Debunking myths on genetics and DNA

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The "commodity of individual experiences": Michael Patrick Hicks talks about the inspiration behind his DRMD series




A while ago a friend recommended Convergence, a sci-fi thriller by an author I didn't know at the time, Michael Patrick Hicks. I was instantly pulled intrigued by the ideas behind the story: the main character is a killer and a "memory thief," and the crimes that Michael imagines rotate around a substance called "DRMR," a "a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead."

Even though it's not my field, I'm always fascinated by new breakthroughs in neuroscience, and what Michael imagines in his book is not so far fetched: scientists have been able to create memory chips and induce artificial memories in mouse experiments. Could there be a future where memories could become so important, they'd be worth killing for?

Of course I had to pose the question to Michael directly, who graciously agreed to be a guest here on Chimeras today. Welcome, Michael!

EEG:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started writing.

MPH: I started writing way back in high school, thanks to a creative writing course during my senior year. So, that was almost twenty year ago now, and in the meantime I’ve written several novels that will never, never, ever see the light, and spent a number of years working as a probation officer before leaving that behind to pursue opportunities as freelance journalist for several local newspapers.

The more involved I got on the newspaper end of things though, the more I realized how badly I wanted and needed to be telling stories of my own, rather than the stories of others. On a lark, I went back to an idea I’d had lurking in my brainpan for about a decade and ended up writing Convergence.

At around the time I finished that book, Amazon was taking entries for their 2013 Breakthrough Novel Award contest, which was free to enter, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ It was open to ten thousand writers, and I figured I’d get bounced out pretty quickly. Instead, Convergence kind of became the little sci-fi book that could and hung around through the semi-finals where it got a glowing review from Publishers Weekly and terrific feedback from the ABNA reviewers. That was really the final push I needed to decide on pursuing publication and, eventually, going the indie route and getting it professionally edited and up to snuff for release to a wider audience.

EEG: In your book Convergence you introduce Jonah Everitt, a "memory thief". I was hooked and bought your book on that one idea alone as I found it extremely intriguing. Where did you get the idea that memories could have one day a "market value" as powerful drugs and be worth stealing and killing?

MPH: The idea for Convergence goes all the way back to 1999 and a story about a research team at University of California at Berkeley figuring out a way to wire into a cat’s brain and record some very rough video of what the cat was seeing. That idea always stuck with me, and as I started looking into some of the research that DARPA is doing, particularly with their REMIND program, and a few stories that I had read about the chemical releases that occur during death, like DMT, which is a powerful psychedelic. I did a lot of research on memory formation, and recent experiments that have been conducted with labs and actually creating false memories that were implanted in mice, and all kinds of potentially scary stuff like that. I was also getting caught up in the burgeoning growth of social media, and it all just sort of came together and converged, if you will.

When you look back and realize just how much of yourself you’re putting out to the world in status updates, and then seeing tailored ads on social media based on things you’ve liked or talked about and what not, you have to realize there’s a certain aspect of commodity to individual experiences. Now imagine how marketable memories themselves could be, all fully encoded with the emotional resonance and chemical reactions that formed them. I think it would be incredibly sellable, and that certain memories, like those of death, murder, suicide that we would be morally opposed to being used as escapist entertainment, would become all the more valuable and desirable to certain segments through their sheer illegality. And there’s certainly already a huge market for secrets and information in the world today. Memories and brain interfaces just seem like the natural progression to me.

EEG: You are absolutely right, and the whole thing is fascinating and scary at the same time. Well done on catching up on the idea! You published Emergence, the second book in the DRMR series, last month. What can you tell us about it?

MPH: Well, the second book, Emergence, released in early May. I don’t want to say too much about it, though and risk giving away stuff to people who haven’t read the first book yet, but it’s a direct sequel to Convergence and deals with some of the fallout of the prior book’s finale. In Convergence, the central character was Jonah, but in the second book we see the world more through his daughter’s eyes. I would definitely recommend people read these in order, though.

EEG: Besides the DRMR series, what are you working on?

MPH: I’m putting the finishing touches on a couple of short stories for two anthologies that I will be a part of this year, and which are releasing toward the back-half of 2015.

I was lucky enough to get invited into the No Way Home anthology, which sci-fi author Lucas Bale curated and released earlier this year. All of us writers involved had such an awesome time with it that we decided to team up again for a second anthology. So, this one will be all about crime and punishment through the prism of science fiction and should be out at the very end of August.

The second story is a bit of fantasy noir for an anthology called Undaunted, which will be released by a small publisher, LARRIKINbooks, with a foreword by Delilah S. Dawson. I don’t think a release date has been finalized for that anthology just yet, but keep an eye out for news on it pretty soon. There’s some really exciting stuff coming up for this project!

EEG: Who are the writers (either past or present) that inspire you?

MPH: Off the top of my head: Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Barry Eisler, Chuck Wendig, Jonathan Maberry, Lauren Beukes – those are authors I admire and love, and their approach to the craft, each in their own unique and different ways, have really helped shape and inform the way I write.

I discovered King and Clancy back in high school, and those are the two that really drew me in to reading and made me a book lover. Wendig, I follow his blog daily and try to read all of his stuff, and the guy is just so diverse and prolific. I think he has the most spot-on advice in terms of craft and publishing and he writes it all in such an easily digestible, and usually odd!, way that it’s a terrific bit of infotainment. Hugh Howey and Susan Kaye Quinn, too – I think anyone interested in writing and publishing would do well to read their blogs, too.

On a more personal level, I’m just a huge fan of Lucas Bale and I’m lucky to be able to call him a friend and a colleague. He’s become a real source of inspiration for me (and if he’s reading this, this is probably the first he’s hearing of it!), but the dude is just so tenacious and hard-working. We both stuck our necks out there with our first releases last year and, I guess, have sort of come up together and supported one another, but I’m constantly impressed with his drive and work ethic. He’s always writing, always coming up with new projects. He’s able to write full-time, which I don’t have the luxury of, so he’s kind of become the high-water mark by which I measure myself and think, jeez, I wish I could do what he does. Practically every time I talk to him, he’s got a grand new idea! So when I start to get complacent or lazy, I imagine that Lucas has probably written five thousand words, outlined a new series, and started in on a brand new short story, while I’ve been dicking around on Facebook instead. He’s just a total work horse, so getting to talk with him regularly and seeing updates on his upcoming stuff and new releases, it just puts me to shame and that inspires me to nudge out a little bit more on the word count whenever possible.

EEG: Lucas is indeed an amazing writer, I'm hoping to interview him next! :-)
Thanks so much Michael for chatting with us today and best of luck with all your future projects.

To find out more about Michael's books, visit his website at http://michaelpatrickhicks.com


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New book releases that you won't want to miss, all 99 cents each!

