I Suck at NaNoWriMo and Here’s Why I Think that’s OK

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http://nanowrimo.org/

So, I totally suck at NaNo…I mean, who really has time to write 50K words around Thanksgiving?! Oh, you do? Um, that’s great, but I’m not a superhero!

Have I written this month? Yes! Was it a lot? No! And, you know what? I’m OK with that. I think I’d rather write when I feel inspired than write when I feel like I’m being forced. Sure, I’d love to be one of those people that can post, “2K words today! #amwriting” But, what were those 2K words? In order to meet my word count does that mean I just word vomited all over my screen?  What good does that do me? What good does it do my WIP? NOTHING!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that NaNo is a thing. I mean, if you need motivation like that to write, then do it. For me, however, it feels like I’m back at school and my teacher is telling me have an assignment due. I hate writing when someone tells me to. Yeah, I know, I’m a crybaby.

I’ve tried NaNoWriMo every year and every year I fail….so…hard. I’ve just learned that it’s not for me. What does work for me? What works for you?

I honestly think it’s different for me all the time. Maybe my muse has a split personality. There are days I might need peace and absolute quiet. Perhaps, I need a little bit of music the next. Sometimes, I can hash out 2K words, in a day, sitting in front of my computer. Other times, I have to use pen and paper. Well, let’s be honest, it’s a pencil because I make too many mistakes to use a pen!

My point is this, find what works for you. If you fail at NaNo, but end up finishing your novel in January or a year from now, then oh freaking well! I see that as a success! Do you know how hard it is to write a book?!

Does that mean you give up? Um, no! We don’t give up; we’re writers, we finish that book and then second guess everything we wrote. Does that mean you put your novel to the side from time to time? Yes, by all means, do that if you’re not liking where the story is going. For the love of all that is holy, don’t force it. Work on something else. There is no shame in taking more than a month to get through that rough draft.

You just keep writing, sweet pea.

~A

 

Rhiannon Frater: Zombies, Vampires, and Ghosts, Oh My!

Asking Rhiannon Frater to be a part of this Halloween themed Author feature was a no-brainer. Her book, The Living Dead Boy, has stuck with me from the moment I turned that last page. The world(s) and characters she creatures is evidence of her immense talent. I have been a fan of the zombie genre for so long that it’s hard to surprise me, much less, impress me. When a friend (thanks Elyse) suggested this book I went into it with an open mind, but still not expecting much. I was so wrong! The story was fresh and mature despite the young age of the main character. I became an instant fan. There is much more to her writing credits than zombies. What else does she write? You’ll just have to find out!

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog). She was born and raised in Texas where she currently resides with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes. She’s the co-host of the ZCast, a Z Nation Fan Podcast.

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Here are some free books by Rhiannon. Thanks for sharing these with us!
The Tale of the Vampire Bride – http://bit.ly/talevb1
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In Darkness We Must Abide- http://bit.ly/RFindarkness1

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Author Questions

 

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

R. From the moment I understood what a book was. So…toddler age? As soon as I learned to talk I was telling stories. As soon as I learned to write, I was writing stories. I was born to do this.

A. In what genre do you write?

R. I write under the umbrella of speculative fiction. I used to classify myself as more of a horror writer, but the genre, as defined now, leans more toward the slasher/gore type stuff. That isn’t my style. I don’t like writing for shock value. I love writing about people facing horrific situations, and fighting back.
So which genre do my books fit into? I’ve had long discussions with readers, and have discovered that they slot my books it different genres. Urban Fantasy, paranormal fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, and even paranormal romance. I honestly think the only series I’ve written that fits paranormal romance is In Darkness We Must Abide, but people interpret the books as they see fit.

So I wave the speculative fiction flag and let readers decide for themselves.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

R. Well, I used to say science fiction, but I’ve now written a few books that fit into that genre. It is my first love, and I have a soft spot for it. I love writing stories with something otherworldly in the mix. I’m not really interested in genres outside of the ones I’ve already explored. I’ve had requests for erotica and romances, but those are just not my thing.

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

R. I dream a story. I write down the details I remember in Workflowy. I let the idea germinate. When the time is right, I flip on the movie screen in my mind, watch the action, and type it out in yWriter. I don’t outline, I don’t plot. Whenever I hit a snag, I ruminate while playing Guild Wars 2. I try to write every day when working on a book because that’s the best way to keep the story flowing. I now keep Pinterest boards for my works in progress, and I noticed that really helps anchor me solidly to the world of my imagination.

Long, long ago, I wrote by hand, and destroyed my wrists and my basal thumb joints. I can barely write by hand anymore, so I’m strictly an ergonomic keyboard girl.

A. Writing can do a number on your wrists! 

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

R. The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Agatha Christie, and Neil Gaiman.

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

R. It depends on the book. If they take place in the modern world and in Texas, it’s pretty easy to just bang that out on the keyboard. The Pretty When She Dies trilogy and As The World Dies trilogy were a lot easier to craft because they both fit that criteria. The Mesmerized was inspired by my honeymoon in Las Vegas, so I kept images of the strip and a map on my screen while writing. The Vampire Bride Dark Rebirth trilogy was a lot more demanding because it takes place in Eastern Europe during the Regency Era. I did probably a year of research before I even started the first book. My husband often helps me with weaponry and tech. Though my science fiction books are pure speculation of the future, I do try to base it off of stuff in development now.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

R. It really depends on the book. For Pretty When She Dies it was a lot of PJ Harvey, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and music like that. For my recent book, The Lament of the Vampire Bride, it was the Jane Eyre soundtrack. It’s always changing, book to book.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

R. I binge-watch television shows with my hubby, read, play lots of video games, and hang out with loved ones. I was really ill last year and still recovering, so I’ve been a homebody. I do hope to get out more and do some traveling when I’m back to normal. I miss the convention circuit.

