PHASMA: Book 4 of the Monstrum Chronicles
COMING IN 2016…
Ever have a morning where you can barely crawl out of bed? What am I saying… of course you have. Everyone has. That soft velvety feel of the sheets and the warmth call back to you as you trudge toward your bedroom door and out onto the always cold kitchen floor. Don’t fear, my friends. There is music that can help that feeling. And that music is Celldweller. In most cases, I have a little bit of time first thing in the morning to get some writing done before I have to start getting ready for work. Those are the reasons I rip myself out of bed at six a.m. every morning. This morning, I had some trouble though. I was very, very tired and almost just wanted to stay in bed. But, I knew that I had an action scene that was waiting for me to write and that in order to do that, I’d have to call upon the services of one of my favorite rock groups, Celldweller.
Yes. It has been a long time since I’ve given you all an update on things happening here at Monstrum Chronicles central. Figured it was about time. I apologize for my wacky schedule the last couple months. Fall is always so much more hectic for me because I have so much going on. Plus being sick hasn’t helped things. Thank you to all of you who still read my blogs every week. You guys are pretty awesome.
So, this week is Thanksgiving which generally means it’s just going to be a crazy week. I am literally over 80% done with revisions to the physical copy of “Aequitas”. Having just conquered the evil cold (maybe?), I can finally look forward to spending more time in the evening getting this done. I plan to use tonight and tomorrow night to finish up the last of locating issues in the book and starting to apply those revisions to the computer draft.
Then… it’s Thanksgiving (gobble, gobble). I intend to take that day off (but because I’m a workaholic, I might end up working on stuff anyway).
Then… it’s Black Friday. And yes, folks, I’m working that day. Probably going to be a pretty insane day. Not sure how much energy I’ll have that evening for working on the book. Saturday, however, I’ll have plenty of time to make the changes I need to the digital proof. I’ll probably purchase another physical proof so that I can make sure all of the changes came out correctly. When that’s approved, I’ll order copies of the books. So, now, we’re looking at an early December release.
Now, news on other things… I have an author event scheduled for the Vose Library in January. It will be a book signing/reading/discussion event for “Aequitas” and a chance for you to ask any questions you may have about the future of The Monstrum Chronicles. I’ll have more info on that later.
I have been struggling with a bit of writer’s block lately and as a result haven’t been able to really write anything. I have three books that I’m trying really hard to focus on right now. “Memento Mori, Book 3 of The Monstrum Chronicles” is obviously one of the more important ones. I also have “Cold Walls” which is an apocalyptic novel that I’ve talked about many times on here and read a segment of at the Halloween Readings in October. That one is currently on the front burner as I’m trying to get it written before I lose all the inspiration I have for it, ha ha. Lastly, I have started Book 4 of The Monstrum Chronicles which I’m hoping to write at the same time as Book 3. Kind of a crazy thought, I know, but I really don’t want a two year lapse between the release of books like there has been.
In addition to these, I have plans to release a series of short stories through the winter, specifically a western horror (worror) series, I’ve been developing with a whole set of new characters (that also takes place in The Monstrum Chronicles universe). The first segment is already written and just needs some editing magic. You can probably look forward to seeing that one around Christmas.
Now… I think that’s all there is! Stay tuned for Cooking Adventures which will be posted either late Thursday night or Friday morning this week. I’m making a green bean casserole and a sparkling cider pound cake that will (hopefully) have you salivating in your computer chair.
Until next time, have a great holiday everyone!
Contrary to popular belief, I am not a lazy butt. Yes, I was supposed to have Inspiration Through Music up on Monday evening for you. The truth of the matter was that this weekend was the release of my second book. So, in short, it was crazy. I spent the weekend marketing and that always takes a bit out of me. So, I apologize that this wasn’t up on time for you all.
Horror fiction is not just about scaring the reader. The reader needs to believe that they are the character. They need to identify with them based on more emotions than just fear. Finding ways to make these characters seem more human in the wake of disaster can be hard work, too. Often, I see characters responding to situations as if they’ve had an inner ninja locked away inside and now its busting out. Haven’t you always wondered why these seemingly normal characters suddenly are able to handle multiple kinds of guns and practice karate… whilst never being alluded to doing so before? I can’t stand reading stories where there’s no explanation. These characters, most of them, are just like you and I, being thrown into a situation that sometimes defies explanation. Have them do something human! When I need inspiration in that field, I resort to a little band known as VAST.
