About randomgauge

Andy Lockwood is a writer, an artist, and above all: a dreamer. He got his start in screenwriting and filmmaking where he discovered his obsessive love of storytelling. He is the author of two novels, Empty Hallways and House of Thirteen; a 12-part serial thriller, At Calendar’s End; and is a regular contributor to horror anthologies. He is always working on another piece of writing, whether it is a novel, a story, or something else entirely. When not slaving away at the keyboard, he spends his time buying books he does not have time to read, and delving into mediums he has no time to fully explore, but he dabbles in them anyway. He lives in mid-Michigan with his amazingly talented and entirely-too-supportive wife, a brood of cats, and a misguided idea of what it means to be an adult.

Summer is over…

The days are getting shorter. The dark is lasting longer. October is already upon us.

Before you know it, October will be over too… but not without a fight, I assure you.

October marks the part 10 in the At Calendar’s End storyline. Good will fight, but will they triumph? I can’t tell you that without spoiling anything. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Brian is hard at work on coloring the cover, but we’re presenting the black and white version while you wait. I promise it will be well worth it. Brian’s art always is.october_inks

Round 2… #flashfictionchallenge

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On top of a glorious Farewell to Summer camping trip, this past weekend was also Round 2 of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge.

“But Andy,” You might say to yourself. “What about Round 1’s results?”

I’m glad you asked.

Round 1 went far better than anticipated. In my group of 35 writers, I managed to place 4th. The feedback was bolstering, and I hope to have as good (if not better) news from the judges after Round 2 concludes.

It’s a scary proposition: of 2100 writers, only 300 will move on to Round 3. I’m confident that I submitted my best 1000 words for the challenge, but really all I can do is hope my stories are good enough when compared to the competition.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, I have lots of typing to do before Round 3 starts.

Commence au (book) festivale.

So many announcements to share with you today!

September has been updated with the full color cover. If you already purchased it, you should see your Kindle book has updated. If you were waiting for the final cover, wait no more!


Speaking of covers, how would you like to see January live and in-person? I will have physical copies of January on hand at Kerrytown Bookfest this Sunday! I can promise you that these will (eventually) be made available to the greater public via Amazon, but for the time being, these will be a live-and-in-person exclusive.

And if I can squeeze in one more segue… I, and a host of other authors will be in Ann Arbor on Sunday 11am – 5pm. Come out and fall in love with a new story – or an old one. Come out and see what Bookfest has to offer you.

Just in time for a holiday…

The end of summer means the last great hurrah: one last family vacation, one last weekend at the beach, one last big cookout. One last chance to bask in the sunshine and warmth. A final opportunity to lament airborne pests.

If that’s you, I would love nothing more than to encourage you to download a copy of September, the newest installment of At Calendar’s End for your Labor Day relaxing.

I would love to, but I’m not going to.

As I have been informed (repeatedly) by a certain loyal reader, At Calendar’s End is not “easy” reading. It has also been (playfully?) suggested that a support group be started for readers of the series.

In light of this news, I cannot in good conscience suggest you go out on your last holiday weekend and read something that might traumatize you. If previous installments have been hard to deal with, September will prove the rule, not the exception.

So enjoy the sun while you still can. When you have had your fun, come back to the series, it will be waiting.

But don’t wait too long, the Intercalary don’t have much time left.

Schedules being what they are, the finished cover for September has been delayed. It will be going through some iterations, but I will update as soon as humanly possible. With this in mind – and the holidays looming – we shall see how it effects future covers as we finish out the series. The stories, however, will continue to be delivered to you on the first of each month, as promised.

As always, click the art of the talented Mr. Ritson to be directed to Amazon.

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Here We Go Again…

With little less than a month to go, I am delighted to remind you all that Kerrytown Bookfest is coming Sunday, September 11, from 11am to 5pm.


This promises to be another amazing year for authors, vendors, and creative types alike. You can find me at Booth 67, right next to ChicalooKate.

But in the interest of self-service and cross-promotion, I thought I would share the kindness of being mentioned on Kerrytown’s blog today. I also want to point out that something amazing is coming:

Very soon, I will be debuting a version of January that you can hold in your hands. Copies will be at Kerrytown first, where I (coincidentally, I assure you) will be on hand to sign each and every copy.

I’m looking very forward to this, as I do every year. Come on out, it promises to be a great time for booklovers of all ages.

Patience is a Virtue…

But the wait is over.

After a brief delay, the artwork for August has been update – I am currently waiting for Amazon to agree with me. Kindle publishing reflects the new artwork, but Amazon has yet to get the memo.

I just wanted to take time out of our collective day for an art appreciation break. You can click the image to be directed to the Amazon listing.

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Cover to cover…

I’m going to put out the pertinent information first, and then I’d like you to bear with me for some long-worded winding on a related topic.

First, August is here, as undeniable as the rise and set of the sun. And equally unstoppable is the arrival of August: part eight in the series.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the cover has been delayed slightly. I apologize for the delay, but the story itself is moving right along schedule and you can find it at the link below.

Fortunately for ebook reading, the cover will be easily updated as soon as it is in my hands and I will post its beautiful sights for all eyes.

But even more interesting is how my covers, my work, and my calendar have all culminated in a spectacular announcement:

Today celebrates the third anniversary of Empty Hallways’ haunting re-cover. You may or may not know that the first edition of the book had a very disappointing cover. I did it myself, in a rush of amateur publishing (which I am still finding I don’t know everything about. Surprise, surprise.) but the book was later refaced by my talented cover artist and wonderful friend Brian Ritson.

His cover made me feel like a real author, not just an amateur. And he has continued to provide covers that might actually oversell the content within.