A. Conventions are so much fun! I hope you get back to it soon. 

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

R. I was invited to the South Dakota Book Festival, and that was just an amazing experience. I was interviewed on television about my books for the first time, sat on some panels, did my own presentation, and did a mass book signing. For some reason, that weekend made me feel like a “real” writer.

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

R. Claudia McKinney of PhatPuppyArt has done a lot of my covers, including the ones from Permuted Press. My Tor covers are done in-house by their art department. My foreign editions are also done by my publishers’ art departments.

Recently, my husband has been creating covers for my indie books.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

R. Well, I love Felicia Sullivan. She’s an amazing editor. And Kody Boye always makes my indie books look amazing. He’s an awesome formatter.

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

My newest release (as of October 25th) is Lost in Texas: The Living Dead Boy 2. It’s the sequel to The Living Dead Boy. It’s a zombie book geared at all ages. I would describe it as the Goonies versus the zombies. I wrote the first book for the youngest zombie fans, but adults really love it, too. The books are about Josh, a twelve-year-old zombie fanatic, and his friends. They’re part of the Zombie Hunters Club, and love all things zombie. When the undead invade their school, the kids have to rely on their knowledge of zombies to survive. Though the books are not as gory as my adult zombie series (As The World Dies trilogy, The Last Bastion series), they’re pretty scary. I’m currently working on the third book in the Living Dead Boy trilogy, Journey Across Zombie Texas, to round out the series. After that, I may take a break from zombies, and write a gothic horror novel.

A. I’m so pumped for book 2 for The Living Dead Boy!

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The Living Dead Boy on Amazon

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

R. Halloween is a way of life for me. I love it. I’m Goth so it’s basically Christmas for me. Furthermore, I was married on Halloween so it has additional importance.

A. Married on Halloween!? That’s awesome! 

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

R. My hubby and I usually go to a nice dinner together, and if it’s on the weekend, we hit the local goth club. If it’s a weekday, we usually watch a Halloween themed movie like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

R. Absolutely. I have zero doubts about that.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

R. Yes. More times than I can relate. I lived in two haunted houses. After a while, the paranormal stuff became normal. I remember we had guests over one day and were chatting in our living room. From the kitchen came the sound of every single dish, pan, glass, silverware, etc., falling out of the cabinets. It was deafening. But to my family, it was the same old, same old. We ignored it because we knew if we went into the kitchen nothing would be out of place. Our guests were surprised when we shrugged off the noise. They ignored us when we said it was nothing, and ran to the kitchen. When they saw that not one plate was out of place, they freaked out and fled. And never came back.

We just carried on as usual.

A. That’s freaky! 

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

R. I have too many favorite scary movies to pick from, but the scariest book I read was Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I couldn’t sleep with the lights off for a few days after finishing it.

A. I’ve never read the book, but the 1979 movie really freaked me out! 

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

R. I avoid sugar, but I used to love candy corn.

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Pretty When She Dies on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

R. Anne Rice. Without a doubt.

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

R. Jane Eyre because of Jane Eyre. Jane is just an amazing woman, and one of the first feminist characters I read about. She’s wonderfully complicated and smart. I just adore her.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

R. I regard films as alternative universes to books. In a way, they’re fan fiction films. The one book I really wanted to see as a film is now in production. That’s The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

R. I have a long list. LOL. I really hate when author’s make a woman angry all the time with a chip on her shoulder to make her appear “strong.” No, that just makes her an asshole. I hate when a plot depends on a misunderstanding that would be resolved in a one minute conversation. I also don’t enjoy books that depend on violence for shock value, or use rape of a woman as a plot device so the male character can get revenge.
A. I agree. I don’t think like senseless, unnecessary violence. 

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

R. Life is too short. I have learned to walk away. As a writer, I’m aware that a book is not for all readers. Each one has its own audience.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

R. The books I read for enjoyment have a supernatural or science fiction element. When I research, I cast a wider net.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

R. Since I wrecked my hands by handwriting my first books in my teens, I use a Kindle. It’s a lot easier to hold. The last time I read a regular book, I was in so much pain I had to buy the Kindle version to finish.

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Pretty When She Kills on Amazon

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

R. Night of the Living Dead, Aliens, Rear Window, That Touch of Mink, Mad Max Fury Road, and so many more.

A. Favorite TV show?

R. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

R. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.

A. There’s no cooking like mom’s cooking.

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

R. Chocolate gelato served in Italy. Nothing compares.

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

R. Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and PJ Harvey are default.

A. What’s your hidden talent?

R. I’m a damn good shot with a pistol.

A. What is your dream vacation?

R. Venice in October. I can’t wait to go back.

A. Me too! 

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Pretty When She Destroys on Amazon

Contact Information:

You can find her online at:

Website: rhiannonfrater.com

Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.frater

Tumblr: http://rhiannonfrater.tumblr.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=340109912&trk=spm_pic

Google+: https://plus.google.com/113336058823746385572/posts

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhiannon-Frater/e/B0027DLFL6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2310121.Rhiannon_Frater

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/

Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

 

 

Lords of Vengeance: Bart Hamilton

I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you to Bart Hamilton. I met Bart at the Athens Catfish Literary Festival this past summer. His book covers looked pretty stinking awesome (yes, I judge books by their covers) so I had to walk over and check them out. I was glad I did because not only did I find some really well written YA books, I made a new author friend! It doesn’t hurt that Bart is one of the nicest people on the planet.

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Bart’s books, the Lords of Vengeance series, are action/adventure tales for young adults, but they’re those types of books that even adults can enjoy. Personally, I like books that focus on teens who are thrown into dire circumstances and, as the reader, we get to watch how they handle it.

