Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Armand Rosamilia

Story Behind The Story: Crow Mill Bridge
by Armand Rosamilia

Welcome to the latest stop of my Skulls World Blog Tour 2011… today I'll be discussing one of the stories from my recent eBook release, the horror short story collection Skulls.

Skulls is six tales from author Armand Rosamilia, including "Memorial Site", "Vacation's End", "1920 Gallery Card #4", "Stairs To The Ocean", "Beastie", "Crow Mill Bridge" plus a preview of the urban horror novella Death Metal.

"Crow Mill Bridge" is actually a pretty old tale and one of the first I ever wrote that I didn't immediately delete, throw out or ignore forever. You see, in my teens I was going to be the Next Big Thing, the kid who challenged King and Koontz for world horror dominance. It didn't quite work that way.

Like all new writers, especially the young ones, I hadn't put in enough time actually writing and reading. I thought the typical 'I can do that!' and I was off, writing cheap knock-off tales that were probably thisclose to plagiarism.

But what it did for me was to get the writing in, to cut my teeth on plots and characters and dead-ends in stories, until I could actually write and go from Point A to Point B to Point C logically. As a kid I remember getting a vague idea for a plot… 'What if Satan came to a shoe store during closing?'… 'What if people, recently dead, were trapped in an elevator on the way to Hell?'… 'What if your boss wanted you to kill another employee?'… you get the idea. Maybe some of those What Ifs? Could be killer short stories, but twenty-five years ago they ended up being lame, unfinished shorts that made no real sense or were riddled with clichés.

Enter Black Moon Magazine. Never heard of it? Well, it was a fancy fanzine that I created and edited way back in the early 1990's. We featured Heavy Metal music and horror stories and reviews. At that point I hadn't written a short story in a couple of years and I had a word processor collecting dust on my dining room table.

Our first issue came out in June 1995, but as we crawled toward the release date we realized that we were missing a few pages of material. My partner, Lou, asked me if I had anything that could be printed. Of course, I said. Of course.

I had nothing that I even remotely liked. I can still remember freaking out as I sat in my lonely dining room, all the lights out, staring at that blank screen. After an hour or six of this I remember going through the mess pile on the table. I used to have this excellent filing system for stories and ideas, where I'd print things out, write things on napkins and scrap paper, and then add it to the overflowing piles on the table. It was a big table, and paper was always spilling onto the floor.

I don't remember what the original idea was that I saw, but I do know it included a character named Scroll. Crow Mill was/is a street name in New Jersey, up around Perth Amboy and Sayreville somewhere in an industrial area. For some reason it stuck and I ended up using those two different things to come up with the basis for the tale.

I think I actually just started writing and the story flowed. We printed it in the first issue of Black Moon Magazine. By the time the second issue was rolling off the presses (you actually had to print things back then) we had so many stories being sent in by authors that I never needed to print another of my stories. In Black Moon, at least.

When I put together the Skulls collection I wanted to get a good cross-reference of my work, old and new, the specific 'high points' of my fledgling career. Of course, I couldn't find a hard copy of "Crow Mill Bridge" since the original was saved onto an antiquated piece of machinery that I no longer owned.

I pulled out my only copy of Black Moon Magazine #1 (July/August 1995) and copied it word for word, struggling mightily to do any rewrite of the story as I did. 25+ years is a long time and there have been many, many words (and sales!) in between then and now, enough that I wanted to rip the story apart and do a complete revision.

I decided against it, to (hopefully) show my progression as a writer.

Let me know what you think!

Skulls on Amazon Kindle

~ Armand Rosamilia

Give away Time!

Armand is giving away an eBook copy of his "Highway To Hell" extreme zombie novella...

Highway To Hell blurb:

The end of the world is upon us... the zombie plague has taken over... and your former friends and loved ones don't want to just kill and eat you... they want to violate you...

includes the bonus short story "Rear Guard"

warning: extreme violence, extreme sexual situations, extreme zombies

To enter leave a comment on this post- tell us what do you love most about zombie novels?

Be sure to include your email address


Tore said...

I haven't read any zombie books yet but I would like to. Please enter me in contest.

Rob said...

zombies- they have a drive that just won't quit plus there's just something entertaining about the mindless dead....hmmmm what's that say about our culture