Would you give someone your own beating heart so that they may live? That is the question Doctor Paul Vieyra will have to ask himself as his world comes crashing down around him, and the ghosts of those who died on his operating table haunt his mind.
When Dr. Vieyra sister’s heart begins to fail and her life fade away, a new heart or surgery are her only chances for survival—a chance no other doctor is willing to take. Dr. Vieyra will risk everything he has and more for his sister. He will need to help of both old and new friends along with his mental ghosts if he is going to overcome the incredible obstacles that stand in his way. The clock is ticking. Will he be able to save his sister’s dead heart? What all is he willing to risk?
Praise for R.L.King and Dead Heart:
“…a well thought out horror story with strong and interesting characters…it kept me sitting at the edge of my seat.” ~ Susan, My Cozie Corner
“Engrossing tale! A true horror story…Another “King” of the twisted and scary.” ~ Beverly, The Wormhole
About the Author:
R.L.King was born in Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1978. King grew up in a poor mountain town. He and his family lived in an old school bus and shared an outhouse. They did not have a television until Reagan was re-elected.
King is the author of Two Bad Men (2005), Parallel You (2006), and Dead Heart (2007). These novels were created at the request of his friend who needed something good to read. King also published two short stories in 2010, for publishing credentials: The Tell-Tale Soul and The Water-Grave Redemption.
R.L.King currently resides in Oklahoma City, and works in the precious metals industry. He continues to write as late as he can most nights.
Connect with R.L.King:
Where to buy Dead Heart:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-heart-rl-king/1112741535
Excerpt from Dead Heart
AFTER HIS SHIFT, LIKE CLOCKWORK, Paul coasted along the old county highway, making his way to his sister’s ranch, as he did everyday without fail. The radio DJ ruined the end of a great classic song, with a young voice that sounded like the kid might have actually been conceived when that very song he had just played was new and topping the charts. He did pro¬claim his radio station to be the best, and the best radio station was proud to announce that Eric Clapton was coming to town. Some lucky winner was going to win two front-row tickets be¬fore the five o’clock rush hour traffic jams. Then a commercial with testimonials about how well Gold-Bond medicated pow¬der worked for them came on, and Paul switched off the radio.
“You should probably catch that,” a ghost said from the back seat. “I haven’t seen E.C. in years.”
“You call Eric Clapton E.C.?” a woman’s voice asked.
“I sure do,” the first voice said with pride. “I have never heard an E.C. song I didn’t like.”
“I think we just might go see that old man pick his guitar,” Paul told his ghosts. “Susan would get a kick out of seeing a show like that.”
“The exit is coming up on your right; you can make it in the other lane if you hurry,” the third ghost instructed as if he were an award winning back-seat driver. “The faster you get over, the sooner we get to see Rhea.”
“I know where the turn is. Rhea is my sister, not yours,” Paul said, annoyed at the third voice, but he made the lane change by cutting off a silver minivan. Ever since the appari¬tions appeared, all he had heard from his three mental ghosts was how great his sister was, like paranormal OCD. “Keep it down back there.”
“Or else what?” the defiant third ghost replied. “You can’t do anything to us that you have already done. Just get me to Rhea’s or I will make it worse. Turn here.”
Paul did not have a reply to his empty threats, but thank¬fully, the three of them rode in silence. He exited the smooth county road and turned onto an old two-lane road riddled with potholes and cracks. There were no white lines marking the sides of the old road, only short weeds struggling to grow between the ditch and the pavement. A faded yellow dash at¬tempted to center the lanes, but it veered and disappeared at random, making it unreliable. As he traveled down the small stretch of road to the farm, large sunflower plants leaned over the fence and bobbed in the gentle breeze on the other side of the barbed wire fence, as if nodding their daily how-do-you-do’s to a familiar face.
INTERVIEW WITH R.L. KING
1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Well, during the day, I manage a small brokerage office. I am a former pugilist, decent surfer, authentic Mexican chef, and an ordained minister. I do have one super power; I can pick lottery numbers that are guaranteed not to be winners.
2. Describe yourself in three words.
Constant Day Dreamer
3. What five things do you never leave home without?
Phone, Keys, Wallet, Pocket Knife, and underwear, in no particular order, but that last one is pretty important.
4. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to read, I almost always have a book on me. I also like to hunt, fish, watch football, and grill outdoors. I also like to play golf, but I don’t watch it on TV.
5. Who/What inspired you to start writing?
My best friend asked me to write a short story and mail it to him. I agreed thinking that I would get a couple of sentences that started out with “It was a dark and stormy night”, and quit. If I had, he probably would have forgotten about it, and I would not have mentioned it. But that’s not how it happened. I sat down and the words flew onto the blank page and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was a writer.
6. What has been the most rewarding experience on the road to being published?
Reading the comments from the fans. I promised myself that I would be a writer the fans could talk to. That’s why I came to 48fourteen Publishing. I am still living up to that promise, and I can’t wait to read what the fans think about this scavenger hunt.
7. What is the best advice you’ve been given as an author?
I have a small group of people I call my “First Readers”. These are the people I have chosen to torture with raw unedited first drafts in order to get their honest feedback. I have a friend who read my very first works and he told me that if I could write a horror story without any sex, drugs, or foul language, then I would know if I had enough talent to make it in the book business. He was right, and I have made him proud.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up. This is much easier said than done. There will be at least one point in your life where you ask yourself if you should keep writing or just give up. I had several, but I did not want to end up an unpublished writer kicking around old manuscripts twice a year. Never give up.
9. Who are your favorite authors to read?
Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe are my personal favorites. I have a favorite new author; it is 48fourteen’s own Elizabeth Guizzetti. As for my bookshelf, it is full of James Clavell, Stephen Hunter, Tom Clancy, and Michael Crichton.
10. The premise for Dead Heart is very interesting. How did you come up with it?
I have a bucket list on my computer where I put all my potential story ideas. There were two separate story notes, one was about a serial killer haunted by the ghosts of people he killed and the other was one sentence, “What I would do if I were a heart doctor and my sister needed my heart.” I stared at them both and wondered if I could put them together somehow. That’s how this all began for me.
11. Describe Dead Heart in one sentence.
It is a love story where a brother goes through extremes to save his sister.
12. What type of research did you have to do for Dead Heart?
I had to do a ton of research. I bought several medical textbooks, including two that were specifically about heart transplants. I almost broke my online search engine.
13. Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Yes, there are many. Most are side characters, but I use real people that I know so that I can describe them easily, and best of all, I know them well enough to predict what they would do under different circumstances. I can say that it is difficult to tell someone you know that you based a character on them and then killed them off half way through.
14. Who is your favorite character, and why?
I would say the ghost of the little girl, Haley Mathers. She was not planned when I started the book, and she has become a very welcomed blessing. Since she was a surprise, she had total freedom from me, and she showed me what she could do, and I am glad she did. Haley is a very special little girl, and I am not sure we have seen the last of her.
15. Tell us a bit more about the movie deal for Dead Heart.
I have just found out this week that the movie deal with the local film company will be too expensive for them at this time. I have not given up hope, instead I am setting my sights on bigger film companies and I promise to keep all our readers informed. After this scavenger hunt, I will post this info on the social media links.
16. Are you working on any special projects at the moment?
Yes, I have a short story in progress, and then I am beginning another novel. If you set your homepage to 48fourteen, then you will always be informed first.
Thank you Denise for interviewing me! I hope to do it again soon.