Monday, July 30, 2007
Mercykill: Shattered Melody by Michael Barnette
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Barnette was nominated for a Spectrum Award in 2003 for his first published erotic short story Zoner which has now appeared internationally in both English, Italian and Japanese language editions. Zoner was featured in the Lambda Award Finalist anthology Wired Hard #3 from Circlet Press.
Once a resident of Coconut Grove and South Beach in Florida, Michael relocated to Georgia where there were fewer gunshots and yard to yard searches for suspects to disturb the writing muses. He has since moved on and now lives in a very small town in the Midwest.
2007 Spectrum Award Nominee-Mercykill: Shattered Melody
2007 Golden Rose Honorable Mentions
Mercykill: Shattered Melody-Suspense
2006 RoRR Best Novel Award winner-Apocalypse Dance
Phaze site: www.phaze.com/authors-mbarnette.htm
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Mercykill is on their way to fame as the newest visual kei (metal) band to hit the big time in Japan. But from the heights of fame to the depths of crushing sorrow takes but an instant. Can the band recover from senseless tragedy and salvage their lives from the ashes of despair?
This is a jrock suspense novel with paranormal twists and explicit m/m and m/m/m sexual content.
An electric melody rolled out across the crowd, the sound like liquid silver, bright-toned, sad, the stage still darkened.
Excitement rippled through the sea of fans, played on the stage of faces, lights flickered across them, revealing painted hair, leather clothes, lace, velvet, wild makeup.
The guitar’s lonely melody was abruptly joined by the bone-vibrating thrum of a bass, the sharp crack of drums and the lights came up on stage, bright as a lightning flash.
A roar from the audience drowned out the music for an instant, the sound making the concrete walls of the venue vibrate with the sound.
A crescendo of glittering notes, rose over the noise of the crowd, the opening melody of the band’s first song rising like sparks from a bonfire.
On stage the guitarist stepped forward, bathed in a pool of light, red and black streaked hair, red and white painted face, slim body encased in leather from neck to toes, only the dancing white of his fingers against the inky darkness of his the guitar visible.
Behind him his band mates were playing, the drummer in a floor length dress that was a confection of black taffeta, dove grey lace and pearls, blue hair elegantly styled, the makeup that turned good looks into incredible beauty was perfect.
To his right their bassist moved to the music in a pair of micro-shorts in black velvet, high heeled patent leather boots and a violet velvet crop top with long pointed sleeves that looked like vintage 1960s era clothing. A torrent of violet hair that reached almost to the bassist’s waist sparkled with motes of silver glitter. A bar of violet broke the perfect geisha-white of the bassist’s pretty face.
This was their first major appearance since they’d signed with indie label Poisoned Dragon Recording Company.
They just were the opening act for a well established band, but they didn’t care. They were playing to twenty thousand people, the biggest audience they’d ever had. And, even more thrilling, the whole thing was being recorded for later broadcast on a couple of pay per view stations, including Music Alive in the States.
It was their dream come true and Takeshi whose stage name was Kei felt his veins filled with the power of such an accomplishment. They played better than they’d ever played before, song after song leaving the listeners wanting more, the crowd’s roar a drug to the man who’d dared to dream of fame.
Fame. Right here in their grasp.
And they’d saved their number one hit for last.
As the roar of the crowd slowly died, anticipation of their next song silencing the fans, the guitarist saw movement at the corner of his vision. Backstage. A man and a woman. He didn’t know the man, and he couldn’t see the woman clearly with the lights in his eyes but if they were there then they must have permission.
While he couldn’t tell who they were, he could see they were arguing.
But that wasn’t any of his business at the moment. He had work to do. Work he loved. Wouldn’t have traded for anything in the entire world.
Music flowed from his hands in a glissando of notes that fell like brittle tears on the crowd. Slow. Sad.
He stepped forward to the microphone, the opening lyrics to their biggest selling single pouring from his lips, “Iku tokoro wa shiranai.