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Body of a killer, mind of a child, heart of a hero... 
BookSized_Frank_SmallWhen a troubled scientist – trying to save a young boy, and maybe himself – steals the dying child of a simple Amish couple and transplants the brain and cardiovascular system of their 11-year-old autistic son into an incredibly lethal DARPA robot, the dark forces of government come looking for their investment. Dr. Alexander and the monster escape into an Amish community to hide among the plain folk while Frank, the boy trapped inside the body of the world’s deadliest robot, learns how to leave the world of autism and understand what it means to be human and Amish.

Tensions arise as the Amish begin to suspect just what kind of technological monstrosity is hiding among them, and before long hard men who do the government’s most dirty deeds will arrive looking for a killing machine… only to find a boy named Frank who has the power to defend a closed society from the worst of the world.


“Hugo Material!” ~ Nick Cole

Get It Now!

AmazonLink KindleLink BarnesLink NookLink iBooksLink KoboLink




Also set in the Michael Bunker's world of Pennsylvania:

Kim Well's story Sisters of Solomon: A young Amish bride settled in the AZ comes to terms with very personal tragedy after the Transport Authority destroys the City, along with everything she thought she would be. Her grief consumes her, until she finds a more powerful reason for living.

This short story, which author David Bruns called "lyrical" and Amazon reviewers praised for the feminine side of the Pennsylvania story, is written as a diary and will be interesting to fans of Bunker's Pennsylvania as well as anyone interested in a woman's perspective of history.

Buy it here:




Chris Purteau's collection Tales of B-Company: The Complete Collection: In Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania Omnibus, Jedidiah Troyer becomes the hero of TRACE’s fight against the Transport Authority. But even before Jed’s adventure begins, the Second War for Pennsylvanian Independence has raged for a generation.

Originally published as separate stories, this collection captures the struggle, tragedy, and heroism of a company of TRACE commandos as they wage war for the freedom of New Pennsylvania. IFans of Bunker’s novel will discover cameos by some of his most-beloved characters, as well as a new appreciation for the struggle of TRACE against Transport.

Buy it here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YJK0Y8U/



David Bruns' novella Yesterday Adjustment: All inflection events that fundamentally altered the trajectory of mankind’s future.

After more than a half-century at war, Transport is desperate for a way to defeat the rebels once and for all. Enter Damien Strickland, Time Operative agent. His mission: posing as an Amish man, go back in time and make sure the rebel attack on the Columbia portal fails.

The mission takes an unexpected turn when he meets Amos Troyer, the man who will grow up to become the feared leader of the rebel forces.But Amos in this timeline is only a harmless sixteen year old Amish boy.

Buy it here:



D.K. Cassidy's story Donovan: In Michael Bunker's “Pennsylvania”, we briefly met Donavan Yoder--a young man divided. Born in the Amish Zone, he was raised to embrace a plain, peaceful life. After he grows up, Donavan becomes an officer with the Transport Authority, the tyrannical government grinding New Pennsylvania under its iron boot. Eventually, his conscience leads him to side with TRACE, the resistance group fighting Transport for the freedom of the entire planet. Donavan has made some tough choices in his life. What ultimately drove him to sympathize with the very rebels he'd fought to subdue?

Buy it here:
http://myBook.to/DONAVAN

Monday, June 8, 2015

Guest post by Alex J. Cavanaugh: where can story ideas take you?


Today my guest is Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of the bestselling space opera CassaStorm and founder of the Insecure Writer Support Group, a community of writers that "meets" in the blogosphere every first Wednesday of the month.

It’s amazing where one book can take you.

The idea for my first book, CassaStar, came to me when I was a teen. Inspired by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, and the like, I started thinking of adventures for my main character. I even wrote a short but full manuscript. It was awful and sat in a drawer for almost thirty years.

When I rewrote it and eventually landed a publisher, I intended it to be the only one. Fans wanted more and my publisher asked if I could continue the series. The second, CassaFire, came from a short story, but I had to plot CassaStorm from scratch. The main character and the Cassa universe were both established though, which made writing the sequels a little easier.

After CassaStorm’s release, I knew the series was complete. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue writing. Music is my passion and I wanted to explore that further.

Not long after the third book’s release, a song reminded me of an idea I’d had years ago. Ayreon’s Dragon on the Sea is about Sir Francis Drake, but from the first time I heard the song, I’d always pictured a dragon space ship in battle.

Now, unlike most writers, I don’t have tons of ideas in my head. I’m lucky to have one good one hit me at a time. So when this one resurfaced, I took it as a sign that I had to write it.

I decided this story needed to take place outside of the Cassa universe. That meant world-building from scratch. Joy!

Once I had a basic outline, I started researching and creating the planet of Hyrath – geography, commerce, politics, etc. A little investigation revealed that sea kelp could fulfill the role of food, drug, and power source, and that filled several slots and kept things simple. I also needed to make the Kargrandes (see the site What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/ for clues) very tough creatures, and discovered the real life Tardigrade provided many of the answers. There were other details, such as distances and space travel speeds, that required a bit of math work. (And I’m not great with math.)

While it was difficult to set up a new universe and design new characters, exploring the story through fresh eyes was fun. Once I had the initial rough draft finished, the characters really came to life. I’m as proud of Dragon of the Stars as I am my Cassa trilogy.

Where has one book or story idea taken you?

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

Alex's latest book, Dragon of the Stars, published by Dancing Lemur Press, is available on Amazon, Barns and Nobles, Kobo and iTunes. For more information visit http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

The ship of legends… 
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals. 
But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour? 
One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?


Wednesday, June 3, 2015


This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.

For today's IWSG, I want to share a FB post I published a couple of weeks ago on my page hoping that it is inspirational to all of us. This is my original text:
Today is a good day. Back in 2011 my agent submitted Chimeras to a bunch of BIG 6 acquiring editors. One editor said my science wasn't solid. Another said my main character should've been a woman. Another said, "Why should I care?" 
Well, dear editors, this is why you should care: one year after I published CHIMERAS, over 8,000 people have downloaded the book. It has 98 reviews with a 4.6 ranking. At the same time, the books you acquired back when you rejected mine are ranking quite poorly and only have 20-something reviews. So think about that. 
And to all my readers and supporters I say: THANK YOU. Together, we accomplished something and proved a point.
It's true that most of those 8,000+ copies I've sold through promotions, while big publishers rarely put their books on promotion. But what this tells me is that even though I've been rejected by the BIG 6 editors, I feel like fate or the stars or whatever it is you believe in gave me the best option, the option where I was in control and I could reach out to readers. Instead, it seems like the authors that said editors picked at the time when I was following them have been forgotten. And I feel for them, because once the book is in the hands of a publishers, you have no control over it. You have no control over the price, over the cover, over when and for how long to run a promotion.

