#amwriting

Stories Are Like Children

This morning, it occurs to me that stories are like children. As authors, we give birth to these things and slowly groom them for adulthood (well, in this case, we publish them for the world to see). Once they’re ready, we publish our children into a world of readers and hope that they can stand on their own two feet. After all, that’s what determines success or failure in this industry, not necessarily sales.

Since I’ve produced a good amount of these “children”, I’d like to list my Top-5. Yep, as parents we don’t actually have favorites (I don’t. Both of my kiddos rock.), but as authors we do get to pick our favorites. Here are mine:

5. Hollow Earth. This is one of my least popular stories, but man was it fun to write! Sometimes writing can feel like a chore. Other times, it’s a blitz of euphoria. This baby was a blast from start to finish, and looking back I believe it’s a good story.

4. Nocturne. I’ve considered giving this puppy a new name and a rewrite somewhere along the way. Sure, it’s a strange story, but all I did was sit down and peck the keyboard. The inspiration for this story came to me all at once and I had no choice but to publish it. I think Nocturne stands the test of time.

3. Gunship: Bone Harvest. This one has underwent all sorts of changes before finally finding a home within the Gunship umbrella. Still, this particular story consumed about two months of my life, and I doubt the smile ever left my face during that time. A fun read. A fun project.

2. Atlantis. I can still remember spending the better part of a summer mapping out the city of Atlantis in a notebook and then whacking away at it on a laptop. It is impossible not to love this story. Sadly, this is likely to be my least popular story. I had planned this as the first book of many – hopefully one day.

Finally, 1. Wicked. This is some of my best work. I can still remember finishing the final edit on this baby, saving it, and instantly realizing that it was special. I can remember laughing out loud while writing the Top Gun scene. This is a roller coaster of zombie wickedness, hence the name.

Honorable Mention: REDD, Ghost Planet, Brookhaven.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get around to Top-5 list of stories that I didn’t enjoy writing/publishing. Trust me, I have those as well. I suppose we’ll call them the “problem children”, eh?

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Living With Vertigo

So, apparently vertigo is a real thing. I’ve written about it (in a humorous way) a few times in Gunship, only to find out that nothing’s funny about it. My world is literally spinning. Caffeine seems to work for a bit, as do the prescription meds. Still, this one blindsided me. LUCKILY, REDD 2 was already in cue to be published on 8/4 and is currently available for preorder. As for the next project?

We’ll have to wait and see. If you’re a fan of REDD (or if you haven’t picked up my latest story Wicked) then I suggest you pick this baby up, as it also includes Wicked as a bonus read.

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Based on the feature film! Alice Little is a super soldier from the future, she just doesn’t know it yet. The GRIMM Corporation has sent its top assassin (Snow) to deal with the last R.E.D.D. agent. After a mishap lands them in the year 1997, Snow formulates a plan to end GRIMM’s biggest threat, once and for all. Meanwhile, Alice Little will enlist the help of Magic Valley’s finest detective, leading to the ultimate showdown of good vs. evil.

>Preorder on Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble NookKoboiTunesSmashwordsPaperback

REDD lands 8/3/2018!

#amwriting

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Writing is hard work! I once got an email from a guy who disputed that, and I politely explained to him that it wasn’t “back-breaking” work, but writing is hard. Competing with mainstream authors isn’t as easy as you might think. They have publishing companies who are willing to fork out thousands of dollars for advertising. Honestly, I don’t have that kind of money to advertise with. I rely on a strong work ethic and word of mouth from my readers.

If you’d like to buy me a coffee, that’d be great! I’ve made it as easy as possible. Simply hit the PayPal page and donate a few bucks via PayPal. Be sure to include your name in the comments during the payment process so I can thank you in an upcoming video or blog.

A lot of authors who helped me when I first started writing have quit and moved on to other things. Writing doesn’t pay much, I get it, but I can’t quit. My passion won’t allow it. So I’ll continue to write about strange settings and interesting characters and hope that hard work and a belief in destiny is enough. The next time you buy a coffee, remember your favorite author.

🙂

#amwriting

A Brief History of Gunship

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I first published Gunship in 2011. From there, readers continued to ask for stories just as fast as I could write them. The Gunship series centers around a small crew of smugglers caught in the middle of a galactic civil war, and introduces readers to both our heroes, and the vibrant Skyla Star System.

