Spotlight The Hobbes Family by Dan O'Brien

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Welcome to the seventh day of the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

A few questions for the author:

Tell us about your most recent release.

Hobbes Family is the first chapter in a serial that I hope to put out for many months to come. The idea behind it is to combine an episodic ensemble like Lost and Walking Dead in digital novella form. This story follows the Hobbes family from the first throes of the apocalypse through the darkness of a world bathed in darkness.

What else do you have coming out?

A few books and many, many more serials in the B-Sides series that starts with this story. Water is the next novella that introduces more of the ensemble cast as they navigate the first week of the apocalypse.

Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?

I write a lot of different stories in a lot of different genres. Definitely follow the blog to learn about what I have coming out. I have a tendency to create gray-washed characters in terms of morality, and often ask much of the reader. 

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

An on-ramp had been painted over with long strokes of graffiti, hopefully. A few cars sat off to the side, heavy skid marks from where they had pushed aside from larger vehicles. There was a narrow chute through which a car might fit. 

Michael chanced it. 

He knew that staying in a city meant certain doom. 

Without the amenities, the basics of civilization would soon crumble. This thought worried him deeply. A regression to the mean, to the horror that lay at the depths and darkness of every living being, was something that hid when the beauty of children were introduced into the world. 

Being a father had put that darkness at bay. 

There was something life-affirming in being the caretaker and guide for a being, to be there in moments of despair and happiness, all the while being at the mercy of chance and probability. 

The sun dipped below the horizon. 

Michael’s heart dropped. 

Turning his lights on would draw attention to them. 

Highway 99 was slow going. 

A lot of the cars had been abandoned. Looming to the east and west was a silent darkness from which they would not escape until the sun kissed the sky once more. Susanna remained silent, eyes forward as she watched the darkness. 

Clara hummed softly. Reflex caused Michael to reach for the radio, but he stopped himself. If he wasn’t willing to turn on the lights, the radio would have to wait until they were out of town. Even though night had arrived, there was enough light to drive slowly through the thickening maze of the mechanical graveyard. 

Something bumped into the front of the car, but Michael kept the vehicle going. As they moved on, the whine of fingers on glass as a groaner reached out for the Subaru made Clara scream. Dead eyes and diseased flesh watched the little girl. Head titled and mouth agape, it gnashed angrily as it struggled to get past the window. 

Susanna was in the back seat like a slithering serpent, her feet kicking the rearview mirror as she hugged her daughter, surrounding her completely. Michael swerved a bit, giving the groaner a bump. 

It was enough. 

The highway was littered with the carcasses of machine and man alike. As they neared the next turn-off, the small family watched a staggering horde move just ahead, waiting for a moment as if expecting the stop light to suddenly come alive and grant them passage. 

The mass of groaners was not what made his heart drop. 

Heavy floodlights atop the overpass made Susanna squeak. Groaner-fearing folk would never be bold enough to flash about in the darkness; a point made all the more prominent by the sudden but inevitable gravity of attention from the groaners waiting for the turn signal. 

The floodlights disappeared for a moment and Michael allowed his quick pulse a reprieve; this, however, did not last. The roar of the diesel engine was accompanied by the bouncing will-o-wisps of electricity as they circled around the off-ramp going south. 

Michael turned on the lights to the Subaru and gunned it. The engine ratcheted up, squealing for a moment as the RPMs matched his urgency. The road no longer seemed calm. As the headlights danced over the asphalt mausoleum, heads rose with varying degrees of decay. 

Abandoning the slow crawl, Michael veered right, driving right toward the on-ramp and the disabled street lights. The mob of groaners had moved onto the overpass, chasing the floodlights. 

For a moment, Michael breathed easy. Maybe the truck hadn’t seen them. Maybe they weren’t Children. As he looked into the rearview mirror, he knew how this would end as he saw the heavy lights of the truck in pursuit.

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.

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I would love to hear your thoughts. :) HAPPY READING !!!!