Behind the Scenes: SUPERPOWERED Cover

This week I cracked the 100k word milestone on the third Click Your Poison book, SUPERPOWERED. It’s happening, and soon, but every book needs a cover first.

I’m happy to announce a partnership with Brian Silveira. He’s an extremely talented comic artist, and he’s gracious enough to take a break from working on an original graphic novel to jump in and work for me. I’m crazy excited. Care to see why?

Check out our current development

Welcome to Mercury City, the metropolis where you live and work. Your home.

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Here you’ll get 1 of 3 superpowers when you’re in an experiment gone awry. The other two test-subjects — will they be your allies or your sworn enemies?

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Brian and I decided to give the cover a comic-book feel, even though it’s an illustration-free interactive novel.

How about some character detail?

Diamond — One of the other test subjects, Catherine Woodall, once she receives miraculous super-strength and near-indestructible levels of damage resistance.

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She wears a tight, midriff-exposing black t-shirt emblazoned with a playing-card-suit red diamond logo, fingerless gloves, and black yoga pants tucked into crimson-red boots. Her face is concealed behind a red domino mask, but as she smashes through the security doors and rushes into the bank, there can be little doubt in your mind as to who this superpowered woman truly is.”

Dorian White — Subject Nick Dorian, imbued with techno-genius, Nick makes his own mechanized armor.

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Computer, boot up White Ranger sequence. Prepare for Stark battle-mode.” “Dorian White voice recognition accepted. Beginning Techno-zord protocol,” a disembodied voice with a filtered, British accent replies. A panel behind one of the walls opens to reveal an enormous, ten-foot tall mechanized suit. It’s glittering white, with the sheen of a brand new sports car. Nick climbs inside and the armored computer closes around him, booting up. The limbs move as part of a systems check, and two more arms swing out over the shoulders—though these prove to be more cannons and less appendages. “All systems online,” a flitered, robo-Nick says. “Let’s go kick some ass.”

DinoSkin Mark IV — next generation bodyarmor. When you’re the flying-telekinetic, you can find this suit.

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“Too expensive to be put into combat on a mass scale, but nothing else comes close. Lightweight, breathable, and incredibly durable. The scaling provides multilayer protection against gunshots or knife attack. Go ahead, touch it.” The material stretches when you tug at it, but it’s coarse to the touch. Droakam raps his knuckles against the mannequin’s torso. “A reinforced plate on the chest and spine provide added shock protection against explosives. But the best part? You should still be able to fly around in this thing because it’s so lightweight.” “Maybe your superhero name could be Terror-dactyl,” Nick snarks.

 What’s next?

 

There are dozens of variations on costumed characters/personas in the book, so this is just a sampling for the cover. And, as you can see, the cover art is still a work in progress. I’ll definitely post more updates as Brian continues to work, so don’t forget to subscribe! (little box over there on the left, where you’ll never find any spam).

What do YOU think? Are you getting excited? Ready to save the world? Or perhaps enslave it…? Let me know in the comments at the bottom!

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The Final Countdown! MURDERED Trailer Release Date (and More Art)

Obligatory:

 

It’s really happening. I’ve seen a rough cut, and it looks fantastic. The MURDERED trailer should be ready for the world by the end of the week/beginning of next. Just to be safe, I’m calling the world premiere as Wednesday, October 29th. Expect a blog post with the trailer next week!

But in the meantime, I’m hosting a Goodreads giveaway to add to the excitement. If you have an account, please consider RSVPing “Yes!” to show your support and help spread the word! Here’s your invite:

Hey all! MURDERED is finally getting a book trailer and it’s going to be killer. Help celebrate the world premiere and win a FREE copy in the process.

3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question… Could YOU Solve a Murder?

Now: More art.

Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio
Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio
Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio
Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio

 

Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio
Art by Jeremy Pollreisz, PixelTwister Studio

 

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment, like, and share. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll be the first to see the trailer when it’s released.

Art & a Script: MURDERED Trailer Update!

In case you missed it, I mentioned last week that a MURDERED trailer is on the horizon.

This week, I’m happy to share that Ellen (the writer-half of PixelTwister Studio) and I have come up with an amazing script. It’s meant to tease out the idea behind the book, so it shares part of the you find a body and a revolver with a “pick me up” note opening hook, but it’s also broad enough to get the entire concept across in only a minute or two. If you haven’t read the book/don’t know what I’m talking about, you can check out the first chapter for free using the amazon “look inside” function on the MURDERED product page.

The gist goes something like this:

You’re in Brazil for Carnival when you turn down the wrong alley on the wrong night…”

Meanwhile, Jeremy (the artist-half of PixelTwister) has been busy building the world of the trailer. As part of that, he sent me a sneak peek (which I’m also happy to share with you!) of the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue that watches over the iconic Rio de Janeiro skyline.

Without further ado:

Redeemer

Boom! Annnnd that’s now my desktop background.

