Through Thom Tinted Lenses

October 28, 2013

RED RIDER EXCERPT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Thom Reese @ 7:32 pm
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IN THIS POST:

A Quick Introduction

Red Rider Excerpt

What’s Happening with Thom?

 

A quick introduction:

Today, I’m featuring an excerpt from THE RED RIDER by Randall Allen Dunn. Randall is a dear friend and fellow author. We spent many hours together reading each other’s manuscripts, offering feedback and encouragement. This, before either of us managed to get much of anything published. He read some of my early – mostly dreadful – attempts, and gave me feedback on the initial draft of what was to become my first published novel, THE DEMON BAQASH. As you’ll see, Randall loves the action genre. A fan of James Bond, Batman, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones, he’s always looking to instill his work with adventure and infinite possibilities. You can see his work at his website, www.CharacterEnt.com, or contact him atRandall@CharacterEnt.com.  And now, an excerpt from, THE RED RIDER.

 

 

THE RED RIDER

by

Randall Allen Dunn

Copyright 2013 by Randall Allen Dunn

 

EXCERPT:

MY DISCOVERY

CHAPTER 23.

 

I flicked out one of Pierre’s blades and sliced into the side of a pig standing in front of me. It squealed in pain and ran to the other side of the pen.

The wolves jerked their heads toward the commotion as the pigs started to rush back and forth, thumping and sliding against one another. I cut into another one, encouraging their panic. Two wolves sniffed the air, perhaps smelling the flow of animal blood.

I rose, my cloak billowing up from my shoulders as I raised the crossbow. The wolves gaped along with Favreau and his daughter, as I rushed between the pigs to the gate. I kicked up at the top bar, flinging rainwater from it as it flipped open. The pigs spilled out of the pen and darted back and forth across the clearing, slipping and stumbling in terror and confusion.

The wolves continued to stare as I marched out of the pen and fired my crossbow at the nearest brown beast. It fell to the ground hard.

The others snarled and charged, struggling for traction.

“Get inside,” I ordered Favreau.

“Who are you?”

“Get inside!” I stepped sideways, angling to face the next approaching wolf. The others closed in, eyeing me warily. I pulled back twice on the crossbow’s lever, firing one bolt into the first animal’s gut, the other into its paw. My racing pulse had thrown off my aim, but at least I wounded it.

I moved in a curving path between the pigs as they skidded through the muddy grass. The other wolves circled around me, arching their necks to peer over the pigs as they tried to get at me. Between the misty haze and the wild flurry of pigs, I couldn’t tell whether there were three wolves or two. My heart was racing too fast and the pigs were rushing too quickly for me to tell. The wolves ignored Favreau and his daughter, focusing on me as he scuttled her into the house and shut the door. That was all that mattered.

The wolves bared their teeth, dripping with saliva. I registered three of them surrounding me, a gray one to my left, brown to my right, and black behind me. The rain had played tricks on my eyes. What seemed like a perfect hit on the second wolf must have only grazed him.

Two of them charged from either side. I whirled to fire a bolt into the gray one’s stomach as it leaped at me. It spun and rolled aside, howling, while I dropped backward to the ground and planted my elbows in the mud. Then I kicked at a squealing pig as it scurried in front of me and thrust it at the attacking brown wolf.

The startled pig knocked it a short distance away, stopping him for a second. Long enough for me to roll to one side and fire a bolt behind me, into his companion. Then to fire two more into the brown wolf as it bore down on me, dropping it to the puddle-soaked field. I scrambled to my feet. Three bolts left.

The gray wolf struggled to its feet and turned to lunge. I fired once, keeping my final bolts in reserve. It spun to the ground as the black wolf struggled to rise and sprang at me. Another bolt finished it as the gray wolf reared back to lunge again. I tugged back on the lever, sinking my last bolt into its heart.

It fell in a heap and lay still.

I stood in the quiet. Chest heaving in the drizzling rain. Waiting for my pulse and heartbeat to slow, while the remaining pigs squealed and ran in circles through the clearing. My hands shook. I took deep breaths, ordering my arms and shoulders to relax. I reached into my pouch for another round of bolts and started loading them into the top slot, one by one, in case there were more of them.

More of them …

I turned back to the clearing, where the first gray wolf had fallen. The grass there was matted down a little, where the wolf had lain. But it was now gone.

The rain wasn’t playing tricks on my eyes. Four wolves came from the forest, but after I struck down the first one, four wolves remained. Only one of the wolves was gray. The first wolf, the one Favreau shot with his musket. It had risen to join the others and attack me again.

The wolf nearest to me – the one I shot four times – groaned and rolled to its side. Then it rose and shook its head to recover. I watched, crossbow ready, as it studied its wounded paw, from which a bolt still protruded. Two similar bolts remained embedded in its stomach. It lifted the paw to its teeth, bit hard on the bolt, and tugged, nearly dislodging it.

Then the creature set its paw down and reached for the bolt with its other paw. I gaped as it wrapped its claws around the bolt to seize a firm hold, the way a human would – and pulled it out.

It dropped the bloody bolt to the ground and turned to me as I tried to comprehend its impossible feat.

Crimson whinnied from his hiding place in the stable behind me and burst into the clearing. He pounded toward me at full gallop. I grabbed onto his saddle as the wolf’s jaws opened to chomp at my legs. Crimson whisked me away and raced into the woods, as I hung on with one foot in the stirrup. Behind me, three other wolves rose in similar fashion, grinning and showing little signs of the battle.

Crimson knew when to run.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THOM?

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update here so I suppose now would be as good a time as any. It’s been a busy year for me in terms of audio dramas. As some of you may know, my wife, Kathy, and I used to produce a weekly audio drama radio program titled, 21st Century Audio Theatre. Two CD sets of audio dramas from the show were released this year and are available in travel centers (such as Travel America) throughout the country. As well, our publisher asked for a three CD set of all-new audio dramas to be released in December. We’re currently in the final week of post production. These are filled with quirky, slightly creepy, stories from me, and fantastic music from my very talented wife, Kathy. They sound awesome!

As well, I’ve just finished work on an expanded version of my novel, THE EMPTY. I’m very excited about this as I’d been forced to subtract material from the book to meet the original publisher’s word count maximum. The new version will be released in spring 2014 and is the story I’d originally intended to tell.

For those of you waiting on the next Huntington novel, it is coming. My progress was slowed due to other projects, but the a new Huntington novel, A SAVAGE DISTANCE, will be released by mid 2014  and, I believe, will prove to be the best of the series – thus far.

 I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpt from  THE RED RIDER. I’ll be back soon!!

 

Thom Reese is the author of CHASING KELVIN, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY, along with three audio drama Cd sets, SHORT STORY COLLECTION, MARC HUNTINGTON ADVENTURES, and, DANTE’S WIR & OTHER STRANGE TALES. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Purchase Thom Reese novels at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=thom+reese&sprefix=thom+reese%2Caps%2C464

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2013 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

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December 11, 2012

THE WALKING DEAD PHENOMENON: What broadcast networks Can Learn from Cable Dramas by Thom Reese

Filed under: entertainment,horror,media,television — Thom Reese @ 9:52 am
Tags: , ,

Most of you know me as an author and a book lover. Which I am. But, at the heart of this is the fact that I’m a lover of stories. I love fiction. I love tales. Drama, whether grounded in worlds real or imagined enthrall me. All this to say that in addition to books, I love stories told on the screen as well. And as such, I’m very excited about some changes in the television landscape.

I love it when something defies all conventions and expectations. Four years ago when I first learned that The Walking Dead – a comic book series about zombies – was to be launched by AMC as a weekly series, I was excited that something this far outside of the box would make it onto the schedule. Everything went against conventional wisdom. Genre television shows as a rule tend to struggle. There have been exceptions through the years. Star Trek the Next Generation was a huge success, though the original Star Trek series struggled through its entire run and was cancelled after three seasons. Dark Shadows was a hit back in the sixties, but it wasn’t until recently with True Blood that another horror television show has truly succeeded. And True Blood’s numbers, while good, are not earth-shattering.

Enter The Walking Dead. A weekly zombie gore-fest based on a comic book series. It’s not just a hit. It’s a phenomenon. The Walking Dead has done something that no cable television show has ever done before. Not The Sopranos. Not Dexter, Breaking Bad, none of them. The Walking Dead is beating its broadcast competition. There’s a common misconception that, as a rule, cable television is beating broadcast television. After all, cable has most of the cool, trendy shows, the water cooler shows that everyone talks about the next day at work. But, in reality, cable numbers are usually well below broadcast numbers. A cable hit such as Dexter or Homeland might land two million viewers where a broadcast episode of NCIS reaches 12-14 million. Part of this stems from the simple fact that nearly every household in the country has access to broadcast TV while only about 70% of households get cable or satellite.

All the more amazing, that The Walking Dead can now boast 15.2 million viewers.

