Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Author Extras: The Shroud Eaters by Alyx Shaw

The Shroud Eaters by Alyx Shaw

In this day of modern health and sanitation, few consider vampires more than
a charming myth, a sexy little fantasy for when we are home and safe, and
the street lamps and house lights keep away the night. But what happens
when the lights fail, and old horrors rise from the grave to show they are
no myth?

Deirdre has been a vampire since the 1600s, has seen a lot of history and
knows quite a bit about her own species as well. She knows that there are
many more types of vampires than the ones seen in movies and on TV. The
modern version of the vampire is not an accurate one, and she also knows
that being a vampire herself doesn't keep her safe from her own kind. A
whisper in a graveyard, a shuffling footstep outside the door, the low,
steady droning moan of the mindless undead are all warnings. For centuries
she has managed to stay safe, but when she chances to meet a vampire of her
own century, she is unaware that a monster is on his trail.

And now that monster is seeking her as well…

Author Extra:

The town of Cumberland is my hometown where I grew up, and while it may not
be full of vampires, it is certainly full of ghosts and history, and the
tales told by the characters within the book are the tales as I heard them
growing up, and the cemeteries visited are still there, as are the lake and
the houses. The lake is an eerie place, and at night on perfectly still and
silent evenings it will crash as if there is a great storm. Just outside the
town proper, where once stood one of the largest Chinatowns in North
America, there are now silent fields, the houses sunk into the boggy ground.

Of the three houses I lived in when I was growing up in Cumberland, not one
was ghost free. The house on Penrith Avenue gave me relentless nightmares
about men in stovepipe hats dragging my mother to the clay basement. On
Dunsmuir Avenue, I was often too terrified to go to the bathroom at night,
as the house was frequently alive (unalive?) with spectral cats. To this day
I can clearly see then, utterly silent, dodging under furnishings and
vanishing. But the most frightening house was on Sutton Road. Stephen King
could not have created a better haunted house. It was small, built around
the 1920s, and the backyard, I kid you not, was a swamp. Three feet from my
back door was marsh water and skunk cabbage, and, oh yeah, mint. If mint tea
was your thing, you could harvest forty pounds of organic in about 20
minutes. But at night it was dead silent and dark and you could not help but
remember the last inhabitant of that cute little house died there, alone.
And you can’t help but believe in ghosts when something from under your bed
pulls your blankets off in the middle of the night. 

I don’t care if skeptics don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in
skeptics. Ghosts? Oh yeah. Big time.

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