Welcome to the 3rd annual zOctober event hosted here on My Book Addiction! I’m super thrilled to have so many fabulous authors on the blog, as well as so many incredible fans stopping by to see what’s new in the zombie world. Thank you to everyone for being here!! Let’s welcome our next author….
by M.R. Pritchard
Publication date: August 15th 2014
by Pritchard Publishing
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Zombies
Meg Clark has turned out to be everything her father and the people of her little North Country town of Gouverneur, NY, have been saying her whole life: nothin’ but a piece of white trash. In an effort to hide her past and turn herself around, she spent her inheritance from her dead mother on the perfect little house with a white picket fence. Then something terrible happened and Meg got sent to county lockup so her fiancé, Jim, wouldn’t have to. And then everyone started waking up…dead.
Good thing escaping from County wasn’t hard. Jim told her exactly how to get free. Now Meg is running and the walking dead are following. In a last ditch effort to find weapons to protect herself, Meg finds Sparrow instead. A tall, strange man with a quirk, Sparrow has an obsession with feathers and the only goal that’s on his mind is finding an old barn on Route 37 with a snowy owl in its rafters.
Meg’s headed to Kingston, where she and Jim agreed to meet if they ever got separated. But sometimes, crossing the border brings more than just freedom and protection and safety. Sometimes it brings questions that someone like Meg would prefer not to answer. And everyone keeps asking questions, including Sparrow. He thinks she’s hiding something and he’s not impressed by her stories of the sins she’s been committing all her life. While Sparrow’s the one who’s a bit cracked in the head, it never occurs to Meg that she could be the one who’s not remembering something. Like what really happened that day she killed those seven men.
~Guest Post/Character Interview~
Today I finally get to interview someone. Someone who might have a clue as to what is going on here. Not that I have a computer or a printing press or anyway to get out to the rest of the world, but at least I’ll get some answers for myself.
A guard unlocks my cell and I follow him through the prison, and outside. They bring me to a collection of three chairs and I wait, sitting on a folding chair in the middle of a gravel parking lot. There’s a row of guards behind me, on the lookout for trouble.
Two figures are walking down the road leading to the parking lot, a tall man in a trench coat and a slender woman in tight jeans and a tank top. It’s Meg and Sparrow. The two of them are legend around here. I’ve heard a few things from the other survivors here, eventually asked the Deacons to find them for me. Surprisingly enough they came.
They walk closer. Sparrow, a rather large and intimidating guy, glances at Meg before sliding his hand into his pocket. Both pockets of his jeans are puffed out, packed with something. The pockets of his coat too. They sit in front of me, all business, Meg looking like she’d rather be elsewhere.
“Thanks for meeting with me,” I say.
Meg nods. Sparrow is looking off in the distance. I turn slightly and follow his gaze to see a cluster of vultures circling in the distance.
A cold shiver runs down my spine. I turn to face my guests and start with my first question. “It wasn’t very long ago that you woke up in a jail cell. Care to explain how you got there?”
“No. Told enough people that. Go ask one of them.” Meg slouches in her chair. “What’s the next question?”
She’s tough. They warned me she would be though. I continue. “Escaping from prison is quite a feat. How did you get out?”
“It was just County. Tiny jail in a tiny town.” Meg looks away, appearing bored with the question. “Found a spoon on the floor. It was about an arms reach past my cell door. My locked cell door. I was the last one. Trapped in there alone. When those walking sacks of flesh were distracted I grabbed the spoon, chipped away at the cinderblocks.”
Sparrow purses his lips and tips his head up and down in approval.
“What did you do once you broke through the wall?” I ask.
Meg settles a hand on her stomach. “I used to date this guy, Jim.” She makes a scoffing sound and rolls her eyes. “What a jerk that guy turned out to be. His dad was Sherriff, told me that there was an old sewer cap in the basement. It led straight to town.” Meg leans forward, elbows on her knees. “Broke through the wall, made my way through the space between. Took some balance leaping from pipe to pipe and dropping into the basement but I managed without breaking anything.”
“A sewer cap in the basement of a jail? That doesn’t sound like smart planning.”
She shrugs. “Little town in upstate New York, we didn’t need a high security place. Mostly just drunks, small time drug dealers, kids that needed a night of having the crap scared out of ‘em. Anything worse than that got shipped them down to Auburn or Albany.”
“Sounds like you know a lot about the prison system around here.”
“Stayed a few nights there as a kid.” She shrugs. “Me and Noah got in plenty of trouble growing up. I spent more than one night in County. Not that it did much good.”
Sparrow reaches out and touches Meg on her leg, a comforting gesture that makes me think there’s more to the story.
