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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Book Launch!

The book launch was today!

 

I met a lot of really great people.  I had the privilege of signing a few autographs and talking about all sorts of great stuff.  I talked about Doctor Who, Video Games, Supernatural, Walking Dead, stand-up comedy, the role of women in comic books and, well obviously, my own book.  I also had an amazing conversation with a young artist about chasing dreams and the value of a good education.  Check out my blog to see a few images.  All in all, I was so happy to meet people and talk about the thing I’ve been dreaming of doing my whole life.  I hope to meet even more during my next visit to Twilight Zone Comics on April 1.

 

On that note.  The staff at Twilight Zone Comics was absolutely amazing!  They gave me a wonderful, prime location and a table with room to work.   Even more amazing, they gave me a chance to introduce myself to readers and new people.  We talked a bit about comic book stores.  I was blessed to have a  shop to hang out with growing up.  I’ve said as much on my Facebook page.  I have so many great memories of that place.  (Including the friendship I made with the man who became my brother-in-law.  That same man did the chapter icons for The Journals of Bob Drifter.)  So it’ll be impossible to rival the place with so many happy memories.  The point is, Twilight Zone Comics has that feel.  An owner who loves comics and meeting people.   Customers who want to see cool stuff and read great comics.  I look forward to the next few events I have there.

 

 

Kirkus Review

Kirkus Review

 

I announced that Kirkus Reviews was kind enough to review The Journals of Bob Drifter.  The review is here.

 

I’ll admit I was terrified to read it.  I actually had a friend read it before I did.  I understand as a writer sometimes people aren’t going to like your work.  But I put an extra emphasis on this first review because it was the first.  That being said, I honestly feel this review confirms a lot of what I wanted to do with this book and with my writing.  If I’m never more than a writer readers feel created good characters and an engaging story, I think I can live out my days happily.

 

I feel this is important to remember for me.  A writer’s first review should be something special.  I would feel the same way (and incredibly more devastated) if the review was negative.  I can take this and try to build on it.  I hope I take all the information and use it to grow, but I’m sure glad my first review is one like this.

Maryland Gazette

The Maryland Gazette ran a story on me and my book launch this Saturday.  Here is the link.

 

I was so glad to receive a call from Kathleen Shatt.  She was kind enough to get word out about me and my upcoming book launch.  I’m glad to see word getting out so quickly.

Upcoming Appearances

I’ve gotten together quite the local series of appearances culminating in JohnCon.

First, my book launch is set for March 28.  Flyers are made and things are looking good.  Below are the rest of my appearances.

April 1st 5-8 p.m.  Twilight Zone Comics.

May 1st  Time TBD:  Twilight Zone Comics for Free Comic Book Day.

May 8-10 Egyptian Cinema.  I’ll be in the theater promoting the book.  Here, I won’t be able to sell books, but I’ll be more than happy to put you on my email list, sign an autograph or talk to you about writing.

April 10-12 JohnCon This is by far the coolest thing!  I’ll be selling books and speaking at the convention about my experiences with publishing.  There’s  going to be some great stuff here as I’ve learned a lot with the release of my first book.  I hope that my experience makes the next published author’s life a little easier.

I’m hoping to book a few more appearances as time moves on.  I’m still working on a few things, but these are the ones that have been confirmed.

Looking forward to meeting as many people as I can.  I hope to see you all there!

Deleted Scene

Deleted Scene!

 

Below is a deleted scene from The Journals of Bob Drifter.  It deals with an event that’s mentioned later in the book.  Ultimately, I left it out because I felt it was a bit redundant and only slowed the book’s pace.  But I thought this would serve as a nice excerpt for those coming to the Launch at Twilight Zone Comics or just interested in reading more about Bob.  Please enjoy:

 

 

 

reaped

A Short Acquaintance

September 19, 2007

 

 

I met a nice young man today.  His name was Tom.  I’m good with names.  I’ve recently started to believe that I’m bad at everything else. 

I knew Tom for seven minutes.  For him, they were seven critical minutes.  For me, they were just another seven minutes of my life.  

For that, I feel ashamed.  I shouldn’t, but I do…

*  *  *

Bob had his radio on and was enjoying a song he wasn’t familiar with during his drive to work.  He wore his favorite dark-blue jacket with a black tie.  He’d spent a little more than a week getting a feel for his class, and he intended to begin his instruction in earnest.

