Title: Death Has a Name
Author: Jerry Hanel
Page count: 274
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Thriller
Price: $0.99 ebook, $12.00 paperback
Jerry Hanel lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his beautiful wife and his dog. During the day, he solves mundane office problems for a local engineering firm. But at night, he spins the world into chaos, then magically brings his heroes to save the day.
While Jerry and his lovely wife hope to travel the world some day, they are home-bodies at the moment, enjoying time with each other and serving their community.
Tell us about your book:
There is a Truth that is active. Alive. It is trying to make itself known at all costs to anyone that can hear it. Brodie Wade can hear The Truth, and it forces him to listen until its message has been understood, leaving him scarred both emotionally and physically.
Together with Detective Phil Dawson, Brodie Wade must summon all of his will to go head-to-head with The Truth to solve the latest string of gruesome murders. It appears that Dominick Fredrickton — the Midnight Killer — has returned from the grave. Can they stop Death before he is unleashed from eternal bonds?
How long did it take to write the book?
I’ve been working on this book on-and-off for several years. It started out as a mystery who-dunnit, with a splash of paranormal to give it a twist. But when I wrote Brodie Wade’s character – who was formally a bit-part in the book – I just liked him. He was odd and quirky, like me. I trashed the entire concept and started over with Brodie at the helm, and it flew together after that.
What inspired you to write the book?
I’m not sure, to be honest. I had an idea of “what if death were really a person. Could you arrest him? What would happen if you tried?” and everything just flowed from that one idea.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
No routine, really. I have a weekly writer’s group that held me accountable for writing at least SOMETHING each week. Steve, if you read this, I’m sorry for all of the horrendous revisions it took to get to this one.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Hopefully, a sense of accomplishment and understanding. I want them to see Brodie as he really is, and to understand why he can’t just be who he wants to be.
Where can we go to buy your book?
You can buy Death Has a Name from Amazon or Smashwords. Either place it’s just $0.99 for the ebook version. Amazon has the paperback for $12.
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
People can follow me on facebook or twitter if they would like to.
Excerpt from book:
Brodie woke with a jolt, his heart already racing. A faint glow fell across the room from his bedroom window. The first sign of the familiar gray fog made its way under the door, lying low on the hardwood floors of his bedroom. It crept silently, slow and steady. Fingers of mist curled up and around, feeling. Searching. The Truth was looking for him again.
He glanced at the clock, taking his eyes off of the fog for one brief moment. It was 4:15am.
The fog swirled around on the floor and flowed slowly over his bed. He eyed it with care, fearfully as it spread across the covers. He wondered what had awoken him in time to see this, and almost immediately he knew the answer as a thumping sound came from the living room.
He eased himself out of bed and made his way down the narrow hall, wading ankle-deep in the mist. His nerves were already on edge and his ears rang with every creaking step as he tried to listen for the faintest sounds. What would The Truth bring now? A demon hound? A six-legged creature? Whatever it was, he knew that it wouldn’t leave him alone until The Truth was satisfied – until it said to him what it had on its mind.
That was the problem with The Truth. It had to be heard before it would go away. The longer he ignored it, the more violent it would become.
He crept into the glow of his moon-lit room. Soft blue-hued squares illuminated an area across the rug up the side of a chair. What he saw was nothing like he expected. A man sat motionless on the seat next to Sophie’s cat bed. He slowly stroked her back with one hand draped near the floor.
His face was hidden in the dark, but the moonlight was enough to show the man’s fine silk suit. It was dark blue with pin stripes down the length of it. Just the sight of it emanated power and control. He motioned for Brodie to approach, the white mist trailing his hand with every move.
“Can I help you?” Brodie moved carefully toward the center of the room. Apparitions could cause physical damage, as he’d learned. Very few were hostile, but some would take any length to make their case heard by those in this realm. The more urgently The Truth needed to be heard, the more violent the outbursts could become.
As a child, he had been taken from his mother by the state because of the bruises and cuts on his body. She had not done those things to him, but who listens to a ten-year-old? And no one believed him when he told them that The Truth had done it. Instead, he had learned to be wary of any apparition and to appease them as much as possible. Most of all, he’d learned to listen at all costs, and to let them know he was listening, trying to understand the words and make sense of the riddles. He still bore the scars on his body to remind him what an apparition could do if it became angry.
Brodie watched the man in the chair. “Excuse me sir… who are you?” The well-dressed man didn’t move except to pet Sophie, who seemed completely oblivious to his existence.
“Hello? Did you need to tell me something?”
Still no reaction. Brodie lowered himself onto the sofa, prepared to hear all that the man had to say, hoping that by hearing his story, he could return to sleep and have this over with. But as he sat, the new angle made it apparent why there was no response. Right behind where a head should have been was a clear view of the city lights through his living room window.
The headless man leaned forward and tapped his heel on the floor making the thumping sound that he had heard earlier. Raising a finger into the air, he began to trace words in fine white mist.
R. E. T. As he finished the T, the R began to fade. U. R. N.
“Return? Return what?” Brodie asked.
T. H. More letters faded as each new letter was added. E. O. R. B.
“Theorb? Who is Theorb?”
T. H. E. The hand continued to write in the air.
Brodie watched the fine mist as it faded away. “The. The… The… orb. The Orb?”
A thick white blanket of mist gathered over the man in blue until he was simply a new cloud of gray smoke. Slowly, it began to recede as if pulled in to a vacuum. The fog gathered itself along the floor and retreated back into the blood-matted thigh of Sophie. Brodie sat staring at the blood on her thigh, wondering what the apparition had been trying to say.
Sophie raised her head off of the pillow and cocked her head as if to say What are you doing up, silly? It’s 4am. Humans are usually in bed at this hour.
“You had to bring trouble home, didn’t you?”