Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Cover Reveal For Bird of Prey

I've been meaning to update the cover to Bird of Prey for a while now and only recently found the time. I'd wanted something a little more menacing and I think this does the job quite nicely, not to mention it was fun as hell to make.

Here's a snapshot of what the story's about. If you like good old fashioned monster mayhem, giant larvae and lots of guns, then Bird of Prey is definitely for you.


Nestled in the warm belly of the abandoned Keisel Steel Works, an ancient creature has begun to stir. A one-hundred-year cycle is drawing to a rapid close and with it the time when the beast must lead her newly hatched young to the feeding grounds.

A handful of the oldest folks in town remember that time well. A time when the sky was clotted with flapping, leathery wings and monsters driven mad by the smell of human blood. They also know of the feeding grounds. They know them as the backyards in which their kids play and the streets of the tiny Alaskan town they call home.

Buck Sanders didn't know any of this the day he arrived at the steel works to pilfer a length of siding for the roof of his crumbling bar. And neither did his friend Tommy Hodgkins. But they are perhaps the only ones who can stop a curse that has been playing out for centuries. At stake is more than their lives. At stake is everything.

Amazon
Kobo
iTunes
B&N

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dark Passage FREE Nov 22-23!


My horror thriller Dark Passage will be FREE on Amazon November 22-23.

Here are just a few of the great reviews on Amazon:
"Griffin Hayes nails horror on the head!"
"Wonderfully written!"
"Awesome"
"Top Ten Thrillers of All Time"
"Seriously creepy!"
"An edge of your seat thriller"
"Best Book Ever!!!"

Tyson Barrett used to be happy. Used to have a family, a son, a thriving business. Now he has nothing but long sleepless nights broken only by nightmares so terrifying they threaten his sanity. So when he is asked to join an underground drug trial that will “cure” him, he agrees.

But this cure comes with a terrible price. One that will force him to confront a dark past he thought he left buried up at Sunnybrook Asylum. One that will put his soul at risk, and will threaten everything he ever loved.

The mind is full of halls. And some of the darkest passages lead to rooms better left closed.

Warning: contains graphic violence and language.

Amazon Link

And a special thank you to Ereader News TodayFree Kindle Books and Tips and The Digital Ink Spot for helping to spread the word.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book release: Lineage by horror author Joe Hart


I'm proud and honored to have horror author Joe Hart back to discuss the release of his new supernatural thriller, Lineage. If the success of his amazing collection of short stories is anything to go by then Lineage should do very well indeed. 

Griffin: Tell us a little about yourself to get started. 

Joe: Well, I’ve been writing since I was 9 or 10 and finally got serious about four years ago. I write mostly horror but I did write a screenplay that was more of a spy-thriller. I’m married with two kids and I’ll actually be transitioning into writing full time soon so I’m excited about that.

Griffin: So, your new novel, Lineage is out now. Tell us a little about it.

Joe: Lineage is basically a haunted house story involving a successful writer. He grew up with a horrible home life and turned his misfortune into a career. A nightmare from his past suddenly shuts off his writing ability and he’s drawn to a house on the north shore of Lake Superior where he makes surprising and horrifying discoveries. I wanted to convey the importance of writing in a writer’s life in this novel. I wanted to show people how important the creative process can be for someone who is dependant upon it. It’s a pretty scary ride with more than a few twists and turns so I hope people enjoy it.

Griffin: Was the novel easy to write or was it a labor of love?

Joe: Ha ha! It was both, I guess. The story was there from the start. It only took a few days to wind my way through the plot but it definitely changed as I wrote it. All in all it flowed well without too many hiccups or road blocks. I’m definitely pleased with how it turned out!

Griffin: You’ve written mostly short stories before. How was writing a novel different from creating a shorter piece of fiction?

Joe: You know, it wasn’t extremely different. I normally knock out a short story over a period of a week or so when the idea comes to me. Lineage definitely took longer but I kept the same writing regiment I set up for myself earlier. Right now I work in the evenings and write for about two hours. I basically just wrote the novel a section at a time and polished the hell out of it after it was done.

Griffin: Any thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry?

Joe: You know it’s a crazy time to be a writer. I think the digital market and the self publishing option are great tools for writers who might never have the chance to get their work read otherwise. People still have the option to get an agent and go the traditional route, that’s hasn’t been eliminated, but now they can also put something out to the masses and actually feel like a writer when someone leaves a shining review of their work or they have a great sales day and sell a ton of books. For me it’s all about reaching your audience and right now the self publishing path is working great!

Griffin: Any words of inspiration to those who are tentative about taking the first step in a writing career?

Joe: Just sit down and write. There’s no substitute for the real thing. Write as much as you can and then edit the hell out of it. Get input from others but trust your instincts and most of all just follow the story, it won’t lead you astray.

Griffin: Awesome. Any last words?

Joe: I just wanted to thank you for having me on you blog again. I really appreciate the time and opportunity!



Bio:

Joe Hart grew up on a lonely 91 acres of farmland in Northern Minnesota and without many playmates or company, began writing when he was 9. His first literary love was Stephen King (and still is) but he has expanded his scope to other influential authors. He published his first poems at age 17 and his first collection of short horror stories at 29. He is currently working on a novel. He lives with his wife and two children in northern Minnesota.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A few words with author Michelle Muckley


Today I'm sitting down with the lovely Michelle Muckley. Her first novel, The Loss of Deference was released just last month, so let's get things started. 

Griffin: Tell us a little about The Loss of Deference. 
Michelle: The Loss of Deference is a novel that focuses on the lives of two male best friends. They are inseparable since childhood, after a horrible accident bound them together. As adults, and many years later they find themselves living very difficult but also very different lives.  The novel is set in a poor society deep in recession, where people's previously held beliefs and moral code are really being challenged. William, our main protagonist thinks he knows everything about his best friend, but when he makes a terrible discovery, it challenges not only their relationship but the very basis on which their lives are built. What drew me to writing this novel was the chance to explore how far they might go against their own beliefs in order to keep their own lives on track, and how that’s fits into the limits of friendship and relationships.

Griffin: What are you working on next?
Michelle: My WIP is currently just under the 40000 word mark. I am inspired by events that I hear about in the news, or read on line. I don’t think I am one of those writers who can write two books at once.  Once I have an idea I get completely consumed by it. Starting on another story would end up taking away from the original, I think. I am hoping that this will be released around November time, give or take a bit with editing.  It’s a mystery, and follows a family dealing with life after a tragedy. Ultimately I feel that it's a journey of discovery and relationships.  I like stories about normal people in extraordinary circumstances, learning how to live. That’s what I like to read, and so that's what I like to write.

