How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
It started off with the working title of ‘Angels’, but it didn’t really convey the true nature of the Angels within the novel, who are nothing like the biblical cherubs that people usually imagine. I had some initial interest from another publisher before I signed to Booktrope, and they suggested that I should change the name. I re-read it, and one of the characters said the phrase about a third of the way through and I just knew I had to use it.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
The main, overarching concept of the avenging, evil Angels is based upon a nightmare that I had. I woke up, wrote it down and fell back asleep. Several weeks later, I discovered my notes, fleshed them out and the novel was born!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’ve been lucky enough to have some real-life mentors – from the early days, Jeff Hilson and Peter Jaeger stand out. They were two of my lecturers at university, and they’re both poets – a lot of the poets who influenced them also influenced me, and it was those two who introduced me to them. Then, at Booktrope, Jesse James Freeman and Allie Burke both taught me more than I could ever credit them for. But, in many ways, a lot of my friends are mentors for me, and I am for them – we all learn from each other’s mistakes!
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading a book that I was sent to read for my book review blog called Eating from the Cherry Tree, by Vivien Ella Walden. It’s essentially the memoirs of a former ‘madam’, a lady who worked as a prostitute and ran a brothel. It’s brutally honest, and the author has clearly had an eventful life, and I salute her – I think she proves a point with it, if nothing else.
What books are in your to read pile?
Loads of Stephen King books – I always find them at charity shops, and buy them if I haven’t already got them. The same with Colin Dexter – I think I have every one of his books now, but I’ve only read two or three of them. I also have The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete, a fellow Booktrope author, to tuck in to, and then Hans M. Hirschi also sent me a couple of his books after I posted a review of Willem of the Taffel. Basically, I have a lot of books!
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I’m working on a few things at the moment! I’m about 85,000 words into a novel called Former.ly, about a social networking site for the dead, and I’m also thinking about revisiting the first novel that I ever wrote, but with a new title – Growing Up Fast. I also want to put out a book of poetry, and there’s a non-fiction book called ‘Social Paranoia’ in the works, too. It’s all busy, busy, busy!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Charles Bukowski because of the way in which he can write both poetry and prose with a brilliant simplicity. It’s hard to explain what I mean, but if you read his work, you’ll get it. This, in particular, is incredible:
It has been a beautiful
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
I have a phenomenally talented cover artist called Ashley Ruggirello. I explained that I wanted a fairly abstract cover, because I wanted my readers to let their imagination run free, and she came back with a bunch of concepts, each of which was amazing. She’s very talented, very professional, and most of all, very quick!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Get a job in social media marketing! Copywriting is one of the most desired skills in new recruits, and you should already be able to do that. Then, you can apply all of the marketing tips and tricks that you learn at work to your writing, when you get home.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
I do have a playlist on YouTube of the music that we used at the book launch – it doesn’t necessarily represent the book, but it is closely related to it! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDi1dOygQqQ9-xfyaZIlslZcyPjDmsevm
No Rest for the Wicked
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Cover Artist: Ashley Ruggirello
When the Angels attack, there’s NO REST FOR THE WICKED.
Father Montgomery, an elderly priest with a secret past, begins to investigate after his parishioners come under attack, and with the help of Jones, a young businessman with an estranged child, Montgomery begins to track down the origin of the Angels.
The Angels are naked and androgynous. They speak in a dreadful harmony with no clear leader. These aren’t biblical cherubs tasked with the protection of the righteous – these are deadly creatures of light that have the power to completely eradicate.
When Jones himself is attacked, Father Montgomery knows he has to act fast. He speaks to the Angels and organises a final showdown where he’s asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Available at Amazon
Chapter One: A Fair Trial
Wednesday November 11th, 2009
They grew out of the darkness, mysterious shapes hiding in plain sight in abstract mockery of the senses.
In the living room of a dingy flat in Hammersmith, tall and proud and shimmering in the air like a mirage, they stood; the only other light was a flickering television set that broadcast white noise to the sleeping occupant of the sofa.
