Updates!

Hello everyone!

First off. I have some awesome images to share with you. All three of these come from Jacquelyn Graff, who is Hannah’s sister (Hannah is the illustrator for the novels, also, as of a few weeks ago, my fiance. Snap!)

 

crossbreed new vains map

Also, my brother and I have been practicing our movie making skills. Check out this masterpiece HERE (very rough. just trying to figure out the basics. goal is to one day film the first chapter of “The Bones of the Earth.”)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any sort of update on the status of “The Three Heretics.” Everything is going very well so far, but there were a few things I wanted to wait on being finished before making this post.

“The Three Heretics” is being edited. It has been with the editor for a few weeks now. I can’t give an exact release date, because these processes can take a lot of time, but from the feedback I’ve received from my beta readers, it looks like people are really enjoying the novel. You can check out their reviews HERE

With the help of some friends, I’ve reconsidered what exactly I want to do with the horror anthology. Instead of being advertised as a standalone release that just so happens to have a connection to the “Bones” series, I’m going to make it part of the “Bones” series completely. So “The Bones of the Earth #.01”

The name of the horror anthology of pre-Trauma stories is called “The Blood of Before.” It contains five short stories and one novella, which I literally just finished a few minutes ago. I wrote about 5.5k words today, so I’m a little tuckered. The stories that will be in this anthology are: House of a Thousand Hearts, That Which Walks Behind the Graves, The Easiest Job in the World, Black Occult Macabre Vol. 1 Issue 7, Nights in White Satin, and The Black Hours.

Now that I’ve finished the novella (the Black Hours), I can get cracking on Book 3 in the “Bones” series, which is entitled, “The Cult of the Worm.” Probably need a day or two off to recover from writing, though. Need to refuel!

As for the awesome images from Jacquelyn, she’s expressed an interest in illustrating a lot of the plant life from the universe. She has an awesome talent for that kind of artwork. We’ve been kicking around the idea of creating a botanical guide written by Vrana’s mother, Adelyn, that we could sell as something cheap and fun for the fans.

I’ve been thinking about starting a Kickstarter for the universe. Not necessarily to fund Book 3, but to fund promoting the novel, going to conventions, buying supplies, and getting the word out there. I think the fact that there is already a product available to judge will make people a little more interested in backing the project.

That’s it for now! I’ll begin working on Book 3 soon. I have a couple of ideas for the next horror anthology, but that’s a release that will probably happen between Book 3 and 4. If anyone ever wants to ask me questions, interview me, whatever the hell ever, please, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m pretty much an open book, and I’d love to have any opportunity to be able to communicate with the community.

“The Bones of the Earth” was Released One Year Ago … Today! (Giveaways!)

1 year comic

It’s crazy to think it’s been a year since I released my first novel, “The Bones of the Earth.” Hannah and I did a little comic to commemorate the occasion. As you all know, Book Two, “The Three Heretics,” will be releasing, hopefully, in the next month or two.

To celebrate, we are hosting two giveaways, one on Goodreads and the other through Facebook/Instagram. Running from 6/10-6/20, the winners of these giveaways will receive a signed copy of “The Bones of the Earth.” And maybe some other secret, special goodies. Like the next novel. Who knows!

Giveaways:

Goodreads

Facebook

Instagram

Movie Review: High-Rise

High-Rise-Movie-Poster

High-Rise is an adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel by the same. It was directed by Ben Wheatley and written by Amy Jump.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to watch High-Rise. I had seen Wheatley and Jump’s Kill List, and while, in the end, I ended up really enjoying the movie, it took me awhile to warm up to it. The same applied to Crash, another work of Ballard’s that was adapted by David Cronenberg. And while these types of movies (the supposed decay of a supposedly civilized society) are interesting to me, they tend to follow a familiar course.  They kind of write themselves, and in lesser hands, write themselves in a way that, while intriguing, end up being forgetful.

Fortunately, High-Rise, while following many familiar beats, does enough differently to differentiate itself from its depraved brethren.

So what exactly is this movie about? Well, it’s about Dr. Laing (Tom Hiddleston), who has recently moved into a London skyscraper that, in a way, is a world all its own. What follows is an observation of his experiences inside the skyscraper as the lower levels and upper levels begin to clash with one another over limited resources and perceived differences between both groups. Simple enough.

So what exactly separates this movie from others of its ilk? A lot of things! The End!

Just kidding. The acting is this movie, while, at times, over-the-top, is well done. Beside Tom Hiddleston, it also stars Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elizabeth Moss. Each actor and actress do a great job in bringing their characters to life. You may not and probably won’t like them, but they do leave an impression.

The movie is also impeccably directed. The framing of scenes and overall atmosphere creates a constant pace that ensures the story, slow as it can be at times, is never boring. Set and costume design are stylish and seem to do a good job recreating the look of the 1970s. The music, as well, was very well chosen and compliments the film and the horrors on screen nicely. It’s a combination of classical music, popular songs for the time, as well as modern pieces.

But a movie can great feature great acting, music, and direction and still fail if the core of it is not solid. It’s hard to say that High-Rise is an enjoyable movie to watch, because it often isn’t. It’s a movie about class warfare, featuring a relatively unlikeable group of already most likely deranged individuals. What saves it, however, is some of the sheer absurdity of the events that unfold and the barely-veiled, biting satire that permeates every scene. While it’s pretty obvious how the movie will unfold, it’s these moments of madness that make the journey worth it (assuming you have the stomach for it).  Also, the movie features a great sense of very dark humor that helps introduce some balance to what could have been an overly serious film.

