Miami New Times has published me at
least a couple hundred times these past few years, and you've been
kind enough to read along. Here's hoping you can sit through
another interview, because, while this might be the biggest asshole
I've interviewed yet, I confess I've grown rather attached to
I recently got a chance to catch up
with one of our very own writers, who's recently made an exciting
jump, from journalist to novelist. His debut, Everything Howls, just
went on sale. A horror novel full of blood, guts and suspense, it's
set in a small snowdrift named Keme in upstate New York, where
unspeakable murders are uncovered just as the worst storm in years
blankets the town.
Hi, my name is Christopher Lopez, and I
am that serial blogger-turned-author. Sounds like an introduction at
a support group, doesn't it? Purely coincidental, I swear.
New Times: So, Christopher, this is
your first attempt at fiction. How hard was the transition?
Lopez: To tell you the truth,
Christopher, not hard at all. I think most who've read my work
would agree; I'm full of shit half the time anyway.
You rely on humor a lot. Does that work
in a horror story?
Well, this story's not really funny.
Unless you find humor in disemboweling, dismemberment and other
atrocities against humanity.
Um, OK. You set it in upstate New York,
even though you're a South Florida native. South Florida isn't scary enough for you?
The inspiration came from an ancient
Algonquin legend that I gave my own spin, and that's where their
tribes originally settled. Not to mention, a blizzard makes a nice
backdrop for a lot of grisly murders.
Besides, the rest of the country isn't
prepared for the horror that is local politics and corruption, the
836 during rush hour, Miami drivers in general, or attempting to make
sense of Hialeah.
...You're kind of a douchebag, you
know that? This interview's done.
Can I at least finish plugging the
Fuck that. We'll run an excerpt:
Paul Franklin sat up in bed like a
bolt, rolling his wife Betty over in the process. She'd been
sleeping with her head on his shoulder and her arm draped over him,
and she groaned in her sleep as her naked form fell from his.
He blinked, groggy and disoriented for
a moment. Had he been having a bad dream? He didn't think so. He
didn't remember it, if he had. But his chest and back were slick
with sweat and his hair was damp. His breath came in harsh, frantic gallops and he felt dizzy. His head swam.
Then he heard the wind howling.
He turned to look out their second
floor bedroom window and saw snow already swirling in time with the
rhythmic pant of the gusts.
The storm had begun.
He peeled the covers back from his
legs, which he discovered as the chill nipped at them, were also
covered in sweat. He stood up and stepped first into his pajama
pants, then his slippers. A shiver rippled through him, and he
grabbed his nightshirt from the floor at the foot of the bed, where
he'd slung it as he and Betty rolled into one another's warming
embrace before going to sleep.
Paul made his way to the bathroom to
relieve himself. When he'd finished, he looked in the mirror to see
his own red puffy eyes staring back at him, and wondered how long
they'd been asleep before the wind?
His nightmare woke him. He realized he
hadn't checked the clock radio to see what time those little red
glowing numbers displayed.
It was as he turned that thought over
casually that he first noticed that, even from the bathroom, he could
still hear the wind blowing.
"Must be one hell of a storm," he
muttered, and went downstairs to the kitchen for some water. But when
he reached the kitchen, the rear door, not the refrigerator, called
Paul stood at the French doors that led
out onto the porch, shivering as he gazed at the mounting snowstorm.
He started to shiver and wrapped his arms around himself, but it did
little good. Soon his teeth began to chatter. From somewhere in the
back of his mind came the complaint that they'd turned the heater
on, that it shouldn't be this cold inside the house. But the part
of his mind that was awake just missed the thought and it fluttered away before he could
get his fingers around it. Just another snowflake in the big storm.
His body continued griping about the
cold. But he didn't move away from the door. Instead he just stood
there, watching the snow as it eddied in the wind. Round and round,
over and under and back again. Paul paid little mind to the silver
swirl of mercury illuminating the breeze.
He was too mesmerized by it to really
notice it. By it, and the steady yawl of the wind.
The Storm had begun.
Christopher Lopez's debut novel
Everything Howls is on sale now at Bad
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