The small pickup truck in front of Bob noticed a vacant spot on U.S. Highway 60 and merged right.  The semi speeding down that same lane didn’t see the truck merge soon enough.  Bob looked away as the semi blasted into the side of the truck.  The sheer sound of metal grinding and tires skidding caused Bob to glance at the scene, and he immediately wished he hadn’t.  He caught a glimpse of the truck driver flying through the air.  The guy must not have been wearing a seat belt.

Bob sighed regretfully.  He put the hazard lights of his car on and put it in park.  He got out and rushed to the injured driver.

The semi struck the pickup just in front of Bob’s car and blocked most of the road after the accident.  The 18-wheeler effectively sealed off the road.  Bob worried his car wouldn’t fit around the 18-wheeler once he finished.  A trail of metal and glass began just in front of Bob’s vehicle.  He followed it, and as he did, blood and clumps of what had to be flesh joined the trail.

Bob grimaced, picking up his pace.  There probably wasn’t much time.  He noticed the semi’s grill was smashed, but the rest of the truck was undamaged.  The pickup truck, however, looked as if it had been folded in half, then rolled down the road like a misshaped bowling ball.  It somehow ended right side up.  Bob looked on in horror at the driver who lay on the road between the two vehicles.

*  *  *

Tom Stampson was driving north on Highway 60.  He was a little late for work and the traffic on that particular road was never forgiving.

Just to his right, he noticed the traffic was actually moving.  He signaled to change lanes.  The semi about a mile down the lane didn’t see Tom merging.  Tom didn’t remember to buckle his seat belt in his rush to get to work.  The thought came to him in a panic as he saw the semi through his passenger-side window get larger and larger at a ridiculous speed.

There was a large flash of light and he wasn’t sure what happened.  Everything came to him like pieces to a puzzle.  First, he wondered why he was lying down.  Next, he saw his driver’s side window.  He followed the pattern of shattered glass to a clump of shredded legs.  They didn’t seem right to him.  The pain set in when he realized the mangled limbs were his own.

“I was in an accident,” he said to himself, or was it to the strange man who knelt over him?

“Yes,” the man answered.  He lightly touched Tom on the forehead.

As soon as Tom spoke, the memory of what happened came to him in a flash.  Fear gripped his mind.  He was bleeding profusely.  What happened to all the pain he felt only moments before?  The pain was unbearable only a second ago.  The next thing he knew, he felt right as rain.  If it weren’t for the bits of bone showing through his ruined blue jeans, Tom would have thought he could get up and walk away.

The stranger didn’t look at the other people who approached.  There weren’t many.  Some stared at the man.  Others forced themselves to look at anything but the crushed metal and torn rubber that used to be Tom’s truck.  At least one person picked up his cell phone.  Tom hoped whoever it was meant to dial 911. The strange man in the blue suite was the only one who approached him.  Perhaps he was the only one who could get through the wreckage.

Tom looked at his legs again.  They were twisted as if his left and right leg had decided to switch of their own accord.  The sun gleamed off the shattered glass on the road and gave the blood-smeared pavement a glowing quality

Tom cried out, afraid he was dying.  The man knelt next to him and answered his question as he touched Tom’s forehead a second time.  Tom felt a sudden sensation of warmth.  Did the stranger put a blanket over him?  No.  He could still see his intestines.  Tom felt a bit of panic.  Guts were supposed to stay inside of the body.  He realized he was dying, and someone had to save him.

“Please help me,” Tom begged.

“Don’t worry; I’m here to help,” the man said.  But he didn’t do anything.

Tom felt funny as his eyes closed.  In a fit of panic, he forced his eyes open.  His heart raced, but it still managed to find a new gear when he noticed the stranger was smiling over him.  Tom tried to cry out, but he felt so tired.  He was glad he wasn’t in pain.  That made it seem less horrific, but the man didn’t do anything.  Perhaps when Tom woke up he could ask the stranger why he didn’t help.  In fact, Tom wasn’t quite as afraid as he’d been.  It was like someone covered his fear in a thick, warm blanket.  A small part of his mind, buried deeply, was in a state of panic.  Tom didn’t hear it, and it seemed odd he wasn’t afraid, but maybe he was just too tired.  He needed a bit of rest.  Tom closed his eyes once more and never opened them again.

Kindle and Nook

I have some exciting news!  The Kindle edition of The Journals of Bob Drifter is now available through amazon.com.  Click here to go directly to the site.

 

The book (including the Nook version) is also now available at barnesandnoble.com. Click here to go directly to that site.