Sorry to tease you all, but I had to share my excitement. The trailer is coming soon! So don’t forget to subscribe 😉

Film Review: THE HUNTER (2011)

Disclaimer: I don’t plan on making film reviews the norm on this site but because I already wrote about this movie, I’m willing to make an exception.  I also don’t like giving negative reviews, especially for independently financed projects, as I respect the difficulties of moviemaking and I don’t want to steer revenue away from these hard working artists.  However, my audience is intelligent enough to know that this is only my opinion and that their own millage may vary.  So we shall proceed.

Please be aware that SPOILERS will follow, so if you don’t want to ruin your Monet Experience then go watch the movie now (it’s currently playing VOD) and then come back and share your thoughts.

Here is the trailer for the movie:

The Hunter (2011) – Official Trailer HD

The trailer would have you believe it’s a tense thriller, right?  About a man with a rifle, put in jeopardy by a conspiracy of those all around him–plenty of intrigue and suspense, right?  Wrong.  This 1:38 might be the most exciting of the whole 100 minute movie.

Okay, so maybe the problem was with marketing.  Maybe if I knew I was getting into a slow, plodding drama more about unemployed loggers than a Tasmanian tiger hunt, I’d have enjoyed the experience more.  But probably not.

Don’t get me wrong, this movie has its redeeming aspects.  The cast was stellar!  Defoe and O’Conner brought grace and strength.  Sam Neil perfectly blended as a native (IMDB tells me he grew up down-under, so it’s no surprise).  And what a beautiful film; the cinematographer expertly captured the breathtaking scenery.

I actually wish I liked this movie more.  The topic is obviously one that interests me.  But I just couldn’t get behind it.  It strikes me as another in a painfully long line of films that tries to be profound by having nothing happen.  It’s like someone who wants to write a great work of literature, so they decide step one is “don’t have a plot”.

A fellow friend and filmmaker once shared a bit of wisdom with me he learned while making a documentary on the Air Force Academy.  He said, you can’t show the audience that an event is boring by boring them for ninety minutes.  By the same token, I find that if you spend too much time building the atmosphere, you’re left with nothing but that.

So did I miss something?  Or did the filmmakers?

Books

I’ve started querying my historical fantasy novel, which I’ll refer to as WTZD until I can give out more details.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to blog about this, as publishers like to be tight-lipped about their in-development projects, and it dates my efforts to any agent looking at this site.  BUT that’s why I started this blog, to track my progress as a writer.  So what does that mean?  Unfortunately I can’t say much, yet.  Just that the novel is done, loved by my inner circle of critics, and ready to be shown to literary agents.  I am, as of this post, unrepresented.  That will soon change .

What I can share, is this image below, which I found while doing research for my queries.  It sums up, quite nicely, my goal with WTZD.  To enthrall and feed imaginations.

Wish me luck.

Books - That is exactly how they work

Source for: Books

Behind the scenes of a writing exercise

Since I write both movies and books, I find it only appropriate if my blog blurs the line between the two as well.  I wrote a short story entitled, “the deepest part of man is his skin“, which I posted under fiction yesterday (if you were following me on twitter, you’d have seen the notification).  This blog entry is a DVD commentary, if you will; a look into the writer’s process.

It began, like any good endeavor, out of both necessity and inspiration.  I was taking my niece and nephews camping, and figured scary stories might be the order of the day.  I started to think, “If only I had a book of campfire tales,” and it wasn’t long before my DIY attitude took over.  After all, if I were a carpenter, I wouldn’t buy a birdhouse, would I?  So I took to the challenge of writing my own scary story.

At the time, I was reading a collection of HP Lovecraft shorts.  Lovecraft, if you don’t know, is as much a founding father of horror as Poe.  Stephen King called Lovecraft, “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

Lovecraft is most renowned for his Cthulu mythos.

From the first sentence, I heard his voice in my own words.  I embraced it.  Writing as another author, one whom you admire, can be a great way to expand as a writer.  Or, as my friend Damon suggested, many of the greats would type out word-for-word copies of the works of the masters as a way to put another’s genius through their own mind.

I quickly spewed out the first draft, but found it was far too adult for the kiddos (in vernacular, mostly), and so it stayed as an incomplete work for the next few months.  This was August 8th.

Cut to four months later, I’m done editing my novel–which I can’t wait to share!  Queries to be sent soon (gulp)–and I find myself with some extra writing time as I transition to my next big project.  So I pick this one up.

Let me emphasize now the importance of peer review.  I showed an early draft of the story to my friend Chris, who’s not a writer; just someone smart and insightful.  His suggestion was to make it seem more “real”by having the letter come  to me rather than by me (as it was originally written).  This one simple suggestion gave it a new spin; like one of those “found footage” horror movies.  Lovecraft was fond of spelling the demise of his narrators, and I feel he would approve of such a creative choice.

Overall, I found the exercise to be a success.  It was fun to be overly macabre and descriptive, and I think the final product is something new and valuable.  I hope you enjoy it.