Date of Publication: 4/1/2014
Number of pages: 362
Word Count: 92,026
Cover Artist: S. Briones Lim
Stanley Heckley’s world was torn apart the night his wife and infant daughter were murdered by his wife’s ex-lover, James Gandy. Left with no family to call his own, Stanley is consumed with rage and thirsts to exact revenge in the only way he thinks is fair – to kill Gandy’s entire bloodline.
Unfortunately for Stanley, his timid personality and good conscience makes killing a difficult task to accomplish.
Tormented by his inability to avenge his family, Stanley seeks the help of a distant acquaintance known simply as the vampire, Geoff. Touched by Stanley’s plight, Geoff takes it upon himself to give Stanley a thirst for blood and the talent to kill. As a newly turned vampire, Stanley joins Geoff on a complex mission of murder and vengeance as they hunt each member of the Gandy family one by one, wiping the entire bloodline from existence.
Or so they thought.
Over a century later, Stanley learns that a dire mistake has left one Gandy alive. Once again faced with the monsters of his past, Stanley finds himself returning to his hometown of Meyers to hunt the remaining descendant, Amanda. From the get-go, Stanley’s mission is plagued with many obstacles including a new henchman for Geoff, a ghost of a young, sadistic girl, and the fact that Amanda looks remarkably like his late wife. For this member of the undead, hunting the final Gandy may just be the death of him.
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Where did the idea for Parricide come from? My husband actually came up with the idea. One night we were watching a marathon of one of our fave shows, True Blood, and my husband merely remarked, “Why isn’t there a story about a vampire who kills an entire bloodline?” That comment alone sparked a whole story in my mind.
What other genre(s) do you write in? How many books do you have out? Titles? Just like the books on my TBR list, I’m a bit eclectic. Though I tend to lean towards Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and Horror, I also like write New Adult and Women’s Fiction. To date I have the Life Force Trilogy out. This includes Green, Red and the upcoming release Silver. By the end of the year I hope to have my werewolf novel and New Adult novel completed as well.
What kind of research did you need to do for Parricide? Parricide weaves together past and present in order to tell Stanley’s story. Since a chunk of the novel takes place in 1904, I had to research fashion, architecture and even mannerisms and leisure activities to make the book believable.
What about an outline? Do you map your way through a story or go by the seat of your pants? I always like to think my stories write themselves. Half the time, I basically dream (no joke!) my stories up and all that’s left is to put it on paper. I always tend to have a basic outline in my head, but sometimes the story just takes over and even I’m surprised where it ends up!
What was the most important thing you learned while writing Parricide? What have you learned in general about writing? I learned to write for myself. Parricide touches upon tough subjects and initially I was afraid of how people would respond to it. However, I realized how important telling the story was to me, regardless of other people’s perceptions. You can’t please everyone. It’s a lesson that I’m learning more and more each day.
What was the hardest part about writing Parricide? Parricide is pretty dark and there are many scenes in the book that were a bit tough to write. I wanted to make the story believable and that entailed diving into the characters’ mindsets and emotions throughout the story. Given the emotional turmoil Stanley lived through, his mind was a pretty dark place to be in. Another tough aspect of Parricide were the killing scenes. A few of the scenes actually made me a bit uncomfortable to write, but like I said, I needed to make the story believable. I couldn’t go easy on a character just because a part of me would cringe at some of the gore factor.
Is anything in your story based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? I tend to put a little of myself in the characters. Certain mannerisms and certain phrases and expressions I’m known to do or say often find themselves into the book! Everything else is purely imagination, though J
Did you try traditional publishing before self-publishing? What happened? What made you decide to self-publish? Actually, even before my very first novel was written, I knew I wanted to self-publish. I just really wanted to get my stories out there and honestly, I was a bit naive to the whole industry and how it truly worked. With Parricide, I did query a few agents and did garner some interest. However, after many months of playing the waiting game, I decided to self-pub this title as well. I guess the tipping point was when an editor told me to rewrite the whole first chapter of the book. Though I’m all for criticism and feedback, I had already had some beta readers who LOVED the first chapter and told me it was what hooked them from the start. I just couldn’t in good conscience take that away from Parricide just because a publisher told me to.
There is a rumor going around that all self-published books are poorly written and ill put together. What do you say to that? It is totally not true! I’ve read countless self-published books without even knowing they were self-published! In fact, some of my fave authors started out self-published If a writer loves his/her story, s/he will find away to ensure it is polished top to bottom.
