by Gary Jonas
Publisher: Yard Dog Pr (March 15, 2002)
A down-and-out bluesman
A series of supernatural murders
Roy Porter lives on the streets of Tulsa, his music all but forgotten. When his friends start dying in horrible ways, Roy realizes he’s seen the pattern of death before. The cops are searching for a regular killer, but Roy knows there’s more going on and if he doesn’t act, he might be next of the death list.
He teams up with Jim Hartford, a tough biker with a haunted past, to hunt down the killer. But how can this unlikely pair hope to face up to a killer with powers born from the depths of evil? They’re on a train bound for hell and it’s a one-way trip.
Gary was recently interviewed by his character, Howlin’ Roy Porter, and is sharing their conversation with us today.
ROY: Welcome to the studio, Gary.
GARY: Thanks, Roy. It’s been a while. How’s the CD coming along?
ROY: Working on the sixth CD now, m’man. You missed the first five?
GARY: Sorry, Roy. I’ve been busy.
ROY: Making other folks miserable is my guess.
GARY: Sorry. What?
ROY: You get paid to torture folks. That’s about right, ain’t it?
GARY: What are you talking about?
ROY: My life was goin’ along just fine until you showed up and wanted to write about me for some stupid book called One-Way Ticket to Midnight. One-Way Ticket to Misery is more like it.
GARY: You liked living on the streets of Tulsa? Look at you now, Roy. You’re making music again. You have CDs out there. You’ve embraced your talent.
ROY: People are dead because of you.
GARY: Have you been sipping from the bottle again?
ROY: You killed Willie. You killed Big Dave. You killed Danny. You killed Jim!
GARY: I chronicled what happened, Roy. I didn’t kill them.
ROY: I was doin’ fine before I met you.
GARY: Yeah, right. Living as a bum selling blood and collecting aluminum cans? Not much of a life.
ROY: I didn’t want a life. I didn’t want to face Rose or Ken or any of them.
GARY: You got to know Detective Trent, though. That’s a good thing.
ROY: She died a few years ago and you didn’t even notice.
GARY: Sorry to hear that.
ROY: Sure you are. You probably killed her, too. You killing more folks in your next book?
GARY: Modern Sorcery? Well, there are some people who die, but—
ROY: You’re worse than a damn serial killer! You kill folks left and right and you call it entertainment. What the hell is wrong with you?
GARY: I thought this was going to be a nice catch-up session. What’s gotten into you?
ROY: I just re-read your damn book and it brought it all back for me. All those people dead and you don’t even care. I have to live with the memories, man. It ain’t easy!
GARY: Life is never easy, Roy.
ROY: You ought to be in jail. You’re a mass murderer.
GARY: You called me a serial killer a minute ago.
ROY: And you don’t listen too well either. I said you’re worse than a serial killer. You threw scorpions and bats and chaos elementals and evil jerks at me. You made me ride that damn Harley. And you kept killing my friends.
GARY: I’m a writer. It’s what I do.
ROY: Then stop writing! You’re a menace to society!
GARY: Look, Roy, a book without conflict sucks. You have to go through hell in order to find the good things in life. You of all people should know that. I heard you hooked up with that girl from Safe Haven.
ROY: You don’t even remember her name!
GARY: Dude, she was a minor character.
ROY: I called some of your other characters. I read your collection, Quick Shots and talked to some of the folks you let live. Did you know that a kid named Davey killed himself so he could be like some ghost dude you whipped up?
GARY: Did you talk to the hitman?
ROY: That fella is even worse than you! I tried to hire him to kill you, but he refused. He said without you, he wouldn’t be able to kill people and videotape the hits. The guy is still hung up on videotapes, man.
GARY: Maybe I should pay him a visit. Get him hooked up with an iPhone and a video program like DreamCatcher so he can get into the twenty-first century.
ROY: I think you should stay away from him or more people will die. I called a private investigator named Jonathan Shade and he wasn’t too happy with you either. You messed him up bad. I ain’t read Modern Sorcery yet, but I suspect you tortured him something fierce.
GARY: He lived.
ROY: Only ‘cause you’re writing more books about him. That means you get to torture him some more.
GARY: A lot more, actually. But I’ll give him some good times, too. Hey, maybe I’ll have him listen to one of your CDs.
ROY: Don’t do me any favors. I talked to his partner, Kelly Chan, too.
GARY: Really? I’m writing Acheron Highway, the follow-up to Modern Sorcery right now, but Kelly hasn’t made an appearance yet. She will, of course. She’s my favorite character from the series.
ROY: I told her to assassinate you.
GARY: What did she say?
