Hey guys, had an author reach out to me to help him pump his upcoming book, and I was more than happy to help! I’d like to introduce you all to Matthew W. Harrill, and invite you all to check out his Hellbounce series.
The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.
Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.
Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.
“Ellis, come away from there! You know that it’s dangerous. Anything dangerous…”
“…could hurt Jess,” the eleven year old Ellis finished the sentence, watching his younger sister as she crept toward the remains of what used to be a house.
All bushy-blond hair and fearless bravado, Ellis put on a face of mock-concern until he was sure his mother believed him and turned back around to watch her programs. She wasn’t really interested in his safety or Jessica’s, his nine-year-old sister. She wanted the neighbors to think she was. His mother was all about image.
The door clicked shut, and after counting to thirty, Ellis winked at Jess. The two of them resumed their exploration of the ruined structure. It was a sunny afternoon in June, and the birds chirped in the trees. It was perfect for exploration.
Ellis had watched, with his sister, transfixed by the scene only a week or so before, when the house, for no apparent reason, had collapsed in on itself. A group of people had been outside; cops had shown up and then left as if nothing was wrong. The house was ruined, but it had become a magnet for every daredevil kid from the nearby high school, all of them wanting to discover the treasure that was hidden underneath all that rubble. Ellis had waited, biding his time, as those bigger kids burrowed through what remained. There were tunnels under the wood and ‘the haunted house’ quickly became a local Worcester legend.
His Mom had told them expressly to stay back and then turned away, muttering something about poltergeists. They had gotten closer and closer every day, until they found the hidden den under the wood.
With one last glance for his mother, Ellis pulled a flashlight from under his shirt and beckoned for his sister. Jess needed no further invitation and skipped with good-natured innocence alongside him.
Shifting some of the ruined wood to one side, Ellis wormed his way down a tunnel in the rubble, being careful not to touch the precariously wedged supports. Jess followed him down, and soon enough, they were sitting on the cozy, if somewhat putrid, couch that had been discovered in what must have been a basement before the collapse.
The flashlight on, Ellis shone it around, Jess following his every move with the excited devotion of a younger sibling. Dust trickled down from above, and he held his breath as part of the building settled. It was all right; their tunnel was still there.
“What’s that?” Jess asked, pointing to their left.
Ellis followed her arm. A glowing red mist had begun to float across the floor, like lava in one of those volcano movies. Silent, creeping. Ellis watched in mute fascination as the red glow oozed toward them, spreading up the sides of their den.
“Ellis,” said Jess, uncertainty in her voice. “I don’t like this. I want to go home.”
The red began to glow white in the center. Sparks began to fly out, what looked like lightning, touching the wood and setting it alight. There was a stink of rotten eggs, and Ellis covered his mouth. A growl from behind the light made the walls of the den shake. Suddenly, this adventure was no longer fun.
“Ellis,” Jess whined, pulling at his hand.
“Yes. Let’s get out of here, Sis.”
Letting his now-terrified sister crawl ahead of him, Ellis pointed the flashlight forward, up the tunnel that led to distant daylight, keeping equal watch on their escape route and the growing glow behind them, now white and hot. More noises followed up the tunnel, and Ellis urged his sister on.
When he climbed out into daylight, Ellis made sure to replace the wood as best he could and then set to brushing the dust off of his jeans and his sister’s red and white striped dress.
“Come on; let’s go. Maybe Mom won’t know where we were.”
Jess led him by the hand. They had only taken a few steps when there was an almighty crash behind them, followed by a blast of heat. The stink of rotten eggs was overpowering.
The birdsong ceased and flocks of the small creatures took flight at the sound. Ellis stopped walking and turned. The entire house had disappeared, leaving a red crater where the doctor and the sportsman had lived. The middle glowed white… something was moving down there. Jess stood mute beside him, right on the edge of the crater where the light was an angry red. A roar of recognition and movement toward them was enough for Ellis.
Across the yard they hurtled, round their mother’s brown Ford and into the safety of their own house. Inside, Ellis ran past his mother, who was engrossed in her favorite game show, bounding up on the couch and spreading the green and pink flower-patterned curtains wide. Jess joined him, her slight hand quivering on his arm.
In the distance, figures had begun to stumble out of the crater. Huge and distorted with engorged heads, glowing eyes, and elongated arms, they began to fall into ranks.
Jess twitched the curtain and one of the creatures caught sight, pointing, and roaring.
“What is it?” their mother called from the other couch, feigning interest.
“It’s the monsters,” Jess said in a timid voice.
Ellis couldn’t move. The giant was looking straight at him.
“There’s no such thing as monsters,” their mother said, finally clambering up. She wandered across the living room, peering over their shoulders.
Ellis finally broke eye contact with the advancing creature to watch his mother. Her mouth hung open, and her face was as pale as a ghost. The growing pack of monsters outside had begun to advance on their house.
“Kids, I want you to get down in the basement,” she said, her voice as quiet as his sister’s voice had been. “Now. Run!”
Born and raised in Bristol, England, Matthew W Harrill is an international award-winning horror author. His series, ‘The ARC Chronicles’ consists of Hellbounce (which has received acclaim at the Halloween Book Festival, the London Book Festival and most recently the 2015 International Book Awards), Hellborne and the final book of the series, Hellbeast is imminent.
In addition to his mentor David Farland (The Runelords, The Courtship of Princess Leia [as Dave Wolverton]), Matt is always thankful to know the British author Juliet E McKenna, who has helped him countless times. He is a fan of fantasy, loving Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series. He also has a lot of time for the truly bizarre horror of H P Lovecraft, citing this as an influence on his work. He also cites the fictional author ‘Hank Moody’ as an influence.
Matthew has worked as a labourer, a barman, a cleaner, a joiners mate. In addition he has dabbled in commercial insurance and has for the past 12 years implemented share plans for Xerox.
When not working, Matthew enjoys tennis with his son, watching movies and television series such as Supernatural and Grimm, blogging and cookery.
http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-Harrill/e/B00M0D7UWQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 – amazon author page
@matt_harrill – twitter
- What do you do to keep your spirits up through a bad review?
Ignore it? I haven’t actually had anything I would call a ‘bad review’. I have had one where a friend didn’t really ‘get’ where I was coming from, but it was widely acknowledged said friend is very idiosyncratic, and a couple where the person reading the book had decided that they would like to see from the point of view of another character that they happened to like, but that’s it. The opinion has been pretty universal for my work. Should I get a bad review, I would like to know the person has at least gone to the effort of reading the books and that they then at least have some justification. All opinions are available. There is probably something I can learn from it.
2. What has been your greatest inspiration for writing your story?
You know that time when Hell froze over? No? Well it happened, and it was truly inspiring.
3. Are there any people you feel need a shout out for supporting you?
My wife Tricia, and anybody that has read the books and attempted to spread the word. One day someone big in publishing might pick up my work and enjoy it. I have absolute faith that if and when they do, things will change
4. Has self-publishing taught you any lessons that you feel will help you in life?
Yes. Have massive financial reserves.
and last, What’s your favorite color?
Blue >: )