Latest Review for Blood Related

William Cook ‘Blood Related’ Review

bloodrelatedcoverfront1+(2)

Written by: Drake Morgan

William Cook’s Blood Related delves into the mind and dark psychology of a serial killer named Caleb Cunningham. The story centers around Cunningham and his family who have all been connected to a series of brutal murders over a number of years. The story begins with a psychiatric overview and then progresses to Caleb’s version of events.

The format of the narrative is interesting in that it makes not two shifts, but several. The first chapter is a first-person perspective from a court appointed psychiatrist. Through her, we get a very rough overview of the Cunninghams. We learn that there are twin brothers, both deeply psychotic and sinister. The psychiatrist examines Charlie during the course of a trial, but then becomes heavily involved with Caleb. We learn that Caleb is the true monster and the bulk of the narrative then becomes Caleb’s diaries, journals, and psychiatric sessions. Later chapters shift again to a series of newspaper articles giving the reader a final summary of the events that Caleb’s first-person account misses. The novel closes with a series of letters from Caleb explaining his motives and leaving the reader and his doctor with a cryptic goodbye.

Caleb’s story is fairly straightforward. Abused as a child, he’s described as “evil,” “one of the most dangerous men alive,” and the like. Cook’s writing is fluid and descriptive, but Caleb’s exploits take on mythological proportions as the story progresses. Cook goes to great length in his research of abnormal psychology. He skillfully uses the terminology and psychiatric evaluations to create an authentic element to the narrative. Caleb’s excesses are in stark contrast to the realism in other areas and it’s a jarring juxtaposition at times.

As a study in dark psychology, Blood Related is an interesting tale. Cook does an excellent job grappling with the disturbed mind. Psychiatry struggles with the abnormal that goes beyond the human comprehension of evil. Cook takes on the challenge of this struggle and handles it well. A more subtle handling of Caleb’s story would have added a great deal to the psychological framework. Definitely worth a read for the insight into a twisted mind.
Grab it here!

Rating: 3.5/5

SOURCE: 

2013 Writing Projects - Update

2013 is shaping up to be my busiest year yet (in terms of writing projects). 

The Fresh Fear Anthology is going well and the submissions have been of an exceptional standard. Publishing date of September (possibly earlier) is well on track for an achievable outcome. Money has been raised for the payment of contributors and is set aside until contracts have been received and the submission deadline (May 31st) has been reached. 

I have had favorable reviews for my latest Kindle release, 'Creep'. If you're quick enough you can get it for FREE today only.
 
CREEP, is the first story in an exciting and gritty new psychological thriller series. Cassandra: Hunter of Darkness, is a hero to the victim and a merciless angel of death to the evil ones. A killer of killers, she strikes fear into the hearts of those who get their kicks off hurting others. Join Cassandra on her quest for justice and revenge as she begins her journey into the dark underbelly of serial murder and takes care of business as only she knows how. 8,500 word short story + novel extract from Blood Related.



James Ward Kirk Fiction has asked to publish a collection of my short horror fiction and poetry which will be finished by the end of this month and hopefully available for release in the coming months. I also have three stories included in Black Bed Sheet Books first author anthology - due for a Summer (States) release this year. Here is the cover design which I did for the anthology:

. . . and, for those of you interested in news of my sequel to Blood Related, 'Blood Trail' is half complete and should be finished by the end of August/beginning of September. I had a recent health setback (pneumonia) which put me behind schedule by about a month unfortunately. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and please check out the links and repost/share in as many places you can. Thanks and have a great week. Until next time.

Will



Amazon, CREEP, William Cook, Kindle, Blood Related, Black Bed Sheet Books.

CREEP (Cassandra: Hunter of Darkness) [Kindle Edition]

Today marks the release of another exercise in self-publishing. CREEP, is the first story in an exciting and gritty new psychological thriller series. Cassandra: Hunter of Darkness, is a hero to the victim and a merciless angel of death to the evil ones. A killer of killers, she strikes fear into the hearts of those who get their kicks off hurting others. Join Cassandra on her quest for justice and revenge as she begins her journey into the dark underbelly of serial murder and takes care of business as only she knows how. 