If you’re looking for a film of this nature that justifies its characters’ descent into lunacy, this is not a film for you. The descent is gradual, but it is a montage that acts as a transition into the disgusting lives these people slip into. Why it happens really isn’t all that important. We already know it is going to happen. And, really, how many ways are there for it to happen? The cause isn’t that interesting. It’s the scenario. It’s the what happens next, when people give into their impulses, when people have made this building their whole existence and have come to terms with their squalid, filthy, and repulsive lifestyles. They could leave at any time. There is a city on the outskirts of the High-Rise. But they don’t, because this isn’t that kind of movie. They don’t want to escape, anyways. There’s no hint that they’re not actually unhappy with what’s happened. They just want what they think they are entitled to have.

High-Rise isn’t a movie for everyone. Opinions appear split on it. It’s a disturbing movie, and to some, a pointless movie. It’s not a feel good movie. And it’s not one you can connect with on a character level. It’s a movie you appreciate for the visuals, the talent, the black humor, and themes. It’s an awesome movie, but only if you let it does its thing and are happy with the fact you may be unhappy at its end.

(Also, some have said the movie is incomprehensible. That the story is almost impossible to follow. The story is very basic. The events, to the sane mind, are incomprehensible. Some do not seem able to differentiate between the two.)

Rating: Awesome.

Recommended: Yes, but watch the trailer and read some reviews first.

It’s Friday the 13th!

friday-the-13th-part-6-vi-jason-lives-voorhees-cemetery

It’s Friday the 13th! If you’re not watching a horror movie today, you’re bumming me out!

Best Friday the 13th movies:

1. Part VI: Jason Lives
2. Part IV: The Final Chapter
3. Part I: It’s good, but honestly, it is kind of a boring movie, sometimes
4. Part II
5. Part VII: The New Blood
6 Part III
7. Part V: A New Beginning
8. Jason X
8. Remake
9. Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
10. Part IX: Jason Goes to Hell (both this and Manhattan are terrible, terrible movies)

Freddy vs. Jason is somewhere in there, but I don’t know exactly.

“The Three Heretics” First Draft is Done! So What’s Next?

I’m glad you asked!

Well, as any writer will tell you, the first draft is not the last drive. As pretty as you make it, as much as you love it at that moment in time, when you go back to it months later, it ends up losing some of its luster. So while “The Three Heretics” is done, it still needs some loving before we move onto the editing stage. So for those who are interested, here is the plan for the months to come.

  1. Rewrite “The Three Heretics” completely. There’s not much to this. I open up the file, go to the beginning, pick an empty line, and start typing everything all over again, making changes as I go. This may seem like a long process, but honestly, it’s not too bad. This way, rather than reading it and correcting when an issue pops up, I’m reintroducing myself to the story, memorizing all the little details I may have forgotten, and fixing things on a more focused level. I anticipate the beginning chapters to take longer than the final chapters, as though were just finished and more representative of where I am at as a writer at this moment. All in all, I expect this process, as long as I don’t dick around too much, to only take like 2-3 weeks. It could be more. I don’t know. It is a really long book.
  2. Beta readers! Want to hear something crazy? People are actually coming to me, rather than me going to them, and offering to beta read my novel! That’s awesome. The fact that people are that excited and invested in the series already (and these are people that I met after I published “Bones,” not pre-existing friends) makes me very happy. So once the rewrites are complete, those who have expressed an interest in being beta readers will be contacted and given the second draft to tear apart, worship, read with a mild indifference, whatever.
  3. Hire an editor! Wait, no, no exclamation point. Hiring an editor is expensive, and like I said, this is a really long book. But, damn it, it has to be done. Unfortunately, Eve Marie, the editor for “Bones” will not be returning to edit this novel. While I wish that she could, editing was a side job that, at the moment, has to be put on the back burner as she works her full time job. No big deal! So while the beta readers are doing their beta reading business, I’ll be scouring the internet for an editor that I feel will serve “The Three Heretics” well … and make me look real good.
  4. While our currently unknown editor is editing, Hannah and I will be putting the finishing touches on the cover. We will also be getting the world map together, and I will be completing the introductory letter and the glossary. Also, we will be coming up with marketing strategies and community things we can take advantage to promote it. It is time to get serious!
  5. Editing takes awhile, so I anticipate I’ll have some time to do other things, too. I hope to have my horror anthology “Black Occult Macabre” out by October. While “The Three Heretics” is getting a makeover, I’ll be trying to write the last two stories for that anthology, which are “The Black Hour” and “Where the Dead Go to Die.” I’ll also be working on my brother and I’s Friday the 13th script. Who knows if anything will happen with that, but it will be fun and … you know … I heard the studio is struggling to move forward with the franchise. If you want some pointers or, like, a screenplay, don’t hesitate to e-mail me, bruhs.
  6. Once “The Three Heretics” is edited and my bank account is lessened because of editing, I’ll review all the corrections and integrate them correctly (unlike I did last time). Then, I’ll ughhhhh then I’ll format the Createspace and Kindle files so they don’t look like mutant freaks of novels.
  7. Then release! So what is the release date? I have no clue. I wanted it to be out this summer, preferably around when “The Bones of the Earth” was released, but who knows if that will happen. But I think we can get this done in the next few months. I want it out there real bad.
  8. June 10th is the one year anniversary of “The Bones of the Earth.” Obviously, going to have to do something special for that. But what? Hmm.
  9. Well, after all that is done, I guess I’ll just have to start on the next novel, which is entitled “The

See ya later!

“The Three Heretics” Cover is Coming Along Nicely

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A work in progress. A not-so-great picture of a screen, just to make the full reveal that much more fun.

To give each book in the series an identity that tells the readers “this is a Bones’ book,” commonalities will be shared between them. The front cover and back cover will generally mirror one another, with the protagonist being on the front and the antagonist on the back. However, in this case, an awfully familiar skeleton dude is chilling on the front. I don’t remember him being too nice. So who could possibly be on the back?

Dun-dun-dun!