Look at that number again: 15.2 million.

The Walking Dead has done what no other show has done before by becoming the first ever cable television show to beat every other show in the prime 18-49 age demographic.

A zombie show.

Based on a comic book series.

Why?

I believe the answer is quite simple. It’s a quality show.

As are many other cable dramas. The most talked about dramas on television are all aired on cable networks: Breaking Bad, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy.

What do these shows all have in common?

Many people will jump to the obvious differences between broadcast and cable. On cable television there can be more violence. Profanity is allowed as is nudity. But while these things may appeal to many viewers, in truth, they’re only icing. Very few people return to a show week after week just so they can hear profanity, or catch a glimpse of a breast, or see blood and gore. People don’t watch The Walking Dead because of the gore. In fact, many people watch it in spite of the gore. Viewers don’t tune in to Dexter to see dismemberment, or to game of Thrones simply to see the occasional breast.

They come back because these are quality dramas.

So, what’s different about these shows? What separates them from their broadcast counterparts?

First, let’s look at the broadcast drama paradigm. With only a handful of exceptions, broadcast dramas fall into three categories: crime, medical, and legal. Most series are episodic in nature. As in, the story is introduced and brought to conclusion all in the space of a single episode. There might be some lingering plot arcs that carry through a season, but the primary plot line of each episode is closed in forty-two minutes of actual story.

Not so in these quality cable dramas. There is no set paradigm.  These hits are not traditional in nature. These are not variations on CSI or Law and Order. The Mentalist would never be considered by Showtime or HBO. HBO’s Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s amazing book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is a fantasy series – and quite possibly the best series currently on television. Dexter and Breaking Bad both have criminals as their lead characters. Homeland is about terrorism. Mad Men about  an advertising agency.  Sons of Anarchy about bikers.

At common among these programs: Well-developed characters, complex plotting that spreads a single story arc over an entire season or more, and quality acting and production. Game of Thrones is shot on three different continents using real castles and scenery. It looks more like a movie than it does a television show. The Walking Dead has makeup and effects every bit as good as those seen in many horror films. The characters in these shows live and breathe. We, the viewers, want to know what happens to them, how and if they’ll survive.

This brings me back to The Walking Dead. It really isn’t a show about zombies. It’s a show about people. Zombies are the backdrop. It could have just as easily been a post nuclear war setting, an alien invasion, Nazis – anything. The show is about the people. The characters ring true. The viewers come back each week to see if their favorite character survives. And yes, in these quality dramas, central characters can die. It’s not like the broadcast model where everything essentially remains static throughout an entire season with only the season finale to eliminate characters for the next season – the elimination usually having more to do with contract issues than with anything truly plot related. The people in these shows, whether human, alien, hero or villain, are well developed. Characters die or change drastically as a result of events. The scripts are strong, allowing characters to grow and change.

The broadcast networks need to look seriously at the cable drama world. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of head scratching going on in network conference rooms right now. How could a cable zombie show beat us? We’re the major leagues. Who are these upstarts and who do they think they are? But what they need to realize is that now that the viewing public has been exposed to high quality stories in a televised format, they won’t be satisfied with the standard fare. My prediction is that we’ll soon see other cable shows beating their broadcast counterparts. And as this becomes more common, the big four will be forced to adapt. And as they adapt, we’ll see a higher caliber of drama coming to the broadcast airwaves. I look forward to it.

A side note: CBS has announced that it will be producing a television series based on Stephen King’s novel, Under the Dome. Showtime was originally slated to carry the project but CBS snatched it up. (CBS owns Showtime.) My understanding is that the move was made in response to the success of shows such as The Walking Dead. Maybe they’re starting to get the hint. My only hope is that they do the series justice. I loved the book and feel much more comfortable with it in the hands of Showtime than CBS. I hope CBS proves my concern to be unnecessary.

 

Thom Reese is the author of CHASING KELVIN, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published for download by Speaking Volumes. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Purchase Thom Reese novels at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=thom+reese&sprefix=thom+reese%2Caps%2C464

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

August 9, 2012

THE DEMON BAQASH CHAPTER 1 BY THOM REESE

Filed under: books,horror,Thriller — Thom Reese @ 4:12 am
Tags: , ,

Here’s a little treat for you. I thought you might enjoy reading the first chapter of my supernatural thriller, THE DEMON BAQASH. I hope you enjoy!

THE DEMON BAQASH

CHAPTER ONE

                       

Kim Troxel’s sleep was restless, punctuated with bizarre half-dreams and images. There was a dark figure, not a man, something different, with wings – six of them – moving independently, like tentacles slithering, reaching, grabbing. The creature had four faces, each directed to a different point. One laughed, while another cried. One ranted, the last smirked. Even through the mist of dream, Kim felt tense, felt her stomach twist, her skin go cold. The faces were not right. A hollow moldy cheek opposite a chubby infantile counterpart. A large uneven eye adjacent a torn and empty socket. The man-thing was somewhere else, someplace far away.

So very close.

A fire crackled and glowed. The smell of burning flesh assailed Kim’s nostrils. The non-man was before her now, grinning, though, in truth, Kim could make out none of the features. But they were familiar, so familiar. Yet… faded, incomplete. The man, the thing, entity – whatever! – it was holding a phone – handing it to her.

Kim’s eyes fluttered as she rolled over to face the annoyance. “Alright, alright. I’m coming.” She stretched, extending her arm as if she could will it to be longer. Why did the phone have to be onTrent’s side of the bed when he was never home from work untilthree A.M.? “Uhuggh, hello,” she managed in a drymidnightgrowl.

“Good morning, Kim.”

“Trent?”

“I’ve got a surprise for you.”

Kim squinted at the blurry alarm clock. Why did it seem the numerals faded as if fleeing some unseen menace?

“Trent, what time is it?”

“Late, Kim. Terribly late. But, someone is coming to see you.”

#

The deliveryman was tall. Taller even than the six-foot sixTrent. Pro basketball tall. Wide-shouldered and statuesque. Kim fumbled to wipe the sleep from her eyes, attempting to bring the face into focus. Somehow it seemed the man had multiple features, each fading and then reemerging in subtle parody of itself. He seemed so inconsequential, as if he might simply evaporate on the cool evening breeze. Kim blinked again and then again. The man was solid. Of course he was solid. How could he be otherwise? Strangely, at the sight of him, Kim felt a warm rush, a kind of electric hum or vibration, both comforting and unnerving, familiar yet alien. It was almost sexual but simultaneously horrifying. Strange. Why should she feel anything at all?

Something in this man’s face was familiar. Intimately so. But how? She’d never seen him before. One would remember a six-foot eight-inch deliveryman with deep multi-colored eyes.

“Mrs. Troxel?”

The strangely accented voice brought Kim back around. “Yes. I’m sorry. I’m still half asleep.”

“Undoubtedly,” he agreed. “I assume your husband informed you of this delivery.”

“He did,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “It’s just late.” Then, pausing, she ventured, “And since when are deliveries made at this hour?”

The man smiled. It was somehow inviting, beckoning her to come to him, to wrap her arms about him, to engulf him and…

What was she thinking?

“Distributions of the highest priority can be delivered around the clock, ma’am.” He extended the clipboard for her to sign. Those strange eyes – so knowing, as if he knew her every impulse.

Kim’s mind was fuzzy, unclear, still flirting with those horrible dreams. How was it that this man’s face seemed so ill-defined? She closed her eyes tight, and then opened them wide. She was simply tired. His face was fine. Wacky dreams.

“Would you care to come in?” she asked.

#

“Reggie,” said Kim to her live-in brother-in-law. “What’s that?”

The sound of someone shaking the front door flooded the tiny home. Kim and Reggie were seated at a table in the small, sparsely decorated kitchen, sipping a sweet herbal tea as Kim jotted ideas for a new poem. Writing poetry normally comforted her, separated her from the day-to-day drudge. But tonight her thoughts were scattered, her lines lacked meter, her meaning remained unclear. The deliveryman had left only fifteen minutes prior –three A.M.– and Kim had decided against climbing back into the oh-so-inviting bed. Now, she felt this might have been a mistake.

Reggie brushed his dark matted bangs from his eyes. “It’sTrent, I think. The door must be stuck again. He sounds kinda excited. Maybe he needs to use the bathroom.” Turning toward the door Reggie hollered, “I’m coming,Trent. I’m coming.” He rose gracelessly from the chair, his pear-like form sluggish as he hiked his lagging pajama bottoms with his left hand. “That door needs a new handle. It needs a new handle.”

Kim took another sip of tea. Reggie was probably right. It most likely wasTrent, but Kim doubted his urgency had anything to do with bodily functions. The pounding and shaking of the door sounded like someone panicked.

Four faces.

Panicked.

Six wings.

