Friday, 8 April 2016

Monochrome by H.M. Jones

H.M. Jones is a B.R.A.G medallion honoree for her debut dark fantasy, Monochrome, published by the Gravity Imprint of Booktrope. She also contributed a sci-fi short story, "The Light Storm of 2015," to Masters of Time, published by Creative Alchemy. 

Always a giving soul, her site features a freebie read called "Poison & Fire," an Adela Darken short. She writes poetry, new adult, young adult, fantasy, sci-fi and speculative fiction. She likes to bookstore hop, weave, teach college English and spend time with her kids and husband.

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About the Book

What would you do to save your most precious memories?

That’s the question that Abigail Bennet, a new mother, must answer in this dark fantasy.

The cries of her new baby throw Abigail into rage and desperation. Frightened by foreign anger and overwhelming depression, the first-time mother decides to end her life to spare the life of her only child. But before she acts on her dark intuition, she is overcome by a panic attack and blacks out.

When she awakes, everything is blue: the trees, the grass, the rocks and still, scentless sky above her. Everything except the face of the man who stands over her. He is Ishmael Dubois and claims to be her Guide through the dangerous world of Monochrome, a physical manifestation of the depressed mind. But in a place where good memories are currency, nightmares walk, and hopeless people are hired to bring down those who still have the will to live, Abigail starts to wonder if she’ll ever make it back to her family. Despite her growing feelings for her handsome, mysterious Guide, Abigail must fight for the life she once wished to take or fade into the blue.

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Keep reading for an interview with Ishmael from Monochrome:

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

I don't remember so many of my best memories. I've had to give up most of them to survive this place. I have an image of my mother's eyes, muddy green. They were laughing at something, at me I think, but in a good a way mothers laugh when they love their kids. I don't know if it's a real memory, but it's powerful. It feels real.

Who was your best friend growing up?

When you jump from foster care family to foster care family, you don't make friends. You fight off fake siblings. But Mara was okay. She was a lot older than me. She'd hold my hand on the way to one of the many schools I was forced to attend. Always the new student. She used to scold me about my constant frown, but I can tell she didn't mean it. Her mom got bored of me, but Mara sobbed when I left. I think she liked having a little brother, someone to love. I know I would have liked having her as a sister.

If you could compare yourself to someone from another novel, who would it be? What are your similarities and differences?

They call me Ishmael for a reason. I belong in an epic tale, a dreary tale. I belong with Dante, with the white whale, along Dicken's muddy London streets.

Who is your enemy? What makes you enemies?

You don't make friends in a place like Monochrome. If you get too fond of others, you forget to look out for yourself. I see everyone as an enemy, but not because I don't like them. Because I can't like them. Call it survival of the callous. But if I had to choose, I'd say Eric would be the first to watch me fall. The feeling's mutual. He's worst sort of scum, and he's hurt people I care about.

Who do you most admire in your world? Why?

Just a day ago, I would have answered this differently. I've never really admired anyone in this place. Everyone is selfish and stuck here, in their own ways. But my newest Lead, Abigail, is something else. From her first moments in Monochrome, she came out swinging. She gives me hope. It's a strange sensation, not one I'm used to. She could make it. Her best bet would be to leave me behind, but I won't tell her to. Because I'm not like her. I don't believe Reality is any better that what we have here. And, well, she's beautiful. Her strength makes her eyes glow, and they're already spring green. I almost forgot what that color that vibrant looked like.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

I'm currently one of the many scumbag employees working in Monochrome, a world inhabited by the in-betweens, in between life and death. Those who try to force themselves out of Reality but fail come here. I'm a Guide. My "job" is to lead people to the border, if they choose to fight for their lives in Reality, or help them find a place here in Monochrome. I am encouraged to help them stay, of course. Misery loves company.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?

Pfft. What family? I took care of myself when the foster care system failed me. Mom loved me, but it wasn't enough. Love isn't enough. And family is a myth I don't believe in.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

My life was an embarrassment. Or a joke. Just not a very funny one.

What is your greatest fear? How did you overcome it?

It's stupid, really, since I tried to take my own life, but I'm afraid of dying. I'm not sure I believe in the whole afterlife thing. And if it's real, I'll end in flames. Even this place is better than that.

Name some of your bad habits.

I smoke, drink, lie, and stew in my own misery. The harder question would be what are some of your good habits. I'm not sure I could answer that.


  1. Good interview. :)

    1. Thank you, kindly. Ishmael is not shy about saying what he really thinks, as you can see. :)


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