Griffin: Describe your journey as a writer.
Michelle: A long one! Even as a child I loved writing, stories here and there and an endless stream of imaginary characters. My brothers were all older than me, so being the only girl I would construct whole imaginary worlds to live in. Even as I was applying for University to study something sensible like science, I was still daydreaming about being a writer, and would still be scribbling down ideas on scraps of paper that would have me as the next Stephen King.  When I should have been loaning out books about biochemistry and pharmacology, the back seat of my old fiat was stacked with books about the theatre and writers skills.  Eventually, I had a bit of a revelation that if I wanted to be a writer I actually had to start writing something with some substance.

That’s not to say suddenly I had the whole thing sussed though. There were periods when I didn’t write at all, then period when I didn’t do anything else and took leave from my sensible job in order to do it. Then there were periods when all I seemed to do was collect rejection letters.  But I always figured that was part of the course. Pretty traditional writer’s journey I think!

Griffin: Do you have a writing schedule and if so what is it?
Michelle: I do now! I made the decision to leave the UK about eighteen months ago which personally was a great idea but scientific career wise not so much. I do work still seeing patients in the afternoon, but in the mornings I usually have three to four hours to myself when I am able to write, so it’s a blessing in disguise. In all honestly, I think if I was still doing my old on-call rotation and working fifteen hour shifts in the hospital I wouldn’t have managed to publish The Loss of Deference yet, or be 40,000 words into the WIP. See, Mediterranean life really is healthier!

Griffin: How much planning, outlining and research goes into each of your books?
Michelle: Probably not enough if I am honest. I usually start writing after the idea has been floating around for a month or two. By this point I will know the main characters and therefore will just get into the writing. I usually only have an idea of beginning, middle, and the end. The rest of it I learn as I go along, pantsing my way through it.

Griffin: How do you deal with writer's block?
Michelle: Well up until I started book two last month I had never had it. I think before I was able to write so sporadically, that all my thoughts and ideas would be there stored up, so by the time it came to writing I just had to get them all out. Now however, because I can write everyday, some days just feel tough. The first proper block hit me last week and my solution was coffee and a croissant. This didn’t help much, but I threw the idea out on the kindleboards.com and got some great answers back and the advice of the other writers really helped. It’s obviously something that gets people thinking as the thread is still going. I ended up putting up the ideas they gave me on my blog because they were so varied.

Griffin: Any thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry?
Michelle: My thoughts probably don’t tally with many people, but I actually think it’s a lot more open than it used to be if we look at it as a whole in its current form.Traditionally I accept it is still very hard to get an agent and/or publisher for paperback releases, but even if you have one there is still no guarantee that your books will sell. At least now the world of publishing electronically gives more people a chance to try on their own.  I don’t have an agent, or a publisher, but I have a book that is selling. Without the world of e publishing that may not have been possible.

Griffin: What authors inspire you?
Michelle: I think I have to go back to being a child to answer that one. I remember the whole collection of Roald Dahl books sitting on my shelf, being read time and time again and for the first time seeing how magical the world of story telling could be. Second to that I have to say one of the masters.  The first ‘grown-up’ book I read was The Shining by Steven King when I was about ten years old…..that’s when the dream was born.

Griffin: What's the best thing about being a writer?
Michelle: Without doubt the finished product. To be able to see what you have produced and have somebody tell you that they enjoyed your story. The idea that somebody sits down with your book and gets into that world you created is a magical for me as an author as it is when I do it as a reader.

Griffin: What's the worst thing about being a writer?
Michelle: Hand cramps and glasses. And you can add into that a likely lower hourly wage than when I was sixteen. But I intend for that to change.

Griffin: If you weren't doing this interview right now, what would you be doing?
Michelle: Probably sailing past the 40,000 word mark! But then again this is Cyprus and it is 5 pm, so probably more likely to be sat near the beach with a Frappe.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Any last words?
Thanks for having me, great to talk to you. Good luck with Dark Passage

Thanks! And for anyone who hasn't already, go ahead and grab yourselves a copy of Michelle's book. Links are at the top and bottom of the page.


"Michelle was born and raised in a small historical town in the heart of England, but is now living in Cyprus and learning as much greek as possible. She spent many years working in the NHS, doing on call hours that no amount of european laws can protect you against, and is now enjoying the more social and stress free life of the Mediterranean. This has enabled her to (finally) get her first novel, The Loss of Deference published on the Kindle in June 2012, and be over 60,000 words into book two (watch this space!). When she is not writing furiously about the darker side of life, you will find her hiking in the mountains, drinking frappe at the beach, or talking to herself in the kitchen in the style of an American celebrity chef."


Where to find her:

Amazon
Blog
Twitter: @michellemuckley

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dark Passage: A Paranormal Thriller is Free August 24-25

My paranormal thriller Dark Passage will be FREE on Amazon August 24-25.

From Amazon reviewers:
"Top Ten Thrillers of All Time"
"Seriously creepy!"
"An edge of your seat thriller"
"Best Book Ever!!!"

When Tyson Barrett closes his eyes, nightmares torture him--visions from a traumatic childhood so horrifying he hasn't slept in months. He's already estranged from his wife and their young son and now his business is on the verge of collapse. A last ditch effort to end Tyson's nightmares and cure his insomnia results in what appears to be a miracle cure; one that promises to solve both his medical and personal problems.

But this miracle cure has a dark side. Now, whenever Tyson dreams, something unspeakable follows him back from that other place, an abomination born from the darkest depths of his psyche... and it isn't working alone. There's something else waiting to come through. An evil more terrifying than Tyson could ever have imagined. And now it wants his son.

Warning: contains graphic violence and language.

Amazon link

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Horror author Craig McGray spills his guts out


I'm really happy to be sitting down with horror author Craig McGray for a glimpse into the murkier corners of his mind. Craig's recently released the first book in a series called The Somnibus. I've read it and can assure you it's great. So without any further ado. 

Griffin: Tell us a little about your new series. 

Craig: Well, 'The Somnibus' is based on a premise that began as an entirely different concept. I began writing a story about a boy who had a special creepy relationship with his own shadow. My mind wandered, as it so often does while I'm writing, and the plot that became 'The Somnibus Series' took over. I shelved the boy and his shadow story, and I went to work on 'The Somnibus'. It has taken much longer than I'd hoped, but the time I have to devote is limited to say the least, probably like the majority of indie authors.

Griffin: What are you working on next?

Craig: Book II is in the works and I'm loving the character development so far. It’s why I like writing. I know it’s working when I’m able to just sit back and let my characters tell me what they want to do, or what they don’t want to do (and in that case, that’s usually what I end up putting them through). I’m a big believer in beating my characters up to make them show the reader what they’re made of.

