New book release: Reunion

My first release of 2015 is here, and it’s a good one. Coauthored with Jack Wallen, Reunion is an ongoing serial novella set in Jack’s I Zombie universe.

Reunion

Here comes the synopsis:

Ripped from the pages of Jack Wallen’s I Zombie series, Reunion follows two lovers, separated by thousands of miles and millions of the undead, as they attempt to reunite in a world devastated by the Mengele Virus.

Love is hope.

The apocalypse will do everything in its power to keep both love and hope at bay. Rock star, Trey Hawkins and his fiance, physicist Erica Fulton, fight the undead, the elements, and a rising tide of suffering in this exciting new serial by Jack Wallen and Thea Gregory.

The first part is now live only on Amazon for the moment. We’re hoping to release one every 2-3 months, as our schedules permit.

2015 is here, and I’m back

2014 was a long year. Fortunately, it’s over now, and it can’t bother me anymore.

This means 2015 will be the year of awesome. Thanks for sticking with me!

Here’s what’s cooking:

Zombie Bedtime Stories:

I’m hoping to release at least two of these in 2015. I’ve already started work on part 5.

The ABACUS Protocol:

At long last, the first book (re-named to The ABACUS Protocol) is now live! I’m hoping to release parts 2 (already written) and 3 later this year.

A new project: Reunion!

Fellow Zombie author Jack Wallen and I have started a new collaborative project: Reunion. Part 1 was released last week. This will be a serial novella, with new parts released every 2-3 months.

I’ll be posing more about each of these projects in the upcoming week. Stay tuned!

The Worldbuilding Blogfest: History & Government of The ABACUS Protocol universe

I’m back and better than ever. I’m taking part in Sharon Bayliss’ Worldbuilding blogfest. I’d like to flesh out the world that Sanity Vacuum and the rest of The ABACUS Protocol take place in.

TheWorldBuildingBlogfest_zps7249e424

I’m running a day behind, but I’m going to come out swinging with an article on the history and government of The ABACUS Protocol.

The ABACUS Protocol takes place almost 1000 years in the future. In The Pandora Machine (book 2), I establish the date as being 2998-2999. History repeats itself, and many expect the new millennium to herald the end of galactic civilization.

The first colony, Aurora, was founded about 800 years before the events of Sanity Vacuum. The Auroran sun, Helios, is highly unstable, and the first colonists crash landed. The date of planetfall became known as the First Thanksgiving–because they made it to a new world alive. The Second Thanksgiving is the date of the first harvest on their new world, and is celebrated a few weeks before the first in a calendar year. The Thanksgivings are usually referred to collectively.

Over the centuries, other planets were settled. Elyssia, Caesarea, New Damascus, Nova Albion and Kanadia Prime are the most notable colonies.

Until the late 2800s, the galactic hegemony was ruled from Earth. The ABACUS Incident changed everything. ABACUS gained sentience, and in response Earth was cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Humanity plummeted into another dark age, from which it had only recently begun to recover.

The ABACUS Protocol was created so no supercomputer would ever reach sentience, again.

Now, the galactic hegemon is a figurehead, and most planets are self-governing.  Caesarea is ruled by its ruthless Imperatix, and most other planets follow the democratic model. The Epsilon Eridani spaceport was orphaned after the fall of Earth, and is run by a board of administrators. Aurora is controlled by the Traditionalists–anti-technology zealots.

Want more? Tomorrow, I discuss Religion & Culture in The ABACUS Protocol.

Sanity Vacuum

Sanity Vacuum, book one of The ABACUS Protocol, is available in paperback and all ebook formats!

 

Haunted Writing Clinic – The first page!

Hello everyone! So sorry to have not been around as much as I should have been. New job, craziness all around. But I’m here now, and I’m going to show (not tell!) my first page of upcoming novel, Sanity Vacuum. But first, here are some observations about first pages in general:

  • I like to start the story in some action, mixed in with anticipation. It keeps the readers reading, and it keeps me writing.
  • Keep it simple. I establish a main character. Ever been hit with a story that slaps you with multiple characters in the first couple of pages? Or worse, switches POV multiple times. Pick one character and stick with her for a while. She’ll grow on your audience–complexity can come later.
  • Set a scene: descriptions! Show, don’t tell. Give the reader enough detail to paint a beautiful picture in their imagination. Stay away from minutiae. Learn to love body language. Avoid excessive adverbs.
  • Avoid too much jargon. This mostly applies to science fiction and other-universe fantasy. You’ve created a vibrant, beautiful world, we know, that’s what we’re here for! Don’t overload our neurons with it all at once… that leads to overcooked brains. The master chef won’t approve.

Now, I’m going to serve up my own first chapter. I’m doing a cover reveal for this beauty on Friday, so do check back!

