Today on the blog I’m so excited to have author Pete Clark here to answer some questions about himself and of course his newest book!
Lillian: Welcome Pete! Thank you so much for coming! Tell us a little about yourself.
Pete: I am not a very exciting person. I teach High School English. When I’m not writing I like to play a lot of video games, read, go to the movies. I am also obsessed with sports. I used to play a lot but now I am lazy so I just watch and yell about how far superiors athletes are disappointing me. It takes the edge off. 🙂
Lillian: That kinda sounds like my husband. He just yells and yells like they can hear him through the TV 😆 Were there any authors that inspired you to become an author yourself?
Pete: Many authors have inspired me. I think that in general people are inspired and shaped by whatever it is that they like. It is more subtle as you grow up and then as you are older it becomes more of a conscience thing. But yes we take from what we love. My college creative writing teacher always told us, if you like what someone else is doing, steal it. She didn’t mean copy, she meant use the technique and I think that is a good way to think of it. At the top of who inspired me would probably be Bradbury, Tolkien, Poe, King, Shakespeare and maybe even a dash of Milton. Plus so many others that I am aware of and probably hundreds more that I don’t even realize have influenced me.
Lillian: From reading Midnight Riders, I already know you have a wonderful imagination and a bit of dry humor! Is there anything from your books that you take from real-life experience or is it purely imagination?
Pete: There are definitely things in my books that are drawn from reality. In fact one of my favorite things to do is take a real life historic event or time period and drop crazy all over it. Midnight Riders is set during the French and Indian war and the American Revolution and the majority of the historical data is accurate and most of the people did exist and all that. I also have a few other stories based around real events. One I am working on, or will be soon anyway, is set around the events of the war of the roses. As far as using actual people I know in stories, that I don’t do.
Lillian: Be honest….what was your favorite part to write?
Pete: I guess my favorite chapter to write was the first chapter. Just because at the time I could go anywhere I wanted with it. So it was fun to just unleash the randomness and drop in several historic jokes for people who like that sort of thing. I had a great deal of fun writing the whole book, but the first chapter was the most fun, again because it was like writing with no rules and no responsibilities to the rest of the tale yet.
Lillian: I loved the blend of history with fiction! My favorite character is probably Boone. Is there anything you would like to go back and revisit or change?
Pete: I like the idea of mixing history and the supernatural. I suspect I will do that a number of times, but in slightly different ways. I like a lot of the characters and the idea for a sequel has crossed my mind. Not sure if I will do it or not. I really liked these characters and wouldn’t mind giving some of them another shot.
Lillian: What are you working on now?
Pete: Like everyone who gets asked this question, I am working on a bunch of things right now. I have a large fantasy novel going through edits, I have a Shakespearean influenced tale that is in re-writes, I just finished the first draft of my second volume of western shorts and I am the first 20 percent or so into a bizarre comic urban fantasy that I could not begin to describe right now. There are others things as well but I’ll leave it there.
Lillian: Now for the hard questions…..Favorite color?
Pete: Green, bright bright green.
Lillian: Favorite Movie?
Pete: My favorite movie is Manic. It came out in 2002, I believe that it has one of the most honest and truthful feels to its story that I have ever seen. Beautiful and tragic and then beautiful again. Plus we get some cool symbolism using a Vangogh painting, that’s always nice.
Lillian: Favorite TV show?
Pete: Right now my favorite TV show is Game of Thrones. I love the complexity of plot, the variety of characters and the fact that nobody is ever safe.
Lillian: 😆 Just like the books! If you could only have one book, what would it be?
Pete: Dandelion Wine. One of my favorite books and it has the ability to inspire nostalgia and a powerful energetic youthfulness when read.
Lillian: Last question and possibly the most important….what brand of cereal describes you best?
Pete: Brand of cereal? I am fruity pebbles. I am sweet, crunchy at times and all but impossible to completely get rid of no matter how much you chase me around with your spoon.
Lillian: 😆 Thanks again Pete!!
Keep reading for my review of Pete Clark’s newest book Midnight Riders.
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Published by J. Ellington Ashton Press on November 11, 2013
Length: 434 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
“Gather ‘round people and you shall hear
about a bunch of bullshit that is clear.
