Friday, 25 December 2015

Perdition Towers Screenplays Released


The screenplays for the first two episodes of my horror/comedy series Perdition Towers are now online on the Amazon Studios website. If you enjoy them, please leave a rating in the hope that they might one day be turned into a real TV series.

In the black comedy, Perdition Towers, mild-mannered Peter Callum finds his life turned upside down after accepting an offer to move in with his co-worker, a popular ladies man named Dean Kessler. He soon discovers that Dean is a ladykiller in the literal sense of the word, and has chosen his new roommate as an unwilling opponent in a fiendish game of murder and mayhem. In an apartment building where rooming with a psycho might not actually be the greatest threat to his safety, Peter's stay in Perdue Towers will be anything but ordinary.

Episode 1: "Pilot"
Broke and soon to be homeless, Peter Callum is overjoyed when his coworker invites him to move in. His happiness is soon shattered, however, once he learns his new roommate is killing people and disposing of their bodies, and nobody will believe him.
https://studios.amazon.com/projects/97960

Episode 2: "The Funeral Party"
Dean holds a floor party to introduce his new roommate to the other tenants, but Peter finds himself too preoccupied with thwarting his scheme to poison the guests to enjoy himself at the gathering.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Early Street Savior Preview Now Available

I love reaching writing milestones! As I promised to do upon reaching 150,000 words in my draft of Reading The Dead: Street Savior, copies of the first two chapters of the book and its corresponding initial draft screenplay are now available online in PDF format. That's almost 100 pages of reading goodness for you to enjoy! The final version of the book is slated for release in late 2016. Be sure to check back for more goodies as the deadline draws near!


Copies of both PDF files are available from Dropbox. If you don't have an account, simply click on the link at the bottom of the login page to bypass it and access the files directly.



Enjoy!

 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Street Savior Cover Artwork

Work on the third book in the Reading The Dead series is coming along nicely. I'm officially over the 150,000 word mark. Once I finish (yet) another edit of the first two chapters, I intend to release them both for your reading enjoyment, along with the corresponding scenes from my original drafted script. The script is somewhat akin to a screenplay, only with a little more detail than you'd typically find in a Hollywood script. It's my preferred method of piecing together the first draft for every lengthy novel I write. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this bit of eye candy. It's my revised and hopefully final version of the cover artwork.


Friday, 31 July 2015

Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen is now available!


Get your copy of Magpie & Jynx's second riveting adventure. Now available on Smashwords and Amazon!

While helping a wounded half-troll escape the service of Raven, the vampire lord of the city, Magpie and Jynx find themselves caught up in a plot by his second-in-command, the devious vampire, Tabitha. Besieged in Marlon's magic shop by a shifter and an army of trolls, only an unexpected ally, previously concealed by the magic blanketing the city's core, can help them survive the long night.


Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/565380

Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen

The second season of the Twin Cities Series of urban fantasy adventures continues with Magpie and Jynx's second thrilling action/adventure!
 
While helping a wounded half-troll assassin escape the service of Raven, the vampire lord ruling the city, Magpie and Jynx find themselves embroiled in a plot devised by his second-in-command, the devious vampire, Tabitha. Hunted and harassed by a mercenary army of trolls and Tabitha's faithful shifter, the group discover that not even Marlon's magic shop can provide a safe refuge from their enemies. With an army of trolls laying siege outside their door and time running out for their poisoned charge, it seems that not even an unexpected ally, previously concealed by the magic blanketing the city's core, will be enough to help them survive the long, deadly night.
 


The Twin Cities Series is a collaborative set of novellas written by a number of different authors including Drew Avera,  J.B. Cameron, Kedrick Rue, & Theresa Snyder.  The people of Minnesota believe the twin cities to be Minneapolis and St. Paul, but what they don't realize is the name actually refers to a parallel dimension known as The Realms, where creatures of myth roam freely. Humans stand only a dimensional barrier away from the most terrifying and horrible monsters imaginable, but there are a select few who answer the cries for help, who guard the world of mankind and keep it safe from harm. The Realms can be a place of great danger, as well as great beauty, where love and loss can be sudden and significant, but make no mistake...in this world, humanity is just another word for powerless.

Amazon Kindle: 
US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0135LYRRW/
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0135LYRRW/
CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0135LYRRW/

Kobobooks:
https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/magpie-jynx-the-lost-and-the-fallen

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/565380


Friday, 24 July 2015

Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen (Chapter Excerpts)


The first three chapters of Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen are now available for your reading pleasure on Wattpad. The second book of the series will be coming to Amazon and Smashwords next week. If you enjoy the preview, please leave a Like and be sure to tell others about the great stories coming from the authors of The Twin Cities Series. Thanks!



Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Comedy Roast of E.L. James

If you're like me and not remotely interested in the writings of E.L. James or Stephenie Meyer, then you probably knew nothing about the recent Q/A session author E.L. James held on Twitter to publicize her new book. The title of my blog says it all. Twitterians gave the woman their typical "warm welcome," skewering her alive with a barrage of sarcasm and ridicule. What her publicist believed would be a good chance to connect with her fans turned into a free-for-all, as the online public used her #AskELJames hashtag to bash everything from her poor writing skills to the questionable symbolism of her characters.

