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Black Friday Book Sale

Inspiration

For Frank Herbert, it was mushrooms. For me, it's a good book or movie that energizes me to tell my own tale, one that's just as enthralling as a work by my favorite authors or directors. They did it, so why can't I? Anything is possible! That excitement I feel can carry me through the first round of notes or even an entire first draft, as I pour out all of my ideas in some semblance of order. (They'll make sense during the revision stage.)

Sure, part of me—that curmudgeonly internal editor—tries to halt me in my tracks every chance he gets. "Your stories are never as good as you want them to be," he'll say. Or "Enjoy those favorite books and movies, knowing you'll never write anything even close." Or "Be a reader, or a cinephile. Give up writing. The world has too many writers already."

The problem is, I can't help myself. Good stories inspire me to write good stories, whether or not I succeed. I do the absolute best I can, share them with readers, and then move on to the next. Because there's always another tale waiting to be told, just beneath the surface. And I never run dry, thanks to the authors and directors who continue to impress me with their gift of storytelling.

Lately I've been reading Jeff VanderMeer and Ben H. Winters; both have a strong grasp of characterization and the English language, as does Josiah Bancroft, an incredible writer. I can't wait to read the final installment in his Babel series, which has been a joy to experience. The Expanse series is also ending this year, and I'm very curious how James S. A. Corey will pull that off.

On the movie front, two of my favorite directors released films one week apart. I've been a fan of Denis Villeneuve since Arrival, and then Blade Runner 2049 made me an even bigger fan. But Dune: Part 1 might be his best work yet; I felt like I was watching the book on the big screen! Edgar Wright, whom I've followed since Shaun of the Dead, went a very cool direction with Last Night in Soho, and it was fun—though I might have laughed during a few of the "scary" scenes.

Keep reading. Keep watching. Keep writing. Ray Bradbury warned us about the mindless consumption of mass media interfering with our ability to think deeply. So I do what I can to avoid social media and the idiot box, yet I also want to stay informed about what's going on in the world. It's a balancing act. But I know where I find my inspiration, and too much pablum doesn't do anything for my writing. Instead, I'll find those good stories and dive deep.

Now, where'd I put that book...

New Release — Just in Time for Halloween


In an alternate Victorian era, factory worker Anthony Reynolds seeks to improve his station in life for the sake of his young bride-to-be. Against his better judgment, he joins Richard, a gregarious coworker with social connections, for a night on the town after their late shift. Richard leads them deep into the city’s underworld to a brothel of sorts specializing in the illegal art of mutilation. There Anthony witnesses victims skinned, broken, and mangled without lasting damage due to a special drug that returns them to their original state. Anthony immediately wants to leave, but before he can, Constables raid the establishment. 

While trying to flee the scene, Anthony runs into a giant tumor of a man who spills a viscous fluid on him. Anthony is disfigured by the strange substance, and when the authorities capture him, he is unable to identify himself, let alone speak. What follows is a mind-bending adventure of mistaken identity, multiple realities, and paranoia as Anthony fights to reclaim a simple life he never truly appreciated but now wants more than anything else. Once he learns the truth of his world, nothing will ever be the same again. 

"This brilliant genre mashup brings the gore and mystery in equal measure. Total Recall meets Hellraiser. Just when you’ve figured it out, Fowler dashes your reality with a new twist." 
- Anthony J. Rapino, author of Soundtrack to the End of the World 

"An intriguing novel, a twisting labyrinth of shifting realities, a fast-moving adventure merging the ideas of Philip K. Dick and David Cronenberg. Highly Recommended." 
- Deborah Walker, author of Future Tales 2101

Update: Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque

The original cover art is complete for my next novel, Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque, and the final stage prior to publication will be layout and design. This is my first experience working with Montag Press, and while a small outfit, they're a professional bunch. Here's a sneak peek at Pierluigi Abbondanza's cool artwork, which really captures the atmosphere of this weird book:


Can't wait to see what the finished product looks like. Madame Antic's is the first installment in The Interdimensionals trilogy, with the next two books drafted and undergoing edits. Victorian surrealism or alt-Victorian horror with a sci-fi angle is a blast to write, and I hope you enjoy reading this crazy yarn as much as I enjoyed spinning it. Unlike anything I've done before, it should appeal to fans of China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, and Josiah Bancroft. Stay tuned for a release date...

