I love throwing the fantastic and the mundane together, so putting the mouth of hell and a convenience store side by side seemed like a natural thing to do. I love writing horror, and I love writing comedy, but I have to admit that the task of putting them together can be daunting and very tricky. Still, I love the Evil Dead movies, especially two and three, where they really embraced the humor of the films (the first was, as Joe Bob Briggs -or was it Stephen King? - said, “Spam in a cabin”, i.e. a slaughter-fest), and the end of three, where we see a brief snippet of Ash back at his assistant manager job at the S-Mart, could be looked at as inspiration for the overall Josh of the Damned series. After all, what would happen if Ash had to keep juggling his demon killing “job” with his mundane day job?
A key difference is Josh is no demon killer, nor is he an assistant manager. He’s much lower on the totem pole, and as much as I hate to use the term “slacker”, that’s exactly what Josh is. He works a terrible job that he knows is a terrible job, but it doesn’t require much from him, and since he has no real ambition, that suits him just fine. I’m not sure what my inspiration for Josh is, beyond simply wondering what an employed drifter might be like. Someone who really doesn’t want responsibility, but needs a check. That’s Josh, who may own a cactus, but certainly not a pet. He’s probably lucky to feed himself most of the time. Like a rock in a river, he’s happy to let life just flow past and over him, except the circumstances at his little crap job force him to become more engaged with the world. A weird world full of zombies and lizard people, but anything less probably wouldn’t have shaken him from his natural torpor. Of course I’ve known people like that, and I have my only tendencies that way as well, but Josh doesn’t like confrontation so much, while I don’t mind at all.
Even when you don’t want to, life changes, and it forces you to change as well. In a way, that’s what the Josh of the Damned series is all about. Josh doesn’t really want to change, but life is going to make him change, in the strangest (and hopefully funniest) way possible.
Here’s the blurb for Pretty Monsters:
Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos.
Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets.
Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.
This title is #1 of the Josh of the Damned series.
If you’d like to read an excerpt and purchase Pretty Monsters, click here.
The second in the series, Peek-A-Boo, is available for pre-sale at Riptide Publishing.
More About Andrea:
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you - framed!) In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
Where you can find Andrea:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org