Monday, November 5, 2012
Southern Bones by AJ Brown #feature
In the spirit of sharing about the works of my fellow authors, I've given a spot to AJ Brown today, author of Southern Bones.
Without further ado, here's the book's blurb:
Welcome to the South. Recognized for its traditions, beliefs and hospitality. The people are genuine and a helping hand and a home cooked meal are never too far away.
Welcome to the South. Where some traditions are better off forgotten. Where some beliefs are based, not on the Bible, but on what men want you to believe. Where behind the hospitable smiles are angry snarls trailed by the feral snaps of rabid people.
Welcome to the South. Where a house stands lonely on a hill, its owner a man deformed by life. Where children aren’t quite as naïve as they appear. Where the darkest secrets are found within its families, and where dying sometimes isn’t the end.
Welcome to Southern Bones, a collection of eleven short stories from the mind of AJ Brown.
And a little background on the Southern Bones collection, from AJ Brown:
Southern Bones is a collection of eleven short stories, all based in the south, though they really could be from Anywhere USA. They are considered horror, though I think that may be misleading. All of the stories have horrific elements to them, but unfortunately, there is no horrific elements genre.
The stories range from a terribly sad incident involving beautiful horses and the little girl who witnessed it, to a family's trip to a carnival that doesn't end so well for a couple of the members, to two orphaned little kids taken in by an angry drunk in a poor town, to the delusions of babies needing to be set free from the world and its sins.
Several of the stories have religious undertones to it, somewhat darkly delicious undertones.
The writing style is relaxed, almost conversational at points. There are two experimental pieces--one of which is probably the best story in the collection.
To be entirely honest, Southern Bones is not your typical action oriented collection of stories. It is mostly character and visually driven--more so than action, action, action.
Southern Bones buy link
About AJ Brown...
AJ Brown is a southern born country boy from a family of rednecks. He writes dark, atmospheric stories that doesn't so much scare you in the moment, but rather, creeps up on you and strangles you when you aren't looking.
Some of his stories can be found in Necrotic Tissue, Midnight Echo Magazine, Along the Splintered Path (collection) and Tales of the Zombie War, among others.
You can find him on Facebook and at his blog/website, Type AJ Negative.
And now, for an excerpt from The Burning Children:
Sitting on the steps of a rundown apartment building with busted windows on the first and second floors was another man, much younger than the bum on the street. He had his coat off and shirtsleeve rolled to his bicep. A belt was tied tight just above the crook in his elbow. Carney saw the syringe, the liquid heaven inside it. But, there was something wrong with that liquid. There was something in it—floating like a soul trapped in the cylinder. The needle went into the upraised vein and the junkie pushed the plunger. The young man’s eyes rolled back, his head lolled on his shoulders.
A minute passed. Two more. Then five. The junkie’s eyes snapped open, his mouth gaping, a scream came out as nothing more than a whimper. The kid reached a hand out to Carney. The hand turned into a claw as the kid grabbed at his chest. His back arched.
Carney turned away.
A block further a black woman with stockings all the way up past her thighs approached him. Her skirt was dirty and he could tell she wore no bra by the way her nipples tried to poke through the material.
“Five bucks for a blow,” she said, her voice scratchy, her eyes jaundiced and her teeth like crooked shards of metal in her almost black gums.
“No… no, thank you,” Carney said, his hands out in front of him in a warding off gesture. He crossed the street in a hurry, trying not to run as he did so.
At the next corner, he stopped, took a breath and heard a familiar whisper.
Carney turned and saw it plastered against the wall, its grin a malevolent yellow, dripping with malice.