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Lords of Vengeance: The Alpha

Author Questions

A. When you realize you wanted to be an author?

B. I used to tell stories as a kid. My mom, sister, and I would drive to Decatur every Monday to see my Ma-maw and Pap-Paw and I would be just talking away the whole time. Eventually, my mother was like “You know, you should write this stuff down on paper.” It was a nice way of telling me to shut up. That’s when the seed was planted, I suppose.

A. In what genre do you write?

B. Young adult. Action/Adventure

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

B. I’ve always wanted to try Fantasy or Science Fiction. Maybe one day I will.

A. What is your writing process? Such as outlining, freehand, and computer vs. pen?

B. I don’t do outlines. I feel really restricted when I try them. I like to change plans and if you don’t stick to the outline then there’s no point in having it anyway. I do everything on the computer.

A. Who are your writing inspirations, famous or not?

B. I grew up reading Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, and other Christian Fiction authors.

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novels?

B. A little bit. You always need to get your facts straight before you put it on a page. For instance, I researched the effects of a gunshot on the human body. For this next book, I’m going to be writing a scene about the Stock Exchange so I’m going to do some research on that.

A. Do you ever find the research tedious? It is for your novels, but is there any time you’re like, “Oh gosh, why did I chose this topic?”

B. Some topics are harder to research than others. For instance, one character in my next novel will have cancer resulting from radiation poisoning. That…is going to be a pain to research. So, the answer is yes.

A. Do you listen to music as you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

B. Yes! All the time! I listen to a lot of instrumental music. Movie composers like Hans Zimmer and John Williams. Lindsey Stirling. I also love a group call Two Steps from Hell.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

B. I enjoy playing video games, reading books, and going running. I’m also into Theater. I’m a member of the Athenian Players.

A. You have to tell us more about being an actor. What is about theater that draws you? 

B. I’m a bit of introvert and theater gives me a chance to be the exact opposite. When you’re onstage, everyone is there to see you. Shyness melts away and someone else comes out. It’s fun.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

B. I’ve been on TV multiple times. That never gets old.

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

B. The spectacular Lisa Buijteweg! She is on Twitter under the handle @Zolaiida if you want to contact her.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

B. Angie Paule is my editor and I love her so much. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her.

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

B. My newest novel is the third of the series. It’s titled “Lords of Vengeance: The Giant”. To use Stephen King’s what if advice when describing a novel…What if a secret, wealthy organization began training kids (prodigies) at 16 years of age for the next five years to be spies, assassins, computer hackers, or scientists? What if that organization came under attack by people it had made into enemies?

A. That’s a really good blurb for your book! Are they easy to write for you? Some authors dread having to condense their novel into a single paragraph. 

B. Not hard, really. You just need to stop and think about it for a while. Try doing it for your favorite TV show or Movie for practice.

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Lords of Vengeance: The Ascension

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

B. –I do like Halloween! It’s the one time of the year where it’s socially acceptable to be someone other than yourself.

 

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

B. For the past few years. I’ve dressed up in a costume, got several bags of candy, and gave it out to people I know. And to a few I don’t.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

B. Yes, I do. I am a Christian, after all.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just can’t explain?

B. I have. After my grandmother passed away, I “dreamed” she came to me. We talked. She told me she loved me and then told me about some personal things that were headed my way. They have come true. It wasn’t scary. I think God gave her special permission to do it. She could sweet talk anyone. LOL.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

B. Amanda Porter’s Darkness Trilogy. That chick can write!

A. Oh, stop it! 😉 

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

B. KIT KATS!

 Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

B. J.K. Rowling, obviously.

A. SAME!

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

B. Star Wars: Episode III. It was just so brilliantly written. The movie didn’t do it justice. It really inspired me to examine the duality of my characters when I started writing. The darkness that resides in all humans, the capability of doing good or evil, is something that makes for good characterization.

A. Oooo! You must tell us your opinion of the new Star Wars era. Did you enjoy the new movie? 

B. I loved the new movie! Took me back to my childhood. I like the new continuity, but I really miss the characters in the old one. Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin were Han and Leia’s kids. Mara Jade was Luke’s wife and Ben was his son. Now it’s all gone…

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

B. I’m all for books being made into films if it gets people to want to read more. As for which book I’d like to see be made into a film…MINE. 😀

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

B. The lack of plot movement and character development. You might as well be reading a textbook if it doesn’t have either of those. Not that there’s anything wrong with reading a textbook.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

B. I wish I could say that I always finish it, but I don’t. If I’m not enjoying it, I’ll put it down.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

B. I read around. I like Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Christian Fiction.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

B. I like it in my hands. E-books are easier, true, but they’re odorless. I love the smell of books, old and new. Smell triggers memory and I want to remember what I read.

A. There is nothing better than that new book smell!

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Lords of Vengeance: The Giant

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

B. Superman. The Richard Donner film.

A. Favorite TV show?

B. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A. Yes! Buffy Summers is my girl crush! 

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

B. Papa John’s Pizza!

A. And what topping(s) would be on this pizza?

B. Supreme! Olives, pepperoni, sausage, and anything else they can throw on there. LOL!

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

B. Chocolate Oreo Truffles!

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Two Steps from Hell, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Lindsey Stirling, and The Piano Guys.

A. What’s your hidden talent?

B. Martial Arts

A. How long have you been training?

B. Since high school. I’m not saying I’m Batman or anything, but then again, you’ll never see us both in the same place.

A. What is your dream vacation?

B. Venice, Italy

Contact Information:

Author Name: Bart H. Hamilton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbart/?fref=ts

Twitter: @bartavious

 

Saturday Snippets-How I Edit

I tend to work on my book throughout the week, but for some reason Saturday is usually a day that I get a good bit done. Considering that I’m finished with Book 3 (Heck Yeah!) I am heavily into edits. So, that is occupying a lot of my time.

