Voodoo Rumors update
“Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.”
― Raymond Chandler
I like to think I put some generous amount of magic into everything I write. My latest project is set for release in February 2018. It’ll be the first in a 6 book series. Well, series implies that you have to read each book in order. These are written so that you can pick up any book and enjoy the story.
I am mixing the hardboiled P.I. genre with the darkest elements of the paranormal to create the Voodoo Rumors stories.
Set in 1950’s Nashville, Thomas Dietrich is cynical yet idealistic; amorous yet full of despair. He’s a man capable of harsh violence and unfettered compassion in a world where the darkest things walk the streets of his city at night.
And with that, may I present the cover for The Blood Red Ruby.
Just another week in the life…
There are some weeks where everything goes right. When the stars are in alignment and the best laid plans are executed with a flawless outcome.
And then there is this week…
In reality, it isn’t just this week that’s been the problem. Bad decisions, poor life choices, and a certain amount of stubbornness on my part have led to a near-constant state of frustration where my writing is concerned.
I’m not naming names. I’m not pointing the finger. Just vent about my own failing in certain areas.
And to say this week has been bad isn’t being fair. Problems arose and were dealt with. The issues that came up have pointed out problems that can now be fixed, saving me trouble in the long run as well as a ton of embarrassment in the coming weeks and months.
It started with a beta reader commenting that the first book in the Voodoo Rumors series still had a number of editorial issues. After two rounds with the editor, these should have been spotted. A second beta reader, a day later, pointed out similar issues in book two.
So the editor had to be let go. I asked her to stop working on book three, assuming that work had actually begun and began my search for someone new to fill that role. In addition, a personal message was sent to me that just added a kick to the gut that I didn’t need. For a while, despair and doubt oozed out of every pore on my body, so I apologize to those who encountered it.
Luckily, my Facebook friends, when I posted my frustrations, came through with plenty of recommendations. By week’s end, someone new was found to re-read over the first two books and a full-time editor and I made a deal for him to work on book three.
For those who are not in the publishing world, you may not be aware that for some book reviewers to consider looking at your work, they require that it is sent in to them, four months in advance of the releases date. Given that book one is set for a Mid-February release date to coincide with its dark Valentine’s Day message, I had to get copies out in Mid-October. So those reviewers will see the issues, but hopefully will understand that the final version will be clean.
One of the things that every writer encounters is self-doubt. Is it really worth all the effort to construct a story, write it out, and spend weeks or months cleaning, only to have no one care? Can a non-creative understand how hurtful it is to put yourself out there and have your work ignored?
Reviews are the life-blood for authors. And given the way places like Amazon works, they don’t even have to be good reviews. All you need are people to post comments and lots of them. As part of my marketing plan to promote the upcoming series, I’ve been asking… no begging for reviews. I’ve been willing to give away free books, eBooks and audio books just to get some numbers built up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me how much they enjoyed my books or stories. But when I ask if they could write a simple review, they look cross-eyed at me.
In the final days of this dark, I got a sliver of sunlight that broke through the clouds. Some positive reviews came in that remind me why I do this. Not just two word statements, but lengthy and detailed reviews.
You can read them here:
So I’ll finish up this rant by saying that the week started off poorly but finished on a good note. Let’s hope more good notes are to come.
BTW: The cover reveal for The Blood Red Ruby: Voodoo Rumors book 1 is coming soon.
The Killbug Eulogies is worldbuilding at its best.
The story is hardly a single tale. Instead, the book revolves around a troop of soldiers, stranded on a distant world and fighting off an enemy consisting of various intelligent insect species. With the troop’s chaplain dead, the men are told they will eulogize their fallen brothers. So each chapter then is the eulogy of a different man.
With the story being told about each of the fallen, we learn more about the fate of the Earth, the fate of humanity, and delve into the world of the insects. Each story has its own unique tone, sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy. That is what makes this work so incredibly special, one moment you’re laughing and the next you’re wiping a tear.
Madden took a crazy idea and a difficult and disconnected form of storytelling and knocked out a hit. This story is a must for Sci-Fi fans.
The Blood in Snowflake Garden is out in audio.
The audio version of The Blood in Snowflake Garden is finally available. Clark Clayson did a fantastic job as the narrator. His voice provided a unique and some what darker tone for the story. I think you’ll enjoy.
As a bonus to the newsletter readers, the first 3 folks to email me at email@example.com and mention the audio book will get a ‘freebie’ code to Aubible.com for the book.
Some may have noticed that I’ve released very little work over the past year or two. Aside from a few short stories, I’ve written far less than I’d have liked. But, having said that, I’ve not stopped completely.
So what can you expect from me this year? I have short stories, coming up in a pair of anthologies from Pro-Se Productions, hopefully, later this year. One will be another Black Wolfe story in Black Pulp 2. The other will be a World War 1 adventure, featuring the notoriously sexy, Mata Hari, in High Adventure History 2.
