness, and fear and terror are the ultimate feast.
But more importantly, Jagannath is about the strength and resilience of the invincible human spirit, about the people who understand that fear is not cowardice, but rather an acknowledgement of everything precious that we long to preserve, an incentive to prevail despite overwhelming adversity and crushing despair. This story is about the surviving humans of a devastated civilization who comprehend that deep down inside, we are all brothers and sisters, one of a kind, and more alike than our petty differences can ever separate. Our sheer survival as a species depends on our coming together and discarding those differences, on realizing that self-sacrifice for others, true love of our fellow humans, is the only thing that separates us from the singular hostility of the animal kingdom, and the degeneracy of the infantile predatory history of our own kind.
With the extinction of our species at hand, we discover the true meaning of courage. And in the cases of a few remarkable individuals, we learn that ultimate triumph and redemption are the only goals worth achieving in the final showdown against the most ungodly creature the universe has ever created.
Either that, or we all turn to dust, our legacy worthless and forgotten as the monster from a billion nightmares thrives to destroy more worlds throughout uncountable galaxies.
What genre/genres does your book fall under?
Really? You mean that first answer didn’t categorize it? Okay… TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, paranormal, alien encounter, creature feature, thriller, action-adventure, supernatural, speculative fiction, freakish monster marathon… shall I go on?
Is this book part of a series?
If I told you that, I would have to kill you.
All kidding aside, it functions perfectly as a stand-alone novel, with a happy and intense finale all wrapped up in a big pretty bow…
…however, the nightmare never really ends, does it? Somehow, a piece of all the worst monsters always survives, no matter how hard we try to destroy them. After all, Jason and Freddy never truly die, do they? 😉
What was the inspiration behind your book?
So that didn’t explain it yet, huh? I love freaky monster stuff! The creepier the better. If I told all my inspirations, I’d sound like a copycat. I like to at least think this is somewhat my own idea, spawned by a child’s overactive imagination and fueled by the bizarre literary masters of multiple generations. Stephen King’s IT, Dean Koontz’s Phantoms, Robert R. McCammon’s Stinger, the movies It Came From Outer Space and Alien and The Blob, H.G. Wells’s Morlocks from The Time Machine, the timeless soul-crushing paintings of Hieronymous Bosch, the freakazoid horror-related artwork of countless masters both modern and prehistoric, endless tales of ghoulish monsters, Halloween, the devils and demons of a thousand different religions across several millennia, innumerable nightmares, carvings on the walls of ancient caves, the mysteries and great wonders and bizarre phenomena of our physical world as well as of the human psyche, my own twisted mind.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
I think I’ve always been a writer. The creative spirit/ force/ energy has always been a part of me, since I first learned my ABCs and found an endless fascination with the written word. As a kid, I was constantly creating worlds and characters in my head—and monsters and aliens galore too. I won first place in a short story contest when I was fifteen. I set the novel and short story writing aside as a teenager and turned my writing skills to musical compositions as a songwriter, and was a professional performing musician for 30+ years. I’ve written, engineered, recorded, performed on, and produced four independently released CDs, which are available on my website at http://www.kerrydenney.com under the “more…” tab’s drop-down menu.
In 2004, I happily turned back to writing, and have written eight novels and numerous short stories and poems since then—and also won first place in a poetry contest and first place in another short story contest, as well as Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest in 2013. My first published novel and fifth written, Soulsnatcher, was published in April 2014, and I’ve had numerous short stories and poems published as well, some to critical acclaim—all of which can be found under the “Books” tab’s drop-down menu on my website. I’ve been writing full time since 2009, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m constantly writing in my head wherever I go, and will no doubt be writing until I keel over for the final time and move on to the next great adventure in whatever world awaits us in the plane beyond this one. In fact, if there is an afterlife, I’m certain I’ll be writing in it too.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
That phenomenal moment when I finished the first draft of my first novel, and said “Voila and eureka! I can do this!”
Second greatest moment: The day I got my first publication contract offer.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
I’m traditionally published twice now through two small presses: Jagannath by Permuted Press February 3, 2015 and Soulsnatcher by Lazy Day Publishing April 2014.
I had submitted Jagannath and Soulsnatcher each to over 70 different prospective literary agents and publishers after I finished my final rounds of edits (about 6 rounds each), and pretty much left them alone after so many rejections. I let them float out there in cyber-world, patiently awaiting responses from some of my query letters for them while I started writing my eighth novel and started shopping my seventh novel A Mighty Rolling Thunder for literary agent representation or a publishing contract with a publisher.