There's a good chance that if those editors had picked up Chimeras, then my book would have tanked just like those others books. Instead, I'm still here, still publishing and still making the best out of it. I take one step at the time, yet my readers and fan base have been growing. It took me 3 months to get 40 reviews for Chimeras. In May I published my 5th book (one year and one month after I published Chimeras) and I had 45 reviews within 3 days from launch.

The road to publishing is full of obstacles, setbacks and frustrations. That's why it is so important that we focus on the good things and always stop to listen to the forest growing rather than the one tree falling.





Friday, May 29, 2015

The Gamblers: a new thriller by Christoph Fischer


The talented and prolific Christoph Fischer, author of the Healer and the Luck of The Weissensteiners has a new thriller out: THE GAMBLERS is the story of Ben Andrews a shy accountant who becomes obsessed with numbers and luck. When he wins the Lottery and becomes rich overnight his life changes, but not necessarily in the ways he had thought.

Who can he trust, now that he's rich? How should Ben build his new life? Still frugal and determined not to waste his money unnecessarily he unexpectedly falls under the spell of a charismatic and seductive Russian poker player, named Mirco. They share a passion for gambling but this fascination remains ambiguous for Ben.

What follows for Ben becomes a gamble with trust, corruption and 'betting on the right horse'.

The book will be released Monday June 1st, but you can preorder your copy here.

Find the book on Amazon, on Goodreads, and on Facebook.




PRAISE FOR FISCHER'S THRILLER "THE HEALER" ON AMAZON:
- "Very Unforgettable Read"
- "One of the best-in-class books I’ve ever read in this sub-genre"
- "Touching thriller that raises many profound questions."
- "Multi-layered, multifaceted, expertly credible psychological thriller"

Praise for "IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION" on Amazon:
- "Excellent read. Cracking pace."
- "Christoph Fischer is a skilled and accomplished story teller"
- "Fischer does an excellent job in distilling the macro into the micro. This talent could be compared to Kazuo Ishiguro's gift of 'writing in the miniature' "

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria.

He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. "Time To Let Go" , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller "The Healer" was released in January 2015 and his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website:      http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
Blog:           http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer
Amazon:     http://ow.ly/BtveY
Twitter:       https://twitter.com/CFFBooks
Pinterest:     http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/
Google +:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243
LinkedIn:    https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846
Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl



Friday, May 15, 2015

A military thriller by two US Navy veterans that could be ripped from today's headlines



I vividly remember the day George W. Bush Junior announced the war in Iraq. I was pregnant and I didn't want to think about war. I wanted to think about life. I watched all those young soldiers be deployed and thought of their mothers. And then I thought about the Iraqi mothers and the children and the lives that are inevitably and shamelessly lost with every war.

And now I'm reading a thriller set after the Gulf War and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Written by David Bruns and J.R. Olson, both graduates of the US Naval Academy who share a combined 35 years of service in the US Navy, Weapons of Mass Deception explores the never answered question: were there really weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and if so, what happened to them?

Here's the blurb:
In 2003, the world watched as coalition forces toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, then searched unsuccessfully for the weapons of mass destruction they were certain existed. 
None were ever found, but they do exist. On the eve of the invasion, a handful of nuclear weapons was smuggled out of Iraq and hidden in the most unlikely of places: Iran.
Now, as the threat of WMDs fades into a late-night punch line, a shadowy Iranian faction waits for the perfect moment to unleash Saddam Hussein's nuclear legacy on the West.
Brendan McHugh, a Navy SEAL, meets a mysterious Iranian diplomat on a raid in Iraq. 
His former girlfriend and FBI linguist discovers a link to Iran among a group of captured jihadis. And pulling it all together is a CIA analyst who can't forget about Saddam Hussein's WMDs, even if it costs him his career.
Co-author David Bruns is here today to tell us the inspiration behind the book. Welcome, David!

EEG: What was the inspiration behind the book?

DB: Weapons of Mass Deception is co-written with a fellow US Navy veteran and friend named, JR Olson. We also both happen to be US Naval Academy graduates, although we didn’t know each other at the time. I got out of the Navy after six years, while JR served as a naval intelligence officer for twenty-one years before retiring and moving back to Minnesota.

About a year ago, we were asked to speak at the Minnesota chapter of the US Naval Academy Parents Association on what their children could expect from their time in the US Navy and a civilian career afterwards. After listening to my story of how I went from submarines to the private sector to writing full-time and JR’s story as a CIA-trained case officer, one of the parents suggested we get together and write a book.

It turns out, JR is a big fan of the thriller genre and had always wanted to write a book. He had this great premise for a story that had to do with Saddam Hussein’s missing WMDs...the rest is history.

We also decided to write a weekly blog series called Two Navy Guys and a Novel about the creative process of co-writing, the business decisions we made about publishing, and some of the more arcane details we learned along the way that didn’t make it into the book.

EEG: Why did you decide to do a crowd-funding campaign and what did you learn from it?

DB: We launched a Kickstarter campaign in March to build early awareness for the book as well as raise money to produce a really top-notch, limited edition hardback volume. The campaign was fully funded within a week and closed at 151% of goal. To see that many supporters respond to our pitch was a tremendous boost to our self-confidence (and our wallets)!

What did we learn? How much time do you have? I wrote a guest post for Freelancer’s Union about the experience and may write a short non-fiction ebook about the process later this year. Bottom line is that crowd-funding is a ton of work. If you believe you can just slap together a Kickstarter page and people will throw money at you, your project will be among the 59% of Kickstarter campaigns that fail.

In many ways, planning a crowd-funding campaign is a great dress rehearsal for launching your book. The book blurb and cover art need to be completely locked down. You need to produce a video that tells your unique story and why people should give you money. Finally, you need to figure out how you’re going to reward all these people with meaningful gifts and still make a profit. Like I said before, a lot of work.

EEG: Will there be a sequel and if so, can you give us a little sneak peek?

DB: We have a related short story planned for release in June, working title “Death of a Pawn.” You might recall in the news a few months ago the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, an Argentinean lawyer and Special Prosecutor for the 1994 car bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. Nisman died of a gunshot wound to the head, just hours before was scheduled to testify on allegations that Iran was behind the 1994 bombing and Argentinean President Kirchner covered up that fact in exchange for an oil-for-grain deal between the two countries.

The Tri-Border Region of South America, where Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil meet, is a hotspot of Hezbollah activity. (If you need a reminder, Hezbollah is Lebanese militant group found and funded by Iran following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.) In Weapons of Mass Deception, one of the characters spends time in a sleeper cell in that part of the world at exactly the time when the Nisman “suicide” happened. It just seemed like most of the story was written for us.