Their shared voice echoed around the room like an organ in a cathedral, as powerful as independent thought. None of them moved – they just quaked with anticipation. The heap of dirty clothes on the sofa began to move and an ashen face emerged. He looked around the room in a sleepy daze. A matted beard framed his sunken eyes – grey on grey. He smelled like a pub before the smoking ban – an unpleasant cologne of nicotine and whiskey. When he saw that he wasn’t alone, he climbed unsteadily to his feet.
“Who are you?” he asked, shading his eyes to look at them. “What are you doing in my house?” With every passing second, his eyes adjusted and grew wider.
“Our identity is unimportant.” Their voices echoed around the room in perfect harmony, the eerie unison astounding, incredible, and terrifying. “We are defined by our purpose. You should already know what we are.”
“Angels,” he replied, avoiding their ferocious stare. “I’ve heard of you. But you’re not real.”
“Are you?” they asked, and he frowned.
“I’m more real than you are. You’re just rumours and hearsay, a hallucination.”
“Does that matter?”
“If I rub my eyes, you’ll disappear. You were never here in the first place.” He closed his eyes and pinched the thin skin on the inside of his elbow, but he felt the pain and didn’t wake up.
When he opened his eyes, the Angels were still there.
“Eric Solomon,” they boomed, in a voice that demanded attention.
He looked at them imperiously. “You’re real,” he whispered.
“We know that you are a sinner. You have wasted your life by drinking away the nights, bloated with lust for actresses and models. You have worshipped false idols, from musicians to cartoon characters. You have lied, cheated, stolen, and swindled your way through life.”
Solomon raised his hand to interrupt them, but they continued to talk as if he weren’t even there. The Angels didn’t raise their voices – they just refused to be unheard. It was as though they were talking silently and he was listening with his soul.
“You have committed each of the seven sins and an endless number of others. Your apocalypse is now. Do you have anything to say in your defence? Will you repent? Will you kneel and beg for forgiveness before the sheepdogs of the Lord? Justify yourself.”
“Why should I?” he cried.
“If you do not, you will be purged.”
“What happened to a fair trial?”
“We are a fair trial. Speak.” It wasn’t a command, but Solomon felt compelled to answer.
“‘I’ve enjoyed myself, isn’t that the point? I’ve led a happy life and been nice enough to the people I’ve known. I’ve never been violent and I’ve always worked hard, I’m just down on my luck at the moment. There’s a recession.”
“We know everything and more.”
“Then you already know what’s going to happen?”
“Correct. But knowledge of the future is not meant for you. Do you have anything else to add to your defence?”
“I’m not afraid to die.” Solomon sighed and stood tall, a fraction of his former self.
Without seeming to move, the Angels grew nearer, and Solomon was surrounded. He could feel the heat from their bodies and see the wall-mounted clock through their translucent flesh. He stared at the second hand; it ticked, and the Angels stepped through him.
Solomon shrieked as white-hot pain passed through him, and he whimpered as he smelled his own burning flesh. He thought that the pain was unbearable; then, it intensified. The Angels were strengthened by his imminent death, and their bodies started to solidify. Solomon slipped into an unconsciousness from which he’d never wake, and the Angels caught his falling body with ease.
As they held him, draped across their arms like a battered rug, he ignited. None of the Angels flinched; they stood, staring at the fire, with an inscrutable expression on their androgynous faces. In the distance, a car horn honked impatiently. Seconds later, it sounded again; the flames began to die down, Solomon’s body reduced to dust and ash.
“You lied, Mr. Solomon,” they said, scattering the powdered remains across the floor. “You were afraid to die.”
The Angels walked towards the wall, passing through it as the widescreen television behind them continued to broadcast static, and the eerie sound kept the ashes company.
About the Author:
Dane Cobain is a writer and poet from a place you've probably never heard of, somewhere in England. His debut novella, a supernatural thriller called 'No Rest for the Wicked', will be released by Forsaken in the summer of 2015. When he's not writing books, he's reading and reviewing them on his book blog, SocialBookshelves.com - Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene and Phillip Pullman are favourites.
Find him at www.facebook.com/danecobainmusic or follow @DaneCobain on Twitter.