In my house, I’m the early riser. I think it’s just a personality trait. I can’t sleep late. I actually hate sleeping too late. It makes me feel off for the entire day. Also, the quiet of the early morning hours are always the best times to work.

So, what did I work on this morning? Or rather, how do I work on edits for my book? I don’t do grammatical edits. Sure, if I see them I correct them, but what I do is check for consistency and make sure I didn’t write something out of left field that is out of character for the book and its residents. 🙂

I can’t do it all in one sitting and my memory is terrible so in order to keep up with where I left off, I highlight as I go. Example:

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There are other steps to this process. For the most part, I lock myself away from everyone so I can concentrate. Sometimes, I don’t listen to anything and read the story out lout, but then other times I want some sort of noise in the background so I listen to music. It could be instrumental or lyrical. There are so many artists that I listen too so it would hard to make a list!

I’ve found that Spotify is a great way to make playlists though. I have songs I listen to while I write or songs that get me into certain moods.

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Louisa Wendorff is fantastic. You should listen to her!

I LOVE Spotify! I use iTunes for T-Swift though. I’ve always been a fan. I think she’s a poet who puts her magical prose to a beat. 🙂 I am loving this 1989 album. Y’all check out the song “Clean.” It’s amazing!

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I usually put my earbuds in, too. Even if I’m alone. It just seems to help me focus.

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Don’t mind my bed head!

So there you have it! This is my editing process. Is it the right way? Who knows. It’s just what works for me.

Happy Saturday!

~A

YA Book Signing at New Hope Public Library; Meet Author A.G. Porter

A.G. Porter

A.G. Porter

I’ve introduced you to Melanie and Ashley, but now it’s time to get to know me a bit more. I use this questionnaire for my author interviews, but have never answered the questions myself. They’re a lot tougher than I thought. Ha!

A.G. Porter is the author of The Darkness Trilogy, a YA Paranormal Thriller. She is an Independent Author who enjoys writing scary stories as much as she loves reading them. A.G. enjoys writing stories about real people in supernatural situations. She also puts a lot of her faith into her books because she knows that without Christ she is lost and without God she is nothing. Currently, A.G. is working on the last book in the trilogy. When she isn’t writing, she’s either taking pictures, reading, making nerdy jewelry, watching movies, or spending much needed time with her family. A.G. lives in New Hope, Alabama with her husband, Billy, stepson, Brenton, and their 4 dogs.

The Shadow; Book One in The Darkness Trilogy

The Shadow; Book One in The Darkness Trilogy

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I’m going to give the most cliché answer ever here. I’ve always loved writing. I feel like it’s been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. However, it wasn’t until I was in the 9th grade that the writing bug really sunk its teeth in and wouldn’t let go.

In what genre do you write?

I write in the Paranormal genre for Young Adults.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

There are so many different genres I’d like to try my hand at. I really would like to delve into Epic Fantasy. I actually started writing a series nearly 7 years ago, but it has gotten so in depth with history, characters, and location. Yes, I’ve even drawn a map!

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

I just free style it. I have an idea in my head, but I don’t outline. The fantasy book is as outlined as I have ever been and that really surprised me. With that series though, I had to write everything down. There is just too much to keep up with. However, my other stories aren’t outlined or any details written out prior to going into it. I just let it flow. I’ll start with a journal and then get it all transcribed on screen.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

I have met some great authors over my time “in the field.” So, there are definitely a few that have inspired me in different ways. Ashley Chappell, Brian Weimer, Jeremy Hicks, and Kyle Hannah, just to name a few. There are a few authors I have been reading for years that have been great influences, such as, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and R.L Stine.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

Since my work is primarily fiction, I didn’t have to do much research. My books take place in a real town, so I at least studied the area prior to writing about it.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

I do listen to music while I write and edit, but it’s different for each process. When I’m writing I’ll listen to lyrical music, such as, Three Days Grace (before Adam left), Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence, Taylor Swift, Christina Perri, Our Last Night, and Andie Case, just to name a few. If I’m editing then I have to listen to something instrumental because the lyrics mess me up. I love listening to Lindsey Sterling.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I love photography! It doesn’t matter what kind. I also make nerdy jewelry, such as, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and I even make ribbon bookmarks. I try and touch many fandoms like Supernatural, Doctor Who, LOTR, The Walking Dead, etc. I sell them through my side company, Nerdy Deeds Jewelry. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerdy-Deeds-Jewelry-and-More/301073200078500?fref=ts

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

I have had many memorable moments, but nothing beats hearing from people who enjoy my books. It just gives me butterflies every time someone loves my stories as much as I do.

Who created your amazing cover art?

I’ve worked with two amazing artists, Mel Gannon and TaniaART. They are simply beautiful souls and talented beyond my expectations. I have been so blessed to know them.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor, or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

There are really too many to name, but I can’t thank all of the people who have been Beta Readers enough. Your feedback is priceless.

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I’m in the final writing stages of Book 3 of The Darkness Trilogy. I do not have a “The End” on it yet, but after my rereading I know that there will be one. If you’ve followed Rayna’s journey up until this point then you know it has been a long and dark road. There is much more left of her story and things only get darker. Friendships are tested, love is challenged, and faith means more than anything if she and her group want to defeat The Shadow.

The Forsaken, Book Two in The Darkness Trilogy

The Forsaken, Book Two in The Darkness Trilogy

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, R.L. Stine…Stine has been in my reading life for as long as I can remember. I really think I would flat out fangirl if I ever met him.

