Friday, March 25, 2016

Virtual Book Tour for Mortal Thoughts by T.J. Park

Mortal Thoughts
by T.J. Park


GENRE: Supernatural Thriller



The heist is cursed from the start. Doug Mulcahy and his gang hijack a mining plane and a fortune in black opals - gemstones with a rep for being unlucky. Following a brutal shootout on a remote airfield, the hijackers flee in the crippled plane only to crash-land soon after. Shaken and battered, they stagger through the outback until they stumble upon a strange little house and an ethereal woman. Taking the woman hostage, the thieves wait for her husband to return with his truck. But it all goes to hell when a rogue gang member forces himself onto the woman. The house is drenched with blood, the husband returns, and the men realise nothing in this place is as it seems. And the horrors are only just beginning...


Excerpt Two:

The one-room office was a tight fit, shaped into narrow corridors by desks, radio equipment, kitchenette, filing cabinets and an antique photocopier. A wall-mounted fan oscillated back and forth, achieving little more than shifting the hot air around. Occasionally, for no discernible reason, it emitted a loud, ripping fart.

There was a small, lifeless waiting room glimpsed through a partition door, crammed high with sagging cardboard boxes. Neck explained that a delivery was overdue to be collected. Normally the boxes would be left undercover outside, he told Doug, but thieving had worsened lately. Doug readily sympathised.

There was one other notable feature of the office, and since entering Cutter had barely taken his eyes from her: a young, pretty woman sitting at the corner desk laden with paperwork. She wasn’t introduced, and after initially looking over the visitors, went back to working on her computer and fussing over a stray twist of hair, picking at her clothes, brushing her bared skin self-consciously. Whenever she glanced back up at Cutter, he answered her increasingly shy looks with an unwavering smile.

Duckbill scanned Doug’s clipboard while Neck directed the young woman to scroll through old emails, looking for any sign of the order.

The sound of the whirring, farting fan rose sharply for a moment before its pivot began to slow, the dusty blades becoming visible in their cage, slowing to a halt.

“Great,” said Neck. “Open the windows will you, Sonya?”

“They are open.”

“Open them wider.”

It was through the windows they heard it first – the distant droning of an approaching plane.

Duckbill bumped into Doug and Cutter in his rush to get outside.

“No-one’s due this morning,” Neck muttered for everyone’s benefit. “Sonya, get them on the radio. Ask them who they are and their flight plan.”

Doug spied Sonya rolling her eyes as she went to the radio.

The droning dropped to an abridged roar as a low-flying plane buzzed the building. Its shadow flitted past the windows.

“No, let me,” Neck insisted, elbowing Sonya aside.

Duckbill came back, stopping in the doorway. “It’s circling.”

Neck turned from fussing with the radio, his cheeks and Adam’s apple a heated pink. “Get that truck out of the way!”

“Sure,” Doug said congenially, “right after you sign the invoice.”

Neck clicked the radio repeatedly. “It’s not working!” He ducked under the desk. “For god’s sake … don’t tell me it’s not plugged in!”

“Maybe it’s blown a fuse,” Duckbill suggested.

Neck stood again, rubbing his ear furiously having clipped it on the edge of the desk. “Does it look like it’s in trouble?” he asked Duckbill as he reached for a mobile phone lying nearby.

“From what I could see, it’s flying fine,” Duckbill said.

Doug was closer to the mobile. Reaching to pick it up for Neck he bunted it away instead. It slipped down between the wall and desk.

“Whoops. Sorry.”

Neck pushed past Doug and Cutter, heading outside, glancing down at Doug’s nametag. “Just get out of the bloody way… Russell.”

The plane’s engine noise began swelling again. Duckbill skipped aside as Neck passed through the door. Doug looked over at Sonya, shrugged and gestured, “Ladies first,” yet she declined to exit until he and Cutter went ahead. Doug wasn’t offended. It wasn’t about him. It was Cutter. He made anybody nervous.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

The book is $0.99.

TJ Park is an Australian novelist and screenwriter. He was raised on a steady diet of Stephen King novels, British science-fiction television, and the cinema of John Carpenter and Sergio Leone. Not much else is known about him. That's just the way he likes it.

 Interview with T J Park
As a kid did you write or make up stories?

