4th Anniversary Celebration!
Thank you for joining Riptide on our 4th Anniversary blog tour! We are excited to bring you new guest posts from our authors and a behind the scenes insights from Riptide. The full tour schedule can be found at here . Don’t miss the limited time discounts and Free Books for a Year giveaway at the end of this post!
Please welcome Andrea Speed to the tour.
To me, horror and comedy have always been attached at the hip. Now I know that position might be anathema to many, but think about it. If you break it down into its component parts, many horror stories are ridiculous. Clowns with machetes? Dead people who eat live people? Undead bloodsuckers who wear capes and flounce around like party boys who ran out of molly? This stuff’s hilarious, people.
Not to say that it can’t be horrific too, because it can be. It can be two things at once. Ridiculous and scary, bloody and silly. I have many real world examples of this. From the granddaddy of them all, Evil Dead 2 (I honestly believe Bruce Campbell’s fight with his own hand belongs in a spot in the cinema hall of fame, if such a thing exists), to the great granddaddy Young Frankenstein, to the more contemporary examples of What We Do In The Shadows to any of the comedy episodes of Supernatural (which, to their credit, are usually pretty funny, especially if Ben Edlund writes it). Humor and horror belong together like chocolate and more chocolate. And it would make the Walking Dead a thousand times more watchable if they just included a goofy moment or two somewhere – anywhere, in any episode.
You’d think this would be a given, but it simply isn’t, and as a fan of “serious” horror, it baffles me. Yeah, I like a good “straight” scare as much as the next person, but if we can’t laugh at ourselves and the clichés and conventions of the genre, then what’s the point? You can’t take yourself so seriously. Life is pretty absurd, once you think about it, and I feel everything needs to acknowledge that if we want to get up and move on.
Which brings me to Josh of the Damned. If you asked me to describe the most hellish job in existence, it wouldn’t be mortuary worker, or garbage man, or even sewer worker. It would always be service industry, because, let’s face it, most people are pretty terrible. You could be a good person but having an off day, and you end up inadvertently taking it out on a stranger you doubt you’ll see again, which is often this hapless worker bee, be they a barista, a fast food cashier, or a store clerk. There is so much naturalistic horror to be found in this setting I don’t know why all horror stories don’t start or end there.
It’s not subtle commentary to say that Josh’s monster clients are often nicer than his human clients, because they are. Oh sure, occasionally they threaten to kill him or ear hentai him, but even Josh understands this isn’t as bad as it could be. He’s an undereducated, underpaid everyman who finds himself the lynchpin in a battle between worlds he can barely comprehend, and has no hope of understanding. It doesn’t stop him, though, which is the mark of a true hero. You go do something, even if you have no idea what’s going on in the bigger picture. You just try and deal with the mess here and now.
I’ve written more conventional types of heroes (including one who still sees the humor in the whole bloody mess of everything – his name rhymes with phone), but I feel like Josh could always stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Yes, he’s a night clerk, and he doesn’t always understand what’s going on or what he’s supposed to do about it. But he goes into work every night and he tries, which is a feat of heroism all by itself.
So next time you’re in a business, and see a weary clerk/cashier/barista, thank them, or just give them a big tip. We all fight monsters. Some are just more literal than others.
About Josh of the Damned
Josh Caplan is your average late-night convenience store clerk, but the Quik-Mart where he works is nothing like normal with that hell vortex in the parking lot. Waiting on zombies, demons, and other things that go bump in the night might scare some, but they’re actually more polite than the stoners, and Josh welcomes the break in the monotony—especially when he acquires himself a sexy new boyfriend with a deadly secret.
Will Josh survive this retail nightmare? It’s a Big Gulp of a chance, but between the hazard pay and the hottie with a sweet tooth for Josh’s candy, it’s a chance he’s willing to take.
About Andrea Speed
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
Connect with Andrea:
- Website: “http://andreaspeed.com/“
- Facebook: “https://www.facebook.com/andrea.speed.3“
- Twitter: “http://www.twitter.com/aspeed“
- Google+: “https://plus.google.com/109420358312270961913/posts“
- Goodreads: “http://www.goodreads.com/andreaspeed“
[Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Note: Andrea Speed’s Joshua of the Damned series is on our October Scary Tales Recommendations and their covers are always on our Best of Lists.]
The Josh of the Damned series is being sold in a special discounted bundle by Riptide this week only. Check out the sale on this series and other bundles at http://www.riptidepublishing.com/anniversary-sale
To celebrate our anniversary, Riptide Publishing is giving away free books for a year! Your first comment at each blog stop on the Anniversary Tour will count as an entry and give you a chance to win this great prize. Giveaway ends at midnight, October 31, 2015, and is not restricted to US entries. You must leave your email address in the body of the comment so you can be contacted if chosen. You must also be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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