It’s completely impossible for a reader to pick their favorite book. However, if you were banished to a deserted island with no hope of returning and were allowed to bring 5 books with you, which ones would you choose?

When writing this question I didn’t realize how difficult it was! Ugh! OK, let me try. First, I would have to bring the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In my defense of combining the three books, Tolkien did want to make it all one big book. It was his editor who split it up. Next, Circle of Fire by R.L. Stine. It completely freaks me out. I love it! Though it might not be a good idea to read a scary book on a deserted island… The third book I would take would be The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. It isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it is the longest so it would take me longer to get through. I still love it even if it’s not my favorite. The fourth book would be The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, because it IS my favorite book in the Harry Potter Series. Lastly, I have to take Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Odd Thomas is my literary soul mate. 🙂

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

I would love to see Garth Nix’s The Abhorsen Trilogy in a movie. I’m not sure how well received it would be considering that it is quite the fantasy ride, but if done well, it will be amazing!!

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Unnecessary graphic language, violence, or sex. Even my own books have an element of violence to them since they are thrillers and there is a supernatural battle taking place. However, if you’re writing these things just for shock value then it is noticeable. I can’t stand that.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

Most of the time I finish the book, but there have been a few times that I couldn’t make myself do it.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I do have a favorite genre, paranormal, but I do read mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Both, really. I love a real, in my hands book though, more than anything.

Fallen Souls; The Darkness Trilogy Novella

Fallen Souls; The Darkness Trilogy Novella

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Jurassic Park, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare before Christmas, The Fifth Element, A Walk to Remember, Spider-Man (with Tobey Maguire), Alien, Corpse Bride…the list goes on!

Favorite TV show?

Supernatural, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, Once Upon a Time, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fringe, X-Files, Criminal Minds, Bones, again, the list goes on.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken Parmesan from Connor’s Steak and Seafood at Bridge Street.

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Reese’s Peanut butter Cups.

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Three Days Grace (before Adam left), Taylor Swift, Our Last Night, Breaking Benjamin, The Rolling Stones, Dashboard Confessional, The Killers, Vance Joy

What’s your hidden talent?

I think I’m a pretty good singer. Definitely not the next Whitney Houston, but I’m alright.

What is your dream vacation?

Going to Ireland and exploring all the old castles.

Contact Information:

Author Name: A.G. Porter

Blog: https://agporter.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TDTAGP

Twitter: https://twitter.com/agporter1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/agporter

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/agporter1/

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/A.G.-Porter/e/B00IQL0P2S/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

 

Fallen Souls The Darkness Trilogy Novella

I want to share some exciting news with you all. Friday I’ll be releasing the Cover Art for Fallen Souls, the Novella for The Darkness Trilogy! I’ll be running a special for The Shadow and The Forsaken leading up to the release of the Novella. The Shadow will be Free and The Forsaken will be $0.99 on Amazon. This will start on Friday, April 17th and end on Tuesday, April 21st. So, if you have been waiting for these ebooks to be cheap and FREE then here is your chance! I’m also doing a pretty cool contest with this over on my Street Team so come and join us if you want to get in on it.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421756684770187/

As you can imagine, I am more than thrilled to be able to release this Novella to the readers. It’s been a while since releasing anything! This Novella isn’t something that anyone can read though. It takes place between books 2 and 3 of The Darkness Trilogy so if you haven’t read those then you don’t want to read the Novella. I do not have a release date for Book 3 nor do I have a title. However, it is being worked and I’m hoping the novella will give you an idea of what is to come. Here is a blurb to give you a hint of what to expect:

Tragedy has struck Rayna Stone’s small town in more ways the one. Not only is she healing from the death of a friend, but Liam is still stuck in a coma that she knows is The Shadow’s doing. While she, Jayce, Logan and the other Gifted try to find a way to save him, The Shadow is working behind the scenes, gathering his own army for something that none of them expects. Secrets are revealed about Rayna’s past that leave her with only more questions and she might find out who The Shadow is and what he wants from her. Rayna questions her ability to to save Liam and to defeat The Shadow when the unthinkable happens. Can she stop the darkness that has invaded her life before it consumes everything and everyone she loves?

Author Elizabeth Seckman is TAKING OVER with her book Defying Reason

It Wasn’t Always Diamonds….

Rings seem to have represented the unity of couples since we were living in caves. Okay, so nobody really knows this, there are no drawings of bling on cave walls. We do know the ancient Egyptians wore thin bands of metal on their left hand to show the connection of hearts via the vena amoris. In Victorian times, it was popular to exchange rings with the lover’s birth stones. Another popular ring ring spelled out L(apis lazuli) O(pal) V(ermarine) E(merald) in the stones. It seems the rise in the popularity of the diamond engagement ring started with DeBeers. It was the diamond companies excellent marketing strategies that seemed to make the diamond solitaire ring the symbol of love we’re most familiar with. And ladies, we can also thank them for the ten year anniversary band. Is the tennis bracelet necessary for the twenty-third? If not, maybe they can get their publicity department on it…mine is coming up!

defying reason big

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock. Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities. Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands. A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

Author Elizabeth Seckman

Author Elizabeth Seckman

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach.

FacebookBlogWebsiteBuy Link

Local Authors Expo at the Birmingham Public Library

Hello y’all,

This Saturday I’ll be in Birmingham, AL at the Local Author Expo at the Central Branch of The Birmingham Public Library. It starts at 9:00AM and is ends at 3:00PM. From what I understand there will be over 100+ authors at the Expo of all genres! This event is going to fantastic!

local authors2015

Some of my authors will be there! Here are a few you need to check out!