At the end of last week’s Inspiration Through Music, I said that Maynard James Keenan was the musician that I had been waiting to do all year. The reason is that I find his songs so deeply inspiring. I’ve used several of his songs as inspirations for my Monstrum Chronicles series and other songs of his for my various mysteries, thrillers, and other dark fiction. There is a rawness and a depth to Keenan’s voice that really makes it easy for me to imagine my characters fighting their inner darkness’s. In the same way, I can also get into the heads of my antagonist’s better because I can empathize with them more. And the lyrics? They are some of the most fitting I’ve ever seen, holding descriptions of things that I’ve always found it hard to find words for.
Maynard James Keenan is an American rock singer who has formed and been a part of influential bands such as Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. I first heard A Perfect Circle back in high school with the album “Thirteen” and was immediately a fan. More recently, I re-found Puscifer (earlier this year) and fell in love again. The new album, “Conditions of My Parole” was really quite spectacular and held a bevy of songs that I’ve now listened to many times over for inspiration. Today, I’ll be sharing 7 of Keenan’s songs with you and how they’ve inspired me.
Philip Glass is one of the few composers who creates music with such flawlessness and beauty that I find it hard to come up with the worthy words to describe it. I was introduced to his work through the film, “The Illusionist” which is also among my top ten favorite movies. The way he made the music weave seamlessly in and out of the film, made it inherit the magic and the romance between the characters blew me away.
As you may have noticed, the page has undergone some revisions! I’ve changed the header picture to something else that I felt was spooky as well as altered the background color so that it matched. I’d love some feedback! I admit that I do miss the way it used to look but I felt an update was needed.
Revisions have begun on ‘Aequitas.’ This stage is merely a read through, making slight changes here and there as I see fit. I’m also making lists of significant plot holes that I find. For anyone who has read the first book, you are probably aware that there is allot going on in it. There are several characters names to keep track of and there are several plot threads going on behind the main one. Hopefully some of the unanswered questions from ‘Vox’ will be answered in ‘Aequitas.’ However, because this series is comprised of five books, it will probably take some time to answer the major ones. Book 3, which I’m focusing on right now, will definitely help to enlighten several things that happened in Seraphim City with Torrent.
Book 3, tentatively titled, ‘Memento Mori’, is a prequel to ‘Vox’ and ‘Aequitas.’ It takes place in Seraphim City several months before ‘Vox’ begins. There is a whole new set of main characters as well as a few that you will recognize. And of course, we mustn’t forget Torrent. He plays a key role in Book 3. At present, I have about a hundred pages written on an old draft of ‘Memento Mori.’ However, some of the characters don’t sit right with me and there are a few cliche scenes which need to be cut. I wrote most of this stuff three or four years ago. It will definitely need to be re-vamped… pun intended.
I’ve also started to write a couple of scenes for Book 4, currently untitled. I’ve had some inspiration the last few days listening to ‘A Stranger’ by A Perfect Circle. The song is so eerie (as is most of their music) and it fit the idea I had for the scene perfectly.
I also wanted to get some of those scenes down because there is a vast difference between Memento Mori and the rest of the books in the series. They are all supernatural horror novels but Memento Mori lends itself to more of the urban horror and noir genres. Because it kind of breaks up the series a little, I didn’t want to lose my momentum on book 4 by waiting. I’m sure it all sounds confusing, but it makes things easier for me.
In addition to the revisions on ‘Aequitas’, I’ve been writing a short story which provides background info on one of the main characters from the book; sort of an ‘origins’ type of thing. It takes place in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. It shouldn’t be too much longer until that is finished. Not sure if I want to publish it separately from ‘Aequitas’ or if I should include it in a collection of other short stories. Would love to hear your thoughts!
Last but certainly not least, I have my first reading coming up this weekend at Slainte Wine Bar and Lounge in Portland, ME. I’m nervous. I’m slightly relieved by the fact that there will be alcohol available and that it may take some of the jitters out of me. However, public speaking has never been my forte. I’m hoping that I don’t stumble over my words! Here is the link for the Facebook event. If you are in the area and have no plans Monday night, please come and have a listen. I’ll be joined by five other fantastic Maine writers. Readings start at 6:30 pm!
Well, there is much work to get done so I’d better snap to it!
Until next time, good morning and happy writing!