The Jack O’Lanterns are carved, and the marshmallows are toasting over the hellfires. Pull up a pitchfork and join me once more in the devilish domain of His Satanic Majestic.
Characters and authors aplenty for your infernal entertainment.
Who are/were you? I am/was Dr Thomas Neill Cream. Doctor by day, serial killer by night, with victims throughout America, Canada, Scotland and England. A most delightful little spree that came to an untimely end through no fault of my own.
Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? I think that’s obvious, don’t you? In life, I became known as the Lambeth Poisoner and enjoyed using my position of trust to lure my victims into positions whereby I could prey on their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I showed no remorse for my crimes and was hanged at Newgate prison, London, in 1892. For some reason, many people think I was Jack the Ripper. I can’t imagine why…?
Describe your home/environment in Hell. I live in the Lambsdeath district of Olde London Town. That’s in the Juxtapose level of Hell, an area beset by fractures through sheolspace whereby different eras come together in a mishmash of times and eras. You can be crossing the cobbled streets of Victorian London one moment, only to be forced to jump out of the way of a modern-day Hackney carriage the next. I like it here as the rifts allow me to cover my tracks as I go about my business.
In fact, here’s a little picture of me out on a stroll in the Lamdsdeath/Bittersea area of Olde London Town
Care to join me?
Do you have any enemies here? Not really, I keep myself to myself and use others as and when I see fit. The only problem I seem to get is from the damned Reaper who seems intent on making my unlife as uncomfortable as possible.
What is the WORST thing about being here? The fact that I’m just one of the crowd.
Back topside, people reviled me for what I did and the suffering I caused. And although I racked up a goodly number of murders – most of which they never managed to pin on me – my hard work and tenacity didn’t mean a thing once I got here. There are so many denizens of Hell who committed far worse crimes than I did. Genocide and mass murder. I mean, how am I going to compete with that? It’s not like I can get my sorry ass back into the land of the living so I can go on a fresh killing spree is it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d bite my arms off for the chance. But that blasted Reaper seems to haunt my every step. One day…one day…
What are your best tips for surviving in Hell? Be yourself.
Be true to who you are and live up to it. Submerge yourself in the filth and the decadence and brutality and shout for more. I’m a narcissistic sycophant, and proud of it. Just the ticket for the rabble that infests every nook and cranny of this place.
Before you arrived here did you actually believe in HSM and his fiery domain? Bet that was a shock! I never really gave it a second thought. I was far too preoccupied with my own desires to think that far ahead. But after they killed me…well, what a delight!
Could you imagine having to be good all the time? Float around on a cloud all day – or whatever it is they do up there – and endure paradise. No murder. No fornication. No simply being yourself. Perish the thought. I’m glad I travelled the right way.
What do you miss most about your old….life? The fact that nobody can truly die here. It takes all the fun out of things.
Don’t get me wrong, I still ply my trade wherever and whenever I can. But sometimes, I think…what’s the point? All that planning and preparation. And for what? Yes, they may expire before me in agony, but I miss that look in people’s eyes as they breathe their last, knowing I’ve consigned them to the grave.
Here, all it means is that the nastier individuals will probably come back seeking revenge after their visit to the Undertaker. That’s why I like working from the shadows so much. If they don’t know who you are, they can’t very well come back to even the score can they.
And so long as I don’t wake up with my throat cut or my heart in a jar, that’s all that matters.
My dear, I do apologise, but I must be off in a few minutes. I have an appointment with a rather inventive friend of mine who says he can help me with my long-term plans.
But before I go, I don’t suppose I could interest you in this little health tonic I threw together? It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it’ll set you up just right for the future. Honestly, you’ll never get sick again J
Name and bio. My name Andrew P. Weston and I’m a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with my wife, Annette, and our growing family of rescue cats.
An astronomy and law graduate, I’m the creator of The IX and a number of other science fiction and fantasy based series, and I also have the privilege of being a member of the British Science Fiction Association, and British Fantasy Society.
When not writing, I devote some of my spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and I write educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.
Tell us about your story for this edition.
Entitled Grim, it’s an introductory tale regarding a character I’m hoping readers will come to know well, Satan’s chief bounty hunter, Daemon Grim. In this story, we find him hunting a fugitive from injustice, Dr Thomas Neill Cream, a very foolish individual who incurred His Infernal Majesty’s wrath.