Themidnightfog cleared from Kim’s brain like the lingering sound of a marching band. Something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

“HeyTrent,” said Reggie as he pulled the door open with a forceful twist and a sharp tug. “We’ve got some tea. I can fix you some tea. It’s good. You can go to the bathroom first. I’ll just start…”

“Kimmie,” saidTrentas he brushed roughly past his brother causing the smaller man to shuffle backward, nearly tripping over a nearby crate.

Four faces.

“Trent?” Kim nearly screamed at the sight of him. His sandy red hair was disheveled, his face flushed and sweaty, his right hand was wrapped in something red, and his eyes.Trenthad strange eyes to begin with, one green, one blue. But this. There was something inTrent’s dual-colored eyes. Something she’d never seen, not when he was dismissed from the church in disgrace, not even when he’d watched Ashley emerge red and slimy from her body. It was fear. Real fear. Deep down in the soul fear. The kind one expected to find in the eyes of a man who’d just learned that the cancer had spread, that he had five weeks to live. “Trent, what happened?”

Six wings.

“Extraordinary,” he muttered, then paused as if somewhere between bewildered and flustered. “No, horrifying,” he added, wiping a hand on his corduroy leg. “Yes, horrifying is better. Did he come here?”

Kim stared up into her husband’s face and saw tears. “Trent, what happened?”

“Was he here, Goober?” asked Trent, using the pet name he’d given Kim when she’d been pregnant and craving peanuts. “I tried to call. Couldn’t get through. He was here. Of course, he was here.”

“Who, Trent? What’s this about?”

It was then thatTrentnoticed the boxes, twenty-seven of them, coarse wooden crates crowded into each corner, behind and under the not-quite-antique furniture, in the open closet, besideTrent’s upright bass. HowTrenthad missed them was beyond her. But undoubtedly he had. There he stood, jaw prepped to catch flies, golf ball eyes, and his head cocked like a cocker spaniel. If it hadn’t been so tragic, it would have been hysterical.

Kim stepped forward, embraced her husband in a fierce hug, brushed her lips wistfully across his, and then buried her head in his chest. The strangest, most horrifying thought came to her then.

Four faces.

Six wings.

Kim Troxel began to cry.

To purchase THE DEMON BAQASH, go to

http://www.amazon.com/The-Demon-Baqash-ebook/dp/B004J4X3NO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344513555&sr=1-1&keywords=the+demon+baqash

Thom Reese is the author of CHASING KELVIN, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published for download by Speaking Volumes. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Check out my new thriller, CHASING KELVIN, at: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

Check out the first Huntington adventure, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

LEARN THE SECRET of a strange race known as THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342274358&sr=1-1&keywords=the+empty+by+thom+reese

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

July 22, 2012

LAUNDRY LIST OF BAD BEHAVIOR BY THOM REESE

Filed under: books,culture,entertainment — Thom Reese @ 4:29 am
Tags: , , ,

We are proud. We are strong. We overcome. We give to charity, help the poor, and stand up for the rights of the downtrodden. And then in our spare time we act like the same dumb beasts we’ve been since time eternal. Do you doubt me? If so, I invite you to scan this list of poor behavior and count how many you’ve encountered – or performed – this past week. No condemnation. Just fun. Let’s have a look.

Ignoring the person one’s with in favor of the much more interesting smart phone: How many times have you sat with someone – completely ignored – as they stare fixedly at their phone, texting, facebooking, tweeting, Googling, or any other number of ings?

Riding a 25 MPH scooter on a 45 MPH street: Honestly, stay to the side where you belong. That thing is not a Harley and you’re going to cause an accident as everyone tries to maneuver around you.

Pants hanging down to south of the equator: I’ve thought of this phenomenon for some time now and have determined that the only possible explanation is some sort of severe brain damage early in life. Really, does anyone actually think it’s cool to flash soiled boxers at the world? Besides, it makes these fools walk like penguins.

Ridiculous public displays of affection: We get it, you’re in love. Many of us are as well. But please, keep your tongue in your own mouth until you get home.

Texting while driving: Ah yes, back to our buddy the smart phone. This decade’s number one BFF. Trust me, the phone will not be offended if you set it down while you’re driving. In fact, the Surgeon General has determined that slamming into the back of an eighteen wheeler while texting can be hazardous to your health.

…And texting in a movie theater: No, this isn’t potentially lethal, but that constant glow is very annoying to the people sitting close by and likely to cause disruption of your service as the guy sitting behind you grinds your phone into the floor with his heel.

Racism: Really. If you’re still basing your impressions of a person on skin color, go back to where you belong and tell the 1950s I said hello when you get there. Time to move on, people. Expand your thinking. Finally pursue that GED. Join the human race. Buy a smart phone. That way some aspect of you will display intelligence.

Public smoking (cigar, cigarette, etc.): Let’s be honest. These things smell like burning, sweaty, fungus-laden gym socks. Even short exposure will cause the repugnant odor to stick to hair, clothes, everything in the room, and linger for hours. If you’re so unconcerned about your own health as to cling to this harmful and outdated habit, at least have the decency to keep it to yourself.

Companies that hire telephone customer service reps with English as a twenty-second language: “Hello! Hello! I can’t understand a word you’re saying. What? Sway the bull? Oh! Pay in full. Yes, yes, I will sway the bull.” Really? Give me that smart phone. I’ll pay online while navigating the freeway.

Overly aggressive drivers: I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how rude I was by activating my turn signal with the expectation that someone – anyone! – would allow me to merge. My fault. Next time I’ll make the entire twenty mile trip in the right lane just so I don’t inconvenience my fellow drivers.

The sock gremlin: I don’t know who this guy is, but he really gets on my nerves.

People with bad breath that insist on standing two inches from ones face: Unless you’re my wife, take a couple of steps back. I’ll hear you just fine.

Automated answering systems that initiate a fifteen minute gauntlet before a person can connect with a live customer service representative to ask a simple question: Whoever sets these things up should be forced to utilize the system for every call they make. Yes, including personal calls. “If you’d like to speak with your mother, press one. To reimburse your mother for years of frustration and financial difficulty, press two, to leave a belated Mother’s Day greeting press…”

Drunk drivers: If you want to have a good time, fine, that’s your right. Just don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Having an extended conversation with the grocery checker while a line of seventeen people waits: Step aside. Have a conversation with your smart phone. It’s lonely.

People who have nothing to say but just won’t shut up: No offence, but no one cares how you treat your laundry, where you bought your pants, or how you organize your closet. Buy a dog. Give it a smart phone.

People who write obnoxious blogs: Um… Oops!

 

AND NOW AN ANNOUNCEMENT!!

I’M VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF MY NEW THRILLER, CHASING KELVIN!

Marc and Dana Huntington are back in an adventure that that will forever change their lives and rock them to the very core.

Government officials assassinated all about the globe. Seemingly unconnected terrorist attacks shake four continents. Former Delta Force commander Marc (Hunt) Huntington and his wife, ex British intelligence officer Dana, are thrust into the fray when they uncover a terrorist plot onboard a speeding train – a plot that might originate at the highest levels of U.S. government. Savagely attacked, Dana is caught in a web of conspiracy as an unwilling pawn. Hunt races against time to find the elusive cure to a deadly militarized bacterium before tens of thousands perish. What is the connection to the dozens of comatose forms secreted away in a concealed Swiss retreat? Is there a link to the Huntington’s bizarre find in the Amazon Jungle some months before? Will Dana escape nearly certain death?

Filled with breathtaking suspense and nonstop danger, this is a thriller you won’t put down until you’ve turned the final shocking page.

Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

Thom Reese is the author of CHASING KELVIN, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published for download by Speaking Volumes. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Check out the first Huntington adventure, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

LEARN THE SECRET of a strange race known as THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342274358&sr=1-1&keywords=the+empty+by+thom+reese

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

July 14, 2012

WHO I DON’T WANT FOR PRESIDENT by Thom Reese

Filed under: books,Politically correct,politics — Thom Reese @ 6:39 am
Tags: , ,

I don’t want the person with the lightest skin or the darkest skin – I could care less about skin as long as it’s a thick enough skin for the job.

I don’t necessarily want a Republican; I don’t necessarily want a Democrat.

I don’t want a conservative, I don’t want a liberal, but would be open to a person willing to look beyond broad labels and rhetoric to honestly examine each issue with the best interest of the people in mind.

I don’t want the best public speaker.

I don’t want the most polished image.

I don’t want the candidate with the most scathing campaign ads.

I don’t want the candidate who raises the most money.

I don’t want a candidate beholden to special interest groups.

I don’t want the candidate with the best speechwriter.

I don’t want the candidate that’s most photogenic.

I don’t want the candidate with the most Washington experience.

I don’t want an outsider claiming to save us all from entrenched bureaucrats.

I don’t want the person with the most electable running mate.

I don’t want the person the media loves.

I don’t want the person the media hates.

