One Year Later

It’s been a year since I launched this site. In that time I’ve launched Nothing Zero, and let a couple of would-be novels wither on the vine. I honestly hoped this year would see an extremely aggressive release schedule, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I’ll be lucky to get one more book released before 2014 closes out, and I’m fine with that.

But what will that book be?

I tried to write a classy Gothic Horror novel, but simply couldn’t get momentum on it. It just didn’t feel like the book I should be working on. Honestly, the only thing that makes sense right now is a hardcore horror novel. As a result, I’ve started a slasher novel. Will I finish this one? If I’m being totally honest with myself, I’d have to say I don’t know. I like the characters, I like the story and I really feel like there’s a lack of honest to goodness slasher books in the market. It has all the ingredients for a book I would enjoy reading, so I hope I can.  Right now, that’s all I can ask for in a project.

Whatever my next book ends up being, I do know I’ll release a physical edition. When i published Live Undead, I thought I’d never release a hard copy book. It just didn’t appeal to me. But since then, I’ve come around to the idea. Trying to market something that’s solely available as a Kindle edition feels impossible. Just offering an electronic edition feels like I’m cutting off my marketing efforts at the knees. I think I can attract more readers to my work by making a trade paperback available. That’s ultimately what matters: Getting people to read my stuff.

I know there’s a few people out there that have read each of the Undead Chronicles. I definitely appreciate that, and hope they enjoyed the books. Unfortunately I feel like there haven’t been enough. My main goal over the next year will simply be to get more readers. I want more people buying, borrowing or even pirating my books. I want more reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. I even want more people visiting this site on a regular basis. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Walk Away

After months of wrestling with Psychopomp, I’m afraid I’ve lost. I’m simply not happy with the way it turned out. The writing is weak, and the story isn’t focused. It feels very scattered, and that’s because I tackled so many different elements. It currently feels like four disparate books, and I honestly don’t know how to make them feel like a cohesive whole. I bit off more than I can chew.

Maybe in a few months, I’ll feel differently. Maybe I’ll figure out the secret to making the book work. But today, I’m doing more harm than good in trying to sort it out. I’m wasting time, when I could be writing something else.

Unfortunately I don’t really know what I’m going to work on next. I have ideas, but nothing set in stone. I guess that’s something for me to figure out over the next couple of days.

The (writing) Process

Before I begin, I want to thank Charles Millhouse for including me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. I’ve known Chuck for several years, and he was the first independent author I ever met. I had toyed around with the idea of self-publishing for a long time, but Chuck is the pretty much the reason I finally took the plunge. I’m glad that I have the chance to follow his post.

So here it goes:

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on a few things. First and foremost, I’m preparing for the release of my next novel, Nothing Zero. It’s scheduled to be unleashed on February 11. Secondly, I’m reworking bits of the novel I completed as part of NaNoWriMo. Psychopomp needs a lot of love and attention before I can release it  in May. Finally I’m mulling over ideas for my third novel. I have a couple of contenders, but nothing definitive. I hope to wrap up the work on Psychopomp this month and fully commit to my next novel at that time.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I guess the main thing that sets my work apart would be the characters I write about. I tend to gravitate towards characters that are broken in some way. I like writing about the outcasts, the losers and the freaks. People that lead different and alternative lifestyles. I just find writing about them way more intriguing than utilizing a teacher or writer.

Why do I write what I write?

I love horror. I have ever since I first discovered The Movie Channel when I was a little kid. John Carpenter’s The Thing, David Cronenberg’s movies, Friday the 13th, George Romero’s zombie flicks, Nightmare on Elm Street; that stuff absolutely blew my mind. That love for the genre inevitably carried over to my reading habits. Clive Barker, Stephen King, Poppy Z. Brite and Anne Rice. When I finally started writing my own stories, it was only natural I work within the genre.

How does my writing process work?

I don’t do note cards. I don’t do outlines. I don’t really plan in a normal fashion. I get ideas and then think about them. Usually I think about them for a few days, or weeks, and then when I think I have a handle on things, I sit down and write. If I’m lucky, I have a good idea where the story is going. But if I don’t, that’s cool too. I’m happy just stumbling through the plot until the work is done.

Next week these questions will be answered by Chris Weston.

Chris Weston is a freelance writer, and the author of The Dragon’s Tear. Chris lives in South Florida, and enjoys relaxing with his two dogs. In his spare time, Chris discusses various topics on his website and on his social media. Every week, Chris helps run a local writing group for aspiring authors, which assists from start to finish in a writer’s process.”

A Night Like This, Chapter 1 of Nothing Zero

The feedback reaching crescendo, Nothing screamed.

