July 1, 2016

The Making of a Monster: a guest post by Carl Alves, author of 'Conjesero'

About Carl Alves' CONJESEROSan Francisco homicide detective Kevin Russell has arrested serial rapists, murderers, and more sadistic thugs than he could remember. Nothing he has ever accomplished can prepare him for Conjesero, a supernatural serial killer who has been terrorizing the Americas for centuries. Conjesero—a creature with extraordinary intelligence and a vicious nature that has created a trail of bodies from Mexico to San Francisco—has always made law enforcement cower in fear and pretend that he doesn't exist. Only Kevin is willing to stand in its path. His desperation takes him on a journey inside the killer’s twisted world. There is nothing that he is unwilling to do, even if it means making a deal with the devil, to stop Conjesero or die trying.

The Making of a Monster
by Carl Alves

When I set off to writing my novel Conjesero, the idea behind the story started with a monster, and I built a story around it. But the question was, just what type of monster was I looking for? I certainly didn’t want to use any of the usual suspects: vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. Nothing against them, but it would not exactly be a fresh concept. I also didn’t want to use any well-known cryptids such as The Jersey Devil, chupacabra, Bigfoot, a manticore or anything of that ilk. I wanted something for off the normal type of creatures found in horror novels and movies, but I wanted something similar all at the same time. A bit confusing, right? Well, that was how Conjesero first germinated in my mind.

The very first thing that I thought about was a werewolf. I didn’t want to use an actual werewolf as my monster, but when I started writing my opening scene, I wrote it with that type of creature. I liked the scene, but I knew I had to deviate from that type of monster, since this would not be a werewolf novel.

What about a chimera? Not exactly a chimera, but something similar to that. A creature that had more than one aspect of its being. Perhaps a combination of a lion and a serpent. Maybe even some elements of a dragon—at least the fire breathing aspect of it. Now that would certainly be a devastating creature, but it wasn’t different enough for my liking. After all, a chimera is a creature found in Greek mythology. This had to be a monster all of my own making.

Why not all of these and more? I wanted to make Conjesero completely and utterly unique—a creature truly of my own making. With that in mind, the story began to be made flesh. It was the very uniqueness of the creature that helped me formulate the plot. There was a mystery, not just in what was committing these killings, but for the reader, what would be coming next. If you read my novel, every time the creature attacks, it’s never quite the same. Detective Kevin Russell, the story’s protagonist, is often left with the aftermath of the killings, just as the reader is. My hope is that the reader will be scratching their head just the way Kevin must be doing in the story. And that is how Conjesero was born. 

Carl Alves went to Boston University majoring in Biomedical Engineering.  He graduated with a BS degree, and has since worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.  He later graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA degree.  He is the author of three published novels.  His most recent novel, Conjesero, was released in 2016 by End of Days Publishing.  His short fiction has appeared in various publications such as Star Quakes, Crossroads in the Dark, and Dark Eclipse.  He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has attended the Penn Writers Conference.  You can visit his website at http://www.carlalves.com

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