Has it been worth it to go down the self-publishing route? (in terms of sales and other less tangible reasons) Self-publishing has allowed me to attain a dream that I could still have been waiting on. Though getting sales can be difficult at times, that goes for any product out there on the market. The feeling I get when I hear from my readers, hold the first proof of my book and even seeing it on Goodreads has made it way worth it!
How do you market Parricide? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Little known fact, I was actually a Social Media Marketing Coordinator for an advertising company. I’ve seen how great the social media platform works in reaching your target audience. Above all that, I absolutely love interacting with my readers. There’s no better avenue than word of mouth and reader interaction. I think Social Media takes care of all that.
Are there any other self-published authors that have grasped your interest or inspired you to self-publish? I began reading books by Tina Weber and J.A. Redmerski back when they were self-published authors. I fell in love with their books before I even knew the difference between traditional and self-published! They truly inspired me to take the next steps in a dream that I’ve held onto for all my life.
Would you take a publishing deal if you were offered one? Why? Yes, I would take a publishing deal so that I can reach more readers. Though I absolutely love self-publishing, having the marketing backing of a publishing house would truly be awesome and very helpful. I’m all for experiencing all facets of this industry and would love to learn more about traditional publishing through firsthand experience.
What format do you prefer to read in, e-book, paperback, or hardcover? Any format! I’m such a big bookworm, that I find e-books more convenient for me. I love having all my books at my fingertips. Thank God for my Kindle app on my phone J However, I still love the feel and smell of books. Can’t go wrong with a hard copy.
Where do you think the writing world will end up in the future, your predictions? I think there will be a surge in indie and hybrid authors. As an Indie author myself, I’m excited to see all the new books that may not have been published under traditional press. I love reading, so the more books out there, the better!
What new projects are you working on now? I am in the finally stages of rewrites/revisions for SILVER (book 3 of the Life Force Trilogy). I am also in the middle of writing a New Adult novel and finishing up my werewolf novel. On top of that, my beta readers have expressed interest in a follow-up for Parricide. So, yes, I’m working on that too! I have a bit of a habit of spreading myself too thin.
Is there anything about writing you find particularly challenging? Myself , haha. I’m my own worst critic and even after a book is complete, I always find certain things I’d like to go back and change about it. It’s come to the point that once a book of mine is out in the market, I tend not to reread it.
Who came up with the cover design and where did the art come from? I came up with the design and produced it myself. I wanted an eery, creepy type cover to encompass the overall darkness and terror of Parricide. I’m quite happy with how it came out! Out of all my designs, I think Parricide’s cover is my favorite one.
Did you hire anyone to help you edit? Why? Unfortunately, as a self-published author, funds are a bit hard to come by. Professional Editors tend to cost a lot of money and right now, it’s not a luxury I can afford. That being said, I have a team of beta readers, friends and family who read, edit and proofread my books. One of my friends is actually a professional proofreader, so that helps me out a lot! They help me catch things I would never have and for that, I am so thankful.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Your best compliment? I think the toughest criticism a writer can receive is to find out someone really didn’t care for your story. As writers, we put our heart and soul into our work. Though I know you can’t please everyone, it still hurts a bit to think that a reader didn’t care for your book at all. That being said, the best compliment I received was from readers telling me that they “couldn’t put the book down.” My heart sings a happy song whenever I find out a reader fell in love with my book as much as I loved writing it.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Just to keep on keeping on J Write for yourself and nobody else!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I just wanted to thank all my readers for their support. It still flabbergasts me to think I have actual “readers.” I am so grateful for each one.
How can fans that enjoyed Parricide find out more about you and what you have coming out in the future? They can follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/sbrioneslim), Facebook (facebook.com/sbrioneslim), Instagram (username: Sbrioneslim) and of course find me on my blog: sbrioneslimauthor.wordpress.com
April 9, 1904
“No! Please don’t shoot!” Her voice wavered slightly though she tried her hardest to remain firm and unfazed. Had it not been for the tremor in her tone and the unmistakable trembling of her shoulders, the intruder might have bought her act of valor.
The terrified cries of my wife echoed against the bare wooden walls causing me to run in a panic. I flew down a flight of stairs towards the parlor area and noticed the dim flicker of a single candle illuminating the room. It added an eerie ambiance to what was to be the most horrifying moment of my life.