I definitely DON’T want the best politician.

I DO want the best president. Black, white, male, female, left, right, I want someone who can look beyond his/her own political career, beyond the party lines, beyond financial supporters, and make the tough decisions to the best of his/her ability with the best interests of this country as the single guiding force.

No, I’m not so naïve as to expect this person to actually exist, but I’m not so jaded as to give up hope.

On second thought, maybe I am naïve enough to want just a small miracle.

INTRODUCING My new thriller, CHASING KELVIN!

Marc and Dana Huntington are back in an adventure that that will forever change their lives and rock them to the very core.

Government officials assassinated all about the globe. Seemingly unconnected terrorist attacks shake four continents. Former Delta Force commander Marc (Hunt) Huntington and his wife, ex British intelligence officer Dana, are thrust into the fray when they uncover a terrorist plot onboard a speeding train – a plot that might originate at the highest levels of U.S. government. Savagely attacked, Dana is caught in a web of conspiracy as an unwilling pawn. Hunt races against time to find the elusive cure to a deadly militarized bacterium before tens of thousands perish. What is the connection to the dozens of comatose forms secreted away in a concealed Swiss retreat? Is there a link to the Huntington’s bizarre find in the Amazon Jungle some months before? Will Dana escape nearly certain death?

Filled with breathtaking suspense and nonstop danger, this is a thriller you won’t put down until you’ve turned the final shocking page.

Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

Thom Reese is the author of CHASING KELVIN, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published for download by Speaking Volumes. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Check out the first Huntington adventure, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

LEARN THE SECRET of a strange race known as THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342274358&sr=1-1&keywords=the+empty+by+thom+reese

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

July 4, 2012

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARC & DANA HUNTINGTON

Filed under: Adventure,books,entertainment,Thriller — Thom Reese @ 5:26 am
Tags: , , ,

To celebrate the release of my new thriller, CHASING KELVIN, I’m featuring an interview with Marc and Dana Huntington, the stars of my novels, CHASING KELVIN and DEAD MAN’S FIRE.

THOM: Welcome Marc and Dana. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules for this interview. I know you’re in the midst of the events chronicled in CHASING KELVIN.

DANA: Yes, we are. Things have not gone too terribly well to this point.

THOM: Well, I hope things all work out in the end.

HUNT: You wrote the book, you should know.

THOM: Very true. And I’m not telling.  So, Hunt, why don’t you begin by telling our readers a little about yourselves?

HUNT: Yeah. I guess the first thing they need to know is that Dana and I are recovery specialists.

THOM: And what exactly is a recovery specialist?

DANA: We make our living by recovering people and things that have gone missing.

HUNT: We get paid with reward money. Say, someone’s kidnapped a senator’s daughter…

DANA: Or a sheik’s wife.

HUNT: We locate and recover that person and collect the reward.

DANA: Or perhaps an ancient artifact or a famous painting is stolen. We recover those valuable items. Our adventures take us all about the globe. Quite fascinating, really. There’s always plenty of danger, twists and turns, intrigue.

THOM: So, what are your backgrounds? How did you come to be recovery specialists?

DANA: I’m former MI-6.

HUNT: That’s like the British CIA. Think of Dana as computer genius meets James Bond. Talented woman – and beautiful.

THOM: And, Dana, why did you leave MI-6?

DANA: That bit’s rather dodgy. I made the mistake of falling in love with and marrying an international criminal I’d been assigned to monitor. Things didn’t go well for me at MI-6 after that.

THOM: I’m sure we’ll learn more about that at a later date. Hunt, what’s your background?

HUNT: Delta Force. Special Ops. Things went sideways during what was to be my last mission in Iraq. Some of my men died. So did a child. An explosion damaged the left side of my face and caused memory loss. It all came down on me. My poor choices, my irresponsibility. I wound up with a dishonorable discharge. Thanks for asking, by the way.

THOM: Your exploits have been recorded in two books so far, DEAD MAN’S FIRE and CHASING KELVIN. Tell us about those adventures.

HUNT: Well, we were awesome.

DANA: I believe he’d like more specifics, dear.

HUNT: Right, right. DEAD MAN’S FIRE is set in the Amazon Rainforest. Very cool place. But it rains a lot.

DANA: A young paleontologist went missing after a major discovery.

HUNT: It seems there were multiple factions, all interested in this discovery. Some were willing to do just about anything to get their hands on it.

DANA: It was quite a romp. Mysterious ancient writings, dozens of comatose bodies hidden in a cave, gun fights, chases, deceptions, it was all quite thrilling really.

HUNT: And, who was it in the middle of it all? Oh, yeah, your ex-husband.

DANA: Well, I think that’s enough about DEAD MAN’S FIRE.

THOM: Fair enough. Would one of you like to tell us about CHASING KELVIN?

DANA: Certainly. We were on a cross country train, tracking a jewel thief named Kelvin Donnelley. He’d stolen a valuable diamond. We were about to recover it when Hunt discovered a terrorist plot onboard. Things went very poorly after that.

HUNT: The terrorist made their play. Dana was…

DANA: Don’t give too much away, dear.

HUNT: Okay. Well, something serious happened concerning Dana. It sent me chasing across the country as coordinated terrorist attacks took place around the globe. The death toll is still mounting and every discovery leads me to another mystery. Government officials are compromised; the situation continues to get worse. And Dana’s caught in the middle of this… situation.

THOM: I think you’ve told us plenty. Thank you both for sharing with us. I appreciate your candor.

Check out CHASING KELVIN at http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

And DEAD MAN’S FIRE AT  http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

March 8, 2012

DEAD MAN’S FIRE Chapter 1

Filed under: Book Reviews,books,entertainment,publishing — Thom Reese @ 5:44 am
Tags: , ,

In today’s blog I’ve posted Chapter 1 of my first Marc Huntington thriller, Dead Man’s Fire, which is now available. I hope you enjoy.

 

DEAD MAN’S FIRE

 

Chapter 1

 

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Boarding the yacht wasn’t the problem. Boarding without detection, sneaking below deck, stealing the priceless Cobra of Cyrus, then fleeing undetected, that was the problem. Recovery specialist, Marc Huntington – Hunt, to those who knew him well – rose quietly out of the cool, dark water and ascended three steps up the dive ladder located at the aft of the seventy-six foot motor yacht named The Lady of the Cape. Dana, his wife and partner, would remain in their rented, much smaller, craft unless needed. I.e., unless Hunt was discovered. Hunt was hoping Dana could stay off of the yacht for this particular operation.

“Do be careful,” she’d said in that irresistible British lilt of hers. “I don’t fancy a ruckus. We do have dinner reservations at ten.”

Hunt had chuckled. “No ruckus. I promise. Heaven help me if I ruin our dinner plans.”

“It’s at De Kelder!” laughed Dana with mock indignation. “The waiting list is a week at best.”

“I’m a Midwest boy. You sure we can’t just catch a burger?”

“Oh, you are horrible,” she’d laughed, smacking him lightly on the rump as he’d prepared to enter the water.

“I do what I can,” smiled Hunt.

“Love you,” she’d said with a peck to his cheek.

“Love you too,” he’d said before finding her lips with his own.

Baruti and Abri Lekota, the owners of this floating Shangri-La, were attending a dinner engagement on another yacht docked roughly a quarter of a mile distant in another birth at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. They were not due back for at least two hours. Unfortunately, this did not mean that the craft was unattended. Based on his research, Hunt knew that two guards were to be stationed, one fore and one aft. He also knew that they were rarely at their appointed stations. Often the two simply lounged on the forward deck, playing poker, and scoping out bikinis on neighboring vessels. Fortunately, this was the case as Hunt peered onto the bare deck, illuminated now only by the sliver of a moon. Even so, Hunt needed to act with care. The guards, seemingly lackluster or not, were former military and heavily armed. Being spotted could have deadly consequences.

Though the Lekota’s were quite wealthy, and the yacht well stocked with fineries, until now, it had not housed a rare artifact worth millions. Hunt had been surprised that they’d not increased security all the more since taking hold of the piece. Surprised, but not disappointed. From what Hunt had read Baruti Lekota was a man whose ego was so large as to dismiss any thought that someone could possibly have the gall to come aboard and take his property.

Hunt was fine with taking the man down a notch or two.

Besides, the cobra wasn’t even his property. It had been stolen some six weeks prior from Sir Edmond Graham Foliar of Cheshire England. The authorities had been unsuccessful in locating the relic, and so Sir Foliar had offered a generous reward. Hunt wanted the reward money, and had subsequently tracked the cobra to this yacht. Nice and neat, the way he liked it. Now all he needed to do was secure the prize and slip off the boat without being detected.

The plan was for Dana to motor over to the yacht and chat up the guards with nonsense about being a tourist on holiday in Port Elizabeth. Her rather colorful east London accent and bubbly personality would likely entertain them while Hunt slipped aboard and made off with the treasure undetected.

