Tag Archives: science fiction

Publication Update: Novel Complete

11 Nov

I know I’ve been really quiet lately, but that’s only because I’ve been very busy. The good  news is that I’ve completed the final edits on the novel “New Hope City.”  And once my proofreader completes her read through I will publish the book. We’re looking at publishing the novel this month.  I will be giving out a limited number of ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) once proofreading is complete. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact me.

In other news, the next “After The Darkness” episode is delayed because of my work on the novel.  It doesn’t look like publication of Episode 4 will happen this month because I don’t have enough time to complete it. So, we’re looking at a December publication date for Episode 4 and then we will return to our normal schedule. I apologize for the delay.


Final *Free* Promo for After The Darkness: Episode One

27 Sep

Free September 27 – 29th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free at Amazon. Get your copy now! This will probably be the last free promotion I do for the After The Darkness series.  Starting in October, the After The Darkness series will be available at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other retailers.

*Free* After The Darkness: Episode One

12 Sep

Free September 12 – 13th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free today and tomorrow at Amazon. Get your copy now!

Sowing The Seeds Of Revolution: A Closer Look At Page 9

6 Sep

British novelist and literary critic Ford Maddox Ford is quoted as saying, “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” I don’t know if I completely agree with that; but I do find the idea intriguing. As part of a recent blog tour I participated in, I wrote about page 9 of After The Darkness: Episode One. Here’s the blog post below…

The first episode of “After The Darkness” doesn’t have a page 99; but it does a have page nine. So that’s where I’ll begin. If a reader began reading “After The Darkness” at page 9 they would find everything they need to know about the basics of the story.  You have a reluctant agent of oppression, two victims of categorization and a boss man that’s ruthless in his commitment to inflicting suffering.  That about sums it up in a nutshell.

The opening lines of page nine sets the stage: Percy narrows his eyes, his disapproval hidden behind his dark shades, “No, of course…not. Just want to get the job done and over with before the freeze,” he justifies his hesitation. And in an effort to prove that he’s not soft, he wrenches Mila away from Nadia. He yanks her hard; but not too hard — just hard enough to make his point.

Right away we know that Percy is not too happy with the situation at hand; but he has to hide it. Not only does he have to hide his disapproval, he needs to show a false sense of enthusiasm for something he finds distasteful.  I can’t say that I strategically planned for this characterization to fall on page 9; but I did want to show the reader at some point that Percy is a subversive individual. He doesn’t want to go along with the system and he has the seeds of a rebel within.

Then there is Nadia, the main character in this story.  Page 9 makes it clear that Nadia is a rebel and not content to simply accept her fate.  Let’s take a look at a page 9 excerpt:

“Don’t touch her!” Nadia flails about as Thomas binds her wrists behind her back with zip ties. She strains to see her little sister’s face and fights her own urge to sob. Instead she screams. Would the neighbors come? Does anyone care about the horror she is facing?  Unfortunately, she knows the answer is no, no one is willing to risk themselves for others.

This brief passage reveals Nadia’s willingness to fight back even in the face of stronger forces and despite her sad realization of the type of world in which she lives.  But even knowing that not a single soul will come to her aid, she screams anyway, hoping that someone — anyone, will be willing to break the code of silence and compliance.

As a writer, I try not to overwhelm readers with a lot back story and world building too soon. I prefer to sprinkle a little bit of information throughout the story and reveal the foundation of the fictional world in bits and pieces. Page 9 does this well.  Even if a reader only reads page 9, they will discover that this fictional world is freezing, that it is a place where children can be handcuffed and carried away and that people in this world don’t feel free to speak out against injustice or stand up for the rights of others.

Let’s take one final peek at another snippet of text from page 9.

“I promise,” Percy says with a smile he only uses in his work. He would never curse his own kids with that smile — never.

Deception and manipulation – it’s eating Percy alive. But it is also eating away at the society, creating tiny internal rebellions and sowing the seeds of revolution.

To find out when the next episode is published and to receive special discounts, please join our mailing list.  For a limited time, mailing list members will have an opportunity to purchase new episodes at .99 cents.

After The Darkness: Episode 3 Published

1 Sep

After The Darkness: Episode 3 has been published and is temporarily discounted to .99 cents   $1.99 until September 30, 2012. The normal price is $2.99. For a limited time, readers who join the mailing list will have an opportunity to purchase new episodes at .99 cents. Please join here.

That’s the good news! But there’s one glitch, I’ve had some trouble updating the cover, so please bare with me while I work with Amazon to get it updated. Otherwise, the text inside the episode is just fine. Enjoy! ETA: Cover has been updated!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00948KIX8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00948KIX8


Why I Write About Bleak Dystopias

12 Aug

I’ve always had an obsession with real life dystopian societies. At the ripe old age of fourteen, I delved into the corrupt worlds of Hitler’s German, Stalin’s Russia and apartheid South Africa.  Dystopian novels such as 1984, Brave New World and Animal Farm kept me awake at night and during math class, sneaking in a few lines of reading.  But my obsession didn’t stop there; I began creating my own worlds – making them as corrupt and dark as possible.  I wanted to really “go there.” I’ve always wanted to go there. That’s just who I am. I don’t like limits and I will probably never accept them.  I don’t want to censor myself and I don’t want to pretend that the world is a nice place where the bad guys get their comeuppance — eventually. I know that’s not true.  That’s not to say that justice is never served – sometimes it is. And it’s not to say that every person is a low-life, corrupt scam bag – some of them really aren’t like that most of the time.  But it is to say that the world can be a dark place and it’s up to the individual to not only fight the darkness of the world; but to resist the darkness within their own heart if they want to live a life that creates more good than suffering.

