11/29/12

Literary Guardian Angel

I cut my teeth on Kurt Vonnegut. No, literally. In college I read nothing but Kurt Vonnegut, so when an old girlfriend decided to hurl something at me, it was one of his books that was closest to her. Okay, it cut my lip, not my teeth, but I think that’s well within poetic license wiggle-room, no?

I don’t bear any ill-will toward Mr. Vonnegut for it. I admire him too much. In art school, I spent twenty hours making a 20″x20″  pencil rendering of him. I read everything he ever wrote. Several times. And I seemed to walk in the same circles he did, only years later. I tried to get him to sign my drawing but there was confusion and by the time things got sorted, he left this granfalloon we call earth.

My Literary Guardian Angel

Twenty hours of toil. A lifetime of admiration. So it goes.

There is no writer, living or dead, who has driven my desire to write more than Kurt Vonnegut did. My heart wilts a little when I think that I never met the man who had so much influence in my life. Maybe he knows. Maybe, wherever he went after this life he learned of my admiration for him. I like to think he did. Because a week after my first novel was published, Kurt came back with an unpublished manuscript. He and I share the same column on the Kindle Serials page. His book is above mine, shining down. I think he would appreciate the irony of coming back from the dead to shine down on my book about the undead.

I think that was just his style.

It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.
-Kurt Vonnegut

 

Sucker's Portfolio

 

11/20/12

The Next Big Thing

Writing is a lonely thing, so when writer’s reach out to one another and work together, it is more than just teamwork. It is solidarity and understanding and a true appreciation for what we go through. So in the spirit of solidarity and appreciation (and the hopes that everyone participating gets a bump in their sales) I present my link in the long literary chain called The Blog Hop.

First off, I want to thank Chris Turner, who was kind enough to think of me for this endeavor. Chris is a selfless and tireless writer with a high output of wonderful fantasy novels. Please have a look at his blog. You will be impressed. I promise.

So, as my part of this Blog Hop requires, I will now talk a bit about my works in a question/answer format, as if the voices in my head and I were having an honest discourse.

 

Q: Why do you write fantasy?
A: I have read fantasy all of my life. I think it’s just a general sense of discontent with reality. In fantasy, anything can happen. The laws of the universe can be twisted. It’s like that old X-Files poster that shows a picture of a UFO and says, “I Want To Believe.” Kind of my vie won life and my bank account. I truly do want to believe that there is more in our world. In fantasy, aliens do exist. Dragons can fly. Magic is real. Although I have to say, my fantasy novels feature a low-grade-plutonium version of magic. There are few flying dragons and no elves or dwarves. It is typically Real Life 1.1. When laws of nature are broken, it is a big deal in my books, and it doesn’t happen often.

Q: What is your latest work?
A: My latest novel is called The Scourge and it has been published by 47North, Amazon Publishing’s SciFi/Fantasy imprint. It is a Kindle Serial at the moment, meaning you pay one price ($1.99) and the novel is delivered in episodes, at no extra cost. It’s an awesome way to write. There is an immediacy to it, knowing that hundreds or thousands will read what I am writing in a few short weeks. It really makes you write well and write quickly, and it’s one of the best things I have written.

Q: What is The Scourge about?
A: Well, it’s sort of a historical fiction. I say that, but really it’s a love story. But a love story that is mostly action and adventure. With a bit of fantasy thrown in. And humor, definitely humor and quirky characters. Oh, and did I mention the zombies?

Q: Sounds like quite a story.
A: That’s not technically a question, but I will use the opportunity to summarize the tale: A plague sweeps across 14th century England, maddening its victims and giving them a taste for human flesh. Against this backdrop, a knight, Sir Edward of Bodiam, searches for his wife. She was in East Anglia, far to the northeast, when the plague struck and he has not heard from him. So he and two other knights make the journey across a ravaged England searching for her, fighting zombies, meeting odd characters, and struggling to hold on to whatever faith they possess.

Q: Can readers get a sample of the story?
A: Yes! I highly recommend that readers take a look inside the book on Amazon and read a bit. I think once they read the first few pages they will understand that it is quite different from the typical zombie stories they have read. It is darkly funny and wrestles with issues of faith, religion, loyalty and morality itself.

Q: Thanks for your answers. Please kill Scott Palmetta, the boy who made fun of you in 7th grade. 
A: You’re welcome, voice in my head. And I’m not going to fall for that again.

And please, those of you still reading, please visit Chris Turner’s blog. You won’t be disappointed.

11/13/12

Launch

The Scourge launched today. I am excited and thrilled and a little sentimental. I feel like I’ve given birth. Triplets. Edward, Tristan and Morgan. They’ve been a part of me for so much of these last months. It’s an anxious time letting them out into the world, to breathe and take their first steps.

If you read their story, I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying the writing of it. If you have any positive thoughts on the tale and want to express them, I welcome comments, and welcome positive reviews on Amazon even more. If you have negative thoughts on it, please go away. Kidding. If something about the story bothers you, or if you think something can be improved, please let me know. As writers, our journey never ends. We must always seek to be better, go higher. And the next stair-step in our eternal climb can come from anyone.