That was the theory at least.

Dana considered the plan simplistic and droll. This, thought Hunt, was how Dana saw most of his plans. But, simplicity, he had learned, was a considerable weapon. An overly complicated plan made improvisation difficult when everything went deep south. And, in truth, that was where most plans went. Anyone with field experience knew that a plan was merely a starting point; ingenuity, decisiveness, and quick action brought you home alive.

It was mid-evening, eight pm local time, and Hunt’s body clock had still not clicked over from Pacific Time U.S. But the water was cool, the breeze refreshing, and he was counting on an adrenaline kick to see him through. Truly, it wasn’t so much the jetlag that got him as it was the idiot medication he took to stave the ferocious migraine headaches that had plagued him since the explosion on that final day in Iraq.

Hunt’s gut tightened as he heard the single outboard engine approaching from the east, and then the subtle swish of water against fiberglass as Dana cut the engine and coasted lazily toward The Lady of the Cape. It was show time and that meant nearly anything could happen. “Hallo! Do either of you gentle-men speak English?” he heard Dana say. They both did. Hunt and Dana had done their research. Though, IsiXhosa was the most common language, English was used in international trade, and most of the wealthy – and their hired help – knew the language fairly well.

“I speak English,” shouted one of the guards. It was the guard on the star-board side, the heavier and, most likely, less agile of the two.

“I’m a bit befuddled,” said Dana. “Just in from out of town and all that.” Hunt smiled. She was playing up her cockney accent, drawing on her east London roots in an attempt to entertain the two. Her colorful vernacular was a treat, and it was one of the things Hunt loved about her, but, having attended Cambridge University on scholarship and then going through intense language and speech training with MI6, Dana could turn it on and off at will, often times distancing herself from her working class upbringing with precise and delicate verbiage. Queen’s English, she called it.

This was not one of those times.

“Blimey!” she said with ludicrous verve. “Do you blokes ‘ave a zoo in Port Elizabeth? I just love a good zoo. An‟ fish „n chips! All this water, you’d think there’d be bleedin’ fish „n chips on every corner.”

Liza Doolittle, eat your heart out.

Suppressing a chuckle, Hunt crept up the ladder and onto the deck.

“Bugger this! The wind’s kicking up,” chimed Dana. “Does the wind al-ways knock you about so?”

Five quick steps across the gently rolling deck and Hunt made the descending stairwell. Having memorized the floor plan and casually interviewed several close friends of the couple, Hunt knew exactly where to go. Once below, there was a small foyer-like area, followed by a hatch leading to the engine room. Hunt marched through this and to yet another hatch leading into the lush cabin, which could also be accessed from the forward side via a winding staircase. The room was spacious enough as far as cabins went: wood paneled walls, lush red carpeting, a Monet hanging above the headboard of the bed. But, like all offshore accommodations, it felt tight and ill-fitted to the unaccustomed. There was a queen sized bed directly before him now, a sink and a three sided closet to his right. Hunt made his way to the closet, opened it, and then knelt before the gunmetal gray safe on the floor.

Quickly, he removed a small leather case from his watertight backpack and, laying it on the carpeted floor, withdrew an E500XT electric lock pick, two picking needles, three tension tools, and a hex wrench. He could hear the two guards laughing at Dana from above – probably ogling her as well; the daughter of a British father and Vietnamese mother, her stunning Euro-Asian features, clear blue-violet eyes, silky black hair, and athletic physique, made her quite appealing to behold.

As a former Delta Force operative, Hunt had been a master lock pick, able to breach nearly any lock in under a minute, but his frequent headaches brought about by the bomb blast now made it difficult for him to concentrate on some-thing so detailed. In truth, with his considerable combat experience, Hunt would likely have been the better choice for taking out the guards should there be the need, leaving the lock picking in Dana’s expert hands, but he’d been bullheaded about it and so here he was.

Taking a long cleansing breath, Hunt narrowed his gaze, attempting to maintain focus. He nearly had it. Just a little twist and…

No.

Even with electronic equipment, he had trouble with the task. This wouldn’t have happened before Iraq.

Virtually nothing was the same as before Iraq.

Hunt angled his head so that his right ear – his only functioning ear – was toward the hatch. He could still hear the voices from above and forward, but had he just heard something aft, a subtle thump perhaps? He paused, listened, waited another moment longer. No. Nothing. Not at the moment at least.

Returning his attention to the safe, he adjusted the E500XT, and then paused. There it was again. Someone was approaching from the engine room. It was then that the figure appeared in the hatchway.

“Oh, bloody hell,” whispered the man, who, like Hunt, was wearing a drip-ping wetsuit. “This is just brilliant.”

No obvious weapon, casual stance, an easy grin, Hunt’s gut told him this man was not an immediate threat. Still, he rose to meet the man face-to-face, legs spread wide, slightly crouched at the waist, ready to spring. Gut instinct or no, he had to be prepared for the unexpected.

“Who are you?” asked Hunt, whispering as well. “You’re not on Lekota’s staff.” Still he scanned the man for sign of a weapon, while keeping a close watch on the intruder’s hands and eyes, the two most obvious tells of an impending attack.

The intruder chuckled. “Great. A yank. Well, genius, it appears that I – like you – am here for the Cobra of Cyrus. Dated 500 BCE, or so I’m told. Worth more than a shilling or two as well.”

Though tensed, and prepared for action, Hunt had to smile. “Perfect,” he said. “A thief.”

The man shrugged. “I prefer to think of myself as a liberator of fine property.” His sharp devilish eyebrows furrowed just then. It seemed he’d just had his first good look at Hunt. “My God, man. What happened to your face?”

Hunt shrugged. “Suicide bomber. Iraq. Things could have gone better that day.”

“Bloody well right they could have,” said the man, who, unlike Hunt, had not the slightest hint of disfigurement. He was perhaps thirty-five, lean, not as muscular as Hunt, but firm none-the-less. He had deep-set chocolate brown eyes positioned below two expressive black brows. His still-wet hair was jet black. Not a silver streak to be found. His mouth was broad, and seemed to seek occasion to offer a perpetual grin. “So, how are we going to handle this?” he asked, inclining his head toward the safe. “Mind if I have a crack. Seems the lock’s giving you a bit of a hitch.”

Hunt smiled. “Not a chance, buddy. I’m here first.”

“Well, yes, of course you were. But, you see, this isn’t grammar school. You can’t call dibs.”

It was then that both men heard running footsteps from above. “Great! You alerted the guards,” hissed Hunt.

“Me? I could hear you clattering about in here all the way from Wilshire.”

“Sounds like they split up. One coming from the fore, the other aft.”

“I’ll deal with the fore,” smiled the intruder. “As it seems you’re the bigger aft!”

Hunt groaned. The man’s humor was worse than his own. He might find he liked this guy. Without another word, Hunt moved to beside the engine room hatch. Yes, there was definitely someone coming. The guard had slowed some, apparently now deciding that stealth would serve him well. Hiding just within a small alcove adjacent the spiral stairs, the Brit had flattened himself against the wood paneled bulkhead, tensed and ready to spring. Hunt made eye contact. Both men nodded, grinned, and then it began.

Hunt had drawn the heavier of the guards – the one he’d assumed to be rather out of shape and less the threat for it. A quick roundhouse kick to the gut, an uppercut to the jaw, and the man dropped his weapon, a 9 mm Heckler & Koch MP5, a rather nasty weapon for routine security, thought Hunt. But, before Hunt could land another blow, two massive fists hammered down on the back of his neck. The man was much faster – much stronger – than anticipated.

Hunt fell to his knees, and continued directly into a roll, not allowing his opponent to land another blow. The weapon was only perhaps four feet distant, lying on the carpeting at the foot of the bed. But before Hunt could wrap his fingers about it, the guard’s booted right foot connected squarely just below his left ribcage.

Hunt tumbled to his right, arms instinctively cradling his belly as his face struck a bedpost.

Just then, the other guard careened into Hunt’s opponent, apparently tossed by the British thief. Impressive. It seemed the man had skills.

Still cradling his side with his right arm, Hunt rose unsteadily to his feet, ducked a rather vicious blow from the smaller guard, and was grabbed from behind by the larger man.

Hunt slammed an elbow into the man’s gut, twisted, pulled, and flipped the burly man over his right shoulder, sending him somersaulting onto the corner of the bed, where he bounced once and then tumbled sideways onto the floor with a prolonged grunt. Before he could lift his head or gain his bearings, the man was zapped with a Taser. Hunt glanced quickly around for the second guard only to find that he was already down, apparently tased as well.

Grinning, Hunt nodded at his wife – who still held the Taser – just as the thief said, “Dana?”

Dana’s eyes went wide. “Jonathan?”

“Wait,” said Hunt. “You know her?”

