The day is finally here! My newest novel, What If There’s Nothing? is now available on Amazon Kindle and paperback! Check it out here!
How fitting that my last post here was about trying to write through depression, and months later I’m back with my first book in six years! I’m so happy to announce that my new book – What If There’s Nothing? will be coming out on Kindle and paperback on May 3rd!
What If There’s Nothing? is a 230 page story about overcoming trauma, finding forgiveness & love.
Sam’s life is stunted. He’s never been able to move passed a tragedy from his teenager years. He holds blame heavily on himself and his family.
Reilly is taking a few days away from her life as it grows in discourse and complications. She decides to spend a few days with her parents, hoping to escape and have fun with her friends. However, chaos finds her shortly after running into her old friend, Sam.
My new book, Shadow & Soul is available to buy now on Amazon!
But you may be asking yourself, why would I buy some stranger’s book about demons and other carnivalistic things?
Well I’m glad you asked…
A monster was born out of a family massacre in 1886. Flash forward to modern times, this monster has set its eyes on a teenage girl, but for a reason that remains to be seen.
Do you like Insidious, The Conjuring, or Sinister? Wouldn’t you like to read a book that plays on the fear of your own imagination? It’s not what’s in the details, it’s what’s left to your mind’s wandering imagination.
Yes it’s a sequel to Infernous, but you don’t need to read the first one to understand this one, although it might not be a bad idea to pick that up as well.
Thanks for reading!
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I sincerely wish I would have found this book right about now instead of 4 or 5 years ago.
Any Rothfuss fan knows the pain of waiting for book 3.
However, onto the review:
Without trying to sound like a total and complete fanboy, this is the best book I have ever laid eyes on. I have never read a book with richer characters as well as solid and definable character development.
Many readers main complain of the book is that the lead man Kvothe is the stereotypical flawless character that’s ridden over all of the fantasy genre. This is a very misplaced complaint given the fact that Kvothe is one of the most flawed characters in literature. Through the 2 current books out now, he continuously makes mistakes that put him compromising positions. He’s smart, cunning and has a temper as red as his hair.
The side characters Wil and Sim provide a decent support to Kvothe while I do wish there was a little more detail, history and involvement from them. However these stories are ultimately about Kvothe. The love interest… Is a frustrating one, but what book that has a love interest isn’t frustrating?
Part of me wants to love Denna as much as Kvothe loves her but the other half wants to dislike her quite strongly. Over the span of this novel (and the next) so little is known about her as well as Kvothe’s progress as far as becoming a lover. It’s harder to become attached to a character that you continuously know so little about. However I can sympathize with Kvothe’s undying love for a lovely and mysterious girl.
Rothfuss is an artist and a magician in the words he weaves to create such a beautiful story with a character you want so badly to win – but anyone who’s made it further than 50 pages will know this trilogy is that of a tragedy.
If you are a fan of fantasy or even if you aren’t because I am certainly not a fan of fantasy, check this book out.
Find out who Kvothe, Kote, Reshi, the Bloodless is.
Thank you for reading
Here is a short story I’ll be putting out in small sections.
Blackwater – Part One
The rain had never come down so hard as it did that night. Samuel looked out to the window near the front door and saw water running down the pane. It wasn’t the type of rain that the water had to accumulate enough weight to begin rolling down. Tonight there was no standing water. It poured down at an alarming rate.Thunder crashed and roared after a flash of light soared across the dark sky.
There were many things to be worried about that night. The rain threatened to flood his simple house. Already he was afraid to check the cellar. The moon had disappeared many hours before, just as the storm began. It wasn’t covered by storm clouds, but just dimmed until it dissolved into oblivion. When Samuel looked out his front window and found a sky so dark it seemed to suck the light from the candles lighting the house.
There were strange noises outside. Noises that didn’t come from the violence of a storm, not even a storm that took the moon away. Samuel’s mind wandered for a moment trying to make sense of the sounds he heard. However before too long he stopped himself. Nothing good would come of dwelling on such possible evils, he thought. There were many things to be worried about that night; each one worse than the former. But the most frightening one was the knowledge that Samuel’s brother was out there somewhere.
