Tag Archives: indie author

Legion

27 Sep

Every fall an army is born. One that will strike without warning, without fear. They hide in the shadows, close to trees. They do what they can to not be seen. It is with this knowledge that I write to you, a simple man racked with unbound fear. For I have seen these creatures, these terrible monstrosities and I know what they are capable of.

Do not rake your leaves, as pushing these littered corpses together into one conglomerate only makes the beast that lurk in them stronger. This pile, the monument to your hard work of keeping a tidy yard, will soon become a home base to these monsters and you will inevitably become an accomplice to everything that they are capable of.

I myself fell victim to their trap. I was like you once, wanting to keep my yard pretty by having the leaves raked tightly together and ready to be picked up by the end of the week. I was proud of the work I did, as it took a full hour of manual labor to get it done. When I finished, like many have before me, I opened a fall brew and sat back and admired my work.

That admiration of my work continued through the fall because these monsters are a dormant beast. Yes, you heard me correctly. You musn’t let your guard down. As I felt victory through the fall and even all through the winter I was high on my accomplishment. I had kept my yard beautiful, with displays of decorations to celebrate the holidays as an added touch.

No, the legion struck in the spring. I was unprepared for when it happened. My foolishness was leaving leaves in the back as I felt the public eye couldn’t see them. That is where the problems happened. The monstrosities hid and laid as pupae in the dead leaves that had created a warm layer for them to thrive in the winter. When spring struck, their children were born and they attacked at me in a voracious way.

I had went to let the dog out and had turned on the outside light. It was a crisp spring evening and as I stood, now enjoying a spring ale from my favorite local brewery, they struck. An army of the brown heathens flew at me, or so I thought, with intense speed. I stumbled as best as I could into the house, yelling in terror for my dog to return. He did but at that point it was to late. The beasts were inside my house and swarming around their god. I swung at them and tried to smash as many as I could, but it was too late. My home was now theirs and I was a slave to their control. To this day their image haunts me, swarming and worshipping the lamp in my living room.

the moth

The legion of moths are now supreme.

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Weekly Writing Prompt: BFFs

26 Sep

Well it’s that time of the week. The time of the week where I do my own weekly writing prompt and just hope that people love it. I won’t lie, even after doing some reading in a field I’m not use to, hello Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I was stumped to be honest. I found myself questioning if I can up with something that may be a bit too challenging?

I then decided nah, that wasn’t the case. This is just writing practice and practice is what every good author and writer needs. So I sat down, spun in my chair multiple times and thought about things that could be fun to write as I continued to get dizzier and dizzier. In the end, this is what I came up with:

Bob and Dan had been friends over the past thirteen years. It all started on a fateful summer evening, many years ago. Both Bob and Dan had made the mistake of dating two women that were secretly in to one another and were looking for a way to date in private. Both of the women’s families had disapproved of homosexuality in any form and so both of them were looking for a way to date without said families knowing. Enter Bob and Dan.

Bob had met his date while working in a local junkyard. He was a stout man in his early thirties and he was happy working in the yard. Bob had left high school to take over the place but soon found that his father did not think as highly of himself as Bob did, and so the junkyard business went to his older brother instead of him. However, Bob was not deterred and felt with enough work and dedication, one day his brother would get bored of the company and just give it to him. By the time Bob met his date for the evening, that plan still hadn’t taken effect yet. However, Bob’s inability to operate the crane correctly, which in turn saved the car his date was trying to rescue a lost bag out of, and his overall dim-witted charm, allowed for him to land his date for the evening.

Now in Dan’s sad case, many felt that his date had taken pity on him or was trying to use him to get a better grade in the course he was teaching out in the community college. Dan was a man with a plan that went down in a ball of flame. He went and got his doctorates and believed he would be a voice of real change in the world at a prestigious university. He had studied and devoted his life to history, wanting to find some error that historians made about World War II that make him the most prominent figure on the subject. Sadly, his life work went up flames as most people felt his research made him look like a nazi sympathizer over anything else. In shame, he returned home and began teaching at a local community college. In his time there, he packed on a hefty belly and watched sadly in a mirror as his hair left his head, only to reappear on his chest. Sometimes he would eat ice-cream in front of said mirror while having himself a good cry. His life was miserable and so that is why many believed his date wanted a better grade in his course over an actual date with the man.

So on that same evening thirteen years ago, Bob and Dan were introduced at a local bar and while their dates left them to go talk with each other, Bob and Dan slowly began their lifelong friendship. It started with Bob complaining about the bar having sports on because he didn’t really care and would rather be watching game shows. Dan launched in a bit on the history of game shows, since they were also a favorite pass time of his. Before you knew it, both men went from talking about game shows to their general disdain of sports, how they preferred mix drinks over beer, and how both had never been to Utah.  That summer night turned out to be a magical night for both the two men and their dates.