Griffin: Describe your journey as a writer.

Craig: Hmmm. It’s still a little odd to hear someone call me a writer. Well, when I was a kid, I always loved to write. I placed second, I think, in a countywide creative writing contest when I was in fifth grade. I would write stories, read them, and then throw them away. I never really showed it to anyone, not even my mom. I was always afraid of what people would think about my writing. I still suffer with this today actually. When I decided to start writing again, I kept it to myself for almost a year. I told my wife, and eventually a few close friends, but other than that I kept it to myself. I’m turning 40 this year, how’d that happen, and I decided I wanted to try to get something published. With the indie market so open, I saw it as my opportunity to put my stories out there and see what others thought. It has been such an incredible experience. I have met some really cool people, like you, that have really been forthcoming with a willingness to help. I try to do my best to help promote many indie authors out there. I love the fact that writers are able to write, edit, format, and publish their own work if they choose to. The intimidating prospect of trying to go the traditional publishing route quite honestly is one reason I kept my writing to myself.

Griffin: Thanks! Do you have a writing schedule and if so what is it?

Craig: I have a full-time day job that requires full-time attention, a young family, and I race triathlons. So, I write when I'm on my bike trainer in the morning, at lunch sometimes if I can clear my head enough, and at home when I can't sleep (which is way too often). In other words, whenever I can. My writing schedule is less of a schedule than what I like to think of as my efficient use of random free time. My workouts allow my mind to wrestle with new ideas, resolve sticking points, and just kind of clear out a bit. It helps take my mind off the pain I may be going through during my training. My training is very therapeutic for my sanity. It helps me solve problems not only in my writing, but also in life in general. Whether it’s work or family issues, I often end my training sessions with a sense of clarity that was missing when I started.

Griffin: How much planning, outlining and research goes into each of your books?

Craig: I usually start with a few paragraphs as a plan for a story, then let thing simmer and evolve. I find it hard to plan much more than where to start, where it might end, and I know I need to get my characters through stuff in the middle. Other than that, sit down and start typing away.

I tried the outline thing, and I couldn’t keep it going. I found myself stressing out because I strayed from the outline too much, and then I redid the outline and it caused a snow ball of wasted time for me. I’m sure there’s a happy medium between using an outline and following it to the letter, and using it as a loose guide. Right now, I’m using a loose version of an outline and it seems to be working for me, for now at least.

My research is dependant on the subject matter of the story I’m working on. I do a fair amount for some things, and others just come from my mind and have no basis on reality, so there’s not much to research, except maybe with a therapist as to why I have some of these crazy thoughts.

Griffin: How do you deal with writer's block?

Craig: What’s that? Just kidding. If I’m stuck on something, I try not to focus on that story for a little while. I have plenty of stories that are in various stages, as I’m sure most writers do, because the link went down and I became stuck. I’m okay with it. I’ll go back through them sometimes when I am stuck, and sometimes it breaks the barrier down or I may start writing on an old story. I’ll work on a short story, read from something outside of my normal choices, or just do nothing about it. I guess that’s easier for me to do because I’m not depending on writing to feed my family. I’m sure I would feel much more stress if I had to sell my stories to eat. I have so much respect for full time writers. I know on a small scale what goes into publishing and promoting a book. You guys, and girls that do it full-time have to be rock stars to make it happen.

Griffin: Any thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry?

Craig: I don’t really know enough to speak with any authority, as with most things, but the way I see it, indie publishing has its work to do. There will be constant headwinds, as with any business venture that puts David against Goliath, but in the end, I believe those who put in the most work will be successful. The support of other authors is crucial to the success for all of us.

With that being said, there is some real junk put out that gives indie authors a bad rap. The errors that slip through after many edits and revisions aren’t what I mean, I know because I find them in my work at times, it’s the writing that looks like a C student high schooler put it together that hurts us. There’s nothing wrong with a C student high schooler, but I don’t want to pay to read their work.

Griffin: Good Point. What authors inspire you?

Craig: This question really is too hard to answer. All authors inspire me really. When my eight-year-old daughter, Emma, sits down and starts writing, I’m her biggest fan. She is a main inspiration for sure. I love to read King horror, H.P. Lovecraft has become a favorite. I don’t know there are so many I could list, I’ll stop there. Oh, there’s this guy who writes really creepy stuff that keeps me up sometimes, Griffin Hayes, or something like that I think

Griffin: Never heard of him. Sounds like a hack. Ahem...So what's the best thing about being a writer?

Craig: Being able to kill people off and not get in trouble for it. Oops, did I say that out loud? Really, for me it lets me feel like a kid again in certain ways. Before we grow up and have families, sign up for mortgages and have all these responsibilities, we are allowed to just be. We didn’t have deadlines, except to maybe be in before dark, we didn’t have to pay bills or worry about the crappy state of the world. When I write I’m allowed to step away from all the grown up stuff. Those things might take place in my stories, but I have control. Hell, if my main character is going to lose his house, he can find a briefcase full of money. Now, there are sure to be attachments with the money that will no doubt have consequences and kick his butt, but I can do it. My characters can say whatever they want without real life repercussions. He/she might get punched in the face for saying it, but it’s all make believe. That’s why I like writing. It makes me feel like a kid. That was a fun question to answer.

Griffin: Good. I'm glad you liked it. Here's one you're gonna hate. What's the worst thing about being a writer?

Craig: Self doubt. That’s pretty much it for me at this point. I don’t like the fact that I doubt myself about something. I go back and forth before I let someone read my stuff. I constantly ask myself, What if they don’t like it? I’m getting better about the answer I give, It’s okay. If some people don’t like it, it’s all right. I’ll still get to play with my kids in the pool, I’ll still go to dinner with my wife, and I’ll still have friends and family that care about me, they might not read my stuff anymore, but they care.

Griffin: If you weren't doing this interview right now, what would you be doing?

Craig: It’s Saturday night, so probably hanging out with the wife watching trashy reality shows or Tosh.O. At this point in our lives, that’s what we look forward to on the weekend. Well, I think we do. I know I do.

Any last words?

Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really enjoyed the interview. Also, I want to thank you for all the help and support you have shown me, a complete stranger, over the last months. I truly appreciate all the time you have spent helping me out with my writing. I wish you the best in your future, and I look forward to reading more of your stories that keep me up late at night.

Thanks so much for stopping by Craig and for all the kind words. I'm very happy to help and also grateful for letting me bounce ideas and early drafts off of you. Best of luck on The Somnibus series and I know in the future we'll be hearing plenty more from you. 

