Today is a book blurb and excerpt from the dark supernatural thriller, Come Little Children, by D. Melhoff.
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D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.
Welcome, D. Please tell us about your new release:
Come Little Children is about a mortician who moves to a secluded town in the Yukon for her first job after graduating from mortuary school. Her new employers are the town’s most controversial citizens, and when strange things start happening around the morgue—including midnight visits from children who were thought to be dead—she won’t stop until she uncovers the truth behind these paranormal conspiracies.
What inspired you to write this book?
Morticians fascinate me. I’ve known a few of them personally, and they’re interesting characters (anyone who spends more time with the dead than the living is bound to be, no?). But it wasn’t until I was lying on my couch at home, recovering from lower jaw surgery, that I saw a TV special about the funeral business and put the whole idea together. I’d like to think I came up with the plot sober, but those drugs that they give to you post-facial-surgery include some potent stuff, so who’s to say?
As Camilla Carleton rattled along in the back of the hearse, the first lines of an old song popped into her head: Oh never laugh as the hearse goes by, for you may be the next to die.
The rhyme brought back a sharp memory from almost a year ago. She was sitting in a pub called The Konnerkauhn on St. Patrick’s Day, chanting the song with a totally straight face, while Vickie—her lab partner—and Vickie’s roommate, Jasmine, leaned across the table and called out the most ridiculous garbage
they could think of: “Mister Rogers in a thong!” “Two ostriches making love!” “Shampooing your uncle’s chest hair!”
She tried blocking the hecklers—“Sneezing pandas!” “Hitler milking a cow!”—but her breathing changed and a forbidden smirk brimmed on the edge of her lips. Finally everyone burst into laughter and screamed, "Drink! Drink!” while she downed the rest of her beer and watched them cackle through the bottom
of her heavy mug.
Leave it to two Funeral Services majors and a Dark Ages nerd tomake a drinking game out of “The Hearse Song,” she thought. Of all folk tunes.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a summer camp horror story, which I’m very excited about. Nothing paranormal in this one, just my own take on the classic “summer slasher” book (with a few new twists, of course).
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I was able to make it my full-time job (about six months ago). I’ve been writing my entire life, of course, but to be able to tell people that I’m an author takes the confidence of having a commercial release under my belt.
What's your work day like?
6:15 a.m. – 8:00 Wake up, get ready, commute to the office (I have some co-working space downtown)
8:00 – 8:15 Deal with e-mails
8:15 – 12:00 Write, research, talk with editors and publishers
12:00 – 12:30 Shovel lunch down my throat
12:20 – 5:00 More writing, more researching, etc.
5:00 – 8:00 Commute home. Eat, drink, and be merry.
8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Anyone’s guess. Sometimes I’ll take the evening off if I feel I’ve had a productive day, but most of the time my mind wanders back to my current project, so I’ll just keep writing. Personally, I like working late. There’s something special in the air when the rest of the continent goes to sleep and no one’s awake to bother you.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a very kinetic writer; in other words, I can’t sit still for long periods of time, especially when I’m coming up with ideas and outlining a story. Come to think of it, I must look like a lunatic while I’m pacing around and mumbling random lines of dialogue to myself.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Either an antiques appraiser or a Zamboni driver. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a strange work history.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?