Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Time For Blood - Meet Author Kate Martin

My next interview was probably one of the most fun I've had in awhile, mainly because I felt an immediate kinship to this author after reading of her adventures into the world of marketing her book and technology snafus.  As many of you know, my own limitations of technology savvy are well documented.

Needless to say, I don't feel so alone now! :-)  I sooo appreciated her candor and fun-loving attitude about it all.  So please welcome to the blog author Kate Martin.

DAB:  Tell us more about growing up in the middle of nowhere and how that spurred on your desire to write.

KM:   There really wasn't all that much to do.  No cell phones, no internet - though I remember the awesomeness of three-way calling.  Haha.  If I wanted to get together with friends, it had to be planned in advance since it required getting a parent to drive me 20 minutes into town.  Though being alone never bothered me.  I was always quite willing to just sit around and daydream.  There's quite a bit of open land around my house, with a picturesque river, my father's horses, and the farmers' cows.  I used to go out and sit on a giant rock in the middle of the river and just watch the small fish, keep an eye out for Herons, and the occasional dangerous snapping turtle.  As for the actual writing - that's something I've just always done.  Whether or not it was tied to my need to self-entertaining, I may never be certain.  The first time I remember consciously writing for myself (outside of school assignments) was High School, when a friend and I would create fanfiction during study hall.  However, I recently ran into the third grade teacher from the classroom next door to mine (I worked as a substitute teacher for a while) and when she saw me she exclaimed, "Little Kate Martin?  Who used to write pages and pages?  And good writing too!"  I was amazed.  I don't remember writing so young, and this was a woman who wasn't even my teacher and that's how she remembered me.  I guess I need to do some more digging and see what I can find from elementary school.

DAB:  What does fan correspondence do for you and your writing?

KM:   There's nothing better than hearing how people are effected by what you wrote - especially when they love it.  I like to be a fan, so I certainly enjoy having some of my own.  Reader responses will get me writing more, faster.  It's the absolute best motivation.

DAB:  What are some other good writing motivators for you?  Music?  Driving?  Reading?

KM:   Music is always good - though oddly enough the last book I wrote I often did so in silence.  For Eternal Shadows I had a lot of Paramore, Flyleaf, and other angsty or teen-sounding music.  However, there were also a few songs that were more classical or old fashion sounding.  I'm planning on getting the playlist up on my website soon. 

I get some of my best thinking and brainstorming done while driving.  A good ride in the car is a great way to break any slumps or writing blocks.  The only downside is then I have to do a lot of furious scribbling in notebooks when I reach my destination.

Reading is a bit of a toss-up.  I love to read to get ideas on how to go about different things, or what kind of feelings I want to dredge up, but when I get deep into writing a novel I tend to stop reading so I don't fall into copying, or get influenced in ways I don't intend.  It's hard to read something brilliant and not want to do it yourself!

DAB:  ETERNAL SHADOWS is a YA paranormal novel - do you write in other genres as well or do you plan to make the YA genre your "go-to" grouping?

KM:   Eternal Shadows is actually the only YA I've ever written - and it's the only one currently in my head.  I have no immediate plans to write any others, though I do love YA and I wouldn't be surprised if I wrote another somewhere down the line.  My main genre is Fantasy, either epic or urban or paranormal.  Hopefully soon I'll be able to talk about some of those too.

DAB:  Oh, I love reading fantasy!  It is my first love.  What is your favorite fantasy novel and why?

KM:   Gosh, not sure if I have just one favorite. :)  Wizard's First Rule, by Terry Goodkind (and all it's siblings) was the book that made me realize I could write a novel myself.  Other favorites are The Last Herald Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (along with The Infernal Devices) and The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop.  There are so many others - I actually have a list of all my favorites on my website.

DAB:  What is your typical writing routine like, and do you write on a daily basis?

KM:   Every morning I roll out of bed, change from pajamas to sweats and a tee-shirt (or whatever is weather appropriate) and wander to whatever place in the house has the honor of being the current writing spot.  Each series I've written has been done in a different spot - the desk, the bed, the couch, leather recliner, etc.  Eternal Shadows was written on the couch, and I'll probably need to plunk myself there again in order to complete it's sequel, Darkest Whispers.

