When Eddie Ryder is burned alive by fellow members of the Hell Riders motorcycle gang for ratting on them, he vows revenge with his dying breath. He returns as a ghost, with his custom motorcycle Diablo by his side. After he finds out he can possess people, he launches a campaign of vengeance that leaves plenty of bodies in its wake and the police in a state of confusion. Spouting fire and lightning from his fingers and screaming heavy metal lyrics as he rides the sky above the town of Hell Creek, he brings destruction down on all those who wronged him, his power growing with every death. Only Eddie’s younger brother, Carson, and the police chief’s daughter, Ellie, understand what’s really happening, and now they have to stop him before he destroys the whole town.
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About the Author
What is the book about?
Hellrider is a grindhouse-style darkly satirical horror novel about love and life in a small town under siege by a uniquely insane ghost who wants revenge on the motorcycle gang that killed him.
What are the underlying themes?
Underneath the scares and murders are two simple themes: the importance of family and the importance of love. Because if you have your family and you have love, you can triumph over anything.
Did you base your characters on anyone you knew?
No. I went into this with the idea of creating an antagonist very different from anything anyone has seen. The protagonists are based more on my memories of my early adolescence.
Who influenced you most in the writing of the book?
I think throughout the writing of this book I kept thinking about the grindhouse movies of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez in the modern era, and the all the crazy motorcycle movies of the 1950s and 1960s.
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
Never kid yourself that it’s easy. It’s a job, and a hard one. You have to discipline yourself to sit down and write every day, you have to be willing to take criticism and advice from your editors, and you have to remember that it’s a craft where you never stop learning how to do something better.
Where do you write?
This book, like almost all of mine, was written at my desk in my home office. Sometimes I also write by hand in a notebook when I find myself stuck on a particular chapter or scene.
Did you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I always write in silence. Sounds break my concentration, and when it’s broken, it’s hard to get it back.
Did you find it hard to write? Or harder to edit your own work?
For me, it’d definitely harder to write because I am my own worst critic. I write and rewrite and rewrite hundreds of pages and ultimately don’t use half of them. By the time I get to the editing stage, usually it’s a piece of cake because I’ve done all the hard work already.
What was it like to be edited by someone else?
I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I seek it out. Before any of my manuscripts goes to a publisher, it’s already been read by my beta readers, a group of 6 fellow novelists who take great pride in finding every glitch and making sure I put out the best possible story.
What are you writing now?
Like always, I’m working on several projects. A new novel, a novella, and some short stories.
You’re from New York; why did you choose to set Hellrider in Florida?
I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida over the years; I’d love to retire there someday. I’m especially fond of the Everglades area from my college biology class days when we used to camp there. And I wanted a hot, steamy background for the novel, so southern Florida seemed like a natural choice.
Your bio states you’re from the haunted Hudson Valley of New York. Is it really that haunted? And did that contribute to you becoming a horror writer?
Absolutely! I grew up surrounded by tales of ghosts, aliens, and monsters. I lived 2 streets from 200-year-old graveyard. Key Revolutionary War battles were fought practically in my backyard. Tales of wendigos, Bigfoot, Native American spirits, and water demons abound. I live near the UFO capital of New York and the home of Washington Irving. How could I not grow up to love all things dark and scary?