Message in a Bottle (MAROONED Update!)

Wow, I haven’t blogged since November. That makes this my first blog post of 2018! Yikes! It’s almost like I’ve been stranded on a deserted island, only to finally be rescued….

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I’m sorry I’ve been silent these last months, but the silver lining is that I’ve been toiling away during this period of obscurity. For those of you who’ve been eagerly awaiting my next book, the wait is nearly finished!

That’s right, the first draft of MAROONED is complete and I’ve moved onto editing. This means I’m going to need Beta Readers! (see below).

First edit: it’s no longer going to be called “Classically MAROONED.” Why? As previously mentioned, when I originally came upon the age of sail/pirate adventure idea, I had envisioned a retelling of classics like Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, or Moby Dick. But as I started researching, I kept coming up with ideas on how I would have done those stories myself.

So, nothing classic here. Just my own original ideas. It’s still set in that classic age of seafaring where you can dash into the role of dashing naval officer, cut to the quick as a cutthroat pirate, or cast your lot as a castaway. No need for a modifier, just an opportunity to get MAROONED!

I’ve had a blast writing and researching this book, and the result is a (mostly) historically accurate look into this seafaring world of adventure and a realistic test of survival skills needed on a deserted isle. Interested in an early read?

A Call for Beta Readers

I need your feedback to really make this book shine. Like someone beta-testing a game, you’ll playtest this gamebook, giving it a few read-throughs and let me know your thoughts. This isn’t to make sure my grammar and spelling are publication ready (that comes later), but rather to ensure the story is as compelling as can be.

The call for Beta Readers will come exclusively through my mailing list (which I’ve also neglected of late). So…if you want in, or at least want to hear the latest, sign up now.

From here, progress should move very quickly. Once I receive notes, make another round of edits, and send the book off to be proofread and formatted, MAROONED should come to you sometime this summer! I’m hoping for July/August.


Thanks for reading! What do YOU think? 

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

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Setting Sail (on a new book!)

Today I “started” the next title in the Click Your Poison series, a High Seas adventure called Classically MAROONED. I say “started” because I’ve been researching and plotting this book for some time now, but only now has ink been virtually spilled on a word processor.

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Excerpt from today's writing.

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I know I said this book would be released in 2017, yet sadly, I must finally admit that it won’t. But, please bear with me, this is a good news post. My goal is 1000 words per day, which would put me at 100 days of writing. If you’d be so kind, let’s round that up to four months. Two more months of notes, rewrites, and editing; we could possibly have this book published in six months. That means we’re looking at Spring 2018 as a possible release.

Unfortunately, that makes this the first year since I started CYP that I won’t release a new title. Sure, I have excuses (moving halfway across the world, plenty of travel, working on a zombie screenplay with another screenwriter, as well as Rebooting the Star Wars prequels), but truth be told, I’m still very disappointed by this fact, as I imagine many of you are.

Yet the point of this post is to share excitement! Excitement that the writing (my favorite part!) has begun. I can already tell this will be a wonderful Click Your Poison volume. Classically MAROONED will share the research & realism of MURDERED, the humor & wit of INFECTED, the character development of PATHOGENS, the action & adventure of SUPERPOWERED, and of course, a special quality all its own.

To help you share in my excitement, let’s do the cover reveal first. Right now, in fact. Here it is!

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Living in England provides a fantastic opportunity to set a book during the Golden Age of Sail within the British Empire, but why pirates?

I’d originally thought to do an adaptation of several literary classics (hence the “Classic” in Classically MAROONED), to re-tell Moby Dick and Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe in CYP form. But as I went through these stories, my usual idea fountain kicked off and I thought, “Why are you doing this? Because you want to tell someone else’s stories? For publicity? For ease of marketing? Write your own damn story, that’s why you do this. That’s why people read your work, because it’s told in your voice! Make your own world, do what you love because you love it, and the rest will come.”

So, I’m being true to myself, and loving the process. Day one: complete. 1223 words.


Thanks for reading! What do YOU think? 