And therein lies the amazing coincidence: today is not only the third anniversary of Brian’s Empty Hallways cover. August will be the tenth cover to proudly display Brian’s art.

Brian will continue to be my artist as long as he can entertain channeling my stories for his art.

So thank you Brian, and congrats!

To three years of work.

To ten covers.

To a lifelong friendship.

Cheers, my friend.

August, as well as Brian’s other covers (and my stories) can be found on Amazon.

A lot can happen in 48 hours…

Just ask Las Vegas.

Oh, nothing so drastic is happening in my life, I assure you. But I have managed to (almost blindly) stumble onto a writing competition, write a short story inside of 48 hours, and submit it for judgment.

The skinny: The NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 is a competition to create a 1000 word (or less, but certainly not more) story  in 48 hours – based on 3 thematic criteria submitted to contestants at the beginning of the competition. Contestants are divided into groups, each group having their own criteria. After two challenges, the top 5 in each group will move on. I’m hoping to be part of that Top 5, but I have no idea who I am competing against.

Well, that’s not completely true… I’m competing against a lot of people from around the world.

My group represents 20 different states and 5 countries… of which, I am one of 35. Stiff odds already, but then consider that my group is one of 60. My chances of success are diminishing the more I think about numbers, but what can I do?

I can stop thinking about the numbers.

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The fact of the matter is this:

Someone handed me a list of requirements and said, “Hey. Write a story with this stuff in it. Oh, and it’s due in 48 hours.” And I did exactly that. I reached into my brain and pulled out what I think is a pretty good story – especially for the circumstances. I can control nothing else in the situation, so I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to wait, and I’m going to see what my score is when it comes back.

The optimist in me says, “Hey, you wrote another story. You’ve already won!” I’m going to run with that.

Another Page Torn from the Calendar…

Happy Indie Authors Day!

And happy July!

Well, happy for everyone but the Intercalary. Their ranks have been cut in half now. As if that wasn’t bad enough, not only are they dealing with a supernatural killer, they have a traitor in their midst only making things worse. But it couldn’t possibly get any worse for them, could it?

Maybe not. Maybe everything will be okay. Maybe, for once, things won’t fall apart and the lines between good and bad won’t blur to the point of confusion. Maybe just this once, friends won’t be revealed as monsters, hiding behind kind eyes and warm smiles.

Maybe somewhere else, that could totally happen. But if you’ve been reading At Calendar’s End up to this point, I’m sure you have a decent idea of what’s coming.

Click the picture to visit July on Amazon.July_Final

My Father & Mr. Brooks

Many years back, when I was a precocious young lad, my father devised an ingenious method of education and torture – you’ve heard of edutainment? This is tortucation – or it might have been for some other kid.

When I got in trouble, my punishment was not a simple grounding. Instead, I had to read a book and write a book report. At home. Had to. The horror.

I was allowed to choose the book, but my dad got veto. I wasn’t such a fan of writing then, but I already enjoyed reading. The writing… well, you can see where that got to. I was already a reader, I don’t think anything in the world could have stopped that. I had a good system and a lot of encouragement to get me into books. But if ever there were a fundamental set of moments in my life that turned me into a reader, this is where it started.

While I got to choose many of my own “punishments,” on occasion my dad would pick out a book and tell me that was the one I was going to read. It was a test. He’d pick out books he already knew, and ask me questions about them, to see what I was getting from the reading. Often enough, I was getting the story, but not the subtext. I needed to be persuaded into understanding that – I won’t lie, it took years.

But through this process, I was introduced to many of the greats: Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffery, Harlan Ellison… and somewhere among them was Terry Brooks. And of all the authors that attempted to cross the line from the “dad’s authors” camp into my own favorites, Terry was one of the few who truly won me over with his brand of fantasy.

When people recollect their favorite stories, when they get glassy eyed about a story, like they’ve been there – like they’ve lived there… for me, that was Landover, the magical land in Magical Kingdom for Sale – SOLD.

I’m not going to get into the story. I’m not even going to persuade you with anything but the fact that I love it. It was MY Harry Potter… long before Harry would ever figure out his legacy. It’s a series that I have never finished, mostly because I didn’t want it to end. But after last night – close to twenty-five years after that first introduction – I feel like I should finally finish it. I feel like I owe Mr. Brooks that much.

I met Terry Brooks tonight at a signing in one of my favorite places – Schuler Books, Eastwood. (There’s nothing wrong with the Okemos one, I just prefer Eastwood.) He read us a bit of his latest work, he answered all the questions we had to offer. He was charming and down-to-earth and just everything we all hope our idols will be.

And if you have ever met one of your heroes, you know that everything you think about while you are watching them, everything you think about when you are in line, everything you want to say – it’s gone when it’s your turn to say anything. Maybe you are better than me, but I stammered out a thank you. It carried all of the words I wanted to say, and whether he heard all that or not, he still seemed appreciative.

Then I did something I had been debating since I parked my car.

I brought a bookmark. One of my bookmarks. On the front was the House of Thirteen cover, and on the back, I wrote something (in the car, where I left most of my wit and courage).

I wrote: “Terry – Thank you. For a lifetime of inspiration.” Then I signed it.

I handed it to him and stammered out something about hoping it’d be worth more someday. He looked at it, then he said thank you to me.

Me.

We talked for a quick second, he asked where he could find my books, and he said he’d check me out. I got a photo, we shook hands, and that’s where my moment ended. Even if it was just banter, I appreciate the hell out of it.

Seriously, Terry Brooks, thank you. For the twenty-five years of wonder you have instilled in me. For being part of a great and wonderful pantheon that I strive to one day join.

For being you. And for doing what you love.

Thank you.

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