A Day Among the Dead

Recently, I spent a Saturday afternoon in Oakland Cemetery, located in Atlanta. Not just because I’m weird and morbid, shut up! I’m basing a decent section of an upcoming novel in Oakland. So this counts as research. Also you should try visiting the necropolis in the heart of the metropolis.

This is your greeter.

This is your greeter.

Oakland Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta and is the home of Margaret Mitchell, former mayors, governors, and senators. The six acres that were set aside in 1850 for the Atlanta Cemetery have indeed blossomed. Not only is it a large plot of land, some of the monuments and tombstones are absolutely beautiful. A lot of amazing architecture can be found within the brick walls. While strolling through the grounds, one will also find landscaping that is not traditional for a cemetery. For Doctor Who fans believe you will find plenty of reason to not Blink.

Architecture

Architecture

Another reason that I visited Oakland is that I like cemeteries. The Ancient Egyptians believed that in order to have an afterlife your name had to be remembered. So they built great monuments to themselves. In some cases, they scratched out names and put their names over their predecessors. The first great female Pharaoh Hatsheput’s proceeding pharaohs tried to remove her name from all the great monuments that she erected, thus ensuring she would not receive an afterlife. So by visiting and reading these names, we remember those who we would have never known otherwise.

Our monuments are not quite as grand as the Egyptians.

Our monuments are not quite as grand as the Egyptians.

Finally, as a closing statement let me add that burying the dead and providing a marker for a body is the last dignity that we show to a person. It is a sign that someone cared and respected a person enough to want them remembered. By reading these monuments, I am continuing that show of respect. So yes, I’m weird and morbid, but don’t the dead deserve a little respect for they have solved the mystery that we have yet to face.

tomstone

Me totally not looking for vampires or zombies

Me totally not looking for vampires or zombies

Thanks for reading and keep checking back to find out what I’m currently working on.

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So what do you think?

We’ve all heard the comparison between opinions and bodily orifices. While it is true everyone has both, I would like to talk to you about your opinion, for the other please see a medical professional. As an independent author, your opinions mean a great deal to me. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Your general thoughts on the book are very valuable. I would ask that you take the time to share these thoughts on Amazon, goodreads, or any other social reading group that you may be a member of.

I ask this, because reviews (aka opinions) help other readers determine if they might enjoy a book or not. Even a less than stellar review can assist people in making their choices. If I’m sitting the fence about a book, I’ll generally read some of the reviews and then make a decision. Plus, your reviews let me know what you thought of the book. I can’t say every author reads the reviews, but I do and I know several other authors that do as well.

Getting genuine feedback is important, if you didn’t enjoy the book, why? This information can help to forge a better writer. I won’t lie either, the more reviews a book has the higher the visibility of that book on certain websites. If you’ve read my books, please leave a review. If you have no intention of reading my books, but you’ve read a book recently leave a review. Opinions, while everyone may have them, yours is unique to you and can provide feedback and insight that an author needs.

Thanks for reading and keep checking back to see what I’m up to.

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Werewolves: the Army’s latest superweapon

In Friedkin’s Curse: A Werewolf Tale of Terror part of the story comes from the military trying to capture the legendary creature to experiment on it for weapons purpose. The government weaponizing a creature like this might seem far-fetched, but when you consider that the first applications looked at for any new technology are military it makes a certain amount of sense. Don’t believe me? Remember when we learned to split the atom and the first thing we did was power cities with the energy . . . oh wait, I mean we levelled an entire city with it. Most modern advancements in technology have come through military developments or were first engineered for military purposes.

So why wouldn’t they do the same with supernatural opportunities? This is some of the thoughts that went into crafting the military experience that is part of Friedkin’s Curse and more explored in Friedkin’s Legacy (working title), the next book in the Friedkin’s Horror series. Larry Correia has some similar ideas about the government’s harvesting of supernatural weapons (explored in both his Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir Chronicles). I recently had the pleasure of serving on a panel with Kimberly Richardson (the Goth Librarian), she stated that we shared a favorite werewolf film: Dog Soldiers, which pits soldiers against werewolves when a capture operation goes wrong. There is also Project: Metalbeast, a direct-to-video classic from the 90s, which has a genetically altered werewolf super-soldier wreaking havoc in a bunker. The military industrial complex isn’t the only government office to get into the werewolf enhancement department, Full Eclipse is a film where a special Los Angeles Police Squad is augmented using werewolf serum to combat crime.

All of these are great examples of the government “investigating” new and experimental procedures to help further the combat effectiveness of new creatures. I’ve provided a list of these works below, so just click on the pictures if you are interested. Next time the moon is full and you hear howling and sirens, just tell yourself that they are unrelated.

 

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Ghost Story

Below is the Ghost Story that I told as part of the Ghost Story panel at Connooga 2015. The audience member before me, told a very emotional and dark story of one of his encounters. Because of this, I adjusted my telling of this story. Anyone, who has ever heard me tell this tale, knows that I normally emphasize the darker nature of it. Given the somber mood of the room, I wanted to lighten it up and rev the audience back up. So I decided to emphasize the humor in it. I’ll go ahead and apologize for the less than fantastic audio quality, but you should be able to hear everything just fine. Enjoy!

 

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My Connooga Schedule

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be at Connooga this weekend. You can find me in the dealer’s section with my cover artist. We’ll have copies of both Winston & Baum books as well as Friedkin’s Curse: A Werewolf Tale of Terror, books are $10 so stop by and pick up your copies today. Also, I will be a panelist for several of their events. Below is a list of my schedule for panels (you can use the Connooga app to verify the locations for these events).