Visit the links below to read some of Craig's work or to interact with him on Twitter or his blog. 
‘The Somnibus: Book I’ Amazon U.S./U.K.
My Adventures in Writing Blog
Twitter

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today's Top Stories


I think it's time for an update. First things first. The Malice giveaway went very well. I'd originally scheduled it for three days, but when I hit 10,000 downloads by the end of day two, I decided to pull the plug. Since then the novel has sold a good number of copies.

I've since removed Malice from Amazon's Select program (Dark Passage is the only book still there) and am in the process of making most of my work available to our epub friends via Kobo, B&N, Itunes etc.

I'm still reluctant to go through Smashwords to reach any of the more obscure vendors, especially since any changes I want to make take forever, but for now I think I'll bite the bullet. I am however, placing my books directly through as many vendors as possible (Kobo, Itunes, Amazon...) to avoid those pesky SW complications. Here is a link to my titles on Kobo. The other's I'll post once they go live.

I also have two short stories that will be coming out soon. Once they're done, I'll be folding them into a short story collection which will include several of my existing shorts as well as three others never before seen.

In other news, I'm hoping the new cover for Dark Passage will be coming soon. It's been in the works for a number of weeks now and I've been particularly picky with this one. I'll put it on display once it comes in. Oh, and I'm also working on a top secret new novel. The idea just came to me the other day and I've been laboring feverishly to do all the research necessary. I have at least ten projects in the pipeline, many of which are half completed. It's not terribly uncommon for me to start a story all gun-ho, only to lose steam half way through when I realize I have no idea where I'm heading. I've discovered the secret is to let it sit for a few months/years and then come back to it. After that it practically writes itself. I'm half joking of course, but you get the idea.

Finally, I'll be doing interviews this month with a couple of new indie writers. Horror author Craig McGray will swing by for some words later next week and shortly after that I'll introduce you all to the lovely Michelle Muckley.

That's all for now. A big thank you to everyone who downloaded and read Malice last week. If you loved the book and just can't keep it in, why not swing by Amazon and leave a review.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 20, 2012

MALICE FREE on Amazon July 20-21!

My supernatural thriller MALICE is FREE on Amazon from Friday July 20th to Saturday July 21st. 


When a series of shocking suicides rock the small town of Millingham, Massachusetts, the authorities are left with a single burning question. What was it the victims saw in those final moments that made them tear their eyes out?

Only seventeen-year-old Lysander Shore knows these aren't suicides at all. There's a serial killer stalking the people of Millingham. One that murders at will and never leaves a trace.

And it isn't long before the trail of bodies leads Lysander to the town's deep dark secret. A secret that traces back to a witch's trial and execution 350 years before. The deeper Lysander digs, the more he realizes the victims aren't nearly as random as they seem. In fact, the killer has a list and Lysander is next.


Reviews

"I was riveted by every chapter." --Terri, mybookboyfriend.blogspot.com

"A wonderful action filled story...can't wait to read more from Griffin Hayes." --Emily Tuley, greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com

"You Must Own this book. Do NOT walk, RUN...and BUY IT!! You won't be disappointed." --Annette Nishimoto, gothicmomsbookreviews.com

More Praise for the work of Griffin Hayes

"Nail-biters beware: Griffin Hayes will have you chewing off your arm!"
-- Hugh Howey, bestselling author of WOOL

"Griffin Hayes brings to-the-point characterizations, a crisp writing style, and well-written action scenes."
-- Keith C. Blackmore, bestselling author of MOUNTAIN MAN

"Hayes writes at a sprinter's pace with a new horror at every turn. Don't let your guard down for a moment because the scares are relentless."
-- Joe Hart, author of MIDNIGHT PATHS

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Rush to Print

Conventional indie wisdom and some as yet unverified statistics indicate that the more books an author has for sale online, the more money they're going to make. Some writers talk about hitting a kind of critical mass. The actual threshold itself varies from opinion to opinion, but once that magic number is hit, the idea is that sales will start flooding in. I'm oversimplifying of course, but the essence of the argument is there. And contrary to where you think I might be going here, I don't disagree. I think they are right. The more titles the better. For the most part at least.


Part of the reason for that kind of advice is the luck factor. It's pretty strong in this new ebook market, because most writers (and even publishers) aren't really sure why certain books become mega hits and others sit largely unread. Thus the more books one has floating around the Kindleverse or any other ebookverse, the greater your chances of being discovered. I think it's also true that when readers discover and like one of your books, the chances are strong that they'll go on to buy your other titles. Writing a series dramatically increases this.

But I believe that a lot of authors have taken that conventional wisdom and completely turned it on its head. I know of some authors (none I know personally, so don't worry, I'm not talking about you!) who cram as many titles on their author shelves as fast as humanly possible. Many probably even use several pen names to accommodate the onslaught and I know several of them are making good money doing it, at least in the short term. Thus the ends seem to justify the means. If someone is in this business just to make a quick buck and doesn't care about the health of the industry as a whole or building a career that spans decades, then I suppose that approach sort of makes sense.

I've come to realize this first hand by reading reviews. I read a lot of reviews because I like to get an idea of what readers look for in the books they read and what pisses them off. Poor editing (typos and plot/character development) seem to be at the top of this list. And more often than not I noticed the worst offenders have dozens and dozens of books online, repackaged a million different ways. Some I'm told have even taken books they've already released and remade the cover and blurb and thrown them back on Amazon using a pen name.

The most egregious example I've heard of recently is one person (I won't even bother calling him an author) who has over 100,000 books on Amazon. Most of it is crap, probably illegally farmed off the internet and slapped online, but this guy's following the spammers golden rule. The more the merrier. It's the same numbers game I mentioned above but taken to the absolute extreme. Who needs quality when you can just flood the market right? And I'm worried that's the same slippery slope many self-published authors are inching toward (some as I've mentioned are already well on their way). It doesn't feel like spam if it's something you want and a product that's well made. Spammers sell crap in bulk. Authors shouldn't become spammers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Do Free Giveaways Guarantee Bad Reviews?



John Locke made an interesting observation in his book on epublishing. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that a bad review only really means someone outside your target audience has read your book. Of course he also said it with the understanding that the book you wrote wasn't a steaming turd. 

It wasn't very long after reading those words that I created a free giveaway for my supernatural thriller MALICE and received a negative review that went something like this: "I gave this book two stars mostly because I don't like horror." It was one of my first such reviews (I was even wetter behind the ears back then if you can believe it) and frankly, I was floored. I mean, it was tantamount to saying: "I gave this Fettuccine Alfredo two stars mostly because I hate pasta." But then Locke's words started echoing in my ears and a lightbulb went off. If they don't like the genre or subject matter, how can you ever expect to get a favourable review?