ROY: She said you were going to give her a percentage of the income from the damn books so she had a vested interest in keeping you alive. She don’t feel pain, so it’s harder to torture her.
GARY: Oh, I torture all of my characters. Kelly is a magically engineered assassin and you’re right that she doesn’t feel physical pain. However, in Modern Sorcery she learned that she can feel emotional pain. I think she kinda liked it.
ROY: Well, I don’t like it. I keep dreaming of Jim crashing that bike and I keep thinking of those scorpions and I miss Detective-Seargent Trent and the Reverend and my buddies down to the mission. I ain’t seen them in so long. It’s like you torture me even when you ain’t writing about me.
GARY: Wait a minute. This is because you want me to write another book about you? Why didn’t I pick up on that before? You’re upset because you only got one novel while Jonathan and Kelly get multiple books. Is that it? Sorry, Roy, you worked through your big problem in one book and you don’t need more books. It’s not like you tour around and open gateways to other dimensions with your music and have to fight off the monsters that come out.
ROY: No, that would be the rock band you wrote about in one of your stupid stories.
GARY: Still, that’s what this is all about. That’s why you’re giving me so much grief. You want to have more adventures.
ROY: Actually, I just want to kill you. See this gun?
GARY: Roy, you really want to point that somewhere else.
ROY: Give me one good reason not to pull the trigger.
GARY: You can’t kill me, Roy. I’m your writer. I’m your creator. I’m your God.
ROY: That ain’t a good enough reason. Say goodbye, Gary.
GARY: Go for it, Roy. Try and pull the trigger. You can’t do it. I’m your writer so while you can move about the story making decisions for yourself, you can’t actually attack me. I can hit the delete button and you’re gone. I can have a demon show up and rip your eyes out. I can have a tornado blow through here and devastate your city. I can destroy your world. Or I can just turn the gun into a snake or a water pistol or make it vanish with the click of a few keys.
ROY: You have too much power!
GARY: But without me, you wouldn’t exist, Roy. I’m cool with you making CDs and playing your music and sleeping with as many hot women as you can get to say yes to you. Maybe you should focus on the positive things that can come your way and let go of this author hatred you’re carrying around.
ROY: I can’t do that. You’ve done too many evil things and oh, wait a minute, you’re a great guy. You gave me my life back. You— Hey, you’re putting words into my mouth and thoughts into my head. You can’t do that!
GARY: I’m a writer. I can do anything.
ROY: I love you, man. I hate you, man. No, I really think you’re the best. No! You’re the worst!
GARY: Don’t fight it, Roy. I’m the one with the power.
ROY: You think you’re all that and a bag of chips, but I saw this coming. You can make me be nice to you all you want, but after I talked to your characters, I went over your head.
GARY: There’s nobody you can go to, Roy. In your world, I’m God.
ROY: That ain’t quite true.
GARY: What do you mean?
ROY: I called your publisher and your editor. In the long run, I’m gonna win this war.
GARY (laughs): Nice try, Roy. You realize that the publisher pays me to torture my characters. You realize that the editor helps me to torture my characters more efficiently. They’re on my team and we do what we do in order to entertain readers. You want to be saved, you’ll have to appeal to the readers.
ROY: Readers! Save me!
GARY: Sorry, Roy. Readers like the heroes to suffer. Heroes who just have good things happen to them all the time are boring and nobody wants to read about them. People like you, Roy. You’re a great character and I’m sorry you’ve suffered so much even beyond the pages of the novel. That’s the price you pay and killing me won’t help you. Not unless you get a time machine and go back and kill me before I ever created you.
ROY: So far as I know, you ain’t done any time travel tales.
GARY: Maybe someday.
ROY: And maybe the next day I can swipe that machine go back and do you in before you ever start writing.
GARY: It’s nice that you have new goals, Roy, but I have a book to write. You have fun. I’ll try to remember to have Jonathan play one of your CDs in the next book. Say hi to What’s-Her-Name for me next time you see her.
ROY: Writers suck.
GARY: I heard that. Try again.
ROY: Writers rock.
GARY: Much better.
Thanks so much for sharing this never before seen interview, Gary! Lovelies, if you haven’t checked out [amazon_link id="1893687244" target="_blank" ]One Way Ticket To Midnight[/amazon_link] yet, you should!
ABOUT THERESA (a.k.a. Fade Into Fantasy): As a part time book store employee, editing intern, and the mastermind behind BLB Book Tours, Theresa is able to surround herself with her favorite things, BOOKS. When she isn’t working, learning, or attending her sons’ sporting events, she’s lost between the pages of a paranormal novel. Her hope is to someday earn a living editing books, but until then she’s happy to help spread the word about the fabulous books and authors she encounters along the way.