Today on The Eyes of Madness I am beyond pleased to host a pretty amazing guest piece from Phillip Tomasso. I’m am just going to step aside and give the floor to Mr. Tomasso. Welcome, sir, the floor is yours.
My sleep has been anything but normal. I often suffer from night terrors. This is more than just having nightmares. I wake up from a sound sleep screaming, and covered in a cold sweat. The dreams are always vivid, and memorably haunting. I have also spent many, many years sleepwalking, and talking in my sleep. Some of the antics I remember are funny (now). While some of the other memories still give me chills. More often than not, it is when I am (fully) awake that I realize how silly the concept of the nightmare really had been, but that doesn’t change the fear factor taking place at the time of the dream.
For example, one time in the middle of the day, I was napping on the sofa. Falling from the ceiling was a blue feather, swaying side-to-side. I went into fight or flight mode. I threw myself off the couch, my yelling scared the hell out of my kids, I grabbed onto them saving myself, and my kids from the feather. The blue feather. Gasping for air, I listened as my two youngest children began crying. They had no clue what happened. I tried telling my (ex)wife. “The feather was going to fall on us. I saved them. I saved us.”
Although I am told when I was around seven years old, I had slept over my great aunt’s house. She lived in a somewhat rough area in the city. I had fallen asleep in a spare bedroom. When she woke up, she found me on the front porch with the blankets from the bed and a pillow. I don’t recall that particular experience, but it does seem like it was the start of my issues.
I took on a job as a busboy at fourteen. I worked between twenty and thirty hours per week during the school year, and sometimes as many as fifty to sixty hours when it was busy. It was a party house. Weddings, showers, stag parties, and banquets happened year round. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows what I am talking about. Us “kids” put in ten to sixteen hour days on weekends. We weren’t allowed to take breaks, or lunches. Imagine that? I remember swiping hunks of meat and eating it like an animal in a bathroom stall. The place had mob ties. I finally quit (at almost seventeen), when the boss came around asking for the keys to everyone’s car. He said they had to shuffle space in the back parking lot. Turns out the party in one of the rooms was all mafia. There as a bomb threat made. Wiseguys were checking everyone’s vehicle for explosive devices.
Anyway, the point being, the two and a half years I spent working there, I walked and talked in my sleep, a lot. One night I left my bedroom. I found my mother and father sitting on the sofa. I clapped my hands at them and yelled, “Hey. You want to go the fuck home tonight, or what? Get back to work.”
My mother said, “We’re working.” (She was used to my late night shenanigans). I told her, “Who’s gonna make the Jell-O?” So she pretended to mix water and sugar in a large pot. She said, “Jell-O’s made, go back to bed.” And I did. I went back to bed.
When I first married, my wife and I were in bed. She woke up when the blankets were yanked off of her. She then heard someone saying, “Don’t move, and you won’t get hurt.” It was me. All of it. I had seen a giant spider at the foot of the bed. I used the blankets to trap it. I wanted to alert my wife, but not scare her. Then I started punching the spider inside the blankets. Of course, me on my knees punching the bed scared her far worse than expected. Especially because there was no spider.
Nothing terrified my ex more than the time I woke her up from a sound sleep. I was on my knees pulling pillows out of the cases. “The baby is suffocating! She can’t breathe!” My ex wife jumped out of bed. Inside the bassinet, our newborn was sleeping peacefully.
There are so many more examples I could give. Like the time when I was asleep on the floor in the family room. Scared my father when I screamed that a shark was coming to get us, jumped onto the sofa, and was reaching to pull him up onto the sofa, as well, or when I would wake my ex wife simply to tell her the time. The point is, I think my dreams, my walking and talking in my sleep, have had a major in my writing.
When my first book (MIND PLAY) was published in 2000, I was confident I would only write suspense/mystery novels. My second book (TENTH HOUSE), I incorporated the supernatural into a private investigator series. Eventually, I tackled the zombie genre. In a short period of time, I wrote and had published five zombie books. In between, I wrote a YA novel about a deaf boy who dreamed of playing baseball. I slowly realized, I was not limiting myself to just writing suspense/mystery novels, and had (subconsciously) started writing books I wanted to write.
Then, in 2015, I wrote my first science fiction novella (EXTINCTION), and most recently, signed a 4 book deal with Mirror Matter Press for a fantasy saga. I have always been a fan of the fantasy genre, and all of this –this post, the point of this blog– relates back to my nightmares, and my interrupted sleep. When I am dreaming, I am somewhere else that is so real, and yet none of it exists. And although it is scary, and unfamiliar, I wouldn’t give up my dreams for anything. Not ever.
That is my fantasy world. Believe it or not, it is where I diagnose . . . me.
