Everyone, please give a warm welcome to author Marcus Damanda. Don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post – an Audible.com version of The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class trilogy, narrated by Jessica McEvoy, ebook copies of the same trilogy, and ebook copies of The Salvation State.
If you could be an extra on a TV show or movie, what would it be and what would you be doing?
On TV, I’d love to make an appearance on Game of Thrones. One of the principal villains of The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class, Maggie Lassiter, is a reference to the Lannister family, after all. What I would like to do is be in one of those tavern scenes drinking ale, telling bawdy jokes, surrounded by beautiful—oh, hell. They’d probably make me some portly little servant of “The Seven” or something. Maybe Bran’s next tutor in that whole “Three-Eyed Raven” story thread.
Is there a genre or literary niche that you feel hasn’t gotten its deserved amount of attention?
Actually, all the genres I love to read from are pretty popular, at present! I love horror stories, dystopian future, fantasy—and I’m very much in love with the young adult and teen market. But my publisher, Evernight Teen, has dozens of terrific authors of edgy teen romance, and I don’t think they get near the amount of attention they deserve.
Shazam is my twenty pound Russian blue bundle of cat stubbornness, snarkery, and unconditional love. I had the name before I went hunting for a cat to adopt. I searched until I found a cat who fit the name. Always on the move, my Shazam. And he’s not just a fan of my books. He’s a contributor. He hops right up on the keyboard while I’m at work. See? Here’s the beginning of a new short story: “It was nearing midnight when I exited the safe house through the front 2333333333”.
What’s the most interesting gross fact you know?
I know that the human head continues to think for an indeterminate amount of seconds after decapitation. Takes time for oxygen and blood deprivation to get the job done. Varies by person. This is kind of interesting, because—what? Hey, you asked.
What now-dead author would you like to interview? What are some of the things you would chat about?
I’d have to interview Robert Cormier, author of controversial young adult titles such as The Chocolate War and After the First Death. He was the very architect of the anti-happy ending—and I mean that really and completely, to the extent that his stories became predictable. And yet you couldn’t turn away from his special infusion of misery. I’d have a whole slew of questions, but my first would be, “Are you happy now? All better?”
Who are some of your favorite book villains?
I love Tolkien’s Gollum, first and foremost (not to be confused with Andy Serkis’s Gollum, although his was amusing in a different way). No villain has ever been so simultaneously reprehensible and sympathetic. For pure, consistent awfulness, I’m also a big fan of Yyrkoon from the Elric of Melnibone fantasy series. And, as a nameless collective, the entire government in Neal Shusterman’s Unwind dystology.
Exactly what I’m doing: teaching! Nothing keeps me up-to-date on the human condition so much as educating kids. One day I’ll retire, though, and probably end up selling comics and cards somewhere …
You used to be part of a garage heavy metal band. Has your interest in music slipped into your books?
Oh, yes. I bug Jessica McEvoy (the brilliant and talented voice actress who reads my audiobooks) all the time with my “soundtracks.” She’s very patient and tolerant of me. I used to think I was the only one who created playlist soundtracks for his own books. Now I know everyone does it, which is a source of never ending frustration to me.
(If you look in the back of the paper-bound edition of The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class trilogy, or The Forever Show and Teeth, I include my suggested playlists there, just for fun.)
If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class in Horror literature, what books would be on there as required reading? As passing discussion?
Required reading: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Stephen King’s It (not to be confused with the horrible TV movie), Dean Koontz’s Intensity, William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.
Passing discussion: Unwind, by Neal Shusterman, The Night Runners, by Joe Lansdale, and Edgar Allan Poe’s complete anthology of short stories.
I’ll deliver on both!