Seriously, I’m considering a short story series about Mata Hari. I had a lot of fun writing one.
More exciting is a series of six novellas, being released one a month, starting in August or September of this year. The novellas will feature a Nashville detective named Thomas Dietrich. Set in 1951, Dietrich’s cases deal with the paranormal elements that infest his city. Werewolves, vampires, ghosts and demons, all attempt to find ways to make The Music City a Hell on Earth, but the city has a savior fighting for its very soul.
Dietrich’s Nashville will be a dark noir-styled, paranormal series. If the first set do well, there will be a ‘1952’ series.
On down the road, there are more stories coming. A revamped version of one of my first stories, Kaylana is in the works for both ebook and audio.
An audio version of History Now is underway. An outline for the next Snowflake Garden book is just waiting on me to pull out of the archives and get started.
Stay tuned for more.
Book Review: Will Save the Galaxy for Food
While glancing through the new additions of Audbile.com’s library, I stumbled across ‘Will Save the Galaxy for Food’ by Yahtzee Croshaw. The book blurb looked interesting enough, so I took a gamble forked over my money, and bought it. The author, as it turns out, was the narrator which in far too many cases, is never a good thing.
As it turns out, my gamble with worth it and Croshaw’s reading lifted what turned out to be a great book to an even higher level.
The book is described as a not-quite epic satirical science fiction adventure and it certainly lives up to that description.
The story is set in the distant future where humanity has established itself on hundreds of worlds throughout the galaxy. As we quickly learn, the Golden Age of space travel is quickly fading into history due to revolutions is wormhole technology, called Quantum Technology. All but gone are the days when Star Pilots ferried cargo and passengers from planet to planet, fighting off aliens and pirates alike, saving desperate worlds from disasters or invasions, and just generally being big damn heroes.
A lone Star Pilot, looking for work, finds himself thrust into the unlikely role of masquerading as the galaxy’s most famous hero, Jacques McKeown, in order to fool a mob boss who wants the legendary hero to take his son for a trip through the stars. The only problem is that the real McKeown has been writing a series of books, telling his adventures as the best Star Pilot. Only thing is, most of those stories are not his. It seems that McKeown has been stealing the real-life stories of other pilots and making money off their past. So, every Star Pilot in the galaxy have plenty of reasons to hate the man. Not a good thing when you’re impersonating him.
Needlessly to say, things do not go as planned.
I’m not going to go into the details but the story was well written and the plot turns more than a drunk mountain biker with an inner ear condition. Croshaw’s biting sarcasm is on full display throughout the story and makes for plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
On a personal note, the idea of the Golden Age of space travel being left behind in favor of the quick and easy teleportation struck a cord as I listened to the story unfolding. This book is a very modern take on the Sci-Fi movie, book, and comic serials of the past. The Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and the other tales from the early and mid 2oth Century were full of big, damn heroes, doing dashing deeds until our more modern, serious take on space travel began to dominate story telling. Yes, the old stories were cheesy, but they were also fun and offered up ideas of worlds where we, as kids, would want to live. This book offers a satirical look at that brand of Sci-Fi storytelling and will make you want more.
History Now! Apollo 11 is a sci-fi tale about a journalist who bounces around in time, chronicling some of the most dramatic events in human history. But with every trip through the timestream, there is a danger of tweaking some little something that causes a massive, sometimes disastrous change in the time line.
History Now! is available in ebook form, with an audible version coming soon.
2016 and the Uncertain Future
I think everyone can agree that 2016 was a terrible year. Terrible in so many ways that I’m not going to try and list them, but not many are talking about the good things from the past twelve months. No matter had bad things may be, there are always some bright points.
I did a little thinking about my own life, my own experiences, and the positive side of 2016. So if I can bore you for a moment, I’d like to list out some of the better things for me from this past year.
- For starters, I had a serious health issue that’d been around for a long while but finally needed attention. Thanks to the support of my friends and many acquaintances, I was able to afford treatment and feel better than I have in years.
- As the Literary Director at the Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con, I got to pick the guest authors. So, getting a weekend to dine and chat about writing with two of my favorite authors, Alex Bledsoe and David B. Coe, was freakin’ awesome.
- Although my writing has slowed down drastically for a number of reasons this year, I did get a couple of short stories published, along with the anthology, Capes & Clockwork vol.2.
- My children, my girlfriend, and friends are all healthy and doing well. Plus the Lewis household gained a member, a pup named Chewie.
- I got good news from L.A. regarding the Snowflake television series and the option was renewed for another year.
- I watched as several of my writing friends achieved their dream and got their first book/story published. Many were folks who I’d worked with over the years in the NWMG, so seeing their hard work end in success was wonderful.
Now we look to 2017 and the ascension of a reality TV star to the White House. Things are uncertain and there is a lot of fear in the nation. Still, we need to focus on what is important.
So here’s to 2016, so long and thanks for all the fish.