“Of course, I know her,” said the other. “Do you?”

“Yes!”

“Who are you?” asked both men simultaneously.

“I’m her husband,” answered both.

Hunt’s gaze slid from Dana to the thief and back again. “I think I’m missing something here.”

“I’m her husband,” repeated the man. “Who the bleeding hell are you?”

One of the guards quivered, jerked, and shuddered at Hunt’s feet. He ignored the man. “Dana?”

“Well, Jonathan’s an ex-husband, really,” she said with a bit of a huff.

“No, not exactly,” said the man called Jonathan as he gently ran his finger-tips across a rather large lump developing on his left temple.

“Fine points,” shrugged Dana.

“Okay, wait a minute,” said Hunt as he stepped squarely between the two. “This guy…”

“Jonathan,” said the man. “Jonathan Thorpe. Pleased to meet you.” Thorpe extended his hand, a gesture Hunt ignored.

“Okay, Thorpe here. You’re married to him?”

“Not any longer.”

“Again,” said Thorpe. “That’s not entirely…”

“We’re done, Jonathan. Bloody well deal with it,” snapped Dana. Thorpe held up his hands in a sign of surrender and backed up a step as Hunt faced Dana directly.

“So are you divorced or aren’t you?” asked Hunt.

“I’m legally married to you,” was her rather evasive response.

Hunt glared at her, a piercing pain developing in his gut. “And, yet you felt no compulsion to tell me that you’d been married before, that you may or may not be divorced?”

“It’s complicated.”

“That’s the best you can do – complicated?”

“Blimey, Hunt, what do you expect me to say?”

“Well, the truth comes to mind.”

The larger of the two guards groaned, shifted a bit, and made a feeble move toward his Heckler & Koch. Annoyed, Hunt gave him a swift kick to the gut and tossed the gun onto the bed.

“It happened while I was with MI6,” said Dana. “There are security issues, classified events and whatnot.”

“Security issues about your marriage? Dana, I’ve rolled with your cloak and dagger MI6 baggage until now, but do you really expect me to believe that you were forbidden to tell me about a previous marriage?”

“Hunt, can we please…” But, Dana never finished the sentence, for it was then that her eyes went wide. The argument had lasted less than a minute, but that was all the distraction Thorpe had needed to open the safe and retrieve the prize. Now he stood, the guard’s Heckler & Koch in his right hand, and the magnificent Cobra of Cyrus cradled under his left arm, its stunning ruby eyes glinting in the subtle artificial light and its silver coils seemingly wrapped around Thorpe’s forearm.

“Really, Jonathan? A gun? We both know you won’t shoot,” said Dana with a rather dramatic roll of the eyes.

“Oh, no. You, my dearest, I would never harm. But my replacement… Well, sorry chap. You seem like a good enough sort, but all’s fair and all that rot. Nothing personal.”

“Oh, it’s personal,” groused Hunt. “It doesn’t get much more personal.”

“Hmph,” shrugged Thorpe with a cheeky grin. “Well, yes, I suppose you’re right. But, as for now, I bid you adieu. And as for Frankenstein here, really, she is out of your league, man. You’ve got to know that.”

With that, he slowly crossed to the spiral staircase, being careful to keep the gun trained on Hunt even as he backed up the rounded stairs and out of sight.

When Hunt finally made the deck, he was just in time to see Thorpe pulling away in a dual engine speedboat. With a broad grin and an affable wave, the thief shouted, “Call me, dearest. We’ve loads of catching up.”

Hunt kicked a nearby torpedo buoy as he stared grimly at the retreating boat. Jonathan Thorpe had stolen the Cobra of Cyrus right from before his eyes. If only that had been the worst event of the day.

TO ORDER DEAD MAN’S FIRE CLICK http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1331211836&sr=8-4

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. The second Marc Huntington novel, CHASING KELVIN, is due for release this spring. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

January 8, 2012

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley


IN THIS POST:

 

Thom’s Happenings

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley

Thom’s Happenings

Today’s blog features an interview with fantasy/science fiction writer T.W. Fendley, but before we move into our feature article I’d like to bring you up to speed on my current projects and releases. I’ve just completed work on my second Marc Huntington novel, CHASING KELVIN, which should be released late spring. The publisher of this series, Speaking Volumes, has asked me to continue with the series so there will be a third Huntington novel in 2013, and likely each year to come for the foreseeable future.

BIG NEWS! My first novel with publisher L & L Dreamspell, THE EMPTY, is due for release this month. The eBook version is now accessible at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1325947161&sr=8-9  while print versions should be on sale within 1-2 weeks. I’m very excited about this book and am already plotting a sequel. THE EMPTY focuses on a people who have a faulty and incomplete genetic matrix and must infuse DNA from others – mostly from human sources, but sometimes animal as well. Some live among us, others on the outskirts of humanity in animal-like packs. This one is very special to me, and I hope you check it out.

And now…

 

An Interview with T.W. Fendley

T.W. Fendley writes historical fantasy and science fiction. While researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, she fell in love with ancient American cultures. Her debut historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME, was released in October 2011. She won the 9th NASFiC 2007 short story contest, and has a story in the Dreamspell Sci Fi Vol. 1 anthology. Fendley belongs to the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Broad Universe and the Historical Novel Society.

Why don’t you start by telling me about your most recent release?

To put things in perspective, the title–Zero Time–refers to Dec. 21, 2012, when the Earth comes into alignment with the galaxy’s dark rift for the first time in 26,000 years. It’s also considered the end of the Mayan calendar cycle that began in August 3114 BCE. Here’s the book blurb: As Zero Time nears, only Keihla Benton can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past. 

You write historical fantasy. What genre(s) do you like to read?

Fantasy is currently my favorite, and I love books with a strong historical or scientific element. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of young adult books lately, and I’m a sucker for quirky. I used to read (and write) horror and traditional mysteries, but not so much anymore.

What draws you to historical fantasy?

I write historical fantasy and sci fi for the same reason I studied journalism and art in college–I wanted to be able to continue to learn and to express my creativity on a daily basis. Speculative fiction lets me do the research that I love, as well as follow where my imagination leads me.

What is your writing routine?

Truthfully, right now I’m out of my routine since I’m trying to get a handle on marketing. Generally, the first thing I do when I wake up is grab a cup of decaf coffee and write. I’m definitely a morning person.

Do you begin with plot or characters?

A concept or setting usually gets me started, then I figure out how to tell a story around it. That’s what happened when I read about the sex-chromosome drive in Matt Ridley’s book, GENOME. I thought, What if people had this disorder that causes 97 percent of the offspring to be female? That became the motivation for the characters in my book, ZERO TIME, to travel to Earth to try and save their race from extinction.  

Tell us about the characters in your most recent work.

Their names tell a lot about each of my characters, who are inspired by their mythic namesakes. For instance, Xmucane, the leader of the expedition to Earth in ZERO TIME, is the divine grandmother and daykeeper in Maya mythology. Keihla Benton is named after Quilla, the Inca moon goddess. As a modern woman, Keihla finds she must get in touch with her innate powers as a Daughter of Light.   

What are you currently writing?

My next project will be the sequel to ZERO TIME, which I actually started in 2010 during NanoWrimo. Additionally, Beta readers are reviewing my young adult fantasy, also set in Peru, called THE LABYRINTH OF TIME. It’s about two teenagers who telepathically receive messages left by an ancient race on engraved stones. Oh, and a hairless Peruvian dog named Boss Lady helps them on their quest.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Sit down and write. I tell myself that, too, when I get distracted. Join a writing group to help you stay focused and keep you striving for excellence.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why?

I like the juxtaposition of the imaginative with scientific, metaphysical or historical elements. If I’m going to spend from a month to a year working on a story, I want it to be something that fascinates me.

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I won my first writing awards in grade school from the Audubon Society for an essay on owls and from the TB Association for a story that featured a character I created named Timothy B. Mouse. For 25 years, I earned my living as a journalist and in corporate communications. I owe my first book contract to the 2010 Missouri Writers’ Guild conference. After pitching to agents and publishers there, I signed with L&L Dreamspell.

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation?

Here are three of the reasons I like ebooks: First, they weigh less. Before ebooks, I lined the bottom of my suitcase with books when I traveled. Now I take my iPad. Second, since my iPad’s backlit, I’m less of a bother to my husband when I read in bed (every night). Third, authors earn about the same on ebooks as they do on print books, and readers pay a lot less–what’s not to like about that?! The negatives–I simply love my books! Most of the print books I buy are nonfiction because I don’t find ebooks as research-friendly, and I don’t want to rely solely on Google.

For more info, check out T.W.’s  website, www.twfendley.com or her blog at www.thewriterslens.com

www.twfendley.com
Zero Time, $4.99 in Kindle store!
Solar Lullaby, Dreamspell SciFi e-anthology – $2.99 in Kindle store!

