It is my pleasure to interview fellow author M.S.Fowle about her soon to be released novel TURN. You can pre-order it now for the low price of 99 cents. Also Mel has given us a sample of what is to come.
Short author bio: M.S. Fowle was born and raised in Maine and continues to live there with her family. On the surface, she’s an average wife and mother, balancing life and work in blue jeans and sneakers. But she actually tends to favor the strange and unusual, mostly by way of fantasy and science fiction books and films. She also prefers dogs over cats and has an uncharacteristic animosity toward clowns.
In the new world, Demons rule. Humans are mere sustenance now.
Evelyn Samson still believes in a better fate for her fellow human survivors, but her faith is tested when she’s captured by the enemy. That’s when she meets Bastian Darcey, who’s been ordered to convince her to join the Turn and help lead Demons to total global domination. Considering how stubborn they both are, can Darcey actually talk her into it? Or will Evie die in that Demon city before he even gets the chance? Both their fates, as well as the future of the new world, hang in the balance.
Tell us a little about your book
TURN takes place in a not-so distant Dystopian future, where Demons have overrun mankind and reformed their governments into the Administration – an organization focused solely on the rights and prosperity of Demons. Eight years after the takeover began, also known as the Turn, the wars between the two species have not only brought humans to the brink of extinction, but the entire planet as well.
The Administration is hunting down every last human, destroying anything in its path, and Evelyn Samson may be the only one who can hope to stop them. She’s been a voice for human advocacy for years. But even with her older sister leading millions of Demons as Administration President, her chances are still slim – and more so when she’s captured by Admin forces. Her sister then sends in Colonel Bastian Darcey with a single mission: convince Evie to willingly join the Turn and help the Administration take over the world.
He’s vicious and frightening. She’s strong-willed and outspoken. Demons are starting to defect and starve themselves, so turning her against her will isn’t in the best interest of the Administration. Failing to convince her, however, could seal Darcey’s fate as much as hers.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something short and sweet that would sum up the story as a whole – not just the issue at hand, but how that issue came to be in the first place. TURN is in reference to the catastrophic event that has lead humans to the point of extinction – when Demons appeared and began to consume them. Those who weren’t eaten were turned into Demons by way of a venomous bite. After just eight years, few humans are left and are now scattered and hidden across the globe. The title also ties into what the main character is now facing after being captured by the Demons: join the Turn by willingly becoming a Demon, or face a tortuous death.
What inspired you to write this book?
The whole thing actually snowballed into what it is now from a short scene out of the movie Daybreakers. (This is a spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it and want to.) The world portrayed by the film is similar as well, but my focus stemmed from a point in the story where Frankie, played by Michael Dorman, is ordered to force the human daughter of his ‘boss’ into becoming a vampire. I just dwelled on that scene for a while, thinking, “What if he had been told to talk her into it – try to convince her how much better it is to be a vampire?” I guess I just wanted to know badly enough that I created a whole story around that concept.
How are your story ideas born?
I find inspiration in a number of situations. Sometimes it’s small scene from a movie or television show, or even a single character. Other times I find my muse in visual art, like the drawings and paintings of my favorite artists on deviantART. But, honestly, a lot of my ideas are brewed right in my own brain while I sleep. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night from dreams so vivid that I had to note them down somewhere. Of course, not all of my ideas make it into an actual book, but they still inspire other stories I’m working on.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There’s so much deception in the world that we don’t even realize it. We get a glimpse of someone on the street and we automatically make judgments about them. The truth is we don’t really know anyone – not even ourselves.
What is your writing process?
I usually start with vague notes for the general idea for the story. In most cases, I create an outline right to the end of the story, which I know a lot of writers don’t like to do. The story should come naturally as you write it. Being a little obsessive compulsive, I feel more organized with an outline, which I always add to as I write the story. Even if I’ve mapped out an ending in my outline, it tends to change (at least a little) once I finally get there.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Ending the story is always the hardest thing for me to do. Not only am I feeling the pressure to make it a solid ending, I’m actually a little sad that it’s over. Of course, the best thing about a book is the fact that you can read it over and over to relive the entire story.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It all started with the movie Labyrinth – one of my all-time favorites. I was about eight years old when I first saw it and it was love at first sight. I then wrote my first fan-fiction story, before I even knew what fan-fiction was. I put a whole series of short stories together with my best friend, where we were the main characters sharing in adventures from the film.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’ve loved Stephan King’s work since I was probably too young to read it. I love how he always creates some weird twist to the story that ‘normal’ people wouldn’t expect. He’s the reason I have a tendency to add a bit of horror to a lot of my stories… and also the reason why I feel extremely uncomfortable around clowns. Those who know his work will know what I mean.
Have you published anything else?
