Harry wanted a dog.
He’d wanted a dog ever since his mother gave away the cute little mongrel pup he and his brother adopted when they were kids. His mom gave the dog away because Harry and Lenny didn’t take care of her as promised.
“One of the beauties of the K9-233 is that they don’t eat or poop.”
Harry’s wife, Pam, feels there’s something off about Queenie right from the beginning. And then strange things begin to happen: Harry’s five-year-old says Queenie talks to him. There’s the near fatal car accident after Harry makes Queenie spend the night in the garage for being naughty. But Harry loves Queenie—maybe a little too much. Will Harry realize there’s a murderous monster living under his roof before his entire family becomes dog food?
Baad Dog is a horror, sic-fi thriller with a twist from the author of 80s pulp horror classics Child’s Play and The Power. Sal Conte has been dubbed “the modern master of the surprise ending,” and this one is full of surprises.
Some dogs are dangerous…
You can’t deny it. Everyone’s heard a story or two about the friendly pit bull, or the loveable Rottweiler who was the treasured family pet until the day he was playing with the kids in the yard and chewed little Liza’s fingers off.
But truth be told, those dogs— Rottweiler’s, Pit Bulls, Dobermans, aren’t born mean, they’re mean because they’ve been mistreated. A mistreated dog is nothing more than ticking time bombs just waiting for the right moment to go Cujo on an unsuspecting public lulled into a false sense of confidence by their giant gentleness.
But my, dog… my dog, the man thought. His dog was loved and cared for right from the start. His was a lap dog, cute and cuddly, and… perfect, which is why he was having the damndest time accepting the bitter truth— that his cute, cuddly, well treated dog was also a murderer.
So he lay there, his legs rendered useless, feeling as if they’d been set on fire like Christmas kindling. His world was spinning, spinning, spinning as if he’d been set down on a runaway merry-go-round. Through the pain and the spinning he heard the dog coming for him, coming to finish him off, her soft, doggie footsteps scratching gently toward him on the dust covered road.
Then she climbed up onto his body as he lay, eyes gazing up at the moon. She stood on his stomach, and teetered for a second before looking into his eyes.
Go get help, he thought. I need help. Of course, he knew better. She was the reason he was in this position in the first place. As the little dog began moving up his torso toward his chest, he thought of all the killer dogs he’d heard about or seen on the news over the years, and as his dog closed in for the kill, he wondered: since when did man’s best friend become his very own worst nightmare?
A small cute dog that doesn’t need feeding, doesn’t poop and doesn’t bark, sounds ideal, right?
Not in this case!
Baad dog is a quick and suspenseful read. A bit slow to get going but it builds up the tension and evolves into an eventful story… but not a very scary one!
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sal Conte is the horror writing alter ego of Amazon #1 Teen Horror author, E. Van Lowe. As Sal Conte, the author turns his talents to gruesome horror with stunning results. Sal Conte is the author of 80s pulp horror classics “Child’s Play” and “The Power,” as well as recent shorts “The Toothache Man” and “Because We Told Her To.
“Baad Dog” is Sal Conte’s first solo ebook.
You can visit him at http://evanlowe.com/sal-contes-page/
What inspired you to write Baad Dog?
Many years ago, when I started writing horror, like many scary story writers, Stephen King was the author I most admired, the author I most emulated. I wrote the pulp horror classic, The Power, after reading Firestarter. Recently, I decided to my own put a spin on an SK novel. Last summer’s The Secrets of Love and Death was my spin on It. After Secrets was completed, I decided to write about a dog. I knew the dog in my novel had to be the opposite of Cujo. Sometime last spring the idea for Queenie, the cute little baad dog, came to me. Next up, I’m going to do my version of Salem’s Lot—a vampire novel… I think.
What made you decide to write in the horror genre?
Horror was one of those things that chose me. When I was in high school, I enjoyed horror movies and books, but at the time, I thought my career would be as a serious novelist. By college, after reading Rosemary’s Baby, Salem’s Lot, and Raga Six (written by the awesome Frank Lauria), I knew I wanted to try my hand at the macabre. I wrote a few horror short stories and wound up selling them. After that, I was hooked on horror.
What was your favorite scene to write in Baad Dog?
My favorite scene came as an afterthought, but it was a needed scene. It’s the scene where Pam is home alone taking a bath, and the bathroom door starts creeping open. At first, she thinks her husband and the kids are back from dinner, but when she calls out, no one answers. Queenie is supposedly locked in the garage, but now she wonders if Queenie is in the house, spying on her. One of the staples of the horror genre is the isolation suspense scene, and at some point I realized I didn’t have one. I wrote the bathroom scene to satisfy that, and it has become my favorite. I hope readers enjoy the suspense of the scene as much as I enjoyed creating it.
What is your writing process like?
I come up with a bunch of ideas. I write them down all over the place. I have no discipline with the formative process. When I think I have a take on a story and have an idea where I think the story should go, I start a more formal outline. Trust me, it’s not a formal outline, but now I have all my ideas in a linear form in one computer document. Once I do that, I write a chapter. If the chapter feels good, I start the book, while filling in the outline. Typically, I write the first chapter of a book cold, just seeing how it feels. If I like it, I continue.
Do you have any favorite authors in horror? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?
I have lots of horror faves: Stephen King, Ira Levin, Peter Straub, Robert Mccammon, Ray Bradbury. My most recent fave is Joe Hill. He is as awesome as his dad (Stephen King). I recommend all three of his novels, but my favorite is NOS4A2. If you are a fan of horror and haven’t read him, you are about to have a very pleasant horror reading experience.
And do you have any favorite horror movies that have influenced you?
The horror movie that has had the most influence on me is the original (old B&W) The Invasion of The Body Snatchers. It’s a very short film, but filled with edge of your seat suspense. I must have seen this film fifty times. While I started my career as an 80s splatterpunk, writing graphic horror, as I’ve matured, I’ve gone back to the roots of horror that are crafted more around reader/viewer expectation than being graphic. This movie teaches that.
Is there a genre you’d like to write but haven’t yet?
I have done some notes on a few detective thrillers, but haven’t followed through with writing them. I’ve created a couple of characters I think would be great leads in detective series. I’m sure I will get to them one day.
What part of writing life/being an author took you by surprise?
I’m not sure. I guess the biggest surprise is that when I was in high school and college I knew I wanted to make my career being a writer. I also knew most writers have to do something else, work a straight job, teach, edit—something. Very few writers get to do only that—write, but somehow I have made it happen (although I have also produced TV, but that’s mostly writing). I’ve made a great living, and I have been doing it for a long time. Wow! How cool is that?
How long does it take for you to write a story?
I can write a story in an afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing close to a final draft, but I can write a short in one or two sittings. Novels are something else all-together. I have been completing about a novel a year, but now that I am about to jump into self-publishing, and writing for both E. Van Lowe and Sal Conte, I hope to do two a year plus a short or two. That is ambitious for me. I will need to learn to be waay more focused. We shall see.