Attending My First Con

I'll be at the inaugural BasedCon later this month, speaking on a few panels about writing, publishing, humorous sci-fi, and the future of science fiction & fantasy. Author Robert Kroese is spearheading the event as an alternative for authors and SFF fans with conservative, libertarian, and/or Judeo-Christian beliefs. As cancel culture quickly becomes the fascist rule of law, it's tough to be heard if you don't subscribe to the mob's groupthink and newspeak. I've always been a free thinker with rebellious tendencies, so I like the idea of a con for outsiders who enjoy good stories over message fiction.

For the past decade, I've worked with numerous editors and publishers who haven't shared my particular belief system, and it's worked out quite well — because we've respected each other. But times have changed. The world isn't as inclusive as it used to be, and differences of opinion are seldom tolerated. We're divided with ever-increasing tribal tendencies. Unfortunately, there are many venues now where a straight white Christian male such as myself no longer has a voice.

I'm not joining a refurbished tribe of sad puppies. I'm not looking for an echo chamber where we can beat our drums of discontent. The truth is, I'm often too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals. I've never really fit in with any group. But this is an opportunity to speak about something I love: writing a good story. I'm looking forward to venturing into unknown territory and hopefully learning a few things along the way. I'll let you know how it goes.

Kindle Vella is Live — So is My New Novel

Newly promoted investigator Sera Chen is having a rough week. Her partner is a clone of the man she killed, whose ghost still haunts her nightmares. Her boss seems to be going out of his way to block her investigation. And not only has a dangerous criminal escaped from custody, but a bizarre cult may be involved in a rash of deaths across the Ten Domes of Eurasia. 

Life has always been precious, but it's even more so now with the last remnants of humankind living in ten interconnected biospheres along the Mediterranean Sea. When dust freaks threaten to disrupt the delicate equilibrium of the Domes, it will take a demigod to balance the scales. But even with her special abilities, Sera must first overcome her demons before she can stop a powerful force intent on total domination.

Read the first 3 chapters for free:  Details Here

Editing Update

The first half of 2021 has flown the coop, and on the writing front, it's been all about those edits. First up was Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque, which will be available later this year from Montag Press. After three productive rounds with my editor, the manuscript is good to go, and now some original cover art is in the works. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

While the plot's fresh in my mind, I figured it would be a good idea to edit the sequel, and I'm about halfway through Underground (working title). So far, so good. At the same time, I received word that Amazon is trying something new for them: serialized fiction. Kindle Vella should be available to readers within the next month or two, and if nothing else, it's motivating me to polish up Dust Freaks & Demigods, the novel I drafted at the end of last year. I'm posting one chapter at a time, and this week I'm working on #10. It'll be interesting to see how Vella works out and how popular it is, but I'm always up for trying a different avenue to expand my audience.

Whenever I need a break from editing, I've been sprucing up the cover art on my backlist. Thanks to Pixabay and Canva, the new graphics are turning out pretty well and haven't cost me a thing. You're welcome to check them out at your favorite online bookstore: Amazon, Apple, AudibleBarnes & NobleKobo. If all goes according to plan, I might attract a few new readers who do judge books by their covers.

Captain Quasar Audiobook 3

Amazon
      Apple      Audible

The Captain Quasar audio trilogy is now complete! In this final installment, our hero is beside himself. Literally. Because he's dealing with a multiverse conundrum, and if he's going to save the day, he'll need the help of his other selves to do it. More than one Quasar will have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save all of reality from an extinction-level event at the hands of a ravenous extradimensional threat: the Void. This one was a blast to write, and it's even more fun to hear. Enjoy!

Captain Quasar Audiobook 2

Amazon      Apple      Audible

The second audio installment in the Captain Quasar trilogy is now available! Unlike The Space-Time Conundrum, this one's more episodic. Not surprising, since I wrote the first half without realizing I was writing a novel. (I thought I was writing a series of novelettes. Shows how much I know!) Quasar and his intrepid crew must brave dangerous aliens, killer robots, vicious space pirates, and a mysterious artificial intelligence in order to build the United Earth Fleet and return home, where all new perils await. Mwahaha...

Captain Quasar Audiobook 1

Amazon      Apple      Audible

The first installment in the Captain Quasar trilogy is now available in audio, thanks to the fine folks at Tantor Media. Eric Michael Summerer did a fantastic job bringing it to life. His style is his own, but the flavor is close enough to E.M. Carberry's that listeners won't notice a huge disparity between the Captain's Log audiobooks and the novels. Looking forward to hearing Books 2 & 3, which should be available in the next few weeks.
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