Do you find that your writing is at its best when you’re reading a book at the same time? Do you read in the same genre as you’re writing? I find that my writing is at its prime when I’m reading as well. This would make sense because I went through a long dry spell and now that I think about it, I wasn’t reading anything.
So before I go and dive into this, if you’re reading something as you write, be sure of 3 things.
- DO NOT rip off the writer. Being inspired by writing is one of the best tools we as writers can use. Even if you don’t downright plagiarize, it’s not right to rip off from writers.
- Make sure what you’re reading specializes in what you think your weakness is. Dialogue. Read a story that has rich characters and each one has a clear personality that shows in their dialogue. Too many stories die and wither from bad and unbelievable dialogue.
- Lastly is narrative. If you’re writing is weak on narrative, just like dialogue, read books that have long and meaty narratives. I always struggled with detail and narrative while my dialogue thrived. So I started reading books with long paragraphs of details and narratives. As soon as I began, I saw my writing improve before my eyes in just the first writing session.
Are you writing a love story that includes heartache and raw feelings? I’d recommend reading any one of the following: (Most of these are available on Amazon for absurdly cheap prices)
(No spoilers I swear)
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This fantastic story is unknown by way too many. It’s a tender story of two brothers (Sam and Riddle) from a broken and dangerous home. They find comforting arms and a warm home in teenager Emily Bell’s household. The story thrives on hard situations with a violent father, and the love Sam has for his brother and the life his new interest – Emily has. The story sucks you in and carries you on each page.
The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
Tears have never been so close to my eyes because of a book. Matt Beaulieu’s wife Elle suffers a terrible injury and is left brain dead. The catch here is that he finds out she’s pregnant. Through this struggle to keep her body alive there are unexpected challenges that appear that will test both Matt and your heart. Flashbacks in this novel are key as they show the couple younger and allow you time and pages to grow close to both Matt and Elle. This story remains in my top 10 – maybe I’ll make a list sometime.
Are you writing fantasy?
I’m not too versed in this field of writing but I do have two recommendations.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
There’s a reason critics tell readers to shelve this next LOTR and The Hobbit. Kvothe (pronounced Kwothe) is a simple boy traveling with his family as a traveling circus. One day he finds his parents and his entire troupe slain. The culprit? A group of people that are thought of as fictional fairytales. His only answers are at a place called The University where they teach magic, but not the cheap “abracadabra” magic. It’s well thought out magic that happens in the mind. This book which is book 1 of a trilogy is good for everything. Narratives and description that rivals any book I’ve ever read and dialogue of equal value.
Need a short story for narrative value?
The Slow Regard of Silent Things – By Patrick Rothfuss
Yes same writer. However this small novelette ranging just over a hundred pages takes a side character from his trilogy and spends a few days with her. Auri is a cute, innocent girl who cracked. She isn’t mentally sane and sees the world in a different light. You don’t need to read his others to understand this. All you need to know is that she lives underground beneath a school and is gathering different items to make a gift for her friend. The entire thing is ALL NARRATIVE. Pages of description of rooms, chambers, pits, wells and everything in between. If you’re not a fan of fantasy, don’t be afraid to give this a chance because it isn’t fantasy at heart. It’s a story of a girl who sees regular items commonly discarded as something special. It’s truly an interesting read.
Are you writing horror?
Horns – Joe Hill
You may not recognize Joe Hill by his penname, but you may recognize Stephen King’s name. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son and let me tell you, he made his way into horror writing not by being King’s son, but by writing damn good stories.
Ig Parrish’s love of his life, beautiful Merrin Williams is dead; brutally attacked, violated and killed. The town believes he did it no matter what he says. After some drunken night to which he remembers almost nothing, Ig wakes up and has horns on his head. With these horns come influential power over others. He sees into their lives like a peeking through a window and can tell them to do things. This novels covers dark comedy, murder mystery, supernatural, romance, let’s just say it covers everything and covers it well. This is one to read a few times, and then maybe watch the movie (which was actually pretty good).