Here’s the thing. I may never reach NY Times Bestseller status, and I am more than okay with that. I enjoy writing, and telling stories. I am even happier when I know someone has read my work, and discovered something new. It’s not about making money. Not for me. Never has been. It’s about an outlet, a productive and very therapeutic way for me to express myself.
What I value most is that in the last sixteen years I have not limited my writing to one genre. I have sprinkled each of the stories I’ve written with bits and pieces from my nightmares, my night terrors, and from the fantasy world I live in while asleep. I am most excited to see what tales spew out of my mind in the next sixteen years.
Hey. Thanks for listening to me ramble. I appreciate your time. I do. Hopefully, some of you will consider dabbling a bit in all of the worlds I’ve created –and if so, drop me an email. Let me know what you thought? I’d be most anxious to hear thoughts on SEVERED EMPIRE: Wizard’s Rise. Have a great day!
Mr. Tamosso, thank you for taking the time to stop by and thank you for the insight. Readers, be sure to head to the bottom and enter the giveaway.
New Book Promo, Severed Empire: Wizard’s Rise
Wizard’s Rise, Synopsis~
• Print Length: 390 pages
• Publisher: Mirror Matter Press
• Release Date: Feb. 11, 2016
A war is coming. There is no way to prevent it. The only thing for certain is that there will be one loser. . .and one winner. WIZARD’S RISE (A Severed Empire Novel)
For over two hundred years the Rye Empire enforced drastic measures outlawing the use of magic. To avoid capture a handful of remaining Wizards escaped royal persecution and made it into hiding. Shortly after the decree the empire crumbled, but the laws remained in place. . .
The Mountain King’s ambitions of becoming the next Emperor will be realized. With forced help from an enslaved sorceress, he will stop at nothing until he achieves his dreams. The easiest path to victory can be obtained by retrieving buried talismans. With those enchanted items in his possession he can summon the Wizards, steal, and harness their power.
In an effort to save the Old Empire from a growing, sinister magic, seventeen-year-old farmboy Mykal and five friends begin a desperate journey. They must collect the talismans before the Mountain King. Their trek will force Mykal to face fears, and accept truths he’d never known existed. There isn’t much time. A war is coming.
Their chances of winning will depend on whether they succeed or not. If they fail, a terrible darkness will steal the light from the Grey Ashland Realm. . .forever.
Biography of Phillip Tomasso~
Phillip Tomasso is the award-winning author of over 17 novels. He began his career writing mystery and suspense novels in 2000. Since, he has gone on to publish books in a wide variety of genres, including Horror, Young Adult, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.
His first short story was published in 1995, and he was paid a penny a word. It was an 8,000-word western.
However, it being a Canadian publication—and at a time, when the U.S. dollar was worth more—his check was for just under $40. It was a great starting point, and has been selling regularly since then.
Although not a full-time writer, Tomasso works a full-time job as well. After 19 years at Kodak as an employment law paralegal, he’s spent the last six plus years a Fire/EMS Dispatcher for 9-1-1. He works the midnight shift, First Platoon, and has found the hours conducive to his creativity.
Tomasso prefers to both read books in the same genres he writes. He has been inspired by the likes of Walter Mosley, the entire Easy Rawlins series. Anything by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, John Saul, Warren Hammond, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt novels, and Jim Butcher’s Dresden series. Just to name a few!
Tomasso lives in Rochester, NY with his 3 kids—who are not little any longer. Aside from reading and writing, Tomassoplays guitar, and is an self-admitted horrible singer. He is always at work on a next novel.
For more information, visit Tomasso’s website. http://www.philliptomasso.com
Praise for Phillip Tomasso~
“This is different … confident, addictive storytelling, great characters, and an intriguing plot. You’ll read it fast but remember it for a long time. ” —Lee Child, best-selling author of One Shot and the Jack Reacher series
“(Tomasso) takes the standard fare of the private investigator genre and adds twists and turns to make it anything but standard. Tomasso’s writing is crisp and clear … thoroughly enjoyable.” —Joseph Nassise, author of Internal Games and King of the Dead
“Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is one of my all time favorite adventure yarns . . . Tomasso has managed to preserve Stevenson’s characters and pacing as the story enters this terrifying new adventure into the land of the living dead. I hadn’t counted on loving this story as much as I did, but it surprised me and delighted me and terrified me every time I turned the page. Great adventure, great thrills, and a terrifying glimpse into the jaws of death. Highly recommended!” –Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dog Daysand Plague of the Undead
“Blood River is a thrilling blast of cryptozoological fun, a wild ride down tropical rivers in pursuit of a terrifying legend. It will leave you hungry for the next catch!” –David Sakmyster, author of The Pharaohs Objective and Jurassic Dead
To find out more information about Mirror Matter Press, visit their website: http://www.mirrormatterpress.com
Special giveaway at http://wp.me/p262Y7-zis from February 23 to March 1, 2016. Print and e-book copies are up for grabs. Head over to their site to enter to win! Good luck to you.