Reading, Living and Reviewing

Blog Tour: Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys by Dan O'Brien


Welcome to the seventh day of the Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

Abraham Rogers has an unusual psychotherapy practice: monsters. This first installment is a session with Rhys, the IT vampire who can’t quite connect with the modern world the way he would like.


A few questions for the author:


Would you break the rules because of something/someone you care about?

Absolutely. The rules are created to enforce a perceived uniformity among citizens. If the balance were tipped, and the rules were restricting or punishing someone I cared about, the rules would lack the same importance they did before.


Have you ever abandoned a creative idea that you believed because others thought you were a fool?

Never. I have abandoned projects to development hell because I was working on something else, or needed to meet a deadline. The most important thing in terms of writing for me is telling the story I want to tell. I cannot worry about public perception of a work in progress.  


What would you prefer: stable but boring works or interesting works with lots of workload?

How about a little bit of both? I like stable work, as it pays the bills, but I also like working on a project that really challenges me. There is something of valuable in both of them. 


Are you afraid of making mistakes even though there’s no punishments at all?

I like to produce the best possible work and have on more than one occasion chastised myself for missing something here or there. It depends on whether I am working on my books or if I am helping someone else with a project.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


“It sounds like whatever happened on the tram was sufficient to affect you deeply.”

Rhys shifted in his seat, fidgeting as he continued. “As I was saying. I was listening to an audio book when this woman approached me. I knew almost immediately she was not playing with a full set, but I engaged regardless. It is, as you say, important for me to get out there.”

“I am proud of you, Rhys. That was very brave to talk to a strange person, a woman no less. That is great progress…”

Rhys interrupted. “Your pride is of little concern to me. If you are quite done, I would like to continue.”

Abe nodded, gesturing with his hand.

“This woman asked if I lived around here and continued with all the normal pedantic drivel that you Americans dabble in. I have never understood the lengths to which you go to greet and say goodbye to someone. It is quite tiresome.”

Abe raised his pen to speak, but Rhys continued, unfettered. “When she had completed her verbal dance, she asked if I would like to head back to her place for the afternoon. Needless to say, her forwardness was shocking, not refreshing. As I felt the throes of disinclination creeping up, it was as if you were sitting next to me, whispering in my ear.”

Abe leaned forward. “To be clear, Rhys, I did not tell you to go out and sleep with strange women. I had hoped you would engage them in healthy and meaningful dialogue.”

Rhys waved dismissively. “Perhaps that was your intention, but that was not its application. Whether you wished me to engage in harmless banter or not, I found that the quickness with which I say no might be influencing positive outcomes in my life.”

“I have to interrupt for a moment here. I do not recall discussing the importance of saying yes to new experiences. What book were you listening to on the tram?”

“I do not see how that is relevant….”

Abe narrowed his gaze and smirked. “Was this another self-help book, Rhys? We had talked about the importance of introspection and journaling, not the blatant use of positive nonsense.”

Rhys scoffed. “It was not as if I was reading one of those books. It was an autobiography of a great man. I did not sleep with this woman. The whole ordeal was rather stressful.”

“Please continue.”

“I had left quite early for work because I love riding the train through the city. It provides a welcome distraction from the depressing four walls I call home. This woman asked if I was in the lifestyle. It seems that everyone is part of some kind of diversion from real life in this day and age. Not certain of what she meant, I decided to go back to her apartment. I could not have guessed what she had in mind.”

Abe chuckled and immediately wished he had not. There was something oddly amusing about a man who had been alive for many centuries experiencing something new. It was a testament to the myriad carnival that was life. 

“Pardon my interruption, Rhys. Please continue.”

“I found that I had no answer to her question, so I nodded politely. She seemed excited by response, reticent as it was. We departed the train at the next stop in a neighborhood with which I was unfamiliar. As I entered her building I was struck by sense of foreboding. Had I human faculties, I imagine I would have had a panic attack. Alas, all I was capable of was a tremendous feeling of dread.” 

“Why not leave immediately?”

Rhys waved a hand. “Were I to run at the first sign of panic, I would never leave the dark confines of my home. No, I needed to see where this led.”

“And where did it lead?”

“We ascended the few flights of stairs to a musty hallway rife with discarded boxes and chipped wallpaper. She turned back to me just as we approached her door. There was this wry, mischievous smile on her face.”




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.




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