For those of you who have bought The Scourge, or are planning to buy it, I thank you. Just as writing is a never-ending journey, so is it a lonely one. And only when others read our work does the loneliness of it fade.

Here’s to Edward, Tristan and Morgan. Happy birthday, guys.

 

11/12/12

Release Date = Tomorrow!

The Scourge release date is *tomorrow*! Want to thank my lovely fiancee Annabelle Page, who worked tirelessly with me on this novel, and the Fairfield Scribes, the group responsible for The Scourge.

Hmm. That came out wrong.

Anyway, please help spread the word about the novel. Here’s a taste of the first page, for those of you on the fence:

At first, the priests and bishops called it a scourge from God. They preached that only the impure needed to fear it. That the holy hand of the Father was purging the wicked from the earth. But the holy hand of the father started purging priests and bishops too. They call it a plague now.

I have never seen plague bring a man back from the dead. I have never heard of a plague that keeps a man alive after he has been cut in half. Nor do I know of any sickness, in England or upon the continent, that gives its victims a taste for living flesh. But I am a simple knight. If the Archbishop of Canterbury tells me it is a plague, then I shall do all I can to ease the suffering of those afflicted.

Four women with this plague lurch toward us. There is no white to their eyes, only black. Blood stains their clothing. The closest, a lady dressed in the finery of a gentlewoman, snarls like a starving wolf. I recognize her. She is wife to John Broke, steward to John of Gaunt.  I have no love for John Broke but no one deserves the fate that she has suffered. Blood covers her mouth, neck, and chest. The three women look like demons risen from hell, but I know they cannot be because Archbishop Hartley says it is a plague. I draw thirty-six inches of medicine from the sheath at my side. The two knights beside me do the same. We line up shoulder to shoulder, shields high.

Be healed, sisters. Be healed.

Sound interesting? Pick up a copy! It’s only $1.99 at Amazon, and even though the release date is tomorrow you can pre-order it right now and it will magically beam to your Kindle tomorrow. Don’t have a kindle, download it to your computer or Android device with the Kindle app.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scourge-Kindle-Serial-ebook/dp/B009VIC33O/ref=la_B008V27J62_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352602590&sr=1-1

If you like it, please let others know. Thanks!

 

11/8/12

Cover Story

Just got the okay from my editor at 47North to release the cover for my new Kindle Serial novel, The Scourge. I have to say, I *love* it. Great use of color and detail. Have a look below and let me know your thoughts please.

Cover for my newest novel, The Scourge

There’s etched armor and blood. What more do you need?

The first episode of the novel will be released on November 13. Just a reminder, with Kindle Serials you pay one price ($1.99) and you get each episode delivered to you for *no extra charge*. Please have a look at the Amazon page for more information, and pre-orders are welcome!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scourge-Kindle-Serial-ebook/dp/B009VIC33O

Thanks! And please let me know your thoughts on the cover.

 

11/2/12

The Big News: 47North

I have been sitting on a piece of “Big News” for a while now. It’s exciting and awesome and I have been going crazy having to sit quietly in my corner until I could announce it.

But the time has come.

***FANFARE***

I have just signed a publishing contract with 47North for my newest novel, The Scourge.

***MORE FANFARE***

47North

I have signed a contract with 47North publishing for my latest novel, The Scourge. Let there be cakes and cheeses and dried meats.

Yes. I am chuffed. I am beside myself. And beside everyone else.

*Attempts backflip*

The novel is called “The Scourge,” and it is a historical fiction with a paranormal/horror twist. 47North, a division of Amazon Publishing, will start “The Scourge” in the brand new “Kindle Serials” program. In this program, readers pay one price and then get the novel delivered to their kindle in  ”episodes” every two weeks. One low price, one entire novel delivered to your kindle in eight or ten episodes. I’ll be talking more about the “Kindle Serials” program in later blogs.

But this is more than an e-book contract.

The first episode of the novel will be released on November 13. Once the serial run is complete, the novel will become a standard 47North title, to be re-released in e-book, print and audio versions. I can’t tell you how excited I am about working with 47North and Amazon Publishing. They have been an absolute joy to deal with and have asked for my input on everything from episode length to cover style. A class act all the way.

But enough about them. This post is about The Scourge.

The novel takes place in a 14th century England ravaged by a ghastly new plague that drives its victims mad. Victims of this plague roam the country, attacking and devouring all living creatures they come into contact with.

The story revolves around a knight, Sir Edward Dallingridge of Sussex, who has been separated from his wife, Lady Elizabeth. Sir Edward and two of his knights set off from Bodiam, in the south of England, to St. Edmund’s Bury, in the central east, to find the Lady Elizabeth.

The three knights ride through the swiftly changing landscape of England, encountering madness, violence and sorrow. And through it all, the gnawing fear of losing his wife keeps Sir Edward riding deeper and deeper into the thickening darkness of unholy terror.

Sound good? Then please keep your eyes open for it on November 13. You will be able to buy it at this link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scourge-Kindle-Serial-ebook/dp/B009VIC33O

It will be one of only a few Kindle Serials so far, and hopefully it will get some attention.

Yay, me!