For the most part, I write every day.  Lately, I've been taking the weekends off, but that's new.  If I go long periods of time (a few days) without writing, I tend to get grumpy...and then no one wants to be around me, so I make sure I get at least something in most days.

DAB:  How long did ETERNAL SHADOWS take to write from first draft to final edit?

KM:  Hmm, this is a somewhat complicated answer.  The first draft took 4 months to complete, after that, I did edits, etc for another 3 months.  Somewhere in there I also started playing with Darkest Whispers.  After that, I queried it for a while, though I don't know exactly how long, and I don't know when I stopped.  Then, this past summer, on a whim, I submitted it to Cool Well Press and they accepted it!  They wanted to get it out in time for Valentine's Day (given the romance) and so we did a mad dash to get all the edits done in 3 months.

So in total, Eternal Shadows was begun in April of 2008, and was completed for publication in December of 2011.

DAB:  Endless querying played with my mind alot and made me wonder at times if I should just give up.  Was the query process a bit of a roller coaster for you?

KM:   At times, yes.  But I always remember one of the first things I was ever told:  That you'll probably have enough rejection letters to wallpaper your office before you finally get that magical acceptance.  Knowing that, each rejection was just one step closer, rather than a depressing setback. ^_^

DAB:  Do you ever encounter dreaded stumbling blocks to your writing?

KM:   Of course, I think everyone does, though it can be different for everyone, and for different books.  For me, I tend to start off knowing how the book begins, and how it ends, so even when I get "stuck" it's usually just that I don't know what happens immediately next, or that a certain scene is just giving me trouble.  When that happens, I consider a different POV (if possible), or I simply work on the scene even if I have to fight for every word.  Oddly enough, the scenes I think are coming out awful are often some of the best.  If none of that works, naps and walks do the trick.

DAB:  Where do you come up with ideas for your short stories and novels like ETERNAL SHADOWS?

KM:   Short stories are a different breed for me, because I tend to find anthologies looking for stories, then write something that will fit their needs - at the whim of my imagination.  If a topic doesn't spark something, then I don't write.  My biggest problem here is that I'm really no good at doing things short...and I often end up with another novel on my hands.  Haha.

Novels come from a number of places, I suppose.  Sometimes from an attempt at a short story, sometimes from something I've watched or read recently.  I don't know if I can pinpoint the spark that inspired each of them, most of the time it feels like characters just walk into my head, introduce themselves and then start chattering away.  I know the most recent novel I just finished drafting came from watching and reading two different animes, and then just the desire to read something dark and different - I couldn't find anything, so I started writing.

DAB:  I know what you mean.  I've started short stories from time to time and end up writing a novella - more if I let myself go.  So what are you reading right now?

KM:   Right now?  ::stares at piles of books threatening to fall over on her::  Well, I just finished City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare, which was wonderful and deliciously evil.  Just what I like in a book.  Next, I think The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin will win my attentions.  I loved her first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I can't wait to get back to that world.

DAB:  Okay, one of my favorite questions to ask my victims - I mean my interviewees - do you outline your stories and novels or do you not outline?

KM:   I am a pantser to the end!  No outlines for me, no siree.  The second Eternal Shadows novel had the unfortunate luck of being the first book I tried outlining and writing out of order with - as a result, it is an unfinished mess.  There has been no deviating from the non-plan since then.  I start at the beginning and just enjoy the ride. ^_^

DAB:  Me too!  Me too!  I know the purists preach outlines, but I find them too constricting.  Have you ever tried working from an outline?  If so, what was it like?

KM:   Nope.  No outlines for me.  I did a sort of storyboard thing with Darkest Whispers, and it was just a mess, as I said.  Now I like to storyboard when I'm finished - it's a great way to see everything in one spot, and a great way to jump start the synopsis - but I won't do it before again, and I don't think outlines will ever be able to capture my attention.  I think if I planned the book out beforehand, my brain would consider it written, the adventure lived, and the book would never get done.  For me, the whole fun is living the events as if they were happening first hand.

DAB:  What are you currently working on for your next release?

KM:   My next release will most likely be Darkest Whispers (pending the go-ahead from my editor), which will pick up where Eternal Shadows left off.  It needs a bit of work, and a few more scenes to be a finished draft, but it shouldn't take me too long.  I hope.