 

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Purchase THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1326026205&sr=8-9

Purchase DEAD MAN’S FIRE: A MARC HUNTINGTON ADVENTURE at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-ebook/dp/B005L4I8TK/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1326030583&sr=8-12

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

December 23, 2011

An Interview with Horror Author James Dorr

 IN THIS POST:

Thom’s Happening – Announcements, Specials, etc.

Thom Interviews Author James Dorr

Before we jump into our feature interview with author James Dorr, I’ll take a moment to bring you up to speed on some happenings. I’m very excited to announce that my next novel, THE EMPTY, is due out within the month. This deals with a race who have no genetic matrix of their own and must infuse DNA from others, both human and animal. Some are civilized and live among us, others are beastly and horrific. This one is very special to me.

I’m putting the final touches on CHASING KELVIN, the second in my Marc Huntington series. The first, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, was released this fall, and follows recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington as they track a missing scientist through the Amazon. Lots of action and twists.

And, for the holiday season, the eBook versions of my books, THE DEMON BAQASH, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS are on sale for only $4.99. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-ebook/dp/B005L4I8TK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1323524905&sr=8-13

For autographed copies of the print version, contact me a thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for ordering and pricing information.

 And now, an  Interview with author James Dorr

 James Dorr is a short story writer and poet with two collections, Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance and Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, published by Dark Regions Press in 2001 and 2007, while his all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective) has just come out in 2011 from Sam’s Dot Publishing.  Dorr is an active member of SFWA and HWA along with the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an Anthony (mystery) and Darrell (fiction set in the US Mid-South) finalist, and a multi-time honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror with nearly four hundred individual publications from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to Xenophilia.  Also a sometime semi-professional musician and the keeper of a large rambunctious cat named Wednesday (for Wednesday Addams of The Addams Family) who plays with spiders, Dorr invites readers to visit his site at http://jamesdorrwriter.wordpress.com for up-to-date information and news.

Why don’t you start by telling me about your most recent release?

That would be Vamps (A Retrospective), an 84-page collection of poetry on vampires and things vampiric.  In all there are 75 poems, roughly a third of which are new to the volume, on vampires past, present, and future with illustrations by artist and poet in her own right Marge Simon.  As for the subject, vampirism is powerful stuff, representing the nexus of sex and death, birth and rebirth, eros and thanatos, spreading in one form or another to almost every nation and culture on Earth, although, to  be sure, the ones in Vamps tend mostly to European models and their American transplants.  Vamps is available as a trade paperback from Sam’s Dot (www.samsdotpublishing.com) for about the price of a modest pizza –- with blood sausage topping, of course. 

Vamps (A Retrospective) was published in August 2011 and I should mention I have another book, Vanitas, that came out the same month as an electronic chapboook from Untreed Reads Publishing (www.untreedreads.com).  This is a longish short story that was initially published in Alfred Hitchcock’s in January 1996 and is also reprinted in print form in my Strange Mistresses collection. 

What is your writing routine?

This is a hard one to answer because basically I’m an undisciplined person.  I also tend toward procrastination so I like to do actual writing when I have a reasonably large block of time I can set aside, often on weekends, since once I actually get myself started I’m usually reluctant to stop until physical tiredness starts to enter in.  That said, I’m not idle at other times though, often spending evenings researching a story in progress or searching for ideas for the next.  Then there’s reading email which brings in the business side of the racket, submitting stories and poems, writing cover letters, proofreading galleys when things are accepted, and otherwise keeping the process moving.   

Do you begin with plot or characters?

This is also hard to say because some stories come out one way, some another.  In the past I probably would have said plot –- and I think, when we start out most writers do well to actually outline events in a story, however informally -– but nowadays it gets more complicated.  Usually I’ll start out with an idea, an image perhaps, or a phrase, or lately sometimes a poem that I might have written some months back.  Then I’m likely to get a notion of the character(s) the idea might work with, but at the same time I’m also exploring where and how the story might end –- where the idea is taking me toward.  And then I try to find the beginning point, after which I look for that block of time I mentioned above, power up the computer, and sit down and write.   

Tell us about the characters in your most recent work.

Characters in a poetry book?  Why, yes.  The vampiress Annchuck — who made her debut in my very first stand-alone book, a poetry chapbook called Towers of Darkness that came out in Nocturnal Publications’ “Night Visions” series in 1990 — joins with Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, “Guillemette” (née Mina Murray), Nadja, Nikki (who flies), a modern Medusa, a tourist who meets “Cape Man” in France (“…he had a tendency to change the subject when I asked him what he did.  Eurotrash, I suppose”), a competitive runner who races the sun, a woman who dreams of someday winning the Galactic Lottery, several survivors (more or less) of unusual dates, a baseball fan who dotes on night games, a modern Carmilla who also loves jazz, and a future version of Kipling’s vampire (“a rag and a bone and a hank of hair”), these are some of the beings who populate Vamps (A Retrospective).  And might I mention again that Marge Simon even provides pictures of some of these –- including one who’s not specifically mentioned in the book, the cover portrait based on the early twentieth century movie “vamp” Theda Bara.   

Then in Vanitas there’s Caleb Rushton, a one-time sailor who came to the New England town of Vanitas and became its church sexton, choirmaster Petro Mezzoni whose dream was to construct a steam-powered organ, the Reverend Hawkings, church elders, the members of a doomed traveling circus, and, lest one forget, the female-formed wraith some townspeople saw on the roof of the church. 

What are you currently writing?

It’s kind of funny, but one thing I write almost every year at about this time is a Christmas story.  It’s often not a very nice one –- I do write horror — but Christmas is a source of ideas in that it’s the largest holiday of the year and, especially for a horror writer, suggests an instant contrast with the joy we’re supposed to show on the outside and whatever our innermost, real feelings may be.  However the market is limited to a narrow time period and lots of people write holiday tales so it’s understood they’ll be a hard sale, and I count myself lucky if I sell one in a given year -– many years they won’t sell at all.  Last year, for instance, I did place one, “The Christmas Vulture,” in issue 3 of Untied Shoelaces of the Mind.  But then came 2011 and I have at least three either just published or about to come out this December (depending on when exactly this interview appears), “Naughty or Nice” in  Daily Science Fiction, I’m Dreaming Of A… as an electronic chapbook from Untreed Reads (that is, the same outfit that published Vanitas last August), and “Mr. Claus” in the print anthology WTF?! by Pink Narcissus Press, plus a Christmas poem, “Expanded Mission,” in a special issue of Abyss & Apex.  So I don’t know if it’s the economy or what, but go figure. 

That said, I’ve also been writing an ongoing series of stories set in the “Tombs,” a far future necropolis set on a dying Earth.  Thirteen of these have already been published, one incidentally in my Strange Mistresses collection and three in Darker Loves, while others are being looked at in various places.  More exciting, I’m also negotiating with a publisher for a possible “Tombs” novel composed of stand alone segments, much like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles or Christopher Barzak’s The Love We Share Without Knowing.

Then finally while I’ve been writing a number of shorter pieces, taking advantage of flash markets as well as some internet publications’ preferences in general for briefer work, I’ve also been working to get some older, previously published stories back into print.  Current examples would be stories out or coming out in Future Lovecraft, In Poe’s Shadow, America the Horrific, The Spirit of Poe (poetry), Lore: A Quaint and Curious Volume of Selected Stories, and Candle in The Attic Window.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

The major one is persistence. It usually takes a long time to become published and, while it’s good to market stories starting with the best publications and working down, don’t be disappointed if your first sales are to low paying, low circulation markets.  I usually want to get at least some pay myself, though, as well as a copy of whatever book or magazine my work appears in -– beware anyone who wants you to pay them to be published -– though I’ll make exceptions for reprints, especially for publications that sound particularly interesting to me, or occasional charity anthologies, etc.  

Join a writers group if you can –- you’ll find you learn more sometimes from critiquing others’ work than from the critiques they do of yours -– and try to remember that you’re an artist.  Try not to sell out, or at least hold out for a decent price.  And if editors suggest changes to you, by all means give what they say a try, but if it doesn’t seem to work for you don’t be afraid to write them back explaining why. 

Also, don’t wait for the muse to come to you.  Go out in the world and wrestle her for ideas.

What do you most like to write? Why?

I write mostly dark fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery.  It’s not so much that I’m a nasty person myself (though I remember a colleague defending her writing horror, explaining with a lilt in her voice, “You get to say such hateful things”), but that I have a fascination with people’s beliefs and how they might hold up, or not, when a character is subjected to stress.  Beyond that, the whole spectrum of speculative fiction allows me to experiment with ideas, even goofy ones sometimes –- what if, say, snow ate people? (which is the premise of one of the Christmas stories mentioned above).  Or what kind of gift might be appropriate for a newlywed vampire? (see “Honeymoon Magic” in Vamps). 

What do you read?