Let’s go to the King.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Have you heard of this one? Because it’s not like other King novels. Trisha McFarland is a young girl who is forced to go hiking with her dysfunctional family. After taking a few steps away from the path, she is lost with no idea how to get back. She’s not in a small wooded area either. She’s lost in the Appalachian Trail. In addition to being a survival story, King weaves a sinister plot line with something watching little Trisha from afar. She can hear it growl, she can hear it move around her but she can’t see it. This shorter novel (speaking in terms of King’s usual length) is a smooth and creepy read.
Other very honorable mentions
This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathon Tropper
Do me a favor and read anything by this great writer. Every story he puts out, he creates a new story that mixes heartbreak, nostalgia, humor and some of the richest characters you’ll find in writing. Just do me a favor and read the story before you watch the movie…or don’t watch the movie at all.
This Bright River – Patrick Somerville
This lovely story is also in my top 10. Being my only exposure to Mr. Somerville, I’m not sure why I haven’t picked anything else by him. This book is about a tortured protagonist who has a dark history. He runs into a woman from his past with a terrible life as well and the two clash and mix. It’s a dark love story that travels through family secrets, possible murders and worse things still.
That should about do it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment what you like to read when you write, or what you’re reading right now.
It’s show and tell time boys and girls!
What’s your favorite book and why?
Let us know in the comments why you love this one book more than the rest.
Mine is The Name of the Wind. I’m in love with this book because I don’t like fantasy books yet, this story captivates me each time I read it. Patrick Rothfuss is a master of words who weaves them together into something beautiful.
Now it’s your turn!
Thank you for reading
A Gleam of Light
Tell me a story that you’ve never had the words to tell.
Tell me of a night you never wanted to end.
When you laughed like a child walking down a well-lit city street.
Will you take a small journey with me?
Will you go on a brief vacation from the world with me?
A gleam of light hits her eyes and you see a small piece of your own personal heaven in them. Her rich irises of green shine through you and make you feel weightless. Those eyes become a drug you can’t stop taking.
There’s warmth between your hands when they touch. The friction increases against your skin and lessens between your smiles. Your mind races from idea to idea because even at your sanest moment, you can’t understand the extension of bliss you feel.
Even at that chaos, you’re aware of the friction between your hands. Holding hers, you let the friction turn to spark. The spark lit to a brief flame as your lips press against the top of her hand. A move that lets her know you’re not after her body but after her heart. When you see a smile form from pure happiness on her face, you know that you have it.
Your timing in yesteryears has always seemed to be off somehow but in this night… it all comes together.
But at some point she gives a sigh that sounds of sadness. Doubt penetrates your head and you think that maybe this was only a one night vacation from a lonely life. When the reality of life sets in, maybe this night is only supposed to stay within those hours.
The sun is peaking over the horizon as the first breaths of morning hit your nose. Your hands are no longer touching and you’re sitting at a bus stop bench. There’s sadness in the air because the night you didn’t want to end, is finally ending. With the bus only five or ten minutes away, you’re struggling to find the words to say. You need to say something to give some amount of reassurance, but the words escape you. Settling for the comfort of touch, you slide closer to her and wrap your arm around her. Resting her head against you, she quickly falls asleep after the long and exciting night.
The night is over
Morning is here
The fear of what today and tomorrow holds rests inside
But when you watch her clouded exhales leave her mouth you think
People either get something fast or forever.
This night felt like a flash of light much like that first gleam that reflected from her eyes.
You find yourself asking a question to which you can’t find the answer.
Is it too much to ask for fast and forever?
Thank you for reading
Here is a piece written by a good friend of mine that’s definitely worth reading.
Obsession, by Jon Smith
Obsession is a strong word. Not in thee sense of being obsessed with some
quick fad, or some kind of food. True obsession. Something so important
that it is on your mind nearly all moments you are awake, whether a quiet
thunder or constant scream.
