Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Spotlighting: The Best of Evil by Eric Wilson

“Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

Aramis Black had lived by the motto tattooed on his arms until the day an old friend stuck a gun to his temple. Within hours of his life being spared, Aramis fled to Nashville to start over.

Now living with his brother, Johnny Ray, and managing Black’s, a successful espresso shop, Aramis thought his past was behind him. But he couldn’t run from the memory of watching his mother’s murder, or the bitter resentment he held toward his father and uncle.

When the handkerchief his mother had given him the morning of her death reappears, Aramis finds his past suddenly colliding with his future. Within hours of the handkerchief’s reappearance, a man is shot dead in the espresso shop, his dying words hauntingly familiar: Spare your soul and turn your eyes from greed. The very words Aramis’s mother had spoken before her murder.

Helped by Johnny Ray’s gentle prodding, Aramis embarks on a journey to uncover a centuries-old mystery that could hold the key to unlocking the truth behind his mother’s death. Along the way, family secrets are revealed and Aramis must learn forgiveness and reconciliation.

THE BEST OF EVIL is Eric Wilson’s third novel and the first release of his new Aramis Black mystery series. Not only has Eric jumped from the suspense genre to mystery, but this is also his first novel in first person narrative. For readers who find first person narrative a bit restricting, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised as this story unfolds flawlessly through Aramis’s eyes.

Eric introduces us to a colorful cast of characters who are both unique and quirky, but also very real. There’s wannabe singer Johnny Ray with his penchant for Tabasco boxers, Samantha Rosewood with her Southern airs, Freddy C with his suspicious ways, Tina with her rhyming mutterings, not to mention reformed drug user Aramis, among others.

Set in Nashville and its surrounding area, Eric weaves in just enough description and history for readers to get a feel for the backdrop without overloading the story.

THE BEST OF EVIL will entertain and intrigue you as it draws you into the mystery surrounding American explorer Meriwether Lewis’s death and a rumored hidden treasure. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled; you just might uncover the location of Lewis’s lost gold.

A SHRED OF TRUTH, Book Two of the Aramis Black Mystery Series, releases in the summer of 2007.

Five Questions with Eric Wilson

You juggle a day job with family and writing. Can you describe a typical day in the life of Eric Wilson?

Until recently, I was under contractual deadlines. So, I helped get the kids off to school, then planted my backside in my desk chair and wrote until late at night, with a break here or there for coffee, kisses with my wife, and circulation through the legs. I listen to loud music to block out everything else, and I write and write and write. I finished the sequel to THE BEST OF EVIL this way. It's called A SHRED OF TRUTH, and it'll be out next summer. Of course, I also work a "real" job at FedEx Kinko's in Nashville. I like the job, but it's hard to balance that and my writing sometimes. My boss has been flexible, letting me work four ten-hour days to have two free days, that sort of thing. Right now, I've cut down to two days a week, so that I can finish some more proposals and sample chapters--anything to try to sell another idea before the end of the year.

Where did the idea for THE BEST OF EVIL originate from?

My editor actually called and asked if I'd be interested in doing a mystery series set in Tennessee. At first, I was hesitant. I didn't own the idea. Once the name Aramis Black came to me, though, it was my baby. I decided to saddle Aramis with some troubles from his past, including some troubles reaching back two hundred years--of which he is totally unaware, of course. The story unfolded from there, using Nashville and the city's history as a central character.

Your novels have all contained an element of history. Is history something you are naturally interested in and how do you go about researching your ideas?

Believe it or not, I despised history class in school. Two things brought history to life for me. One: travelling overseas after high school and seeing castles, old towns, ancient countries. Two: reading WWII spy novels in high school, which often included "what if" elements, playing with history in subtle ways. Jack Higgins, Len Deighton, Alistair MacLean--they were masters at it. When I decide upon a historical element, I research it online and in books, look for little-known facts, and then start playing with ideas. Truthfully, the element in THE BEST OF EVIL is very believable, if you read up on the subject.

Last year you visited Romania and later mentioned that it inspired an idea for a novel. Can you tell us a bit more about this idea?

I'm already working on the first in my Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy. The title: FIELD OF BLOOD. It's based on the Akeldama, mentioned in Scripture, the place where Judas Iscariot died after betraying Jesus. What if (there I go again, with the "what ifs") his blood seeped down into the tombs of that cemetery and infused the dead with his enmity for Christ? What if these undead were released in 1988 when an actual bulldozer accidentally broke into that two-thousand year old graveyard? Hmmm.

What can readers look forward to in the future from Eric Wilson?

That's a question for a publisher out there to answer. I have no contracts. No books under deadline. But I have lots of ideas, lots of excitement, and plenty of discipline. I hope to finish the Senses Series, as well as the Aramis Black Mysteries. Pray that God will open the right doors for my future in this career. By the end of the year, I'll be seriously reevaluating my direction.

For more information about Eric Wilson, check out his Web site:

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1 comment:

Prince Myshkin said...

Excellent review and interview, Vanessa. Several months ago you helped me find a prof. editor. I just wanted to say thank you again, because it's been the best thing to ever happen to my writing skills. :)