Today we welcome Michael J. Infinito, Jr.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: I run heavy machinery and oversee a pipe crew. We install city water, sewer and drainage. I’ve worked construction for over twenty years.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: I first wrote In Blog We Trust, a tale about what might happen if a person sold their soul for a price, via internet. It has been re-released as A Wish To Die For. Then I moved on to 12:19. A good vs. evil horror story. I recently asked for my rights back and am currently in the process of putting it out again. Then there is XXXTreme Discretion, a wild, often disturbing abduction tale. The Hanging Tree is a twisty story of racial divide between two American families post-civil war to current day. Of course, there’s a little paranormal thrown in there as well. My latest, The Colby Ghost, is more of a love story than anything else. I’m not sure ghost was the right word in the title. Oh yeah, I also have a Halloween novel imagining the origin of the holiday from my perspective. All of my work would receive a hard R rating except for The secrets of Hallow. That one would be a little more PG. Strangely enough, most of my Novels do have messages in one way or another, well, maybe not XXXTreme Discretion.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: I wrote 50,000 words on a 12:19 sequel and put it aside for some reason. Then I began working on another story and have only completed four chapters. Life has been busy lately.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Some police procedure information requires a lot of searching. Any sections involving law enforcement make me uncomfortable because I don’t want to get things wrong.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Some of my novels start in the past and end up in the present day. I spend a lot of time searching out appropriate car makes and models, building history, fashion trends, etc. I never want to have a couple cruising down an Interstate before the road ever existed.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: To tell the truth, I don’t read much. And I don’t believe you have to read other people in order to be a good writer. I mean, what does reading a Stephen King novel do for me? I don’t want to use his ideas, and I don’t want to imitate his style. I don’t need inspiration. I have more ideas than I have time to write them. I haven’t read a book, other than proofing for Lisa Regan, a wonderful friend and great author, since The DaVinci Code came out.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: More than one person, three or four hundred bloggers. I used to write a daily blog, and then I started posting short stories. People challenged me to write a book, so I did.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Not being overly wordy or descriptive. I don’t like describing every character’s wardrobe down to the color of his or her coat buttons. I keep the story moving, I also don’t have many filler chapters that some authors add to raise word counts. Everything I write in a novel is important to the story.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Lately, not much. But when I do, I am sort of rigid in my procedure. I always write the story in order. I have never skipped chapters, and only once have I ever gone back and added a storyline to a novel at the end. After I finish a chapter, I’ll read it three or four times, editing and polishing before moving on.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Just being honest, unless I receive some lucky break and the right person gets a hold of my material, I probably won’t be setting the world on fire with sales. I’m not very good at self-promotion, and even if I was, finding time to do so is extremely difficult.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: Write what’s in your head, and don’t get wrapped up in trying to make it big. Don’t worry about word counts and crap like that. Write because you enjoy writing.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.: I read it in one night, and I couldn’t put it down.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Michael J. Infinito, Jr.:
Millie held something out in front of her, offering it as a gift. “I want to go home, but you can’t take me there. I just came here to welcome you to the area,” she stated.
Violet reached for the object. Warm and round, it had a wonderfully sweet aroma. “Is this a cherry pie?” she asked.
“It’s Roy’s favorite.”
“Are you sure you can’t come inside and have a piece?” She suddenly felt guilty for trying to get rid of the sweet-sounding old woman.
“My time is up now, child.” Millie abruptly walked away, disappearing into the darkness.
“Where are you going?” Violet called out. “At least let me give you a ride.”
Silence prevailed. After three more attempts, a bewildered Violet went inside and flicked on the light switch. The illumination of a sixty-watt bulb had never before been such a welcome sight. A few moments later, she turned the porch light on and peeked outside in search of Millie. She saw no one. The mysterious old woman had vanished. Only the tantalizing smell of sweet cherries and flaky, warm pastry remained as proof of their bizarre encounter.
Violet set the pie on the kitchen counter before going upstairs. Normally, she would have just bathed and gone to bed, but the alluring aroma of a freshly baked treat altered her routine. She showered, threw on a terry cloth robe, and scurried back to the kitchen.
She grabbed a small plate from the cabinet, along with a fork and knife. As she approached the pie, its crust moved, bulging upward like some air had been pumped in beneath the top layer. Startled, she took a step back, wondering what could have caused its rise. A side effect of cooling seemed like her only plausible explanation.
She watched for a few seconds, waiting for more movement, but the crust remained still. Taking her knife, she plunged the sharp tip into the center of the pie. Instantly, a high-pitched squeal resonated from beneath the golden brown pastry. Thick, scarlet liquid oozed from where the blade had penetrated. Violet gasped, dropping the knife on the floor as the crust pushed upward. Something moved inside the pie—something terrible—something alive. She shuddered at the sight of a tiny, doll-like hand breaking through the top layer, covered with what she had once thought to be cherry juice. Another hand broke through, sending an odor of decaying flesh into the room. Aside from expelling a shrill scream, Violet didn’t move a muscle. She stood frozen in fear, observing the gruesome, undulating dessert before her.
The two miniature hands clasped onto the deep-dish plate rim, and with one strong pull, a half-developed human baby ripped through the crust and spilled across the counter. The scene resembled an erupting boil, only on a much larger scale. The fetus squealed as it wiggled around on the Formica, inching away like a blood-covered snail.
Violet closed her eyes, hoping to rid herself of the bad dream. When she opened them again, the premature baby still writhed on the counter, its umbilical cord stretched tight from within the pie shell. The fetus screeched a few more times until the high-pitched noise took form as complete words.
“Save me, Mommy,” it begged. “Watch out for the snake.”
Covering her ears, Violet screamed louder than she ever had before. She tried fleeing into the living room, away from the bloody baby pie, but something hampered her movement. Her legs felt heavy, as if weights had been attached to her feet. She glanced downward, prompting another bone-chilling cry. Two children sat on her feet, holding onto her legs like they were playing a common kid’s game. The girl wore a white dress and her throat had been sawed almost completely through. The youngster’s head flipped backward with every labored step Violet made. The other child appeared to be a little boy, his blue-green skin riddled with dime-sized holes, a gruesome accompaniment to his half-missing face.
“Where are you going, Violet?” the boy asked.
“Don’t run away, Mrs. Dotson,” the girl begged.
“Oh my God! Oh my fucking God!” Violet shrieked.
“Don’t let your baby die, or you’ll end up like our mommy,” the little ones said together in chilling harmony.
Violet tried escaping the children’s grasp. She kicked her right leg, snapping the girl’s head backwards.
“Don’t let the snake get him,” the mutilated tyke warned, as her face bobbled upside down.
With a burst of pure adrenaline, Violet broke free from the zombie children, and darted into the living room, her next intended stop being the car. Before she reached the front door, a shadowy figure blocked her path. Facing away, the apparition’s body size and shape resembled that of a woman.
“Please don’t run away,” her haunting voice pleaded.
“Who are you? What do you want from me?” Violet wailed.
The woman spun around. She held a double-barreled shotgun