Microphone cord wrapped tightly around his forearm, he sank to his knees. At first his screams were atonal wailing, but gradually he formed a sentence. Thrashing wildly, he shrieked the words that haunted his every waking moment for the past week. He didn’t understand what they meant, only they held some deeper meaning not readily apparent. “This is the end of everything,” he cried one final time before he collapsed to the stage.

Lying on his back, Nothing watched the pink and white confetti swirl through the air. Tilting his head to the side, he saw Wraith kick one of the hundreds of black balloons bouncing across the stage. The normally surefooted bassist slipped and crashed to the ground.

Nothing crawled towards Aiden.

Rising to his knees, he stared up at his guitarist.

Head down, Aiden coaxed demonic washes of feedback from his instrument. When he noticed Nothing knelt in front of him, a devilish smile flashed across his cherubic face.

Snatching handfuls of hair, Aiden pulled Nothing’s face towards his crotch and thrust his hips. As Aiden pantomimed fucking his mouth, Nothing grabbed Aiden’s ass. Squeezing tightly, Nothing heard hundreds of excited squeals in the crowd.

When Aiden let his hair go, Nothing theatrically wiped his mouth and staggered to his feet.

Aiden leaned forward, and embraced Nothing. Arching his feet, Nothing found Aiden’s lips. Even though the kiss was now only part of their act, Nothing couldn’t help but remember feelings long forgotten. There was a time when he loved Aiden and Aiden loved him in turn. As their lips parted, Nothing wondered why either of them ever stopped.

Turning away from Nothing, Aiden smashed his guitar against the stage.

Hair in messy tangles, skin lacquered with sweat, eyeliner streaking his face, dress torn and barely clinging to his body and stockings hopelessly shredded, Nothing staggered to the front of the stage. The Red Rock Casino Amphitheatre was sold out. 10,000 kids, all deathly pale and dressed in black raised their hands to the star-filled Las Vegas sky as they chanted the band’s name—his name. Looking at the crowd, Nothing Zero felt alive.

Unfortunately the feeling was fleeting.

The afterglow from his performance starting to slip, Nothing tore the tattered remains of his dress off. With thousands of videos posted to YouTube of him performing the act, he knew everyone in the crowd had already seen him stripped down to his underwear and garters, but that didn’t matter. Without fail, each time he did the striptease, he received a wave of excited squeals as reward. It was enough to make his high last a precious few seconds longer.

When he was alive, Nothing would have done anything to hear those screams. He dreamed of performing with a band for thousands of adoring fans, selling millions of records, posing for magazine covers and filming music videos. But living in rural Ohio, far from the shimmering glamor of New York or Hollywood, he feared his dreams would never come true. He dreaded the thought of being trapped in his small town life, all of his hopes and dreams unfulfilled and his life unnoticed by anyone but the bullies and assholes who lived to abuse him.

But then Nothing died.

Death awoke something dark and terrible inside him. Nothing was reborn as a creature of great power and endless hunger. But most of all, Nothing found himself with everything he dared dream of when he was alive. It was the final night of a sold out tour promoting his third chart-topping album, Nothing should have been elated. He should have felt like a conquering hero as he surveyed the crowd. But staring out at the thousands of adoring kids with their Nothing Zero shirts and screaming for him to throw them his dress, Nothing felt nothing at all.

 

Continue Reading…

Nothing Zero synopsis

On February 11th Nothing Zero will finally be released. Its publication marks the end of a very long and difficult road. It also signals an end to this cycle of the Undead Chronicles. I do have other stories in this world to tell, but I want to step away and explore other creative avenues for a while. With that said, here is the synopsis for Nothing Zero:

The third installment of the Undead Chronicles.

Infamous. Rock Star. Vampire.

Everyone knows his name. Nothing Zero is the world’s biggest rock star. He tours the country, bringing his brand of Goth Glam to sold out arenas and amphitheaters. He’s sold millions of records and his latest album may be his biggest commercial success yet.

But what the world doesn’t know is that he’s falling apart.

Nothing’s band hates him, his personal life is a mess and the bloodshed and drug abuse that fills his nights is beginning to consume him. As Nothing struggles to regain control over his life, a forgotten figure from his past returns.

Emilie was among the first vampires created by Nothing, and she hates him for it. She stalks the Hollywood night feeding on her fellow undead. With each successive night, she grows stronger and more powerful. Soon she’ll be able to set her sights on Nothing Zero himself. But killing the rock star isn’t enough. Emilie wants to make sure Nothing Zero will never forget her name again.

NOTHING ZERO contains depictions of explicit sex, gruesome horror and graphic violence. Reader discretion is advised.