I currently have 6 other books available on Amazon. There are 4 books in The First Series, which I’ve bundled into The First Series Collection as one convenient download. I also have a short story, Nora’s Sun, which readers can download and read for free. Finally, I have a historical urban fantasy, The Sire, which is geared more toward teen readers.
WELCOME TO CENTRAL
ALL THE GREAT CITIES across the globe now only came to life with the dark of night, faintly brightened by synthetic lights and bustling with business as usual. Though living humans were strictly forbidden within their limits, one such city was breaking that law, as well as plenty others. Steep fines and penalties would have been brought down on all those involved, except there was an executive order in place. The whole thing was so classified, few had any idea anything was even going on.
Hidden in a government facility downtown, a solitary confinement wing was currently under eminent domain by the New World Administration. Only one holding cell was occupied and the entire wing had been sealed off by Admin personnel. Locked within the chilly concrete walls, a human female was secretly being held prisoner. Her skin and clothes were filthy and her shoulder-length hair was tangled and greasy. She was huddled down in a corner of the tiny room next to a concrete bench on the back wall, trying not to shiver from the cold. The door across from her was barely lit by a dim fixture above.
She was staring intently at that door when it finally opened. She got up quickly, scared but trying to be brave. A solid man in official Administration uniform entered and stood like a statue as the door slid shut behind him. His build was strong, but not obviously large. His face was handsome but intimidating. Finally, protruding from his forehead above each brow was a short, black horn – the sure tells of a Demon. His dark eyes gleamed as they glared at her. He just remained there, as if waiting, but she only looked at the wall.
“Evelyn Samson…” he said, and she hardly flinched at hearing her name, “I am Colonel Bastian Darcey, Special Operations Coordinator and Senior Personal Advisor to the President of the New World Administration, Grace Samson… your sister.”
She didn’t react. She wouldn’t let anything surface.
“For eight years, you’ve refused to comply with the Turn,” he went on, his tone growing stern, “You’re now one of the primary leaders of the human revolt.”
Again, he watched her response, but she did nothing. Miffed, he suddenly got in her face.
“You just gonna stand there giving me the silent treatment like some spoiled little brat?” he more scolded than asked. “You’re supposed to speak for your people, so speak!”
She stayed stoic, staring off into space.
Trying to calm down, Darcey scoffed, “You stink.”
He then grabbed her wrist to pull her out of her cell and down the hallway. Two Admin guards in military garbs followed them to an empty shower room.
“Disrobe and clean up,” Colonel Darcey ordered her.
The woman looked vacantly at the three of them gawking at her. She just sighed and started to turn around as she took off her top. Suddenly, one guard lunged for her and she let out a scream just as his neck was snapped, right before her eyes. The body flopped onto the floor at the toes of her worn boots, while Darcey haughtily crossed his arms over his chest.
“Get rid of that,” he said.
Without hesitation, the other guard hurried to take and drag the dead Demon out of the room and down the hall. The Colonel slyly observed as the frightened human watched them leave, before she dropped her sights to the floor.
“Evie…” she finally spoke, looking only at the nametape on his uniform jacket.
Her interruption stalled him. Then, he simply turned his back to her and stood guard.
“Be quick,” he said.
Still stunned, Evie finally convinced herself to undress and shower in the open stall. Her hands and knees trembling, she cleaned herself up as well and as fast as she could. The soaps and hot water were pure heaven, but her mindset wouldn’t let her enjoy either of them. Soon enough, she was drying off and changing into the provided clothes and slip-on sneakers. The black bottoms with their discrete elastic waist and the gray long-sleeve top that just fit were clearly standard issue prison attire. She finished up by haphazardly tying back her damp hair.
“Done,” she said quietly, her sights low.
“Come,” he ordered, barely looking back at her.
He led her back down the corridor to her cell, where a tray of food and a small bottle of water were set out and waiting on the concrete bench.
“Eat,” he told her, before he left and locked her inside.
She didn’t want to just to spite him, but she hadn’t eaten in days. Against her better judgment, she started with a few nibbles of bread. Soon, she was gobbling everything down. The noodles were rather gummy and the greens were severely overcooked, but she didn’t care how any of it tasted. Her tiny body needed any sort of sustenance.
An hour later, the cell door opened once again. Colonel Darcey stepped inside, only to get a plastic tray slammed and broken over his face. As he fell back, Evie’s adrenaline skyrocketed as she took off. Around the corner was the surviving guard from the shower, so she kicked him down, stole the stun baton from his belt and shocked him to knock him out. With a slight shake in her hands, she yanked the security badge off his coat and sprinted down the hall to a metal door. She hadn’t been without some sense of freedom for long, but she knew she would do anything to get it back. She brought up the card toward the digital reader, when both her wrists were tightly seized. She froze. She knew it was him standing so dangerously close behind her.
