There’s going to be a bit of a re-occurring theme going on with this and the previous posts, but I’m almost done with this draft of the book. Once that’s done I have a bunch of edits to do, so unfortunately I don’t have a release date for you just yet. But I do appreciate everyone being very patient.
I also know that I said there was going to be a competition to win something cool, and there will be, but I’m sort of waiting on a few things before I go ahead with it, so as soon as I get the okay, you will all know what you can win and how.
In the meantime, if you have any interest in winning something very cool, read Born of Hatred. The question I’m going to ask will come from that book.
I know it’s all very vague, but I promise all will become clear in the near future.
I saw the new Star Trek last week and it’s fantastic. If you have any interest in Star Trek or the first movie in the re-boot, go see the new film, you won’t be disappointed. I was even impressed with the 3D, something I don’t normally care about even slightly.
I took Mim (my eldest daughter) to go see The Croods at the weekend too. It was good fun, although incredibly formulaic; new younger person intrudes in the family, causing friction with dad who was in charge. Everyone in the family begins to love him, except dad, which leads to a clash between the two. They make up and work together. Despite that it was funny, and silly and made me laugh a few times, which is the important thing when it comes to kids movies.
And then next week it’s Superman. Which had better not suck, it’s been far too long since a good Superman film (a non animated one).
Also, finally got round to watching Archer Season 4. I love Archer, which if you haven’t seen before, shame on you. It’s probably the funniest TV show on at the moment, although it is definitely not for kids.
Speaking of TV, Michael J Fox is back with a TV show, the trailer of which looks awesome. I’m glad to see him back on TV after so long, Spin City was one of my favourite comedy shows when it was on.
So, that’s it from me for another week. I hope you all gave a good weekend. I’m off to do some more writing.
It’s time for another book update.
With Silent Screams, is now on approximately 109,000 words, so I have about 10k left to do. And then the editing process begins. Yay, edits. So, it’s coming along quite nicely at the moment. In fact the person who’s read it said it was the best thing I’ve ever written, so I’m pretty excited about it.
It also means I may actually write a full blog post when it’s done. But let’s get the book finished first.
And now for a slight announcement. In a few weeks I’ll be running a competition to win something very cool, and the only way to win is to answer a question about Born of Hatred. So, if for some odd reason you haven’t read it yet, you may want to. And if you haven’t actually purchased it then it’s currently only $3.99 (£2.70), so you’ve got even more of a reason to buy it apart from the over 100, 5 and 4 star reviews (which I’m very grateful for)!
That’s it for another week. Normal service may resume next week, or it may not. Until then, have a good weekend.
I’m pleased to welcome the incredible author, Belinda Frisch to my blog to tell you about her new book, Afterbirth.
The survivors of the Nixon Center escape struggle in a post-apocalyptic world where the walking dead aren’t the biggest threats.
Working from a remote, mountain cabin, Dr. Howard Nixon is determined to salvage what is left of his experiment.
Allison escapes him, clinging to life and with no idea what’s happened in the world.
Zach is looking for her, but time is running out.
Reid lives holed up in the Nixon Center and waits for his revenge.
Tension is high as both Miranda and Carlene’s pregnancies come to term. Miranda, faced with the possibility that her delivery might cause her to become infected, is forced to seek help from the only other person who knows what has happened: Dr. Michael Waters, the physician who sent her to Dr. Nixon in the first place.
All roads lead back to Strandville where grudges resurface and old decisions must be answered for. Scott, Miranda, and Michael return to the center to face-off against their pasts and each other as Michael’s secret agenda comes to light.
For those who haven’t started the series, BOOK 1 is available on all platforms.
**Runner-up in the General Fiction category of the 2012 Halloween Book Festival
**BOOK ONE of the Strandville Zombie Series
Medicine meets horror in this thrilling escape tale about the evil men do in the name of progress.
Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.
Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won’t let her go. He doesn’t count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott.
A warning call brings Scott to Strandville where he bands together with a team of locals determined to bring their own loved ones home. Together, they infiltrate Nixon’s staff, hatching a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital.
Nixon locks down the center to contain the spread, turning patients, visitors, and staff into a dangerous horde that is almost impossible to escape. Miranda and the others fight for their lives. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.