Now, I've noticed that bad reviews on Amazon in general seem to be on the rise, particularly after the most recent holiday season. At first I wasn't quite sure what was causing it. Why were readers getting crankier? Then I was struck with another epiphany. 

Free giveaways. 

Around the holidays KDP Select was just building steam and it wasn't long after that most of the poor reviews began to appear. No doubt, there's a double edge to giving away your book to thousands of people for free and both sides of it are no less sharp. One the one hand truckloads of free copies can help spread the word about a book that would otherwise wilt and fade into obscurity. 

Another possible benefit is a temporary boost in sales (my own results have ranged from no perceptible boost to staying on the bestseller list for a month and a half after the promotion). But as far as reviews are concerned, this is where that other side of the sharpened blade comes in. People are snatching up free books they would normally never have paid a cent for. People seem to load up on free books even when it's not in their preferred genre. They sample widely (readers taking chances on new authors can be a good thing as I mentioned above), but for an author with a fairly narrow audience, that can also mean real problems. If anyone else has any thoughts or experiences on the connection between free giveaways and reviews I'd love to get your take.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bird of Prey Free May 4th and 5th!

My horror novella BIRD OF PREY is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow. Here's a note from yours truly about the book:
BIRD OF PREY was a horror novella that I had an absolute blast writing. I didn't want it to end. An old school monster brouhaha where a motley group of men set out to kill a flying monstrosity that's poised to wipe their tiny Alaskan town off the map for good. "We're going to need help. And guns, lots of guns." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Peek Inside Horror Author Joe Hart's Brain (Yikes!)


Today I'm sitting down with emerging horror author Joe Hart. When I heard he was working on a novel, I knew I needed get the inside scoop. Always the gentleman, Joe was kind enough to spare some time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. 

Griffin: Your awesome collection of dark horror stories, Midnight Paths, has been selling exceptionally well. What can you tell us about it? 
Joe: Midnight Paths is my first collection of short horror that I compiled last summer. The ideas for the stories just started coming to me as I was writing a longer project and I couldn't ignore them so I decided to shelve the other project and focus on them instead. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Basically they're an eclectic array of subjects, from a good old-fashioned monster story to the horror of the human mind. I think if someone is a horror lover they'll find something in there that will satisfy them!

Griffin: Describe your journey as a writer. 
Joe: My journey as a writer began when I was about 9 years old. I had always loved to read, my mom really instilled that in me by never missing an opportunity to visit our local library when I was young. I remember sitting down at her electronic typewriter to punch out my first story. It was a scary one with monsters and a knight on a quest. From then on I wrote a lot of poetry and several short stories in high school and college. For awhile after college I was adrift, knowing I should have been writing more but something always seemed to come up. About two years ago I got down to business in earnest and wrote a screenplay which is incidentally in New York as we speak, hopefully being passed around with the right people. After discovering Direct Publishing on Amazon I decided to switch gears and started writing the short stories that eventually became Midnight Paths. Since then I've been writing almost everyday.

Griffin: I see you're working on a novel. Anything you can tell us about it?
Joe: Absolutely!  The novel is a supernatural thriller set in my home state of Minnesota. The better part of it is set on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It's about a writer who had a pretty horrible childhood, and in the middle of a fairly successful career finds himself stuck with terrible writer's block. He's drawn to a house on the North Shore and some strange things start happening to him. I'm almost finished with a first draft and it should be out in digital and paperback late this summer or early fall.


Griffin: Speaking of writer's block, has it ever happened to you and if so how do you deal with it? 
Joe: I've been really fortunate and haven't had to deal with too much writer's block so far. I have had minor bouts of it within a few of my stories and now my novel, but it usually just takes a little introspection and the answer always seems to surface.


Griffin: Do you have a daily writing schedule and if so what is it? 
Joe: I do have a writing schedule.  I actually work a full time job as well as write, so my time during the weekdays is relegated to the evenings. I try to write for at least an hour and lately I've been pushing to get about a thousand words down each session. On the weekends I like to write in the mornings and early afternoons so my evenings are free to be with my family.

Griffin: How much planning, outlining and research goes into each of your books?
Joe: You know my short stories aren't structured at all.  An idea comes to me and I let it stew there for awhile. Slowly it takes shape and when I'm ready I just sit down and knock it out. For my longer works I do an outline which really helps. A bigger work always seems so daunting when looked at in a whole, but if you break it down into sections and sequences, it loses its intimidation factor. As far as research goes, I try to be as realistic as possible without boring the reader with facts and statistics. I think that a story bogs down when the research begins to bleed through into the fiction.

Griffin: What authors inspire you? 
Joe: Oh wow. Well, Stephen King of course. He's basically my hero. As far as I'm concerned no one does characters better than King. He can broad stroke a character in a page so well that you feel like they're almost real.  I really admire that. The others that come to mind are Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz, Richard Matheson, Blake Crouch, Cormac McCarthy, Kealan Patrick Burke, Rick Yancey, Joe Hill, Richard Adams, and Justin Cronin to name a few.

Griffin: What's the best thing about being a writer? 
Joe: The best thing about being a writer is knowing that you've created a world for others to get lost in. If I can write something that lets people imagine a place or scenario that they never would have on their own, then I've done my job. I've been lost in books for hours before and there's nothing like it. That's what I want to create.

Griffin: What's the worst thing about being a writer? 
Joe: The worst thing about being a writer is that inevitable feeling that you get from time to time that you have no talent whatsoever. I think every writer experiences it once in awhile. You'll be reading something you wrote days before and all of a sudden you ask yourself, "Really?  I wrote that?  It's complete drivel." Those are the bad times. But I've found they're only temporary low spots. Usually you can see some good even in the worst of it. I know if you gave in every time you doubted yourself you wouldn't finish too many projects. It's all about continuing on and revising where you need to.

Griffin: If you weren't doing this interview right now, what would you be doing? 
Joe: Probably spending a little time with my family. They're really why I do everything I do and it's their love and encouragement that's kept me going a number of times.

Griffin: Thanks so much for stopping by! Any last words?
Joe: I just want to say thanks for having me as a guest, I really enjoyed all the questions!

No problem Joe! Was really great having you. You'll have to return after your book goes live. 

You can find Midnight Paths on Amazon Kindle and get it for free with a Prime account there also. I'd love for everyone to follow me on Twitter and I update my own blog when I get time over at www.authorjoehart.blogspot.com.

