Our Goodreads giveaway for Nightmare Noir ends on April 30th! If you haven't entered yet, now is the time. If you'd like to learn more about Alex Azar and the creation of James S. Peckman, check out his interview on Patricia Abbott's blog.
Nightmare Noir is now available at Amazon. In celebration of this, we are giving away another free copy of the book to the first person who posts what famous album cover the cover art of the book was inspired by.
Here's an excerpt from the book to tease you:
I hate reading modern detective stories that relate everything that happens to the movies. Rarely does this crap ever mimic the atrocities that some call cinematic experiences; more like celluloid extortion. Vampires don’t look like models or teen heartthrobs, Frankenstein’s creation, who isn’t called Frankenstein, is not a brainless oaf but more articulate than most Ivy League graduates, and zombies don’t eat brains, they feed on the souls of the newly dead to delay their own decay. But damn it, once in a while Hollywood gets it right; werewolves killed by silver, check. And that damned Book of the dead, yeah it’s real, too.
The second part of my (Gwen Mayo's) interview with Detective James S. Peckman.
Alex Azar, his biographer, is sharing several cases he finds memorable in a new book titled Nightmare Noir, which will be available on Amazon on Monday.
Which of the cases in the collection had the most impact on your life, and why?
That may be the easiest and most difficult question to answer. 'Control', which accounts the first time Thaddeus and I took on the returning Ibn'Roth. It still weighs heavy on my heart thinking about that first trip to Chicago, and the lives we lost on that case. We may have thwarted this god's return, but I can't count it as a victory. Too often loss seems to be the driving force for the things I did, and for so much after that case was because of those losses.
I noticed that your first solo case took you from New Jersey to Kansas; for a Jersey boy that must have been like visiting another planet. How did you feel about the vast open fields and near absence of trees?
It was the noise, or lack of, that hit me first. Newark is very much the sister city of New York, and we share that constant hum of life through sound that the Big Apple has. You could hear your own heart beat in the quiet fields of Kansas. I will say, I do remember stealing a moment during all that craziness to admire the night sky and all the stars that the city's light pollution steal from the view.
Could you tell us a little about the reasons for naming your weapons?
Every occupation has its own superstitions and detectives, both paranormal and normal, have their own; it is bad luck to go on a case with an unnamed weapon. As if to prove the point, during the aforementioned 'Under the Hood of Winter' I lost a favorite of mine that I hadn't named.
Why “Stacy” and “Gwen?” (No, readers, Gwen was not named for me; that is pure coincidence)
We're going back a while now. You're too young to remember a show called Two Faces West, but it was about these twin brothers both played by Charles Bateman. One was a physician seeking to heal the western town through its citizens, while his more violent brother, the sheriff, was quick with his gun. I was really drawn to the duality Charles brought to the show, something I think is in all of us. But I digress, Stacy was the name of the character played by the beautiful Joyce Meadows.
Something I haven't shared with many people, Gwen was my daughter's middle name. More than a dedication to her, I feel she's now protecting me.
Have you trained others to continue your work? If not, what do you foresee happening if you retire (now that you've been retired for some time)?
I hadn't trained anyone to take continue for me. I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to lead the life I lived during that time. The fact I'm here alive able to talk to you now, is a miracle I thank God for. I know too many good men and women that can't say the same. Unfortunately, the nature of this world that most people don't see means there's always more James Peckmans being brought into the life through similar tragedies I went through all those years ago. But we should all be thankful there are people standing up to the darkness, so we don't have to.
Today I (Gwen Mayo) am welcoming Detective James Peckman and asking him to tell us a little about his extraordinary career. I first met Mr. Peckman when he shared one of his cases with us in Undead of Winter, a case he refers to as “Under the Hood of Winter.” Alex Azar, his biographer, is sharing that story, along with several cases he finds memorable in a new book titled Nightmare Noir.
Welcome, sir. I know you don't usually go in for interviews, but our readers would like to know a little more about you. For instance, I noticed that Mr. Azar chose stories from very different stages of your career. What are your feelings about having only a small sampling of your cases included in the book?
You're right, this is only a small sampling of the various cases I've had over the years, but if I'm being honest my memory isn't what it used to be, and these are just the first stories I was able to recall for Alex. If demand calls for it, I'm sure he could fill more volumes to fill in some of the blanks I left out.
There is nothing in the book about your years as a police officer. Could you tell us a little about why you chose law enforcement as a career?
Looking back at it now, I'm fairly confident I didn't have a choice. My father was a detective for the NYPD, as was his father before him. I was bred for this, at least it seemed like I was until I lost my family.
You mention the deaths of your wife and daughter as driving forces behind leaving law enforcement. Can you explain why that made you choose to be a private detective, rather than having the force of the police behind your work?
I would have loved to have the Newark Police Department aiding me. Unfortunately soon after Talia and Sophia's deaths, I learned if I was going to avenge them, I had to work in shadows the police couldn't follow. Becoming a private paranormal detective afforded me the resources I lacked when I first entered that world.
Can you tell me a little about the “old world values” you hold dear? For instance, are they cultural, ethnic, or religious in nature? How did they influence your work?
Most readers may be surprised that religion played a large part of who I was when I was on the job, both as a detective for the police, and in the private sector. I don't have many memories, in general at this point, heh, but of my grandmother in particular. The one thing that really stood out about her, was her devotion to her religion. Seeing the comfort it gave her in the most trying of times actually relaxed me, even at a young age. So it was something I grew up with, then I entered this world of alien gods, and vampires, and I just knew there had to be force looking out for us. That's why, to this day, I keep my rosary beads handy.
Next: Part II.
We've drawn the two winners for the cover reveal giveaway. One is in NJ, the other is in IL. Thanks for visiting all those blogs!
Monday, there will be more giveaways to celebrate the book launch. In the meantime, the Goodreads giveaway is still going on. Drop by to register in the April 30th drawing!
We are proud to present our second single-artist collection, Nightmare Noir by Alex Azar. Alex's work previously appeared in Strangely Funny and The Undead of Winter. Detective James S. Peckman was introduced to our readers in Undead; fans will be pleased by this casebook of his investigations. Nightmare Noir is now available for preorder (domestic only).
The cover was done by TJ Halvorsen, a talented artist in St. Petersburg. He has worked for many of the major comic companies as a penciler, inker and background artist. TJ attended the Joe Kubert School for Cartoon and Graphic Design and earned his Associate's Degree in Graphic Design from the University of Colorado.
The artwork is based on a much older piece of art that wasn't for a book. Can you guess which one?
Alex Azar is an author born and raised in New Jersey. He made the courageous decision to leave the glamorous life of an electrical engineer student behind and concentrate full time on his life long passion of writing. He is now a happily struggling author. This is his first full length publication.
And now for the giveaways!
We're giving away one book on Goodreads, but we're also giving away two other copies to readers who comment on our blog and the other pages participating in the reveal. This list may change over the weekend, so check back. Each comment on a new blog is another entry for the drawings!
The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn
T J Halvorsen
The Writings of Gwen Mayo
WittyLibrarian and the Book With the Blue Cover
Mystery and Horror, LLC, is an indie press interested in what the name suggests.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org