D. Melhoff will give $25 Amazon or BN gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter.
Come Little Children
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
Like most writers, I was (still am) a voracious reader. Picture a kid who shows up to a hockey game with The Hobbit tucked under his armpit, or the pimple-faced teenager who would rather write screenplays and poetry than get hammered at the next high school bush-party. Make no mistake, I still have a lot of great friends—and my parents and teachers were kind enough to listen to early dribble—but I’ve always led a more introverted lifestyle, so I guess most of my inspiration came from those authors I was reading early on.
2. How did you come up with ideas for your books?
That’s always a tricky question. Sometimes ideas just appear—a few fully formed, a few barely embryonic—but other times, they come more logically, perhaps after meeting someone interesting or digging into a topic for a long period of time. Usually my problem isn’t coming up with ideas (I’ve got lots of those); it’s deciding which ones to devote a year or more of my life to.
For Come Little Children, there were a couple ideas that I’d been knocking around for a while that finally came together. First of all, Morticians fascinate me (I’ve wanted to write something about a funeral home for a long time), and secondly, I had this idea about a conspiracy theory surrounding the Garden of Eden, so I thought, “Hell, let’s mix these things together and see where it goes.”
3. What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
Humor and a strong sense of pacing. It helps to have a fresh spin on something well known too, for marketing purposes.
4. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I don’t know if my stomach is strong enough to do the whole mortician thing, so... maybe the airline pilot from the start of the book? Yes, yes the pilot. He’s only mentioned in chapter one, but—spoiler alert—he’s one of the characters that survives, plus he gets to fly planes instead of deal with dead people for a living.
5. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
Best advice: write 2000 words a day, no exceptions. Worst advice: use commas sparingly. The comma is the acrobat of the literary world; middle school and high school teachers try to beat the beautiful punctuation mark’s more flexible uses out of their students, but that’s overly restrictive.
6. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
Not unless collecting Pez dispensers counts? Although now that I think about it, that might explain my penchant for decapitations in a lot of my stories...
7. Who is your favorite actor and actress?
Meryl Streep, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Maggie Smith, Ramin Karimloo. Sidenote: I once got a picture with Adrian Brody at The Meatball Shop in New York, but the memory card got corrupted and the photo was lost. Alas, now no one believes me.
8. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
The “black moment” (i.e., my main character’s rock bottom) comes at a point when she has done absolutely everything in her power to solve the problem that she’s dealing with, and it’s not enough. She’s incredibly smart, resourceful, and driven, but—like most of us—there just comes a moment of utter horror when she hits a wall and realizes she isn’t strong enough to overcome it. And just like the rest of us, it’s how she deals with that wall that defines her.
9. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
Honestly, I don’t know if I’d need “names” playing my characters. I’d much rather find the performers that fit the roles best, regardless of whether or not they’re well-known actors.
10. Anything else you might want to add?
Only some marketing jazz, of course. If anyone’s interested in learning more about Come Little Children, please visit my website and watch the video trailer at www.dmelhoff.com. To order the novel, visit Amazon directly. Please Note: the paperback is currently available, and the eBook will be available November 30.
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The Nolan morgue is more than just an ordinary funeral home. When their newest employee uncovers a supernatural conspiracy connected to a string of child murders, she must use every shred of her intelligence to stop a new breed of serial killer and escape the morgue alive.
The old hands worked carefully with the added confidence of having done this hundreds of times. Their maneuvers were quick and precise. Fluid. Surgical.
A scalpel touched a point between the nipples on the cadaver’s chest and drifted north, unzipping the skin exactly seven inches along the sternum. Shadows played out the rest on the concrete walls: the worker selected a heavier device and hovered over the outline of the body, flicking a switch and activating a
high, screeching vibration that trailed through the air and disappeared into the silhouette’s chest.
Instantly the hum dropped an octave—ggvvrrrrr, ck-ck, ggvvrrrrr—choking and sputtering as it coughed up particles of bone dust.
Ggvvrrrrr! CK-CK! Ggvvrrrr!
The mist made a macabre Tyndall effect in the lamplight.
Beyond these specks, the worker turned off the electric saw and brought up a wooden box the size of a tea chest, then withdrew something from inside.
It was too dark to see what the object was, but the worker handled it nimbly and lowered it into the body’s rib cage.
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.
Official Website: www.dmelhoff.com