DAB:  Well here's to hoping!  Thank you for visiting the blog - please give us the final plug for ETERNAL SHADOWS.

KM:   Thanks so much for having me!  And for giving Kass and Rhys the chance to reach more readers!  Anyone who enjoys vampires, adventure, romance, blood, and a little twist on a beloved old myth won't be sorry they spent some time with Eternal Shadows.  Besides, who hasn't wondered what it would be like to wake up one morning, immortal and with a taste for blood?

And that's a wrap, dear readers!  I look forward to having Kate back to celebrate the release of Darkest Whispers when that time comes.  In the meantime, check out ETERNAL SHADOWS from Cool Well Press , Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  Since school is out, Kate also has a little more time on her hands, so feel free to contact her at her website, Facebook fan page, or tweet her at her Twitter account below.

Twitter-- @katewmartin

Author Bio:
Kate Martin is an adjunct professor by day, a dance teacher by night, and a writer every minute in between. Growing up on the side of a Connecticut mountain in the middle of nowhere wasn’t much good for afterschool shenanigans with friends, but it was spectacular for building an over-active imagination. She spent her childhood weaving intricate plots for her dolls--none of which were ever without fantastical elements. After getting her B.A. in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology, she found Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, graduating with her M.A. in June ‘08. Her first story was published in July ’09 in Rage of the Behemoth, and a second and third are forth coming. You can visit her website at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In The Interview Corner - Wayne Basta

Hello dear readers, and once again it's time to introduce you to another author via the interview corner.  Today I have the pleasure of hosting Wayne Basta, author of ARISTEIA:  REVOLUTIONARY RIGHT and the upcoming release of its sequel, ARISTEIA:  A LITTLE REBELLION.  Stay tuned below to find out how you can enter to win a copy.

DAB:  So welcome, Wayne!  Tell us about the moment when you decided to pursue writing as more than a hobby.

WB:   I made the final decision to take a shot at making writing a full fledged career in the fall of 2010.  I had recently been promoted to a management position in my company.  Initially I was excited to get to train and work with a new host of employees.  I had been unsatisfied with my job for awhile and I thought this would be a chance to turn things around.  It turned out to be the opposite.  Instead of being in a position to try and help make some changes, I was in a position to be the company's "yes man".  Needless to say, I hated it.  Despite that, it was quite a challenge making the decision to quit.  I had always wanted to write but knew there would be little chance of ever making any money from it.  Leaving a well paying job in a down economy was kind of crazy.  But after talking it over with my wife, we both agreed we could get by without the paycheck if we cut back on some nonessentials.  We decided taking that chance was worth it, knowing I would be happier with what I was doing with my life.

DAB:  Is there a character in the ARISTEIA series you most identify with?

WB:   I'd probably have to say Maarkean, simply because I've used the name as my internet personality as long as I can remember.  That said, there's an element of every character that I can identify with that helps me understand who they are.

DAB:  Such as?

WB:   Zeric Dustlighter, for example, is loosely based on an RPG character that my friend Eric created.  That character was loosely based on himself, or how he'd see himself in a more adventure filled world.  Knowing him, his relaxed attitude and his quick wit helped me to create and get to know Zeric.

DAB:  You were in the U.S. Navy, I see (thank you so much for serving).  How have your military experiences translated into your novels?

WB:   While technically I was sworn in as a Midshipman while in ROTC, I wouldn't really view my time as serving in the Navy.  It was going to be my career, but an injury disqualified me from being able to serve while only in my freshman year.  However, my love of naval matters, naval history and interest in the service has definitely influenced my writing.  I've actually had to resist working in to much military jargon into my writing.  Both Aristeia novels have military elements, but that's not really the focus of the series.  One day I plan to write a more nitty gritty military sci-fi series.

DAB:  Ooo - that sounds like something up my alley.  Do you already have a storyline in mind?

WB:   To many actually :-)  One idea is something in the style of Tom Clancy and Larry Bond's "Red Storm Rising" that follows a wide range of different characters and shows different aspects of a war.  Another is more narrowly focused, following one ship through a long war and all that happens to her and the crew.  That idea is inspired by the Enterprise from WW2, which was the only carrier to survive the entire war in the Pacific.  But I don't let myself think about it to much yet.

