Now for a limited time only, Emerging (Book Two) in the Subdue Series is FREE!
About the Book
Traumatized by war, friends gather for a reluctant reunion…
A historic house in Jotham, Texas harbors a malevolent force, and as her fear grows, widow Maggie Smith pleads with three lifelong friends to gather in her home. But will their presence combat the darkness…or feed it?
Minister Jake Williams fears Maggie has had a breakdown…
Feeling he has no choice, Jake locates the other intended guest, Bobby Weeks, who agrees to go with him but struggles with keeping his lycanthropic curse hidden.
Jonathan Steele, a wounded veteran battling PTSD, arrives with his disgruntled wife. After drinking too much at dinner, Jonathan insults the homeless Bobby, and Bobby is missing from the house the next morning.
The dark past of Maggie’s home awakens in the present…
Jake, whose faith is in doubt, confides in a local priest while he and Jonathan search for Bobby, and Ricky’s ghost makes another visit to Jonathan, causing him to become fixated on saving Maggie from the evil that surrounds her.
As the danger intensifies, trust is elusive, and betrayal is certain…
Maggie might be lost, Bobby confronts a terrible choice, and Jake and Jonathan fight to save them all—before they become more victims of the horror emerging beneath the deadly house in Jotham.
Thomas S. Flowers
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
This would be known as the Kobayashi Maru among certain Trek nerds. Much like Kurt, I don’t believe in unsolvable situations. Even if it’s something drastic, like cheating (for the greater good, of course). In the real world, my life is quiet and simple. I don’t typically find myself in difficult situations, and if I do, it’s probably too personal to mention here. I guess one time, for sake of this interview I feel safe mentioning, I had almost missed a connecting flight in Dallas to Houston. I just ran…okay, jogged lightly…okay! I walked briskly to my connecting terminal. I was the last one to board, but I made it in time. Does that count?
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Oh! This is a hard one, cause…you know, I read comics and am a nerd. I think I’ve always wanted telekinesis. So many benefits with that power. I could be lazy and get things with my mind. I could pretend to be a Jedi. And if my power was strong enough, I could even fly, or at least levitate. And don’t even get my started on the bedroom, could you imagine all the crazy things that could happen!
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
Sloth. I’m slow and purposeful.
Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
Sometimes I have strange dreams of some kind of apocalypse, in these scenarios I’ve seen zombies and vampires and random monsters. I’ve had dreams of falling before. And I’ve had dreams in which I am back in the Army and deployed somewhere, typically Iraq. Sometimes it’s something really strange and random, other times it’s me in the turret, as I was a gunner for the majority of my tours.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I’ve got some knife scars on my hand. Randomly. One of them is actually from my first job at Subway, back in the 90s. I was trying to open a large jar of mayo with a knife, the knife slipped and plunged into the space between my thumb and index finger. Ouch!