I plan to release companion stories/volumes at the end of each month so stay tuned for the next installment. Available FREE to Kindle Prime members otherwise for under the price of a coffee you can get this now for $1.99  (includes 8,500 word short story + novel excerpt from Blood Related.)



"Be careful who you get into a car with, even if that car is a taxi! A dark story of a young girl's date with death. CREEP is a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the gripping climax which is unexpected and will leave the reader cheering for more. Serial Killers don't always get away with murder, no matter how hard they try."



William Cook, Kindle, Short Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Amazon, New Release

Book Cover Design

When I'm not writing and looking after my kids I design scary book covers (and not-so-scary ones too!). Here are a few recent covers I've designed and sold.






 If you need a cover please consider my work. I'm affordable and reasonably quick and will provide you with a cover that will look professional and eye-catching. Here are some testimonials from satisfied clients:






Client Recommendations:

“When it comes to cover art, William Cook’s got the goods. He’s quick, resourceful, easy to work with, and if you’re smart enough to hire him, you’re gonna fall in love with your next cover.”
- Peter Giglio, author of SUNFALL MANOR (cover by William Cook) http://petergiglioauthor.blogspot.com/

“When I saw what William Cook had cooked up with the cover to my novel LIFE RAGE, my jaw hit the floor. Here’s a guy who lives up to his name. A master chef when it comes to illustration, I can’t praise this guy enough. Having the novel come out was sweet. Having a killer cover to show it off to the world made it even sweeter. “
- LL Soares, Writer/editor/film critic and Stoker Nominated co-writer of the movie column CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT. http://www.sff.net/people/llsoares/
 
“William Cook’s artwork and graphic designs are instantly captivating and evocative. His cover art not only catches your eye, it drags it around the corner and assaults it. William’s work is just that good. I couldn’t be happier with the work he produced for my novel.”
- Peter Dudar, author of A REQUIEM FOR DEAD FLIES. http://www.amazon.com/Peter-N.-Dudar/e/B007PFMBQO

“I loved his cover art so much for my forthcoming novella ‘Down & Out’ that I hired him again to produce the cover for the Science Fiction novella I’m currently working on, ‘Providence.’ As a self-published author, I’m always looking for an angle to increase sales. The cover is probably the most important tool in your arsenal when it comes to leaving a first impression. If you want a cover that is both beautiful and horrifying and catches a potential reader’s eye, you can’t do better than William Cook.”
Jimmy M.F. Pudge, author of BAD BILLY  and THE DICK. http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Pudge/e/B008AEZW10/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1347769397&sr=1-2-ent

“William Cook took my compilation PELICAN BAY RIOT to the next level with a captivating book cover like no other. He’s a master at taking the content of your story and putting a face on it that forces a second look and a buy.”
- Glenn Langohr, author of PELICAN BAY RIOT and Roll Call. http://www.amazon.com/GlennLangohr/e/B00571NY5A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_2
 
William Cook’s cover art blew me away from first glance. Not only does he provide a quality cover, but he also has a gift for giving you exactly what you want - even if you are not sure what that is. The cover for the forthcoming anthology “Rigorous Mortis: A Mortician’s Tales, from Scarlett River Press,” told a story all of its own. I plan on hiring him again, and again.”
- Jo-Anne Russell, author of THE NIGHTMARE PROJECT, and Publisher at Scarlett River Press.                  http://www.amazon.com/JoAnneRussell/e/B0078JJL7E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1347774352&sr=8-2, http://www.scarlett-river-press.ca
 
Author RJ Parker - “William has designed all my Serial Killer Series book covers as well as my FBI book and two other books that I published for Bernard DeLeo. This guy does amazing work and is passionate when it comes to graphic design. The book cover is what catches a potential buyer and it’s the first impression of the book. All my books are in the top 100 in several genres and I firmly believe a huge part of that success is due to having captivating book covers. I wouldn’t entertain using another designer, ever.”

