A Tale about Time…

Threshold hits next week, and to be honest, I didn’t expect this release to be as big of a deal as it is. Not “big deal” like it’s going to be massive or successful (though I hope) but it’s a big deal to me and my time as a writer, and the closer we get, the more I realize that impact.

2007. I was halfway through my film degree, and every thought was a lofty ambition. I wrote scripts and short stories and shot films and immersed myself in creativity. There was nothing I couldn’t do with enough ink and caffeine. I had recently discovered NaNoWriMo (though I was far from finding a group) and was certain this was something I wanted to do.

Threshold was a buzzing in my brain that, like most of my stories, started with an idea. It would be a beautiful failure that year, but it would follow me. The story had planted a seed in my brain, and that seed began to flourish. It was an idea that I knew would get under people’s skin – how could it not?

My delight is introducing my readers to something ordinary and building that into something terrible that clings to them in reality. I like to think I am accomplishing that. With Empty Hallways, I capitalized on the inherent creepiness of hospitals. In Threshold, I explore the oddity that is our own reflections.

Have you ever just stared at your reflection? Not yourself, but your reflection: the person looking back at you; the world they are limited to living in. But if you stare too long, things start to unravel. You can say a word so many times, it stops making sense and feels more like a made up sound. I’ve stared at my reflection so long that it doesn’t even compute anymore: just a mess of shapes and colors that follow my impulses. That’s where the fun begins.

If you stare too long at any object, your brain starts canceling out unnecessary information. In other words, your reflection changes. It starts taking on a life of its own. (Yes, this is the kind of insanity that some of my stories start from.)

I tried to gather all of these thoughts and put them onto paper and create a story. I was clearly not ready back in 2007, but the seed kept growing. The vignettes I created back then remain. A couple of scenes in the book are now polished, fully-realized ideas that started back then.

The first scrawled page of what would be Threshold…

Flash forward about ten years. I’m looking for my next novel, when I remember this concept. I start fleshing out the idea, but I’m distracted by flashy concepts and fun new ideas. I continue to struggle with the idea – because sometimes you do. Everything is hard now and again. Some stories come easy; some not at all.

The bones got organized, and life decided to get complicated. I started taking some online classes. Bailey and I bought a house. Then we got married. And through all this wonderment, writing took a back seat. I plinked around a little, I got some things written, but mostly, the author was sleeping.

I have a number of writing groups I belong to – or have belonged to. But while Threshold was still a dusty, shambling mess, a new group formed. We meet pretty regularly. It’s less a writing group and more a support group made of writers. What’s the difference? No competition for starters. We share in each other’s successes and frustrations. We don’t judge. We are there for each other. I’ve had good groups before, but this is an intimate group of honest friends – they’re helpful and even their physical presence and the sound of their typing was its own security. Threshold came together under this group’s support.

It wasn’t this group alone. Bailey has always been there, supporting me through the frustration and the threats and the whining (oh, how I can whine when the book won’t cooperate). My friends regularly asked about how it was coming along. People I met at shows chatted with me about the story, and were excited for it to happen.

Eventually, it did.

Next week, you’ll see for yourself.

But it has been a community effort, whether they knew they were a community rallied around me and a story, I don’t know, but the people in my life are amazing supporters. Thank you.

Threshold releases May 1, kindle and paperback. Preorder now.

Back to the Beginning of the End…

In case you missed it, I participated in my very first Facebook Live video earlier this week to announce the much-awaited collected At Calendar’s End: Omnibus. You’re very lucky you didn’t hear the squeal when I actually saw the book for myself.

TL; DW:
– It’s available currently through Amazon and Kindle.
– It’s 700 pages worth of story, collecting the serial installments of At Calendar’s End
– Both versions still include all 12 covers by Brian Ritson from the original installments, PLUS the new art for the Omnibus itself
– The first opportunity to see these in person (and get them signed) is Leon & Lulu on October 22.

ALSO: A short story of mine has been included in an anthology edited and organized by Samie Sands. Black Mass is the story of a man who has a recurring nightmare he can’t escape from… and why it might be better to just remain in the dream. You can find it hidden among the other creepy tales in Night Mares, available now on Amazon and Kindle.

The Next Page on the Calendar…

Around this time last year, I was one-third of the way into At Calendar’s End. April was newly published and I was hard at work at the keyboard working on May. At that point, I cannot say that I knew I would finish. It was an intimidating, dare I say daunting, task to look ahead to.

And yet, here we are a year later, come through the other side not only successful, but surprisingly better for the experience. I think I’d like to do another serial in the future, but I have other projects I’d like to accomplish before that.

First on the docket is to bring At Calendar’s End to print. All twelve installments of Calendar are currently available in serialized format, both ebook and now print. Relatively soon, I’ll also be producing an omnibus that collects all twelve episodes into a single binding – which will also be made available to both digital and physical realms.

If you haven’t started reading At Calendar’s End yet, and aren’t sure why you should, maybe this wonderfully insightful review by friend and author Parker J. Cole will help.

Also (and probably most excitingly) Brian Ritson, the brilliant and creative mind behind all of the art that graces my books, has taken the line art from the Calendar series (as well as some new beautiful designs) and incorporated them into a coloring book!

Coloring Book Cover

This is truly a must-have for any fan of the Calendar series – and coloring books!

And finally, I will be showing off the newly-printed books in person at Leon & Lulu on April 30! I’m looking forward to being part of Books & Authors again, and am excited to be able to show off some spectacular art, as well as my newest accomplishment. I’ll be sharing a space with a number of friendly authors – including friend and event companion J. Thomas-Like! I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, you can find all of my books here.

Happy reading!

 

A Cold December…

It’s here. The milestone I’ve dreamt about for an entire year. A milestone I’ve been dreading all November, but it’s too late to stop.

December is out today, which means that it is time to say goodbye to Ember. Time to lay the Intercalary to rest.

It’s hard to let go of characters, regardless. Whether you’re reading them or you’ve written them, you travel a distance with these people. You get attached to them.

(Yes, even when you’re killing them off systematically.)

So today is the day that I send the last of them off into the world.
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The cover is a placeholder. Brian has been unfortunately overwhelmed with real world responsibilities. The black and white cover will be updated shortly. The remaining color covers will follow. I hope you’re looking forward to seeing his work realized as much as I am.

But it’s certainly not the end of surprises.

With December out, I will be turning my focus to physical copies of the serial installments. If you happen to be in Lake Orion this weekend, I’ll be at Orion Township Public Library for the Authors and Illustrators Fair and I will have copies of January on hand.
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I’ll be releasing the series throughout the beginning of 2017.

As if that weren’t enough excitement for 2017, January will find me seeking comfort with familiar company. I will be returning to the Delaney House to start writing House of Thirteen Book Two. I can’t reveal much just yet, but I can tell you that it will be nice to catch up with Ren and Joe again.

There will definitely be other surprises along the way. 2016 has been an interesting year, and I feel like the only respectable response is to raise the bar for myself once again.

Get December, and please remember to review online. It’s much appreciated.

The End is Near…

November is upon us, and with it, the sad realization that there is only one final installment of At Calendar’s End left to bestow on you all.

To say this has been a satisfying task is to cheapen the concept of satisfaction. I honestly wasn’t sure I could commit to it. As I began to get through the story, I was sure that I would somehow falter, or fail. Yet, month after month, I have continued to deliver, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.”

Next month, I will finish this story, for better or worse.

I’ll be very excited to this through.

In the meantime, I’m sure you want to know what’s happening to Ember and Nova. Click Brian’s always beautiful cover below to get your copy.

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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

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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