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.

Raise some Hell…

One week – actually less than – until Motor City Nightmares.

This is the first time I will be attending this show, so I am very excited and completely unprepared for the event. Ok, not completely. I will be preparing for this show in the same fashion I do other shows. I should be fine.

What I am not certain how to deal with is the fact that Clive Barker will be there.

Hellraiser. Lord of Illusions. Nightbreed/Cabal. Imajica.

Holy crap! I am going to be shilling my books while Clive Barker is doing his thing? Maybe this will be good practice for a couple weeks from now, when I will be up to my eyeballs with horror writers who are likely more experienced (and more talented) than me.

Can’t know till you try though, right?

So I am super excited and looking very forward to being surrounded by horror fans and aficionados. I love hanging out with readers in general, but horror fans? These are my people.

And not just because I write in the genre – this has always been my home. I grew up reading the greats – and some not so greats. Saturday afternoons I was glued to the television for the Monster Double-Feature. Elvira, The Ghoul, and Count Scary helped me sharpen my wit and my inappropriate sense of humor.

I’m interested to see who I meet and what their interests are. Horror as a genre is wide and varied. It is its own culture and has its own sub-groupings. I’m still trying to figure out wherein I belong as an author, but I know who I am as a fan. And I am happy to say that I would like me as a writer, even if I weren’t me. But I am hoping that some of the other folks at Motor City Nightmares are interested in what I have to offer as well.

Cleaning house for 2018…

It really is close enough to just call this year done, isn’t it?

This year isn’t quite done, and I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me, but I thought I would take a moment and be a little better at updating than I have been…

…since my last post was my wedding day. In February. Oops.

Just a reminder that you can also follow my shenanigans on the Facebook page.

But on with the wrapup for 2018:

November 3
Just a couple weeks away, you will find me in Albion at Stirling Books. There will be six authors in total and should be a good time for all. Horror, romance, fantasy, all ages, get your read on!

November 11
The Monroe County Library System is hosting Writers on the River 2018. I will be there with a literal horde of authors, and you should join us! Authors from all walks (including a couple of my favorites) will be representing their books. This may be one of the last chances for you to get something wonderful for your favorite reader before the holidays are upon us.

November 17
The lovely people at the Scriptorium in Clawson have given me the opportunity to take over their delightful store for the afternoon. I’ll have my books on hand, and who knows what else will be happening that day, but I will be there and you should join me. At 2pm, I will be turning my reign of the store over to the imagination and talent of Andrew Lark. It would only benefit you to stick around and get his book too.
THIS IS MY LAST APPEARANCE IN 2018.

And for those of you who have patiently waited for my next novel, I can tell you now: The wait is almost over.

Threshold, a story that has been worming its way around my brain for years (literal years) is finally out, working through the process of edits, and getting everything polished. Threshold will be available for pre-order soon and will release on February 14, 2019. (Yes, there’s a reason I picked that day. I may even explain why at some point.)

Between now and then, I will be looking for a handful of brave souls to be my advance readership to make sure the book is ready for the general public. If you are interested, reach out and let me know. I’m looking for a few dedicated readers, and you may be expected to respond to a survey after, but you will be rewarded as well. More on this in the future.

I will have a short preview of Threshold at all of my November events for you to take home and hold close. A hope to cling to through the winter, if you will.

Now also seems as good a time as any to shamelessly promote my wife’s constant and reality-defying ability to take my stray and problematic storytelling and turn it into something people can actually enjoy. She’s worked with a number of wonderful authors and is always interested in meeting more delightful authors to work with (more work means more reading, right?). You can find out more at Just Ducky Editing.

And with that, I can start throwing dust covers on 2018…

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.

Oh! The places we’ll go…

We are just over a week away from NerdCon in Portland, MI. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out NerdCon and all of it’s wonderful offerings, please do so.

In the meantime, I felt like now is a proper time to remind you of all the other wonderful events that I will take part in for the rest of the year. You can also find all of this information at any time on my Events page.

August 12, 2017  Portland, MI
NerdCon – Author Panel  11:00am – 11:45am
NerdCon – Table  12:00pm – 4:00pm

September 10, 2017  Ann Arbor, MI
Kerrytown Bookfest  10:00am – 5:00pm

October 22, 2017  Clawson, MI
Books & Authors  11:00am – 5:00pm

December TBD, 2017  Lake Orion, MI
Giving Season Author Fair  1:00pm – 4:00pm

I am also working on a potential three events that are not listed yet. They’ll likely popup sometime in the last quarter (October – December) and I’m very excited to tell you about them… but I’m not going to until they are official.

I know, the anticipation is overwhelming.

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.
december_standin
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.
screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-11-08-56-pm
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.

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.

Six long days away…

The premiere for House of Thirteen is this Saturday, Nov. 7. I am looking very forward to this. The Book Cottage is kind enough to host me, and I’d like to make it as wonderful as possible. Please consider sharing the image around to let others in the area know about it. Thanks, and I hope to see you there.

Shout it to the rafters.

Shout it to the rafters.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Get your costumes in order, put out your jack o’lanterns, and get yourself settled in.

It’s going to be a dark and stormy night around here. The best time to settle in with a supernatural tale.

For those of you who have pre-ordered, you should already have it in your Kindle library. For those who didn’t, it’s far too late.

Fortunately, House of Thirteen is available in paperback and ebook right now.

Order now.

Enjoy – and Happy Halloween!