Today’s special guest is mystery author Brett Garcia Rose to give us some insight into his new action-packed novel, Noise.
Brett has graciously offered to give away a Kindle version of Noise to one (1) lucky commentor on this post. So if you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, make sure to leave me a way to contact you, below!
Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s Award, Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home.
Welcome, Brett. Please tell us about your current release.
My latest novel Noise is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character's search for his missing sister. It's short, violent, but ultimately it's about love. Noise was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
What inspired you to write this book?
Ha, good one. I have no idea, really. My stutter had a lot to do with it, as communications issues weigh heavily on the character and his actions. Also, I wrote the book while I was staying in one of the noisiest buildings in South Beach. So clearly, the writing locale inspired the title.
Excerpt from Noise:
The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.
My own hideous voice.
I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.
I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.
The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.
The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.
I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.
The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.
Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.
I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.
The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.
His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.
In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.
Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.
In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.
I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.
I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.
I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.
The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:
“Wait for me.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
A third-person thriller called Ren. It's a bit more complex than Noise, but just as fun. A little terrorism, more guns, lots of bodies. Also, the main character is both the hunter and the hunted, so there are multiple points of view. But also, it's about love. That pretty much sums up both books. Love, and a lot of bodies.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
First year of college. Because of my stutter, I almost never made friends, and I transferred every year or so. At the end of that first year I decided to write a letter to the people I'd wished I'd known well enough to actually say goodbye to. I slipped it under the door to the university newspaper and left in the middle of the night. At each subsequent college I attended I had a standing weekly column at the school newspapers, wrote for the lit magazines, and was one of the youngest people every to have a column (3) published in the Sunday Newsday Magazine.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don't write full-time, and even if my life permitted it, I don't think I could do it, and I'm perpetually amazed at those who can. When I'm deep in a project, I'll average an hour a day, two if you include editing, researching, and what I refer to as scene design. So a productive week for me is a solid 5-10 pages. I also work as a software consultant, which is remarkably similar to writing. Same mindset, different language, all building blocks and logical arrangements.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am always desperate to write outside. Once I'm ready for line editing, I usually work in crowded places; outdoor cafe's, etc.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot, like all boys.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. I still want to be a pilot.
Thanks so much for being here, today, Brett! Happy writing!
Readers, don't forget that Brett is giving away a Kindle version of this book -- so leave a comment below and a way for me to reach you if you're the winner.