EEG: That's cool. Best of luck, David, and congratulations!

For more information on Weapons of Mass Deception, visit davidbruns.com. The book is available on Amazon and other retailers and if you're like me, it's going to keep you up at night!

JR and David
J.R. and David

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Try it all and see how it turns out": author Patricia Josephine talks about her series, Path of Angels


Today my guest is fantasy and paranormal author Patricia Josephine who, contrary to most writers out there, claims that she
"never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment." 
Well, I'm glad that her Muse found her anyway, because her series Path of Angels is simply fantastic. You can already purchase Michael and Zadekiel, while the third book in the series, Jophiel, is due on June 9.

Welcome, Patricia!

EEG: So, Patricia, is it true that you never even dreamed of being a writer?

PJ: Well, writing wasn’t on my bucket list. It wasn’t even on the radar. I was all about art in high school, then later, cooking. My day job, I’m a cook in a deli/coffee/bakery currently. I always had story ideas. I’d use them to lull myself to sleep. Sometimes. There’d be nights, I’d lay awake most of the night, musing on various stories. It wasn’t until I was bored one day that I decided to write the stories down. When I started my first young adult novel, Being Human (written under the pen name Patricia Lynne), it seemed like a story people would enjoy reading. I started looking into publishing. It exploded from there and now not writing is a very weird concept.

EEG: When did you start writing Path of Angels and what was the idea that inspired the series?

PJ: Path of Angels was something I wrote waaaaaay back in 2011, I think. It was after Being Human, but since they were short, I wasn’t sure what to do with the series. Each part is about 20K words or 60ish pages. I honestly don’t know what inspired the story. Usually, I can remember what triggered an idea, but nope, nada.

EEG: Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what genre?

PJ: No, I can’t listen to music. It distracts me. Sometimes a song will inspire a scene, but chances are, it’s not the story I’m working on and doesn’t do me much good. I can, however, watch TV, but only certain shows that don’t require much attention.

EEG: What's your favorite time of the day for writing?

PJ: I usually write in the afternoon or evening. I’m not a morning person, so that’s just out of the question. Unless we are talking one in the morning, but by then I’m usually too tired to string a sentence together.

EEG: What is the best piece of advice you would give a new writer?

PJ: Find what works best for you. There is a lot of advice out there on how to write. The thing is, each writer is different. What works for someone, may not work for another. You have to try it all and see how it turns out. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, discard it and don’t feel guilty when someone says it’s what they do.

EEG: I couldn't agree more! :-) Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Patricia!

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Here's how to find Patricia on line and get in touch with her:



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Three more days to get this deal!


The Red King FREE
Reversal at only $0.99
The Serenity Strain at only $0.99
Immunity at only $0.99

Hurry up, ends on Sunday. :-)

Available also on Kobo, Nook and iBooks.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG: what are your accomplishments this month?



This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.

After a 1-month hiatus, I'm back for the monthly appointment with the IWSG group. What do I have to report this month? Let's just say that I'm excited and unnerved at the same time. I'm launching my first book in a YA new series, a book that I'm hoping with all my heart will take off. At the same time... it's my first attempt ever at a genre that yes, it is very popular, but also quite unforgiving.

Akaela is launching May 23 and I'm already having the jitters.

I've had some awesome feedback from my awesome beta-readers, but also some general comments that made me go back and completely rewrite the first 4 chapters. I think I fixed the issue now and once again I'm super grateful to my early readers.

Now back to writing. Book 2 awaits! :-)

What about you: big or small, what are your accomplishments this month? What goals have you set for yourself?




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Apocalypse Weird book release: Genesis, by Stefan Bolz



Apocalypse Weird is still in full publishing mode, with April featuring two new book releases: Medium Talent, by Forbes West (featured on the blog last week), and Genesis, by Stefan Bolz, author of The Three Feathers and The Fourth Sage.
This is the story of the very beginning of an apocalyptic event as seen through the eyes of an eighteen-year-old girl. Nothing could have prepared her for what is about to happen and she has to face some seriously tough stuff before the end. During the thirty-six hours of terror that turn Kasey Byrne's life upside down and strip her of everything dear to her, something inside her awakens. It is gift and curse alike for it can destroy her or turn her into the most powerful weapon against the evil that has reached the shores of our world.
Stefan is here today to tell us more about the book. Welcome, Stefan!

EEG: Tell us about the inspiration behind Genesis.

SB: It all started when Nick Cole sent me the document describing Apocalypse Weird. The apocalyptic event popped into my head almost immediately. It was something I had thought about for a while (what, you don't think about the apocalypse in your free time? ;-). I wanted to have something happen that was scary and would most likely leave people in emotional shock. I've taken a lot of screenwriting classes over the years and one of the many techniques in those classes is called, "The innocent is brought to slaughter." You can find it in many novels and movies as a story archetype. I would probably be pretty scared if I'd wake up on the beach in the morning and see hundreds, if not thousands of dolphins in shallow waters, refusing to swim back out to sea and dying in front of my very eyes.

The story developed from there, almost in real time as the event unfolded minute by minute. I came to think of it as a supernatural episode of 24. Except Chloe O'Brian is the main character. "Damnit, Chloe!" :-)

EEG: Can you introduce each one of the main characters in just a few words?

SB: Kasey Byrne is the main character. The night of her 18th birthday, which is also summer solstice, is when the end begins... Until then, she was just a regular teenager who loved baseball and surfing and life in general.

Jack Reeves is her love interest. He's a nice guy who will be having a very rough time in the book. We writers are evil, wouldn't you agree? We do all kinds of stuff to our main characters and then we wonder why they don't invite us to their graduation party. I've read this fantasy series a while back called "Wizard's First Rule" by Terry Goodkind. I believe it was in the second book where the reader finds a torture scene that lasts some forty pages. This somehow stuck with me. And now, poor Jack Reeves, a really nice guy from Albuquerque, who just met this really nice gal who's into baseball and surfing and life in general, is getting a first-hand experience of what it means to be tortured by a shape shifter demon who looks like his mom.

Aarika and Blair are two guys who join up with Kasey later on in the book. They are funny at times, scared to death at others, and generally really brave in the face of overwhelming evil.

Jennifer Wang is a warrior in a doctor's outfit who is giving our gang a serious education on weapons and where to point them.

Can an amulet be a character in a book?

Douglas McNamara is an awesome character who started in a small side role (he only had to say "I'm sorry" three times and stumble along the water while bleeding profusely) but then he convinced the producers to possibly have a whole novel written just for him. Lucky bastard.

