Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Tour and Interview: WRAGE by Joseph Spencer #GoddessFish

Welcome to the Book Tour for WRAGE a high-voltage, supernatural thriller, by Joseph Spencer. There's an exciting excerpt coming up, but first I want to ask the author a few questions. And don't forget to leave a question or comment of your own. Joseph will be awarding a $25 Starbucks gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Hi Joseph. Welcome to the Wild Side. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Glad to be here! I graduated summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a Mass Communications degree. I worked for ten years as a print journalist for regional daily newspapers before switching careers to work in public safety at a 9-1-1 emergency call center.  I find my new job challenging, but I missed writing and storytelling. I’ve only been writing fiction the past three years.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I like to read, watch movies, travel and cook. Right now, I’m reading James Rollins’ Sigma Series. I enjoy many crime and thriller genre novels including Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter books, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books and Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar novels. My wife and I recently watched the new Matt Damon move Elysium and I would recommend it for the social commentary.

Do you have a day job as well?

I work as a manager in a 9-1-1 emergency communications center in central Illinois. We handle all of the emergency and non-emergency calls for one of the largest cities in the state and the entire county, answering between 300-400 9-1-1 calls per day. It gives me a little insight to the sorts of crimes happening around me and the personalities of officers with whom I work, and I use that when I write.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I wrote professionally as a sports journalist for newspapers in Peoria, Ill., Burlington, Iowa, Martinsville, Va., and Grand Junction, Colo. I’d actually trained for a career on TV or radio at SIU, but I found I like writing better. I switched careers to public safety almost five years ago because the newspaper industry is failing, and that’s when I first started writing fiction. My debut book Grim came out in September 2012.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I work with police officers every day at the emergency 9-1-1 communications center, so I try to infuse my writing with some of the personalities I hear on the radio. I’ve also had an affinity for crime fighters/vigilantes such as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Jack Reacher and Dexter Morgan, so I’m writing material close to what most entertains me as a reader.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I have a rough outline of what I want to accomplish in each scene and chapter, but I loosen up on the organization as I am writing. I like to let my characters dictate what goes on, and sometimes they take me to places I didn’t necessarily have in mind when I was doing my planning. I think some structure is important, but I don’t have as much fun with the writing if it’s too rigid.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

The Count of Monte Cristo influenced me when I read it as an English class assignment in school because it was the first book that introduced me to an antihero. I thought it was an interesting concept as a reader to be supporting a character doing socially unacceptable things in the name of vengeance, even though most readers could justify his actions based on what happened to him.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

The center I work at is understaffed, so I was writing despite working 50 to 60 hours per week. I had to set my goals small enough to be attainable on a daily basis so I wouldn’t give up. I wrote 3 pages per day. I had a lot of rejection from agents and publishing houses. I don’t think most people realize that a lot of writers don’t have agents. The big names do, but when you are starting out it’s hard to get agents excited about your work. You’ve got to be your own biggest fan because if you don’t believe in yourself nobody will.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Wrage is the second book in my Sons of Darkness Series of occult thrillers which center around murder investigations in the corrupt town of Prairieville. Malice will be the title of my third book in the series. It will feature a notorious rocker named Malice Madsen, who is loosely based on Marilyn Manson. He suffered a personal tragedy in Wrage, and Malice will explore his reaction to that loss.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

There are parts of me or people I’ve known in every character. Most of the storyline and the crazy things going on are imagination, but the characters and their quirks are real. I think it’s best to write what you know, so if you’ve got a good idea of how the person you know in real life would act in that situation then you can easily translate that to the character you are basing off that real-life acquaintance. 

Joseph Spencer

Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.

As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for souls pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.

Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Orlando Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family's stronghold in Prairieville’s organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus' heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man.

The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to terms with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero's name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.

Excerpt 2

Thunderclaps from high above jolted Jeff out of his slumber.

Something hard and cold with jagged edges pressed into his back.

When he tried to move, iron shackles strained against the skin of his arms and legs.

Chained to a rock in a dry stream bed, he knew he’d become a helpless prisoner who could do nothing more than wait for his captor. Stormy skies threatened from directly above him with bright flares of lightning snaking among sooty clouds and disappearing. Out of the corner of his eye, he could detect that the sun was shining brightly on the other side of the rock.

Scant rays of brilliant sunshine peeked over the rock, reflecting bright light off a magnificent golden shrine on a bank not far from where he was chained.

This can’t be real. He’d never seen a place like this in his life.

Large wet drops crashed against his skin. The coolness of the rain streaking down his body caused steam to rise from his skin, which he noticed had turned a dark shade of crimson.

The only being this red was….

“Lucifer,” a calm voice echoed from above Jeff on the shoreline.

A giant, dressed in white armor sparkling like diamonds in the spare sunlight, stepped into view. He wielded a golden-hilted silver sword in one hand and a silver shield with the Latin inscription “Quis ut Deus” (I am like God) on the front in the other hand. He loomed above Jeff. A large gold cross ran down the center of the giant’s breastplate. A second inlaid golden cross glinted at the center of his white helmet. The helmet obscured his face, save for flawless ivory skin which radiated a blinding light. There was something across his back casting a large shadow, but Jeff couldn’t see what it was.

“You were thinking of Lucifer, whose skin is often portrayed as red,” the giant said. The ivory giant stepped into full view. From his back a pair of massive wings spanned over ten feet wide and five feet long majestically fluttering in the breeze, yet didn’t cast a shadow. The rain pelting Jeff in the eyes didn’t touch this giant. He certainly was no man. The only thing Jeff could compare it to would be—

 “An angel,” the giant completed Jeff’s sentence again. “You are correct.”


As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.

Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.

Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013.  The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”

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Book Video Links:  (Grim trailer)  (Wrage trailer)



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