Years ago, in college...
It's been years now, but I'm still writing about college, those heady and reckless days. At least, they were for me. Some people, I hear, actually learn things in college, substantial things, things that help them to form job skills and find lucrative careers. But for me, college was one big social experiment. For me, college was binge drinking, parties and experimentation, followed by all-nighters writing papers for my English classes. A lot of things I did in college have since haunted my life, not to the extent where nightmare creatures came to terrorize me like they do to the characters in my new novel, but the concept remains the same.
I wrote Violent Hearts (the first draft, anyway) over three years ago. At the time, my life, with the exception of my writing, was in a rut. I had a depressing, dead-end job and lived in a tiny townhouse that my wife and I hated. We were underwater on the mortgage and felt trapped. In college, we hadn’t been thinking about our future and now we were in debt. We had been trying to have children for seven years, but since it hadn't happened, we figured it just wasn't in the cards for us, and on a personal level, I had thought I was okay with this. It was no big deal. I didn’t really want to have kids anyway. Until it happened, and the course of my life changed forever.
Violet Layne Deininger was born August 27th 2015, my daughter, bright-eyed and healthy, and what followed was an adjustment period in which very little writing took place. Two years after that, Rook Randall Deininger was born, my son, another member to my rapidly growing family. By the time I looked again at the manuscript for Violent Hearts, years had passed and I had a very different perspective on it.
I was amazed to discover a theme running beneath the surface of the manuscript, a theme I had not consciously intended, a theme about having children. In Violent Hearts, Owen and Chloe have several opportunities, in one way or another, to have a child, but they don’t work out. It seems, having children had been a little more important to me than I had thought. And Owen… Well, let’s just say Owen, throughout the course of the novel, learns a thing or two about creation.
But let’s not forget, literary themes aside, this is a horror novel and things are not always pretty. Violent Hearts revolves around a mistake Owen and Chloe make in college and the nightmare consequences of their decisions years later. It is a novel about creation, sure, but also nightmares and unimaginable terror. But you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself…
Owen, a man on the brink of suicide after losing his wife and baby daughter in a brutal drunk-driving accident, and Chloe, a dispassionate academic who believes in scientific research as a means to make the world a better place, took part in a ritualistic act in the woods. After, neither of them can remember exactly what happened that night, but darkness has since haunted them both.
Now, as adults living separate lives, the once minor manifestations from that night have grown into threats not only malignant and dangerous to them, but to all of humanity.
A surreal tale of horror and heartbreak, rife with dark oddities, wonderfully realized characters, and terrifying nightmares. Here the blind Guitar Man gives insane advice on the brink between reality and nightmare; eerie clones known as umbriates sneak into the world with murderous intent; and the once-imaginary being called Ozy is gathering strength and followers in his effort to rip through the very fabric of reality with the intent of dominance and darkness. And only Owen and Chloe can stop him.