Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Guest post & Giveaway: Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski

Braineater Jones
by Stephen Kozeniewski
-Horror, Mystery, Zombie
Amazon | Goodreads

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by Stephen Kozeniewski
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Several of the characters from BRAINEATER JONES have secret origins which are so nutty I suspect most people would never be able to guess if I didn’t tell them. One of the most interesting is AlcibĂ©’s two-and-a-half-millennia journey from ancient Athenian warlord to severed head on Braineater’s desk. But I’ve already told that story elsewhere, so you’ll just have to suffer the never knowing. Or I guess you could look up that other guest post. Either way.

Almost as circuitous is the story of Ivan Skaron, one of Braineater’s early clients. Some of you may know that I recently published my fifth novel, HUNTER OF THE DEAD, about a showdown between vampires and vampire hunters in modern day Las Vegas. What you probably don’t know is that HUNTER OF THE DEAD began (un)life as a screenplay in 2003.

The movie version of “Queen of the Damned” had recently come out and while I enjoyed it for what it was, it made me realize that something that had been bothering me for a long time. Vampires on the silver screen bore almost zero resemblance to the folkloric monsters I had eagerly studied as a child. “Buffy” and “Angel” were also in full tilt at the time, and while they were compelling stories, the vampires just kind of hung out indoors during the daytime and they could even eat chicken wings if they felt like it for some reason.

Where were the coffins? The aspen stakes? The insatiable desire to count dropped objects? What about the soil of the homeland? The need to bury a vampire’s head at a crossroads? All those weird, wacky Old World myths and minutia?

Sure, even then I understood a vampire in almost any work of fiction is a metaphor. But didn’t that mean that writers were essentially leaving the folkloric vampyr on the table, unused? My answer was the “Hunter of the Dead” screenplay, which was chock full of obscure vampirana. And as a beer-swilling, college-aged American boy, basically every character in my screenplay was some kind of badass kill-happy Rambo-type dude.

And none were more badass or murder-happy than the Emperor of the Vampires himself…who I didn’t have a name for. But also at that time, being a huge fan of SyFy (then SciFi) Channel’s “Farscape” I decided to name him after the biggest, baddest-ass villains in the galaxy: the Scarrans. The vampire emperor was Russian, and being not very far removed from having read THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, I decided to name him after the eldest Karamazov brother as well. And thus was born Ivan Skaron. The little spelling change was so that nobody would ever notice I had cribbed from SciFi. Well, unless I happened to write about it in a blogpost someday. But I digress.

This may surprise you to learn (though probably not if you know anything about Hollywood) but studios are not exactly clamoring to accept a spec script from an unknown, unconnected college student. And so “Hunter of the Dead” was shelved for almost thirteen years, before finally finding new life as a novel in 2016.

And wouldn’t you know it, but the novel HUNTER OF THE DEAD does not feature an Ivan Skaron character. It does feature a similar character – now an empress – called Lily Luchesi, who fulfilled all of Ivan Skaron’s functions from the screenplay. So why the change? Well, two reasons.

First of all, I’m thirteen years older now, and I like to think my writing has evolved somewhat, and not every character needs to go “boom boom, pow, I beat you up!” Some can even have depth now. Some can even be (gasp!) women!

Second of all, Ivan Skaron had been repurposed and found new life in 2013 as a character in BRAINEATER JONES. The character was similar in personality and behavior, but instead of being a vampiric overlord he had become an academic with a dark secret life. But to find out any more than that, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book. :)


Guest post created for September Zombies event by Stephen Kozeniewski
© 2016. All rights reserved.

About the author:

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @outfortune

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by Stephen Kozeniewski
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--~ Audiobook Giveaway ~--

WIN a copy of the audio version of Braineaters Jones!

Open to all.

Offer ends: September 27, 2016

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. ADD this book to your Want To Read list on Goodreads (here).

2. LEAVE a comment (or question for the author).

AND, leave your email.


Contest has ended - (winner is here)


OTHER books from Stephen:

Billy and the Cloneasaurus | Amazon | Goodreads
Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets | Amazon | Goodreads
Every Kingdom Divided | Amazon | Goodreads

Fat Zombie: Stories of Unlikely Survivors from the Apocalypse | Amazon | Goodreads
The Ghoul Archipelago | Amazon | Goodreads
Hunter of the Dead | Amazon | Goodreads

At Hell's Gates (vol. 1) | Amazon | Goodreads
At Hell's Gates: Origins of Evil (vol. 2) | Amazon | Goodreads
At Hell's Gates: Bound By Blood (vol. 3) | Amazon | Goodreads


* part of September Zombies (schedule)
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