“Who’s Noah?” I ask.
“A friend. He’s gone now.” She sighs.
Between the dark circles under her eyes, dirt stained clothing, and the low grumbling sound emits from her stomach, I think she’s near exhaustion.
“Next question,” Meg orders.
“Okay. So what did you do once you got to the sewer cap in the basement?”
“Crawled in, down the ladder, then I ran as fast as I could. Don’t know if I would have done it if I hadn’t found the flashlight down there. It was pitch black. Ran until I found the next ladder, then I climbed out. First time I’d seen sunlight in weeks.”
“What did you do once you made it above ground again?” I ask.
“I ran for my life. For my house. Got what I could find to help. Change of clothes, new shoes, a backpack. There wasn’t much food left. Everything had gone stale or the rodents had eaten it. I got my shit then got the hell out of there.”
“Where did you go?”
“Looking for answers. After I woke up in that jail cell, the world was a totally different place.” Meg pauses, glances at Sparrow and then back at me. “I’m sure you’ve noticed. It’s darker now. A sepia-haze cloak. There are new rules to life.” She motions to the Safe House behind me. “How long have you been here for?”
“About a week,” I reply.
“And how did you find it?” Meg asks.
“There was a flyer at a bus stop.”
Meg leans forward, her electric blue eyes narrowing. “Did you do this before? Interview people for a living?”
She doesn’t seem the least bit impressed. “I was a journalist. It was at a small newspaper in town not far from Lake Ontario.”
Meg smiles, there’s something dark hidden there. “You’re in for a surprise when you figure it all out.”
She stands. Sparrow does too.
“Wait… I have a lot more questions.” I stumble to my feet; afraid they’re leaving already.
“We don’t have that much time.” Meg glances to the row of guards behind me.
Everything I planned to ask is suddenly nothing more than a fleeting memory. Except one. “Just one more. Please.” Thumbing towards the Safe House, I ask, “Why couldn’t we do this interview in there? It would have been safer behind the fences. The things that are out here roaming around… it’s dangerous.”
Meg smiles, points at Sparrow. “His kind isn’t allowed in there.”
A beat passes and I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. The Safe Houses say they’ll take anyone. I decide I’ll think on it for a while, maybe ask the Deacons later.
“You promised there’d be food,” Sparrow finally says and his voice is deep and pleasant-sounding. I could listen to him talk all day. “A promise is a promise, Meg.”
“We’ll get food somewhere else,” Meg says as she takes a few steps away. “Not here.” Her eyes flick to the stone prison behind me. “Definitely not here.”
“Well, thank you for agreeing to an interview.” I offer my hand to shake.
Meg looks down at it. “I don’t touch people.” She turns and walks away.
Sparrow’s standing there still, a strange grin on his face. The man is giant, has to be close to six and a half feet tall. He takes my hand and shakes it vigorously. “This place is not what you think,” he says. There is a gleam from the metal blade peeking out from where it’s secured at his hip. “Say your prayers. Find your faith. The Deacons might help you save your soul.” He turns to leave, whistling a strange, low melody. And as I’m contemplating his words, I look down and find a small black feather in my hand.
Thank you for participating in zOctober, Meredith! It’s always fun to have fresh meat to feed the readers. 😉 Happy zOctober to you! I hope to see you back again for future events! ~ Toni
~Praise for Sparrow Man~
“Tantalizingly suspenseful, sending delicious shivers down the readers’ spine! Not only are you engrossed in the story, but you really love both Meg and Sparrow Man. Meg isn’t simply an empty vehicle of a main character, a host for the reader’s experiences and reactions to everything going on in the book. She is her own person, clearly defined, and we respect her strong will and her grit.”
-Jessica Crawford, The Sentient
A 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contestant
“I was hooked from the get-go…” – ABNA Expert Reviewer
~About the Author~
M.R. Pritchard is a lifelong inhabitant of upstate NY. She lives near the shores of Lake Ontario where she spends her days reading and writing and watching the snow fall. When she is not writing she is a NICU Nurse, wife, mother, gardener, aquarist, book hoarder and science geek. M.R. Pritchard holds degrees in Biochemistry and Nursing. She likes books, coffee, and rum.
To receive updates on new releases sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/TXnkL
Visit her website MRPritchard.com or her blog http://secretlifeofatownie.blogspot.com/ where she writes about all things books. During the month of October her “Secret Life of a Townie” blog will be featuring author interviews each day for Authtoberfest, including Peter Heller (THE DOG STARS), Isaac Marion (WARM BODIES), Josh Malerman (BIRD BOX) and many more!
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