Panel Date/Time Name
Friday 8:00PM YA – What is it?
Saturday 10:00 AM Blogging, Platforming, and Online Marketing for Writers
Saturday 7:30PM Ghost Stories Event
Sunday 11:00 AM Story Structure – multiple approaches introduced and discussed
Sunday 1:00 PM The Gory Details of Writing Horror

I look forward to getting to meet some of you awesome people this weekend.

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Exciting News!

It has been a while since my last post.  Mainly because I have been busy trying to get everything ready.  So I’ll start with the good news.  A newly edited version of my first novel Friedkin’s Curse: A Werewolf Tale of Terror is available for the Kindle.  You can click on the cover below to go to Amazon and pick it up.

If you’ve already purchased the book previously, then you can download the updated version at no cost.  Now for the really exciting part, since it has been edited and is all shiny and new, Friedkin’s Curse is available in print for the first time ever.  You can find it by clicking the cover below.

As of this posting, Amazon is selling it for $9.74, the normal retail price is $10.99 so that’s not a bad deal.  Especially, if you are looking for something to round out the cart for free shipping.  Also, I will be attending Connooga from February 27 – March 1.  I will have copies of the two published Winston & Baum steampunk adventures, as well as copies of Friedkin’s Curse for sale.  I’ll be sharing a table with my lovely wife and cover artist Caralyn (www.mysticreflections.com).  So if you live in the Chattanooga area or feel like coming up and enjoying a con, we look forward to seeing you there.  Thanks for reading and keep checking back to see what I’m working on next.

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It’s a Brand New Year . . . of Wonder!

Hello all and Happy New Year!  I hope you all had good seasonal festivities.  Now I know some of you are most likely still cradling a few gift cards looking for the perfect purchase to make with them or have received Kindles and are looking for the perfect book to start your paperless existence.  Good news, I have some ideas that just might prove to be what you are looking for.

I just so happen to have books available, on Kindle and in paperback.  Go on click the link and see if this isn’t what you are looking for Author’s Page.

If you are more of an epic fantasy reader, guess what I have just the authors for you.  JK Barber is a husband and wife author team with their first fantasy series complete and the first book of their second series out.  Why don’t you take a walk through Aronshoe or Mervidia here: JK Barber’s Author Page.

Maybe you aren’t a genre specific reader, maybe you like short stories.  If this sounds like you, then check out my friend A.J. Scott’s stories and see if he doesn’t have at least one to interest you.  With his wide range of themes, he should be able to at least give you a quick, enjoyable read.  For more information visit: A.J. Scott: Man, Myth, Frawg.

Hopefully, this will help with your gift card/Kindle dilemma.  For those of you near Chattanooga, Caralyn (my cover artist: www.mysticreflections.com) and I will be attending this year’s Connooga running from February 27 through March 1.  Look forward to seeing you there, until next time.

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Great Opportunity for Christmas gifts

Hello out there. In case anyone is going to be in the Powder Springs area this Saturday, December 13, you should stop by the Bookworm used & rare bookstore. I will be there along with another author, selling and signing copies of both Winston & Baum books. It’s my last appearance of the year, and your last chance to see my smiling face in person for 2014. Also, autographed books make great Christmas presents, especially when you can get them personalized to a person of your choosing. One guy had me make one out to “Pookie,” so when I say a person of your choosing, I mean it. Or if you wanted, I could make it out to your pet, if you have dog or cat that can read, please bring it in, I’d love to know what it thinks of my work.

If you won’t be able to make it out to the signing, I will leave a few copies at the Bookworm and you can contact them about purchasing them. Although if you really want to get personalized autographed copies and help out an awesome cause, please visit this auction site. Some dear friends of mine are looking to add a precious little life to their home through adoption. You can pick up an author’s pack in their auction. It contains, a copy of each book autographed to a person of your choosing, an 8×10 print of each cover and a set of bookmarks. All this for starting at $20.00. My cover artist has also donated some postcard sets, and a sculpture to their auction. Julie isn’t just getting donations either, she is a fantastic quilter and has many wonderful quilts for auction as well. So if you can, please donate to this worthy cause and help them share their love.

Please keep checking in for more fun stuff that I have going on.

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After the Turkey the Madness Begins

Remember, it's the turkey or us!

Remember, it’s the turkey or us!

Thanksgiving is upon us and the start of the holiday shopping season will soon commence. However, Saturday, November 29th is shop local day. With that in mind I thought I’d encourage you all to shop at some of our local retailers and pick up an autographed copies of the Winston & Baum steampunk adventures. Autographed copies of the first book Winston & Baum and the Secret of the Stone Circle are available in Powder Springs at the Bookworm. You can get autographed copies of both books, as well as a lot of other autographed works by local authors at the Hiram Bookstore. So please drop by and support these local businesses that are so willing to support local authors and artists.

If you are waiting for Cyber Monday instead, then you can shop independent. You can locate my works on the current fiction page above or click here. My cover artist has a store where she sales her handmade polymer clay sculptures and prints of her work, you can find her here. A friend of mine is making purses and bags, you can gather these goodies here.

So as you go and spend your hard earned money on goodies for those that you love and care about, or that you just buy out of obligation for, please help support local merchants and independent artists and authors. Thanks for reading and keep checking back for fun stuff.

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It’s Alive!

Hello everyone, as I teased on Friday, Friends Don’t Let Friends be Undead is now live on the Kindle.    Here’s the synopsis:

 “Three days after her husband dies, Lily is shocked to see him staring at her from outside her home. Calling on the four men he trusted most, Lily relies on them to place Steve back into his eternal rest. Guided by his journal, his friends will find that the man they loved has been replaced by a vicious fiend that will stop at nothing to sate its thirst for blood.”

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in reading just click on the cover below.

A big “Thank you” to my cover artist for another wonderful cover.

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