Interview with dark fiction author Alan Steven Kessler

As we wrap up October, and since it’s just before Halloween, I think it’s great that today’s guest is dark fiction author Alan Steven Kessler to talk about his spiritual horror story, A Satan Carol.

Alan and his publisher, Wild Child
Publishing, will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing gift card to a randomly drawn
commenter during the tour (international), and a 12-pack of Snackwells Devils
Food cookies to another commenter (US/Canada only). So if you’d like to be entered to win, make sure to leave an e-mail with your comment below. And you can improve your chances of winning by following his tour and commenting at other stops.
Welcome, Alan. Please tell us a little
bit about yourself.
I was born
in a small town in Ohio. I currently live in New England
with my wife, four children, and dog buckeye.
Please tell us about your current
release.
What does the
devil really want?
Nostalgic for
the Inquisition and plague, Satan feels neglected by the modern world that no
longer blames him for disease and death. He plans to create a new genesis, a
place where people will love him. For that, his son needs just the right soul.
And there is
one—unique, powerful, able to heal. To get it, Satan has a plan that begins in
Ireland in the famine year, 1848, and 180 years later traps a young girl and
her family in demonic forces pushing them to kill.
A Satan Carol
is a horror story
about family values–even if they originate in hell.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to
write a story about free will, human failings, and human goodness all
juxtaposed with the machinations of Satan who, in the novel, is more than a
caricature  
Excerpt:
On back of the EnViro truck continuing
across the grassless, treeless land, Orem couldn’t tell if the gray, steaming
waves he saw lapping sluggishly against a beach were those of a bay or ocean.
He could distinguish the two structures whose dark shapes he had seen from a
distance, the one closest to him an old farmhouse painted black, beyond it, a
ramshackle pier standing a half mile from the shoreline. When the truck passed
the pier, Orem
saw what looked like a junkyard where the road ended. As the truck slowed
before entering the junkyard’s fenced in area, he let go of the handle and
jumped, rolling in dirt so dry and light he inhaled it as if it were another
form of air. Choking, he took small breaths, sat there slowly adapting to the
particle laced, heated atmosphere.
Out of the ground hundreds of small,
shriveled crabs, their oversized, razor-sharp claws clicking, swarmed over him.
Orem thrashed
at them, his hands going through their bodies. Still frantically searching for
what had strayed into their feeding zone, the crabs covered Orem’s face, twitched and convulsed in hunger
and after running down his legs, disappeared with a popping sound into the
dust, the last of their energy wasted on trying to eat a ghost. Orem saw no bite marks on
his skin. He got up and by walking slowly, resting every few steps, the heat
from the scorching land burning through the soles of his shoes, reached the
junkyard fence of dry-rotted planks arranged haphazardly. Orem read a blistered, hand-lettered sign
propped up against an old toilet:
Moe Gut-man Salvge & antiks
A business sign…in Hell? The EnViro
road from Boston to the White Mountains ended on Moe Gutman’s desert
land where sinks, stained mattresses, broken pipes and large, cracked vats lay
jumbled together along the fence. Through a hole in the boards, Orem watched the truck
he’d jumped from pierce the ground with its titanium shaft. Sludge poured from
the truck into a bubbling landfill marked Field 17. Nearby, a row of glowing,
fissured mounds created by EvViro trucks pumping waste beyond the ground’s
capacity to absorb it, rose 70 feet above fields 12 and 9. Brother Green’s
business extended all the way to Hell. Orem
didn’t understand. For him Hell was a place of torment, not entrepreneurship.
In the Hell he imagined, the crabs would have chewed on his face forever. “Am I
a spirit and this, damnation? The house and pier, the junkyard, designed to
remind me of the world I’ve lost?” Except for the heat, he couldn’t feel or
touch what was around him. This Hell of Brother Green’s trucks had its own
dynamics and he remained outside it, looking in, detached and alone. “Is this
my punishment for sin?  Eternal isolation
even from other damned souls in this land of the dead?”   
Hello hello. Can you hear me?
Orem blinked and looked over to where a
boy sat slumped and drooling in a stroller parked a few yards from the junkyard
fence. Behind the child, a young girl, very thin, stood gazing out at the
water.
Children? In Hell? To Orem that didn’t make
sense. And he was sure the girl had just spoken to him. Is it possible, by
some miracle, I’m still alive?
 
What exciting story are you working on
next?
A novel
about a boy who grows up in a house of demons. It is a horror story without
drool and gore.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
At 11. I
wrote a sci-fi story about the world exploding.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I write
during the day when I’m at work and can find the time. I’m self-employed—the
owner of a karate school.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I self-edit
as I write.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I just
wanted to grow up. My family was a wee bit challenging.    
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Thank you.
I hope I can give you a story that is both entertaining and thoughtful.

You’re welcome, Alan. Happy to have you.

Readers, Alan and his publisher, Wild Child Publishing, will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (international), and a 12-pack of Snackwells Devils Food cookies to another commenter (US/Canada only). So if you’d like to be entered to win, make sure to leave an e-mail with your comment below. And you can improve your chances of winning by following his tour and commenting at other stops.

6 thoughts on “Interview with dark fiction author Alan Steven Kessler

  1. alan steven kessler says:

    Sorry for the repetition but the robot kept saying I needed to retry…oops

    Then again, can you really thank someone too much?

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