Thursday, February 26, 2015

Surveyor of Worlds: My Interview with Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender

Good evening Followers!

I am very happy to announce that friend and AMAZING author Kerry Alan Denney let me interview him not just for my blog, but for Horror Geeks Magazine. We are thrilled to have him and so happy to be here to talk about not just him as a person, but as a writer. His work is  not only some of the best I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on, but his kick ass covers speak for themselves. Now, without further ado, let's begin with learning a little bit about Kerry.

Kerry, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I can, but then I’d have to... nah, I’m feeling generous and benevolent today, so I won’t kill anybody.

I’m basically a happy, easy-going man who loves to have fun and loves a great laugh. Life is too short to spend time contemplating misery and drudgery. I don’t deny their existence, but I damn sure don’t let them affect me. When life gives me a swift kick in the gut and knocks me down, I get right back up, brush myself off, and jump back in the game grinning with the defiant will to conquer any demons that dare get in my way. I measure success by how much we touch the lives of others, and bring happiness and joy into their lives. If I meet a stranger and leave them with a smile on their face and feeling positive about themselves when we part, I’ve done my job well.

I love words. I love the billions of ways different words can be combined to paint vivid pictures in your mind: the way they can create a fond rush of nostalgia, the way they can inspire hope for a better future, the way they can touch your soul so deeply that they change your perspective and even your life, the way they can influence you to improve your life and the lives of others, and every other little magical thing they accomplish. In some instances, the pen is not mightier than the sword, but words have great power when properly used. I’m on a never-ending quest to master the composition of words so that words become my legacy and my gift to the world, my “thank you” for the precious gift of my life.

And oh, yes, I do love music, almost all kinds! I don’t care much for rap, techno, disco, and opera, and like to keep country to a minimum, but pretty much everything else is game for my listening list. I was a professional performing musician (guitarist) for 30 years before I happily returned to the written word in 2004, and I even wrote, recorded, engineered, performed on, and produced four independently released CDs with various talented guest musicians and vocalists, which are available on my website in the “Music” page of the drop-down menu under the “more...” tab.

As for writing, when people ask me “Why do you write?”, my answer is easy, and always the same: I write because I can’t not write. I have a very vivid imagination, and always have, and the only way to feed it is to write. The countless stories swimming around in my mind must be told, otherwise my head would explode. And that would make a hell of a big mess.

What was your first published novel, and can you tell us about it?

Thanks for asking! My paranormal thriller SOULSNATCHER was published in April 2014 by Lazy Day Publishing. It’s a novel in which children with extraordinary psychic powers are being used as pawns in a deadly supernatural war... and the souls of all the children are the ultimate prize. I encourage all Horror Geeks to check it out on Amazon and Goodreads: It’s getting lots of 5-star ratings and rave reviews, and received a rave editorial testimonial from New York Times bestselling author James Rollins. You can read a FREE Sneak Preview of the first three chapters in the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon here.

I’ve also had several short stories and some poems published, links to which can all be found at my author’s website in the Published Short Stories page in the drop-down menu under the “Books” tab. Most can be read online free! One has been published three times now, two were published to critical acclaim with lots of positive comments, and In the Night She Comes won First Place in the Atlanta Writers Club Fall 2013 short story contest. My short story Something in the Air was awarded Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future 2nd quarter 2013 contest.

Here is some more information about SOULSNATCHER
Children with extraordinary psychic powers are being used as pawns in a deadly supernatural war. Jasmine “Jazz” Tandy and her nine-year-old son Chaz, who can heal people with his touch, are fleeing from a ruthless organization that kidnaps these children. Children such as Kaylee Daley, who can control and manipulate plant life, and Mara Fleming, who can see into the future. Their only hope for salvation is a covert group called the Guardians, who protect these children from the organization’s merciless hunters.

Dr. Larssen Sössnacher, the organization’s leader—called “Soulsnatcher” by the remarkable children he abducts and exploits—believes Chaz is the miraculous prodigy who will grant him the immortality he craves... and he’ll stop at nothing to get Chaz.