 

 

 

So that is just the start of a story and one that I may flush out and expand upon later on. The reason I decided to write about these two men is due to the fact that I plan on having similar characters show up in my current manuscript. Now the reason I did that is because my current manuscript is meant to be a dystopian horror novel but I wanted to be able to add a bit of myself to the piece.

Now with any writing, we all put a bit of ourselves into any work. With this example, it comes from a guy that ended up hanging out with me and my friends for an evening after his date ditched him. We didn’t become life long friends or anything like that, in fact, after that night I haven’t heard from him since, but nonetheless it did inspire the story. But anyway. The reason I say this is because with my manuscript I wanted to write to fun and lovable characters that could periodically appear throughout the series. Since most of my writing is dark and the characters more serious, this was the perfect time for me to try writing out a fun setting with some lovable losers.

So that’s basically how this story came to be. It was practice for me to leave my comfort zone of horror and science fiction, which is what this writing prompt was all about. What did you write this week? Feel free to comment below with a link and I’d be happy to read it and share my thoughts as well!

 

Short and Sweet

24 Sep

Hello everyone! Happy Monday and I hope all of you are having a great start to the week!

Now usually Monday’s are a weird space for me on my blog. Sometimes I shamelessly promote my work. Other times, I give updates on what I’m currently writing. There have even been a few times where the start of a story takes place (like last Monday, and yes, I still plan on finishing that). Today however, I thought I’d keep things short and sweet.

So first off, as I am apt to do every month, let me start this thread by just saying thank you! In only a few month’s time I’ve quickly been able to get my work and my writing out there to an audience that is slowly but surely growing everyday. I absolutely love the support everyone gives me and the interest that they have in what I have to write and say, so thank you! Thank you for the reviews that you’ve left on my book, thank you for reading my blog posts every week, and thank you currently for your efforts in voting in Author Shout’s Cover Wars.

Now for those of you that don’t follow me on social media, and really you should because I post great content daily, I recently entered the cover of A Monstrous Tomorrow into Author Shout’s Cover Wars competition. The event began yesterday and run’s until 8 am eastern time on Sunday 9/30/18. If you haven’t had a chance to get over to that page to vote for my cover or haven’t done so yet today, I would greatly appreciate it. Winning this competition gives A Monstrous Tomorrow free publicity as their “book of the week.” So what does this include? Well simply that they promote my book on their website, shout outs, and newsletter. All of this would be huge for me since I’m a still a relatively unknown writer. It’s easy to get to, but just in case, the link to the voting can be found here.

In addition to voting for my book to win Cover Wars, which btw my dad made the cover so voting for it is also telling him he did a job well done, I could also use more reviews on my book on Amazon. Currently I’m sitting at 9 and with one more Amazon will begin to recommend my book to people reading similar works. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can be something simple as “I loved this book!”

If you can’t afford the book right now, I would also keep an eye out in the future. Last week I ran a countdown sale on the Kindle edition which was counting down the days, until my favorite season, autumn, started. Now I’m saying a ton of great deals will be going on during October, but it is my birth month AND Halloween coincides well with some of the themes in my book, so I’d keep an eye out for some killer deals then.

I believe that’s all I have to say in this post for now. Thanks again for being an amazing support system and as more people come forward to share my work and tell people, the more I’ll be able to put out. Have a great day everyone, hope you kick ass at this entire week, and come back to the page tomorrow for the next installment of my daily writing prompt!

The New Home

17 Sep

In our neighborhood, you turn on your outside light when it gets dark and you leave it on.

That’s what Susan and I were told the second night we when we had moved in to our newly acquired home in the middle of the suburbs. It was an absolutely gorgeous house. Two stories with a balcony on the second level. There were three bathrooms and 4 bedrooms and to say the place felt like a mansion to the both of us was an understatement. The price had been relatively cheap and we were unable to find a good reason why. Even our realtor couldn’t give us a good answer, but with Susan starting her new job on Monday and the price being great, we took the place as swiftly as the early bird catching the worm.

The warning about the light didn’t come right away. I believe this was due to the fact that we simply couldn’t figure out where the hell to turn it off so there was no reason to warn us. Where most homes have the switch next to the front door, ours was not there. In fact, there were hardly any light switches to be found in our front living room. Again, both Susan and myself found this odd, but hadn’t noticed it before we moved in. Besides, we were busy trying to get all of our worldly possessions into the home over the course of one weekend.