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Hastings — The End of an Era

Hastings, the book, movie, music, and kitsch store is no longer accepting books from local authors. Nor will they support local author signings.

This news hits me especially hard.

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Hastings in Killeen, TX (my high school hometown) was very good to me as an author; not only stocking my Click Your Poison e-aversion versions (paperbacks), but often giving me prime shelf real-estate and hosting me for an annual signing event.

Alas, due to corporate restructuring and chapter 11 bankruptcy, this is to be no more.

I’ll look back fondly at the memories. Like after my first book signing when INFECTED was the #1 bestseller in the store that week (“Bigger than Twilight!” as the book manager put it). Not to mention the repeat fans who would bring a dog-eared copy of my newest release each year for an autograph.

I’m sure we’ll find a new spot, but the irony isn’t lost on me that as an author who primarily sells ebooks is now lamenting the death of the brick-and-mortar venue.

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Sums up my feelings with painful accuracy.

So I suppose we’ll just have to move on. Find somewhere new. Or, with a bit of wishful thinking, perhaps I’ll be stocked on the “general” shelves if Hastings survives into the future.

I know I’ll be there. Creating more books.

Thanks for the memories.


Thanks for reading! What do YOU think? Did we ever meet in person?

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A Call for Beta-testers/Readers

PATHOGENS is currently in editing and once I’m done I’ll need your help.

This is by far my most ambitious book, featuring six playable characters each with their own point of view and unique storyline. Which is why, for the first time ever, I’m opening a work-in-progress for early reads and feedback.

I’ve hinted at “something big” in my monthly newsletters for a while now, and this is it. The official request will come in a newsletter later this week, so if you haven’t signed up for the mailer yet, make sure you do.

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Tell me, how did being devoured by the ravenous undead make you feel?

Interested? Sign up for that mailing list! Not the feedback type but still want to follow along? Sign-the-eff-up already!

No, I’m not going to give you the whole book. Frankly, that would leave me constantly sending “Are you done yet? Did you hate it? Is that why it’s taking so long?” follow-up emails and nobody wants that.

Instead, I’m going to ask for your top-three characters, so that way I can spread the feedback love around. Here’s a sneak-peek of the book’s first choice. Who would you choose?

PATHOGENS

Unlike other Click Your Poison™ books, this is the first one where you don’t “play” as yourself. Instead, you can choose a character and see how that person survived the initial outbreak from their own perspective. Think of this page as your “character-select screen” in this gamebook.

Each of these characters first appeared in INFECTED, but you don’t need to have that book memorized (or even have read it, truth be told), to enjoy PATHOGENS. Instead, pick a persona and learn their story as only one who experienced it truly can.

But beware—since these characters appear in another book, if you take the wrong path and end up bitten, mangled, or dead, you’ll rip the very fabric of the space/time continuum and your adventure will be over. Good luck!

Sims

Technical Sergeant Robert Sims, National Guardsman and electrician in the greatest Air Force in the goddamned world. Divorced, no kids, fourteen years of service given to your nation thus far. You’re a “Prepper” (a dedicated survivalist), and you’ve been looking forward to the zombie apocalypse for as long as you can remember. Your unit was mobilized and now you find yourself at the tip of the spear.  When it comes to idioms you’re not the smartest crayon in the box, but you’re an electrical genius.
Select Sims

Cooper

Kaeden Cooper, known as “Kay” to your friends. Daughter of a NASCAR driver who turned to the bottle and lost his shot at stardom. You’ve since done your fair share of racing on the motorbike circuit, but it’s still very much a man’s world, and no one wanted to give you sponsorship unless you posed by the bike in a bikini. Instead, you turn wrenches for a living, working for the weekend until you can ride again. Little do you know that this shift under the hood will be your last. Soon the world will learn it’s those who know how to change their own oil that will survive.
Select Cooper