Ember, member of the 88 and the evil shape shifter demon bitch from hell (one of the character's description, not mine!!)

A bunch of the hands who do the dirty work for her.

Blood Riders (I'm too scared to talk about them).

A red ship. Really scary. Blood dripping sails, seriously???

A two-door, sky blue, 1975 Jeep Wrangler SRT-8 with a HEMI crate 5.7 liter engine, five-inch suspension lift, 3/4 roll cage and Cobra Daytona front seats.

EEG: Can you give us a sneak preview of the rest of the series?

SB: I have 3 books planned in this series. Whether or not the second and third gets green lit, depends on how well Genesis is doing (hint, hint, Cough-Reviews-Cough). But book 2 is already forming in my head, and so is book 3. Then there is the story of Douglas McNamara that might be awesome. And then there are a few crossroads in Genesis where it intertwines with other Apocalypse Weird locales. One is Texas, the other I'm not yet sure about. There are 18 hours in Jennifer Wang's life that are completely unaccounted for (and her ambulance was parked right smack in the middle of a thinnie, so who knows what could have happened. But knowing her, it must have been really cool)

P.S. The White Dragon is not what you expect her/him/it to be.

EEG: I have no doubt the book will do extremely well. :-)

To kick-off things in great style, Stefan has a lunch party planned for today on Facebook. Don't forget to sign up so you can win lots of freebies and other goodies!

Apocalypse Weird Books:


The Dark Knight by Nick Cole continues the story begun in The Red King as survivors band together to build a modern-day castle against a tide of dark forces overrunning Southern California. While Frank and Holiday struggle for power, Ash ventures into the night to rescue a lost special needs adult who has unknowingly glimpsed a horrifying future: a future where man is on the verge of extinction and a new predator rules the planet. The Apocalypse Weird is beginning, and it might just be something bigger than anyone ever imagined ... or feared.

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. In E. E. Giorgi’s Immunity, few resilient scientists remain, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine. Then the disease starts spreading within the soldiers guarding the laboratory, bloody carnage reigns. Immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of Apocalypse Weird.

The Thing meets The Core in Jennifer Ellis’s Reversal, where the isolated International Polar Research Station on Ellesmere Island becomes an incredibly dangerous assignment for Sasha Wood. Stalked by killer polar bears, Sasha and her partner, Soren, search for their missing colleagues in the frozen tundra as their compass reveals an incredible truth: a magnetic pole reversal—fabled and feared in the scientific community for years—has occurred. The North Pole is now the South and vice versa. Psychotic scientists and giant methane-venting craters are just the beginning of a terrible and strange new reality.

Chris Pourteau’s The Serenity Strain finds Houston, Texas, at the epicenter of an apocalypse both natural and unnatural. Three hurricanes wreak unprecedented devastation on the Texas Gulf Coast. Amidst the anarchy left in the wake of the storms, six prisoners—the genetically altered test subjects for a viral strain known as Serenity—escape the state prison in Huntsville. Their hunger for murder and destruction gorges itself on society's survivors. One being of immense power and wanton appetites, a member of the demonic 88 named Id, arrives to oversee the destruction of mankind and morality. The Stand meets 28 Days Later in this epic tale of genetic manipulation gone awry.

Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max in Texocalypse Now by Michael Bunker and Nick Cole. It’s a gritty tale of survival set in the post-Apocalyptic West Texas Badlands. Packs of feral, cannibalistic humans called “hordes” and other psychotic groups threaten a band of children led by Ellis, a boy barely a man. Ellis and the children make a home for themselves in a hidden valley atop a mysterious mesa. But when a member of the 88, a Man in Black simply known as Mayhem, arrives in the Badlands, Ellis and his small “family” of orphans are forced underground to survive.

The apocalypse comes to the south with Kim WellsHoodoopocalypse. Kalfu, the ultimate evil-twin and Voodoo Loa of the afterworld and crossroads kicks off his plans for possession of the Southern Mississippi corridor. Dark half of Papa Legba, Kalfu sets off events that cripple New Orleans, tries to take control of the over 9 million visitors to the Big Easy a year, and seeds his Hoodoo mafia, the Guédé, across Louisiana and the world. If the fire, category HUGE hurricane spawned by magical means, and roving mobs of mayhem-inducing zombi astrals don’t get you, the angry goddess and nuclear meltdown might. Laissez the End Times Roulez, y’all.

The aliens have come to end the world with Eric Tozzi's Phoenix Lights. On March 13, 1997, the incident now known as the Phoenix Lights left thousands of witnesses at a loss to explain the sudden appearance of the massive V-shaped craft that hovered in the skies above Phoenix that day. Now, eighteen years later, the Vs have returned. Bargains will be made with an intelligence beyond our grasp deep within a super-secret government blacksite. Can a crew of TV UFO Busters find out the truth about the visitors or are they going to get far more than they ever bargained for? Whereas once they were blind, now they will see. Welcome to the invasion. Welcome to the Apocalypse Weird.

Three years after the great storm destroyed the planet, three years after the demonic undead rose up to hunt the survivors, Wendy Wicker scavenges and steals in the deadly ruins of Florida to keep her adopted family alive. In his book Medium Talent, Forbes West imagines a post-apocalyptic Key West that is plagued by hunger and ruled by an amoral bureaucracy, a life of crime is the only way to live. After Wendy betrays a couple of passengers she was to take north on board her fishing boat, her life takes an strange turn and she must confront some dark secrets as to what really happened the night the world ended, while surviving the monstrous creatures that infest the waters around her hometown and the never ending threat of an evil woman that cannot die...

An homage to Ernest Hemingway’s To Have or Have Not and George Romero’s Living Dead series of films, let Apocalypse Weird take you on a fast paced voyage through the dead Florida Keys and into an violent noir tale filled with time travel, black magic, suppressed memories and what life is really like after the end of the world.

Friday, April 10, 2015

New Apocalypse Weird release: Medium Talent by Forbes West


April just rolled in with two new Apocalypse Weird releases. Up next is Forbes West's Medium Talent:
Three years after the great storm destroyed the planet, three years after the demonic undead rose up to hunt the survivors, Wendy Wicker scavenges and steals in the deadly ruins of Florida to keep her adopted family alive. In a post-apocalyptic Key West that is plagued by hunger and ruled by an amoral bureaucracy, a life of crime is the only way to live. After Wendy betrays a couple of passengers she was to take north on board her fishing boat, her life takes an strange turn and she must confront some dark secrets as to what really happened the night the world ended, while surviving the monstrous creatures that infest the waters around her hometown and the never ending threat of an evil woman that cannot die...  
An homage to Ernest Hemingway’s To Have or Have Not and George Romero’s Living Dead series of films, let Apocalypse Weird take you on a fast paced voyage through the dead Florida Keys and into an violent noir tale filled with time travel, black magic, suppressed memories and what life is really like after the end of the world. 