Cody Jackson, a Guardian and martial arts and weapons expert, rescues Jazz and Chaz from Soulsnatcher’s hunters and takes them to Homestead, a safe haven where the children learn to use their powers to help others. But Soulsnatcher’s hunters raid Homestead and battle the Guardians in a surreal deadly showdown—with the souls of all the children as the ultimate prize.

I have been hearing a lot of buzz about your recent release “Jagannath.” Can you tell us about it?
Gladly. JAGANNATH is about an amorphous creature—basically cohesive slime—that formerly resided in the depths of our oceans and fed off of marine life by absorbing fish and saltwater mammals. When it consumes its prey, it also absorbs its prey’s intelligence, and assimilates that intelligence—and it grows the more it feeds. Eventually it depletes that resource, moves ashore, and quickly develops a ravenous appetite for human flesh and blood. But more than our bodies, it loves our minds. The more humans it consumes, the smarter it becomes, because it accumulates our knowledge. And it’s a conscienceless creature: the things it loves most is the pictures in our minds of demons and monsters dredged up by our deepest fears, and because it’s a shape-shifting creature that’s able to transform into anything it gleans from our imaginations, it loves metamorphosing into amalgamations of creatures out of our darkest nightmares. And it loves tormenting its victims.

Soon it’s going on a global rampage, a creature with the growing intellect of a hive mind that can separate portions of itself and deploy strategically across the planet. In sixteen years, it has nearly wiped out modern civilization. The only things that can stop it are fire—it’s highly flammable—extreme heat or cold, and a liquid gel compound developed by scientists that causes its slimy flesh to crystallize and explode. Most surviving humans flee to the coldest spots on the planet to evade it, but many remain in creature-infested territories and build Enclaves surrounded by manufactured ice moats to protect them from invasion by the creature, where they fight to destroy it and preserve the human race.

Enter our heroes: Corporal Kimi Jayden and her fellow soldiers in her unit from the North Georgia Renegade Enclave discover a thirteen-year-old refugee girl named Lily who is immune to creature absorption wandering the deserted streets of Savannah, Georgia alone. When the creature tries to absorb Lily, it turns to sulfuric steam and vaporizes. Kimi and the members of her Enclave believe Lily’s DNA holds the key to humanity’s survival, and rescuing Lily and bringing her back to their Enclave becomes their primary mission, so they can learn how to use Lily’s immunity to destroy the creature.

But the creature covets the mysterious girl it can’t absorb, and tries to hide her from the Renegade soldiers. Kimi, who feels her maternal instincts kick in from the moment she meets Lily, has to battle a horde of ghastly creature incarnations to rescue Lily from the most deadly monster the universe has ever spawned. Lily is humanity’s last hope against extinction. And Kimi has only days to rescue the girl she’s already fallen in love with, the daughter she couldn’t have, before the creature discovers a way to destroy the miraculous girl it can’t absorb.

There, hot damn, I just wrote an entirely new synopsis, huzzah!

More importantly than anything else, Jagannath is about the strength, resilience, and defiant survival instincts of the human spirit. It’s about learning the true meaning of courage in the face of the most indestructible enemy and overwhelming terror. The ultimate triumph and redemption of my characters and those whom they love is paramount in all my writing. Although I don’t want to give away any spoilers, because some of them might die, lol... :)

Jagannath is already getting rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. You can read a FREE Sneak Preview of the first 4 chapters in the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon HERE.

And here is the totally kick ass cover for JAGANNATH courtesy of Dean Samed of Conzpiracy Digital Arts and Permuted Press

What was your inspiration for “Jagannath?”

So many things! I love creepy, freakish monster stories; always have, always will. Sitting in the dark with nothing but the TV’s glow flickering around me, feeling the looming shadows surround me, blending in with the story of a killer creature feature... ahh, bliss!