Some examples of the types of questions she faced included:

"Which do you hate more, women or the English language?"
"After the success of 'Grey,' have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write?"
"I like this girl but she doesn't seem all that into me. Is it cool if I beat her into liking me like Christian Grey?"
"Which safe word do I use to stop you from writing anything else ever?"

To her credit, James fielded questions for the full hour of the Q/A, avoiding the urge to respond to her outspoken critics. I would imagine immediately after the disastrous session, she probably fired off an email to her publicist, thanking him for the humiliating experience. Any future publicity stunts for her books probably won't be including Twitter in the future.

Seeing as how what happened to E.L. James could befall any author willing to place his/her neck in the noose, what lessons (if any) are to be found in the wake of this spectacular display of audience participation gone wrong?

Most obviously, the Twitter feedback should serve as a warning to other authors not to publish substandard work or there will be consequences. It doesn't matter if it took three days to write a short story or three years to craft a book. Once you publish it, it stops being yours. The hard work and love (or lack thereof) that you invested into it are meaningless. All that matters is the story itself. If it fails to resonate with the readers, either due to a lack of skill on your part or a failure in the tale itself, they will feel cheated and resentful for having wasted their time reading it.

The one thing authors can't account for is the varying tastes and personalities of their readers. Even best-selling books have critics. The only power afforded to an author is to write to the best of their abilities and constantly strive to improve their skills as a writer and editor. If their best isn't good enough, it might be time to consider shelving new projects and spending more time learning the basics of how to properly write an engaging tale. As an editor, I've seen my share of poorly constructed stories, not only syntactically, but also in the weakness of their underlying tale. I would never advise someone to jettison a weak story, but the fact that some authors are unable to recognize shortcomings such as this for themselves means that they need to spend more time honing their craft, rather than rushing to publish their work.

The second lesson to be learned at E.L. James' expense is that there is no such thing as "bad press." She may have taken a truckload of flak from her critics on Twitter, but the nature of their jibes meant that they were familiar enough with her work to know what to criticize. They either read her book (fully or partially), saw the movie based on the book (fully or partially), or knew enough about her from second-hand accounts to form their own opinion of the quality of her work. Admittedly, earning a reputation as a bad writer isn't something to which most authors aspire. However, at the end of the day, Hollywood doesn't seem to care, and the stain doesn't appear to be significantly impacting E.L. James' bank account. Perhaps counting her money was how she managed to weather her gruelling stint on Twitter so professionally.

The third lesson to be gleaned from this fiasco is that authors shouldn't take criticism to heart, but neither should they ignore it. Though it can feel earth-shattering when something in which you invested so much time and effort gets ripped to shreds, it's (usually) not personal. Personal attacks can and do happen for any number of reasons, but book critics generally tend to reserve their feelings for the quality of the finished product. Any shortcomings in the book or lack of polish only fuel their fire. Though it can be painful at times, I personally recommend that authors read each and every criticism, not just the positive ones. Some of the most vitriol criticisms that I've received have only fuelled my desire to revise and improve the quality of my writing and storytelling (after I picked myself up off the ground).

The final lesson? Most people on social networking are not your friends. The faceless anonymity of attacking someone at a distance abounds, whether on Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook. The next time you decide to host an online marketing session to push your new book, be ready to accept the fact that not everyone who attends is there to wish your endeavors a rousing success. Have the grace to treat them with aplomb. Unless they're obvious trolls, critics can't bash your work without feeling passionate about it. That your writing made people feel something, good or bad, is the goal of every author. Today's critic may become tomorrow's biggest fan.

To summarize, treat the business of writing as a business. Stay professional. Recognize that the only product that suits everyone's needs is toilet paper. Don't just write - read. Never stop honing your abilities and increasing your vocabulary. You may have a best-selling story in your head, but it will only ever be as good as your skill to tell it. When everyone says that your writing sucks, don't ignore them (unless they keep buying your books anyway). With a little effort, you can become the writer that both you and your readers deserve.

Above all, have fun with it! Who knows? In a thousand years, crap writing may reach the heights of poetic eloquence, making most of today's heavily-criticized books literary masterpieces. Remember, not even Shakespeare was appreciated in his own time.


Monday, 29 June 2015

Leader of the Pack - a new GTA machinima!


A new day, a new machinima! A pack of hungry strays find themselves hunted and pursued by the police after starvation forces them to take a life on the unforgiving streets of Los Santos. Will this dreadful mistake mean the end of the pack?  Find out in this emotional race for survival. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/L0tmbYNhQ-4

Friday, 19 June 2015

Bigfoot The Eco-Terrorist (a GTA V machinima)

 
After having so much fun putting together Sarah Milton's last adventure, there's a new Grand Theft Auto machinima now online at my Youtube channel. Bigfoot came down from his mountain and he's out for payback! The furry fiend goes commando in this fun, explosive jaunt, courtesy of Rockstar's built-in game editor and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Watch the full movie here: https://youtu.be/PtojgysYNDM

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sarah's Run - The GTA V Machinima


I'm very pleased to present an original Sarah Milton tale, straight from the fictional city of Grand Theft Auto V's Los Santos. Sarah finds her leisurely run disrupted by the hot pursuit of a killer in Sarah's Run. This GTA V machinima was developed over a span of weeks using the Rockstar editor and Adobe Premiere Pro. It features a wonderful little texture glitch, responsible for creating a truly unique supernatural entity, and all of the action and fun that you'd expect from a Reading The Dead adventure. 

