Title “Rubble and the Wreckage”
Genre: M/M Romantic Thriller
Author: Rodd Clark
Gabriel Church knows you can’t take a life without first understanding just how feeble life is, how tentative and weak it stands alone. If you desire murder, you hold a life in your hand. Whether you release it to grant life or grip tighter to end it, it is at your command and discretion. Gabriel is a serial killer with a story he wants told.
Christian Maxwell studied abnormal psychology in college but chose instead to focus on a career in writing. His background comes in handy when he thinks of writing about a serial killer. He can’t think of anyone more qualified to write the story of Gabriel Lee Church, and do so in the murderer’s own words. It’s been done before, but never with a killer who has yet to be captured or convicted.
There was never anything more than a gentleman’s understanding between the two men that Christian would record Gabriel’s life story. The killer did not ask for his complicity in any crimes, nor did he ever ask for his silence. Christian’s interest in the man, though, is fast becoming something more than academic. When the writer and his subject become unexpected friends and then lovers, the question remains: What is Gabriel’s endgame . . . and why does he want his story told?
The below is an interview with Gabriel Church, the main character in Rodd Clark’s latest novel, “Rubble and the Wreckage”. For those who have not had the fortune of reading the book we must acknowledge who Gabriel Church is, and tell our audience that Church is a serial killer, as well as being the lover to our protagonist, Christian Maxwell. At the time of our interview he sat before me wearing a button down flannel shirt over a wrinkled white tee shirt. He wore denim jeans and scruffy, dirty work boots. He appeared unadorned and presented himself a picture of masculine confidence. His face was covered with a three day growth of unattended beard. And as this interviewer would later write, his greatest feature was clearly his eyes, which were pale blue and the color of slate or concrete. They appeared depthless in my perspective and practically danced with vibrancy. They twinkled bright as if to illustrate a seemingly hidden intelligence. It didn’t quite fit the likeness in the man across the table, due to his big size and shabby attire.
Please tell our readers your name, age and place of birth.
“Gabriel Church, 36 and I was born in Kentucky. But we moved to Tennessee when I was just a boy.”
What is your occupation?
“I suppose you’d call me a jack of all trades, I scrape by but I figure your readers already know that, and know that I kinda drift from town to town.”
And that would be because of why?
“Because I’m a wanted man dammit, a killer in fact, and I’m simply trying to steer clear of getting caught.”
Is there anyone important in your life and tell us about the relationship you have with your family.
“There’s only one person I care about and that’s Chris Maxwell, and yes readers that’s a dude I’m talking about. As far as my family’s concerned, well I wrote em’ off years ago and I don’t have contact with any of them. I suppose you’re gonna ask about regrets about now, and before you do I’m gonna say that I don’t have any.”
(Gabriel seemed to drop his guard at this point then stared at his boots to avoid eye contact. Recognizing a shift in his temperament I plodded along with my next question.)
No regrets at all?
“Well…I suppose I might regret a little with not being able to see how my younger sister turned out…but that’s just water under the bridge now.”
If you could do it all over again do you think you’d have made the same choices?
“Certainly not but God chose me, not the other way around. I committed murders in his name and by his direction. And because of that I’m branded a killer. But since meeting Chris I’ve begun to question the validity and the voices in my head. I might’ve liked to have seen how it might’ve ended up if I’d just ignored those whispers, or allowed myself to see a different path.”
Was hearing the voice of God the only defining moment in your life?
“Well it certainly had its own effect, that’s for sure. But about then I was approached by Christian Maxwell the writer. And he wanted me to tell my story to the whole world. As it turned out that never did happen though. I suppose that changed everything more. Meeting him and knowing that he saw me as something other than a cold-blooded killer made me see that there could’ve other roads I might’ve chosen and things I hadn’t even considered as a possibility before him. Like I never pictured myself with a man, not sexually, so I suppose he was more of a defining moment to me than even when I heard God speak and tell me the things I needed to do for him.”
Are you worried about getting arrested and facing judgment for your crimes?
“Not as much as you’d think. I worry more about what this is doing to Chris. Cuz that little shit couldn’t even begin to survive prison. And knowing I might be the one who put him there keeps me up most nights.”
You make it sound like he’s the only one you’ve ever cared for, is that a fair assessment?
“He’s the first, the last, and the only. I never much cared for anyone or anything before him. It’d be too tough to carry that kinda burden whenever a man simply needs to travel light.”
What would others say is Gabriel Church’s best skill or asset?
