Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lights Out by Melissa Groeling: Interview and Review


Welcome Melissa! Thanks for allowing this interview.  :)  What would we find under your bed?

That scary space between the carpet and the box spring is a comfy home to multiple dust bunnies and CDs…oh yes, I still listen to CDs. Also, any drooling, hungry monster I imagine lives under there when I’m not looking.

What book are you reading now?

Being a humongous book nerd, I’m plowing through Memoirs of a Geisha. I saw the movie a while back and we all know that the books are always better than the movie. I’ve been hooked from page one. It’s such a great story. The details are rich and the emotions so poignant. I don’t think the movie does it justice.

Morning person? Night person? How do you know?

Definitely a night person because it takes me forever to get up in the morning. Then I gripe and complain all the way to work because I left the house too late!

Tell us about your current release.

My new book, Lights Out is a thriller of insane proportions! It follows the downward spiral of Paul Holten, a man who doesn’t exactly have the ideal life. His job requires no conscience, he can’t keep a girlfriend, he has no friends and he’s pretty sure his boss is going to kill him…literally. The demons that live inside him threaten him all the time and with every breath, Paul wonders if dying would be easier. Lights Out is a dark and violent story. I felt a thousand pounds lighter when I was finally able to write “The End.”

If I came to visit early in the morning, would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

Oh, definitely a grumpy bear. Half the people in my family are coffee drinkers so one sip upon waking and bam! They’re rearing to go. Me? Not to so much, if you don’t count Starbucks. Since Starbucks doesn’t deliver, I am forced to wake up gradually, on my own and man, can that be scary for all parties involved.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?

Oh, absolutely! Before I write a single word, I need to have a name. For me, having the name in place is like the foundation you lay down before you build your house. A name dictates the character’s appearance. I’m not sure why it works like that, at least for me. Every writer has their own process but names I think are so important. Names have to be solid, unbreakable things, with the ability to be screamed, whispered, stammered and cried and if there’s a nickname involved, that takes things to a whole new level, which brings me to this last question…

What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

Talk to people. It can be anyone---your parents, your friend who lives two hours away, your neighbor, someone that can pull you out of the world you’ve created on the page. As awesome as that world may be, the real world is where you live and it’s important that you remain there even when you don’t want to.


Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

            Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past---and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option. 
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This hard-hitting, suspenseful story of a hitman’s encounter with a vengeful being hell-bent on protecting an artifact of incalculable power is a terrifying tale of horrific proportions.  Paul, a tough-as-nails, cynical, professional killer becomes a pawn in a deadly theft attempt after trying to protect a young boy who has been cruelly tortured and physically abused by the bottom-feeding scum of society –pedophiles. 

As the story unfolds Paul has short appalling flashbacks to his own childhood, and the reader is led down the path of his defilement and corruption.  This is a gritty horror story that left me shaken.  It is also a mesmerizing tale that kept me awake reading late into the night – unable to get it out of my head.

Skillfully narrated and chilling in its intensity, this book will not be for everyone, but if horror you want, then this will certainly fit the bill and should not be missed.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Author Bio

            Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

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