covert genesis

New Project

Hey, how’s it going? I hope everyone is doing well.

As the title of this post suggests, I wanted to let you know I’ve started work on a new book. Fans of my short story, COVERT GENESIS (which appears in SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror), will be pleased to know the new book takes place in the same world. I’ve talked about wanting to take that short story and make a book out of it. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

My previous literary agent suggested I finish a different book because it was more lucrative. I’m not writing this new book because I think it’ll be lucrative (even though I believe it will be anyway). I’m writing this one because I love the story, and world of Covert Genesis. This is a labor of love for me and I believe that love will find its way to the page. I have a loose outline and the first chapter is going well. My goal is to have the first draft done before the new year.

What can readers expect from the new book?

While I don’t have a title for the new book yet, it will explain where the parasites come from. It’ll be a mash-up of horror, sci-fi, and military action. You’ll find familiar characters as well as new ones. The goal is to set the parasite menace free and see how humanity stands up to it.

I’ll be sure to share more details as the project nears completion. Stay tuned. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!

Covert Genesis the Book?

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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 

Behind The Story: Covert Genesis

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How’s everyone doing today? I thought it might be fun to give a little inside information, or a behind the scenes look at my short story, Covert Genesis.

Let’s start with the fact that Covert Genesis was my first major publication. Yes, I was pretty much unknown at the time (still am!). I found an open call for submissions and figured I’d take my chances. Well, apparently a little over 1,100 other writers did too. Eleven mighty stories were plucked from the slush, mine included. That still blows my mind.

So, where did the idea for Covert Genesis come from?

I have a virtual folder full of story ideas. One of those ideas was for a zombie book set on a Naval base. The military aspect was already in place. The concept evolved after I made up my mind to switch from zombies. Let’s be honest, zombies are everywhere. I let the idea marinate in my mind for a while.

Eventually I thought what if I had monsters similar to zombies but weren’t really zombies?

The answer was parasites – worm-like creatures that control their human hosts. Oh, and they’re from outer space. Extraterrestrial parasites sounds so much cooler than zombies, don’t you think?

One of the things I ended up doing was taking Sci-Fi elements and incorporating them into what boils down to a story of survival horror. I’ve always been a big fan of survival horror – video games like Resident Evil, Condemned: Criminal Origins, and Gears of War, films like Dog Soldiers and the Alien franchise. Hopefully I did the genre justice with my short story.

What you’ll find in SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror is actually a prequel of sorts to a planned novel. The novel would cover the parasite’s arrival, discovery, and how they spread to the naval base, as told through a military family’s perspective.

The character of Solomon Watkins is based partly on my military experience. One of my responsibilities as an aircraft mechanic was to go and fix our planes no matter where they broke. I’ve been to Greenland, Qatar, and several cities in the United States chasing fuel leaks. I figured what better alibi than a broken plane to get another Spec-Ops team to the crash site under the radar. Poor Solomon has no idea what he’s getting into. And that’s part of what I think makes the story work. He’s clearly not a hardened soldier, but he isn’t someone to turn his back on his responsibilities, or duty, either. He’s a good guy thrust into the unknown. There is no handbook for what he encounters. How he reacts is a testament to who he is as a person.

Stylistically, I wanted to depict something readers maybe haven’t come across before, but might strike them as vaguely familiar. I play video games. There’s a first person shooter called Serious Sam where these headless guys run at you with bombs, all the while screaming. The closer they get, the louder the screaming. They’re called headless kamikazes and those moments were tense because if you didn’t shoot them before they reached you, BOOM! That’s where I got the idea for the screamers. As if the exploding head wasn’t bad enough, you would have to contend with what came out of it too. Scary stuff.

For me, I wanted this story to be more action oriented. Let’s be honest, short stories have a limited amount of space. I had to pick which aspect of the story to lean more heavily on. Since the anthology called for military horror, it was an easy decision to go action heavy. That’s not to say I abandoned character building altogether, but, rather sprinkled it throughout the story. As the creator it was more important to see how the characters reacted in real time, as they’re thrust into these crazy situations. Hopefully readers appreciate the end result.

I believe there are influences all around us. Whether we know it or not, everything we do has some sort of influence on us. Video games, television shows, movies, comics, books, music, and more all wriggle their influence in our minds. I like to try and bring as many influences to the table as possible when I write. Ideas can come from the unlikeliest of places.

Maybe you’ll see Solomon again. I know I’d love to revisit that world and those characters in book form. There’s a more vast, and broader picture to paint. Who knows what the future holds…

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have about Covert Genesis in the comments below.

Sale Alert – For a Limited Time, SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror is only $2.99!

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The fine folks at Cohesion Press are in the X-mas spirit. They’ve lowered the prices on both SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror and SNAFU: Heroes. You can own either, in e-book format (from Amazon), for just $2.99 through the end of December. If you’ve been waiting to get either book, now’s the time. Give them as gifts or treat yourself.

Follow this link for SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror: http://www.amazon.com/SNAFU-Anthology-Military-Jonathan-Maberry-ebook/dp/B00LNXHLJG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077993&sr=1-1&keywords=snafu+an+anthology+of+military+horror

Follow this link for SNAFU: Heroes: http://www.amazon.com/SNAFU-Heroes-Anthology-Military-Horror-ebook/dp/B00MSVEY2Y/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1J0M7K3GJSWG6THAASB3

Coming January 2015!

Coming January 2015!

And get ready because SNAFU: Wolves at the Door will be releasing in January 2015! Cohesion Press has all your military horror needs covered. I turned in edits for my story, PROJECT LUPINE (which will be appearing in Wolves at the Door), yesterday. I can’t wait for all of you to read it. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

You can learn more about the entire SNAFU line of books from Cohesion Press by following this link to their official website: http://cohesionpress.com/snafu/

Publication Announcement: SNAFU–An Anthology of Military Horror

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I am pleased to announce that my short story, COVERT GENESIS, will be published in the upcoming anthology from Cohesion Press, titled SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror. Much thanks to Mr. Geoff Brown for taking a chance on an a relatively unknown author.

Read the official announcement here: http://cohesionpress.com/news/

What is SNAFU? SNAFU is an unofficial military term–situation normal, all fucked up. Think of what happened in the film Aliens after their drip ship crashed, stranding Ripley, Hicks, Hudson, and the rest of the initial group of survivors with an army of aliens.

I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to be included in an anthology with fantastic authors like Jonathan Maberry, Grieg Beck, James A. Moore, Weston Ochse, and Joseph Nassise. I hope my story mingles well at the SNAFU party.

It turns out Mr. Brown received over 1,100 submissions for this anthology. I was among the eleven unsolicited authors who made it in. Crazy, I know. I celebrated with a cupcake. Again, crazy, I know.

I’ll be sure to pass along more details about SNAFU as they become available. Stay tuned.

You can learn more about Cohesion Press here: http://cohesionpress.com/

You can learn more about SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror here: http://cohesionpress.com/books/snafu-anthology/