Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Devils in the Dark, presented by Bridging the Gap Promotions, by Marcus Damanda. Please leave a comment or question for Marcus to let him know you stopped by. You can enter his giveaway, for an 1 eCopy of Devils in the Dark, by leaving a comment below. You can also follow the rest of his tour here.
Writing Horror for Today's Teens--What The Walking Dead's Popularity Has Changed by Marcus DamandaThe nice thing about zombies is that you can trust them. No. Really. Think about it.I know, they want to rip you apart, eat you and all that stuff, but bear with me for a sec. In any given situation, you know just how a zombie will behave. There are no surprises or betrayals. Zombies are faultlessly consistent; you know just how to deal with them. There are no variables.One of my students once wore a shirt into school that read, "The worst thing about a zombie apocalypse would be pretending I'm not having a great time."People, on the other hand, are difficult. They lie. They cheat, stab you in the back. Today's teenagers are old enough to know all this. The truth is, today's teenagers, far from being the spoiled little monsters they are accused of being, have a much harder time of it than I had at their age (I'm forty-four years old). They're asked to do more, be more, than any generation of kids that came before them. There are very few stay-at-home parents. Childrearing is often delegated to coaches, teachers--pick your class of grownup--and we all fail them, at one time or another.If the biggest thing we had to worry about was a worldwide zombie infestation, life really would, at least, be much simpler.In THE WALKING DEAD, the zombies are the constant, the background threat that never changes. It's the PEOPLE who provide the surprises and make us crazy. As for all the splattering gore and dangling entrails, well, that's just window dressing. We're all--kids and grownups alike--kind of immune to the novelty of it by now.And so, for the wider genre and world of teen horror, I think that kids will respond to the terrifying effects real life has on us--dressed in a good ghost story, of course. Or zombies, or vampires--whatever. That's why the "edge" in my book, DEVILS IN THE DARK, is sharpened upon the cruelty realistic characters perpetrate on one another: kids who drive each other to self-destructive, nearly fatal acts of desperation. The quest to survive the horrors of real life are at its core, even as 1000 ghosts move in to wreak vengeance on the bullies in question.What does the popularity of THE WALKING DEAD teach us about today's teenagers, about this growing and influential audience of readers? Simple. The devil you know is preferable to the devil you cannot predict. And that latter devil, the unpredictable one, is the one we have to battle down in the real world every day: our own imperfect nature.
Devils in the Dark
by Marcus Damanda
The Devil in Miss Drake's Class, Book 1
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Release Date: November 14, 2014
Genre: 16+ / horror/paranormal/27K
Length: 102 Pages
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About the book:
To most of the Facebook 15, bullying Audrey Bales was just a game—until two deep cuts with a Swiss army knife changed everything forever. Audrey didn’t want attention anymore. After five weeks at Fairview High School, Audrey wanted to die.
The doctors did the only thing they could with her: they put her away.
But in Fairview, Virginia, the nightmare is only beginning. The chat session had not gone unobserved. The Facebook 15 have drawn the attention of an ancient evil that lives only to punish those who would prey upon the weak.
They are the ghosts of 1,000 dead children—1,000 suicides—and their master…
Their master likes Audrey Bales.
And as Audrey attempts to heal her mind and body, far from home, their master prepares for the revenge he will unleash upon her return.
Underneath the blackened veil of her powered-off monitor, the comments kept coming, kept taunting her.
The observer had stopped watching. He leaned back in his chair, head upturned to the ceiling, eyes closed, still eating. The overripe apple had a worm in it, and he sucked it down.
He projected his sight outward, miles and miles from his little home. He didn’t know where he was anymore.
Somebody’s house. An empty room. A closet.
Here he first saw the girl, the one they were tormenting. Her Facebook icon had shown only a skull and crossbones. In real life, she might have been pretty, if she had not worked so hard to hide it.
Familiar too. Something in her eyes and her lips.
She was close, very close, to a bad decision.
She was imagining the ghost of her brother and talking to it, opening boxes that contained his possessions. She listened to him speak words the observer could not hear. Oh, he wished he could. From this distance all he could hear was the pain inside of her, the loneliness, screams within whispers. An oncoming storm.
It made him angry on her behalf.
He returned his gaze to the real world of his apartment. The five of them were still chatting, their cruel banter punctuated by internet abbreviations and emoticons, calling for Audrey-Bear to say something, say something….
More joined the chat.
He shook his head.
You deserve to die, he thought. All of you.
Marcus Damanda lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. At various times throughout his life, he played bass guitar for the garage heavy metal band
Mother’s Day, wrote for The Dale City Messenger, and published editorials in The Potomac News and The Freelance Star. Currently, while not plotting his next foray into fictitious suburban mayhem, he spoils his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.
Find Marcus Damanda here:
***Giveaway: 1 eCopy of Devils in the Dark to a lucky commenter on any of the participating blogs.