About the author:
Joe Hart grew up on a lonely 91 acres of farmland in Northern Minnesota and without many playmates or company, began writing when he was 10. His first literary love was Stephen King (and still is) but he has expanded his scope to other influential authors. He published his first poems at age 17 and his first collection of short horror stories at 29. He is currently working on a novel and is editing a screenplay. If it's up to him, you'll be seeing a lot more of him on Amazon along with everywhere else that sells books.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Amazon Bestseller Keith C. Blackmore on the Writing Life


I'm thrilled to be hanging with bestselling horror and fantasy writer Keith C. Blackmore. He's probably best known for his Amazon blockbuster--and all-round awesome book--Mountain Man. Keith was nice enough to sit down and share some of what makes him tick as a writer.


Griffin: In December of last year you released a zombie novel called Mountain Man which has been doing quite well. Tell us a bit about it.

I was channeling "I Am Legend" in that one. I wanted to do a zombie story where we have a ordinary guy (Gus is a housepainter) who, by some miracle of fate, managed to survive a zombie apocalypse for two years on nothing more than common sense and not taking any chances. He doesn't have any training in anything, isn't a scientist with a cure, and doesn't have a cache of high tech weapons, but he does manage to get by on instinct and a healthy sense of fear and loathing for the undead.


Griffin: Any plans for a MM sequel?

Just finished the second part. The book was supposed to be one long story, but I realized that I wouldn't have the second part done in time for 2011 Christmas and the rumored rush of sales coming for writers of all genres in the new year. I needed the cash badly, so I took the gamble of releasing the first half just before Christmas. Luckily it worked and the money I've made off the first half has essentially kept me from seeking a day job and delaying the release of the second half.

"MM:Safari" should be on the market around early May with luck.

There is also a third book, which I'm working on now and hope to have ready for a summer release.


Griffin: Describe your journey as a writer?

Long man, long. Been doing this for maybe 22 years+ now and still learning. Gave up on traditional publishing about six months after I learned I could publish the books online and sell them through Amazon. Haven't looked back since (although come close in the last year to giving up and going back to a day job to raise funds once again). Taught overseas for 14 years while trying to put together novels to sell to (at the time) publishers. My goal all along was to work until I could make the transition from teacher to writer.


Griffin: You seem to write in several different genres. Which is your favorite?

I have pretty eclectic tastes. I like fantasy just because I grew up reading a lot of pulp fiction from Robert E Howard. Also grew up reading a lot of Stephen King. There were other writers in there as well of course, which all led to me dabbling in the two genres now. I like the world building of fantasy, as well as the sword on sword action, while with horror, I'm a sucker for well told monster/ghost stories. Science Fiction is in there too because of the world building and action.


Griffin: Do you have a daily writing schedule and if so what is it?

Get up at around 7am, go through the morning routine, take a walk, get at the PC around 9 and try to hammer out at least 1500 words by 4 or 5 pm. On good days I get around 4000. On great days, I reach 5000. Weekends are off.


Griffin: How much planning, outlining and research goes into each of your books?

Research can take up a lot of my work during the day--just finding stuff on the net, in reference books, or talking to professionals and taking notes. It can be a chore and really slows down actually producing. On really heavy days, I'm lucky to get 1500. Planning and outlining doesn't usually take so much time as I do it in my head most times--getting things straight on what I want to do and where the story is heading during my morning walk.


Griffin: How do you deal with writer's block?

Walk. Mountain Bike in the summertime. Works for me.


Griffin: Which of all your characters have you enjoyed writing the most?

Characterization is my weak point and I try really hard to get it right. I'm closing in on it, but it's still hard to get the voice right. I can still read dialogue (without seeing the names of who is saying the lines) and wonder, "okay who is that?" Very difficult.

Having said that, the latest one "Gus" is probably my favourite cuz he's the most recent attempt.


Griffin: Finish this sentence. If I wasn't a writer I'd be...

...teaching until I could afford writing full time.


Griffin: How do you come up with your ideas?

Everywhere, although I try not to read genres if I'm working on something in that genre--zombie books were out while I wrote MM. I did watch AMC's "The Walking Dead" though. My first horror novel "The Missing Boatman"  is derived from a Greek myth about immortality that I came across while taking a course in university.


Griffin: What's the best thing about being a writer?

It's the job I've always wanted (cliche I know but *shrugs*). Always. Every job I've had up to this point was just paying the bills and supplying life lessons until I could make the final transition.


Griffin: What's the worst thing about being a writer?

Writer's block. Missing Boatman had a 3 year block once. And the fear of one day not having a good idea.


Griffin: What's your favorite flavor of Hot Pockets?

Never had one. Them's pizza thingys?


Griffin: If you weren't doing this interview right now, what would you be doing?

Working on a gunfight scene with one guy and a mess of zombies. And keeping an eye on the stove fire (still winter here in Newfoundland).


Griffin: Where can people go to satisfy their Keith C. Blackmore itch?

My blog is at www.keithcblackmore.com and other than that, my work's on sale at Amazon.

Thanks for having me here :)

Thanks for dropping by Keith! Can't wait for MM:Safari. 


Monday, March 26, 2012

Malice now on 3 Amazon bestseller lists!

So the promotion over the weekend has yielded fantastic results. Malice is now sitting on Amazon's bestseller lists for Horror, Occult and Ghosts. With a little help, I'm hoping it might stay there a while.

For any of you who are scratching your heads and asking, "What is this Malice your people speak of," here's a bit about it...


When a series of shocking suicides rock the small town of Millingham, Massachusetts, the authorities are left with a single, chilling question. Why are all the victims gouging their eyes out?

Only seventeen-year-old Lysander Shore knows these aren't suicides at all. There's a serial killer stalking the people of Millingham. One that murders at will and never leaves a trace.

Before long, the trail of bodies leads Lysander to a dark secret that traces back to a witch's trial and execution 350 years ago. The deeper he digs, the more he realizes the victims aren't nearly as random as they seem. In fact, the killer has a list and Lysander is next.


Click here to visit Malice on Amazon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My supernatural thriller Malice is FREE on Amazon March 23&24!

My supernatural thriller Malice is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow (March 23&24), so grab a copy while you can! And remember, it's not my fault if you sleep with the lights on after reading it.

Enjoy,
Griffin

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Release: Dark Passage


Hi all,

Wanted to let all my faithful fans know that my new horror thriller Dark Passage is now live on Amazon! Here's a blurb to wet your appetite.

Blurb:

Tyson Barrett has carried a terrible secret his entire life. A secret that haunts his dreams and threatens to destroy the happiness he's worked so hard to build. But those nightmares don't just want to torture him. Somehow, they've found a way out ... and now they want him dead.