In life, Cream was known as the Lambeth Poisoner, a narcissistic sycophant who delighted in watching the suffering of others as they slowly died at his hands. Such was the depth of his depravity that once arrested, he showed no remorse, and revelled more under the assumption that he might be Jack the Ripper than in atoning for his crimes. After his arrival in Hell, he quickly became dissatisfied, and was always on the lookout for ways to increase his bad boy reputation. And that, leads him into a lot of trouble.
How did you become involved with this project? By invitation.
Several reviews I’d completed on other books caught Janet Morris’s eye. Through them, she was drawn to my work. After she’d checked-out a few stories, I was extended the privilege of contributing.
Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge? By doing my homework.
If you’re going to collaborate in such a huge, well established universe like Heroes in Hell, you have to find out what the rules are and what makes it tick. How flexible can you be? What are your boundaries? Are there any taboos, if so, what? And what degree of interaction with other contributors might be allowed? You see? There are a lot of factors to consider. Once you’ve done that, you have to determine exactly how you’re going to contribute and how it will add to or enhance the overall flavour of the universe. Hard work – but fun in the end J
What are you currently working on? At the moment I’m beginning to lay the foundations for the second Hell novel involving Grim.
The first one – Hell Bound – is due out toward the end of this year. This new story continues his quest of hunting down Satan’s enemies and dispensing instant injustice.
(Please check out the blog tour for Hell Bound and see the link below.)
I’m thoroughly enjoying developing this character as I’ve managed to incorporate his adventures into the Heroes in Hell universe in such a way that each anthology will leapfrog and enhance what takes place in the novels.
In that way, I’ll be able to maintain the exact feel and flavour of what Heroes in Hell is all about.
If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite? “…He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you…”
Which 10 books would you save to keep you sane after the apocalypse? (Only 10 allowed). Lord of the Rings trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson
Magician – Raymond E. Feist
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawkin
The complete works of Shakespeare
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I the Sun – Janet Morris
The Wilt compendium – Tom Sharpe (I cried with laughter the first time I read them)
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The IX – (Andrew P. Weston – how could I not include my first true epic?)
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Me? I must admit, I like to add a personal touch. I like to thank anyone who takes the time to puts a thoughtful, honest review out for others to read. However, I never – NOT EVER – respond to trolls. When you get that kind of bile, it’s always best to let your audience answer for you.
In these days of movies and video games are books really influential? Hell yes!
I’m and avid reader and I love films. For example, look how well the LOTR films have done. But as skilled as Peter Jackson is, the films aren’t a patch on the books where the reader can let their imagination loose amongst a rich and vivid landscape. You can go places in your mind that a film never can. Or The Hunger Games trilogy, for example. The films are very popular, but they come nowhere near to capturing the mood and depth of feeling the people of Panem face as they struggle to find the fortitude to break the grip of a tyrannical government. If you’ve read the books, you experience that sense of loss, because celluloid entertainment will never encapsulate such depth and breadth in the limited 2 hours they have to convey an entire story.
And it’s not just popular ‘current fantasies’ like LOTR or Game of Thrones where this rings true. You get it in the older classics like Wuthering Heights, the Thirty-Nine Steps, and Of Mice and men to name several masterpieces.
Thank goodness for books. Whatever technology we develop, they’ll never go out of fashion.
Although not entirely in context, I’m reminded of a superb quote by Stephen Fry…
“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”
And I think that rings true regarding films as well.
One day, when I’ve made it big, I’ll have a room like THIS in my house
And you’re all invited.
See you there. J
Andrew Weston’s Author Pages and Links:
The IX http://www.amazon.com/IX-Andrew-P-Weston-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/
Doctors in Hell http://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Hell-Heroes-Janet-Morris/dp/0986414093/
Rage of Augustus http://www.amazon.com/Rage-Augustus-Cambion-Journals-Book-ebook/dp/B00DP5OHSI/
Fairy Tale ww.amazon.com/Fairy-Tail-Andrew-P-Weston-ebook/dp/B007TVY5N6/
For more please check out Andrew’s Amazon Author page.