 Forbes is here today to tell us more about is AW new release. Welcome, Forbes!

EEG: Tell us about the inspiration behind Medium Talent.

FW: Key West itself was the main inspiration. It's an odd place, really- at the end of the world, so to speak as the last stop on the overseas highway stretching all the way from Miami. There's odd contradictions floating all around- one part of Key West is that it's touristy as hell, a frat boy heaven, full of tourists clogging the main drag. But there's this sort of bohemian flair in the corners, a sort of odd energy in the place from all the history and from the outcasts and the screwballs who couldn't make it in the normal habitats of the U.S.A. that have drifted in over the years. The atmosphere just breeds the imagination and I wanted to do for the longest time a book set in Key West (and a book about the end of the world and the great post-apocalyptic age that would come after) and I just put two and two together. Most of the post-apocalyptic stories you hear always are set in the deserts or the blown out cities with the same rough cast of characters and I wanted to see hell come to a place that would have been just a normal and decadent vacationland and a mysterious young woman stuck in the middle of it all.

Key West was famously the home of many writers and authors, including "Papa" Hemingway himself, and I wanted to use its connection to literary history. Hemingway's story, To Have or Have Not, was a huge inspiration for the book as he played with the town's contradictions long before I did in this story and crafted a realistic adventure story about poverty and crime. I thought it'd be a hell of a ride to read about life in a Key West that's barely survived the end times and what people there would have to do to survive in a life that's full of horrors from the sea and an oppressive bureaucracy running things into the ground.

EEG: Can you introduce each one of the main characters in just a few words?

FW: Wendy Wicker "The lead actress", so to speak. Boat captain. Criminal. Young and not who she thinks she is.
Tony Fire Fifty year old first mate of Wendy's boat, Medium Talent. Good and not smart.
Ernest Hemingway .....
The Brazen Head The main good guy.
Lenguas Largas The poor unfortunate undead with hideously stretched tongues.
Melanie Wicker The woman who cannot be killed.

EEG: Do you have a sequel in mind and if so, can you tell us a bit about it?

FW: Yes, I do. Called "Bad Dream Man", let's just say it's set in the 1930s and sort of like Dracula. Keep it that way.

EEG: Thanks so much, Forbes!

Below is a complete list of the Apocalypse Weird books published so far. Come back next week for a sneak preview of the next AW book, Genesis by Stefan Bolz.

Apocalypse Weird Books:

The Dark Knight by Nick Cole continues the story begun in The Red King as survivors band together to build a modern-day castle against a tide of dark forces overrunning Southern California. While Frank and Holiday struggle for power, Ash ventures into the night to rescue a lost special needs adult who has unknowingly glimpsed a horrifying future: a future where man is on the verge of extinction and a new predator rules the planet. The Apocalypse Weird is beginning, and it might just be something bigger than anyone ever imagined ... or feared.

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. In E. E. Giorgi’s Immunity, few resilient scientists remain, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine. Then the disease starts spreading within the soldiers guarding the laboratory, bloody carnage reigns. Immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of Apocalypse Weird.

The Thing meets The Core in Jennifer Ellis’s Reversal, where the isolated International Polar Research Station on Ellesmere Island becomes an incredibly dangerous assignment for Sasha Wood. Stalked by killer polar bears, Sasha and her partner, Soren, search for their missing colleagues in the frozen tundra as their compass reveals an incredible truth: a magnetic pole reversal—fabled and feared in the scientific community for years—has occurred. The North Pole is now the South and vice versa. Psychotic scientists and giant methane-venting craters are just the beginning of a terrible and strange new reality.

Chris Pourteau’s The Serenity Strain finds Houston, Texas, at the epicenter of an apocalypse both natural and unnatural. Three hurricanes wreak unprecedented devastation on the Texas Gulf Coast. Amidst the anarchy left in the wake of the storms, six prisoners—the genetically altered test subjects for a viral strain known as Serenity—escape the state prison in Huntsville. Their hunger for murder and destruction gorges itself on society's survivors. One being of immense power and wanton appetites, a member of the demonic 88 named Id, arrives to oversee the destruction of mankind and morality. The Stand meets 28 Days Later in this epic tale of genetic manipulation gone awry.

Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max in Texocalypse Now by Michael Bunker and Nick Cole. It’s a gritty tale of survival set in the post-Apocalyptic West Texas Badlands. Packs of feral, cannibalistic humans called “hordes” and other psychotic groups threaten a band of children led by Ellis, a boy barely a man. Ellis and the children make a home for themselves in a hidden valley atop a mysterious mesa. But when a member of the 88, a Man in Black simply known as Mayhem, arrives in the Badlands, Ellis and his small “family” of orphans are forced underground to survive.

The apocalypse comes to the south with Kim WellsHoodoopocalypse. Kalfu, the ultimate evil-twin and Voodoo Loa of the afterworld and crossroads kicks off his plans for possession of the Southern Mississippi corridor. Dark half of Papa Legba, Kalfu sets off events that cripple New Orleans, tries to take control of the over 9 million visitors to the Big Easy a year, and seeds his Hoodoo mafia, the Guédé, across Louisiana and the world. If the fire, category HUGE hurricane spawned by magical means, and roving mobs of mayhem-inducing zombi astrals don’t get you, the angry goddess and nuclear meltdown might. Laissez the End Times Roulez, y’all.

The aliens have come to end the world with Eric Tozzi's Phoenix Lights. On March 13, 1997, the incident now known as the Phoenix Lights left thousands of witnesses at a loss to explain the sudden appearance of the massive V-shaped craft that hovered in the skies above Phoenix that day. Now, eighteen years later, the Vs have returned. Bargains will be made with an intelligence beyond our grasp deep within a super-secret government blacksite. Can a crew of TV UFO Busters find out the truth about the visitors or are they going to get far more than they ever bargained for? Whereas once they were blind, now they will see. Welcome to the invasion. Welcome to the Apocalypse Weird.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Release: Dragon of the Stars by bestselling author Alex Cavanaugh


Today my author friend Alex Cavanaugh, bestselling author of Cassa Storm, has a new book release -- Dragon of the Stars. He's celebrating with a fantastic scavenger hunt. Read below to participate! 

SCAVENGER HUNT! Comment to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, tons of bookmarks & postcards, and a $20.00 iTunes gift card–where is Mini-Alex? Visit Alex for a list of the participants. (Open through April 11 – winner announced April 13 at Alex’s blog.)

Available today!
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase:
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Stars-Alex-J-Cavanaugh-ebook/dp/B00S0DPUYU/

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Akaela is finally here and I'm looking for reviewers: do you love YA dystopian fiction?


