Getting personal with D. Alexander Ward

Please welcome D. Alexander Ward to Roadie Notes……

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was the tender age of twelve or thirteen, I think, when I wrote “The Thing in the Fog.” Thankfully, that little gem never saw the light of day.

2. How many books have you written?
Two novels and one novella published. One completed novel (Nightjar) in the editing stage and one completed trunk novel I may someday try to make viable. So that’d be five. I’ve also co-edited two books with Doug Murano: Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Shadows Over Main Street.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
There are things I probably shy away from unconsciously—like sexual abuse—but if it’s important to the plot or the character, nothing is off the table as long as I handle it in an appropriate manner.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc...
I’m forty-two years old, married just over ten years, with one child—a daughter—who is in elementary school. I am a partner in a technology business where I also work full-time as an operations manager.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I like them all for different reasons but I’m historically a sucker for haunted houses and haunted people so I’d have to say my most recent book, Beneath Ash & Bone. And the reason is that when I was working the idea of it, I kind of had this aesthetic in my mind, you know? Like a full-sensory vision of what I wanted it to be. And for the most part, its final form is just as I envisioned it. I do that with everything I write but some come closer to the vision than others.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I always enjoyed a good story in whatever form it took and after a steady diet of Poe and Lovecraft and King at a young age, I decided I’d like to try my hand at it. Then I kind of fell out of it for many years. Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Threshold and Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box brought me back to dark fiction, though, and inspired me to finally get serious about writing it.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
Other than reading and hanging out with my family, I get a lot of enjoyment out of music—listening to it as well as making it. I also cook a lot, so that’s something else I’m passionate about.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Get blackout drunk and howl at the moon? Well, maybe that has happened, but not every time. In truth, I will spend about a day or two wondering if I am really done or not, then I’ll walk away from it for a week or two. Then I come back to it and begin editing. That’s my tradition. And I’m not sure that, for me, the editing process is ever truly finished—even if it’s only in my head.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I like writing outside whenever possible. I have a specific spot on the back deck at the edge of the woods. Either there or my writing cave in my house.As far as quiet or music, either works for me but I do assemble playlists that capture the mood of certain projects as I am working on them, so I use music more often than not.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I’d be faster, leaner, and more precise in my prose. But that comes with time, if it comes at all. I’d also have a better Good Idea vs. Dumb Idea filter to save time.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Well, as a teenager, sure it was. Who wouldn’t want to be circa 1980’s and 90’s Stephen King? But now, I just want to publish as widely as possible and make a bit of money doing it. I think the dream now is to produce quality work that more and more people will read.

12. Where do you live?
I live in central Virginia, outside the city of Richmond. Used to be farms and woods were the defining characteristics of the landscape out here rather than yet another sandwich shop chain or another super grocery or whatever the hell. I sound bitter, don’t I? Well, maybe a little.

13. Pets?
Two cats (one black, one orange) named Mulder and Scully. I badly need another dog in my life, though.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I really enjoy writing a novel synopsis! No, I’m kidding. Those are horrendous. What I do like is the rush you get when something just clicks… and keeps on clicking. Another is the catharsis you experience when you really scrape at your insides to get something out and onto the page, because if you’re putting a lot of your self into it, it can be frightening at times. Editing can be tedious but that really is where you have the chance make a rough-hewn thing beautiful and seeing that final product is very gratifying.

15. What is coming next for you?
I’m figuring out what the next novel project will be and I have a few smaller things in the hopper as well. Doug Murano and I are finishing up edits on Shadows Over Main Street Volume 2, which comes out later this year. And I am also working on editing an anthology project that will drop in 2018… that I can’t talk about just yet.

A special sample of D. Alexander Ward: 


Beneath Ash & Bone, Synopsis

Selburn, Virginia: A quiet backwater town nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the days before the Civil War, Sam Lock keeps the peace as the town sheriff, like his father before him.

That peace is shattered during a raging winter storm when a boy goes missing at Evermore, the sprawling estate of Horace Crownhill and his family. Racing against time and the elements, Sam must mount a desperate search for the child—but what he finds in the snow, and the dark halls of Evermore, are madness … and murder.

As Sam searches for truth in a house poisoned by mysteries and haunted by ghosts, he hopes to weather the storm, but the harrowing secrets he uncovers may prove too terrible to bear. Will he escape with his sanity intact or will the dark presence rumored to hold sway over Evermore claim him as another sacrifice?
Blood Savages (A Blackguards Novel #1), Synopsis
A failed paramilitary assault on a nest of vampires gives a group of monster hunters called the Blackguards a terrifying glimpse of how deadly the bloodsuckers really are. Now, hunted by the ones they failed to kill and on the run from the law, they’re forced to puzzle together the mystery of a strange carcass from colonial times that their ruthless billionaire nemesis will stop at nothing to possess.

With one of their own bitten and mutating into a deadly creature of the night, they race against time as they travel the back roads of the Carolinas in a desperate attempt to save her life. But their journey toward salvation will lead to darker places than they ever could have imagined.

Blood Savages is the first novel in the Blackguards series about a misfit band of Southern heroes with extraordinary abilities. But these ain’t your high-browed superheroes flying invisible jet planes, living in fancy mansions, and sporting glittery spandex getups. The Blackguards drink too much, they tote guns, they drive muscle cars and beat-up trucks. None of them can claim a squeaky clean past and some ain’t even exactly human. But one thing’s for certain; they’ll stand against the denizens of the underworld and the corrupt men that seek to harness its dark powers, fighting the battles that no one else can.

Because, down South, sometimes the heroes are the monsters.
Shadows Over Main Street, Synopsis

What happens when idyllic small-towns, and the simple folk who inhabit them, collide with inexplicable evil borne of a vast and uncaring cosmos?

Imagine a series of stories set in a golden era of American life, where worldly troubles are regarded from a distance, if at all. Hear the buzz of playing cards clipped in children’s spokes echo down quiet lanes. Smell the faint aroma of rich tobacco smoke from an old man’s pipe on a shady boulevard. Listen to the gossip of small towns where everyone knows everyone’s business. Or do they?

Sometimes, deadly secrets lurk out in the barn. Sometimes, unimaginable evil awaits us in the root cellar. Sometimes, we fall under the sway of the Shadows Over Main Street.

Contains stories and poems by: Gary Braunbeck, Nick Mamatas, Josh Malerman, Mary SanGiovanni, Tim Curran, Rena Mason, Lucy A. Snyder, Stephanie Wytovich, Kevin Lucia, Chesya Burke, Brian Hodge, James Chambers, Aaron Polson, T. Fox Dunham, Richard Thomas, Adrian Ludens, Cameron Suey, Lisa Morton, Jay Wilburn, and John Sunseri. Foreword by Ramsey Campbell.

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Synopsis

This book is a nominee for the 2016 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories–a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness. Awe meets ache. Terror becomes transcendence.

Regret gives way to rebirth. Fifteen short stories and one poem span nearly every twisted corner of the horror and dark fiction genres. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward.
With a foreword from Cemetery Dance magazine founder and author Richard Chizmar. Brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing

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