“Itta toko wa oshienai,”
Hana, the drummer echoed the words in chorus with Maki the bassist, their voices blending smoothly.
Over their heads the huge display showed falling rose petals, the English translation of the lyrics in bold lettering. The display provided for the English speaking audience that would later watch the broadcast.
I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t tell you where I’ve been.
A change in lighting resolved the woman into the familiar figure of their handler-- the manager for their band. She was standing there in her all her tatter-lace beauty, black mascara artfully streaking her cheeks. Sadness incarnate. Gothic Lolita, her makeup turning her face white as death.
But he still didn’t know who the man standing there with her might be.
It didn’t matter. They were no longer fighting and Kita was watching them with adoration in her wide eyes, hands pressed together in front of her breasts.
He could feel her love even with most of the width of the stage between them.
Their hard work had paid off. Hers. Theirs. Together.
Pride and love burned in his chest as his voice soared into the next verses.
“Namida ga ame no you ni ochite. Hi ga kimi no egao to kieta.”
Rose petals changing to falling rain on a sere and dead garden, the words streaming across the display as he sang them.
Tears fall like rain. And the sun is gone with your smile...
Singing the words to the first hit song they’d ever had, in front of such a huge crowd was more than Kei had ever believed possible. Yet, here they were despite all the fighting, the struggles, the hard work finally paying off.
Kei glanced sideways, trying to see Kita, wanting to make sure the man was leaving her alone. But they’d either moved away or the lights on stage kept him from seeing them. This wasn’t the time to be distracted. They had to be perfect. Nothing less was acceptable to Kei. He focused on the song, fingers sliding and fluttering across the guitar, creating music.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I started writing because both my mom and sister were doing it. LOL
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
Talking to readers and fans. I like to hear from my readers and find out what they liked about my stories and which characters are their favorites.
Dealing with contracts. There are so many things publishers can put in them that take different rights that going over them is like walking through a mine field.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I'm not married and have no family commitments so all I have to do is write and go to my day job. My friends all live in other states, so that leaves my day pretty open for writing.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
It varies from book to book. Sometimes I wake up with the characters in my head, sometimes it's the worldsetting. Occasionally it's both.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write anything but straight up contemporary. Almost everything I write has some paranormal elements. As I tell my readers if you think you're reading a contemporary story, just wait for the twist.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are the product of my imagination, though having known a wide variety of people does help make my characters more real.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
That's an easy one: Bells. He's the oldest character I have and the one I've written most about. He's also a favorite of readers and appears in three different series, Through Neon Eyes, Dragon Dance and GameNet.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
The feeling they've just watched a movie rather than that they've just read a book.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Never let a rejection letter stop you from writing. They aren't a rejection of you as a person, they're just an editor letting you know that the story or book you sent isn't right for them. Read them, learn from any comments made, and sent the story or book out to someone else. And never wait between replies from publishers to start your next project. Keep writing at all times.
What are you reading right now?
I mostly read fanfiction for amusement rather than books.
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
Myself. I'm comfortable with who I am, but a little more money to pay bills would be nice. LOL
5 Angels: Recommended Read
Michael Barnette wove a very beautiful story that held me spell bound from the first page. The descriptions of the members was so vivid that they leapt from the pages and came alive for me. I will be waiting to [read] the sequel Mercykill: Killers.
-- Teresa, Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Hearts: Mr. Barnette holds nothing back. He writes emotional love scenes between his characters, high action, and he manages to squeeze every emotion out of the reader. This reviewer bows to Mr. Barnette’s awesome talent and waits somewhat impatiently for the next story.
-- Valerie, Love Romances and More
Mercykill: Shattered Melody is also a 2007 Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee.
Mercykill: Shattered Melody by Michael Barnette
Rated: The Iron Maiden
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal
$6.99 from Mojocastle Press
Purchase Mercykill: Shattered Melody by Michael Barnette HERE!!