Month: February 2015

New Horizons – Wattpad

So, I decided to expand my horizons, and hopefully gain new readers, by publishing some short stories on Wattpad.

The logic, I believe, is sound. You have to give in order to receive. My plan is to publish a handful of stories, one at a time, and see what happens. If I like how things go, I may put some sample chapters of my books on there as well.

As authors in this new age of publishing, I think we have to be open to new things. Readers aren’t just going to the bookstore anymore. They’re searching for new material wherever they can find it. If we’re going to expand our readership, we must be willing to go out and find them. That means going where the readers are. Places like Wattpad and Goodreads.

An updated version of LABOR OF LOVE can be read here: http://www.wattpad.com/story/33581745-labor-of-love

I’d love to hear what you think. All feedback is welcome, either here or on Wattpad.

If anyone has any experience with Wattpad and would like to share any tips, or experiences, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Now I have to start thinking about creating book covers for my short stories. This should be…interesting.

Twice Upon a Time Anthology Re-Release

twiceuponatimeLR

Everybody likes fairy tales, right? Well a bunch of authors twisted them in unique ways. I was one of them. My short story, THE DRAGON’S TINDER, which puts a dark fantasy/horror spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Tinderbox, appears in the new Twice Upon A Time Anthology from The Bearded Scribe Press. The anthology was recently re-released and is available from Amazon in either paperback or e-book versions. Check it out if you like. Thanks for reading!

Anyone interested can purchase a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Upon-Time-Reimagined-Remastered-ebook/dp/B00TKV04EC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424106710&sr=1-1&keywords=twice+upon+a+time+anthology

Covert Genesis the Book?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately. There are books I’m in the middle of writing, books I’d like to write, and books I might need to write (as in the third book of my Black Gate Trilogy). I’m having trouble committing fully to a single project. Something is holding me back.

An idea hit me today. Perhaps I’m not writing the right book. The latest four star review of SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror on Goodreads singled out my story as one the reader particularly enjoyed. They went into SNAFU for Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger short and came away with a list of new authors to read, me among them. Other readers have commented that they wished my story was longer. Not all reviewers liked my story, but that’s to be expected. One thing most reviews liked about my story, despite their overall criticisms, was the action. Pretty much every reader liked the action sequences. All of this feedback got me thinking.

Would you like to see a book set in the Covert Genesis world? Let me know either in the comments below, tweet me (@WriteBWT), or even email (which you can find in the “Contact” section of this blog). I’d love to hear from you.

To be honest, I’ve always had plans for a book set in the Covert Genesis world. A rough outline and character dossiers exist in a folder on my PC. It would follow a different set of characters initially until both plots intersect and Solomon Watkins and company show up to fight the good fight. No spoilers though. I will say the book will stick to the same survival horror themes, but will cover a more complete plot line. I’m going to take the weekend to collect my thoughts.

Just a quick note to explain why Covert Genesis was so short. As a then unknown writer I had to follow Cohesion Press’ submission guidelines. You only get so many words to tell a story and certain aspects weren’t explored fully as a result. A book would remedy that. We’re talking better character development, creature origins, and more.

People always say to give readers what they want. They also say always leave them wanting more. I’m giving you, the fans of Covert Genesis, a chance to voice your opinions and help me come to a decision. Sound off, people!

SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Snafu-Anthology-Military-Jonathan-Maberry/dp/0992558107/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423235356&sr=1-2&keywords=snafu+an+anthology+of+military+horror 

Demi Lovato’s Really Don’t Care Influenced My New Dark Fantasy Story. Here’s How.

I bet most of you are wondering why a grown ass horror writer was listening to Demi Lovato on repeat last night. Let me explain.

Like every other writer out there, I have family. Specifically two nieces (age 12 and 13) who love MG and YA horror. One day I saw a call for leprechaun stories from a small press. While I have no intention of subbing this story to them, I wanted to give leprechauns a try. My very first thought was to write a female leprechaun because I haven’t really seen many, if at all. My second thought was to take both of my nieces and smash them into one character. To be honest, this story came together fairly quickly, like it was there the whole time waiting for this moment of birth.

Nope, not this kind of leprechaun.

Nope, not this kind of leprechaun.

Nope, not this kind either.

Nope, not this kind either.

