We are pleased to be visited by F.E. Feeley, who joins us to celebrate the upcoming release of Still Waters. Still Waters is the third book in the Memoirs of the Human Wraiths series. Don’t you just love that cover?
Promise, Michigan is very much like every other small town across the state. Built on the edge of a lake, the homes sit in neat little rows in cute little neighborhoods. During the summer Promise bustles with tourists who come to spend their vacation dollars and enjoy the lake’s refreshingly cold water. But Promise holds a terrible secret. In the center of the lake is an abandoned island where a curse is rumored to wait for victims, unabated and deadly. Most think it’s just a story, something used to keep kids out of trouble. Still, everyone gives it a wide berth. Everyone except Bret and Adam. They dare to venture out the night of Bret’s birthday. When they declared their love and promise to get married, they believe no one else heard their whispered words—but they are wrong.
Five years later Adam dies, and Bret returns to his family to heal. But someone is killing the people of Promise in random acts of violence. Bret, with the help of FBI agent Jeff McAllister, must discover the identity of a murderer with death on his mind and revenge in his heart.
Thanks for joining us today and congratulations on our new release, Still Waters. The story sounds wonderfully intriguing. I hope you don’t mind if I pry a little into your writing habits. 🙂
On a typical day, how much time would you spend writing and when do you do most of your writing?
FE: That all depends, really. I am not one of those people who can write on a whim. If I have writer’s block or if I try to sit down and force something to come, it won’t. I get frustrated and kinda depressed about it. So what I do, is watch the news, watch a movie, listen to music, clean my house, etc. I go through these up and down phases between books where I know I won’t be able to write for a while. Like, I am worn out. The late, great, Robin Williams said something along the lines of, as artists were are connected to this stream of consciousness through a doorway. And sometimes we have to wait for that door to open. It’s a funny thing really, because when its open- I feel feverish until the story is done. It’s a painful process of obsession because my mind is on the story. Now, it takes me a couple of months to hammer out a book and by the end of it, I end up feel wasted and weary. Now during the down time, I forget how much of the creative process consumes me, and I miss it. Until it happens again. And that is where I find myself, praying that door will reopen again.
Describe your writing environment.
FE: That can vary, from the upstairs of my house, to the front porch in the sweltering heat of the deep south, to an apartment I have in another city with my husband. It all depends. Writers can write anywhere.
Still Waters, sounds deliciously chilling and mysterious. What was the inspiration behind this story?
FE: Still Waters was created for a confluence of reasons. Promise, Michigan really represents the modern Gilded Age America has slid into in the past decade. I really wanted to screw with image in this book. There is this whole world out there so built upon false imagery and it managed to bloat it’s self-importance into this balloon where all one needs to do is scratch at the surface and it pops. It’s a place where aggression and people who wish to keep things the status quo are thinly veiled underneath the surface of fake smiles and anyone is capable of anything.
In the book, a young gay man is found floating lifeless in a pond. His family and his boyfriend are, naturally, devastated and even though the police report says that he committed suicide, none of them believe it. Five years after the incident, his boyfriend returns to the family and suddenly all hell breaks loose. And of course there is a paranormal element, it wouldn’t be one of my books if there wasn’t.
Our world is sort of going crazy right now. And as a horror writer, I write about what scares me. And the fight in Ferguson, Missouri, thinking we could end up with another Trayvon Martin (God Forbid) or Matthew Shepherd, brought to us by people who are angry that the world around them is changing beyond their control, including police officers, is what inspired this book. From Capitol Hill to Southern State Legislators and City Halls, crazy is on full display right now in ways I’ve never seen.
In regards to the theme of the book. Still Waters is a book about justice. It’s about hope. It’s about the modern American life that is sort of being dangled over oblivion by a spider’s thread. It’s about shattering the gold dipped obnoxiousness that has been in favor of higher truths.
I have a personal rule. I’ll get you to the Happy Ever After. I’ll get you to the light. But you have to go through the dark, first. You have to earn your HEA. And in Still Waters, I make the reader do that. And hopefully, I hit a nerve. Good or bad. I hope I make people angry, I hope I make them laugh, Cry, and know they went on a trip.
Now why do I write like this? In my last book, Objects in the Rearview Mirror, I dealt with some pretty heavy content surrounding the issue of child abuse. And one month, my husband and I sat down and read each other chapters from the book and he was taken aback by how brutal some of the scenes were. And he was like, “Babe, there are some readers who may not like this. Some people read as an escape. The content of this book is just…heartbreaking.”
That’s not the only time I’ve heard that echoed.
But here’s my thing. The late, great, Nina Simone said, “It is an artist’s responsibility to reflect the world around them.”
And when the late, great, Doctor Maya Angelou said, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.” I knew I had a choice to make.
And once I fell in love with the world of writing, I had to ask myself. Am I going to be an entertainer? Or am I going to strive for art? Am I going to reflect the world around me? And am I going to teach in the process of entertaining and scaring the bejeebus out of my readers? And I decided, yes, I will.
Because we ignore the world around us at our own peril. We risk losing who we are if we ignore where we’re going and where we’ve been. And ladies and gentlemen, the professor is in.
Can you share with us any hints about the romance in the story and what fate has in store for Bret?
FE: Bret and Adam met in high school and fell in love. in their innocence they went to sacred tribal ground and made promises to each other in the dark, thinking no one would hear them. They were wrong.
Five years after Adam’s death an FBI agent named Jeff comes into town to investigate a series of murders and discovers someone is out there killing people in the name of revenge.
Now, these two men are not only trying to figure out who is killing people, but also who killed Adam and in the process they fall in love. Bret’s whole world was shattered when he lost Adam and Jeff’s entire world is about to be shattered with what these two confront together. Everything they know about the world is disintegrated and ……you have to read the book to find out what happens.
What book is currently on your bedside table or on your Kindle?
FE: I am going to hang my head in shame at this question because right now, due to my and my husband’s work schedule and so forth, I haven’t had the time to sit down and read anything. However, I was able to read and review several M/m romance books in the past year, people like Jamie Fessenden, and John Inman who are my personal hero’s. Those dudes can write their butts off. I also read Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the continuation of The Shining and it blew my mind. Brilliant man.
What’s the best part of your day?
FE: Honestly, when my husband gets home. When he walks in the door. And I kiss his face.
Thank you for your answers and taking the time to speak about the book. I’m very much looking forward to reading this one.
Releases 30th March 2015
Meet the author
I was born and raised in the city of Detroit where I graduated from high school. Afterward, I joined the military and now am a published author at Dreamspinner Press. Married to the love of my life (John) who lets me write horror novels. I write about ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Well, the other things that go bump in the night. So, if you’re not too scared of the dark, check out my books, I’m sure you’ll like ’em.