Chiaroscurio – The Mouse and the Candle
By: Matthew S. Cox
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Genres: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: July 18, 2016
God’s will be done.
After eleven years as a priest living by these words, Father Antonio Molinari never imagined who would teach his strongest lesson of faith―a vampire.
Part of a secret order within the Vatican, he is sent to investigate and debunk supernatural events. A case of possession brings him to the French countryside, where two local clergy offer him the chance of a lifetime. They claim to have captured a vampire, and beg his expertise in helping them study the fiend.
When their monster turns out to be a little girl, cursed to spend eternity hiding from the sun, he cannot bring himself to destroy her. The priests, mistaking his compassion for diabolism, panic, and his efforts to protect an innocent child prove fatal.
He awakes caught between light and darkness.
Hunted by the Church he once served as well as the fiends he once destroyed, Father Molinari clings to the faith there is still room for him in God’s plan.
But God is quiet, and the darkness is tempting.
I have read my fair share of “Vampire” books, since it is one of my favorite genres, and I can honestly say this one stands out in the crowd. The characters in this story are far from the cliche’s of damsel in distress or hunky man meat leading roles. I really appreciated this because it was like a breath of fresh air. The book is kind of long compared to most but the plot line is so unique that I found myself fully immersed for longer than I realized sometimes. While I loved the idea of the little girl, I found myself drawn to Father Molinari the most. I am not the religious type so to see a religious person portrayed as someone who is “only human” (my little play on words ha ha) and not this perfect person really made me feel for him and understand him in a way I didn’t think my mind could. In the end, this is a very interesting, thought provoking, and riveting story that is easy to read and appropriate for any age!
Now The Burning Question
What made you decide to write a vampire novel even when it was a calculated risk with the influx of vamp novels being written?
“Thanks for loaning me some blog space during the tour for Chiaroscuro – The Mouse and the Candle.
I’ve been asked why I decided to write a vampire novel despite such an influx/glut of them. In fact, I’ve heard other writers (both published and aspiring to be published) bemoaning the habit of literary agents of auto-rejecting any manuscript that has the ‘V word’ in it. An even deeper issue is that I spent many years rolling my eyes at the mere mention of vampires.
So, it’s a great question how I wound up writing one.
Concerning the possible oversaturation with vampires in fiction these days, I didn’t consider that much at all. A piece of writing advice I see often is “don’t write for the market.” Something that’s hot right now might not be in demand by the time your book is finished, edited, and ready for the world. Chasing trends is not a great way to go about writing. The book might miss the wave or result in a writer being ‘forced’ to churn out a story they’re not into (and produce something bland). Of course, expecting to send it to Curiosity Quills for consideration did mute the concern that it wouldn’t find a home. I’ve been fortunate to have some reviewers say this isn’t “just another vampire book.” There’s no romantic element, no alpha male tormenting a clueless girl, etc.
Some of my friends got deeply involved in the Vampire roleplaying game, which I think is the primary reason I got sick to death of hearing about all things vampire. I spent a good few years just walking out of the room whenever the v word got mentioned, though I did like The Lost Boys back in the day.
Part of my involvement with Curiosity Quills evolved into beta-reading, proofreading, (and eventually editing) for them. Some of the titles I worked on involved vampires, with varying degrees of reaction from “this is cool” to full on facepalm. Somewhere in that process my knee-jerk eyeroll reaction to vampires started to weaken. I wound up reading Blood Leverage by Jillian Hazard, and enjoyed it. When James Wymore sent me a request to contribute a short story to his second Actuator anthology in a world where multiple bits of genre fiction collide with each other, I wound up having a vampire side character.
About a year before I wrote Chiaroscuro, I saw a drawing in anime style of a small girl sitting in a dark room with glowing red eyes and a chain connecting her leg to the wall. That image planted the seed of an idea. I wrote down a couple notes, but I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to commit to writing a vampire novel.
Eventually after I finished off the Awakened series, I found myself with an open plate. I ran the idea (rough concept) I had for the story past a few people and they all urged me to do it. So, I wound up writing a vampire book about a vampire’s struggle between light and dark.”
– Author: Matthew S. Cox
Checkout Goodreads to purchase Chiaroscuro – The Mouse and the Candle
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
He is also fond of cats.
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