I just wanted to let everyone know that both books, The Bones of the Earth and The Three Heretics, have received updates. Between the two of them, hundreds of errors and small improvements have been made. I expect this to be the final update to both of the books. Amazon should have already pushed out updates for Bones to previous owners; Heretics will *hopefully* have its updates sent out soon.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Every aspect of self-publishing has been a learning process for me, and it has taken some time to put together the right team of people to ensure this series is of the highest quality.
For those who have purchased paperbacks of either book, I… suck. I can’t patch those. But I can provide you with the updated eBooks. Also, I would be happy to give any of you the eBook of The Blood of Before for free when it is released later this year/early next year. Just contact me anyway you like, and I’ll be happy to hook you up and shower you in praise and apologies 😀
As for updates to other things:
The Blood of Before is going to be edited soon. Hannah and I have the cover planned out, and Hannah is going to be creating images to accompany each story. These images will be included in the novel.
The Cult of the Worm, Book Three, is coming along nicely. No reason why it won’t be out near year at some point.
Expect an announcement of a Kickstarter for the series very soon. Need to put the finishing touches on it.
Also, expect some marketing for the series now that the two books have been prettied up.
And finally, it’s looking like Bones and Heretics are going to be stocked in some local bookstores around here! Fingers crossed.
I quietly published The Three Heretics last week, but I held off from making an announcement because I wanted to wait for the book to populate to all the major online retailers. Everything looks good now, so…
I am happy to announce that The Three Heretics is now available for purchase in paperback or eBook from most major online retailers!! And what better a time than on the best holiday of the year?
It took a little longer than I anticipated to get it out, but hey, that’s just how this game goes sometimes.
If you get a chance to read the book, I’d love to hear what you think! Your feedback is crucial in making sure the next book in the series is even better than the last. You can contact me at my website, Goodreads, or Facebook. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
Also, The Bones of the Earth should be available as an eBook in most online retailers now. It was locked to Amazon for awhile because of their KDP program, but I’ve decided to take it out of that.
(Not sure why the books aren’t available in iTunes yet, but maybe that’s because iTunes blows big ones.)
Stay tuned for another really big announcement in the next few days. What we’re working on is almost finished; just need to put the finishing touches on it.
As for a status update, The Cult of the Worm, Book Three in the series, is 41k words in. The Blood of Before, the horror anthology takes place before Bones, is finished and currently being torn apart by my lovely beta readers. I expect to have it sent off to the editor in the next month.
That’s it for now! I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about this next entry into the Bones series.
Here is the full cover by Hannah Graff. Amazing, as always.
I have some really great news to share!
The Three Heretics has been completely edited and formatted. The cover is also finished. I submitted it last night to Createspace for review, and I expect to hear back from them today. As soon as I do, I’ll order a proof copy with the fastest shipping so that I can read it one more time in person.
If all goes well, The Three Heretics should be available to purchase on paperback and eBook by 10/7/1. For now, check it out here on Goodreads.
Until then, here is the final full cover and synopsis. It does contain some spoilers for those who haven’t reading The Bones of the Earth. Within the book itself, you’ll find a letter of appreciation from me, a map of the world, and the often-requested glossary.
(In the mean time, I’d like to update this site so that it matches the new book)
THE THREE HERETICS
we find heaven.
Vrana, now a grotesque shadow of her former self, has been enslaved by the Witch and forced into the Void. Meanwhile, the Corrupted involved in the genocide of Geharra and the birth of the Red Worm have begun to impose their worldviews on others.
King Edgar is abandoned in the Nameless Forest and forced into a murderous mission that not only reveals the origins of the vermillion veins, but the unholy events that have led to his rule of Eldrus.
Atticus, the undying gravedigger, seeks revenge against the king for the death of those he loves, while finding a way through the Black Hour itself to resurrect the dead.
Felix, the Holy Child, plagued by visions of Vrana in his sleep, tries to find a way to liberate her from her torment. Unsure who he can trust, he is pulled further into the darkness and treason all around him.
Taking place before, during, and after Vrana’s journey, The Three Heretics explores those three Corrupted who have, through subterfuge and slaughter, righteousness and reluctance, manipulated the world to their liking, while inadvertently bringing it closer to another Trauma.
Hannah and I have been working on the cover for “Three Heretics,” Book Two in “The Bones of the Earth” series. Here are some sketches for our three heretics, the main characters of the novel. Just like “Bones,” there will be characters mirroring them on the back cover, but you’ll have to wait a little longer before I reveal them.
