Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tar by Taylor Hohulin (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Taylor Hohulin, who tells us about....

The Wild and the Weird: Two Authors That Influenced Tar
Taylor Hohulin

My new book, Tar, recently came out. It’s a post-apocalyptic road trip adventure with wizards, zombies, cults, and a whole bunch of other random things stitched together. It’s funny—when I was writing it, I never consciously said, “I should do this scene like X author in Y book.” But as I’ve stepped back, I can definitely see where different authors have influenced me. So here you go: Two authors besides me who contributed to the ideas in Tar.
Author #1: Stephen King
Anyone who knows me well is probably rolling their eyes about now. I make no secret about how I’m a big-time Stephen King fanboy. I usually read one or two of his books every year, and even the ones regarded as some of his lesser works have been massively entertaining to me (looking at you, Tommyknockers).
I’ve at least liked everything from King I’ve read, but his Dark Tower series is on a completely different level. Ever since I read it, I’ve been able to point to elements in each of my books since that pulled inspiration from the adventures of Roland, Jake, Eddie, and Susanna. The blend of science fiction, western, and horror was unbelievably wild and inspiring to me, and I think that was probably the first book where I really got interested in blending genres into new and interesting combinations. Tar itself is a blend of cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and post-apocalypse, and there’s even a character that functions a lot like Roland in the Dark Tower series.
Author #2: China Mieville
The year I wrote Tar was also the year I discovered The New Weird—a slipstream genre marked by, well, weirdness. China Mieville wasn’t the New Weird author I read the most from (that honor goes to Jeff VanderMeer), but he was the one who inspired me the most.
Perdido Street Station was the book I didn’t know I was dying to read. I almost didn’t pick it up, just because I thought the cover looked dumb. But now I’m thrilled that I did. I didn’t know it was possible for a human to have as many unique ideas in their life as Mieville fits in this one book. It was absolutely incredible, and I found myself thinking as I read thinking, This is the kind of read I want Tar to be. It’s unapologetically weird, but the plot is also hugely engrossing.
I should make it clear that I’m not comparing myself to these authors. If the quality of my work even comes close to King and Mieville levels of greatness, I’ll be thrilled. But their approach to genre fiction, their respect for genre conventions and their willingness to break them, all add up to books that I can’t put down. Hopefully, if you read Tar, you have a somewhat similar experience. And if you don’t, please go pick up one of the books I’ve mentioned. You won’t be disappointed.


by Taylor Hohulin


GENRE:   Post-apocalypse/Science Fiction/Horror



Brendan Cobb calls it tar, but there might be as many names for it as cities left standing.

To some, it’s known as filth, or blight. Others call it the Black God in reverential whispers. Whatever name it takes, the effects are the same. Cities left in ruins. People turned into monsters. Living infections with no known cure. The best anyone can do is avoid it, but even that gets harder the more it spreads.

Brendan survives this waking nightmare by trading salvage for shelter and for repairs to his cybernetic arm, until a newcomer arrives, convinced Brendan is the key to ridding the world of tar once and for all. Reluctantly, Brendan and his mechanic join the newcomer on a journey across the desolate highways of a ruined world, where he learns the true history of the tar…and of the dark power inside him, which grows stronger every day.



The driver of the black car twisted his wheel hard, and the weaponized tires rolled toward Brendan’s head at ninety-five miles per hour. Samson slammed on the brakes, and the seatbelt bit Brendan’s collarbone. Tires squealed, and Samson’s car fell back a split second before the black ones collided. The spiked tires sparked and shredded each other. The vehicles tangled, swerving about the highway in tandem. Samson hung back to avoid danger, but he couldn’t do it for long. Another car loomed behind them.

And so Samson lifted one hand off the wheel.

As he did, the road lifted off the ground.

Samson punched the gas, and Brendan’s body pressed into the seat. They raced up the rising pavement, came to the place where the road ran out, and then they were airborne.

Brendan held his breath. He braced his arm against the window. The hum of the road faded away. The small vibrations of the highway’s uneven surface ceased. They were flying, the car carrying them over the carnage of the entangled black vehicles.

As suddenly as they’d left it, they hit the ground again. Brendan’s spine compressed with the impact. The car fishtailed a moment, the wheels bit the asphalt, and they took off like an arrow.

When he’d regained his bearings, Brendan looked out the rear window. The black cars had flipped, now lying on either end of the road with shredded tires spinning uselessly. No evidence remained of the ramp Samson had created except crumbled pavement.

The book is on sale for $0.99.
 (please check price before buying)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, and other genre-blending works. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, where they are owned by a dog and a cat.



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The tour dates can be found here


  1. Replies
    1. Thank YOU for taking the time to come interact with my visitors. Good luck on the release and the tour!

  2. Thanks so much for bringing to our attention another great book out there to read. I appreciate hearing about them since I have so many readers in my family.

  3. Replies
    1. Glad to hear you think so, Kim. Thanks for dropping by.

  4. What books are you looking forward to read in 2019? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. We'll see! I really want to read the Mortal Engines books before the movie comes out, but that's before 2019...

  5. Replies
    1. Happy to do so, thanks for taking the time to come by!

  6. Replies
    1. You're very welcome. Hope you're surviving the wetness!