Chapter One

 

The deafening boom of the rocket’s engines filled the air, and Vivian Skye’s lungs. She watched in awe as the spacecraft took flight, climbing into the scintillating green-red glow of Aurora’s chaotic skies.  This was her first visit to the spaceport in the capital city of Antica, Aurora’s only major link to the stars and galaxy beyond. Located close to the planet’s equator, the site was one of the few places on the planet where the electronics required for space flight would work unshielded above ground. Aurora’s star, Helios, was unstable and often experienced geomagnetic storms. While there was little danger to humans in terms of radiation exposure outside the forbidden Polar Regions, most technology would be disabled or damaged beyond repair after leaving the equatorial zone. Aurora had been one of the first worlds colonized by Earth in the early days of space travel—in modern times, it would be passed over as unsuitable for advanced human life.

Vivian swallowed in an effort to center herself, lost in thought. She had never been off-world before. Few Aurorans ever left, preferring a simple life of agriculture and crafts to braving the rigors of deep-space travel and the burgeoning interstellar economy. She gripped the rail as the trail of smoke parted the dancing green and red lights, nerves and stress rattling in her stomach. She didn’t understand her trepidation and fear, because she’d worked her whole life to be able to leave Aurora and travel among the stars. Vivian had studied hard, forsaking friends and a social life for a chance to attend Aurora’s Advanced Technological Institute, the only university on the planet that taught her subject of choice—quantum informatics. Quantum computers fascinated her; she’d read all of the non-classified papers she could find without the benefit of having access to a reading pad, and had collected every book about the ABACUS incident that was available on Aurora. She smiled at the unthinkable reality, that advanced computer intelligence had conquered Earth almost a century ago. So much of humanity relied on ABACUS-type quantum computers that it was impossible to eliminate them, so securing them from being able to become sentient became a renewed focus in quantum informatics.

A New Project Beckons

I’m back after an extended disappearance! I didn’t forget about you guys, but, no news is no news. Now, I have news, am making news and am ready to rock some socks.

Sanity Vacuum is done for the moment and awaiting edits, which leaves me with a void in my life. As we know, nature abhors a vacuum (haha) and thus, there is only one or two logical things to do, especially since day job style work is slow.

1. Fill it with zombies

Bedlam is getting moved off the back burner, and finding itself thrust back into the angry, violent recesses of my mind. The fourth part of the Zombie Bedtime Stories introduces new characters, new places, and new atrocities. There will be some familiar places, and names, because the whole series is interconnected and will lead up to the terrifying and ultimate series conclusion. I love the Zombie Bedtime Stories, and it will get its 12-15 story run.

2. Write a sequel

That’s right, I started the sequel to Sanity Vacuum today. The working title for the series is The ABACUS Protocol, and the title I’ve picked for the sequel is The Pandora Machine. There’s not a lot to tell here yet, but it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Video book review: Book 2 of The Zombie Bible

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the second book of The Zombie Bible, What Our Eyes Have Witnessed. The story takes place in ancient Rome, and focuses on the events leading up to the martyrdom of St-Polycarp.

Head on over to The Zombie Bible’s website, and tell Stant I say hi. Or, better yet, pick up this great read. Treat yourself. It’s a couple of months until the next Zombie Bedtime Story, after all.

2012: Year of the Zombie

Welcome to 2012, my fellow time-traveling friends. Yes, we’re all traveling in the mundane direction of our collective proper time, but it’s still time travel in a sense.

2012 means all kinds of great things over at Zombie Bedtime Stories and Sanity Vacuum central. Late 2011 was a difficult period in my life, and I expect early 2012 to follow suit. For those not in the know, I fell ill with pneumonia in late October. This caused my to tear a ligament in my chest, a painful and surprisingly debilitating injury. I have been in a state of near-bedrest and very low mobility ever since. It did, however, propel me into the realm of writing full-time, as there was precious little else I could do, and I’m not the type to feel sorry for myself in bed. In November, through the haze of painkillers and pneumonia-induced confusion, I wrote Sanity Vacuum, my first novel.

In December, I released Deadlocked, and I experienced a pleasing (and startling) spike in sales. As I am still not strong enough to return to work (a 15 minute walk outside laid me up for two days earlier this week), I am going to focus my energies in early 2012 to the following:

  1. I am going to do a lot more guest posts, and many more book reviews to increase my visibility.
  2. I am going to write at least 500 words/day towards new Zombie Bedtime Stories, as part of #WIP500. Conceivably, I could complete the entire series rough drafts during this year, assuming average length as under 15k.
  3. Complete my first draft edits of Sanity Vacuum. There’s a lot to do here (see: written on painkillers, kind of disjointed), and it’s vastly different from editing a Zombie Bedtime Story for reasons related to length and continuity. I absolutely love the story and concept of it, which is why I’m putting so much effort into saving it. Tough love style.

In essence, these goals closely mirror my plan for the rest of the year. Eventually, I won’t have a novel to edit and hopefully by that time I’ll be able to look at getting employment that’s more gainful than my Kindle sales. 500 words per day is easily attainable, I’ve had days where I can finely craft that much prose in 15 minutes.

I’m thinking of goals for Sanity Vacuum. I’m going by chapters/day for edits–I try to get 2/3 chapters per day inked up and inputted. After this draft, print-off editing is going away because of budget issues. Then, I see other people managing 15k/day in edits, and feel inadequate.

What do your editing goals look like?