{Book Review/Interview} Wicked Blood: E.C. Hanson

Wicked Blood: E.C. Hanson

Reviewed By Steve Stred

Look, I know there’s a lot of fantastic publishers putting out a lot of fantastic releases every day. And there’s a lot of amazing authors releasing amazing books everyday.

It can get really daunting and almost overwhelming (and this is coming from somebody most people believe to be a sentient-robot-reading-machine!).

But – if I had to suggest a publisher to focus on – Demain Publishing would be absolutely one of the first that would come to mind. I say that with the smallest hint of what could be suggested as a conflict of interest. For fairness – I have had a novella released through them (The One That Knows No Fear) and appeared in a stunning anthology (A Silent Apocalypse: Stories of a Quiet Apocalypse).

But – I will argue that having read 99% of what they’ve put out, 99% of that 99% has been fantastic. Phew.

So, it was that when ‘Wicked Blood’ was announced, I had Gavin reach out for a digital ARC. I was excited for the story and excited to see what E.C. Hanson had created.

What I liked: ‘Wicked Blood’ is a brutal slab of fast-paced chaos. The story follows a sixteen-year-old and her two brothers in the days immediately following her parents killing each other during a fight. Hanson gives us hints leading up to these deaths that the family is poor and living in a rundown farm acreage, but otherwise, we’re plopped into the middle and things escalate quickly.

The three siblings have a strained relationship and Hanson does a great job of showing how different they are and how much Maeve, our MC, wants to get out, to leave and make something of herself.

Peppered throughout are townsfolk coming to the house, a “get-cash-quick” scheme and an action/ultra-violence sequence that works really well to showcase how far some of the siblings have gone over the deep end in a short period of time.

The ending was poignant and opened the door to a potential follow up, although the writing may be on the wall, depending on how you believe it played out.

What I didn’t like: I think I would’ve really loved this one 100% if I’d had a bit more on the ‘why’ of the brothers’ depravity and debauchery. They go dark and they go dark fast, but we don’t fully get a reasoning. We’re led to assume they were into some of the topics/interests prior to their parents passing, but we don’t get anything fundamental or concrete.

Why you should buy this: If you like backwoods brutality, think ‘Kin’ by Kealan Patrick Burke or even ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ by Rob Zombie, then this novella is right up your alley.

We get thrown everything at us, including hope and despair and Hanson does a great job of keeping the tension high, right up until the very end.

Wicked Blood

After the unexpected death of their parents, three teenagers must fend for themselves in a farmhouse.

Marina, the lone daughter of the Florin family, assumes the reins of the family.

But her brothers start to display weird habits and their penchant for violence gets out of control.

Will Marina be able to contain them or will she submit to their power in an attempt to prolong her young life?

You can buy Wicked Blood from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The Kendall Reviews Interview

E.C. Hanson

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Kendall Reviews: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

E.C. Hanson: I am a reading interventionist, adjunct professor, and wine store clerk. I write plays, screenplays, and horror fiction.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

ECH: I like to take my daughter for walks. Oddly enough, I like when we pass through the local cemetery.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

ECH: Animal Farm always left an impression on me.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

ECH: Music does play a role because I get lost in the process of listening and then ideas will form on the white page. XO by Elliott Smith ranks right up there.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director? 

ECH: I would have said “No.” But ever since I started teaching a horror-based writing course at my university, I realized how incredible Tobe Hooper actually was. The variety displayed in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist, and Salem’s Lot is nothing short of astonishing.

KR: What are you reading now?

ECH: Too many books at once!

KR: What was the last great book you read?

ECH: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

ECH: Paperback

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

ECH: Steinbeck, Plath, Hemingway, Orwell

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

ECH: I draft a one-sentence summary. If I can sum up the basic gist of the plot in a sentence, I will write it. If I cannot sum it up, I abandon the idea altogether.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

ECH: It depends. The main storyline in my debut collection, ALL THINGS DEADLY (Salem Stories), focused on a formal paranormal investigator. So, I reviewed some books I had on the subject and/or watched all of the paranormal-based shows. But I haven’t written anything yet that’s been reliant on heavy research.

KR: How would you describe your writing style?

ECH: Focused yet chaotic. If I get tiny pockets of time, I will hammer the keys for a few minutes and then stop. If I get a large chunk of time, I will pace myself and allow the work to come in an organic manner.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

ECH: Ever since my daughter entered the world a year ago, I do not have a usual day anymore. But if I got a free slot to myself, I would hit a coffee shop, cue up a playlist, and just start pounding the keys.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

ECH: Shockingly, yes. I wrote a story called FAST FRIENDS that includes a cryptid and a young girl. The lead character is named after my daughter. But beyond that, I think it is fun and dark and twisted. It is slated to be published in a future anthology by High Dive.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

ECH: Of course. But it has more to do with hearing perspectives from different people. Some people will like your work; some will hate it. I just like to see what and why something did not work for them. We all have to be respectful of a reader giving their time to your book because it’s a big commitment.

KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?

ECH: Well, I transitioned from playwriting/screenwriting since COVID started. I still have a lot to learn in regards to fiction, so I intend to study the form for years to come.

KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?

ECH: Do not be too precious with it. Many plays and works of fiction that I held in a high regard were never produced or published. They were dismissed upon arrival and forever lived on my computer. That doesn’t make them worthless. But it doesn’t get you anywhere loving your work to the point where you can’t see straight.

KR: What scares you?

ECH: SPIDERS of any size.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

ECH: It is called WICKED BLOOD. It is about how three teenagers become stranded at a farmhouse and how they crack under the pressure. I use COVID as a backdrop here, but it is mainly about the complexity of family bonds. Demain Publishing is releasing it on the 25th of March. They are such a great company!

KR: What are you working on now?

ECH: On getting a bigger space for my family! Haha. In terms of writing, I recently finished Book One in a YA series about witches. Other than that, I am just testing out ideas to see what one I want to try next. It will most likely be a novella about something provocative.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

ECH: Sutton Frost from my collection ALL THINGS DEADLY (Salem Stories). She has a lot of internal strength and I think her toughness would benefit a group of people deserted on an island.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

ECH: Zooey in Salinger’s FRANNY AND ZOOEY. It would be interesting to have him around because the level of intellectual conversation would reach an epic level.

c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.

ECH: Sal, one of my coworkers at the wine store, is one of the funniest people I have ever met. Since we never hang out, I would want him on the island because laughing is beyond important.

KR: Thank you Erik.

E.C. Hanson

E. C. Hanson earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU and was the recipient of an “Outstanding Writing For The Screen” certificate.

His work has been published by Smith & Kraus and Applause Books in 8 play anthologies. More than 35 of his plays have been developed and produced in the United States.

Curious Blue Press, Trembling With Fear, Ghost Orchid Press, Collective Tales, and The Parliament House have published his fiction. D&T Publishing released his first collection, ALL THINGS DEADLY (Salem Stories), in 2021. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

You can follow E.C. Hanson on Twitter @ECHanson21

Wicked Blood

After the unexpected death of their parents, three teenagers must fend for themselves in a farmhouse.

Marina, the lone daughter of the Florin family, assumes the reins of the family.

But her brothers start to display weird habits and their penchant for violence gets out of control.

Will Marina be able to contain them or will she submit to their power in an attempt to prolong her young life?

You can buy Wicked Blood from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Steve Stred

Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.

Website: stevestredauthor.wordpress.com
Twitter: @stevestred
Instagram: @stevestred
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16356875.Steve_Stred
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/steve-stred
Amazon: amazon.com/author/stevestred

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