Kill Them All (Dead Man #6) [Kindle Edition]
Harry Shannon (Author), Lee Goldberg (Author), William Rabkin (Author)
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Q&A With Harry Shannon, author of Kill Them All
Q: How did you become a novelist?
HS: I adore books, always have. The itch to write one has always been there. Like a lot of authors, I've worked at a number of professions over the years, from music publisher and song lyricist to film executive and psychological counselor. I'd always intended to try my hand at a novel someday, perhaps after retirement, but when my daughter was born so was the necessary drive. I figured, why wait? So I began to outline my first Mick Callahan mystery Memorial Day. It was published two years later.
Q: How did you get involved in The Dead Man series?
HS: In 2010, several experienced authors joined me in forming a loose organization called Top Suspense Group. Among them was Lee Goldberg, who co-created The Dead Man series. Lee asked me if I'd be willing to contribute a novella. Since I grew up on Gold Medal novels, Lancer books and other men's pulp fiction, I loved the concept and jumped at the chance. It was a wonderful experience, and now I'm looking forward to seeing how readers react to my take on Matt's character.
Q: You've written a lot of horror books, including Clan, The Hungry and the Lionsgate movie and novel Dead and Gone. How is the horror in The Dead Man different from what you have done before?
HS: That's an interesting question. For me, horror is not a genre so much as an emotion, so it can be expressed in any number of ways. I generally gravitate towards dry humor coupled with a serious exploration of existential themes--literally the meaning of life, death and those fragile emotional attachments we form along the way. With my entry Kill Them All, I wanted to use the horror as a metaphor for moral corruption. I immediately saw Matt as the classic American hero, an archetypal loner wandering into and out of a troubled desert town, standing up to evil on behalf of the weak and downtrodden. I often set novels in Nevada, but to answer your question, this one has the feeling of a graphic novel, and though it's contemporary it is far more of a classic western than anything else I've ever done. It tempts me to try my hand at a period piece.
Q: This is the first time you've written in someone else's "universe." What was it like writing characters you didn't create?
HS: To be honest, it wasn't easy at first. I'm not used to having to discipline my muse to that degree. Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin were very patient with me, red-lining and sending back a couple of drafts, pointing out where I'd gotten something wrong about Matt's personality or background. The tone had to be just right, and my goofiness had to be reigned in a bit. Kill Them All ended up far, far better as result of their patience. I'll have to prepare and outline more carefully the next time I do a project like this. But once the boundaries were nailed down properly, it just started flowing out. I'm proud of i>Kill Them All. It has substance to it, and was lots of fun to write.
Q: What you've written in so many genres. What genre do you like best?
HS: Like most of the folks contributing to The Dead Man series, I'm very comfortable wandering the boundary between horror and crime fiction and occasionally blurring the line between the two. And I do love a good western. If forced to choose just one genre, I'd say my heart is in the mystery/thriller, where supernatural elements aren't present, but human evil certainly is. My character Mick Callahan is a troubled young psychologist with anger problems. I work a lot of my own issues out when writing Callahan books. There are plenty of horrific moments in his life, though none involving zombies or ghosts. I enjoy exploring Callahan's inner world.
Q: Is there a common strain that runs through your writing regardless of whatever genre you're writing in?
HS: Another interesting question. The short answer is yes. Doing the right thing. I am drawn to stories that use temptation and terror to force a protagonist to examine his or her own character. My favorite definition of the word integrity is "obedience to the unenforceable." Okay, you could get away with doing this, but could you live with it? I also believe the old saw "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing." I'm always working to understand my own conflicting impulses and drives, and believe that very human struggle to be a noble endeavor. I'm sure all that comes out in my writing, book after book, and that it's also there in Kill Them All.
Q: What are you working on now?
HS: I'm hard at work on a new Mick Callahan thriller, tentatively entitled Rough Men. I'm also toying with a crime novella for Top Suspense Group, and a sequel to my zombie apocalypse novel The Hungry. So there you go, I'm writing a mystery, a thriller, and a horror novel!
Matt Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own. Now he's on a dangerous quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and engaged in an epic battle to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.
When Matt wanders into a struggling Nevada tourist trap recreation of an "old west" town, he's unaware that he’s being trailed by a Special Ops team of professional mercenaries hired by a University desperate to unlock the secret behind his resurrection...and that he's put everyone around him in dire jeopardy. The mercenaries have no intention of letting Matt escape...or letting any witnesses survive. Matt finds himself in a deadly bind. Somehow he must rally the peaceful citizens into defending themselves against the sadistic, well-armed mercenaries… or sacrifice himself to save them from certain death.
The Dead Man Series:
Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
Ring of Knives by James Daniels
Hell in Heaven by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
The Dead Woman by David McAfee
The Blood Mesa by James Reasoner
Kill Them All by Harry Shannon
The Beast Within by James Daniels
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