“Beyond this door is Central City,” Darcey’s deep voice seethed near her ear, “Home to about half a million Demons who haven’t seen a living human in years.”
He felt every inch of her go cold at the thought.
“Shall I walk you back to your cell now?”
Her breaths shuddered, before she dropped the card and baton to the floor. With a firm grip on her arm, Darcey dragged her back down the hallway. A female guard was helping the unconscious soldier Evie had left behind.
“I’ll be back to deal with both of you,” the Colonel warned as he passed eagerly by.
Back in her cell, Evie stood silently in the middle as Darcey shut them in.
“I guess you’ve picked up a few things out there,” he said, mildly impressed but ultimately offended, “Did you really think you could escape?”
“I had to try.”
He almost laughed.
“I won’t turn,” she then said, silencing him.
“Your sister believes you will,” he told her.
She just turned farther away, still never having looked at him.
“Do you even realize how lucky you are?” he asked, and watched her brow furrow, “If your sister wasn’t President of the Administration you’d be in a slaughter house or a breeding factory right now. But she put you here, under my protection. So stop acting like a child and appreciate the fact that you’re being given a choice!”
Her voice was quiet, “Whatever I choose… my life will still end.”
He stepped up before her, but she kept her eyes elsewhere.
“Turning is not the end,” he told her, hauntingly sincere, “It’s the beginning.”
She had to blink to hide her rolling eyes and lightly shook her head.
Annoyed, Darcey forced himself to step aside and he pointed at the bench. “Sit,” he ordered. She didn’t move, so he leaned in closer to snidely add, “Please.”
With a tiny sigh, she finally sat down.
“We’re trying to save the world,” he began.
“You’re destroying it!” she protested, almost startling him.
At last, she was glaring right at his eyes.
“You stick us in machines, drain out our blood, peel off all our flesh and grind up our bones. You chain women to beds to be repeatedly raped until we conceive and then you rip the babies from our wombs to be sucked dry, before sending us back to start all over again!”
She spoke every word with conviction, never once taking her eyes off him.
“Soon, we’ll be gone and you’ll all start to starve to death,” she went on, “Then this planet will just be another empty rock orbiting the sun. So tell me again how you’re saving the world.”
His face remained blank and she couldn’t stand to see none of her words had affected him.
“Your sister said you’d be difficult,” he said, further insulting her by changing the subject altogether, “But unless you would prefer to eat cold mush out of a rubber bowl, I strongly suggest you never try anything like that again. It’s not like you’d get very far. And then you really won’t have a choice.”
She almost looked up at him again, but decided he didn’t deserve it.
“I don’t know how long the President will wait for you to come around,” said Darcey, “Honestly, I don’t see the point. But if she wants me to waste my time trying to talk you into it, then I will.”
“How obedient of you…”
“I get it,” Evie had to admit, “I spent more than half my life under her control. As long as you don’t ever try to think for yourself, she shouldn’t send an entire army after you.”
“You brought that on yourself.”
“By saving eighteen innocent children from slaughter…?”
“By sparking the first Demon rebellion, paving the way for extremists like Partisan to carry out similar terrorist acts across the globe.”
“That would’ve happened anyway.”
Darcey clenched his jaw, detesting her quick response to anything he said.
“Maybe,” he frankly had to agree, and took a seat at the other end of the bench, “But your sister rules this entire continent. When she speaks, people listen – a lot like you.”
Evie suddenly glared at him, “Don’t you dare compare me to her.”
“Your sister led the human liberation,” he proudly added, “Her efforts helped us build the new world. Why would you throw all of that away?”
“Because I don’t give a shit!” she yelled, “At least I’m still me!” She then tipped her searing eyes toward him, “At least I’m not a monster.”
That instant, his hand went around her throat and tightened. He glowered at her as he slowed the air of her lungs, but then stopped. With a fleeting shake, he let go and moved over to sit with perfect posture and stare at the wall. Evie just scowled at him and rubbed her sore neck before turning away. A feather could have dropped to the floor and it would have roared like thunder.
“You speak as if humans could never be monsters,” said Darcey.
“I’ve met plenty who are.”
“Then how are we different in that respect?”
“Maybe you’re not,” she said, casually enough to nearly surprise him, “But they’re not eating all the humans.”
After another long, tortuous silence, Colonel Darcey stood up.
“Get some rest,” he ordered her, “I’ll think about whether or not to keep feeding you.”
Evie measured the perpetual pace of his strides out of her cell, while every muscle in her body was as tight as they could get. Once he was gone and she was alone, she was forced to endure all her exhaustion and frustration. Leaning back against the wall, the cool concrete attempted to soothe her brain as it scrambled for a solution. Alas, no matter which way she looked at it, her future only looked morbidly dark from where she was sitting.