More than anything else, I wanted to create the most fearsome monster not only that humanity had ever conceived, but also that the universe could ever spew out. And then pit it against the last desperate surviving members of the human race, those who won’t give in until their final breath gasps out of their failing bodies.

I did a lot of in-depth research: I’ve always been fascinated with words, always will be, and one of my favorite words is juggernaut. It means a relentlessly destructive, crushing, and pitiless force. And guess what the origin of juggernaut is? That’s right: Jagannath, pronounced almost exactly the same, júggə naát. It’s a Hindu deity, literal translation “lord and master of the world and universe.” The word and the religious deity fit my monster in Jagannath perfectly. A virtually indestructible creature and a merciless, unstoppable force.

Plus, I love freaking the hell out of people, and making them go to bed with the lights still on because they can’t stand the thought of something beyond this world creeping up on them while they sleep. Sweet dreams, everybody!

As a writer myself, I know it can be hard to keep going. What tricks do you use to keep yourself inspired?

Sometimes I like to wear party hats, and sometimes I like to wear rad, dark, mirrored shades in dimly lit rooms. Often I’m tempted to strap on wings or wear a cape and try to fly, then common sense usually prevails. But beer helps a lot. I often wish I had invented beer, because every time I went out in public, people would point and say, “Hey, it’s that guy! Dude, you’re awesome! You invented beer. We’re not worthy!”

Sometimes I’ll wear two or even three pair of high-powered reading glasses at a time to find out if they let me see into another dimension. Hasn’t worked yet, but I remain ever hopeful. I’ve also occasionally tried to push through into the other side of the mirror, but never when anyone is watching. They said I can’t let it be known yet that I’ve succeeded, so don’t tell anyone. We’re waiting until the right moment to reveal the truth.

Seriously though, a variety of different things inspire me. I love to cook, and people have raved about some of the excellent recipes I’ve created through years of trial and error. I’m even offering three of my best recipes on Facebook during my ongoing “JAGANNATH 2015 Virtual Book Blog Tour Extravaganza” from February 9th through March 9th.

I also love being amid unspoiled nature, especially with my Golden retriever Holly Jolly the professional Therapy Dog. Hikes in the mountains, playtime in a park, or running along the beach (Holly learned how to body-surf in the ocean waves all by herself!), all these moments are blissful inspiration to me. Stories come alive in my head in my best semi-alone circumstances. Creative juices flow faster with the rush of adrenaline, and worlds are born peopled with lively and very real characters in those precious instances.

Music and reading is also inspirational to me. I love letting my mind travel wherever enchanting stories and compelling melodies take it. I’m actually seldom without story and novel ideas: If I could accurately clone myself ten or more times, we still couldn’t write all the stories in our heads.

As writers it is important to keep reading. What genres do you read? Which author is your favorite?

What is this “spare time” of which you speak? I would like to learn more about it. Perhaps it is something I can take classes for, or purchase it in a store or on a website.

Seriously. “Spare time” sounds like an oxymoron. Are you just yanking my chain?

As writers it is important to keep reading. What genres do you read? Which author is your favorite?

Mostly my own genre(s): supernatural, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy (modern world-based, not sword & sorcery), and horror (the kind where the good guys win!). But I love the written word, whatever form it takes. If it’s good, I dig it, fiction or non-fiction. Proper construction of words into sentences into paragraphs into stories that intrigue readers and compel them to keep reading is not bound by genre, style, realism, or classification.

Favorite authors? So many! From youth to present: anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, the Pellucidar series, Carson of Venus, to name a few), Kenneth Robeson (Doc Savage, The Avenger), Maxwell Grant (The Shadow!), Franklin Dixon (Hardy Boys!), H. Rider Haggard, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. LeGuin (The Lathe of Heaven, wow!), Patricia McKillip (The Riddlemaster of Hed was life-changing), then moving along to later years, Dean Koontz (love love love!), F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack is one of the greatest fictional characters ever, and the rest of his work is fabulous as well), Robert R. McCammon (Stinger and Swan Song, whoa!), Charles de Lint, James Rollins, Ray Garton, Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky: best sci-fi novel ever), Justin Cronin (The Passage, damn!), and I could go on forever.