Author Ashley

Ashley Chappell is a YA author of many talents and sweet to the core. She also writes satire and if that is your thing then you must check out Of War & Taters! It is hilarious! Not only does Ashley write, but she, I and several other superduper ladies are heading up the first ever literary festival in Huntsville, AL this year. It is the Rocket City Lit Festival (RCLF). Ashley has put in many, many hours to make our festival dreams come true. We are a team, but every team needs a great leader, she is definitely ours and boy has she done the most amazing job! If you want to know more about the RCLF then just follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/RocketCityLitFest

http://www.rocketcitylitfest.com/

RCLF

Amazon Page for Ashley:

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Chappell/e/B00AQIN99U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105365&sr=1-1

 

Kyle Hannah

Kyle Hannah is one of those gentleman who is just that, a gentleman. He has a love for history, which translates well into his Time Assassins series. Time Assassins is a time traveling adventure like no other; just imagine having the job of protecting our history?!? Being in the military for over 28 years you would think that Kyle would be this hard-nosed, rule following and hard to talk to sort of guy, but in truth, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Still, there isn’t a shy bone in his body! 😉

Amazon Page for Kyle:

http://www.amazon.com/R.-Kyle-Hannah/e/B00876V5LW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105619&sr=1-1

 

Keeton

B.J. Keeton is the phenomenal steampunk author of the Nimbus series and Birthright, the first in his science fiction trilogy. B.J. wears many hats; he’s not only a writers, but also a teacher and a runner. He has impressed me with his ability to mesh his love of all things geek with a healthy lifestyle. The dedication that it takes to write, get your health under control, teach and just mange your day-to-day life is astounding! If it sounds like something you’re interested in then check out his Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/geekfitnessnet?fref=nf

Amazon Page for B.J. Keeton:

http://www.amazon.com/B.J.-Keeton/e/B00C896UU0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Amy Leigh Strickland

Amy Leigh Strickland is well known for her Olympia Heights series and for a good reason. My stepson is currently on the first book of the series, Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, and is enjoying it immensely. When I first met Amy at the Alabama Phoenix Festival last year on the panel we shared, my first thought was, “Who the heck is this girl, where did she come and why do I love her brain so much?” Amy is so well spoken, spunky, witty and downright adorable.

Amazon Page for Amy:

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Leigh-Strickland/e/B006LM3ZUS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Brian Weimer

Brian Weimer was another author I met at the Alabama Phoenix festival. We were both new to the convention scene so we became fast friends. His book, Nexus, caught my attention right away and after the convention I started reading it and devoured it within a few days! I probably could have read it in sitting if I didn’t have to do inconvenient things like eat, sleep and work. The novel took the supernatural and science fiction and blended the two in a way that I hadn’t seen in long time or ever really. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel to Nexus, Brian!

Amazon Page for Brian:

http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Weimer/e/B00KQO36DI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105773&sr=1-1

Femnista~A Family Affair and Beyond Blood with The Winchesters

In December I was able to contribute an article to the wonderful online magazine Femnista about my favorite TV show Supernatural! I can’t thank Charity Bishop enough for letting me sneak in at the last minute on this issue. There was no way I was going to miss out on the chance to write about the Winchesters!

Before you get in the to wonderful magazine, please take a moment to check out more of Charity’s work. She is also an author who is beyond talented!

http://www.charitysplace.com/

To see the full magazine that is full of articles that are focused on this month’s theme, “A Family Affair”, go here:

http://issuu.com/femnista/docs/nov_dec_femnista_2014/0

Beyond Blood

S14

For some, there is nothing we wouldn’t do for our families. Without a doubt we’d walk through fire for them, take a bullet them, or walk through hell and back. If you’re a Winchester then you’ve probably done all of the above and more than once. That’s because The Winchesters aren’t your average family. They come from a long line of Hunters, people who make it the family business to hunt things (monsters and demons) and save people.

S6

The dynamics of the Winchester family can seem to be all over the place. John, father of Dean and Sam, is more or less a absent parent after his wife, Mary, is killed. He is so consumed with finding the demon (you read that correctly) that killed Mary that at times he leaves his young sons to fend for themselves. While this forms an unbreakable bond between the boys it also creates a strain that same relationship.

S1

Dean sees his father as the man who did what he had to do to find justice for his mother’s killer even if that meant leaving him to take care of Sam from time to time; at least for a while. Sam can’t seem to see past the fact that his dad was gone most of the time. Their relationship is rocky from the start, but regardless of that, Sam loves his father.

S11

S5

Dean, who is several years older, starts looking out for his younger brother Sam (Sammy) at such a young age that it is pretty much ingrained in him. When his mother is killed, it takes place in their home; Dean must take Sam, a baby at the time, outside to safety. From that moment on, Dean feels that he must take Sam under his wing and keep him safe. In any situation that the boys are in Dean is always looking out for his brother. That is why he sacrificed so much, even his own soul for him.

S10

For Sam, he wanted to get out of the monster hunting business and live as normal a life as possible. For a while, he was able to, but he’s a Winchester and a Hunter and happiness just isn’t in their cards. Sam, as goodhearted as he is, is marked from a child to do bad things and be a dark person, but he chooses the light and overcomes his fate. While he is the baby brother he is smart, selfless and brave; Sam works just hard to prove himself as a worthy Hunter as well a human being.

S9

As opposite as Dean and Sam are, there is one thing that both of have in common, it is the love they have for their family. Here’s the thing about the brothers, family is more than blood to them. They’ve adopted family members along the way and those same people have adopted them. From a surrogate father in Bobby Singer, brothers like Kevin and Cas, to a kid sister like Charlie, the brothers give love and love in return. So, yes, Supernatural is about brothers who fighter the forces of evil and happens to look fantastic while doing it, but it is also about brothers who have given their all in every way imaginable.