(If you’re reading this on Goodreads, apologies for the wacky-ass formatting.)
Aw yea, free stuff time.
8/24-8/25, my two horror short stories, “House of a Thousand Hearts” and its sequel “That Which Walks Behind the Graves,” are FREE.
Not only are they standalone tales that will leave you with nightmares, but they also integrals parts the universe of my novel, “The Bones of the Earth.”
Today, I wanted to share with you the original opening for “The Bones of the Earth.” This was before it was edited, before I went back and re-wrote every chapter. Some people, myself included for the longest time, feel that having an editor (or editing) isn’t terribly important. But it really is. It makes a huge difference, and it’s one of the most important things you can do for your story. Obviously, it feels bad to spend the money to hire someone to do it, but it’ll feel worse years later when you read over what you released and realize how much more it could’ve been.
So check it out! Notice the differences. If you don’t own the book, you can see them through the preview option on Amazon. In this small sample, we can already see a lack of personality in Vrana. Things move very quickly. The sentences aren’t very tasty. It’s decent, but nothing I’d want to have out there.
Vrana no longer felt the weight of the raven’s head upon her own. It belonged to the mother of an unkindness* that dwelt deep in the woods outside her village of Caldera. The beast did not die willingly, the scars that now ran the length of Vrana’s back a testament to its frenzied violence. On her departure, the unkindness gathered around their headless mother and croaked happily over her bloody passing. If she had any regret regarding the ordeal, it was that she did not cut loose the mother’s talons to forge later into daggers.
The tall grass of the field obscured Vrana well enough, but the wind here was relentless and seemed to revel in revealing her to the enemy lurking behind the distant tree line. She watched for their movements through the hollowed sockets of her mask, tightening her grip on her axe at every breaking branch and skipping stone. The forest itself was much fuller, much healthier than the den of the unkindness Vrana had attacked, and the sound of the murmuring stream within it made her parched mouth all the more unbearable. Her limbs ached, too, but to move would undo the hours she had spent sitting stationary as insects scaled her legs and crawled along her flesh, biting and tasting the secrets it held.
She could not leave this place without taking a life, and taking lives was something she’d done easily in the past, but to kill a human, a Corrupted, did give her pause.
Vrana was on her feet moments after an arrow was loosed from her victim’s bow, and she was at the edge of the forest before it hit the spot where she had been sitting. Branches and thorns whipped and cut Vrana as she hurried passed them, never losing sight of the man with the bow and quiver of arrows. He darted between the trees, occasionally stopping to fire an arrow half-heartedly. They never met his mark, and each attempt only served to close the gap between Vrana and her prey.
Muscles burning, Vrana feared her body would succumb to exhaustion and the man would escape, but in his final act of foolishness he sought safety in the sky. He hoisted himself onto a tree, clamoring for branches. He was a slow climber, however, and the bark was wet, slippery. The man was only a few feet off the ground before Vrana caught him by the ankle and buried her axe into his spine.
A rough draft of the world map has been posted under extras. Also, for those of you who have finished “Bones,” the first three chapters of Book Two, “Three Heretics,” have been uploaded. Check ’em out and enjoy!
Here’s a short interview conducted with Scott Hale, author of “The Bones of the Earth.” We hope you enjoy it, and check back soon for a more in-depth video with the author regarding the series.
Do you recall how your interest in writing started?
As far as I can tell, my interest in writing began at a very young age. I believe it started in kindergarten. I was at my aunt’s house after they had bought a computer and I’d discovered the word processor.
(Side note: This is the aunt who let me watch Night of the Living Dead and Near Dark almost every time I was there. It took years for me to finally see how they ended, because I always fell asleep watching them. See parents, Horror is even good for nap time!)
For some reason or another—maybe it had been my aunt’s suggestion—I wrote a story about a witch. Of course she was evil, and of course she killed people. And of course this totally bothered my mom. I had also, I think, used the word “damn” or “bitch” in the story. How I dodged the school psychologist all those years …
After that, I wrote sporadically, usually in rebellion toward my mom when she would forbid me from watching or playing something most normal kids wouldn’t watch or play at my age. She wouldn’t let me watch Starship Troopers, so I wrote a comic. She wouldn’t let me watch Event Horizon (after I’d watched it several times behind her back), so I wrote a sequel to it. I even wrote a sequel to the video game Silent Hill; I still have it somewhere. It’s in a red folder which I drew on for its cover, and inside there’ a stack of notebook paper covered in really crappy handwriting. It’s pretty awesome.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t?