Praise for the work of Griffin Hayes

"Nail-biters beware: Griffin Hayes will have you chewing off your arm!" 
-- Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL

"Griffin Hayes brings to-the-point characterizations, a crisp writing style, and well-written action scenes." 
-- Keith C. Blackmore, best-selling author of MOUNTAIN MAN

"Hayes writes at a sprinter's pace with a new horror at every turn. Don't let your guard down for a moment because the scares are relentless." 
-- Joe Hart, author of MIDNIGHT PATHS



Friday, February 24, 2012

Desi Moon on Writing and Going off the Deep End

I'm proud to introduce a wonderful new voice on the romance scene, Desi Moon. Trust me when I tell you her schedule for 2012 is jammed, so I was thrilled when she agreed to take some time to sit down for a chat. 


Tell us about your forthcoming release. 
Accidental Intent-- A romantic murder mystery that has gone to the dogs and some really killer footwear.

Describe your journey as a writer. 
Oh I think the term "journey" is way too tame, this is more like a foray through the wilderness armed only with a machette and half a bottle of bug repellant.

Do you have a daily writing schedule and if so what is it? 
I try to get writing done every day while my youngest is in school, I attempt to write when she is home but then Bert, Ernie and Oscar the Grouch seep into the story line and my characters tend to go off the deep end.


Funny, cause my characters tend to start off the deep... How much planning, outlining and research goes into each of your books? 
I've known authors who plot and plan right down to their characters favorite ice cream and what pair of underwear they wore last Tuesday. That doesn't work for me. I love the air of mystery when I sit down to write, the wonder of watching the story unfold organically. And discovering for myself what type of underwear they prefer.

How do you deal with writer's block? 
By walking away and doing something very menial, like baking, or watching a TV show. I need to stop thinking before I can come up with a solution.

What authors inspire you? 
The absurdity of Christopher Moore is inspiring, I absolutely love his wit and the way his mind works.
Janet Evanovich's zany characters and the situations they find themselves in. And Jasper Fforde's whimsically creative (Creatively whimsical?) worlds. I aspire to be so bold and think outside of the box as they do.

What's the best thing about being a writer? 
I am given the opportunity to explore every inch of new and exiting worlds, as a voyeur that is a rare and lovely gift!

What's the worst thing about being a writer? 
The tediousness of editing- I understand it needs to be done, but Oi!

If you weren't doing this interview right now, what would you be doing? 
Editing, which is where I am heading now!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Any last words?
Thank you so much for hosting me!!!! Looking forward to your next book--
Accidental Intent comes out March 17th-- keep tabs on what I am up to at my Blog or
on Facebook

On Twitter: @DBMoonbook

GoodreadsAmazonYouTube


Author bio:
My name is Desi Moon- I am a writer, dog trainer (Almost all of my stories have at least one dog mentioned) and a Project Runway junkie.
I am living the fractured fairy tale with my wonderful husband Eben, who is a board game designer and a writer as well (Helps to have another creative neurotic in the house)
My family includes two great kids who keep me on my toes (mentally and physically) three entitled cats, and one issue plagued but none the less loveable dog.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hive FREE for 48 hours!


The giveaway I did for my debut novel Malice earlier this week was such a smashing success (it's currently burning up the Occult bestseller list), I've decided to do the same thing for my zombie novella Hive (Amazon only). Of course there isn't a Hive II just yet, I'm working on that as we speak, but still, I wanted to give readers a no risk chance to read some more of my work. Hive's like nothing else I've done before. From story down to the writing style it's quite unique.

Here's the blurb:


Nearly two hundred years after the planet was ravaged by millions of undead Zees, the human race is still struggling to rebuild. The Zees may be long gone, but so too are centuries of scientific advancement.


A group calling themselves The Keepers of Knowledge have set out to retrieve and protect what little technology survived the fall. When four of their Prospectors go missing, the Keepers turn to a no-nonsense mercenary named Azina and her eclectic crew of hardened veterans to find them.


The search leads the group to a crumbling underground city. But what looks like just another ruin from a bygone era isn’t nearly as deserted as it appears. Soon, a simple rescue mission becomes a slippery descent into hell as Azina and her men unwittingly awaken a savage, bloodthirsty world. Who will stand and fight, and who will be lucky enough to stay dead?


Hive free on Amazon until Friday at midnight.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Malice Free on Kindle for 48 hours!


I think the title of this blog post pretty much says it all. I'm offering my horror novel Malice FREE of charge for the next 48 hours (Kindle only, sorry). If you we thinking of giving it a read, now's your chance.

Update: I'm currently in the final editing process for my new horror novel Dark Passage which should be out later in the month. I'll start posting some sample chapters as the date draws closer.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jason White's indie adventure

I met Jason on Goodreads last fall soon after publishing Malice. So when I discovered he'd joined the indie ranks with the release of his first short story collection, I asked him to come by and talk a bit about his journey.  

How Room 118: 3 Stories Came to be.

I’m not much of a people person. They’re unpredictable, often unnecessarily mean and grumpy. But the crazy ones are a different breed altogether, and getting stuck working with one can be just downright scary. It’s because of this that they can also make interesting topics for stories.

When I was putting Room 118 together, I didn’t intend for there to be a running theme throughout the three stories. I simply grouped stories that I thought would work well together. I have to admit that I’m ashamed that I didn’t see it before.

Of all the stories I’ve written, these three are among my favorite. I have two more eBooks, with three stories in each, which I’m planning to release hopefully within a month. When I have all nine published, I will then publish all in one singe collection, in physical form through CreateSpace.

To do this, I hired an artist for the physical book, and I highly recommend him. His name is Ronnell Porter. I created the covers for the trinity of short story collections myself, available in eBook only. I also formatted Room 118 myself, and I’m considering hiring somebody else to do that for the next. I found working with all that html fun, but it is also very time consuming. Time that could be spent writing.

I hired Diana Cox to edit all nine stories, and I highly recommend that you do too. She is great to work with, and she is incredibly professional.

Since publishing Room 118, I’ve had little success in sales, but this has not deterred me at all. It’s been only out for a month, and the reviews have been good thus far.

Over all, self-publishing has become an adventure that’s terribly fun, with much less despair than I thought there would be. I can’t wait to get to work on the next. I also cannot wait until I have the physical copy of my collection, titled Isolation, in my hands, on my bookshelf. It’s a dream come true, really. 

Thanks for stopping by Jason, and I wish you the best of luck! 

