I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time
Please welcome Merry Freer author of Special Levels of Earthly Hell.
Special Levels of Earthly Hell
by Merry Freer
GENRE: Horror, Supernatural
Years ago I experienced a series of events over a period of about three years that seemed quite improbable to the average person. I kept the “story” to myself for many years, though my sister and my best friend encouraged me to offer up the details to the general public. One day I made a bucket list decision to tell the story for posterity, and it grew into a true crime novel, “Doctor, Doctor,” that I decided to publish, crossing my fingers that the general public would believe the events were not only plausible, but true. It shot out of the publishing gate and won awards within the first three months and I was hooked – I wanted to write more. I only needed to find a story and “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” was unfolding in front of me. All it needed was someone to document it.
I have a ridiculous memory. It is both associative and linear and many things I remember have little importance – they just stick. For example, I might remember something a person said on a certain date, what they were wearing, what the circumstances of the conversation were and who else was present. I keep quiet about it most of the time, as some find it annoying. It does come in quite handy when I’m writing about events that have actually happened. My first book was a true crime memoir and I feel confident in stating it is 99% correct. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” was inspired by actual events. Except for the experiences of my own character, I had to rely on the memories of others.
Up to now I have only written stories that are factual or based on/inspired by fact. I like to write about characters that I know, so I may try my hand at taking true stories from friends and family and twisting and turning them into even more interesting tales. I may even try my hand at time travel.
I would choose Selena Gomez to play Adriana and Liam Hemsworth would be perfect to play Drew.
I have a critique partner and about six beta readers. All of them help me immensely. My critique partner is a published author. She not only helps me with content, but helps with proofreading as well. She looks at my work with the eye of both an author and a reader. She frequently can tell me why something isn’t working and give suggestions on how to fix it. My beta readers primarily read for content. They let me know if there are parts they don’t understand, problems with point of view, likeability of characters and other flaws readers might find bothersome. When my beta readers pick up grammatical and spelling errors and typos, it’s a bonus!
The best advice I ever received was to make my characters likeable, which wasn’t as easy as that sounds given the subject matter of my books, especially “Special Levels of Earthly Hell.” I had to dig pretty deep to help the reader find sympathy for some of them and still keep the story on point. The worst advice I ever received was from a beta reader who insisted that I tag every piece of dialogue. There are times that dialogue tags get in the way of terrific conversations that are clogged up with all the “he said” “she said” interruptions.
For the most part I just start writing (it’s called being a ‘pantser’ – as in writing by the seat of one’s pants). Because my books are factual or based in fact they have a natural outline that I follow. I know fellow authors who swear by outlining, but I think it’s a personal preference.
I love “The Seven Minutes” by Irving Wallace (actually, any book by Irving Wallace). Released in 1969, it was billed as “steamy” but at more than 700 pages it was filled with fascinating trivia. I use Wallace as a reminder that most readers crave more than the superficial. They want to know why and how things happen, what motivates a character, and interesting specifics about the scene that is unfolding.
“Special Levels of Earthly Hell” has a shower of black moments. The one that stands out to me is the scene in which Drew calls for The Beast to come out and face off with him. It is both sad and frightening. All of the hours he spent learning to fight The Beast through the use of love were tested in this one action where he struggled with turning away from hate.
“Survivor” – without a doubt. This is a show that brings out the best and the worst in people under extraordinary circumstances. That duality in human nature is the underlying plot of so many stories – certainly in mine.
Ah…..YES! There are so many incredible, sometimes unbelievable, stories that people have endured. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” is certainly one of them. I would encourage readers to keep an open mind. If I had wanted to write fiction, the story I told would have gone in a far different direction. Trite but true – truth is many times stranger than fiction. As an author, if one veers too far from the truth it can change the genre of the story. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” is, indeed, inspired by real events – and the more frightening, gruesome or gut-wrenching of these events are those that are filled with the most truth.
Drew Collins experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an evil energy he calls “The Beast” repeatedly enters his bedroom at night and takes possession of his wife’s body.
What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.
Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has invaded his wife’s family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his belief that the world is a rational place and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.
Author’s Note to the Reader: Sadly, the most frightening and brutal events in this book are factual. The story is loosely based on one family’s experience with multiple tragedies, some of them “ripped from the headlines.” It is also an excruciatingly factual account of one man’s experience with a loved one who is possessed by a demonic presence. However, it transcends genre and is as much a tale of romance, of cultural barriers, of abuse, and of family drama, as it is of demonic possession.The link between the introduction of an evil spirit and the heartbreaking misfortunes that are visited on the family is left for the reader to decide.
It was 3:00am, though Drew didn’t notice the time. He was startled into a state of complete consciousness by a feeling of intense dread and fear. Had he been sleeping? Had the feeling returned because he let go – drifted off and let down his guard? Terror ripped through him when he sensed a malevolent force above him. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Even in the pitch darkness of the room, he could see that a dark silhouette straddled him, standing upright, and as he recognized the form, he knew, with a lightning fast certainty he didn’t yet understand, that it only appeared to be his Adriana, her body inhabited by the evil force, her spirit squeezed from her helpless body and now possessed by whatever energy had terrorized them. He brought his eyes to meet those of the adversary that stood above him, silently begging to find recognition, but its black, dead eyes rolled back in their sockets and he realized instantly, as though by telepathy, that it intended to attack him…to fall on him! The form became completely rigid, falling straight forward like a stone slab toward his prone body, with no regard to how it might land. He let out a scream of primal fear that came from the depths of his being. Some kind of demonic beast was hurtling toward him and, throwing up his arms and hands to protect himself from its fall, he instinctively pushed at the foreign creature and threw it from his body, his hands burning with the contact. The creature’s head took the force of the fall, cracking into the heavy nightstand beside the bed.
Sitting up in the bed, shaking, perspiration dripping from his pores, he reached for the lamp on the nightstand and reluctantly turned the switch, terrified of what he might find, knowing he had no choice.
On the floor beside the table lay Adriana, his wife, in a fetal position, holding the back of her head, crying and confused. Drew climbed from the bed, taking her in his arms.
“What happened to me?” she whimpered, still rubbing the growing bump on her head.
“You don’t remember anything?” Drew whispered, carrying her limp body back to the bed.
“I think I hurt my head,” she said.
“You climbed over me to turn on the light and you fell,” Drew lied.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell: The Story of One Family’s Chilling Struggle with Demonic Possession” was inspired by actual events that were experienced by her nuclear and extended families, tearing relationships apart and making national news headlines. This book comes on the heels of her first book, a memoir named “Doctor, Doctor.” While “Doctor, Doctor” is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.
Her controversial memoir, “Doctor, Doctor,” topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a “Best Books of 2014” award from “Suspense Magazine.”
Visit her Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/mfreerauthor
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Merry will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.