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Obviously, I lot of inspiration for me has come from Stephen King, as his focus tends to be centered on his characters, likewise, I to tend to focus on my characters as well. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot more of H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker. They both have amazing talent in creating these otherworldly places and moods. They take risks and allow their imaginations to flourish. I’m trying to be more like them in that regard.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names have no major significance to me. Sometimes I certain name will appear in my head for a particular character, and it feels right. I think in naming characters, it should be simple, but also the name must make sense for them. I doubt most fantasy writers name their Orc warrior characters Bill or Teddy, you know. If I’m feeling especially moved, sometimes I’ll use people I know, I’ll borrow their names or ask if they want to be written into the story. In my soon-to-be announced book 3 in the Subdue Series (coming this summer, wink wink), I had a morgue scene with tons of mutilated dead bodies in it. I wanted to give those dead bodies names, make them real people, so I held a “casting” on FB. I was taken back by how many people wanted to be dead…
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Fatherhood/husband. Easy, right? I can list more, of course, but those two are my best accomplishments, I think. Sure, I could say enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving 6.5 years and 3 different tours in Iraq, earning combat badges and meritorious service and national service awards. I could say, attending night school and graduating with a BA in History. I could say, working my way from a lineman to an Operations Manager with my current company. I could also say, publishing four books, several shorts, and an anthology. I could say those things. But I’m more proud of my daughter and wife and how blessed I am because of them. In the end, family is what matters most.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
When I first started and got my first negative review, I think it was for Reinheit before Booktrope picked it up. Someone didn’t care for the story and found a bunch of grammar/editing issues. Okay. I didn’t respond to him/her negatively, but I responded with a kind of “thank you for reading.” Nowadays, I don’t respond. But I do still read reviews. I’m not a “master storyteller,” not yet anyway. So, reviews help tremendously for folks like me, still learning the craft of storytelling, reviews, both positive and negative help me hon my talent. And it also helps knowing people are reading. Now…I will say there are certain types of reviewers out there we call in the biz, trolls. Trolls because they’re not really reading the material, they’re just harping so that either on Amazon or Goodreads, their review % is high or they can be categorized within certain brackets as “reviewers.” FOR WHATEVER REASON trolls review, or even if it is a genuine negative review, it is never a good idea to turn the tables and harp on them. It’s not going to end well for you and your time and energy is being focus where it shouldn’t be. I’ve seen budding authors whine and complain about negative reviews as if the world was going to end. Okay. Someone didn’t like your story, it will be okay. The sun will come up tomorrow. If you jump on social media and start bitching, that’s what people are going to think of you. Maybe, while reviews are important, we’ve put too much stock in focusing on them. You know? Call me crazy, but maybe writers ought to be focusing on, you know, writing.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Some advice huh? First off, never give up. I know that sounds cheesy, like a standard line everyone says, but it’s true. It breaks my heart when I see someone truly excited about their work, whatever it may be, and then through the process of getting the work out there, they become bummed out and end up giving up on the whole thing altogether. Publishing is a tedious business that puts a lot of strain and stress on the author, more so if they’re going it alone. Like most things in life, or as those spiritualist meta-thinkers say, no one is an island. We need our communities. The same could be said about writing. Even if you really like to self-pub, that’s okay too, but you need a base. You need to make connections. Build a circle of fellow authors and cross-promote each other. You can share advice or just talk things though. It helps, trust me.
Again, cross-promote. Do not rely entirely on Facebook to sell books. If you do, you will be greatly disappointed. Facebook is filled with family and friends who you can be guilted into buying a few copies, but what your aim ought to be is building your brand and then building an, as we call in the biz, fan-base. How do you do this? To be honest, I’m no expert. I can say what has worked for me thus far. Making connections. Attending Facebook events, and when you attend those events, please do not post after post links on how to buy your book…ugh! Boring! Try this trifecta during your next event: trivia, giveaways, and genre questions, such as: “What’s your favorite scary movie? People who attend these events love to talk about the genre, not just to read about the book you desperately want them to buy. Keeping a blog and/or author site is also important. The trap, however, is when all you do is promote your books on those sites. Who likes that person at the party who constantly talks about themselves? No one. So why do that on social media? Or on your blog? Or anywhere? I’m not saying, don’t promote yourself; what I’m saying is become a genre provider. For me, I work in dark fiction, so I promote other works in my genre and when I do promote myself, I try not to overdue things. If you’re into fantasy, talk about whatever it is about fantasy that you love. If you like science-fiction, talk about new things in that area. For me, I review horror books, movies, I do other author interviews, and so forth. Currently, my blog has taken on a series of reviews called, Universal Monsters in Review. Every week, on the same day of the week, I’ve invited other writers and authors to post a review on whatever monster is on the roster for that week. Also, newsletters I’m told are equally important. Recently, I did a book signing, the result of that event you can find on my blog. Needless-to-say, be real. Don’t be a spaz and post or talk nothing but “buy my book” links. Be genuine and honest and people will jive with that. If you talk only about yourself, you’ll more than likely become either unfriended, or worse, unfollowed.