About the Author:
Belinda Frisch’s fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine, Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of Zombie War. She is an honorable mention winner in the Writer’s Digest 76th Annual Writing Competition and her novel, CURE, is the runner-up in the General Fiction category of the 2012 Halloween Book Festival. She is the author of DEAD SPELL, PAYBACK, CURE, and AFTERBIRTH.
Okay, I’ve been asked a few times this week to come up with a way to let everyone know when there are updates on the next book.
Now, I don’t really have a permanent solution at the moment as my brain function is almost exclusively working on With Silent Screams, but I’ve come up with an idea.
For most of you, the best place to get regular updates will be my twitter, facebook, or facebook pages profiles, I post to all of them fairly regularly and in amongst the thoughts about how awesome Bioshock Infinite is, are usually a few posts about how the book is coming along. Links can be found along the right hand side of this page.
But because not everyone likes using either of those things, I’ve come up with another way. I’m going to create a With Silent Screams page to go alone with the other two book pages I have on this blog. When an update comes along, I’ll post it in there. Hopefully, that way everyone can get their updates without having to search or wonder what’s going on.
So, where am I with the book?
About 83,000 words have been finished, so there’s not long to go now. Within the next few weeks, I should have some more details about what’s going on and when the book will actually be released.
In the meantime, I’ve got my author photos being taken on Saturday. I did briefly consider having a shave, but screw it, the Grizzly Adams look is still in right?
And then on Sunday, I’m off to the London Book Fair, which I’m quite looking forward to. I don’t have a booth or anything, I’ll just be wandering around listening to people far smarter than I talk about writing. Should be fun.
This week I have the wonderful, and exceptionally talented, Anne Michaud, to answer some questions about writing, her new novella Girls and Monsters and whether or not Firefly should have come back to our TV screens.
So, let the questioning begin.
1. Can you tell us a bit more about your book? Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
I wrote Girls & Monsters on a four-year time frame, sometimes writing a story between novels or other projects and at other times, I’d write two novellas in a row, to shape the project into completion. Four of the five stories had already been written in shorter forms, but after reading them again, I realized I wanted to expand them. Strong girls kicking monsters butts, that’s my book.
2. Who’s your favourite character in the book?
Dust Bunnies’ Christiane would be my favorite of the bunch of girls in my collection. She started as an homage to Christiane F., the young Berliner who turned to prostitution to get her fixes of heroin in the 70′s. When you look closely at the plot and characters, you can easily spot where the line between reality and fiction blurred. The real Christiane died last year of an overdose, and like many others, her story touched a very dark part of my soul, I had to celebrate her life in my own way.
3. Which character from your book would you most like to meet?
Limnade, the mermaid of the lake. Well, the fact that she eats souls every year doesn’t make me want to meet her, but I’d just like to see her: hair like algae, claws colourless as her scales, mouth scissored with pointy teeth. Quite a sight to behold, even if she did first appear in a dream.
4. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have, many times. My trick is to switch project, to always move forward, whether or not it’s my next novel, short story, script – always keep my mind in motion, always finding ways to inspire myself. After I directed my second short film, I could NOT write for the life of me, until I went to check out an abstract art exposition – instant inspiration.
5. Best and worst writing tip you’ve learned?
“Keep writing” and “keep writing”: it’s as good as it’s bad. As a writer, what you must learn to develop (if you don’t own it naturally) is to know when to stop, when to move on, or when to push through. My sense of storytelling came later in my writing life, after years of practising: like a rock in your throat, you feel it when something’s wrong with your story, and you shouldn’t need somebody else to tell you. So “keep writing” until you’re finished or let go of a project that isn’t working right now (which doesn’t mean you can’t go back to it another time).
6. If you could work with any author who would it be?
Someone cool like Neil Gaiman, someone prolific like Carlos Ruiz Zafon, someone dark like Michael Grant, someone as heartbreaking as Meg Rosoff, someone as scary as Sarah Waters, and someone inspiring like Suzanne Collins. Or better yet, have all of them write an anthology, that’s a book I’d read.
7. You can be any comic book superhero – Who would you be?
Travel-girl: go anywhere in space and time.
8. What skills do you possess that would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?
I can roller-skate, so give me a blade and I’ll bring you to safety, Steve.
9. What is your favourite band?
The Cure, for the past 26 years.
10. You can pick one series to return to the TV. Firefly or Angel?
FIREFLY!!!!!! Oh, how I miss it so. I want to LIVE on that ship!
