Search this blog

Tuesday 21 July 2015

ℚ Devil's Nightmare: Devil's Nightmare [1] - Robert Pruneda

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Devil's Nightmare (, Forsaken, 314 pages) a suspense occult horror, which is bookone of the Devil's Nightmare series.

"Robert Pruneda is a good story teller and if I had to take a guess, I would say he was influenced by the old horror classics." - Readers and Writers Connect

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

What was the inspiration for Devil's Nightmare?
"The general idea for my book was inspired by a personal experience I had when I was around eleven or twelve years old.  Some friends and I would make Ouija boards to talk to spirits, and while we all accused the other of pushing the planchette, I’m not convinced it was simply a game.  We had heard the stories that you should never play with a Ouija board by yourself or else risk demon oppression.  We all dismissed it as a bunch of crap, of course, but I think we were all curious.  I was the only one stupid enough to ignore the “rules” and did it anyway.

I would play with the Ouija board by myself out of pure fun for weeks, asking childish questions about fame, fortune, girlfriends, etc.  I didn’t know if I was actually summoning spirits with the Ouija board or if it was just my mind playing tricks on me and causing me to subconsciously move the marker with my fingers.  It didn’t matter; I was having fun with that Ouija board.

The fun and games ended after I started having nightmares.  Late one night, I woke up and had difficulty breathing.  I tried to get up from my bed, but I couldn’t move.  I felt something pressing against my chest and then I saw what appeared like eyes floating above me.  I’ll never forget them.  They were almond shaped and a pale yellow.  They narrowed and grew closer to my face.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to get out of my bed and run away, but my body froze.  The pressure in my chest continued to obstruct my breathing.  I focused on those hideous eyes among a floating silhouette.

Suddenly, I was able to take in a gasp of air and then screamed with hysteria . . . but I still could not move.  Moments later, my parents rushed through my door and turned on the light; the eyes and silhouette disappeared.  I shot up from my bed and darted towards my mother for protection.  My shirt was drenched in sweat, my face flowing with tears, as I cried about the demon that I had just seen.  It was the most horrifying experience I have ever had in my life.  Was it a dream?  Was it my imagination?  Waking sleep paralysis?  Or was it truly a demon oppressing me because I had broken some spiritual rule of the Ouija board?  I don’t know for certain, but I can tell you this . . . that Ouija board went in the trash the very next day and I have never messed with one ever since. "
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Three items in the cover highlight important elements of Devil’s Nightmare: the mansion, the three sets of eyes within the title, and the pentacle at the bottom of the cover.  My cover designer Laura Hidalgo read Devil’s Nightmare before sending me her concept.  When she sent me her new design, my jaw dropped. Literally.  It was perfect.  The building represents Saint Hedwig Youth Home, which is an important location in the story.  I won’t give anything away about the eyes, but when you read Devil’s Nightmare, I think you’ll quickly understand their significance.  The pentacle represents the occult element in the story pulled directly from one of the scenes in the book. "
Who would you recommend Devil's Nightmare to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"While I personally don’t like to compare my writing to any other authors, readers who have posted reviews for the first edition have commented that if you enjoy reading books by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, then you would enjoy reading Devil’s Nightmare.  While that is flattering, I think my writing style is a bit different from both of them.  Stephen King, however, is the reason why I chose to pursue a career as an author.  I write what I enjoy reading, so naturally I believe Devil’s Nightmare is great entertainment.  My taste for horror may be different from yours, so my recommendation is to take advantage of the free samples available, such as the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon.

Devil’s Nightmare has enough blood and gore to satisfy those needs in a good horror novel, but I was careful not to go overboard.  This is not a hack-and-slash.  It is more of an atmospheric horror mystery with some gore sprinkled in for flavor.

Disclaimer: The author is not responsible for any nightmares or restless nights while reading Devil’s Nightmare. "
Great comparisons there!  I must also admit that Stephen King is one of my all time favourites.
Also great advice about the Amazon Look Inside feature, we always provide a link to it!

If you could / wished to turn your book/series into a movie, who would be your dream team?

"Funny you should ask that, because some of my readers have mentioned that Devil’s Nightmare would make a great movie.  This would be a dream come true.  Choosing a director and actors is tough, because there is so much talent out there.  For director, I would have to say John Carpenter [Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Christine, Escape from New York, The Ghosts of Mars], Guillermo del Toro [Chronos, Mimic, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim], Brian de Palma [Carrie, ScarfaceThe UntouchablesCasualties of WarRaising CainCarlito's WayMission: ImpossibleSnake EyesMission to MarsThe Black Dahlia], or Wes Craven [The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream] (in that order).