Both, constantly. Creative writing was the only subject I liked in school and I’ve kept almost all of my storybooks from when I was a first grader through to high school graduation . Killing was a constant motif – killer spiders, killer sea monsters, killer robots, killer aliens, killer pirates, killer killers and when they tried to divert my attention away from all that killing and forced me to write on the topic “rain” I wrote a story about killer raindrops (true). What can I say? I picked my genre early and to my credit pretty much stuck to it. As far as making up stories, I was a tragic at that too – they also had ludicrous science-fictional elements – my favourite was my bionic hand that gave me the ability to telekinetically make other kids fall off school playground equipment. I was able to demonstrate my powers too, which just involved me pointing my fingers at a chosen target (usually someone even more chubby and uncoordinated than myself) staring at them long and hard enough til they eventually fell off a balance beam or monkey bars. I had another where I told the other kids that I had a cursed tiki from New Zealand  (actually it was a promotional item from Air New Zealand if anyone had bothered to look) that caused violent storms when I rubbed it (uncannily there was a storm in the hours after I announced this) – the clouds rolled in, thunder bellowed and lightning seared and snaked across the sky. Several kids freaked out and ran about screaming – including myself who’d bought my own bullshit. Maybe that’s when I decided there was a career in writing. Or as an agent.

Where does most of your Character inspiration come from?

I’ll throw to the comics writer Alan Moore (WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, FROM HELL) for this one who quite brilliantly said “Ideas are a combination of our influences and experiences” and that’s also the case of course with character inspiration. Lifetime reader and viewer of horror, thriller and crime fiction and movies and should probably add Westerns into the mix as well. So I’m well aware of the archetypes and types and cast design for stories in those genres but of course the job of the writer is to bring something fresh to the mix at least rip them off so well that nobody notices) and that involves colouring them with aspects and traits from various people I’ve known, met or been told about over the years. Plus I’ve got enough self-awareness to throw a bit of myself into the mix – usually for the most flawed and deplorable characters.

Do some qualities of your characters come from real people?

Sure do. Sometimes its just their names – I never agonise over naming characters – I used to pull names from off my bookshelf or out of the phone book (but then they stopped printing phones books) so then I just hybridized and mixed-up the names of friends and relatives. And of course sometimes the characters are a hybrid of real people – Wayne “Warlock” Edwards from UNBIDDEN is based on several wanna-be skinny tough guys who slapped around the pavements of my small town with their jeans hanging low on their skinny hips and non-existent arses, puffing out their chests and holding their arms to their sides with a sever case of Invisible Lat Syndrome.
Most of them claimed some kind of special status or ability – they were in a band or studied ninjitsu or were Satanists – all bullshit and bluff of course. They were so obviously as wimpy as the kids they were trying to impress or frighten but kind of puffed themselves up like frill-neck lizards to make themselves seem more threatening than they are. I also have a little brother who is tougher, more resourceful and braver than I am so if ever I need to imagine how someone might act in a given scenario I picture him in it. Basically he’d do the opposite of whatever I’d do.

What was the inspiration for your book?

Two things scare the shit out of me more than anything else – real life crime (I’m talking the hard Australian outlaw biker types – the kind that cut of toes and ears and start shooting up restaurants to settle grievances with other gangs) and the occult.  So my subconscious started shuffling around the elements for a story that combined witchcraft and hardcore crime until inspiration struck as it does at the oddest time. I was walking down a pretty normal street when I heard the creepy sound of windchimes echoing across from what was to the eye a fairly quaint cottage. I started to think about a scenario where both the victim and the perpetrator of a hideous and violent crime were inside that house and they were listening to the sound of those windchimes too. Then I thought… what kind of strange person has windchimes like that in this day and age? The answer snaked into my mind and then I had the entire premise for UNBIDDEN worked out before I was out of earshot of those chimes.

What is your favorite spot to write?

I’m a little like the horror and sci-fi director John Carpenter – to write I need to be virtually imprisoned away from any distraction – a closed private room with a desk, a chair and a laptop (my writing room also features a stacked bookshelf should I ever need any reference or I run out of names of people I know and have to go back to the pick-‘em-off-the-bookshelf system). That’s for pumping out pages. For actual outlining, I prefer to be among people – cafes, pubs, bars – anywhere there’s caffeine, food and beer on hand and plenty of women walking by because I don’t get to experience any of that when I’m in writing prison. Favourite spot to come up with ideas is walking or lying on the beach – I’m from a hot, flat, dry, desolate place that is the exact opposite of a surf beach so I used to dream of being by the ocean and when I’m actually at the seaside I like nothing better than to let myself imagine various story worlds – like the hot, flat, dry, desolate setting where the beginning of UNBIDDEN is set. Which is a bit self-defeating when you think about it.

What advice would you give budding writers?

Don’t do it. Seriously that’s the advice I always give any budding writers whether they’re novelists or screenwriters. Don’t do it if you’re in it for the money or the fame or the cred because those things might never come. But if you’re in it because you don’t want to or can’t do anything else (both are true in my case) then sit your arse down and write.
And, if despite my best efforts, you do so, then write the kind of stories you want to see on a bookshelf or at the cinema – simple as that.


The author will be awarding an eCopy of Mortal Thoughts to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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