Spotlight: Michael Aronovitz Visits to Talk About His Latest Release!
Today, we're doing something a little different. Michael Aronovitz is stopping by to talk about his fascinating book!
Hello, Michael! It's great to have you on MLB. :)
Hello! Thanks so much for having me!
My pleasure, of course! I also want to thank you for allowing me to visit as a guest recently on your own website. :)
So, let me ask a few questions since you're here...
Can you tell us a little about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?
The Witch of
the Wood is an erotic horror piece about an ancient race of shape shifting
women who change according to their mates’ evolving sexual desires. These witches were imprisoned long ago and
when they “come out,” all hell breaks loose.
Sexy. Scary. Crazy.
This came out
through Hippocampus Press in December of 2014 and is available on Amazon or
directly from that publisher.
So, what inspired you to write your book? How did you get into writing horror?
Hmm. The first question is easy. I wrote this particular story because guys are so fickle, chasing after skirts with their eyes constantly (sometimes more than the eyes) almost seemingly compelled to frankly make fools of themselves. I figured…what if women just changed right along with them, laughing all the way, sort of staying one step ahead of the fantasy. I wanted to combine that with the idea of the witch, and if I was going to write about witches they were going to be sexy.
The second part
of the question is harder to answer, because I don’t know why I write horror. The supernatural and scare factors both
interest me. Don’t know why. They keep me on the edge of my seat.
Okay. What, do you feel, sets this book apart from other books in the genre?
Well, without trying to sound like I’ve figured out any secret universal code, I would hope I bring strong characterization and intrigue to a genre that often gets less respect than it should. My stories are always character and twist oriented. The horror is just flavoring.
So...give us a teaser or two if you can.
First was the great rumbling, vibrations that sent numbing shooters through Rudy’s feet, pebbles and dirt seemingly from nowhere rolling and threading down the hill toward the shed, Patricia’s plywood work board trembling and shivering on its supports, then falling off at an odd angle. Next was the rocking, the skyline come alive, trees all around pitching to and fro as if engulfed in some strange hurricane that painted arcs on the horizon.
From beneath, there were great pulling sounds, stretching, yawning, a muffled army of high tension bows being drawn as the massive network of intertwined root systems strained to the absolute breaking point.
Then the earth erupted, a million buried circus whips cracking all at once as the embedded, roots ripped up from underfoot in a damp throaty roar, soil coming up in bursts and cascades, peppering the house, showering all around Rudy Barnes who covered his face with his forearm.
He thought he heard screams: a neighbor walking a dog maybe, a jogger, who knew? It got drowned out quickly by the fantastic collapse, the purging of the skyline as every tree came crashing down to the earth.
Rudy was lucky he was not killed. The border elms like the slats of some massive gate-barrier thundered down in a diagonal pattern, first smashing through the roof atop the detached garage, then the kitchen and laundry room, the rose garden, and all along the hill Rudy was sidestepping down, the ground feeling like shuffling floorboards in a funhouse. Rudy turned and tried to run. A gargantuan trunk pounded the ground missing him by inches, and he dove off to the right. The weeping willow on the far side of the back yard smashed down into the shed turning it to splinters and three trees plunged across Rudy’s path a few feet ahead of where he had fallen to his stomach. He covered his head with his hands for a moment, the scratches and abrasions up his forearms wet and stinging.
The thunderous booming of it was overwhelming, rolling shockwaves pounding the ground, a riotous tumult that felt like the end of the world. It reached a tremendous peak, then slowed, thinned out and scattered to isolated shivers, the final showers of soil and rock pelting down, then drizzling off like an engine ticking down as it cooled.
There were dull echoes. There was aftermath silence, but then came a mad skittering in the grass. Rudy raised his head and there, coming on at ground level from the felled ruin of the wood beyond the iron fence, was a mad rush of wildlife flooding over and between the crooked nest of trunks and branches: white and grey field mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, gophers, small foxes, deer, all jumping and crawling over each other in a mass exodus from a world that had been turned inside-out.
There were more screams now from over the hill, honking horns, cars crashing into things with gritty finality, hoarse shouts.
“Good acoustics all of a sudden,” Rudy thought wildly, as he pushed to his feet and made for the tool shed, its opened back corner still standing on its own like some ancient monolith. He moved, climbed, stepped across the jigsaw of foliation, lost his footing and raked his shin, then doggie paddled over to the “monument.” The catty-cornered shelves had held, and Rudy swiped the remains of a collection of gardening trowels to the ground along with a stack of clay flower pots. He climbed two shelves high and wrapped his arms around the corner post for dear life.
The evacuation swarmed underneath him, yipping and rustling, and what looked like a bear cub loped right past his ankle nipping and snapping at the air. The mass covered the hill, a rippling hoard of clawing, retreating hindquarters that scurried off to the jungle that had become Hampstead and Elm Avenues and beyond.
The dust and dirt that had risen in the air was now settling to a resinous haze. There was almost a dramatic pause then, like the time for a deep breath where one could take inventory, cut his losses, and measure his options.
But along the slope of the near hill there was new movement. A sneaky sort of creeping.
It was a spread of strange coloring, an outpouring, and Rudy’s breath caught in his throat. Bone white hands and arms were creeping out of the holes in the ground, skeletal fingers feeling about the perimeters, palms settling, then pressing, and then was the emergence.
Rudy focused on the closest cavity across the yard, where an elm had toppled down across the forest gate, bending the corner into a twisted black dog-ear. Back at its dark uncorked root-cellar, a form pushed out of the hole, black beetles and other vermin swimming off her in a sort of unveiling, white skin stretched bone tight and spotted with filth, tangle of black hair peppered with dirt. Her bulbous black eyes shuttered open and closed in reaction to the glare of the sun, and she pushed up to a standing position, bony knees almost buckling.
Her hand was at her forehead then, in a protective salute to shield her sensitive eyes, and Rudy noticed something. He still had a clear view of her face in an odd, sort of bare perspective.
“No shadow,” he thought.
She let her hands fall to her sides, and took a step forward, careful not to touch branch, leaf, nor stalk of the prison column that had held her underground for so long. She gave a slight curtsy, and then said in a voice rough with dirt, “Rudy. Rudy…Barnes.”
Well, you have my attention!
So, I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?
No secrets here! I wrote my first paranormal romance, no horror at all, in the form of a young adult novel titled Becky’s Kiss. This will come out through Vinspire Press this coming November. It is about a 9th grade girl named Becky Michigan who falls in love with the boy of her dreams on the first day of high school. Too bad he keeps disappearing!
My other big project is Phantom Effect, my third adult horror novel. This is my most shocking work, and the one that people will hopefully remember. It is about a serial killer who is forced to relive the last week of his last victim’s life, as her, and see what it is like to be stalked by himself!
In reference to stuff I am hacking out at the computer presently, I am 28,000 words into a new novel to be titled Dead Red, and shopping a new short story about social media and the disasters we have coming in the near future. That one is called Soul Text.
Awesome! Can't wait! I just love those titles!
Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about this book, Michael!
Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this exciting, erotic horror story! ;)
Here is the blurb.
Amazon Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SURBGZS
About the Author:
has been writing horror fiction since 2009. Along with his two
collections and two novels, he has published short stories and critical
articles in a variety of magazines. In 2011 his short story "How
Bria Died" appeared in Paula Guran's "The Year's Best Dark Fantasy
and Horror, and in 2014 his short story "The Girl Between the Slats"
appeared in S.T. Joshi's "Searchers After Horror" anthology.
Aronovitz is a Professor of English and lives in Pennsylvania with his
wife Kim and their son Max.