I wanted this story to represent my nieces, their struggles as mixed race teens, their passions, their hopes, dreams, and fears. I asked one of them for a first name and the other for a last name. They came up with Sasha Callaborne…and I love it.

Sasha is bummed because she’s moving from the big city, and the only home she’s ever known, to a more rural setting. She’s nervous and scared because she’s out of her comfort zone and isn’t sure she’ll fit in. She loves anime, plays the French horn, loves to read, and loves music. Two traits from each niece.

One of the singers my nieces really like is Demi Lovato. I wanted to try and capture some of Demi’s spark for my character so…I listened to one of my niece’s favorite songs, over and over and over again. Seriously, like fifty times. I think it really helped during the editing process. The song even makes two appearances in the story (not lyrically, that would infringe upon copyright laws!).

Listening to my niece sing in her room the other night reminded me that music holds power. When we’re feeling happy, we sing upbeat songs to share that happiness. When we’re feeling down we seek music to soothe our aches and pains. No matter how we feel, music helps. I wanted to try and bring some of that power to my story. The antagonist uses music for a not so nice purpose, while Sasha discovers that music can also be used to counter the not so nice purpose. The chorus to Really Don’t Care, specifically, gives her courage to fight. It made for the most unique conflict I think I’ve ever written.

My nieces haven’t read the story yet. I’ve got one final round of edits before they get their hands on it. I’m excited for them to read it and give me feedback. While this isn’t my first YA story, it is the first time teen readers will give me their personal feedback. I’m both excited and a little nervous, even if I have no clue what I’m going to do with this story.

Keep in mind I had no intention of writing a story like Leprechaun’s Clearing. Creative lightning zapped me. No matter what anyone else thinks of this story, it’ll always be special to me. Two of the most important people in my life helped inspire and shape it. And just like my two nieces, I’ll always love it.

The next time you’re stuck in a writing rut, look around. Inspiration is everywhere. All you have to do is open up to it.

Elevator pitch: A fifteen-year-old girl stumbles upon an ancient evil and must outwit and outsing her way from the snare that is leprechaun’s clearing or lose her family and soul forever.

Here’s the song that helped inspire the story. Keep doing your thing, Demi. I know two girls who can’t wait for your next song.

Top Five Werewolf Movies

Wolves at the door cover

SNAFU: Wolves at the Door (Cohesion Press) is almost a week old. Aww, look how it snarls at strangers! Careful, don’t get too close. It bites!

In honor of the recent release of Wolves at the Door, I thought it would be fun to share my five favorite films featuring (say that five times fast!) werewolves. Maybe readers will understand a little more where inspiration for my short story, Project Lupine, came from. Let’s get right to it!

5) The Wolf Man (1941)

I used to love watching this one as a kid. I remember the gypsy woman warning the main character to beware and him never listening. What I enjoy most about this film is the man versus beast aspect. Plus, if not for this film, most other werewolf films wouldn’t exist. This is where the legend began.

4) The Howling (1981)

What stands out to me most about this film is the tension. The director did a great job of ratcheting it up throughout the film. And we can’t forget about that awesome ending!

3) Underworld (2003)

I know, some of you may be saying this isn’t a traditional werewolf film. For me, this film wouldn’t work without its hairy, snarling werewolf side. And, those werewolves look damn intimidating. The special effects really stand out in Underworld. The sleek look of the film works pretty well too. Underworld will always be a favorite around my house.

2) An American Werewolf in London (1981)

What can I say about this classic film that hasn’t already been said? The way the director portrayed the hunting habits of the werewolves was really well done. You believe these characters are being stalked. Leave it to some American tourists to find the one werewolf running around the British countryside! And that transformation scene is so, so good. If you love werewolves and haven’t seen this one, stop what you’re doing. Go grab a copy. Thank me later.

1) Dog Soldiers (2002)

Survival horror? Check. Stranded soldiers? Check. A pack of hungry werewolves? Check. This film has all of that, and more! Dog Soldiers was a pleasant surprise when I discovered it several years ago. It was my first encounter with director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, Centurian) and I never looked back. What I love about this film is the isolation. These stranded soldiers really have nowhere to go and must fortify and defend…or be eviscerated. While the werewolves aren’t the best looking, they are intimidating. The cast is superb, the script/story is superb, and the director makes the most out of a limited budget to bring movie goers a rare diamond in the rough.