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[GUEST POST] Armand Rosamilia on Writing What You Know

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series: Dying Days (extreme zombie series), Keyport Cthulhu (horror series), Flagler Beach (contemporary fiction), Metal Queens (non-fiction music series)…He also loves to talk in third person because he’s really that cool. He’s a proud Active member of HWA as well. His latest novel is Chelsea Avenue.

Write What You Know: Locale

by Armand Rosamilia

“I don’t come across books like Rosamilia’s CHELSEA AVENUE often. Infused with the dreamlike quality of memory, Rosamilia here fulfills the full measure of the promise I first saw in his DYING DAYS series. Beautifully dark, this book held me entranced. I couldn’t get enough!” – Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of DOG DAYS and PLAGUE OF THE UNDEAD

I bring up this wonderful blurb from author Joe McKinney for two reasons… first, because I want to brag about it. But second, because of one of the lines he used…

“Infused with the dreamlike quality of memory”…

After Joe was kind enough to give me the blurb, we chatted about the book in detail and he could tell this was a real place from my past, and I was writing from memory about many good times in Long Branch, New Jersey. And he was right.

I spent my late teens and early twenties in Long Branch any chance I got. There actually was a Murphy’s Law club, where I saw some great metal and hard rock bands like Dirty Looks, Lawn And Order, Ripping Corpse, and a ton of other Northeast bands. When I was writing the opening scenes in the club for Chelsea Avenue (the actual street the club was on, by the way) I first closed my eyes and went back into the dark and dirty club, back in time and back to a skinnier, younger and mulleted me.

Other locales in the book are also real from an earlier time: the Haunted House Pier fire was a real event when I was 17, and it was big news, even a dozen miles away in the tiny fishing village where I grew up, Belford. The small boardwalk used to be home to an arcade, a hot dog place, and a few other things that didn’t interest me as a teen.

Not too far away is also The Windmill, a great hot dog place my parents used to take the family to as kids, and a place I’d always try to stop at when I was driving down Route 36 on my way to Asbury Park for a concert, or right around the corner to the Brighton Bar to see bands you’d never see anywhere else in the area.

Long Branch was and still is a predominantly white area, but Hispanics make up almost thirty percent of the population (about half of the whites), so I wanted to make sure they were represented by the main character, Manny Santiago. Beta readers from New Jersey have commented about how the story brings you into the town, which is a definite compliment.

But you don’t have to be from Long Branch or New Jersey to appreciate this traditional horror novel. Trust me. While the city plays a part in the story, the action and characters are what propels the book. But I’ll let you be the judge of that, right?

So, what’s it about exactly?

Chelsea Avenue

Some things never stop until the deed is done.

On July 8th 1987, in Long Branch, New Jersey, The Haunted House Pier and Murphy’s Law club fires destroyed not only local landmarks, but everything Manny Santiago found dear.

And it isn’t over.

The entity responsible for killing Manny’s family and wreaking devastation in the small seaside community has reappeared. Again. And is growing in power.

Now every July 8th it returns, and this time survivors of the fires, including Manny, are being led back to the now-vacant lot on Chelsea Avenue, where the entity intends to finish what it started in 1987 once and for all.

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