As far as actors are concerned, I would choose:
I would film the movie on location in and around Austin, Texas (where the novel is based), and would use old school special effects with very limited computer-generated imagery."
What is your writing process?
"Before I begin writing my novel, I always write a summary of my story.  This may be several pages long or just a few paragraphs, but it absolutely must have a beginning and an end, with the understanding that it may change.  I need to know how the story is going to end before I begin writing, but I rarely use a structured outline (because my characters never listen to me).  I’m a “pantser” in that I give my characters the reins and buckle up.  This is how I wrote Devil’s Nightmare, and it was one hell of a ride.  It was among the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had with any project.  I knew what was going to happen at the end of the story, but I had no idea how I was going to get there.  I gave my protagonist a problem and joined him in his attempt to solve it.  I believe writing without an outline (and in the main character’s perspective) is one of the main reasons why I have had so many readers tell me that they couldn’t figure out “who the bad guy was” or “how the story was going to end.”  That’s more than likely because, at those same moments, neither did I. :-)

Writing without an outline is challenging.  Without a road map to my final destination, I sometimes sit in front of my computer staring at a blank screen with absolutely no idea of what to write next.  That’s when I have to step away from the manuscript and try to put myself in my character’s shoes.  What would he do in that situation?  Or what twist could I throw in at that point to make my characters hate me even more?  Then I rub my hands together with a mischievous grin and resume typing, often until five or six o’clock in the morning.

One important thing that I do when I write my first draft of any story is avoid worrying about the details.  The purpose of writing the first draft is just getting the story out of my head and onto the document.  I like to compare my first draft as a skeleton with all the major organs, but without the muscle and skin intact.  When I write the second draft, my process is a bit different from what Stephen King mentions in his book On Writing.  King says that the second draft should be the first draft minus ten percent.  Well, I try to follow a lot his advice, but that one I fail at miserably.  It’s more like the second draft equals the first draft plus twenty percent.  I guess you could consider my first draft as somewhat of a detailed outline in that sense.

Writing a novel is a lot of work.  It can take me anywhere from several months to a couple of years from start to finish.  Devil’s Nightmare took me just over a year to write and publish the first edition as an indie author and another six months of editing and preparation for the current edition through my new publisher Forsaken."
What is in store next?
"I published a sequel to Devil’s Nightmare in October last year.  A few months later, I signed a contract with hybrid publisher Booktrope to republish both books in the series under their Forsaken horror imprint.  Premonitions, the sequel to Devil’s Nightmare, is currently in editing and will be available later this year.  I have also begun writing the third and final book in the series, which I plan to publish under the Forsaken horror imprint in October of 2016."

Devil's Nightmare - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


Ben said...

Brilliant Q&A! The series sounds awesome! Thank you for sharing :-)

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

Thanks, Ben! I enjoyed this Q&A at Books Chatter. I also appreciate your enthusiasm about Devil's Nightmare. Be sure to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

Books Chatter, I love how you stalked me on social media to grab pics of my dogs. Brilliant! All book sales go to feeding these little monsters. Especially that beagle. Her stomach is a bottomless pit! :-)

Eden Baylee said...

Excellent interview. I love your thoughts about the first draft Sharky >> I like to compare my first draft as a skeleton with all the major organs, but without the muscle and skin intact.

Makes sense, but it's soooo hard for me to do. I have such an urge to make corrections as a I see it. Definitely need to work on this.

I'm reading ON WRITING right now, and loving it.

So great to see you here on a terrific site like Books Chatter, and congrax on the relaunch of Devil's Nightmare. It looks fabulous.


Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

I still struggle with editing while writing too, but I'm getting much better at it. I'm glad to see that you're reading On Writing by Stephen King. Excellent book! It was such a joy reading about how he got started as an author. He has such a great sense of humor too!

Thanks for visiting, Eden!


BooksChatter said...

Hi Sharky - there were so many to choose from! I popped over to your Twitter and got stuck there for an hour looking at your posts LOL - we seem to like many similar things... not least motor racing and cars :-P

BooksChatter said...

Hi Eden, great to see you here :-)

BooksChatter said...

BTW we know all about little evil monsters... we have nine of the feline variety...

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

Eden and I have known each other for a few years. She's one of the nicest and most supportive people that I know. :-)

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

LOL! Awesome. You can tell that I'm very active on social media. Sometimes too active. :-) I love cats, too, but unfortunately, I'm allergic. So, I have dogs. They're probably the reason I'm losing my hair.

Unknown said...

Great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

Thanks, Ree! I enjoyed the interview too. Good luck with the giveaway!



Unknown said...

Why can’t I find book three anywhere?

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

I have had a number of delays, such as my publisher going out of business, the headaches of republishing the first two Devil's Nightmare books, dealing with a major hurricane (that was fun), etc. However, all of that is finally behind me, so I'm slowly working on getting Devil's Nightmare: Redemption completed. I've also made a couple of major plot changes in the manuscript that have driven me nuts! :-) Rest assured, Redemption is coming. I just don't have an ETA of when that will be at this point. I will announce that information via my website, newsletter, and social media when I have a better idea. Thank you for reading the Devil's Nightmare novels, and I appreciate your patience.


Robert "Sharky" Pruneda