If you want want to read more about Anne’s work or learn more about her, here’s some info and links.
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
She blogs http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com
She Facebooks: http://www.facebook.com/annecmichaud
She tweets @annecmichaud
Girls & Monsters Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17335353-girls-monsters
Thanks for taking part, Anne. Also, thanks for saying you’d save me on your roller-skates. It’s good to know people are out there who can help me make a very slow getaway if the world is ever under siege from the undead. Also, everyone picks Firefly. Rightly so.
Another small update this week as I’m still neck deep into writing With Silent Screams. I should have more news about it in the next few weeks.
First of all, I finished Tomb Raider. It’s great game and one I can highly recommend. I do have 2 small problems with it. 1. There aren’t enough tombs to actually raid. And 2. There are a few too many enemies, especially toward the end of the game where it can feel like you’re being swarmed. If it weren’t for the fact that the combat is excellent, that would be a much bigger issue.
As it stands though, it’s 10-12 hours of awesome. Personally I can’t wait for the inevitable sequel (as it’s the best selling Tomb Raider game ever, there will be a sequel.)
However, next week it’s Bioshock Infinite. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the original Bioshock. While Bioshock 2 wasn’t as good, I have a feeling that Infinite is going to be something special. It’s a shame they’re releasing all of these incredible games in such a short space of time. Damn them.
I actually got some reading done last week too, which is a bit of a novelty for me. I finished the first Star Wars –New Jedi Order book: Vector Prime. I haven’t read too many of the expanded universe stuff for Star Wars, but with a new film in the pipeline I figured I’d read some more. Turns out it was excellent.
Slight Spoiler – One of the main characters from the series dies in this book in probably the single best death scene I’ve ever read. It’s just utterly epic stuff, and while it’s a shame they died, it was done well and it appears that they’ll be building on it so it’s not a throwaway.
On the writing front, I’ve realised I’ve sold over 22,000 books of Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred.
In fact, if I can get all mathy for a minute, in 2012 I sold:
Crimes Against Magic – 9300
Born of Hatred – 2300
So far (Jan and Feb) in 2013, I’ve managed:
Crimes Against Magic – 5100
Born of Hatred – 5500
It’s a wonderful achievement for me personally, and I can’t thank everyone who supported me or purchased a book enough. But thank you none-the-less.
If anyone is interested in what my magic secret is… well, I wish I knew. Because I’d tell everyone.
So, that’s it for this week. Have a good weekend all.
No real blog today as I’m deep into writing With Silent Screams (about ½ way through now) and trying very hard to not think about making notes for book 4 and 5. Why ideas always pop into my head when I’m meant to be doing something else, I have no idea. Not complaining mind you, it’s just awkward.
On the non writing front, I’m playing the new Tomb Raider. If you own a PS3 or 360 or a PC, buy this game. It’s simply incredible. I’m about 6 hours in and it’s very hard to put down.
It also has a good story, a rarity for a game, which was written by the always good Rhianna Pratchett (who wrote the excellent Mirrors Edge). Very few videogames have a story that’s engaging and well written, but in the last few months there have been several. Ni No Kuni and the Bafta winning Dishonored are the two off the top of my head. Hopefully with Bioshock Infinite out at the end of the month, it’s a trend that’ll continue.
So, that’s my recommendation for anyone wanting to play a videogame: Tomb Raider. Although, both Ni No Kuni and Dishonoured are well worth your time – the latter my favourite game from 2012 and should be played by everyone.
So, that’s it for this week. Short and sweet. Have a good weekend.
Today I have the privilege and honour to introduce a friend of mine, Keri Lake. Keri is an incredible writer who released her new book, Soul Avenged on the 6th Feb. So, without further ado, I give you Soul Avenged.
Soul Avenged Blurb:
Passion is blind in vengeance and love …
Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans.
The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life.
Now, one motive burns in her soul:
KILL THEM ALL.
The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds.
Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill.
Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest. To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.
Time is running out.
In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most. She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice. As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat.
Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth.
And now for a excerpt:
The frigid sensation sliced through Ayden’s veins, leaving a numb trail in its wake as she stepped through the remains of the abandoned factory—one of many havens for the crack addicts and prostitutes. The old Packard Plant had become no more than a ghostly haunt for tormented souls.
Shitholes were cropping up everywhere, much more rapidly than ever before. Detroit, once a thriving city, brought to ruins. Gray and lifeless like the suffocating overcast that loomed during daylight.