- RJ Parker, Best-selling True Crime author


Working with William Cook has been a pleasure. He is open to any input from an author concerning the cover, and tries to capture the essence of the novel. I look forward to working with him in the future as he continues to strive for quality cover art.”

- Bernard Lee Deleo, author of The Protectors and Hard Case


William Cook is easily one of the most talented artists I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The coverwork he did for “Putrid Poetry & Sickening Sketches” was perfect for setting the tone for the entire book.”

- Matt Nord, Editor and Author


“As a publisher, finding dependable artists can be tough. William Cook is an absolute joy to work with. I give him an idea and he uses his creative mind to mold a masterpiece. He is hard working, and always willing to work on a book cover until it is perfect. I highly recommend him.”

- Mark C. Scioneaux, Publisher Nightscape Press


“William Cook is a fabulous creative force, and we were excited to work with him. He works fast and captured the exact essence of our project. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Room-with-a-View/349239111791714

- Lin Rhys, Editor - ‘Room With a View’

Most of my prices range between $70 (Ebook) up to $150 for full wrap-around covers etc. More information can be found at my design website here: 




BOOK COVER DESIGN, HORROR BOOK COVERS, FANTASY BOOK COVERS, BOOK COVER ART, HORROR, BLOOD SOAKED GRAPHICS, AFFORDABLE BOOK COVERS, EBOOK COVERS, PRINT COVERS

I'll Never Go Away II - Rainstorm Press

Rainstorm Press’s recent release of “I’ll Never Go Away–Vol. II”
features 22 creepy tales, including a story of my own.


ill-never-go-away-2
Click on the pic for the Amazon link to the Kindle edition. Print to come soon! Some friends of mine are in this anthology, check out the table of contents:    

Breaking In Two by Tracy L. Lyall, Dead Memories by William Cook, Danny in the Dark by Tim Reynolds, Julie by Joshua Skye, Her Laugh by Clint Smith, Daughter’s Prey by Dale Eldon, Perpetual Pill by Tom Barlow, She’s The One For Me by Vincenzo Bilof, Second Wife by Rob Bliss, Protector by Rasmenia Massoud, Dance With Me by Rocky Alexander, The Art of Angling by Rebecca Jones-Howe, She Could Be The One by Philip Harris, The Refrigerator by Jonathan Lambert, Stranger Calls by Tyler Miller, Njord’s Daughter by Christina Morgan, Watcher In the City by Derek Muk, She Likes Surprises by Nathan Robinson, Cold Like Dead by William Andre Sanders, Dear Susan by Holly Day, Biggest Fan by Tammy A. Branom, Till My Death Do Us Part by Rob M. Miller,

 

Sonia Fogal interviews William Cook

Sonia Fogal: Interview with the Author of "Blood Related" - William Cook


William Cook, author of the great "Blood Related" was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about his book, horror, and the writing experience. He had some fascinating answers. Enjoy!

1. Well I guess I have to ask the question at the top of my mind first. I loved "Blood Related", I thought it was a fascinating read. It is very graphic and very violent so I must ask about where all that came from. I'm assuming you aren't a serial killer so you must have done a great deal of research. Wondering about where you went for that research.

I don’t know why but I’ve had a fascination with the darker side of humanity ever since I was a teenager. I am a huge Horror fan; movies, books, art, theory. I’d say that this obsession comes from the same source. In fact if I hadn’t channeled my predilection for darkness into the writing of Horror I would hate to think where it would’ve taken me otherwise! ‘Blood Related’ is a story about a family of serial killers, each with varying degrees of psychopathology. The two central characters are twin brothers, one who is of the psychotic variety and the other a more organized and cunning psychopath, and yes there is a difference. I researched as much about abnormal psychology as I did about serial killers and their methods and characteristics. 

Most serial killers are basically psychopathic, of reasonable intelligence, appear normal when occasion calls, and so on. And of course this is one of many aspects to a complex and evolving criminal psychology. I read both fiction and non-fictional accounts of these fiendish characters in order to get inside the mind of these killers. I’m not sure if I’d write another first-person narrative from a serial killer’s perspective; at times it was quite harrowing and disturbing to envisage the kind of thought processes these people operate with.