*** Read below to find out how to get a free copy of Akaela, my new YA dystopian. ***

Last year I started a new project. I wanted to try a new genre that's very popular right now, YA dystopian, and a few months later I'm proud to announce that Akaela is complete and ready to be shipped to reviewers. Here's the blurb:
Fifteen-year-old Akaela doesn't know what fear is. She was built this way. But in a world where survival is no longer of the fittest, being fearless can become a deadly curse.

Proud and steeped in tradition, Akaela's people, the Mayakes, are dying. While they carry implanted nanobots and sophisticated chips to compensate for their crippled and diseased bodies, these enhancements come at a price. Aging technology and a lack of resources make them vulnerable to their enemies and on the brink of extinction. As the elders cling blindly to the past, the only hope Akaela and her 16-year-old brother Athel have to save their own people is to challenge the system or die trying.
You can read the prologue here.

As I always do with every new launch, I'm happy to gift the book to readers willing to post an honest review on Amazon on release day. Are you that reader? Then please sign up for my newsletter and in about a week I'll send an email on how to get your free copy. Oh, and you get a free story right after you sign up. ;-)

Link to sign up: http://eepurl.com/SPCvT


Monday, March 23, 2015

"Writing has always been a life plan, never a second thought": international bestselling author Daniel Arthur Smith talks about books, traveling, and his new novel, Hugh Howey Lives.


Today my guest is a world traveler and the international bestselling author of the Cathari Treasure and the Somali Deception, featuring veteran Légionnaire Cameron Kincaid. I met Daniel Arthur Smith through the Apocalypse Weird project and was instantly impressed by his amazing writing and the breadth of his work. I was so thrilled when he accepted to come over to the blog to talk about his travels, his books, and his latest release in particular, Hugh Howey Lives, where yes, Hugh Howey is the real Hugh, the author of the bestselling series Wool.

Welcome to CHIMERAS, Daniel!

EEG: Tell us a bit about your background and when/how you started writing novels.

DAS: Writing has always been a life plan, never a second thought.  I grew up reading a ton of science fiction and fantasy and then around twelve, philosophy, mostly existential stuff at first, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, stuff like that.  I was raised in a rural area surrounded by books and then moved a round a lot, ever fascinated in what was over the next hill, and even more so in the Human Condition.  My first stories were science fiction with heavy moral undertones, mimics of what I was reading.  My university education in cognitive studies was philosophy and writing intensive, the creative byproduct of which was more stories of similar theme, as well as experimentation in literary fiction, horror, and AI, which eventually coalesced into novels.

EEG: You've traveled a lot: how has this affected your writing and you as a writer?

DAS: A few years ago a friend turned me onto one of those Facebook maps that allowed you to pin the cities you’ve visited.  I stopped pinning after I reached over three hundred cities across twenty-two countries.

EEG: Wow!

DAS: I’ve always traveled.

My mother moved me around a lot as a small child, more passenger than participant, and when she married my stepfather, we followed him around the Midwest in a camping trailer.  By the time I reached my teens I was out of my parent’s home, hitchhiking, and when funding permitted, riding Greyhound.  At eighteen, I hitchhiked across North America, and later, after university, across Western Europe and into the newly opened Wild Eastern Europe.  I’ve read Kundera and Kafka in Prague and Kazantzakis on the ancient city walls of Heraklion, I’ve had the fortune to read Travels with Charley overlooking the ruins of Knossos and in Wisconsin.

All of that travel was immersive.  Whether as a youth, a teacher, or later in business, I observed the continuity the Human Condition across culture, the many paths people take to reach the same place. I’ve been to cities that underwent political upheaval, peacefully and through war.  Met those with aspirations and met those that lost everything.

Traveling has added texture to text by giving me the tools of visceral description, both of personality and geography.  On the lighter side, it also has allowed me to write adventures that jump through ten cities in the course of a novel.

EEG: Where do you find inspiration?

DAS: I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful wife, two young sons, have had the pleasure to know some absolute superhero friends, and on top of that, live in the center of Manhattan.  All of those privileges allow a barrage of material to fly my way.  A question from my son while on a walk in Central Park or a short drive across town can lead to an incredible yarn (This week we discussed the living habits of leprechauns).  The fellow passengers on a city bus can become clandestine operatives in some stealth heist.  Or a blog post, as was the case in my latest release, can open a floodgate.

EEG: Tell us about your latest book, Hugh Howey Lives: is it a novel? Is it the story of the real Hugh or a fictional one? Where did you get the idea?

DAS: Hugh Howey Lives is a work of fiction inspired by Hugh.

In 2174 authors are obsolete.  With the exception of a few human ‘Author’ titles printed in the small basement and back room Libraries, all stories are created by the Artificial Intelligence of the Archive.  Most believe the ‘Authors’ are only brands to lure people into spending their credits on print.  One woman believes that one of them, author Hugh Howey is real, and still alive.  Her Librarian feeds her belief that Hugh Howey is still sailing around the world, uploading his work to the Archive.  Convinced she has found clues in his stories as to where he now resides, she and her girlfriend sail to an island, where she believes Hugh Howey lives.

This story came about after Hugh wrote a blog entry early November titled ‘Humans Need Not Apply’.  In the article, and lengthy comment conversation that followed, Hugh speculated that within 100 years, computers would be writing novels and authors could be obsolete.

I emailed Hugh a pitch with a different speculation, and in a few weeks, you’ll be able to read all about it.

This is an intriguing story and as soon as it is ready to share, I will be sending out ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) to everyone on my newsletter list.  And that’s not all – I am giving away a kindle, some signed copies, and some posters too.  This is a story that will stimulate the imagination and I can’t wait for you to read it.

EEG: Wow. Computer novelists and no more human authors. That's a scary thought and definitely an intriguing premise. Can't wait to read it! And now that Hugh Howey Lives is completed, what are you working on?

DAS: I started 2015 running out of the gate.  Apart from supporting Hugh Howey Lives I am releasing my first work of fanfic.  Set in Hugh’s Sand World, Sarfer is the story of a sailmaker’s son who has become a courier – anything, anywhere, no questions asked.  Plane Drifters (working title), the first of a series, will follow later this spring.  This speculative fiction adventure novel depicts a future world where planar travel has altered society.  This novel is a full-on blend of cyberpunk and urban fantasy and took two years to research and another year to write.

And this summer I am releasing The Blue Prince, my contribution to the Apocalypse Weird universe, which takes Manhattan by electrical storm.  This comic book noir adventure was a lot of fun to create.  Readers will recognize the Lovecraftian elements and those that follow Apocalypse Weird will particularly enjoy the parts of the novel interacting with points in the Wyrd.