A vile stench assaulted her nose, a potent blend of piss, sex and rotted meat, as garbage crunched beneath her boots. Foundation had collapsed all around where she stood, crumbled as if the building would fold into the depths of hell.
The graffiti spattering the walls gave the impression that gangs were the real threat—‘We don’t die, we multiply.’
Right. Like gangs own any part of this city, anymore.
A Beretta, loaded with silver bullets and a silver parrying dagger rested at one of Ayden’s hips, a silver bullwhip at another, as she moved past comatose bodies and decaying corpses.
Feeding grounds, like a bait pile.
Deadened eyes slowly tracked her movement in the darkness, squinting, as though craving the light that hers didn’t need to see. Humans so strung out on drugs, they failed to recognize the half-eaten carrion were once their own kind.
Not that knowing would stop them. They’d apparently chosen to face danger rather than kick their addiction, roaming the streets every night in search of their next high.
They were already dead. Death just hadn’t come to collect yet.
The blissful sigh of a hopped-up junkie reached her ears. She snarled her lip. “Enjoy it while it lasts, asshole.”
It’d be one thing if they were homeless. Hell, she might’ve fired a warning shot to evacuate.
The homeless didn’t come here, though.
Neither did the police—making it the perfect spot to get wasted and hustle some money.
Shots fired would’ve been nothing more than a momentary distraction before their minds slipped back into their ignorant state of euphoria.
For any other girl, the place promised very bad things—an opportunity for a sadist to live out wild fantasies without ever getting caught.
For Ayden? Humans posed no threat. Their fragile bodies would shred like paper dolls against the work of her hands. Luckily for them, she sought something else to sate her thirst for bloodshed, something far more threatening than their most psychopathic criminal—and she’d tracked it right to the surrounding cornucopia of human flesh.
A thin, black mesh hoodie beneath her jacket concealed her face while the shiny black leather covering her body acted as a beacon in the moon’s light.
It didn’t matter.
Contrary to the fairytales and movies, they didn’t need a full moon to change.
Werewolves, some called them—like a supernatural Bigfoot on the loose. Nothing more than fodder for the tabloids, not to be taken seriously.
Lycans is how those ‘in the know’ referred to them.
The bastards could transform at will. In the middle of the day, if they wanted. Though, like a true predator, they’d evolved throughout the centuries, eluding humans by hunting them at night, catching their prey in their most vulnerable state.
Ayden reached a door in a darkened corner. The stubborn panel held stiff against the push of her palm, giving way only beneath one heave backed by exceptional strength. Beyond, a spiral of stairs wound above and below. Visuals flashed through her mind as she imagined the stairwell bustling with men in suits who passed each other with carefree visages—every one of them ghosts that roamed the destruction.
A quick scan showed no movement.
She tipped her head back and inhaled the repugnant scent the beasts had left behind.
Her feet took light steps, hardly making a sound against the concrete as she descended further into the pit of hell otherwise known as the lycan’s lair.
With each step, she wished her heart would pound wildly in her chest, or that her pulse rate would surge—both human reactions to fear. Neither of them did.
What fragments of her human soul remained had been stripped bare the night the Alexi made her one of their own. Even that, as tortuous as the unrelenting pain that seared through her body while it underwent its transformation, was a memory she could hardly summon anymore. Only a silent blackness dwelled in the place where snapshots of her life would have roamed free, a void that she couldn’t see beyond, separating her present from past.
She’d become one of them: an Alexi soldier. A cold and remorseless killer designed to eradicate in one sweep.
A noise piqued her sensitive ears.
Two flights below.
It could’ve been the skittering feet of a mouse beating against her skull like a base drum.
The thirst for blood moved like a dark storm cloud through her veins, a mix of raw adrenaline and something else—the something that came with her transformation.
Her feet moved on impulse, carrying her closer to whatever it was, rendering it nothing more than a thread-width away from its death.
In the corner of a landing, he sat hunched over on himself, body convulsing.
A grin skated across her face as she approached her first kill of the night.
So, if you want to read more (and why wouldn’t you?), here are the links to get hold of your very own copy.
I’d like to thank Keri for letting me be part of her blog tour, but before I go, here’s a little more about the lady in question.
Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and loves a good, tragic love story. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction whenever distraction manages to suck her in to the Land of Shiny Things.