2. Now I don't condone the actions of serial killers in any way but one thing I liked about "Blood Related" is that we got in the head of the killer. We learned about his childhood and the horrors he witnessed that played a part in him becoming the monster he became. He actually seemed to care about a couple of people. I actually felt bad for him sometimes because in a sense he was a victim too. As with the plot, I wondered where this came from. Was this from research or was it you considering what may go into the creation of a serial killer?

What a lot of people don’t realize is that these freaks of nature are capable of portraying human emotion and on the surface probably appear more normal than Joe-average. One of the basic tenets of writing good characters is that the reader must be sympathetic to at least some aspect of the protagonist as a fellow human being. It is because of these two factors that Caleb the main character does have a sensitive side and has had a crummy upbringing. Nature vs nurture is an old debate when it comes to the development of criminal behavior and I would have to say from my research I believe that given the right circumstance everyone is capable of murder. Sounds shocking but when you really think about it, there are certain things that would drive the most placid of us to react with violence, e.g. the murder/assault of a loved one, perceived injustice, road rage, protection of children/family members, self defense and so on. So just because Caleb has had a crappy abusive childhood and is also genetically predisposed to mental illness because of his lineage (coming from three generations of murderous kin), does not necessarily make him a serial killer. There are plenty of people with the same experience and familial history who don’t turn into killers. But with Caleb I wanted to show how his thinking is twisted and trace the source of his urge to kill. Hopefully by the end of the book the reader will be asking the same questions and have a more in-depth understanding of the motives behind this kind of criminal behavior. If we can have some understanding about how these people operate, hopefully it in turns gives us a greater sense of our own nature. But essentially, I am trying to scare the hell out of my readers while stimulating the morbid curiosity inside most of us by presenting a complex fictional character, slightly distanced from reality (because he is fictional), that people feel safe enough to analyze in the comfort of their own homes.

3. Am I crazy to enjoy a book so graphic and violent? If I am then many people are. I think there are a lot of reasons people enjoy this kind of story. What are your thoughts?

Have you ever slowed down to rubber-neck at a car accident? I think most of us have. There is a reason why the news on television streams hours of violent imagery from across the world. 80-90% of most news broadcasts focus on negative events; war, murder, serial killers, accidents, death, etc. It is seldom that we see positive stories on the news and this is because the general audience laps up this kind of media side-show. I think it was Thomas Hobbes who said something like “war [violence] is the essential nature of [hu]mankind,” and as I said earlier I tend to agree – especially in the male of our species. I won’t get into the gender difference/similarities on this topic as it is a whole discussion in itself filled with interesting facts and potentialities. But in answer to your question, no you are not crazy. People enjoyed being scared and confronting death from a safe perspective. Someone said that we spend our whole lives preparing for death and this may well be why we pursue horror in literature (in all genres). If we can confront death from a distance and survive, in a way this affirms life, but for some of us (like the characters in Blood Related) it also serves to hasten that realization to its ultimate conclusion.

4. Did you enjoy writing this book or was it difficult? What did you like the most and what was the most difficult part?

I enjoyed parts of it but found it difficult to write due to the subject matter. I love creating worlds as I did with this story in the form of ‘Portvale’, a fictitious industrial city within a larger metropolis. I also created the small rural town of ‘Repose’ which was fun to populate and landscape. So I guess that the most difficult part was placing myself in the mind of a seriously disturbed serial killer. The most enjoyable aspect was the sense of completion I felt when I had achieved one of my life goals – writing a novel.