EEG: Can't wait to read The Blue Prince! Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Daniel!

To get an ARC of Daniel's new book release, visit his website and sign up for his newsletter. You can also follow him on Twitter (@authordasmith), Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The apocalypse continues with the launch of Eric Tozzi's Phoenix Lights.

© EEG

Apocalypse Weird continues to be a great success: check it out, The Guardian (yes! The Guardian!!) talks about us in this article by Damien Walters. After our big launch on February 23rd, the next two books have already landed, and, we are celebrating with a Facebook launch party tonight. Come to chat with the authors, pitch your Apocalypse Weird story, and for a chance to win some awesome books. We are celebrating the launch of the latest two additions to the Apocalypse Weird universe.

Last week we talked about Kim Wells' Hoodpocalypse book, which launched on March 13. The next book slated for release is Phoenix Lights, by Eric Tozzi:
On March 13, 1997, the incident now known as the Phoenix Lights left thousands of witnesses at a loss to explain the sudden appearance of the massive V-shaped craft that hovered in the skies above Phoenix that day. Now, eighteen years later, the Vs have returned. Bargains will be made with an intelligence beyond our grasp deep within a super-secret government blacksite. Can a crew of TV UFO Busters find out the truth about the visitors or are they going to get far more than they ever bargained for? Whereas once they were blind, now they will see. Welcome to the invasion. Welcome to the Apocalypse Weird.
Eric is here today to tell us all about his new book. Welcome, Eric!

EEG: Tell us about the Phoenix Light incident and how this inspired your book.

ET: The Phoenix Lights incident has become one of the most infamous mass UFO sightings of all time. There were thousands of witnesses that saw, as they described it, a massive V-shaped craft with lights attached that drifted through the skies of central Arizona over the course of several hours. By simply Googling “Phoenix Lights,” one can find a plethora of information and photos about the event. When I was asked to join Apocalypse Weird I knew I wanted to write an alien invasion book and for me, the Phoenix Lights incident was a no-brainer. It was organic to the story and to the central Arizona region where the apocalyptic event was to take place. I’m very excited that I was able to anchor my story in a real event that so many people still talk about. Just last week, the local news here in Phoenix did a number of stories on what was the anniversary of the Phoenix Lights incident, March 13th. It’s exciting that the event is still fresh in people’s minds and I hope it will spur interest in the book.

EEG: Can you tell us a bit about each one of the main characters in Phoenix Lights?

ET: My two main characters are estranged siblings: Gage Slater and younger sister Kristina Slater. Gage works in a secret, government underground facility, ostensibly built as a defensive measure against an alien invasion. Kristina is a reality TV star and documentary filmmaker. Her TV show, UFO Busters, sets out to investigate all kinds of UFO related stories. But there’s a larger story behind it all. Kristina was abducted by a UFO as a child and no one believed her. She fights to prove these occurrences are real, but more importantly she wants the answer to the big question: why was she taken? Gage, on the other hand, feels guilty over his sister’s abduction and is trying to atone for it through his top secret work. But in doing so he’s alienated his sister and now there’s only bad blood between them. When the alien apocalypse explodes, they are thrown back together and must help each other survive. And in the midst of the pressure and the unraveling of the world, they discover even darker secrets from their past that will determine their future.

EEG: Do you have a sequel in mind and if so, can you tell us a bit about it?

ET: I have only just begun to mull a sequel. Up to this point I’ve been consumed with getting Lights finished in time for publication. I can tell you that I intentionally left the story open for another one, but I’ve not

EEG Thanks so much Eric! And to all Apocalypse Weird fans: come to the Facebook the launch party on March 20 to celebrate Eric Tozzi's Phonexi Lights and Kim Well's Hoodoopocalypse!




Apocalypse Weird Books:

The Dark Knight by Nick Cole continues the story begun in The Red King as survivors band together to build a modern-day castle against a tide of dark forces overrunning Southern California. While Frank and Holiday struggle for power, Ash ventures into the night to rescue a lost special needs adult who has unknowingly glimpsed a horrifying future: a future where man is on the verge of extinction and a new predator rules the planet. The Apocalypse Weird is beginning, and it might just be something bigger than anyone ever imagined ... or feared.

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. In E. E. Giorgi’s Immunity, few resilient scientists remain, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine. Then the disease starts spreading within the soldiers guarding the laboratory, bloody carnage reigns. Immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of Apocalypse Weird.

The Thing meets The Core in Jennifer Ellis’s Reversal, where the isolated International Polar Research Station on Ellesmere Island becomes an incredibly dangerous assignment for Sasha Wood. Stalked by killer polar bears, Sasha and her partner, Soren, search for their missing colleagues in the frozen tundra as their compass reveals an incredible truth: a magnetic pole reversal—fabled and feared in the scientific community for years—has occurred. The North Pole is now the South and vice versa. Psychotic scientists and giant methane-venting craters are just the beginning of a terrible and strange new reality.

Chris Pourteau’s The Serenity Strain finds Houston, Texas, at the epicenter of an apocalypse both natural and unnatural. Three hurricanes wreak unprecedented devastation on the Texas Gulf Coast. Amidst the anarchy left in the wake of the storms, six prisoners—the genetically altered test subjects for a viral strain known as Serenity—escape the state prison in Huntsville. Their hunger for murder and destruction gorges itself on society's survivors. One being of immense power and wanton appetites, a member of the demonic 88 named Id, arrives to oversee the destruction of mankind and morality. The Stand meets 28 Days Later in this epic tale of genetic manipulation gone awry.

Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max in Texocalypse Now by Michael Bunker and Nick Cole. It’s a gritty tale of survival set in the post-Apocalyptic West Texas Badlands. Packs of feral, cannibalistic humans called “hordes” and other psychotic groups threaten a band of children led by Ellis, a boy barely a man. Ellis and the children make a home for themselves in a hidden valley atop a mysterious mesa. But when a member of the 88, a Man in Black simply known as Mayhem, arrives in the Badlands, Ellis and his small “family” of orphans are forced underground to survive.

The apocalypse comes to the south with Kim Wells' Hoodoopocalypse. Kalfu, the ultimate evil-twin and Voodoo Loa of the afterworld and crossroads kicks off his plans for possession of the Southern Mississippi corridor. Dark half of Papa Legba, Kalfu sets off events that cripple New Orleans, tries to take control of the over 9 million visitors to the Big Easy a year, and seeds his Hoodoo mafia, the Guédé, across Louisiana and the world. If the fire, category HUGE hurricane spawned by magical means, and roving mobs of mayhem-inducing zombi astrals don’t get you, the angry goddess and nuclear meltdown might. Laissez the End Times Roulez, y’all.