Monday, September 29, 2014

A Special Announcement: Imaginarium, New Books, and More!



Marine veteran Howard Turner has returned home from a tour in Afghanistan, but his battles are only just beginning. His marriage is falling apart. His son is addicted to drugs. Howard is battling symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But one night at a local bar would change his life forever.

After a series of unexpected events, Howard is recruited into MKULTRA, a reclusive department in the CIA. Officially, it was shut down in 1973, but as he learns, they are still alive and well. When the missions become darker and more twisted, Howard has to make the most difficult decision of his life--or face the fatal wrath of his new employers.


So? What do you think? :)

For those of you who missed my last blog post, while I was at Imaginarium, I accepted an offer from Hydra Publications to not only rerelease Gears of Golgotha, but to write more books.

This was the "more books" I was talking about.

While I was writing Gears, whenever I would take a break, I would often watch gaming shows on YouTube, especially Creepy Gaming, a show where the host, MulletMike, would take a look at creepy moments, games, urban legends, and creepypastas in the gaming world.  I would also watch Game Theory, a show where the host, MatPat, would analyze games through the lens of different educational fields, from math to science to history and even psychology and sociology. They're both awesome shows; I highly recommend them.  However, there was one topic that both of these shows covered: the legend of Polybius.  (You can find the Creepy Gaming episode here and the Game Theory episode here.)  In summary, Polybius was a game released into arcades in Portland, Oregon in 1981.  It was a hit; people went crazy over it.  But things soon turned in a dark and twisted direction.  Mysterious men would visit the machine and collect data from the game cabinets.  Those who played the game would begin to experience ill side effects, including nightmares, insomnia and memory loss; some would even commit suicide.  Allegedly, this was one of the many experiments conducted by MKULTRA.

MKULTRA was--or is, depending on who you're talking to--a department in the CIA which conducted brainwashing, torture, and interrogation experiments using drugs, hypnosis and other methods on American and Canadian citizens.  One of the most disturbing parts about it, though, was that the CIA recruited Nazi scientists--some even condemned as war criminals--for this department in Operation Paperclip.  Officially, MKULTRA was shut down in 1973 shortly after the Watergate scandal.

But what if they're still around?  What if they are still conducting experiments to this day?

ALPHA, as well as the entire trilogy, will toy with this idea that the government is still conducting human experimentation on unwitting citizens.  It tells the story of a man who starts to question the true meaning of loyalty.  What does it mean to be loyal to your country?  To your family?  To yourself?  Howard will attempt to answer these questions, and his true battles will begin.

There hasn't been an official release date set for ALPHA as of yet, but I will make sure to update you as soon as I receive further information.

Love and Coffee cups,

P.S. Don't forget to like my official author page and the ALPHA Trilogy page, both on Facebook!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Imaginarium: A Review

So.  This weekend I went to Imaginarium.  My first convention, selling my first book.  I expected spending a ton of money on books, meeting other authors and guests, and learning about the world of writing.

But so much more happened than I ever could have dreamed.

Those things that I described did happen.  I pretty much blew my bank account to pieces on books and even an octopus.  I rocked the panels I was on.  I had so much fun meeting the other authors and guests, including Jeffery Reddick, the screenwriter for Final Destination, and Dan Jolley, the writer of the Terminator: The Enemy of My Enemy comics and the story director for Prototype 2.  I didn't expect to sell many books, if any.  Who the hell would care? I thought.  The sci-fi/dystopian genre has pretty much taken over pop culture; this self-published novel would be just a penny thrown into the well of 2010's America, to sink down below its depths like a forgotten shipwreck.

But that's where I was wrong.  Dead wrong.

I sold out of copies of Gears of Golgotha on the second day of Imaginarium.  I was at a pitching session when the publisher asked me for a copy of Gears to read.  My younger sister, who was there along with Frank Hall (who was pretty much my go-to person all weekend, and he is awesome), ran down to grab a copy and came back up.  She handed me the book and said, "You're going to have to give this back; this is Uncle Frank's (not to be confused with Frank Hall) copy, and you've sold out!"

My jaw dropped.  I wanted to faint.  Sold out?  I sold out?  That obscure first-time author that no one had heard of sold out? (Turns out there was one copy left that no one noticed until later, and that was eventually purchased by Frank.)

And that's when the publisher told me that he wanted my next book that I was pitching to him.  I told him I'd think about it and went on with the day.

And then two other companies offered me contracts to sign with them.  I was pretty much caught up in a three way bidding war between three different publishing houses.  I felt like I was walking on air all weekend.  Publishing houses are asking for me?  I never really had much faith in my writing.  I've never really even let people read my stuff (you know, other than school).  But the first time I put myself out there, people are asking for me?  I mean, Tony Acree of Hydra Publications (who is AWESOME by the way) bought me dinner at the Blue Horse in Crowne Plaza to talk about my books!  I swore I was in a coma and I would wake up in my bed at my dorm or my house or in a hospital bed or something crazy like that.  After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to accept a contract from Hydra Publications to not only rerelease Gears of Golgotha, but to write a brand new book.  I still feel like I'm dreaming, but I've never been so happy in all of my life.

All in all?  Imaginarium was the best weekend of my life.  For once, I didn't feel like I was the crazy hermit of my group.  People actually liked me and cared about what I had to say.  All of the panels were intriguing and fun.  I got to meet so many new people and pretty much started up my own library (you're welcome, Larissa and Faith haha).  The convention was run much more smoothly than most established cons.  If you are a writer, publisher, or are interested in the creative arts in any way, this is the perfect place for you to be.  The dates for next year should be announced soon.  I'll make sure to keep you guys updated.

Love and Coffee cups,

*CORRECTION: I accidentally called Dan Jolley the story director for Prototype 2, but after checking the website, he is actually credited as Lead Writer.