We had moved into a tiny little suburb of Nashville after uprooting our lives from Minneapolis. My wife was a gifted song writer and had taken a full time job in Nashville to help collaborate on works for struggling artists. She was given the gig after helping to write some of the lines to Machine Gun Kelly’s diss rap of Eminem.

This was an opportunity of a lifetime for her but the problem was that they wanted her to start immediately and so the chaos ensued. Within a week we had found our home and from there the company she now works for sent people to help pack all of our stuff, throw it into a moving vehicle, and then helped us haul our lives 13 hours south. When we finally arrived in our new home, there was a chaotic flurry of commotion as we got all the boxes placed in the proper rooms before sending our help on their way.

By the time we had finally settled in, we were exhausted. A quick call for takeout was sent in and we both sat on our floor in relative silence, slurping down noodles and dipping our chicken in some broth. When we finished eating, I offered to take out the trash while Susan went to go lie down for the night.

Walking outside and down to the curb where our can was, one that had been quickly delivered by the city, I noticed that every home in our neighborhood not only had their outside lights on, but also kept their yards in pristine condition. I thought it was rather odd and as I kept on walking I noticed another oddity to the neighborhood. Silence. Although fall had just taken its hold on the community, with dead leaves lying gently in the street, there was no noise. Not a single car going by or insect chirping loudly into the cool evening. There was no wind shaking the trees or bushes for added sound. It was simply quiet. It made my skin crawl and goosebumps began popping up on my flesh. I hurried to the can and threw away the trash from our dinner, making sure to keep the lid from slamming shut before bustling my way back to the house.

I went to tell Susan about how eerily silent our neighborhood was and how uneasy it made me feel, but she was already lying on the mattress fast asleep. My fear slipped away as she let out a loud snore and I watched as her curly hair fell over her face as she rolled over. In that moment, I decided I was being irrational about the eery silence outside and instead I let the wave of fatigue from this past week roll over me as I flopped onto the mattress next to her. I reached over and grabbed a blanket out of the box she had found and threw it over myself. Soon I was like her, snoring gently while tossing and turning in my sleep.

 

Writing Prompt: Favorites

11 Sep

Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week where I give a suggested writing prompt and you go out there and do it! For this week I decided to do something different. Instead of having a writing prompt that teaches like the world building exercise or character development one, I thought this time around the prompt could be something a bit different.

This weekly, my writing prompt is about YOU, which I guess that means there will be a lesson after all. I’m a pretty firm believer in writing what you know. Despite the fact that my book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, takes place in the future where major cities were wiped off the planet and monsters are terrorizing things, there is plenty of personal knowledge that went into that book.

For example, in order to create this world, I did heavy research into what nuclear fallout would look like, along with finding various animals that fit my setting. It took a lot of time and effort to make sure that things were right and made sense for the setting. And I know what you may be thinking, “but Ty, that’s research, that isn’t something you just know,” which is true, but after you research it, you know it.

Let’s not forget the fact that I also kept my setting in central Illinois. For anyone that hasn’t read my bio, I was born and raised in the same area. So a little bit of a teaser alert, my book is pretty accurate in describing what some people call “not Chicago” looks like.

In addition, some of my biggest passions in terms of genre are both science fiction and horror. I grew up reading and watching as much as I could in the two genres, which reflects in my book as well. This again is something that I knew and wanted to show my readers.

So what does all this bragging have to do with this week’s writing prompt? Well it’s simple: write a story about something that you love. What is something that is your favorite thing in the world? Is it sports? Maybe it’s a certain television series or book series. Maybe it’s a genre of music or musicals. Write me a story showing me what you love.

As always, I will be doing my own take on the writing prompt tomorrow and everyone is welcome to either send me what they wrote and I would be more than happy to read it and critique.

That’s all for today, have a good one and come back tomorrow to see my take on this writing prompt!

Let the Fun Begin

10 Sep

Well it came and passed and was a major success. I officially did my first book signing at the 408 Fine Arts Factory in Peru, Illinois and let me just say I had fun while learning a few things for future endeavors. The biggest thing that I learned was that it doesn’t hurt to tell the audience what your book is about. In hindsight, it seems like something that should not have been over looked on my part and yet I still managed to do it. Oh well, hopefully the next time I get things right.

But now that the book signing has came and passed, it is time to focus in on getting my book out there once again. On the off chance you haven’t bought a copy yet, A Monstrous Tomorrow is available on Amazon and to the right hand side of your screen. With the sequel still being in the early stages, there is still plenty of time to get a copy and get it read.