Yeah, over 70 submissions each. I live by what I call my “Three P Philosophy”: Persistence, Patience, and Perseverance.
In mid-December of 2013, I got two double-whammy early Christmas presents, in the same week: Lazy Day Publishing offered a contract to publish Soulsnatcher first, then only three days later Permuted Press offered a contract to publish Jagannath. Yeah, you bet I was floating on the ceiling. After I negotiated some of the contract terms in my favor, I signed them and the editing and publication process began. The rest is history, and I’m still dancing.
And I’m just getting started: I have six other complete and thoroughly edited novels ready for publication, and am currently writing my ninth novel.
What are you working on now?
This interview, lol. I’m heavily into my marketing campaign for the February 3rd publication of Jagannath, shopping for a publisher or literary agent for my eighth novel (I won’t share the title at this time because it’s just too damn cool), and writing my ninth novel, the title of which I won’t share either because it’s cool too.
The promotional process, strategies, and tactics for a novel can be exhausting and overwhelming, but I plan on making them yield positive long-term results. It’s a never-ending process: You don’t stop promoting when the book is published, you keep on pushing it, reaching and engaging your target audience, increasing sales and name recognition, and growing your writer’s platform and reader and fan base.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I’m basically a very happy and easy-going man. Nothing ever drags or keeps me down for long. When life kicks me in the teeth, I pick myself back up, brush myself off, and get back in the game with a smile on my face and determination in my heart.
In 2007, a good friend and beta reader said to me, while reading one of my unpublished novel drafts, “Dude, you’re just bending reality all over the place with this stuff.”
Eureka, I thought at the time: That’s what I am—The Reality Bender. And so that became my writer’s “brand.” I love writing, and disappearing into the worlds of my characters for days at a time. Nothing else stokes me and fires up my imagination like the creative process does. I found reading and writing as my first true loves as a child, and they shall remain so until I kick the bucket.
In essence, I write because I can’t not write. If I tried to stop, I’m certain my head would explode from all the stories inside it not being able to escape it.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
Likes: people, beer, pizza, women, laughing, great books (reading in general), writing and the creative process, all kinds of music, great movies no matter what genre, tasty food, hikes and adventures in the mountains and woods, beaches (any beach will do: I love the surf and sand, and the clean air smell of a fresh ocean breeze!), lightning storms, sunshine and rain, warm weather, and dogs. I have an eight-year-old Golden retriever named Holly Jolly, and she’s a professional Therapy Dog. Holly and I visit local libraries three Saturdays a month for their R.E.A.D. programs (Reading Education Assistance Dogs). One is called “Doggie Tales,” and the other is called “Read to Rover.” We sit in the children’s section, and the kids come up to the dogs and pet them and read to them. We help the kids with their reading comprehension skills, and teach them how to properly approach unfamiliar dogs. The children absolutely love Holly, and she loves them too! She’s like a furry four-legged rock star every time she walks in the library. We also sometimes visit local hospices and retirement homes, and are looking to join an elementary school Therapy Dog program. Everybody loves Holly!
Dislikes: angry, pushy, overbearing, sanctimonious, arrogant, obnoxious, self-absorbed people. Also being attacked by vicious predatory animals as well as by ungodly monsters from my darkest nightmares, and being accidentally teleported to parallel dimensions populated by alter egos like the evil Mr. Spock with the beard. And hurricanes, tornadoes, head and chest colds, and spinach. That’s about it.
How can readers connect with you?
Through my author’s website at http://www.kerrydenney.com
My email address: kerrydenney(AT)gmail(DOT)com
Through my Facebook personal profile page: https://www.facebook.com/kerry.a.denney (send me a friend request and I’ll accept it!)
Through my Facebook “Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender” fan page: https://www.facebook.com/KerryAlanDenneyTheRealityBender (give it a “Like” to follow my writing and publication announcements and news!)
Follow me via Twitter: https://twitter.com/KerryDenney
Join the “JAGANNATH: The Monster From Your Nightmares Is HERE!” Facebook Online Book Release Party Saturday February 7th from 4 to 7 p.m. EST: https://www.facebook.com/events/331593207039186 (lots of fun contests, giveaways, prizes, announcements, and general madness)
Chat with me LIVE anytime (through Twitter) under the “Kerry Denney’s Tweets” box at http://practicalmanifestations.com/kerrydenney
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
I still have that adventurous, mischievous twelve-year-old boy who ignores his elders and likes to build forts in the woods running around in my head.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Cherish your dreams and keep on dreaming them, no matter who may laugh at them or wish to crush them.
Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to share a little about myself and my works, and happy reading to everyone!
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