I would love to visit Alaska. I don’t know a whole lot about the place other than it looks amazing and it has almost everything I could ever want. I think I would be flooded with inspiration visiting or living there. In regards to “The Bones of the Earth,” I’m not sure I would want to live anywhere in that universe. Perhaps somewhere in the Frozen North, or if I’m lucky, one of the less chaos-wracked places of the Nameless Forest.
What authors have inspired you to write and why?
As I’ve been saying for who knows how long now, I don’t read as much as I’d like to, so I feel kind of ignorant sometimes when it comes to talking about novels. However, if I had to say which authors influenced me the most, I’d go with Vladimir Nabokov, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and perhaps Alan Moore. I love Nabokov’s style, his command of the language and his playfulness with words. Clive Barker is fantastic at building grotesque scenes and worlds inhabited by people you really care about. Lovecraft and Poe brought a sophistication to horror and helped lay the groundwork for the stories to come. And Alan Moore, with his contributions to comics, graphic novels, what have you, mixed incredible prose and vivid imagery in such a way that really stuck out to me (I love Swamp Thing).
Honestly, I’m more of a movie guy myself. Top five Horror films? In no order:
2. The Thing
4. Videodrome/The Fly
(very special mention: Sleepaway Camp. It never gets old.)
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on Book Two in the “The Bones of the Earth” series. I am about forty percent done with it. I am also working on an anthology of horror stories, which is nearly finished, but will be released later.
Are your books connected in any way?
Before “Bones” and most of my short stories, I was writing screenplays. Around that time, I had the idea of connecting everything I wrote by having it take place in the same universe, and I’ve been doing that since. “Bones” takes place after an event called the Trauma. Before “Bones” and the Trauma are my short stories and screenplays, some of which will be in the forthcoming anthology.
Some book series have these great and expansive worlds, but often times the worlds feel sterile or too large to really appreciate. By using short stories to inform the past, present, and future of “Bones,” I aim to create a much more personal, much more engaging world that is constantly developing for the reader. I think that people, especially now, really enjoy connecting the dots; that is, identifying places, people, events and the relationships between all of them. However, I know some people can feel overwhelmed; they feel they’ve missed too much backstory, so when I write, I do so in a way that most everything can be read as a standalone story. All the little details and connections are there if you want them, and if you don’t, no big deal.
In your most recent book, “The Bones of the Earth,” the main character, Vrana, wears a raven mask throughout the story. What mask would you wear if you were part of the novel and why?
I suppose I’d either wear a mask fashioned from an octopus, or perhaps I would wear an alligator’s head. I’m not sure why. Whatever I would wear, it would probably be from some sneaky or weird looking creature. I find I gravitate more toward the weird things of the world. I think they have more character.
Is there a message in “Bones” that you readers can take away?
There are messages in my novel, but I don’t really care if people catch them. I’m not the kind of person that likes to preach. I don’t pretend to know how the world works, and I don’t think my opinions are so damn awesome I have to share them every chance I get with the world. My goal with my writing is to entertain. They’re not empty works devoid of subtext—I’ve certainly things to say—but that’s not the main selling point. Perhaps my message does have a novel, and it is this: Think for yourself, ask questions, but please, don’t be a selfish dickhead about it.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Be honest with yourself. When you write, just as when you interact with others and conduct business, you have to be genuine, true to your nature. Don’t try to mimic some other writer out there. We already have that writer’s voice. But we don’t have yours. Understand why you’re writing what you’re writing. Don’t focus on making everyone happy, because you won’t, you can’t. It’s impossible and that’s okay. But again, be honest with yourself. Talk to yourself. Engage in self-reflection. Writing is a very personal thing, and you’ll be putting a lot of yourself out there. It may be disguised by characters and setting, but it’s still there. The better you understand yourself, the better your writing will be, as you’ll have a better understanding of your intentions. And once you’ve got a good hold on that, then you can move onto worrying about what other people want, and how far you’re willing to go to please them while remaining true to your vision.
Also, if you’re serious about getting published, don’t be like me and wait to get your name out there. Start soon. Engage in groups. Use social media. Be a beta reader. Get your name out there. Establish an audience, a presence, so when you ready to publish something, you’ve got a huge group of people already there to support you.