Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SUSAN: BLOG TOUR, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY "After Midnight" by Santino Hassell

It All Started With a Song...
When I first started kicking around ideas for my first solo endeavor, After Midnight, I knew I wanted it to be something fun but gritty, intense but accessible. I wanted to write something fresh, but I was still in the throes of being totally in love with the world I'd created with my co-writer (of In the Company of Shadows). The solution?
To write a spin-off that could stand entirely on its own and take place in the same setting, but not be part of the series.
However, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go in. I was floating aimlessly in a sea of ideas until one summer morning during my commute to downtown Manhattan. I had on my enormous black and red Beats, sitting on the express bus and staring out the window when the song "I'm Mad" by The Dead Weather came on.
The song is moody with a blues rock style, and most of it is a variation of the words "I'm mad", punctuated by a slightly mocking bark of laughter.
While listening to this song, Gordon came to me. I saw him very clearly: grungy and a little punked out—someone that should be sitting in a bar in Williamsburg with a Guinness while he glares at the microbrewed hipsters—but instead was being chased down a dark alley by a hulking figure that was enjoying the chase. And just like that, Gordon came alive in my mind.
The evolution of Adam came over time, and bits and pieces of everything inspired me. An ex-boyfriend who was Type A and offensively blunt, an image of a pale man with dark hair and darker eyes, and of course a slew of songs and lyrics. "15 Steps" by Radiohead is one of my favorite "Adam" songs, although that and music by Jem and Goldfrapp populate my brain when I think of them together.
The first version of After Midnight had a soundtrack for each chapter written in the notes. While I ditched that in this re-written edition, it doesn't change that music played an enormous role in the writing process of this book. I used to keep a list of songs what inspired me while writing, but I've upgraded from pen-and-paper and started making soundtrack lists on Grooveshock for my projects. If you're interested, you should totally check it out.
Just like my corny Hot Topic tote bag says: Music = Life.
The soundtrack for After Midnight can be found here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/After+Midnight/88267690


Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it's his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn't quite the same. 

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead. 

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.

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