I got to be the “featured author” at the school where I teach a couple years ago. This was, of course, awesome and indescribably fun. I got to talk to groups of kids, four or five hundred at a time in the gym, and at the end of my presentation I did a Q&A. I was really in my element, actually, until I called on one young girl whose question was, “How did you get to be so brilliant?” And that stopped me cold. I was literally stuttering in my inability to formulate a reply. To me, what I do, at its highest level, can best be described as “crafted entertainment.” I don’t even aspire to art, much less “brilliance” …
And I can’t “gush” enough in my praise for fellow Evernight Teen authors S.D. Wasley and Christine Potter. I do it all the time! Those two, now—THEY’RE brilliant.
“The paramedics shared a look: This one was serious.”
To most of the Facebook 15, bullying Audrey Bales was just a game – until two deep cuts with a Swiss army knife changed everything forever. Audrey didn’t want attention anymore. After five weeks at Fairview High School, Audrey wanted to die.
The doctors did the only thing they could with her: they put her away.
But in Fairview, Virginia, the nightmare is only beginning. The chat session had not gone unobserved. The Facebook 15 have drawn the attention of an ancient evil that lives only to punish those who would prey upon the weak.
They are the ghosts of 1,000 dead children – 1,000 suicides – and their master….
Their master likes Audrey Bales.
And as Audrey attempts to heal her mind and body, far from home, their master prepares for the justice he will unleash upon her return.
After three months in the suicide prevention wing of St. George’s, Audrey Bales is finally coming home. Enrolled at a new school, she plans to reinvent herself with a new look, new friends, and a second chance to be just like everyone else. But the kids who drove her over the edge aren’t through with her yet.
And one of her new friends has an agenda all his own.
“You will account for what you did to Audrey. You, and all the others. It will never stop …”
During the day, the halls of Battlefield High will echo with their screams.
“…until one of you ends it.”
And at night, their screams will be silenced.
Now, too late for it to matter, Audrey understands at last. The devil of Fairview has been courting her for days, and watching her for much longer than that. The murderer is her boyfriend – and he’s been killing on her behalf.
His name is Jack Maddox, but everyone calls him Mad Jack. He’s planning a party, where everyone is invited, especially Audrey’s tormentors – especially the Facebook 15.
Audrey will have her revenge, whether she wants it or not.
Because, in Miss Drake’s class, the devil will have his due.
“This is what the truth is. Second Salvations murdered my parents, and I’m running away.”
A single post over unregulated Internet channels. A sleeping society awakens to a chase, broadcast live on television screens all across the New United States of America.
Rebecca and Daniel have never met. A fifteen-year-old preacher’s kid and a sixteen-year-old atheist outcast, they have little in common. And yet they both have attracted the attention of a recruiter for Second Salvations, where bad kids go to be remade—or destroyed.
Agents of the New America Unity Church will stop at nothing to get them. They’re building an army, a modern children’s crusade, in which Rebecca and Daniel may be just the kind of future leaders they need.
If not, they might be just the kind of sacrifice necessary to keep the rest of the faithless in line.
Marcus Damanda lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. At various times throughout his life, he played bass guitar for the garage heavy metal band Mother’s Day, wrote for The Dale City Messenger, and published editorials in The Potomac News and The Freelance Star. To date, ten of his short horror stories have been produced by the Parsec Award winning NoSleep Podcast—featuring the brilliant and talented Jessica McEvoy, who has narrated four of his audiobooks as well. Currently, while not plotting his next foray into fictitious suburban mayhem, he spoils his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.
Places to Find Marcus Amanda
Marcus Damanda is generously offering up 3 sets of the Audible.com audiobook trilogy The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class, along with 3 ebook copies of each of the following books: Devils in the Dark, A Devil in Daylight, The Devil at Play, & The Salvation State . You can enter the Rafflecopters below or you can answer these questions in the comments: 1) Do you prefer the ebook or audiobook version? 2) Do you have an Audible.com account? 3) Who are your favorite book villains? 4) Please leave a way to contact you if you win. Giveaways ends December 7, 2016, midnight.
Audible.com Audiobook copy of The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class trilogy (3 winners)
Ebook copies of The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class trilogy (3 winners) Open International
Ebook copy of The Salvation State (3 winners) Open International