 

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The Fleet series takes place between Gunship #5 and Gunship #6, and basically gives our favorite crew a proper sendoff while introducing new characters. There’s also a heavy focus on a brand new super race of beings, the Krall.

 

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I’m currently working on the third series under the Gunship umbrella. Fortress will chronicle the events following Gunship: Lagoon (#10) as the Krall have overrun humanity and taken the Skyla System as their own. Our heroes will now do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival.

 

Gunship/Fleet stories take place in the Skyla System, a star system much like our very own, though vast beyond any human comparisons. While the Skyla System does, in fact, have three “sun” stars, it pulls most of its heat and light from the largest, which is known as “green sun”. The smaller two combine with green sun and dilute most of its green tint, though several of the inner most planets continue to see green throughout the daytime.

There are several key players in an ongoing war that has now spanned hundreds of years: Colonials, Legion, Drifters, Hunters, Benzans, and Infected.

  • Colonials are allied with Drifters and fight for both freedom and peace. Among the heroes of the Colonial Army: Dalton James, Adam Michaels, and Roman Raines.
  • Legion sworn are “loosely” allied with Hunters as they have the same agenda: totalitarian government. There is an unspoken agreement that they will wipe out their foes first, and then fight one another for complete domination. Legion heroes include: Vladris, Sarah, and Foster.
  • Drifters are a mixture of American Wild West and Amish. While they shun technology for the most part, gunslinging outlaws and tough-as-nails sheriffs rule the day.
  • Hunters are the Skyla System’s equivalent of vampires. No, they don’t sleep in caskets or fear garlic. They simply are stronger, have the power to regenerate after injury, and live for their religion, a queen’s rule, and observe a code that is thousands of years old.
  • Very little is known about the Void. This is an area in which ships have flown, never to return. It is the rumored home of the Benzan Mafia, and also the gateway to other galaxies and races, should they exist.
  • The Infected were first born through Legion science. Once out of control, the Legion briefly joined the rest of the universe in trying to combat this new virus which renders its hosts zombie-like. While not technically dead, hosts exceed living temperatures and only exists to kill. Not for food – only to kill.

Conflict planets are places of indefinite war. Many non-conflict planets welcome anyone so long as they have credits (money) in their pockets. The infected have been reduced to roughly 1% of the Skyla System’s total population, but many people still fear them. It is because of this fear that nearly 20% of the Skyla System’s total population now live aboard large ships which serve as space stations. These are also places of heavy trade among the factions. Each faction has its heroes and its problems.

This is the setting in which my bestselling series Gunship exists. Join us.

I also invite you to check out the brand new Gunship Merch Store!

#amwriting

Upcoming

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With over 100 thousand downloads, Gunship earned us a place at the table.
When Fleet hit bestseller status, the science fiction community took notice.
Now, the third chapter is underway. Fortress is where we claim our throne.

 

Humanity is in its closing moments of the war against the Krall. The Skyla System is lost to us. What’s left of Colonial and Legion forces (once enemies) agree to meet with the Husk tribes, Hunters, and the tatter of Benzan Mafia that remains.

Dubbed “Project: Fortress”, the plan is simple: run like hell. Humanity and its former enemies will now head for the patch of space known as the “Void”. A patchwork quilt of worm holes and passageways, the Void is uncharted space in its rawest form. Find a habitable star system to call home…that is the mission.

One last battle is on the horizon as humanity and its new allies prepare to make their grand exit. Civilizations die hard. Heroes die harder.

FORTRESS – Available this winter!

 

#amwriting

The REDD 2 Cover Reveal!

Here it is, fans, in all of its glory!

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The official cover (above) will appear on all formats of REDD 2 (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and paperback). However, the official artwork by April Crum (below) will be available in print! 

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You may already know that REDD creator Patrick Prejusa has been battling multiple health problems as of late. REDD 2 (Down the Rabbit Hole) is based on his vision and exists to both further the story, and to help Patrick during this tough time. A REDD comic book is also in the works. As for this project, it will be available for pre-order and we’ll post a specific date as soon as we round third base and close in on finishing up.

Until then, thank you the interest. Sharing this reveal would be a huge help!

#amwriting

Almost to the Finish Line

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I’m edging closer to the finish line on REDD: Through the Rabbit Hole. Well, by the standards of a writer, there’s still plenty of work to do. I’m edging closer to the finish of the rough draft, which may not seem like a huge deal to most folks, but this project is literally 6 years in the making.