When she isn’t toiling away on plots and protagonists, she enjoys reading, music and travel. If she could create mystical powers for herself, she’d have the ability to flash to anywhere in the world. And if she could flash to anywhere in the world at this very moment, she’d be staring at the ocean from her adirondack chair on the shores of North Carolina.
My wife isn’t really someone who’s all that bothered about Valentines Day, which is fortunate because I feel the same way. I find it odd that someone picked one arbitrary day that people should be all romantic. It helps that our anniversary of the start of our relationship is the day after (it certainly makes it easy to remember).
I’ve also never been someone to make big grand gestures of romance; getting a bunch of people to perform a flashmob declaring my love feels like a hell of a lot of time and effort for such a simple act. I’m also not much of a poet, and writing about my undying love for someone makes me sound like a country song, so I think I’ll skip that.
But Valentines Day is as good as any other for singing the praises of my wife, so, I’d like to take a moment to thank her. Everyone else can look away now if they like:
Vanessa, without your support and unwavering faith in my abilities, I wouldn’t be here right now with two successful books under my belt. I certainly wouldn’t be writing my third with an eye to being able to go fulltime. I know my writing sometimes gets in the way of you actually getting things done around the house. I know having to look after three kids while I lock myself away can be exhausting. That’s why I always feel bad when I get so little done. You’re giving me time, and that’s one of the most important things a writer can have. And without that time away from distraction, I’d have never gotten anything done.
When I wrote Crimes Against Magic, I said in the dedication that you were my better half, and that couldn’t have been truer.
So thank you. Thank you for being there for me. For giving me a kick up the ass when I need it and for ranting about the 1 or 2 star reviews I get (usually with liberal swearing about the author and/or requests to commit violence about their person), thanks for understanding that, yeah I can be grumpy when I don’t get enough work done. But most of all, thanks for being you, for loving this comic book reading, anime watching, videogame playing, tattooed geek. I love you, and it doesn’t matter how many times I say that, it will always be true.
So, there you have it. Me being soppy. It doesn’t happen too often in public, but if you have a partner who is supportive and always there to help you in your writing or art or whatever it is that takes up a lot of your time. Tell them thank you. You don’t have to do it today; you can, and should, do it any day you choose. But do it often. Because they’re some of the most important people you will ever have beside you.
For those of you who have been reading my blog, or indeed read my acknowledgements in the back of Born of Hatred, you’d know that 2012 was a bit of a crazy year for me. 1 baby daughter, 2 published books (and their subsequent ‘success’) and a house move was quite a lot to go through in what amounted to a six-month period.
So, I thought I’d make everyone aware of what my writing plans are for this year (considering the unlikely event of more children or a house move, I think I may also get some sleep too).
With Silent Screams – Hellequin Chronicles Book 3.
I’m writing this at the moment. And I’m about 1/3 of the way through. It’s set almost totally in North America, and introduces a few new characters and species.
Release – Probably summer, at least that’s the plan at the moment.
Prison of Hope – Hellequin Chronicles Book 4.
I’ve made some fairly intensive notes for it and will get round to starting it when the current draft of book 3 is done. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’ve been looking forward to writing this one for a while.
Release – Hopefully before Christmas.
I also have plans to write several short stories. Most of these will be a few thousand words at most, and will be available to read on my blog for free. When I have enough of them to actually put a book out, I’ll collect them and do just that as I know some people would like to have a copy they can read wherever they like. And anytime I can get Eamon to do another cover for me usually works out well.
Some of these short stories are:
Infamous Reign – Nate’s meeting with Richard 3rd just after the disappearance of the two princes in the tower of London.
Frozen Rage – Nate and Tommy investigate the murder of several werewolves as a peace treaty is being signed in Milan 1709.
A short story that deals with what happened between the end of book 1 and beginning of book 2. I don’t have a title for it yet.
I’ve got ideas for several others too, but no more than just whispers of details for them at the moment. So, if I get time, or if the day becomes about 12 hours longer, I’ll probably figure out more details.
So that’s my writing plan for 2013. Which is a lot now that it’s written down. Things might get moved around, or added, but for the moment I’m happy with it.
And then 2014 will hopefully have more Hellequin chronicles, books 5 and 6 already have a lot of notes (and titles), so I don’t think there’s any worry about not being busy for a while.