Favorite modern author: Dean Koontz, almost tied by James Rollins. They know how to make you love their good guys, and how to make them prevail triumphantly in the finales.

Still best novel ever written, in my mind: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. 

Are there any upcoming authors whose work you are interested in?

Not a lot, just the new works from authors listed above, among a select few others. However... I’m damn excited that Robert R. McCammon has apparently returned to his original genre of horror, at least for one novel (and hopefully more), in his upcoming The Border. I have reserved a hardback copy of that one. Shazam.

I met Mr. McCammon at a signing mega years ago, and asked him about publishing. He gave me the best writing advice I’ve ever received: keep writing, keep submitting material, keep improving. Persist. Thank you, Mr. McCammon. Done and done, and I’m just getting started.

Are there any projects you have planned for the future that you’d like to share with us?

When my secret master project is complete, I will be the undisputed ruler of the universe. But it’s a lot of work, believe me. There’s always some additional task that must be planned and completed, and the whole thing could derail like a supersonic freight train careening around a sharp curve without brakes if you don’t lay the tracks properly. Plus the Evil Intergalactic Emperor Ming is always trying to foil my plans, damn him.

I’d also like to finally get my Time Machine, Teleporter, Cloak of Invisibility, and Crystal Ball out of the repair shop and functioning properly again. This will go hand in hand with completing the above project to rule the universe.

On the physical/ real world plane we all share together, yes: I’m currently writing two novels, both incorporating my unique Reality Bender blend of supernatural, paranormal, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and thriller, and rewriting my first novel to get rid of all the amateur mistakes.

You’ll know when they’re published. The blaring trumpets will burst your eardrums.

Do you have any events scheduled so your readers can meet you?

Yes, thank you for asking! I have several gigs lined up.

1. Come join me online for the “JAGANNATH 2015 Virtual Book Blog Tour Extravaganza!” You can also join me online at the JAGANNATH Blog Tour Facebook event HERE and share your thoughts and comments.

I’m visiting 20+ blogger and reviewer sites, one each day for 20 days. The tour started Monday February 9 and ends Monday March 9. I’ll be posting several articles about JAGANNATH and my writing, including faux “interviews” with 4 of my protagonists from the novel and even one interview with The Reaper, the monster from the novel. I’ll be answering questions from and chatting with readers and participants, and participate in some interviews with the bloggers. We also have several giveaways: 5 e-book copies of my paranormal thriller SOULSNATCHER, 1 copy each of Deborah D. Moore’s THE JOURNAL: CRACKED EARTH and THE JOURNAL: ASH FALL, and five $10 Amazon Gift Cards. Stop by and visit for the fun and giveaways. The link to the Book Blog Tour Schedule is HERE, and the link to enter the giveaway contest is HERE. Contest ends May 9!

2. I’m the guest author being interviewed on the Authors-First Show on Tuesday February 24 from 8 to 9 p.m. EST. Be sure to tune in and listen to me discuss my unique madness!

3. For Georgia residents (and anyone willing to make the drive!), I’ll be an author/ vendor at The Dahlonega Literary Festival on Saturday March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. where I’ll be selling and signing paperback copies of JAGANNATH and SOULSNATCHER. Great festival, lots of authors and books galore!

Thanks so much to Kindra Sowder  for letting me participate in this fun interview, and happy reading to all!

For those who would love to know more about Kerry aka The Reality Bender and his work or upcoming his links are posted below:

Author website “Kerry Alan Denney is The Reality Bender”:

Facebook Fan Page “Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender”:

Twitter (@KerryDenney):

JAGANNATH on Amazon: E-book and paperback available!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much Kindra for sharing this opportunity for an interview with me... I had a blast with it (as you can probably tell from some of my wacky answers lol).

    Soon I will truly Rule the Entire Universe. ;)