I read much more nonfiction than fiction, something I think many writers may tell you.  I read for ideas, for research, for details for settings, to understand how things work if I’m going to use them in my own stories.  In fiction and poetry I read, of course, the publications my stuff is in (and not just for pleasure –- it gives me a better insight into what an editor likes when the time comes to try to sell something else to that publication), but I also read outside of my genre, especially more literary works.  Of those that have especially influenced me, I’ll cite Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury, but also The Complete Greek Tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, along with the poetry of Allen Ginsburg and the plays of Bertolt Brecht. 

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I actually did more illustration than writing in college but that had me working on publications and, occasionally, having to write to fill in as needed.  So I don’t know.  By graduate school I was writing a science/humor column for that college’s student underground newspaper, later migrated to its literary newspaper (by this time writing various things, stories, essays, columns, reviews, often under pseudonyms), from there got a job as a technical writer –- and later editor –- for an academic computing center.  Ultimately I was freelancing real estate and business and consumer topics (good training for world building in science fiction and fantasy –- I’m not kidding, you need to know a society’s economy, how your characters make their livings) until some of my markets started to dry up, then got a “regular job” part time (this was during the Reagan recession) and got back into fiction and poetry. 

My first full size book came about when an editor heard me read poetry at (as I recall) World Fantasy Convention some years back.  He bought the poem as a reprint on the spot for a “Year’s Best” anthology he was planning, then suggested I pitch a combined fiction and poetry collection to him.  That one fell through, but a year or two later I made another proposal, sent him some stories that he liked better, and the result was Strange Mistresses.

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation?

eBooks have blossomed at a good time in that we’re still in an all-but-recession and, for people who don’t have much money, eBooks are at least cheap.  Better eBook readers have added other advantages too, such as changing type sizes for people with vision problems or storing a whole summer’s reading and more on a device that takes up only the space of a single book in your luggage.  On the other hand, I don’t recommend reading eBooks in the bathtub. 

I think the rise of eBooks can be exaggerated, though, and their ultimate impact will be similar to that of mass market paperbacks coming out of the Great Depression.  Their cheapness allowed more people to buy them, but hardbacks were still preferred by libraries, more well-to-do people, collectors, and even by poorer people for giving as gifts or for themselves in the case of titles they expected they’d keep on rereading (a Complete Works of Shakespeare would be an obvious example).  Then by the 1960s trade paperbacks came along too, for cheaper editions of the books you’d like to save, while mass market was still king for books you’d read and, if not literally throw away, at least not really expect to come back to even if they were still on a bookshelf somewhere.  All that said, mass market paperbacks still took over a lion’s share of the market — but added to the book market as well, in part by being affordable to people who might previously have relied on libraries.  But, just as hardbacks, libraries never disappeared either.  And now, with eBooks, I see the greatest “threat” they bring being to mass market paperbacks themselves, as a sort of even cheaper version (although internet/mail order used book markets like eBay and Amazon had been changing the landscape already, as have changes in taxing unsold inventories), but not necessarily replacing print in other forms, at least for a long time.   

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

December 10, 2011

Thom Interviews Author Claire Applewhite

IN THIS POST:

Thom’s Happening – Announcements, Specials, etc.

Thom Interviews Author Claire Applewhite

 

Thom’s Happening – Announcements, Specials, etc.

Before we jump into our feature interview with author Claire Applewhite, I’ll take a moment to bring you up to speed on some happenings. DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first in my Marc Huntington adventure series was released this fall. It follows recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington as the track a missing scientist through the Amazon. Lots of action and twists.

I’m nearly done writing the second in the series, CHASING KELVIN, and this should be out spring of 2012.

My next novel, THE EMPTY, is due out within the month. I’m very excited about this one. Here’s the back cover synopsis:

The reyaqc, a people who have no inherent characteristics of their own, but survive by infusing genetic information from humans and animals alike, often leaving the donors hollow, vacant shells. They’ve been with us for centuries. Many live in isolated communities on the fringes of society. Others walk the cities of the world, unable to reveal their true natures for risk of discovery. Donald Baker is a reyaqc and he fears for his people. For with the rising human population and technological advances, the reyaqc can no longer live undetected. His life-long desire is to bring his race into the mainstream of society. But now a lone rogue terrorizing the city of Las Vegas threatens to expose the reyaqc prematurely. As the death toll rises, Donald must battle not only the rogue, but his own savage nature.

And, for the holiday season, the eBook versions of my books, THE DEMON BAQASH, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS are on sale for only $4.99. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-ebook/dp/B005L4I8TK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1323524905&sr=8-13

For autographed copies of the print version, contact me a thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for ordering and pricing information.

 

And now, an  Interview with author Claire Applewhite

Claire Applewhite, the author of The Wrong Side of Memphis, Moonlight Becomes You So (2009), Crazy For You (2010), St. Louis Hustle, Candy Cadillac (2011) is a graduate of St. Louis University, (AB, Communications, MBA), Mercantile Leadership Program for Women. A participant in the Writers Institute at Washington University, and freelance writer—Healthy Cells magazine, House of Style magazine : Www.HouseOfStyleSTL.coM, reporter for Patch.com. For more on Claire, visit her website: www.Claireapplewhite.com

Other distinctions include:

Immediate Past President,MissouriWriters Guild

Board member of Midwest Chapter, Mystery Writers of America. Member andSt. LouisMetropolitan Press Club

Active member of St. Louis Writers Guild, Sisters in Crime, Ozark Writers League and Active Status member, Mystery Writers of America.

Claire, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Why don’t you start by telling us about your most recent release? Candy Cadillac is the third in the ‘nam Noir series, featuringVietnam vets Elvin Suggs and Di Redding. Set insouth St. Louis, it presents an intriguing time in the late 1980’s when car bombings and organized crime were active concerns.

What is your writing routine? I generally write in the early morning, the earlier the better, and go for around four or five hours. Sometimes, it’s 4:30 am, and sometimes it’s as late as six o’clock a.m., but the point is, I get it done first, before anything else has a chance to insinuate itself into the time designated for writing.  Then, I stop, preferably in the middle of a chapter or scene, so that when I return, I will readily recognize the conflict and carry on from the stopping point. I don’t look at it again that day, because I believe a writer has to allow some time to pass to better judge the quality of the writing and to recharge psychologically after spending emotional energy on characters.

Do you begin with plot or characters? I begin with plot because I believe the plot will tell you what kind of characters live in the story. For example, the story of Cinderella dictates the cast of characters, and even the setting.                                                                                                           

Tell us about the characters in Candy Cadillac. The characters in Candy Cadillac are the series characters from the ‘nam Noir series. Elvin Suggs and Di Redding, along with Cobra, the sniper, areVietnam vets turned St. Louis PI. Their creepy next door neighbors, the omnipresent black limo, the physician without a license to practice atCityHospital, Barbara Lacey, a mysterious blonde, and three women who assume her identity after her death, complete the cast.

What are you currently writing? The fourth in the series, Tennessee Plates, and a stand alone novel about a real life case that occurred at St. LouisCityHospital.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers? Consider that writing is a lifetime vocation. It’s not about money, or fame, or even bestseller lists. If you’re not growing and changing on some level with each book/screenplay/piece you write, or if you’re expecting a lot of money in a very short time period, writing may disappointment you.   As soon as you have polished a piece of your writing, start to send it out for consideration. Even if it is rejected, read the critiques. And then, rewrite and resend. Don’t let anything that isn’t your absolute best leave your desk. Ever.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why? I like to write a story in which a major transformation has occurred in the life or lives of the main characters. This could be a major disillusionment, a discovery of the truth, or a love that saves.  I write fiction because anything is possible. For me it is about creating a world where things may happen in a haphazard way, BUT in the end, order and justice prevail.

What do you read? I like to read a story in which I learn something I didn’t know (it could be anything), and where the writer does something extraordinary with ordinary characters or circumstances.

How did you get your start in writing? I’ve always written, from the time I was seven. But, it wasn’t until 1999 that I decided to get serious about getting published. My first book was published in 2009.

How did you land your first book contract? Actually, I submitted a short story to an anthology at the request of a friend, and after it was accepted, I decided to send a novel that I had been writing and revising for almost seven years. I had not sent it to anyone for fear of rejection. That initial success gave me the courage to submit the novel that became The Wrong Side of Memphis.                                                                                                                  

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation? I have heard that the advantage of ebooks is that they do not have a shelf life, compared to print books. In other words, an ebook might enter the market later in the book’s sales cycle, but it never leaves the shelf, virtually speaking. After six months, physical books are removed from shelves and returned. An ebook can be downloaded in thirty seconds. That said, there is something about holding an actual book in your hands, or buying a book that is personally signed by the author and/or given as a gift on a special occasion. Also, books can be handed down from generation to generation. As with most things, there are tradeoffs.

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

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