5. How long did it take you to write "Blood Related"?

Blood Related took nearly six years to write. I really did do a lot of research and possibly got bogged down in that side of things, hence the extended period of writing. The novel evolved from a shorter work titled ‘The Eternal Now’ and took on a life of its own. I wrote a lot of it as I sat on the train on my way to and from work, scribbling frantically in my notebook. In the end one notebook grew to ten and the outline turned into a solid novel-length manuscript. After many edits and changes it finally reached a presentable level and I started subbing it around to traditional publishers in New Zealand with no success. I write in an American style/vernacular so the obvious choice was to look to the US for a publisher. I subbed the manuscript to three different publishers including my current publisher and received three offers to publish. I originally chose Angelic Knight Press as they were the first to come to the party, and in retrospect my decision was probably a bit of a hasty one, because the day I signed the contract I received two others one of which was my preferred choice, Black Bed Sheet Books. Things were amicable enough with AKP and I was one of their ‘flagship’ writers as they were just starting off and thank them for taking a chance on a previously unpublished novelist. Nick Grabowsky from BBSB left his offer open and when my contract term had finished with AKP and no new contract was forthcoming I happily accepted Nick’s offer to publish and here we are. The new edition is a lot tighter and the formatting is professionally done and I’m really happy to be with BBSB who are also publishing the sequel ‘Blood Trail.’

6. I have seen on a couple of places on the internet that there will be a sequel! Got a title yet? Any idea when it will be available?

As mentioned above, the sequel is titled ‘Blood Trail’ and should be available sometime later on this year from BBSB. I am halfway complete and am aiming for a June wrap for the completion of the sequel. It will be quite different from the first book, in that the perspective has shifted from a first-

person account by the killer to a focus on Ray Truman, the troubled investigator who is trying to bring down the Cunningham clan. The following is an excerpt from the sequel:

I looked and I observed. When I turned away, I looked some more. And I continued looking, into the night, into my dreams, into my waking hours. The vision of Jean-Marie Palliser, lying there, and there also, and there, and up on the shelf there, and

slowly charring on the glowing element. Pieces of Jean-Marie scattered like roadkill across the kitchenette, in the room at the lodging house. I put her back together in my mind with one exception. Her head to the lower portion of her neck was gone; a conspicuous absence if ever there was one. I coughed and lit a cigarette to rid me of the stench of warm blood and other bodily fluids.                        

 He had killed her right there in the kitchenette. She was nude with no sign of restraint visible, on the clear parts of her pale flesh. Blood still dripped from the bench, a shiny black pool of blood looking like an expanding hole in the linoleum.  

 I guessed that’s where the fucker had rested the head, on the bench, while he finished playing with the rest of the dead broad’s young body. I had to push the image of her away and it wouldn’t budge. I felt a nauseous growing horror creep up my body like a bad trip. I was shit-scared for the first time in my professional career as a cop.

I heard movement in the hallway outside the kitchen area. I ducked to the ground, scanning the room as I snapped the snubnose from my ankle holster.                                                          

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! My chest heaved, as the backdoor slammed shut, I had just missed him.                                                                                                  

I sprang from the bloodied floor, pain exploding up the length of my spine, and burst out the swinging screendoor at the rear of the building. I busted my face pretty good on the side of a head-high clothesline as I ran across the back yard. I went down hard, my face pissing blood like a geyser, and fired from the ground two quick shots at the back of a black-hooded figure bursting through the hedge. I glimpsed a woman’s decapitated head, bobbing by his side, the long bloodied hair gripped in the clenched fist of Caleb Cunningham, as he disappeared away into the black night.                                                                                                                  

I lay there breathless, the pain in my lower back unbearable so that I couldn’t even feel the gushing wound in my cheek. And then I ended up back in hospital, lying in that damned same bed in a cast from armpit to knee, thinking of Jean-Marie Palliser, as if one might think of a jigsaw puzzle missing a few pieces. Laying there in that stark white hospital room, I started thinking of all the ways I wanted to kill Caleb Cunningham. The blank dead eyes bored into my memory, like two pits of oil, where the fires of hell slowly smoldered. This was the second time I had caught up with Cunningham and I was flat on my back, mortally injured once again. This time I would have to wear a back brace permanently and be consigned to light duties. I was fucked if I was gonna be a desk jockey. The drugs they started giving me did their job and I knew I could get a continuous supply if I needed one. It took time and a lot of thinking and planning and expectation. I firmly believed towards the end of my stay at the hospital, that Cunningham was watching me, plotting against me in a similar fashion. And then Caleb’s ex-shrink, Dr Morrison, walked in and I forget all about Jean-Marie Palliser and Caleb Cunningham, for a few minutes.

