Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: June 15, 2018
Welcome to The Romance Reviews, A.L.! What’s your inspiration for Jersey Ghouls?
I hate centipedes. I mean, they give me serious shivers. I found one in my bed once! Argh! I was trying to think of a really scary sort of creature for a horror novel, and giant centipedes were the obvious choice. It could have been spiders, I suppose… I don’t like them, either. But spiders have been done. Centipedes haven’t.
Why did you set your story in Sherwood’s Landing, NJ?
Of course there is no Sherwood’s Landing. But I used to live on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania directly across from New Jersey. My place was between Stockton and Frenchtown. The stretch of highway on the Jersey side has very few houses along it, so I thought that would be a good place for a fictional town. I spent a lot of time driving on the roads around there, planning where the town would be. I drew maps, and so on. It was a lot of fun.
Tell us more about Lafferty “Hoff” Hoffman. What makes him the perfect hero to deal with the horrifying creatures?
I like Hoff. He’s just trying to live his life, but the ‘pedes mess with him. I think he’s admirable… he’s a good dude who steps up when it would be easier for him not to. But he has a sense of duty and civic pride. He served as a cop, and it’s in his blood to help people. Plus he’s got this old girlfriend coming to town… Hoff is smarter and more intrepid than he thinks he is.
What about Beatrice St. John? What kind of person is she?
Beat has had some tough times. She’s trying to raise a teenage son on her own, and she suddenly has to content with the death of her sister. And not a nice death. Then she gets sucked into the events in Sherwood’s Landing, and learns that she’s got some real courage.
Tell us more about the monsters they’re facing. Where did they come from?
The ‘pedes come from the jungles of Central America. I was trying to make a point there. We don’t know what is in the jungles and rain forests. As we cut them down, some weird and unpleasant critters may start getting ticked off about it. Early on I had the idea of making them have a sort of hive consciousness, like ants or bees. It was fun working with that. They’re like aliens in some ways.
What’s your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I like all of them! Seriously, there are two that I love. (Spoilers!) The first one is when Eubie and his two friends are attacked while they are camping out. The other one is when Kip kamakazies the helicopter, upside down, into his barn in an attempt to kill the ‘pedes.
What’s up next for you?
I have a couple of books that I have to prepare for submitting. One is a Young Adult novel about an entire high school that is catapulted back into the age of the dinosaurs—shortly before the asteroid that killed them all slams into Earth. Talk about a ticking clock. I have plans to write a sequel to my fantasy novel THE BOHEMIAN MAGICIAN. I also have a few short stories that require my attention. Not long ago I listed all my “to do” projects. There are eighteen… and that’s just the books. So I’ll be busy for a while.
Sounds fun! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.
About A.L. Sirois
2. Color Rough of the book cover, painted in acrylics on illustration board
3. Drawing of the book cover on tracing paper
4. Drawing of the book cover on layout bond paper