DAB:  ARISTEIA:  A LITTLE REBELLION, the second in your series, is written from the point-of-view of the female protagonist.  Have you ever struggled when writing from the POV of the opposite sex?

WB:   Writing for a member of the opposite sex, and one who is from an alien race and a lesbian, has it's challenges.  One of my biggest concerns with writing from Saracasi's POV is that it will just be obvious that it's being written by a heterosexual male.  In the end though, I just pushed that aside and treated her like any character.  Since her gender or her sexual orientation do not define her, in her mind, I didn't worry about it to much, instead treating it no different than if she were left handed; ie just one small piece of who she is.  It also helps that, while Saracasi's journey in this second book is the main one, it is far from the only one.  "A Little Rebellion" has a total of six POV characters.  Switching between those coherently, I find is more of a challenge than writing for any particular character.

DAB:  I usually have alot of POV's in my novels as well - what sort of challenge do you encounter when writing from multiple POV's?

WB:   Making sure they are distinctive.  It's easy to lose track of which character's POV you're writing a scene from and remembering that they will see things differently than other characters.  This is especially difficult when a part of a scene is mostly intended for the reader.  Background information or explaining something about the world.  Which character you're following can sometimes feel irrelevant at those points, but there are always subtle things that are easy to miss.

DAB:  How long does it typically take you to write a novel from first draft to final edit?

WB:   I started writing "Revolutionary Right" in December 2010 and it was released in December 2011.  During that year, there were several months were I didn't touch it.  "A Little Rebellion" started in early summer 2011 but I ended up throwing pretty all of my work on it away in September and starting from scratch.  In general I'd say it takes me about 3 months to get a piece of work to the first Beta stage and then another 3-6 months to get to the final version depending on reader and editor input and work schedules.

DAB:  Do you have a hard and fast writing schedule?  Tell us about your writing regimen.

WB:   I used too.  While writing books 1 and 2 I would sit down every morning, work out an outline for the days work, and then push myself to get 2-5k words done.  Whenever I reached those milestones and felt like I was done with a section, I'd stop for the day.  Now that my son is here, I'm lucky to get in 30 min during nap times.  As he gets a little older and finds a more regular schedule, I should be able to get myself on one too.

DAB:  Ah-ha!  You've hit on one of the topics I like to ask every writer.  Do you always write from an outline?

WB:   Until recently, not at all.  For most of "A Little Rebellion" I started doing daily outlines to help frame my days work.  It was mainly a time saving tool.  Figuring out what I want to say before I try to start typing it speeds up the process.  But, no, I don't right a big detailed outline for the entire story.  I know where I want to go and some idea of how I want to get there, but often times the story decides it wants to go somewhere else half way through the book.  An outline would kill that creative process for me.

DAB:  Writers are usually avid readers.  What is your favorite genre for reading pleasure, and what are you presently reading?

WB:   As you might guess, I love science fiction.  But I also love fantasy and nonfictional history.  I just finished reading the Hunger Games series, since everyone has been talking about it, and now am about to start a history book called "Morning of Fire" about a trade mission America launched into the Pacific just after the Revolutionary War.

DAB:  Big history buff here too - what era of history do you enjoy reading the most?

WB:   Age of Sail is a big one for me, 18th and 19th centuries in particular.  World War 1 and 2 also.

DAB:  Where do you come up with ideas for your novels?

WB:   Many of the big themes come from my study of history.  History is replete with interesting people and stories that most people have never heard before.  Many elements of Aristeia stem from the American Revolutionary period.

DAB:  Do you have some pointers for the writers in our audience?

WB:   Persistence is the key.  You need a tiny grain of basic talent, but that's not much more than the ability to write a coherent sentence.  Beyond that, it just comes not continuing to work at a story until it's right.  That often involves throwing away lots of work and starting over.  Just writing these two novels, I've probably thrown away two more worth of material.

DAB:  So that brings me to another question - how many books overall do you plan for the ARISTEIA series?

WB:   There will be three novels in this first story arc.  That will conclude the story of the rebellion in the Kreogh Sector.  I have ideas for several other arcs in the same universe.  At least one following some of the same characters I will almost definitely do.  The rest will depend on writing schedule and personal interest.  I have a bunch of completely different stories I'd like to write as well that I am holding on the back burner until this set of three books is done.  Once I finish the third one, I'll have to decide between them all which interests me the most.