S13

*I do not own the rights to these photos

T.H. Morris and The 11th Percent

T.H. Morris

T.H. Morris

T.H. Morris is a lifelong writer who was born in 1984 and raised in Colerain, North Carolina. He has been living in Greensboro, North Carolina for the past twelve years. He is an avid reader, primarily in the genre of science fiction and fantasy because he enjoys creating people, situations, and worlds. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and spent several years as a therapist and mental health clinician. He has been writing in some way, shape, or form ever since he was strong enough to hold a pen or pencil, but the expectation of securing and maintaining a traditional 40 hour job was the expectation of all around him. The call of writing never diminished, though, and soon became too powerful to ignore. Morris began writing The 11th Percent in 2011, and is currently working on its sequel. He still resides in Greensboro, with his wife of six years.

Enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The 11th Percent here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba8215/?

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I would have to say that it was in the fourth grade. My teacher, Miss Joyner, assigned us the task of writing these nine to ten page “books,” which were simply notebook paper bound with construction paper and yarn. Once we’d written them, she sprung on us that we would be reading them to the other fourth grade class. When I read my little story, a bunch of the kids loved it. That planted the seed in me, and it never left me. (Started early, I like it! Good teachers will do that for you. Go Teachers!)

In what genre do you write?

Paranormal Mystery.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

Science Fiction, or any other genre that involves stretching my mind beyond the “logical.” I don’t do logical; far too confining, my opinion. (Science Fiction is far out of my comfort zone, but I do want to tackle it one day as well. Good luck!)

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

I don’t do in depth plot lines; my mind just doesn’t work that way. What I did was sit down and create bullet points of everything I wanted to cover, and then expand the bullets as I wrote. I did 2500 words a day, not rising until that was met. I write the entire book freehand, and then type it as is. Then I do the revisions. This is the process that works best for me. (You actually met your word count each day? Wow, you’re dedicated. Haha!)

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Sharon Shinn, Beverly Cleary, Lynne Reid Banks, R.L. Stine, Judy Blume, Tamora Pierce, Patricia Cornwell, J.K. Rowling, Patti Roberts, Elizabeth Wyke, Dzintra Sullivan, Meg Cabot, James Patterson, Nat Russo, Alan J. Garner, Matthew Arkin. (R.L. Stine! I fangirl over him…like all of the time…all the time)

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

My main character, Jonah Rowe, appeared in my head nearly complete and defined; he came to me in a seven-hour, uninterrupted dream concerning the idea for my series. After he came along, the other characters seemed to follow behind him, ready-made and saying “Hello!” Truth be told, I didn’t do too much research. The story just flowed in freefall from my heart. (I love when characters are born that way!)

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

Smooth jazz, preferably with no vocals. My favorites to listen to are Boney James, Paul Hardcastle, Wayman Tisdale, and Jeffery Smith

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

Spending time with my wife, watching Netflix, exercising, and gaming. 

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Discovering that I had this in me. If you told me five years ago that I would be writing a paranormal mystery series, I would have kindly told you to go to the doctor for a checkup. Yet I’m writing one. A series that will eventually be SEVEN books. And it won’t stop there! I have other ideas after The 11th Percent Series. Four series are sitting in my head right now! Sometimes I still ask myself “Where did all these characters and stories come from?” (Never lose that creative spirit!)

11th Percent

The 11th Percent

Who created your amazing cover art?

The infinitely talented Patti Roberts of Paradox Cover Art!

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

The 11th Percent is a paranormal story that takes place in North Carolina. It follows the everyman Jonah Rowe, who is a bored, unfulfilled, and listless accountant who has literary aspirations. He simply wants his life to mean something. He gets his wish in a very rude fashion; he discovers that he is at the epicenter of an ongoing ethereal conflict.

I would like to say that The Eleventh Percent is a new kind of ghost story. I don’t employ the usage of some of the old tried and true formulas that we’ve seen in ghost stories in the past….all a part of putting my own original edge on a story that’s dear to my heart. I truly think people will love it!

Eleventh Percent Cemetery

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Sharon Shinn, JK Rowling, or R.L. Stine! (Me too!)

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn. It is my favorite because it seems like everything in that books was in the perfect proportions: the action, the suspense, the setting and intricate storytelling, the fear, even the love. In my opinion, Dark Moon Defender is one of the most perfect books ever written. (I can sense how passionate you are about this book!)

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

Sharon Shinn’s The Twelve Houses series (Dark Moon Defender is Book 3 of this series.) I would LOVE for that to be made into movies! Or even a multiple season miniseries on Netflix (provided that it is done justice)!

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Page upon page of mindless description. That is not to say that description is unnecessary. It’s just that in some books, some authors lose sight of the cutoff point. In those cases, the descriptions just sound like long, dull resumes.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

Normally, I soldier through it. You just never know what you’ll find if you are just a little diligent! (I like it! Soldier on!)

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I like to read around. My main love is anything paranormal, science fiction, or fantasy, but I also read mystery, sports biographies, and self-help. I have a great deal of female author friends who are paranormal romance novelists, so I dabble into that genre as well. I’m never disappointed; they are some truly talented women. 

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

For the longest time, I was heavily into paperbacks and hardcover. I adore the smell of a new book and the turning of pages. But then, I came across indie authors some years back and was unable to access their stories unless I had access to ebooks. That got me into that avenue. Nowadays, I love all three. (I am the same way. You have to embrace the technology!)

Eleventh Percent The Glade

 

Random Questions

Favorite movie? T

he Batman series that stars Christian Bale.

Favorite TV show?

Anything Star Trek, Alias, and Firefly. (Looooooovvvveeee Firefly!)