 

Great stuff William! Can't wait to read "Blood Trail"! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

If the excerpt above has you eager to read more of William's work, make sure you click HERE to enter to win a free ebook copy of his first book "Blood Related"! The giveaway is at the bottom of my review of that book - a book I highly recommend.


Links: http://www.bloodrelated.wordpress.com http://www.amazon.com/William-Cook/e/B003PA513I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 Website: http://williamcookwriter.com Twitter - @williamcook666


Source: http://soniafogal.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/my-fascinating-interview-with-author-of.html#comment-form

Sonia Fogal - A Journey Through Words: "Blood Related" by William Cook

"Blood Related" by William Cook - Review and Giveaway

BLOOD RELATED
BY WILLIAM COOK
 

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS EXCERPTS FROM "BLOOD RELATED" THAT INCLUDE PROFANITY AS WELL AS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL REFERENCES THAT SOME MAY FIND OFFENSIVE OR DISTURBING


"I remember looking at Charlie and noticing he was visibly erect as he stood there staring, trembling with excitement and fear.
The sick fuck.
I would never stoop to be so obvious.

How tactless!
 
My curiosity got the better of me and I made the mistake of asking Pa why they had to die and, just before he knocked me unconscious, he said that they were a ‘present for a pig.’ Later on, I would find out for myself exactly who Ray Truman was and what he was capable of."

My Review


“Blood Related” is a fascinating journey through the mind and life of a third-generation serial killer. He is both a victim and a victimizer. He is deeply damaged and mentally ill. He embraces and is turned on by his murderous lifestyle.  He finds fulfillment in it and sees it as an expression of who he is. But he also knows it’s wrong and dreams of “one day becoming a better person”.

Graphic, tortuous, nauseating violence. Definitely not for the weak of stomach. If you can handle this though, you must read this book.
This book goes way beyond slash-em-up horror. We are witnesses to the life of a serial killer, Errol Cunningham, through his child’s eyes, those of Caleb Cunningham. We learn of the unimaginable horrors that Caleb saw and learned from as a child. He was a witness to, and object of brutal abuse and it contributed to his evolution into the monster he became.  He shows some capacity and desire to love at one point, but the pursuit of what he views as his art will not allow that bond.

 
He is pursued by a policeman who inherited a passion for apprehending a Cunningham murderer from his father, who pursued earlier generations of this murderous family. Caleb is highly intelligent and clever.  He learned how to get away with his crimes from his father and fellow inmates and used those skills to formulate his own methods. 

We see Caleb transform.  We see it through his own eyes as well as through the eyes of outsiders.  Cook includes viewpoints of policeman Ray Truman, the media and psychologists. This variety of perspectives provides new insights and information on Caleb Cunningham’s psychoses and torturous acts. It is cruel and black and heartbreaking all at once.  He is a deranged, twisted killer, but he is also a victim of a brutal childhood, and he has a desire to love and be loved and to live a normal life buried inside himself.


There were times when a change in perspective occurred and I became confused about who was speaking. There were also spots with grammatical issues or incorrect word choice.  From a plot perspective,  the editing was outstanding. The plot was tight. Grammar and word choice edits could have been better on occasion.

The weaknesses are easily and greatly outweighed by the strengths of this book. If you can't tell, I love “Blood Related”.  It is complex, fascinating and entertaining. You 
know the writing is good when part of you feels sorry for the serial killer. I can’t wait to see what happens next.  I will watch eagerly for the release of the sequel.

I really want you to read this book! And the author has graciously provided an ebook for me to giveaway! Enter to win it below! 


AND
Come back tomorrow for a fascinating interview with Mr William Cook himself!
  


Free Horror Book Potpourri

A very quick post today to let you know about a bunch of FREE kindle books of mine that are up for grabs. Head on over to my Amazon Author P...