And speaking of Gordon, welcome to the blog. For the benefit of those who haven't read your marvelous book can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Gordon Kessler] Thank you for hosting me on Hope. Dreams. Life… Love. I’ve been writing fiction for over twenty years. I enjoy writing thrillers because of the emotional roller-coaster ride they create, and I try to include a good amount of romance and mystery with each novel. My second novel Dead Reckoning is a mystery thriller, with a female protagonist, set aboard a military ship. My latest thriller is a sci-fi story called Brainstorm and deals with remote viewing and psychic projection. All three are being promoted for a limited time in all eBook formats, anywhere online, for only $.99. They’re also available in trade paper and hardcover. I also have two short stories available in eBook formats: a humor piece called“Toothpick for Two” and a nostalgic romantic drama called “Jack Knight”.
Wonderful! I'll be picking up Brainstorm today. What influenced you to write Jezebel?
[Gordon Kessler] This was my first finished novel. I started on a comedy, but later discovered that the audience for comedy novels was very small, while, at the time, horror was going great guns. I’d been reading a lot of Dean Koontz and a little Stephen King, when, while staring at a blank page on the ol’ electric typewriter at our dining room table, the family pet ferret came bounding around the corner. “Jezebel,” I thought, “ferret from Hell!” Well, it seemed to be some sort of a sign. It made sense for me to write horror since that was a popular genre at the time (and is again today), and I really enjoyed Dean Koontz, who truly is a “master of suspense” (and description). Of course, I had to change the killer ferret into something more believable, and I love big dogs. At one time, I tried raising St. Bernards—but Stephen King had already done a horror dog story about a Saint (Cujo), so I didn’t want that kind of comparison. I’d been around Great Danes some and really loved their gentle temperament—a great contrast for what the novel’s namesake needs to be perceived to have. And, of course, the dog had to be “black as a Hell-bound night”.
Why do you think horror is so appealing?
[Gordon Kessler] With horror, you’re really unlimited in how far you can take the suspense and thrills, adult content, etc. I love the suspense and setting up the dramatic and emotion-thick scenes. However, I’m not much into the supernatural, so, when I go there, I try to keep that aspect in some way plausible.
You mentioned Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Obviously, they influenced your writing.
[Gordon Kessler] Yes, they were definitely my biggest influences.
Does your style remind you of any other author?
[Gordon Kessler] I learned dramatic writing, description and pacing from Koontz and King. A number of readers say my style is Koontz-like, some say like King. I’ve tried not to copy either style, but learn from them and understand how their writing styles, as well as other authors’, entertain readers.
Since dogs are a prominent feature in Jezebel, do you have dogs of his own? If so, what type are they?
[Gordon Kessler] I am owned by a super-sweet, ten-month-old golden retriever named Jaz. She keeps me sane.
I know what you mean. I have a mixed breed called Rascal who's well named. His last transgression is chewing the fringe off my oriental rug. Do you have any other pets at present?
[Gordon Kessler] I got Jaz after not having a dog for over 25 years. I had several ferrets over a period of about twelve years, and I loved them dearly. They truly are like shooting stars—their energy, playfulness and lives shine bright for only a few years. I find there are few things harder to deal with than losing a companion of any kind. It always makes me reluctant to get another pet, once I lose one.
Again, I know what you mean. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers?
(Gordon Kessler) Besides Amazon.com and other Internet bookstores, you can find out more about me and my novels on my website: www.GordonKessler.com; my retail bookstore for “indie” authors: www.ReadersMatrix.com; and you can view the YouTube book trailers for both Jezebel and Brainstorm at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zHD9pmHOzk&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zHD9pmHOzk&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eDjWJFbRdI, respectively. Please check them out and give them a “thumbs up” and a nice comment, if you like them.
Also, if you’re a writer and are thinking of “going indie,” check out my websites www.IndieWritersAlliance.com and www.WritersMatrix.com. You can friend me on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/GordonKessler1; follow me on Twitter at: www.Twitter.com/GordonKessler; and link up with me at www.LinkedIn.com/in/GordonKesslerwww.LinkedIn.com/in/GordonKessler. Again, thank you for hosting me on Hope. Dreams. Life… Love. It’s been a pleasure.
You're very welcome. Your book is great.
I do have a couple of questions for your blog followers. Please do comment on my post, but answering my questions are, of course, optional. Here they are:
1. What do you think women find most attractive about a male protagonist?
2. What do you think men find the most attractive about a female protagonist?
3. What traits make the very best villains?
Readers, don't forget to help him out. Gordon is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one commenter on his blog tour. And now, here's a blurb and excerpt from Jezebel
Sleep lightly tonight…
A madman has come to town seeking a diabolical revenge and large dogs begin attacking their masters for no apparent reason and with heinous results.
Animal Control Director Tony Parker must find out why and stop the murderous attacks. Meanwhile, Jezebel, a huge black Great Dane has killed her master and is loose, terrorizing the city and stalking Parker and his family. Parker and Sarah Hill, his beautiful and seductive young assistant, attempt to unravel the mystery and stop the terrible carnage while dealing with their own demons and lusty desires.
The attacks must be stopped. Jezebel must be found-and soon, you see--there is one other complication. Parker seems to have come down with an annoying little virus. No, it's not one of those irritating summer colds. It's certain death.
She's a murderess, huge and black as a hell-bound night.
Beware. Jezebel is on the loose!
Hill went to the front door and watched Chin’s van make a U-turn at the corner and head down the street. The headlights flashed in Hill’s face, momentarily blinding her. She winced. The light burned her already blood-shot, weary eyes.
A silent moment passed before a sound came from outside. The back yard. Scratching. Something was climbing over the fence.
The rifle. It was still next to the back door. Hill moved quickly toward the kitchen. As she made it to the hall, the dog port began to open. Hill stepped to the side, out of sight, before seeing what was coming through.
She trembled, backing up to the wall next to the large window that was painted shut. She could run for the door, but by the time she reached it, she’d be seen. No way out. Hide. Where? There was no place. Behind the sheer curtain, maybe. In the dark, she might not be seen if she was quiet and didn’t move.
She pulled the curtain around her. She could see through it, but it made the already dim room even dimmer. The blowing fan was the only noise. Nothing moved except the oscillating shadows of the fan blades beating the stale air through the room. The green flash of the clock on the CD player caused an eerie, strobing light.
A dark shape slowly emerged from the hallway and moved into the room. Large. Huge. Black.
Thanks again—and happy blogging! Gordon