What started off as a simple email between myself (author, R.E.D.D. fanboy) and Patrick Prejusa (producer) has finally taken shape. Since the beginning, I’ve seen this franchise as far more than just a fantastic movie. In talking with Patrick, we now have this grand vision of comic books, an animated series and, of course, serialized fiction.

There’s also one heck of a twist.

My most beloved character (I won’t mention his name. I won’t have to.) not only appears in REDD: Through the Rabbit Hole, but is about to get his own spin-off series called Arkham. It would seem that while Magic Valley is the origin of evil, it’s but one of many in which evil exists. So, without giving too much away, you now know how the rest of 2018 and all of 2019 looks for me.

Now it’s time to finish this! I’m excited. I’m stoked. Most importantly, I’m 100% convinced that R.E.D.D. 2 will change the landscape of science fiction forever. 

#amwriting

I’m Heading Out to Film #SCL

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As I sit here with a stack of bags packed next to me, I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Several months ago, I was a bunny’s hair away from being cast on Surviving Reelfoot, but I just couldn’t justify driving to the other side of Tennessee and being away from my family for an entire week. 

As I was gaming with my closest friend one day, I let him know the deal. His reply? “I could put together a better show man, trust me. I’ve got all the equipment we need. Claytor Lake is nearby.” He also hit me with a bunch of technical terms that I, to this day, know nothing about. But here we are.

Will it compete with the other Survivor fan-made projects on YouTube? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m about to set off on what should be an epic adventure. Nine cameras covering two remote campsites and, on the third and final day of filming (er, surviving), we merge together and take the Claytor Lake Festival by storm. Meaning yes, we’ll be filming our final day among an expected crowd of 15,000 people. 

The lives of ten people (some family, others friends who are like family) including myself will be captured on video for 72 very tough hours. Will I find myself on Team Drake (Yellow), Team Hantz (Blue), or Team Kaos (Black)? You’ll have to subscribe to the official #SCL YouTube channel to find out!

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Dalton James Lives

OK, I’m halfway through the rough draft of REDD 2 and Dalton James has arrived. No, he’s not here to steal the show, but he’s found a way to creep in and give longtime Gunship fans what they crave. Actually, this is more like Dalton James circa Heroes, as he’s Magic Valley’s finest detective in 1997, but no matter! The whiskey hoarding tough guy is back!

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Dalton James and I have a unique arrangement. You see, he pops in and out whenever he damn well pleases and I simply document the experience. That’s how writing works – that how the character finds his way to the page; Dalton sits next to me at the kitchen table, drinks whiskey, smokes (far) too often, and offers a story or two from time to time. When he does offer up his adventurous lore, I strike gold. When he doesn’t say a word, I end up writing my tail off, only to have my story crash and burn. I stress. He laughs. “Daring not to give a damn.” as he likes to call it.

Point is, this pulp legend has now staggered his way into the REDD universe and (pending Patrick Prejusa’s blessing), Dalton James’ adventures will continue with a spin-off series that is set in Magic Valley 1997. Wouldn’t that be something? Dalton thinks that it would. In fact, he’s here, right now, demanding that I tell you that. 

Either way, as I’m mere days from spending half a week out in the woods as a cast member of Survivor Claytor Lake (and hopefully winning!), my future in fiction is also front and center. Gunship isn’t my legacy after all. Dalton James is. He told me to say that, too.

 

#amwriting

Streamlining

I’m streamlining my online presence, folks! Summer officially begins (in this house) tomorrow afternoon, and between college, writing the sequel to REDD, and helping to produce Survivor: Claytor Lake (#SCL), my plate is pretty full. So I’ve decided to shutter some of my online accounts, including my YouTube page. Obviously, I’ll keep Twitter (until I hand it off to my kids in a couple of years), but pretty much everything else is up in the air at this point.

Long story short: my endgame is to hand everything over to my kids at some point, as they love technology and I pretty much despise it. My daughter has expressed interest in writing and if that continues, I can see a time when I show her what she needs to know, hand her the rights to all of my previous work, and let her have at it.

I’ll continue to write because that’s what I love to do, but the rest of it just isn’t for me. All of the social media, marketing, etc. – I can live without that side of the business.