Thursday, December 10, 2015

#IABBAddict: Slither by Valarie Savage Kinney

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About the Book

SlitherAuthor: Valarie Savage

Title: Slither

Pages: 217

Genre: Paranormal Horror

Publisher: Twisted Core Press

Date published: July 2, 2015

We're often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She's hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?


Zari clawed at her sister, Gianna, in a desperate attempt to escape. Gianna ran her forked tongue slowly across her upper lip. The slimy, berry-colored muscle dripped hot saliva onto Zari’s face as she turned away from Gianna’s menacing glare. “Please don’t make me watch! I don’t want to see this again!” Zari cried, curling into a ball on the hard, cold floor of the shed.Nan stomped on Zari’s stomach, anger flushing her grizzled features. “Listen, you little bitch. You will sit still and watch, or I will see to it your father beats you senseless…again. Remember the last time?” Zari did remember. She’d not been able to walk for two days after the last beating. The pain in her gut now was so great it knocked the air from her lungs as she wheezed.
Zari whimpered. Pain, shame and disgust clenched her stomach as the young man tied to the pallet in the corner screamed for mercy. Pop straddled the man, laughing as his prisoner frantically thrashed about. Nan and Gianna gripped Zari’s arms and forced her to a sitting position. Roughly grabbing her chin, Nan yanked her head forward. “Watch!” Nan hissed.The man’s body had stilled and dark, thick rivers of blood dripped from his mouth and nose down the side of his face. Pop’s mouth pressed against the lips of the stranger as the serpent fed. When her father finally rose, the snake slid back into his mouth and Pop wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand. He met Zari’s gray-green eyes with his own, and grinned. His teeth were stained dark red.
Terror shook Zari’s bones, leaving her shivering as she raised her eyes to the scene in the corner of the shed. Pop ran his thumb over the lips of the man, who cried out once more but was quickly silenced when the snake burst forth from Pop’s mouth and slithered down the throat of the man, a drifter who had stopped by the farmhouse the day before, looking for work.Gianna’s split tongue flicked against Zari’s ear; the feel of the wet, dual points of it against her skin made Zari flinch. “Soon,” Gianna whispered, tracing the outer edge of Zari’s ear with her tongue. “Soon, it will be your turn to feed.” Pop shoved the limp body of the young man onto the pile of human shells stacked along the wall of the shed.Overwhelmed by the stench of blood and decaying flesh, Zari began to vomit. Vile chunks of rancid meat erupted from her mouth and bile burned her throat and nose as she heaved. Grimacing, she dragged the hem of her shirt across her mouth, resolving never to eat meat again.

About the Author

Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Author of Slither and Just Hold On. Editor and narrator for Dragons of Faith.


What inspired you to become an author? 
I’ve always loved to read, and when I discovered (around junior high) that I had a little bit of a knack for writing, becoming an author became a dream of mine for “someday.” After I lost my sister a couple of years ago, it struck me that “someday” meant NOW…so I began the process of becoming an indie author. Life is short. Live your dreams. 

I assume all authors also love to read, so what book inspired your love of reading? 
I think likely the ones that had the most influence on me at a pivotal time in my life were L.M. Montgomery books. I read and reread her books as a young teen and still today, Anne and Emily hold a special place in my heart. 

How old were you when you wrote your first story? 
I cannot honestly recall this. However, I do remember in high school, I think tenth grade, when I published a story in my high school newspaper. It was about star crossed lovers – one was an angry troll – and had to do with three towns named Winken, Blinken, and Nod. 

Who are some of your favorite authors now? 
Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 
Total pantser.

Are your characters based on people you know? 
I’m not certain I’ve ever straight up copied a character from a real life person, but certainly different characteristics, expressions, of people I know make their ways into my characters. In Slither, there is a character, an old man who lives down the street from the main characters, who always smells like gasoline and cherry cough drops. That’s how I always remember my dad smelling, and he’s gone now. So I like to do little things like that. 

What are some of your writing rituals? 
I have four kids and two dogs. Thinking about special writing rituals is like thinking about long, luxurious baths or romantic, candlelit dinners. I love the idea of it, but the truth is I write when I can, where I can. Mostly, I write when the kids are in school, but only after my day job work is complete. If I can find time on the weekends, I write here or there. In the summers, I sometimes sit outside to write, with music blaring. 

How do other books influence your writing? 
I think any piece of art we consume becomes part of us, so surely it influences what we do afterward. Some books, like Outlander, just leave me feeling like I will never be that great, but I love the style so much it’s a standard I continue to strive toward. 

How do you get motivated to sit down and write with all the real world interruptions? 
I’m terribly easily distracted. This is not a talent I’ve yet mastered, ignoring real world interruptions. 

Which one of your books is your favorite? 
Each book I’ve written is so different, I kind of love them all. Each of them has a piece of my heart in them. It’s like yanking out bits of your soul, holding them up to the light, and asking which one is my favorite soul piece. 

If you could have a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be and why? 
Scotland, because kilts. And accents.

If your main character were an alcoholic beverage, which beverage would they be and why? 
Hhmm. I don’t much drink, so I don’t have a lot to pull from here. Zari is a peasant-skirted, dreadlocked, hippie; a practical chick who works with her hands and has the blood of snake god worshipers in her soul. Mostly if I drink, it’s just a sangria with fruity bits or a strawberry daiquiri, but neither of those sound quite right for Zari. You give me some ideas. (Based on her description, I'd say Absinthe. - Katie) 

If you could live in a fictional world, which world would you choose and why? 
You know what would be cool, is to mash up 18th century Scotland with Alice in Wonderland. But like the new Alice, the one with Johnny Depp as Hatter. I would be delighted to watch a conversation between Jamie Fraser and Mad Hatter. 

What’s the best way to hide a body? 
Dismember and boil. Eat the meat, bury the bones in various locations throughout the world. 

This or That

Coke or Pepsi? Mountain Dew
Paperback or e-reader? I like both, for different reasons. But I do love holding a paperback in my hands
Facebook or Twitter? I do like Twitter. Quick and dirty, jump in, jump out. 
Peeta or Gale? What’s this, Hunger Games? I haven’t read these yet. I asked my daughter, who is a fan, and who has just woken up, “Savannah, choose quick – Peeta or Gale?” and she scrunched up her face and said, “Mom, did you just ask me for pizza cocaine? That can’t be right.”  
Edward or Jacob? Jacob.
Money or love? Love
Tattoos or bare? Me personally? I have no ink. Or is this what I like best? Mmm. Just depends. Not a big fan of like, poorly spelled face tattoos, I know that.
Hairy or smooth? Hairy. 
Call or text? Text 
Hot or cold? I am always cold.
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? LOTR
Coffee or Tea? Mountain Dew
Halloween or Christmas? This is a hard choice. I love to make costumes, but I also love to give presents. I guess Christmas.
McDonald’s or Burger King? I like Burger King’s onion rings. 
Batman or Spiderman? Wolverine.
Oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip? Oatmeal chocolate chip.

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