Category: Novels

Midnight Detail Is Finished

MidnightI just completed my 10th novel, Midnight Detail. I original came on the idea for an anthology a friend of mine was putting together, Twisted History. The main part of the story concerns Secret Service Agent Dallas Cooper who is inducted into one of the most secret divisions in all of government. The Midnight Detail is a code name given to the half dozen or so people who ensure that the world never learns of the tragedy that befell President John F. Kennedy. A secret so immense that only the cover-up of a staged assassination could keep it secure. Agent Cooper slips into a world of decadence and evil as a serial killer known only as the Scarlet Leaf Killer terrorizes modern day Washington D.C. Agent Cooper learns the reality of who is behind the killings and why is far worse than anyone, save the man he is guarding, could have imagined. It all comes down to an epic fight between a Vampire Lord, a demon, and avenging angel above a dilapidated hotel in the heart of D.C. More details to come once it goes through editing. Look for it, well, it may be a while.

Campaign Update

My Kickstarter campaign for The Fourth Prometheus continues on. I decided to giver backers and potential backers alike a taste for the novel I will add an update a week with a page from the book. The first one went out last night so I decided to add it here as well. Enjoy.


 

The burst of steam coming off the machine left Giselle’s cheeks red. She was used to the sting and hot steam, hot metal, the smell of burning oil, pretty much anything that a mechanic of her ability and expertise would have encountered. To the people of Boston the name Mathers was equally famous for her father the scientist and Giselle the metal worker artisan. She tightened a couple more screws and ran the oil line back around the metal strut. Soon her Father’s greatest design would be ready, if it didn’t kill her first. Giselle ran her sleeve over her face sopping up the moisture on her cheeks. She caught her reflection in the chrome of the machine. Her green eyes wide and youthful played behind her high cheekbones and beneath a mound of tight red curls held firmly in place in a tight French braid with both barrette and pins. Good looks ran in her family but it was her scientific mind that she most treasured. She reached over and pressed the ivory button beside the flashing red acorn light on her workstation panel. “What is it, Leland?”

“Sorry for the intrusion, but Drs. Forester and Bach would like a word with you in the drawing room.”

“Oh for the love of General Grant. I am right in the middle of finishing up the cooling system.”

“I assured them that this unannounced visit would not be welcome.”

“You still let them in.”

“To not do so would have been rude. Will you be joining them?”

Giselle tossed her screwdriver onto her work bench. “I will be right down.” She then threw her gloves and goggles to their places on her bench among the sprockets, work gears and spring tensioners.

Giselle reached for the leather ties on her apron but decided to leave it in place. She did let her hair down and welcomed the feeling of it on the back of her neck and shoulders. She took her finger and dabbed a bit of grease from one end of the machine and applied a generous smudge across her right cheek. No point in not looking as busy as she was.

As she entered the room Leland handed her a glass of water. She smiled at him and then looked at her visitors.

“Dr. Mathers your last report to the commission has some severe holes in it would you not say?”

“Not holes, Boris, missing information.”

Dr. Foster cleared his throat. “Missing information then, how do you account for this?”

Giselle walked over to the window across from the entrance. “Would you prefer missing information or erroneous information?”

“The Foundation would prefer a completed project, fully documented and delivered with no further delays.”

Success

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I received my first box of books this week. On the one hand it means I need to hit the bricks and get selling, something, I must confess, I am not very good at. On the other hand it means that Undead Heart is truly complete. I like the sound and feeling of that. Sales so far have been better than my other books and I can’t be happier. I do have a sales promotion coming up in about a week in the Amazon Kindle Store. Also if anyone would like a signed copy message me on Facebook and we can work something out.

Why Vampires

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Why in the great wide universe of things to scare you would any author in this day choose vampires? To hear it from some, zombies have replaced vampires as the go to monsters in any horror novel. Don’t get me wrong I love rotting hungry corpses as much as the next guy, but I still think the night walking blood drinking undead have more to give.

The modern vampire occupies one of several traditions. Readers have seen their share of everything from gentlemen in capes to crazed demon like creatures. Vampires can be ruthless but seductive, or gentile but heartless. They can command kingdoms or slink alone in the shadows as solo predators. I came upon the idea for the vampires in Undead Heart while reading about the book of Enoch. I immediately began imagining what I could do with the nephelim, beings born of human and angel. These beings coukd be immortal, retaining qulities of both. In the bibke theynare most often refered to as giants. Still these beings had to have enough human qualities as to be recognizable to the reader while being unlike anything the reader could be familliasr with. I admit the war between the vampires and lycans comes from the Underworld series of films but also has a healthy tradition in fiction. I wanted a story that did not have a clear cut good guy bad guy cast. As in life the details matter and there is always a little shade of gray.

Some of the best monster stories I have read have found a way to pit the monster against human adversaries but at the same time allowing the qualities of one to transfer to the other. A truly dramatic story has the monster demonstrating more human qualities and the humans become monstrous in their own way. It becomes easy to see the monster in ourselves but not so easy to see the human in the monster. That was a challenge I really looked forward to tackling. This idea guided me through the development of the world in Undead Heart. At its heart, no pun intended, it is a story of growth and romance but within a framework that makes it accessible but weird at the same time. I had a lot of fun writing it and look forward to revisiting this universe often.

You can pick up a copy of Undead Heart exclusively at Amazon.com in paperback and for the Kindle. Prime members can also boroww a copy form the Kindle Lending Library.

Completed

So this week I completed the first draft of my Steampunk novel, The Fourth Prometheus. I am quite happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to see what my editor thinks. It could be the start of a series, I like the characters enough to revisit them at least. I also think the twist at the end opens the story up for more. Look for this sometime in 2014.cover the fourth prometheus

Undead Heart is Still Coming

Undead Heart Cover_smThe problem with deadlines is that once you set them you have to be ready to deal with missing them. I began writing Undead Heart almost three years ago. The plot came together quickly in my head and the characters needed little development. I finished writing the book in ten months, I figure three maybe four months to edit it and I would have it out by the Summer of 2011. Something in the mean time happened. I started working on my next novel. A Steampunk take on the Frankenstein story. Along the way I also read some classic literature and Ann Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. As a result my writing went through a slight change, one I am certain is for the better. This however meant I needed to do some rewriting of various parts of  Undead Heart. Actually my wife spotted the weaker parts before I did. Those have been changed and editing was back on track.

I set a deadline for myself to have the book finished by this year’s Phoenix Comicon. I am so glad I did not spend money on a table. About three weeks ago my wife and I had a discussion on how many YA books in this same genre feature a first person present tense point of view. The novel as it existed was already in first person but the tense had to change. The switch from past to present tense is a little more involved than doing a find and replace of all verbs with an -ed at the end. In some cases the scene needs a bit of reworking to make the new tense flow logically from one point to the next. It’s lengthy and a bit tedious but the end result is a work that moves much quicker and benefits from letting me tweak the mood and environment of several scenes.

I have been here before. My second novel, a science fiction work, actually went through two shifts, from third person to first and back and a tense change before it was done. At times I worry that I just am not ale to let it go. One fear I had when writing my first novel, twenty years ago if you can believe that, was that that book was it and I had nothing else. Well eight and counting novels later I know I have more coming. At the same time I have learned from my previous two publishing experiences that you do not want to rush this part and release a manuscript that is not 100%. It is not a race. So while I watch this latest deadline for Undead Heart slip past rest assured it is still coming and it is going to be worth the wait.

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