“Gandy! What do you think you’re doing?! Get your hands off my wife!” I shouted with pure ferocity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the blood vessels in my eyes had burst open given the tint of red that shadowed my vision.
“Well, well, lookit ‘ere who it is,” Gandy slurred drunkenly as he gripped my wife’s strawberry blond hair between his fingers. “It’s Stanley Heckley! Or might I say, the Great Stanley Heckley.” He cackled and peered down at my wife.
My eyes fell instantly onto Christiana’s tear stained face. I made an attempt to rush forward, however, she shook her head slightly and mouthed, “Go! Save Katie.”
My stomach wrenched as I pictured our three-month-old daughter hidden under the floorboards in the main room upstairs. She was safe – for now.
I cleared my throat and stood up straighter. Holding my hands out as a final plea, I said as calmly, but with as much authority as I could muster, “Gandy, please put down the gun. You had a little too much to drink tonight and I promise that if you walk out of here this instant, I will not tell the authorities of this little incident.”
I braced myself for his reaction and was surprised to hear a hearty chuckle in response. Christiana winced as he continued his belly laugh and pulled tightly against her head. Her beautiful braid was now a rat’s nest and I was surprised not to find clumps of her pinkish locks strewn along the floor.
“Do you think you have the right to tell me what to do?” Gandy laughed hysterically. With his gun toting hand he reached up and wiped tears from the corners of his eyes.
“I beg your pardon but I don’t see the humor in this situation,” I growled.
“You want to know what’s funny?” Gandy snapped. “The fact that Christiana here picked you over me. What does she see in you anyway? Nothing but a stack of cash that your daddy gave you.”
I glanced around the room frantically, looking for any escape route. My eyes focused on the window and my mind methodically went over any possible option I had to get my family out of this situation. It was as if everything was running in slow motion, from the flow of my blood through my veins to the harsh beating of my pained heart.
“Are you listening to me?!” Gandy’s hazy voice interrupted my frantic thoughts.
I gulped. “Yes, Gandy.”
His eyes widened as he pointed the barrel toward me. Christiana gasped and began pleading frantically, begging for him to drop the gun. Ignoring her cries, he lifted an eyebrow as he looked me dead in the eye. “It’s yes, sir,” he corrected.
I nodded my head. “Yes, sir,” I replied through gritted teeth.
His lips curled up into a sinister grin and he began pacing the room dragging Christiana along with him. She grabbed at his hand, trying to pry his fingers from her scalp, but was unsuccessful. The gray skirt of her dress, a birthday present from me, dragged behind her, becoming soiled with the dust from the floor.
“Now, I don’t know why you’re stupid enough to come back to town,” he said through gritted teeth. “The folks here were finally steer clear of the Heckleys, yet here you are infesting our town again with your filthy riches. You think your family’s better than all of us here, don’t you? Just because of your blue blood ways.”
“Gandy,” I said in an even tone. It pained me to even speak, my throat dry and parched from fear. “Please leave my property. We’ll deal with this when you’re sober in the morning.”
“This ain’t about being sober! This is about the abomination that your family has bestowed upon the less privileged. That’s why you came back to town now, isn’t it? To take over all the businesses that your greedy father wasn’t able to get his cold, vile hands on! You should have stayed in God knows where you were!”
“It was a mistake to come back,” I agreed as I nodded my head; and good God did I agree. “We only came back to tie up ends concerning my father’s estate. Nothing more.”
“Ah, yes,” he grinned. “That’s right! Your old man croaked a month ago, didn’t he?”
My blood began boiling and instinctively my fists clenched together. “Yes,” I said in a raspy tone. The pain of having lost my father still burned freshly in my heart. Hearing Gandy speak so nonchalantly about his passing made me want to gouge his eyes out. That would have to wait. For now I needed to focus on helping my sweet wife.
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a bedtime story to her every single night throughout her childhood years, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Author S. Briones Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist and/or Book Author. A Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media later, she is finally delving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, S. Briones Lim’s love for books has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoyed writing them.
Author of the Life Force Trilogy, S. Briones Lim’s other obsessions include time with family, POPCORN, watching movies and her pug, Tobi. She currently lives on the East Coast with her husband and continues to write every day.
Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/sbrioneslim