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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Corey! Let’s dive into your debut novel BLOOD & DIRT!
JH: What’s the blurb for your book?
CN: Vincent depended on his boyfriend, James, to stand up for him—until a violent hate crime results in James’s murder. Weeks after his funeral, James reappears, perfectly healthy but changed in ways that neither of them can quite understand. Now, Vincent must uncover what truly happened on the night they were attacked. In the face of an apathetic police force and a growing number of missing gay men, Vincent and James work to identify the criminals who attacked them. With James scarred from what happened to him in the weeks between his death and rediscovery, Vincent must learn to stand up for himself and face his real monsters or lose James—and himself.
JH: What inspired you to write BLOOD & DIRT?
CN: The novel was heavily inspired by living in Pittsburgh in the wake of the 2016 election. Around that time, several queer people went missing in the area, and my boyfriend and I were threatened by some man who was enraged at our apparent queerness when we were out with friends. That incident with the political atmosphere in the city was the foundation that the book was built upon. I was able to develop Blood & Dirt in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction (M.F.A.) Program. While drafting, I studied the genre of popular fiction, particularly horror, from early myths and legends to modern novels. All of this helped shape the novel into what it is today.
JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?
CN: I think the escapism of writing has always been a major draw for me and something that makes it the favorite part of my morning routine. Setting aside all of my personal worries and concerns for an hour or so with a cup of coffee and getting lost in a project helps center me and better understand myself and this often hectic world.
JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?
CN: I have a few pots on the stove. I finished a horror poetry collection that is rooted in the psychological and historical research of cults that I’ve been shopping around for a publisher. The past year, I worked on a post-apocalyptic novella that is entering the final stages of editing. I’ve also started outlining my next novel, which is shaping up to be more of a thriller.
JH: How can readers contact you?
Corey Niles was born and raised in the Rust Belt, where he garnered his love of horror. When he isn’t advising college students, he enjoys binge-watching horror movies and traveling to hoard American history in his cheeks like a chipmunk. He hasn’t met a creepy, isolated hiking trail he hasn’t liked. After studying creative writing and gender and women’s studies as an undergraduate student, he went on to graduate from Seton Hill University with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. In his spare time, he nurses his caffeine addiction and tends to his graveyard of houseplants. He is also a single father of a very fluffy cat named Alexander, who quickly forgot about his humble beginnings.
JH: Thanks for visiting BBMF, Corey. BLOOD & DIRT sounds like an incredible read! I love fiction that is rooted in current events. I wish you the best with your works-in-progress, and I hope you’ll visit BBMF when that next book is ready.
All good things,
Heat rating: 2