Saint Odd Book Review

 

Saint Odd was a bitter-sweet book for me to read.  It’s hard to provide a perspective on a book that culminates an eight-book series, so I think I’ll start with the basics.  For those who love the series and are familiar with Koontz’s style, you will find this book to be what you’ve been waiting for.  Like Odd’s fortune-teller card, Odd Thomas was a promise.  I won’t spoil anything for readers, but I feel this book fulfills the promise.

It had to have been 2004 or 2005 when I read Odd Thomas.  I was already a big fan of Dean Koontz (more on that later).  So when a dear friend (hi Sean!) mentioned how much Odd Thomas touched him, I put the book in my “read soon” stack.  I actually have a stack of books.  It never has the same titles, but I like to motivate myself to read by looking forward to what I’ll get to read.  Tangent aside, I started reading Odd Thomas, and finished reading it in less than two days.  I wept at the end.  Odd Thomas is, to date, one of only, at most, three books I’ve cried after reading  (All the Weyrs of Pern and A Memory of Light).  That book alone would have pushed me through the other seven.

What I like about the series:

The dialogue and wit of this book is always amazing.  I’m quite frankly jealous of these aspects of the series.

The characters are so wondrous.  There are those who may argue that Odd is very similar to some other books from Dean Koontz.  I don’t know that I can openly argue that point, but I can say this:  I can name some five or six characters from the Odd Thomas series.  I have 20 books by Dean Koontz in my library (whenever I buy a new stack or don’t have anything to read, I read one of his books).  I can’t name that many characters from the rest of those 20 books.  Odd Thomas is a truly singular character that any reader or hopeful author should be ashamed to have failed to meet.

What I don’t love so much about the series:

For the record, I don’t hate anything about the series or this book, but there are things that I think fans of Koontz just have to accept.

The magic system (I use this term to describe the supernatural abilities Odd exhibits through the series) seems a little middling to me.  I know some of the rules, but those rules bend a little more than I’d like when Odd finds himself in a pinch.

Like a lot of Dean Koontz novels, he revs the readers up to a climax, hits them and leaves them on the ground wondering the name of whatever vehicle hit them.  Saint Odd is no different.  One moment, I thought I was in the middle of the book.  The next, I was reading the end.  This makes for great pacing, but I found myself wanting more resolution than I got.  I feel this is a common issue with Koontz.  It works to a degree.  The reader is dragged at a breakneck speed through a witty, compelling story.  But I always find myself a little off.

I will say the series as a whole did a much better job with foreshadowing than some of the other Koontz books.

All in All:

I didn’t weep at the end of this book.  But I did get choked up.  I smile as I write this because it’s not Odd’s way to want tears for his joy or sorry (remember, no spoilers).  Saint Odd is a beautiful conclusion to a fun series of books.  I don’t think any in the series will touch the magic of Odd Thomas, but does anyone really forget the beginning of a great story?  I think the power and character of the original novel was so unique, any book from any genre would have trouble holding up.  But I feel this last book was perhaps the second best (I hold a special place in my heart for Brother Odd) in the series.

I read Koontz first to enjoy a good story, but I consider Koontz to be a fine study as authors go.  His character and dialogue are (perhaps arguably) second-to-none.  I consider Dean Koontz a model to follow in these areas, and the Odd Thomas series is, in my humble opinion, the best of his work.  Saint Odd put the finishing touches on the proof of that statement.

The Book is out!

The book is now available!

 

You can buy a hard-cover or soft-cover version of the book here

 

You can also purchase both versions at Amazon.com

 

The Ebook version is coming, but it’s not quite available just yet.  I’ll make sure everyone knows when that becomes available.

 

This is the culmination of a life’s dream.  I’m so very happy to see this book become available.  I truly hope people come to love this book as much as I do.

Book Launch Event

Release flyer

My Book Launch party is scheduled!

I’ll be appearing at Twilight Zone Comics at 18 Crain Highway North

Glen Burnie, MD. 21061

The event officially begins at 3 p.m.

I’m offering free soft-cover versions of the book to the first 15 people to appear.

I’m not going to keep the folks at Twilight Zone working past their business hours, but I will be more than happy to shake hands and sign autographs for anyone who comes by.  I’ll do a brief introduction and talk about how I made it to where I am today.  From there, I’ll sell and sign books.

There’s a small parking lot just behind the shop, but it’s not a lot.  There’s additional parking at the shopping center across the street.

This is particularly special as I’ve been a regular at Twilight Zone comics for a few years now.  I basically buy all my favorite back-issues from them.  I don’t go there as often as I like, but that’s only because I like having money in my bank account.

Regards

M. L. S. Weech