DAB:  Please share with us your final thoughts on ARISTEIA:  A LITTLE REBELLION.

WB:   I'm excited to be able to get the second novel out.  Seeing the first one in print was wonderful.  But seeing the second one means this writing thing is more than just a fad.

Thanks so much for the interview, Wayne.  It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.  Readers, please go to the link below to find out how you can win one of Wayne's novels - but hurry and enter by June 15th.

You can also find out more information about pre-ordering A LITTLE REBELLION at a discounted price or visit Wayne at his blog.

About the Series

Aristeia (Greek): is a scene in the dramatic conventions of such works as the Iliad in which a hero in battle has his finest moments

The main inspiration for much of my writing comes from my love of history. In this case, the American Revolution. One thing that fascinates me about history is the difference between actual events and the common perception of the story. Here in the US, the Founding Fathers who participated in the war are larger than life heroes. In reality, they were just ordinary men in an extraordinary time; flaws and all. This in no means diminishes their accomplishments, but instead raises them up from caricatures of ideals to genuine people.

When writing Revolutionary Right, I set out to combine that flawed aspect of historical heroes with the concept of aristeia; and to tie them together in a fun space adventure setting. This book follows Maarkean Ocaitchi as he goes from a man down on his luck but still loyal to the Alliance to a man the galaxy at large perceives as a heroic revolutionary leader. Throughout the book he faces his aristeia moment while his loyalty is torn between his government, his family and his beliefs. In the end, he has to decide if he is the traitor he thinks he is, or the hero everyone else says he is.

In this new book, A Little Rebellion, Maarkean has made his decision about where his loyalties lie. This book moves to follow his sister Saracasi, as fate moves her toward her moment and she has to decide what kind of person she wants to be; the peaceful idealist or the fiery revolutionary.

While each book heavily features one characters aristeia moment and follows their personal journey, the books include a wide array of interesting characters. No hero is ever alone on their journey and no revolution is ever won by one person. It takes a large swell of people, each with their own unique story to tell.

Aristeia:  Revolutionary Right
The Alliance has always stood for freedom and democracy, but after winning control of the planets of the Confederacy, the Alliance's vaunted principles have become secondary to its security.  Disillusioned with the Alliance and its subjugation of its citizens, Maarkean, a former naval pilot and supporter of the Alliance, has become a smuggler.  Despite the conditions he survives under, he nevertheless refuses to believe his sister's notion that the whole system is corrupt...until she is arrested and jailed as a traitor.

Now, Maarkean must decide where is loyalty lies, and will either spark a rebellion or crush the spirit of democracy once and for all.

Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia; Revolutionary Right is the first book in a series that explores the essence of resistance, loyalty and friendship.

Aristeia:  A Little Rebellion
Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight.  But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means:  for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.

Aristeia:  Revolutionary Right
As a child, Wayne Basta was introduced to science fiction at a young age by his father.  Mainstream hits like Star Trek and Star Wars were followed by old Tom Swift novels and then classics like Asimov and Clarke.  Growing up on Florida's space coast only served to fuel his imagination and love of space, science and adventure.

At the age of 9, his family got their first home computer, an old Macintosh Plus, and he immediately used it to start writing science fiction adventure stories.  He continued writing as a hobby all the way through college at the University of Florida, where he initially pursued a career in the US Navy until an injury changed his plans.  Wayne then spent several years teaching high school and working in the education non-profit sector before coming back to his old dream of writing. 

Wayne currently lives in Houston with his wife, son, and dog.  He remains a fan of geek culture, board games, video games, fantasy, science fiction and all around silliness.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Sneak Peek

Okay, call me cruel - I've been called worse - but after thinking and thinking about it, I've decided to share a teeny tiny tidbit.  A sneak peek, as you will. 

For the past five months, I've been hard at work on the sequel to Running into the Darkness.  We're nearing the halfway point, and next month is the start of work on the cover art.  So for those who've been emailing about the sequel, Piercing the Darkness, here's living proof that it is truly in the works.

I hope it whets your appetite.

