What motivated me to write Human Resources? The short answer is fear. I grew up in a rural community in upstate New York where many fine people raise or hunt their meat. I'm not against this and would embrace the lifestyle if I didn't live in the city. As a youngster, my father often took me to visit townsfolk who owned chickens, ducks, calves, rabbits, lambs and other farm animals. The people fed and nurtured the animals, sometimes assigning affectionate nicknames. They'd pet the animals, hand or bottle-feed them and, by all appearances, loved them. I watched people cuddle animals, stroking their feathers or fur while saying in baby-talk, "What a love, oh yes you are, you're such a cutie!" A short time later "Clucky" or "Bossy" would sit on the dinner table, now a drumstick or veal chop. These same people would look at me, pinch my 5-year-old cheek and tell my dad, "Oh he is soooo cute! I want to take him home with me!" The idea of going home with them sparked pure terror in me. I had nightmares. The paradox of the loving care during preparation for slaughter confused me. I didn't expect people to be cruel to an animal throughout its life, but why be so incredibly affectionate if...? My young brain could not reconcile the pampered journey with the harsh destination. Fast forward to adulthood and I learned about Kobe beef and its processing. The daily massage, beer, music and other pampering bestowed upon cattle--all for an end that will be anything but luxurious for the animal. This dissonance of these behaviors is the premise of Human Resources. Read it and you'll have a glimpse into my childhood nightmare. You can thank me later! I wrote Human Resources in just over two years. I didn't outline the manuscript, deciding instead to type full scenes consecutively. This accounts for the many sharp plot turns that surprised me often. As with my first book, Dire Means, I had to draft it in small pieces as I juggled writing with my day job. I worked hard to write a book that is scary without being disgusting. By only implying the story's most disturbing elements, I wanted to leverage the power of imagination to help readers freak themselves out. The result is a scary story with virtually no gore. If I succeeded, your imagination will run with it, causing worry the way thriller readers love to worry, until the story's end. Human Resources is not a sequel, but does feature one character, Morana Mahker, carried over from Dire Means. While her role in Human Resources is different, her character, the tools of her trade and how she uses them is consistent. The books can be read in any order.
Human Resources, a novel. Books about cannibalism are difficult to find. This is a story about cannibalism. It's not what you think. There are no gruesome scenes of people eating people in it. There are very few novels about cannibalism or thrillers about cannibalism so I decided to write a tasteful one (pun intended). Hoping that one day it will be a bestseller about cannibalism! The story was inspired by a childhood nightmare of mine (as described above). HR is the most popular novel I've written and has caused sales to increase for Dire Means, my other thriller novel.Give it a read and I hope you enjoy it!