“Hell, that’d be my ability to fuck and fuck well!” (Church chuckled at that and flashed his pearly white grin with his answer. He leaned back comfortably in his chair appearing very self-assured and pleased with his witty retort.) “No…really I suppose my best skill is just being a survivor, which isn’t all that easy, given my lifestyle and choices made. I’m pretty effective with reading strangers though and that gift has served me well over the years. The only person who ever confounded me from the Git-Go was Chris, and I imagine that’s why he interests me so much.”
Do you Gabriel Church have any breaking point that you’d like to share with us?
“Breaking points are just road signs for pussies I’d say. I haven’t survived alone, or for as long as I have by showing any weakness. If you pressed me though…well I’d have to admit the one point where I could ever see a break occur is probably already present, some crack or fissure, like an overworked bend in the pipe. And if it’s there, it’s no doubt because of my belief in everything I’ve been doing since I’ve been walking across planet earth. Or maybe it’s that writer currently sitting back in Seattle. Someone I hope who’s been thinking about me as much as I’ve had him stomping around in my brains here lately.”
Where do you see yourself, in say five years?
(Thinking on that momentarily Church finally looked back before saying.) “Son, I doubt I’ll still be breathing good air by then. And if so it won’t be free air filling my lungs. I figure I’ll be long-past dead by then, since I don’t aim to go down without me swinging, or at the very least getting a few return rounds off with my Glock 9, which I always keep at the ready. If you were to ask where I’d like to be…now that might be something worth talking about. I think I’d like to be on a beach somewhere, feeling the dry sand on my open toes. I’ve never been outside these United States after-all and I’d enjoy sipping a Mai Tai while basking on a lounge chair, a tropical breeze blowing across my naked body. And I picture Chris sitting there right beside me, probably too absorbed in some big novel while blistering red under a noonday sun.”
(His face became dreamy and distant at that moment, a mental image taking hold and causing him to drift from the conversation. I regretted having to pull him back.)
What is the likelihood of that occurring do you think?
“Well aint you the asshole!” (He blurted out with a stammer. Right before flashing a cold calculated glare my way, all but burning holes through me. His mood had changed suddenly and that unsettled me, particularly since it was originating from those beautiful unblemished grayish blue eyes of his.) “You do like to bring the bad with you dontcha boy?”
I certainly apologize. I just wanted our readers to know if this was something you might be planning as a future.
“Men like me don’t have a future, not the one I would’ve liked anyways. There aren’t any sandy beaches in my future, and not with a man like Chris sitting next to me. In case you hadn’t heard son, everything crumbles. It just happens little by little, and I’m no exception to that long standing rule.”
With that Church stood up and I realized our time together was concluding, by his choice and not by mine. He was dismissing me without a word and though I had more questions I would’ve liked to have asked his mood had clearly turned a darker shade and it was apparent he no longer wished to continue the interview. I stood and shook his hand, feeling a firm grip returned. There was no malice in his eyes, nothing telling me he wished me any ill-will, I had just overstepped my bounds. With many answers left unresolved I can only tell the readers to pick up a copy of “Rubble and the Wreckage” and then the sequel which is releasing this year titled “Behold a Pale Rider” and published through Driven Press.)
Rodd lives in Dallas, TX at the moment but hails from the sticks of Oklahoma. Check out his web presence at RODDCLARK.COM. Interested in the M/M Mystery, Romance and Thriller genres but has a varied interest in many books. It has been written, that his writing has a very dark and distinctive voice with a need for deep exploration and analysis. His latest work is the Romance Thriller “Rubble and the Wreckage” and is currently working on the sequel which he hopes to have released in 2015.
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This is sort of a star-crossed love story, but for me, it’s the study of a serial killer, more in the psychological mystery/thriller category than a gay romance.
Gabriel Church does form a relationship with a man, but there’s also much more happening in this novel. Flashbacks to his murders (not blood and gore filled) and childhood are given. The inner struggle of both male leads is shown to the reader. There is hetero as well as homo sexuality within the story (neither are super graphic), but most of the sex scenes are between Gabriel and Christian, the male leads.
What I liked most was the anticipation of trying to figure out where these characters were headed. How far would things go? How willing is one to change for the other? The plot didn’t follow the same formula as some books. I may be totally wrong, but I think the author does this on purpose to highlight the idea of divine intervention versus the law of randomness. Lots of detail is given with each scene and with the parallel and backstory. Also the point of view of Gabriel, Christian, and the victims is given. I liked it, but I don’t think this is for everyone. If you are looking for something sort of darkish with a nontraditional storyline that makes you think outside the box, you should check it out.