Chapter 1 – Coming to the Surface

The steady cadence of waves slapping against the boat would put the ordinary fisherman to sleep.  But Billy McCurdy considered himself a step above any ordinary fisherman.  Hell, more like ten steps.
As the line of one fishing reel played out, he baited and tossed out the next until every available inch of the deck stood at attention.  The Cathouse may have appeared derelict by some standards, but she was one workhorse of a fishing vessel.  The old girl had it where it really counted.
Best of all, she was his.  Not tied up by a partner nor a bank, but one-hundred-percent his own, and McCurdy treated her with the touch of a lover.  When he’d make port and sell his catch he always brought her back something special.  Each time her engines started up now, the purr threatened to give him a hard-on.  In no time he’d have her rigged up right nice if the fish kept biting.  Get the hydraulics for the crane and nets functioning again, maybe next season he’d be in a position to hire a real crew.
For now, he put up with his good-for-nothing son for a crew.  Joey didn’t have the common sense of an onion.  On the day God passed out personal gumption, Joey was likely sleeping off the drinking binge of the night before.  Running a boat required a minimum second set of hands, and at least Joey had the hands, if not the brains, to fulfill that requirement.
“Hey, Pops!”
Speak of the devil.  “On deck!”
Joey’s hulk blocked the sun as he leaned over the wheelhouse railing.
“That radar thingy has a pretty big area showing just off this way,” Joey said as he pointed to his left.
“My right?  That would be starboard, son.  Starboard!”
“Yeah.  Whatever.”
McCurdy took the steps up the ladder two at a time and glared down his son as much as their identical six-foot-five frames allowed. 
“Learn the damn terms, boy.  Now get down on deck while I assess the target.”
As Joey slunk down the ladder, McCurdy entered the wheelhouse and reviewed the depth finder.  He let out a low whistle as he surveyed the shadowed mass on the sonar.  The school of fish arrayed on the screen would give him a pretty hefty payload in short order.  Looked like no other fishing vessel was close enough to reach it before he secured the choicest pick.
Hot damn.  Maybe there was hope for Joey after all.
“Weighing anchor,” he called over the loudspeaker.  “Pull in the lines and get ready to work your ass off, boy.”
The engines rumbled up from idle into full power as he angled the Cathouse out of Pocomoke Sound and into the Chesapeake toward a nice chunk of change - hopefully.  Less than fifteen minutes later they pulled up in deeper waters just southwest of where sonar showed the school.  The anchor released with a rattle of chain as he set the engines back to idle.
Down on deck, McCurdy directed, “Pull out the small nets and rig the poles so we can get them in easier.  I don’t want to waste this opportunity with standard fishing line.”
Since they both had to work the deck manually with an inoperable crane, they’d be unable to tow nets and follow the school.  After the first scramble, maybe they could move on ahead and take a second shot at the mass, but larger boats would likely be on them by then and they’d lose out.  The school’s sheer size gave them a good chance to fill their tank in one go-around if they played it right.
Movement in the first nets relayed the arrival.  Father and son jumped into action and started reeling in as fast as their bulging arms allowed, then heaving the wriggling catch into the tank before lowering nets back into the water.  The furious pace continued.
McCurdy’s heart thundered against his chest as he strained against the nets.  He couldn’t tell if it was strictly from exertion or excitement – probably both.  When it appeared the school was moving on, they began releasing the catch right onto the Cathouse’s deck to facilitate returning the nets back into the water until they came up empty.
The school had advanced toward the dark recesses of the Atlantic.
They stared at each other, their arms limp at their sides, faces drenched in sweat and saltwater.  McCurdy let out a whoop.  The deck swam with writhing fish – the biggest single catch of his fledgling fishing career.  Joey had surprised him by sticking to the task right alongside him.  Yep, there was definitely hope for the kid yet.
As they set about shoveling their catch into the tank, McCurdy mentally calculated the payout.  Soon as they got to port, he’d make a call to schedule the Cathouse for her crane and hydraulics repair job at season’s end.  Then maybe he’d make a trip into the city to get rid of some of his pent-up excitement and fatten some one else’s wallet a bit.  Might even take Joey along and introduce him to his first stripper-fest.
“Shit!”  Joey’s exclamation ended the delicious thought. 
“It’s only fish, boy!  Grow a pair.”  When McCurdy turned to laugh at his son, the shovel clattered to the deck.  “What the hell?”
Near the bottom of the wriggling mass, they stared in horror at the swollen and half-eaten remains of a human body.