I have two obsessions that are so constant that they force me from sleep on
some lonely nights in my truck. The first has become a compulsion in my
adult life and that is writing instruments and paper goods. The second is
Personally, writing instruments and paper goods seem to culminate around
typewriters and vintage/eclectic papers. I understand that saying
typewriter in the modern age gives off the striking mental image of skinny,
high waist jeans, some obscure band t-shirt and a coffee cup demanding
attention with clicks and clacks in a public space. I can understand that,
but my obsession isn’t fleeting, or some general demand to live in a parody
off the life of some famed author or poet. There is some deeper draw to
typewriters for me.
When I began to write, I didn’t have a computer. It was somewhere around
1993, or 1994 when my dad told me I should find a way to express my
unfettered energies. At the time, he and I would spend our weekends
sitting through Twilight Zone re-runs and long walks to the movie theater
at Delco Plaza for double or triple features of whatever happened to be in
theaters. He suggested that I write down all the stories that I always
made up when we walked to the theater.
It didn’t take long to realize that my penmanship was not a strength. It
is still as awful now from an inability to focus. So, my dad went up into
our attic and brought down an ugly brown case. Inside was the first
typewriter I ever owned, a Royal portable. The typewriter needed a new
ribbon, so we wen to the store and picked one up. No, really! Back then
you didn’t have to travel to some kitsch dealer in Brooklyn to get
something like a typewriter ribbon. Anyhow, it took the both of us to
figure out how to replace the old dry ribbon and for me it was about the
greatest thing in the world.
Every time I visited my dad, I would spend more time getting to know the
Royal. I was staring to learn about computers in school, which felt easier
because I spent my weekends playing on a keyboard. I ended up giving that
typewriter to a former girlfriend for Christmas.
Just to bring these thoughts to a close, I understand the simplistic idea
of being hip through anachronism. I keep my collection of typewriters at
home where they belong, not drug out as a focal point of my existence. I
haven’t written a novel on any of them, but I do write most of my poetry on
any of the ten typewriters I have collected. Does it matter what methods
are used to convey your thoughts? Not at all. Consider what the Marquis
de Sade used to write his final works.
My second obsession is writing, which I am sure I share with a few people
on the planet. I have shelves filled with notebooks of abandoned ideas,
and false starts. There are so many facets of writing that it sometimes
feels like an immense beast I am trying to tame, rather than some torrid
lover who fills me with joy. A hurricane, a calm sea.
I was talking to a painter from Exton the other day about writing and
art. He has a vast array of subjects that he paints, and quit his job
thirty years ago to follow his of painting as a career. I told him about
my forthcoming novella Finzel; a Psychotic Love Story. He asked if I had
shopped it around for a publisher.
No. Not at all. I wouldn’t want the confines of the structure that sells
to take away from whatever I have to say. The work I do possesses me, and
it possesses me for a reason. Finzel took over me for a three day span and
wouldn’t let go until it was finished. I doubt anyone would ever pick it
up and publish it “as-is” because of the style that it was written in,
theme, etc. It was written honestly, with fervor and a little delirium.
He commended me on believing in my work that much. I told him that one day
I will give up my steady paycheck and fight to make a life out of writing,
like he had done with painting. Well, it can be a harsh thing, with plenty
of skipped meals and the stress of not making the rent at the end of the
month. I’m married to a wonderful woman who supports my work, paints my
covers for me, and wants me to succeed with my writing.
Maybe writing isn’t the only part of that obsession. It’s on my mind all
the time, as I drive down the road thinking of what I should dictate next,
or typing when I get back home, riffing ideas with anyone who offers an
ear. It’s a constant. But so is the idea of finally getting myself
motivated to hit the road and read wherever there’s a microphone and an
audience, selling books in truck stop to passersby for gas and enough money
for a sandwich. An unsafe life scraping by until some work of mine finally
hits a bigger audience. Maybe my second obsession is success with creative
work, and not just writing.
Thank you for reading