The character of Detective Harry "Hard" Knox appears prominently in the upcoming third book of the series as Sarah's new partner. He's a fun new addition to the Reading The Dead family that I can't wait to introduce you to.

Here it is... Enjoy!



Friday, 8 May 2015

Reading The Dead: Fidelis In Aeternum Now ALSO In Trade Paperback!

The second book of the series, Reading The Dead: Fidelis In Aeternum, is now ALSO available in trade paperback. This is the ultimate format of the book, with almost 600 pages of goodness packed in. It includes not only a re-edited version of the tale with improved formatting, but also a new and improved version of the complete "Anna's Adventures" companion novella (originally offered separately). That's three great stories in one!

It is currently available for purchase through Createspace (https://www.createspace.com/5454984) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/151187421X).

This is it, peeps! Don't miss your chance to enjoy the first two books of Reading The Dead as they were intended to be read.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Reading The Dead Giveaway

Now is your chance to win one of three FREE copies of Reading The Dead in trade paperback!

We're giving away a free copy of the first book of the Sarah Milton Chronicles to the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth entries of this exciting giveaway from Amazon.com. This is your chance to grab the title the way it was meant to be enjoyed! Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to start your collection of this amazing series. 
 
No purchase necessary! Contest closes April 27th.
 




Sunday, 19 April 2015

Reading The Dead Now In Trade Paperback!


The first book of Reading The Dead: The Sarah Milton Chronicles is now available in trade paperback. This is the definitive form of the novel as I've always intended it, without any formatting limitations posed by online book standards. The book includes improved artwork, a brand new edit with improved content, and all of the fun and adventure that you've come to expect in the series!

It's now available for purchase at Createspace (https://www.createspace.com/5421657) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511631996). Enjoy the book in the way that I always meant for it to be told!

Coming soon... book two, Reading The Dead: Fidelis In Aeternum, complete with a copy of the companion novelette, Anna's Adventures. Like my first offering, this book will also feature a fresh edit and improved content.

Don't miss out! This is the version of the series that you've been dying for!


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Magpie & Jynx Wallpaper Added


Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen is coming soon! In honor of the upcoming release, enjoy this complementary desktop wallpaper. You may download a copy of your preferred size under the "Wallpapers" section on the left side navigation bar of my blog page.

Look for the latest outing of shape shifter Maggie Bartlett and siren Jynx, coming your way in the next few weeks...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

PREVIEW... Magpie & Jynx: The Lost and the Fallen

The second exciting adventure of Magpie & Jynx is now in development. Enjoy this sneak peek of what's to come...




Friday, 20 February 2015

Magpie & Jynx FREE Until Feb 28!

Here's your chance to grab a free copy of Magpie & Jynx, before the next book in their adventure arrives. Just enter coupon code "RC85Q" when buying it from the Smashwords checkout page.





Sunday, 1 February 2015

Twin Cities Series February Kickoff!

Welcome to February! The authors of The Twin Cities Series are furiously developing the next story arc to be released soon, but before we can get too excited we want you to be excited. Some of you might not know what this series is so I wanted to share it with you.


The Twin Cities Series is a collaborative set of novellas written by a number of different authors including Drew Avera, J.B. Cameron, Kedrick Rue, & Theresa Snyder. 

The people of Minnesota believe the twin cities to be Minneapolis and St. Paul, but what they don't realize is the name actually refers to a parallel dimension known as The Realms, where creatures of myth roam freely. 

Humans stand only a dimensional barrier away from the most terrifying and horrible monsters imaginable, but there are a select few who answer the cries for help, who guard the world of mankind and keep it safe from harm. 

The Realms can be a place of great danger, as well as great beauty, where love and loss can be sudden and significant, but make no mistake...in this world, humanity is just another word for powerless.

If this series sounds interesting to you then we would love it if you would check out our blog and read a little more about the books. We will be starting a facebook group where we will have contests for free books. Be sure to stay tuned for more on that!  


The Facebook group where you can enjoy all kinds of great stuff this month from The Twin Cities Series is:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/867623916623218/

The blog: 

http://twincitiesseries.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 24 January 2015

New Magpie & Jynx Story Coming!

With Reading The Dead: Street Savior at the halfway mark, it's about time to take a stretch and switch over to another project. That means a new Magpie & Jynx tale is coming your way soon! Look forward to more adventures in the Twin Cities Series!



Monday, 12 January 2015

Reading The Dead: Street Savior Preview

Reading The Dead: Street Savior has reached its first milestone! The draft of book three is now as big as the completed first book. That puts its progress somewhere just past the halfway mark. I told ya it was gonna be big!

To celebrate, here's a little Anna Nigma fun...