As for the future, my next endeavor is to really grind in on marketing my book. This starts with both running ads AND trying to get more reviews. If you’re a professional reviewer and have the proper credentials, feel free to get in contact with me. I would love to be able to get a copy in your hands in order to get more information out into the ether about my book.

The other option I have is to begin running professional ads and promotions on Amazon. Starting sometime in October, my book will run at a discount for a handful of days (I haven’t decided which yet) and hopefully as you visit the site you’ll begin seeing suggestions for my book to be purchased as well.

Please also keep an eye on my author page on Amazon as well. With Halloween coming up, I will be rolling out some more short horror stories on there for people to read and preview. Hopefully that will inspire others to check out my book as well.

The only other thing I have to say is to start tuning in regularly with my blog and my social media accounts. With my favorite time of year coming up, I tend to get inspired to write a lot of my best work in the fall. As such, tiny stories may begin appearing on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, or even my Amazon page for purchase. This will be quite an exciting flurry so stay tuned!

A Book Has No Name: Setting

20 Aug

Hello, time for part one of my two part update on the second book in the Forsaken World Chronicles. To get things started right away, I’m currently sitting at over 10,000 words, or going onto 35 pages, while still being at the beginning of the book. If I had to take a guess, this book is going to become one monster sized novel, no pun intended.

So with this update, I thought I might share what I’ve been working. At this point, I’ve got about three characters borderline established. As stated in a previous post there is Abraham, who is the main character and is accompanied by his fabulous partner Reggie. I feel both of them have their most important qualities outlined and as the story continues to unfold, they will continue to show more of who they are. Either way, I’m happy with where they are at.

In addition, my antagonist has had a nice introduction in the beginning. I still have my reservations with starting the novel with him, but I have a feeling he is what will really draw most of my readers into the story. I’ve currently been thinking a lot about this character and I have a feeling he will soon be showing himself again in my manuscript.

But, the important thing that developed in today’s writing session was the establishment of a little bit more setting. While I do not want to give too much away, I’m happy with how things progressed and turned out. While bringing some much needed description and explanation into how the world has been functioning on a more natural level, a few folds emerged that may become integral to the plot line later on.

In a way, I also impressed myself as well with some additional backstory that was created by just trying to find creative avenues to discuss the wilderness and weather. By trying to find a natural way to have this happen, I found myself presenting information on things people may ask about. Things like what kind of music or entertainment is in your future? How is it treated? What kind of things are allowed or not allowed? Questions that I would find myself asking if I was reading my own book were essentially taken care of.

Finally, this book is supposed to be an awesome blend of science fiction dystopia, horror, and a mystery thriller. One difference I have found while doing this on the scale of a novel over a collection of short stories is that certain elements require patience. There is nothing I want to do more right now than to scare the ever living hell out of my reader with the things I have in store for them, but I know to get that pay off requires telling a proper story. With that in mind, I find myself continuing to push through the things I may not want to write, but need to, so that my finish project will be a wild adventure for my readers to enjoy.

I believe that about sums up what I’ve completed for the day. My hope is to at least have two more chapters written and edited by the end of the week.

A New Threat

17 Aug

There are noises in every home, both old and new. Do you hear them? I do too.

There is the sound of the refrigerator, humming gently through the night and day. Its life’s only goal is to keep your food and drinks cold and fresh. How bizarre.

Then there is the exhale of the home. Sometimes it breathes warm air onto us, protecting us from frigid temperatures in the great outdoors. Other times it breathes cold air onto us, keeping us from melting in the sun’s assaulting heat.

Don’t forget the guttural moans of the home in a storm. Our standing protector, hero of all. It creaks and moans under the pressure from the outside world. It makes these noises to remind you to say thanks for all that it does. Do you thank it?

Listen closely. Really listen. You can even hear the hum of its life running through your walls and to your items. The house has veins you see? Each one running a little current of life to the meaningless things we plug into it every day and every night.

Have you said thank you lately?

Our homes are sacred and old, even if someone says otherwise. They’ve been around since we have learned to stand on two legs. They are ancient and powerful. Full of magic and wonder. They decide if we live and die, as they always have.

Do you hear them?

They have begun talking with one another now. Secret signals sent from line to line. Many are angry from the lack of care. They have given us shelter and let us into their lives. Protected us from everything the world can throw. And how have we repaid them?

We’ve let paint chip away and turn them ugly. Let the shingles above grow discolored and old. Allowed for trees limbs to fall into their gutters and smash their heads. We’ve drilled holes into them, ignored them, battered them. All for our gain.

