Happy Halloween! In this blog post, I’m going to give you an update on HAUNTED (a ghostly & ghastly Click Your Poison book), but first: an announcement.
I’ve been trying to crack audiobooks for the better part of ten years. AND I’VE FINALLY DONE IT. Look at this:
Partnering with award-winning narrator R.C. Bray (that’s his voice in the teaser) and the fantastic team at Cubus Games, I give you Click Your Poison: INFECTED. The first audiogamebook of its kind, designed for your smartphone.
It’s available now on iPhone/iPad and Android devices.
Now then. I can’t quite give you my haunted house story for Halloween, but the first draft is done! And you can pre-order HAUNTED now if you want to make sure you get your copy.
The book will launch on 2sday. 2/2/2022, which is exactly one year after SPIED. I had hoped to get HAUNTED out to you before Halloween (or hell, by Christmas), but this old house needed extensive renovations. I’m starting my rewrites next week based on some early feedback, but I think you’ll love it when it comes out.
Praise for HAUNTED:
“One helluva ghost story.” -Shirley Jackson, author of The Haunting of Hill House
“I’d seal my enemies in a cellar with a copy of HAUNTED, but that would be too good for them.” -Edgar Allen Poe, creator of the horror genre
“Decent story. Could’ve used more gables. ★★★” -Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of Seven Gables
Here’s how it works: You, Dear Reader, are the main character of this story. The House will change and mold itself to your fears — based on your own choices.
This is a post I’ve been sitting on for a while now. After all, there is no established, “right” time to reveal a cover for a new book and I’ve been struggling to find that perfect moment. My cover artist, Brian Silveira, has been dying in slow agony as I’ve waited to reveal his epic artwork. I wanted a moment with some gravity, and I suppose this is it.
I’ve gained feedback from multiple sources (some of you might be reading this now, I suspect), and used those notes to make the book a more compelling read. Thank you, Beta Readers, I am incredibly grateful for your time and diligence.
Now the rewrites are completed and the book is off to my professional editor. Once she’s done, it’ll go to formatting, the book will pop up as a pre-order (for about a week so I can finalize the product page) and then — BOOM — you’ll have PATHOGENS on your favorite reading device.
For now, let me knock your socks off as Brian did for me.
Cool things you might notice:
This is by far my busiest book cover. Aside from the fact that Brian Silveira is a master of detail (plug: he has a graphic novel out now), this is also my busiest book. Six characters to play through, each with tiny details that relate not only to the other storylines, but also back to INFECTED and the larger Click Your Poison universe. I wanted the cover to say, “Get ready: Madness inside.”
The fact that the cover is actually a lab door. You see, “the company” was a major aspect to the first book, but now you’re getting a deeper look –and one that goes far beyond the lab itself.
The Gilgazyme inhaler on the floor, the mouse on the foreground and the mice eyes in the lab. It’s all already happened. I don’t think of this book as a sequel or prequel to INFECTED. More of a spin-off. A sister book, if you will. The events in PATHOGENS take place after INFECTED has already begun and end before that book concludes.
The rebar from the explosion looks a lot like clawed hands. In my last interactive zombie tome, your primary enemy was the undead themselves. That’s still the case here, but you’ll also have to deal with a (perhaps) larger threat: the death of civilization and the evil in men.
The colors evoke a sunset. Yep, goodbye mankind. It’s up to you, Dear Reader, to help these characters survive another day.
The hospital symbol in the rear. A small detail, but many of the events circle around this location.
The melting clocks. The cover for INFECTED was a riff on Salvador Dali’s famous Voluptuous Death image, so I thought it only fitting to find inspiration in another Dali classic: The Persistence of Memory. Check out some comparisons:
Thanks for reading! What do you think of the cover?
Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!
Now that everyone’s gotten over the giant tease re: The Finale*, it’s time to dust off my biggest gripe with The Walking Dead.
*SPOILER (highlight this paragraph): I think the cliff-hanger might’ve been more effective (and less cheesy) if they would have just ended the show when Negan shows up, grins, and looks to his bat. Save his monologue for the cold open next season. It would work great to remind us of the situation (seeing everyone’s face, etc).
There’s a lot to love in the show, and there’s a lot to hate. It’s polarizing. I have friends that can’t get enough, and friends who quit after the first couple seasons. I started off marketing INFECTED with the slogan, “Love The Walking Dead but hate the group’s stupid decisions? Decide for yourself and get INFECTED!”
But, I suppose that’s a horror convention. Somebody’s gotta go in the house. What I can’t forgive, however, is the ease with which the zombies are dispatched. It’s as if the virus has suddenly melted away bone and replaced the ghouls’ craniums with tomatoes. I get that they’re rotting and slow, but a skull takes a while to rot away and has evolved to be pretty good at its job (protecting the brain).
It’s just physics:
If you hit somebody in the head with a blunt object, their head will bounce away. Even a very sharp knife. They’d have to be braced for penetration.
You can crack a skull with a wild swing, but then you’ll need a second or third blow.
Now for the fun part. The evidence:
Don’t even get me started on knife kills. There was a time when they used to make an effort. Someone would hold the zombie’s head while stabbing it (so it wouldn’t bounce around), or they’d go through the eye, or up the chin (using gravity to keep the walker in place). Now it’s just like pushing your finger through jell-o.
