Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Unearthed by Brian O'Rourke

Normally, I would probably put this over on my Not New for Long blog, but that's already got a new post about another hot new title, so I thought I would use this blog to not only mention Brian O'Rourke's new horror novel, The Unearthed, but to talk a bit about the E-Book revolution as well.

The Unearthed is in part the story of a paranormal investigation. You've seen all those accounts of people who spend their free time going around trying to photograph ghosts in old barns and other abandoned places, right? Well, Tim and his sometimes reluctant brother, Eddie, are those kind of people. You'll recognize this type of brotherly duo, I bet--Tim's the serious one, the methodical one who is trying to impose just a little order on the universe, if it wouldn't be too much to ask, and of course Eddie in reaction to him acts the perennial screw-up. Yet he's got talents that Tim lacks--he's good with women and children in ways that Tim is not. There's a long-festering scar and sorrow in the brothers' lives--their parents died in a car accident at which both brothers were present. Eddie was apparently the screw-up in that one, too.

Not much of a horror story, you say? Oh, I was just leading up to that. Tim has taken a job at the infamous Moriarty house, where three out of four members of a family died in a single night, leaving only the youngest brother, Eamon, to tell the tale--and he has been shocked out of remembering. The house seems to be carrying some interesting trace memories, which are what the McCloskey brothers have come to investigate. A new family, the Rosellis, have seized a 'real estate opportunity' and moved in. But after a series of mysterious events, including odd behavior by Billy, the Rosellis' only child, they may find that a cheap house is not necessarily always a bargain.

The story amps up steadily with several surprising revelations along the way. For me, though, the underlying themes of conflict between brothers, half-brothers and pseudo-brothers remains one of the most intriguing aspects. Is the whole history of masculine life the story of one brother telling the other what to do, and the other suppressing the desire to kill him for it? I am strongly tempted toward this conclusion...

The Unearthed is available through Lyrical Press in E Book format. Fans of the old print medium will be happy to learn that it has been picked up for printed publication by British publisher Ghostwriter Publications. While this is gratifying for dinosaurs like me, who find reading a book in e-format on my computer somewhat cumbersome, I do think the e-book world is a wonderful new stream for emerging writers like Brian. The editing is every bit as professional as the 'big houses' and by minimizing their initial outlay, publishers like Lyrical Press can take chances that more established houses are averse to. These new outlets are good news for everyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More shameless self-promotion

I have mentioned this to a few people already, but I am finally getting a moment to catch my breath and give a link to an on-line journal that graciously accepted one of my stories and has recently published it. The story, "The Living" is in the California College of Arts and Crafts lit mag, Eleven Eleven. You can find the link here.

Now, I don't know if the story is any good or not. And I do mean that sincerely. I am not sure how anyone ever can detach themselves enough from their own effort to view it objectively. The one thing I will assert, however, is that there is something more going on here, or maybe trying to go on here than the writer really knew. And I find that interesting.

Considering that I'm the writer.