Jason White lives in Central Ontario, Canada with his longtime girlfriend, their two cats and one dog. He has over fifteen short stories published in various magazines and anthologies. In his spare time, he enjoys watching horror movies, tasting beers and red wines, playing with his "pack," and reading, of course.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hive Sample Chapter


1


I plant my hand firmly on the curve of my waist and say, “Whoever sealed this opening did it in one hell of a hurry.” My repeater is slung over my right shoulder, its weight digging into my back. That's good, because I know it’s right where it should be. I can have it in my hands in well under a second if I need to.
            Bron steps forward. Nearly three hundred pounds of raw muscle, but it's the robotic implants that usually draw most of the attention. Especially his arms, both polished chrome killing machines. “Looks more like a barricade to me.”
            The others stir uncomfortably, and I know it doesn't have a damn thing to do with his thick Norse accent.
            Pennies is fiddling with the cuff of his tunic. His eyes keep dropping to my breasts and I’m a second away from knocking his teeth straight into his nasal cavity. “What do you think they were trying to keep out?” he asks.
            Ret, my second in command, is sitting on a nearby rock watching a dark patch of clouds roll in. He's wiry and handsome, and more than one fellow Mercenary has taken those traits as a sign of weakness. A mistake they’ll never have the chance of repeating.
            “Have a look at the way those metal beams are welded together,” he says coolly, still watching those clouds low and heavy on the horizon. “They weren’t trying to keep anything out. Whoever did this wanted to keep something inside, and badly.”
            There’s a narrow opening below the tangle of beams, no more than few feet high. Keeper Oleg braces a hand on his knee and bends down to study the hole. “This was where the Prospectors entered from,” he proclaims. “I'm sure of it.”
            Yeah, no shit it is. That’s the thought running through my head, right along with a savage thirst that's been building from the moment we left Sotercity. But as long as The Keepers are footing the bill, I don't have much choice but to keep a lid on it.
            Keepers of Knowledge. They’ve been around since long before I was born. Formed during the end times ― an era beyond memory now ― when an advanced civilization slowly self-destructed. They are tasked with gathering whatever scraps of knowledge and technology they can get their hands on.
            As a child, I remember the Keepers telling stories about cities swarming with hordes of monsters. They’d swept across the planet like a plague of locusts with an insatiable appetite. A single bite was enough to kill you or turn you into one of them. The Keepers said it had been a chemical in the water that was supposed to calm the people down. But something had gone terribly wrong. It had taken years before the monsters had been destroyed, and by then there wasn’t much left to save.
            Civilizations rose and fell, and great ones usually died by their own hands. That's about all I know of history. All that really matters, I suppose.
            Oleg stands watching me then waves his hand dismissively at my men: Bron, Ret, Jinx ― my temperamental explosives expert ― and Sneak, my tunnel rat. “Hiring Mercenaries was Prior Skuld’s idea, not mine. Look around you. We’re surrounded by ruins just waiting to fall on people’s heads. A rescue mission requires the proper tools.”
            Oleg’s name-dropping now. He thinks that because the Prior runs the Keepers and the Keepers run Sotercity, we’re supposed to be scared.
            Bron clasps a massive beam in the jaws of one of his gleaming, metallic arms and lifts it with ease. “Is this tool good enough?”
            I put a hand on Bron’s firm shoulder and he lowers the beam. Tact is in order, not quick tempers.
            “Four Prospectors are missing,” I say, scanning the tiny hole that had been cut into the barricade, “and this is their last known location. Doesn’t look like much more than your run-of-the-mill, shake-and-bake operation. We do ‘em all the time. Head in, locate your boys and then hightail it out. One thousand USC each, ten for me since I’m leading this crew, and we all go our merry way.”
            USC. Units of sodium chloride. Fancy talk for tiny pouches of salt. Just don’t get caught out in the rain with it or you’re liable to lose a fortune.
I pause to let this sink in, even though I’m sure he knows most of this already. “Besides,” I say. “Prior Skuld already signed the papers. If you think our fee is high now, just wait till you see what it costs to cancel. Now, as far as your partner goes, if you wanna bring Pennies along so he can keep an eye out for anything valuable, fine by me. But my team works fast and we work alone, so you all better keep up ‘cause Bron’s not gonna carry you.”
            Bron flashes a mouthful of brown teeth.
            Oleg is spearing me with his icy stare, and we hear a voice shouting in the distance.
            “Wait for me! Please! Please, wait!”
            Ret lifts a pair of binoculars. “Azina, we got company. Grinder from Sotercity by the looks of it.”
            I grit my teeth. “Perfect.”
            A Grinder is a term of endearment Ret coined for the hundreds of maintenance men laboring day in and day out to keep Sotercity from drowning in its own shit and dying of dehydration.  
            Apparently, since the world went sliding down the crapper, things have become much simpler. At least that’s what the billboards say.
            Come to Sotercity for a Taste of the Good Old Days.
            There’s something here for everyone. You got yourself a big brain? Join the Keepers of Knowledge. What’s that you say? You’re a greedy bastard? Become a Trader like Pennies. You got a fetish for squeezing into tiny holes looking for artifacts? I understand the Keepers are always looking for new Prospectors. Oh I get it. You like to work with your hands. Grunt work for little or no pay. Got it, not a problem, Public Works goes through Grinders like some people go through dirty tunics. But no, you want it all, don’t you? Then find yourself a trusty weapon ― they’re lying around all over the place ― and start freelancing as a hired gun.
Sounds like one of those damn brochures they’re handing out on every corner, I know. But it’s true.
            Ret’s still got the binoculars to his eyes. “It’s Glave,” Ret says, snarling. “Rosaline’s husband.”
            I snatch the binoculars, and watch the man stumble over a boulder and fall flat on his face. I turn to Oleg. “A panicked husband searching for his Prospector wife is the last thing we need. Send him home.”
            Oleg chuckles. “Worry doesn’t suit you, Azina. You said so yourself this job is a cake walk. The Keepers are paying you a lot of money. I’m afraid you’ll just have to roll with the punches.”
            I sigh. So much for tact. I wanna spit so bad, but my mouth is too dry. 

Hive (No Man's Land Series, #1) available on Amazon

Friday, January 20, 2012

HIVE is now LIVE

Wanted to let you all know that my new post apocalyptic zombie novella HIVE is now available on Amazon. I had so much fun writing this one you have no idea. I've also priced it reasonably at $1.99 so grab your copy today!

Here's the blurb:

Nearly two hundred years after the planet was ravaged by millions of undead Zees, the human race is still struggling to rebuild. The Zees may be long gone, but so too are centuries of scientific advancement.

A group calling themselves The Keepers of Knowledge have set out to retrieve and protect what little technology survived the fall. When four of their Prospectors go missing, the Keepers turn to a no-nonsense mercenary named Azina and her eclectic crew of hardened veterans to find them.

The search leads the group to a crumbling underground city. But what looks like just another ruin from a bygone era isn't nearly as deserted as it appears. Soon, a simple rescue mission becomes a slippery descent into hell as Azina and her men unwittingly awaken a savage, bloodthirsty world. Who will stand and fight, and who will be lucky enough to stay dead?

HIVE is a 20,000-word post apocalyptic zombie thrill ride.