My parental/oceanic abomination horror story “The Swell” is out over at Trigger Warning Short Fiction with Pictures. Check it out!
Quick update to let you all know that LURK is out on audiobook, exclusively for Audible! I’ve been an Audible fanboy for years, probably since within about a month of when they launched, so this is pretty exciting for me personally. The audiobook is read by the incredible Kevin Meyer.
Stay scared, creeps.
So it looks like Corruption is getting a delay, for a few reasons. I was originally planning to release the book in January, but now it appears I need to push it back a few weeks or even months. The main reason is plot rewrites. I’m also going a different direction with the cover than I initially thought, and am hiring a professional to do the artwork instead of using the ugly clip art version I created in GIMP. My cousin Laura Hollingsworth, who did the beautiful cover artwork for my upcoming novella The Lich (below), is now doing the artwork for Corruption, too. She’s good, right?
As for those plot issues I mentioned…
After a long conversation with my dad last night, a big chunk of which was spent talking about his feedback on the book, I’ve realized that something I have feared about the story all along was definitely not just in my head. There are some serious pacing issues in the first 30% of Corruption. My first full crack at an epic, complex fantasy with three different, nested plotlines was bound to have some significant issues. In this case, it is too much setup in the beginning of the story.
There is a big chunk at the start of Corruption where the characters are meeting, Dan is settling into his new life in Eastern Europe, and things are falling into place for the events in the second half of the book, when shit really begins to hit the fan… I think everything after this period of buildup is awesome, but, as my dad pointed out, too much setup means a slow beginning, which could end up causing readers to put the book down before it ever really begins.
Duh. I should’ve known this. I kind of did, but I needed to hear it from someone else. And this is why beta readers are important, people. Art can’t be created by committee, true; but it also can’t be created alone. You always need people you trust to give you a second opinion. Always. Nothing is ever perfect on the first go. There are always going to be some changes.
So, how am I going to attack this problem?
My strategy is twofold. I am introducing a new POV character to breakup the monotony of the opening of the book. This POV character is actually my favorite character in the book, but his action was mostly off-screen until the climax of the story. A Clare Quilty type, if you will. Now, he is getting his own chapters-short and to the point-which will bridge two of the three nested stories that make up Corruption and hopefully give its first act some much-needed gas.
This may not be a perfect solution, but other than adding foreshadowing to some of the dialog, which I am also doing, I’m not sure how to go about it without a total rewrite, which I’m not willing to do. I like the first act of the book a lot, and don’t want to throw it out. It does what it needs to do, it’s just a bit slow. I already like the pacing better with the added chapters, and plan on finishing my first pass of rewrites by the end of this week.
Beta readers, let me know if you want the update.
If I’ve learned anything from writing it is that, like any discipline, it is a mirror for life itself. You make mistakes, you learn, you adapt, and overcome. If you fuck up, you take the positive, leave the negative, and try your best to use that experience to grow. Doing the opposite will never get you where you want to be. It is also monumentally important to let others in on the things that are important to you, to take help and wisdom from others and give it when you can. It is a much longer and harder road when you try to go alone.
In celebration of LURK getting a new cover yesterday (should be up on Amazon by this afternoon), I’m going all out and giving you guys a look at what I’ve got going on over the next six months writing-wise.
The big one is Corruption, my next novel, which is part one of a dark fantasy series set in Eastern Europe and weighs in around 500 pages. I’ve sent out early copies to a few beta readers.
Coming a bit sooner, are a bunch of short stories and a few novellas that I will be putting up for sale on my Amazon page. Most of these were previously published in magazines or anthologies, but I don’t think very many people have read them, and I’ve always liked reading shorter stuff on the Kindle, anyway. Three of these stories are already up as of today, with many more to come in the next few months. There’s going to be a little bit of everything: horror, sci fi, dark fantasy, even *shudder*…. r-r-r-romance. So, if you dig reading one-shot stories you can finish in ten to twenty minutes, stay tuned.
Each week I will set the price of one of my shorter works to “Free” in the Kindle store, and if you see one you want to read that isn’t free and you don’t want to pay the $0.99 for it, everything I publish except my novels will be free to read on this website. This week’s free story is Death Comes for the Pickup Artist (currently #3 on Amazon and climbing).
I did all the covers myself, with the exception of the The Lich, which my cousin Laura painted. What do you guys think?Any one in particular that really grabs your interest?
Hiya friends. I’m pretty thrilled right now. As of tonight, the Kindle version of LURK will have a new cover, which I think is pretty phenomenal. Take a lurk:
Why change it, you ask? Quite simply, I didn’t think the old cover was perfect for the book. In the vast literary jungle that is Amazon, there are hundreds of thousands of novels both traditionally and self-published that all have good covers, and to even get a click-through for someone to read your blurb these days, your cover can’t just be good… it needs to be eye-popping.
So… there it is.
Paperbacks will be updated sometime next week. And as always, if you haven’t read it yet, Part One is free to read here.
Quick announcement to let you all know that Lurk will be free all Thanksgiving on Kindle, from 11/22 – 11/26. That’s zero dollars. As in free ninety nine. As in five finger discount. As in the punchline of a bad “your mom” joke. So if you’ve been on the fence, know someone on the fence, or know someone who knows someone who has a fence and might possibly one day be on it (or just someone who is looking for an unsettling, creepy read), give them a recommendation and that there link.
And as always, if you read the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving an honest review.