Instead, I’ll rest my case with the best (worst) of the bunch:
[no caption necessary]
Am I being nit-picky? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I get that the show’s theme is “the living are more dangerous than the dead,” but I just wish I was on the edge of my seat more when a zombie is on-screen and rolling my eyes less when it’s dispatched. They’re just soooo easy to “kill” that it seems strange when someone gets bitten or eaten. How come their teeth don’t just turn to mush instead.
Either way, just don’t expect to get off this easy in INFECTED or PATHOGENS.
What do YOU think? Notice the same thing? Don’t care? Have an explanation for me?
Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!
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!
May was a huge month in the world of Click Your Poison, with a new book launch, and a $0.99 sale for the series. In fact, I had over a thousand ebook sales on Amazon for the month! Weee! (SUPERPOWERED is still on sale for the next two weeks).
I also did a live interview/chat on google+ which you can watch a recording of below. In it, I announced my plans for the next book, which I’ll go more into after the jump.
For CYP#4, I’m returning to the storyworld of INFECTED. You’ll get to play as the supporting cast from the original, to survive the initial outbreak from each of their perspectives. While it’s technically a prequel, I think of it more as a sister story, and you don’t need to have INFECTED memorized to enjoy INFECTED Origins.
For me, I see it as a challenge as a writer and an opportunity to grow. I’ve tried to keep out of your head and did my best to keep telling-you-what-you’re-thinking to a minimum, and to make the protagonist’s age, gender, and race as neutral as I can so you could better delve into the story as a reader.
But not with this book. Each character has a rich background with firm viewpoints about the world. So you’ll get to Being John Malkovich the story and ride along in someone else’s head. Crazy? Maybe. We’ll see.
Stay tuned for updates as the book comes along. I probably won’t have room for every single character in the book, so expect cast announcements as well. If there’s someone you think is a must-have for the book, let me know in the comments below.
Also on the horizon: I’ll be updating my events tab soon, with a confirmed signing in Central Texas this summer, and possibly here in Denver (SUPERPOWERED just got accepted at the Tattered Cover Bookstore — yay!)
Anywhere in the world, you can win an autographed copy of INFECTED. Check out the giveaway on Goodreads using the links below! Why now? Well, with SUPERPOWEREDon its way, I’m trying to breathe new life into the series. So tell your friends!
And speaking of new life for INFECTED, even though it’s been almost 3 years, I can’t stop thinking about the characters and the story world. There’s just so much left to tell. In that vein, I’m thinking of an INFECTED prequel. A book where you play as other characters you meet in the book, and choose how to survive the inital outbreak from their perspective. This would be the first Click Your Poison book where you wouldn’t play as “you” but instead would enter the mindset of several different characters.
What do you think? Interested? And which character’s perspective would you most like to enter? Do me a favor and VOTE below (you may select multiple characters):
Don’t forget to comment, like, share, and subscribe!
As some of you consider braving the crowds for a 75% off Blu-ray player, or perhaps the most ticklish Elmo ever designed by man, let this excerpt from INFECTED serve to remind you of the depths of depravity that awaits you. Comparable to looting at the start of the zombie apocalypse….
Time to fight the crowds for Blackest Friday, the biggest looting day of the year. Guns, batteries, powdered water; you’ll take it all!
On a Spree
Have you ever seen the YouTube videos about Black Friday sales? It looks like a zombie invasion—and that’s just for videogame consoles and designer kitchenware. Today, people are looting for their lives, and the chaos in the streets makes post-hurricane Katrina scavenging look like a sleepy Borders bookstore on a Wednesday afternoon. You know, the ones that closed due to lack of business.
Cars are crashing into anything and everything in an effort to get whatever as fast as possible. People are smashing windows just because the world’s ending. This is going to be bad.
You head straight for the sporting goods megastore in search of a gun. You’re not sure if there’s a waiting period, but you’re thinking it’ll be waived today. Besides, you’ve only got a hammer and a steak knife; not ideal for home defense.
From the looks of the parking lot, the insanity has already begun to make its way here: people pay no mind to parking spaces or any other laws designed to keep order. It’s total Lord of the Flies madness.
Inside, the crowds seem to be cooperating. The employees are still taking payments, and people are happy to charge it, knowing the credit card bill collectors will have a hell of a time in the upcoming months. Some sprint down the aisles with their arms loaded to capacity; others use shopping carts as battering rams. Polite society hasn’t crumbled yet, but it’s certainly strained.
It looks like the rifle racks were the first to go. Disappointed, and about to turn and look for other supplies, you see a handgun on the ground resting under one of the shelves, just barely in view. You pick it up. There’s a lock on the trigger—to keep people from using it in the store—and evidently it was abandoned by a frustrated shopper. Time to see if you can find the keys.
“Give me that piece,” a voice from behind commands. You turn to see who is speaking. The man in question looks polite enough in his business suit, but the baseball bat he’s carrying (and the manner in which he holds it) tells another story. “I’m not asking.”
“Go fuck yourself.” Go to page 124
Give it to him. You can get some other supplies, then hole up back home. As long as you properly barricade yourself, you shouldn’t need a gun. Go to page 138