Of riders and horses and monsters too;
your parents lied - they can still get you.
Hardly anyone who was there is alive
to dispel the rumor, uncover the lies,
but there was more than one man who rode that day
and more than just Redcoats who got in their way.”
Along the way, Longfellow lost something in his translation it seems.
Everyone has heard of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. However, they have not heard about them this way! The American founding fathers had a lot more to deal with at the end of the 18th century than tariffs and tea; avoiding hurled trees from Wendigos and gargoyles falling from the sky took a lot of patience. How is Samuel Prescott supposed to hunt the leader of the Rippers when the British keep infringing upon the colonists’ rights?
Midnight Riders by Pete Clark is an action-packed re-telling of the beginning of the American Revolution. It follows characters such as Paul Revere, Daniel Boone, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Prescott…you get the picture….as they traverse the thirteen colonies and fight werewolves, zombies, and many other mythical creatures. That’s right the British isn’t their number one concern! It’s all the monsters that have come to join the fighting. This is the “true, unheard tale” of the American Revolution and what a fun one it is!
I’m gonna be honest with you. I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. There were times I was laughing so hard at the ridiculousness (is that a word?) of the situations the main characters found themselves in that I had tears streaming down my face. Then there were times that I was re-reading a section because it made no sense. But I guess that’s the point really. As much as this is a historical fiction, it is also satire. And I have to say the dry humor won out!
The characters are funny, and because it is written with today’s vernacular, the situations they find themselves in made me laugh out loud. Paul Revere is depicted as the bumbling idiot, instead of the rebel who warned of the British invasion. He was so stupid!! To use one of my favorite Southern sayings….Bless his heart! Daniel Boone is also a main character, and he is a no nonsense kind of guy, and he’s my favorite!
Then there’s the monsters of the story….werewolves, zombies, dragons, wyvern, succubae, and many others. Pretty much think about a mythical creature and it’s probably in the story. The French team up with the Indians during the French and Indian War and a character named Guyasuta begins researching why these monsters appeared in North America and not “across the pond.” They decide that the monsters started showing up 200 years earlier and the story revolves around the why and how to get rid of them. Especially the how to get rid of them since they seem to be drawn to fighting and the Revolution is on the horizon.
This is a fantastical blend of history, sci-fi, and fantasy. Real people, real events all surrounded by the world that the author has created. Overall, it is nicely done. If you know me, you know my vice is historical fiction and fantasy. However this is the first time I’ve ever read a blend of the two genres, and to be completely honest it just didn’t work for me. What did work was the dry humor and satirical nature of the story itself. FYI this book does contain some graphic violence (hello….zombies!!) and strong language so I’d suggest it for those over 18. If you enjoy a good fantasy novel, like a little history, and want a good laugh, I highly recommend you check out this book.
Boone was sure he heard Revere scream as the zombie Forbes charged at them. On his way, Forbes took a nice hearty bite out of an off duty soldier who happened to be nearby. “Grullarrk,” the soldier said clearly before falling to the ground.
Forbes Zombie was fast. A hell of a lot faster than Forbes was in real life. How the heck did that work out, Boone wondered. Oh well. He unslung his double-barreled reverse musket, an invention of Revere; the guy was good for something, thought Boone as he fired and turned his former commanding officer’s head into a floating cloud of red mist. He then flipped the release on his musket, spun the barrels so that the fired barrel faced back and the loaded faced forward, and he vaporized the downed soldier’s head as well just to be sure. He wasn’t about to let any zombies rise on his watch.
“Everybody to the wall,” Fraser ordered. It seemed that Boone’s gunfire and the shrieking had alerted the remaining werewolves, who were apparently done feasting on the French and wanted to upgrade to a little English breakfast.
“Zombies and werewolves,” whined Revere. “I sure hope no vampires show up.”
“Vampires?” Boone countered. “What are you, a child? Vampires aren’t real.”
“They’re not?” asked Revere.
“No – vampires are just a myth. But dragons, dragons will fuck your shit up,” said George Washington.
Prizes: 2 e-copies of each Midnight Riders and Tales from Midnight’s Graveyard
This giveaway is hosted by Book Troll Real Escape Book Blog.