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My wife’s taco stew! (Smart man)

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Chocolate chip cookie cake! (YUM!)

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Nirvana, Linkin Park, Rick Ross, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Wale, Boney James, Paul Hardcastle, Justin Timberlake, Iggy Pop

What’s your hidden talent?

Memory retention! (Will you share you talent with me? I have a terrible memory!)

What is your dream vacation?

Oceanfront hotel room at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

Ethereal Duality

Contact Information:

Author Name: Terrick Heckstall (TH Morris-pen name)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorthmorris

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terrick_j

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/35036627-terrick-heckstall

Book Links: KINDLE US: http://amzn.to/1tE41Kk

KINDLE UK: http://amzn.to/1wKdsa8

KINDLE AU: http://bit.ly/1nU54VG

KINDLE CA: http://amzn.to/1yKu9mY

The 11th Percent

Jonah closed his eyes and recited the alphabet with three breaths in between each letter. It was a trick he started in elementary school. It always worked wonders for making time pass, and better yet, he rarely EVER finished. It was sure to work. Sure enough, before he had even reached the letter P, Langton called, “Alright, my friends! The workday is now completed! I would like to thank you all for being troopers. Remember, you are helping ALL of us keep our jobs! Good evening.”

Jonah packed his laptop gratefully. That tactic worked every time. He headed for the door, grateful to hear the exit signal’s rhythmic chimes.

It was on the third chime that it happened.

Jonah blinked, a natural occurrence that he had done a billion times. Only in this momentary closing of his eyes, he opened them to bear witness to a very strange phenomenon. The world around him—the office, the parking lot, the cars, everything—looked blue.

They were perfectly normal in every other regard, but it seemed someone had shaded his vision with cerulean. Alarmed, he glanced around and blinked hard. It made no difference. The blue veil remained.

His eyes shot up to the sky, which now had an even darker hue because of the blue veil over his eyes.

What the hell is going on? he wondered wildly. What had happened? Had he damaged his eyes? Had he suddenly contracted some rare disease that had polarized his eyes and resulted in a permanent tinge of blue?

“Jonah Rowe,” said a voice.

He whirled around. A woman stood there, swaddled in what looked like fading lights. Her hair was dark, made darker by the bluish tinge. Her eyes were wide-set and full of fear. She might have been pretty if she didn’t look so horrified and desperate.

“Jonah Rowe,” she repeated again.

“What is going on?” demanded Jonah. “Why is everything blue? Who are you?”

“Jonah Rowe,” she said for a third time. Her voice was as strange as her appearance; it sounded like a two-or three-part harmony. She also sounded like she spoke to him from several yards away, though she stood right in front of him. “You must help us all. You have the power. Help us. Please.”

Jonah was more confused than ever. “What power? What are you talking about, lady? And tell me why everything is blue!”

“You are the one,” said the woman. “You must help us cross on. He has blocked the path.”

Jonah backed away from her. “Lady, I don’t know who you are, or who he is, and I don’t know anything about any paths! Now tell me what’s going on!”

“You must help us! Please, Jonah Rowe! You have the power. Please—!”

She disappeared. It looked as though it had been against her will, like she’d been yanked into thin air. The silence left in her absence seemed even more frightening than her disconnected voice.

Then a cat’s meow whipped Jonah around once more, almost like his body was moved in response to the sound.

He now saw, if possible, an even stranger sight. A calico cat stared at him while pawing at the shin of a tall man that Jonah swore had not been there moments before. He looked to be in his late thirties, and was as calm as could be. He looked like this scene was entirely normal. Although the blue color shaded everything, Jonah could tell the man had a ruddy complexion and brownish black hair. His penetrating eyes looked like they could be grey. He had aquiline features and a demeanor that was almost regal. His casually dressed and cloaked form appeared to be shrouded in lights, just like the woman’s form had been.

“Yes, Bast,” he said quietly, “I see now. It is indeed him. You have done well.”

His eyes rose to Jonah. “Jonah Rowe,” he said in an ominous tone, “I will be seeing you again. Go home now. Do not leave. I know who you are now. Unfortunately, he does too.”

Jonah stared. Was this some kind of joke? Who was this man? What was the deal with the cat? Why was the man talking to it? And where did he get off telling Jonah to go home and stay there?

“Look, man,” he said, fear and incomprehension blending to form a high pitched voice most unlike his own, “I don’t have a clue what’s going on—”

“You do not,” interrupted the man. “But you will, son. You will. Heed my warning.”

Jonah opened his mouth to retort, but the man disappeared in a swirl of light. The calico gave him one more look of appraisal, and then dashed into a nearby alley. Jonah blinked again.

Everything was normal. The deep blue sky was the only thing that was that color as the late afternoon gave way to evening. Incoherent chatter, passing cars, and bustling people once again dominated the scene.

Jonah looked around. There was no weird woman, no cat, and no tall, regal-looking man. He blinked again, just to make sure, but nothing had changed. Normalcy was evident in every detail of his environment.

“Um, Jonah,” said an annoyed voice, “If you don’t mind, some of us actually have lives to live.”

Jessica was behind him; he was blocking her path. With a jolt, he realized he was back at the threshold of the office, at the exact spot where the weirdness had begun. How was he back where he started? He had moved at least five feet from the door when the world went blue, yet here he was like nothing had happened at all.

“Jessica,” he breathed, “Didn’t you see that? Didn’t you see that blue?”

Jessica rolled her eyes and pushed past him. “I don’t know what you’ve been using, Rowe, but the only thing blue out here is my car.”

She headed to her car, leaving Jonah bewildered and confused. He had barely even registered her snide comment. The only thing blaring in his mind was one question:

What the hell had just happened?