Boxer, the loyal horse, is for me the most memorable character in “Animal Farm.” He believed in the system. He toiled away, breaking his back despite the fact that he never enjoyed the prosperity he helped to create. Even as they drove him away to the glue farm – he believed. By the time Boxer realized his true fate, it was too late.  When I wrote “After The Darkness” I wanted to ask the question, “What happens when the “loyal workhorse” realizes that they’ve been duped?”  I wanted to explore the choices people make and examine how they eventually become willing to face a Goliath of opposing forces. But I also wanted to show that heroism isn’t black and white. Heroes are flawed individuals who have decided to do something extraordinary despite their failings.

Bleak dystopias give us a chance to take a closer look into the darker side of our real world society. Maybe we don’t live in a frozen wasteland like the one in “After The Darkness” where people are categorized, branded and sold to the highest bidder; but we do live in a world where people without power find themselves imprisoned indefinitely, murdered for speaking out against injustice or sexually assaulted because of their gender. Maybe it’s not happening in the United States or the U.K. or Canada on a mass scale; but it is happening to our neighbors separated only by an imaginary border, an ocean or even a few thousand miles of roads and fields. When we see our neighbors facing oppression, will we be the loyal horse or will we choose differently?

After The Darkness on sale now $2.99 $1.99 for the month of August!

Part of the Orangeberry Book Tour. Special thanks to Book Connoisseur.

Hot August Fiction Sale

8 Aug

As part of my participation in the Orangeberry Book Splash I’m discounting prices for the month of August.

After The Darkness

Episodes #1 and # 2 are $2.99 $1.99 each

Prices effective August 9, 2012 – August 31, 2012

What is After The Darkness? The Series Explained

14 Jul

What is After The Darkness?

After The Darkness is an ongoing fictional series set in a post-apocalyptic world. There are no zombies, werewolves or vampires.  It is a story about oppression, slavery and the will to stand up against the wrongs in the world despite the cost to a person’s life and livelihood. This story is set in a very real world that is in my opinion scarier than any supernatural one.

How many books are in the series?

Much like a television show, the books will be separated into “seasons.”  Each season will have six episodes which end on a cliffhanger. Seasons are self-contained. Central story questions will be resolved by the end of the six books.

Each season will be complied into an omnibus and a paperback edition will be available.

Thanks to Sean Platt for creating this “seasonal” format and giving me the inspiration to apply it to my work. Lots of hugs.


New releases are priced at $1.99.

After 30 days the price goes up to $2.99

This will give readers an opportunity to get the books at a significant discount. Please join the mailing list so that you can be notified when an episode is released.

On July 15 and July 16, 2012 the second episode of this series will be FREE. So please pick up a copy at Amazon.  I will also do a limited time freebie for the third episode as a gift to readers. Please join the mailing list to be notified of the freebie.


Each episode is a novelette, approximately 10,000 words – 40 pages.

How often will books be released?

Every 60 days. While I would like to release every month, my process requires a longer time frame. Once again, please join the mailing list to be notified of new releases.

If you have questions about this series, please post them in the comments section.

Surviving The Apocalypse When You’re A Girl

6 Jul

The Girl’s Guide To The Apocalypse has an interesting article — well kind of a short fiction peice that I found intriguing.  Since I’ve taken up the promotional cross (and it is like a cross) I’ve discovered more of my fellow post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction writers. Many of these guys are awesome!  So anyway, after reading “Shoot To Kill And Can ‘Em Up” I got to thinking…what really does a girl need to survive the apocalypse?  In my series After The Darkness: Episode One, my main character Nadia is a teenager who has fallen out of grace with the upper-classes. The world is a frozen, dark hell and citizens are controlled by the rich, powerful and well connected. So let’s take a look at what someone like Nadia needs to survive after the world ends as we know it:

1. Smarts. Crappy futures definitely don’t reward the bold, beautiful and dumb. If you’re a girl and you want to survive, you better put your critical thinking cap on and leave the Cover Girl makeup at home. I figure that the smarter you are and less beautiful you are, the more likely you’ll survive when the shit hits the fan.

2. Social skills — the real kind. And you thought your 1million Facebook friends had your back. Don’t count on it.  Any girl wanting to survive the apocalypse will need to build social bonds so that when you’re down to your last can of beans your fellow tribe members won’t start envisioning you on a skewer.

3. Useful skills. If you’re living in a technology void wasteland your C++ programming skills won’t mean diddly squat . Try your hand at something real. Can you grow food, fix stuff, sew, crotchet? I can…well kind of. If you show up to the gates of that closed post-apocalyptic community with no useful skills, you can forget about getting in. A matter of fact, don’t be surprised if you end up on the wrong end of “Look what we’re having for dinner” (see tip #2).

2012 Dystopia Challenge

2 Jul

Join me for the 2012 Dystopia Challenge. How many dystopian books can you read this year?  Well, I’m going for five. If you’re a reader of my books, you know that both The Shelter and After The Darkness are dystopian.  The latter is a cross between environmental post-apocalypse and dystopia.  Feel free to visit the Dystopia 2012 Challenge page and if you feel so inclined, make one of my books part of your list to review.  You don’t need a blog to join, you can join the challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari or any other social media site you want.

My Dystopia Challenge Book List

1. The Unbelievers

2. The Outsider (short story – Atomic Wasteland Tales)




I will periodically update this page, so please check back.