Tyberius

Work nights at the call center, work days at the bank. Sleep? Seems like a distant memory. All this in an effort to provide for you and Mama, who lost her own job in the recession. She still hopes you’ll find a nice girl and settle down, but you’d settle for an apartment in the better part of town. So you use any spare moment; while eating, even while shitting, to take online courses on a smartphone, angling for a promotion at the bank. But the worst part? All that effort is about to be in vain because the global economy is about to tank in 3, 2, 1…
Select Tyberius

Rosie

Smart, cute, spunky redhead. 17-year-old high school student. Your father is a combat-veteran Marine and you work weekends at the family-owned shooting range. Sarah is your real name and truth be told, you’re more interested in boys and music than you are bug-out-bags and MREs, but you play along for dad’s sake. Ever since mom died he’s had a hard time and he’s not the type to get a pedicure so for quality time you learn about pyrotechnics. Unfortunately, Sarah’s world is about to end and you’ll have to fully embrace his training to become the “Rosie the Riveter” of the apocalyptic wasteland.
Select Rosie

Lucas

Lucas Tesshu, middle aged man known for being as serene as a stone in the stream. As a child of Japanese immigrants, you’ve lived much of your life as an outsider, making solitude a revered mentor and friend. As a Kendo instructor and master of swordplay, you’re more than capable of defending yourself, but as a disciple of Bushido, you are committed to helping those in need. So the question becomes: Can a man unable to leave someone for dead still survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
Select Lucas

Hefty

Poor as dirt, good ole southern boy. Thin as a rail, and yeah, the nickname is ironic. Known to the State as inmate #: 080620-06. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but you can cook some up in your kitchen using a few household ingredients as fertilizer. Like literal fertilizer, for one. But you’re over that now, clean, back on the straight and narrow, and ready to be a productive member of society once you get released from the Big House. Which is about to come early, courtesy of the Apocalypse.
Select Hefty


Thanks for reading! Excited? Apathetic? Fun summer plans?

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

CYP#4: Lucas Complete!

Lucas Tesshu, the sword-toting modern day samurai whose greatest weakness was a compulsion to help everyone he met is now fully visualized with an origin story in the upcoming PATHOGENS. To all the teachers out there, I ask: What would you do if the zombie apocalypse hit while class was in session? Stay put with your students? Try to get them to their parents? Just leave the snotty brats and make a run for it?

Your answer might change if you were a master swordsman teaching a kendo class. Or not. Either way, get ready to live his journey for yourself!

 

Up next? Our final character: The cold, hard, badass leader: Cooper!


Thanks for reading! Excited? Confused? Bemused?

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

Hey, Mambo! (INFETTO è in italiano)

Caro lettore, ti scrivo a voi la cortesia di Google Translate. La mia lingua madre è l’inglese, ma ora i miei libri sono disponibili per voi in italiano! Continua a leggere per i dettagli.

Dear Reader, if your eye is drawn to this English paragraph, this post is not for you! INFECTED has been translated into Italian, reanimated as INFETTO, and this announcement is for readers of that language. But if you know any Italian readers, feel free to share. All Click Your Poison books will eventually be published in Italian, so it’s time to celebrate! 

Mi scuso se loro sono errori in questo messaggio tradotto automaticamente, ma una casa editrice con sede a Torino chiamato Catnip Edizioni si sta portando i miei “Clicca il tuo Veleno” per i lettori librogame autoctoni italiani!

Si può leggere di più a http://www.catnipedizioni.it/shop/infetto-clicca-il-tuo-veleno/ E come potete vedere qui sotto , tutti i libri attualmente scontato del 50 %

È ora di festeggiare!

CYP#4: Tyberius Complete!

::Walks away from explosion like a badass::

Tyberius, the street-smart athletic force of nature from INFECTED is now completed! Some might recall he reacted rather harshly at Deleon’s reveal in the high school. In the upcoming PATHOGENS, you can find out why as you live his story for yourself.

Most evocative image of the Tyberius path I could find. Still recovering from the Google image rabbit hole. Whew.

Up next? Kendo master Lucas Tesshu!


Thanks for reading! Excited? Confused? Bemused?

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!