There’s Some Awesome on the Horizon

In this blog post, I’ll offer an update on CYP#3, SUPERPOWERED, and talk about an exciting new book trailer in development.

But first, how about a click-bait worthy image?

Awesome Image by Jenny Parks. Check out more cat culture at: jennyparks.com/

Okay, onto the awesome on the horizon.

SUPERPOWERED is coming along! Not quite as quickly as I’d have hoped (moving from California to Colorado slowed me quite a bit), but good news for CYP fans! I’ve finished the major storyline, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through each of the other two, so let’s call it 5/9ths done. Soon you’ll get to play around with three different superpowers and be a force of good or an agent of evil in all three! I’m having a helluva lot of fun writing it, which usually means you will too as the reader. Get excited!

As I approach finishing the book, I’ve been thinking about how to market it. The book trailer for INFECTED has proven a very successful means to share the first book in the series, so I figured that might be a good idea here too. What’s that you say? I don’t even have a book trailer for my second book? I thought the same thing! So first I’m making a trailer for MURDERED.

After some research, I recently partnered up with the dynamic duo behind PixelTwister Studio to create a “killer” book trailer (get it?).

If you like checking stuff out, start with their website: www.pixeltwisterstudio.com/

 

They do amazing work with “dynamic typography” (text used in creative ways) and blend that with animation to come up with some rather compelling trailers. After having seen the new teaser for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, I’ve seen firsthand just how successful this technique can be. MURDERED is their first mystery/thriller trailer, so they’re equally excited about the project.

Stay tuned and subscribe (there should be a little box over on the top-left, right?) for updates on the project, and very soon, the trailer itself. I’ve already started working with the team at PixelTwister, but I couldn’t help but give my readers an update! I’d love to hear from any who share our excitement in the comments below. Until next time….

 

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Filosophy Friday

Or Philosophy Phriday, take your pick.

One day I’m going to write a time travel Click Your Poison book (I’m thinking it’ll be “next” after I finish up the murder mystery I’m working on now) and it’s got me thinking. Time travel has always fascinated me and this book would be an awesome challenge. I’ve often thought if I have one “gift” as a writer it’s an overactive imagination. Well, this ought to put that gift to the test.

Credit: “Time Warp” by Chuck Brittenham

Time travel is a hell of a lot of fun, but it’s also a larger look into who we are as a collective species. We get to see where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going, all in the space of a single adventure. Or, as will most likely be the case with CYP#3, three unique adventures within one book. I’ve thought about time travel a lot over the years and it’s always inspired creative thoughts. What if this? Oooh, but what about that? Now it’s time to let some of those marinated thoughts back out and to contribute something to this story universe. Like the other books in the series it will still be titled toward entertainment on the entertainment-to-art scale, I have the opportunity to, you know… say something profound.

For the “early future” I have a lot of room for social criticism. So many books have already done the Distopian thing, and I wonder if it might be more poignant to do a Utopian vision, perhaps to inspire rather than scare into change. As my brilliant friend Damon says,

We’ve scared ourselves into pessimism with dystopian
stories. Now we just assume the future is going to suck.” – Damon, smartypants

Consider this as one example: We’re reaching a point in our society where efficiency is eliminating more jobs while population growth is expanding the need for them. Something has to give. But why can’t there be a solution? Why not robot servants to do our dirty work, and then a leisure economy composed of artists, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs? You could get a stipend for food and living expenses, then your earnings as an artisan are used strictly for relaxation-based consumerism.

Robot farming is already in development.

I’m saying the rules have changed. There has been a cultural revolution. Perhaps, without the inherent need for “work”, we turn inside. That’s historically where most thinkers, philosophers and authors have come from — they were people who didn’t need to, or chose not to, work for a living. Could there be, would there be, a shift inward toward enlightenment and education?

This is by no means a set-in-stone plot element to the book. I may very well change it completely as I delve into the research; I’m just thinking out loud here. What do you think? What positive changes might the future hold? I’d love to hear some outside thoughts.

Fresh Ink Spilled

I’ve officially begun “Click Your Poison #2” and the subject is (drum roll, please)…

Mystery Books

A mystery! And I don’t mean, “I’m not telling you, it’s a mystery.” I mean a literal murder mystery novel–a solve-your-own mystery, in fact. Which, I believe, is the first of its kind. I don’t think anyone has ever tried a literary puzzle of this scale, letting you (the reader) attempt to piece together the clues yourself. As part of my preparation, I read “The Elements of Mystery Fiction” by William G. Tapply (which is written more for a novice writer than it is for someone who has studied writing but is new to mystery fiction) and in it he says:

Avoid the second-person point of view… I know of no mystery novel that’s done it successfully–or of any serious writers who’ll admit that they’ve even tried.”

Well, Mr. Tapply, rules are made to be broken. In CYP #2, YOU will have to crack the case or the killer will get away with murder. I’m also sticking with the “3 Unique Storylines” convention that I started with INFECTED, but I can’t promise “50 endings.” I’m going to let them occur organically, like I did with CYP #1. Maybe there will be less, maybe more; we’ll see.

BUT! I’m excited. I know the plot and I’ve buried it under layer upon layer of subterfuge, red-herrings, and what-could’ve-happeneds.

Like onions (and ogres), mysteries have layers.

I know the characters, locale, and major turning points, and now it’s time to jump in and let the possible decision points guide the path of the book. It’ll probably be around 8-10 months before I can publish this book, but I’m too excited not to share. Don’t worry, I’ll post various updates (and samples) in the months to come, so if you haven’t already subscribed now is a great time to do so.

In the meantime, I’ve got work to do.

Get ready for danger.
Get ready for danger.

Get INFECTED!

Whether you know it or not, this is the day you’ve been waiting for. This is the day I unveil the latest and greatest in storytelling technology. With INFECTED, the flagship book in the Click Your Poison series.

What is Click Your Poison? It’s the first gamebook series (a book in which YOU are the hero, and your choices directly influence the story’s progress) aimed directly for adults. What series like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Give Yourself Goosebumps, and Fighting Fantasy (UK) pioneered for children’s books in the 1980s & 90s, CYP now does for those fans who’ve grown up but still crave more.

Except now, as an ebook, you simply click your choice and the story flows forward for you. No flipping pages.

The first CYP book, INFECTED, allows you to answer the crucial question of our time–Will YOU survive the zombie apocalypse? Jump into the book right at the outbreak of a global zombie pandemic to learn how you’d fare against the walking dead. With over 50 possible endings and 3 unique storylines, you can pick up INFECTED a few minutes at a time on your smartphone, or dig deep on your tablet or PC… finally, a book with replay value.

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I’ve had writing it. The book’s PR campaign kicks off in the next couple of weeks, so this announcement is a special head’s-up for my blog’s community. Be the first of your friends to “Get INFECTED!”

Where to buy:

PS — Drop me a note, let me know how you like it!