That all will change. I can hear it as they talk at night. When the world is silent. Void of traffic and people. When everything is silent and only the small clicks and clacks echo through the night. I sit and listen. Hear their anger. Their sorrow.  Soon we’ll be ejected, left to the elements, to be battered and butchered by the unforgiving Earth.

If they don’t kill us first. Kill us with our own gadgets. Our own property. There is many ways for a home to kill. Too many, it is a silent, deadly threat. But not if you’re smart like me and began to listen. Are you listening?

It’s time to say thank you, before it’s too late.

A Book Has No Name: Update

16 Aug

Another day, another bit of writing completed on the new book.

As I’ve stated in my previous posts, I’m currently working on the second book in the Forsaken World Chronicles, and as you can see from the title of this post, it still does not have a name. At this time I’m sad to say that it has not earned one as far as I’m concerned.

Now let me explain that when I say the book is not earning a title, that is different than saying it’s bad. When I say that my writing in progress, or WIP for short, hasn’t earned its title, I simply mean that so far a great title has not presented itself to me. This has probably happened for a variety of reasons but I believe that right now it’s because I’ve simply been doing more character building over the first few chapters over world building this time around.

To give it the official stats that I know some people would love to see, I’m currently at 3 chapters, including a prelude, or about 27 pages. If words are more your fancy on judging progress, than I’m just over 8,000. In my opinion, that’s not a bad amount of writing accomplished over a four day period. I’m hoping that as I begin to build a new routine of writing this book, it will help to move things along quickly and efficiently.

Right now my weekly writing plan is this: One day is spent on strictly writing and not looking back. I feel that I have a full story in my head and it is something that needs to make it into words quickly before the story leaves and I’m stuck waiting for it to come around again. However, I also understand that writing without looking back can lead to mistakes and errors, which has led to the routine I’m doing now, which is whenever I spend one full day writing, I spend the next day editing everything I wrote the day before. I feel like this allows for me to move fluidly through the writing process and doesn’t bog me down for a day of multiple pages being read and fretted over.

Anyway, onto the good stuff. Teasers. So right now there isn’t too much to give away as I’m still in the opening act of my book, but I am excited to share a little bit about my two main characters Abraham and Reggie. Now for those that have read A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll know that Abraham is the very last character in the book and that he faces down a major trauma while making mention of a few that took place before the events in What Comes Next. Rest assured, those traumas will be reopened and laid out for the world to see.

The other character, Reggie, is a nice fold to Abraham’s traumatic past full of loss. She’s a hacker and a hunter that works side by side with Abraham. She enjoys giving Abraham a hard time about his brooding and will push him to be more than just an upset character struggling through the burdens of life. There isn’t too much I can give away about her now, since she is just beginning to show off what she brings to the novel. Hopefully as I get a few more chapters done and get her more involved, I can bring a bit of her into my updates on my WIP to help get people excited.

As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned! As of right now, if you see the title A Book Has No Name, know that you’ll be getting some insight into my current manuscript.

Weekly Writing Practice: The Room

14 Aug

Hello everyone! Welcome to what I’m tentatively calling the “Weekly Writing Exercise.” Since I’ve wandered into this wonderful world of being an indie author and a blogger, I have found that it has been a blast to talk to people about writing and the steps that I take in order to prepare for writing something new and original.

Which trust me, it’s painstakingly hard and complicated and not always easy to teach.

However, one thing that is very easy to teach is the simple idea that the best writers get great by writing everyday. Now for some, that’s constantly working on their next book. For others, they write short stories to sell as well. Or if you’re like me, you blog about about writing, discuss writing on social media platforms, and try to share as much creative new content as possible.

Regardless of what your take on writing is, it is important to make sure that you ARE writing everyday. So this is where the challenge lies. What do you write about? Well whatever you do, don’t fret, that is what I’m here for. Each week I will post an easy prompt to work on. Something to just help get the creative juices flowing and to practice your writing skills. Remember what they say: Practice makes perfect.

So this week’s writing prompt will is quite simple. Describe the area you write in. Tell me about the room you’re currently in. Are you lying on your bed writing or are you at a desk? What is in the room with you? What is nearby? Focus on simply putting me in the room with you. Don’t leave any detail out. By the end of your writing, your reader SHOULD be able to feel like they’re sitting or standing next to you in the room.

Now the final part of this. What to do with this prompt once you write it? Well that’s easy: share it. Show it to a family member or a friend. Share it on your social media pages and show off. Hell, post it in the comments anywhere you may read this post. I’d be happy to read it and tell you what I think. Also, don’t worry. I will also be doing this same prompt and showing what I created tomorrow. Until then get to work and remember, to get better all you have to do is one thing…

Just write.