Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Playlist: Hell Spawn

There is, believe it or not, no particular list for Hell Spawn.

Yes, I know. If I don't have a list, what the heck am I doing today?

I said a particular list. I have few pieces of music that were instrumental to this novel. I had just really discovered Spotify and I killed a lot of time going to artists I knew and just hitting play on everything.

But then, as I came to the climax of the novel... Let's just say that there's a scene on Riker's Island.... I came on this.

And damn this was awesome.

Oh, heck yeah.

I played this one on a loop for the better part of 50 pages. It was all hand to hand combat and punching, kicking melee. It's Saint Tommy versus ... no spoilers, honest. but it's the last part of the novel.

Buckle up and brace for impact. Hell Spawn is going to grip you like nothing else. I'm relatively certain of that.

Click here to get it.

Hell Spawn is alive! ALIVE!

So, Hell Spawn is live.

In paperback, hardcover, and yes, ebook.

This has been one of the most interesting experiences of my writing career. In large part because this one started with a publisher asking for the book, requiring an outline, getting an editor especially for my output, and having people casually mention that it's a Dragon Award contender before it's even published.

I think people like it.

And it already has over a dozen reviews. The lowest of which is one three-star review who can't seem to understand that, when your subplot involves MS-13 in New York, less than 500 words on sanctuary cities is not "over the top preaching."

They want to see over the top preaching, I can mange that [cackles evilly].

But otherwise, the reviews have been amazing, all four and five stars. You've probably all seen the early reviews (and if you haven't, they're right here). This is pretty much more of the same.

I like the one entitled "Wow -- Can I Open My Eyes Yet?"
The highlights are as follows.
From the start, the hint of humor in the narration during the chase scene let me assume that this was probably going to be a good book, despite the dark overtones of the title. But when the fight scene at the precinct with the demon started, I was ready to scamper out of the way of the fight that made me feel I was right there! Powerful descriptive writing, as the whole scene appeared clearly in my mind and the chaos never stopped! Whew! Believe me, this is a book you’ll want to read, if only to see the mastery of words from this author. I was definitely impressed! 
Someone named Brenda who I need to buy a drink for.
This is a well written book with an interesting and intriguing story line. The author brings strong well developed characters and weaves an exciting story filled with danger,suspense and action. He does a great job pulling you into the story and keeping you glued to the pages right to the end. I highly recommend this book
Or Heidi's review
This was such a interesting book to read. It was full of action, suspense, thrills, excitement, and great characters. 
Or this one.
The murders are brutal to say the least thankfully the author does not take it to a totally immersed sick level but uses it to keep just enough tension to move the story along.

....There is enough humor to counter the dark nature of the story.

....Since we are dealing with a saint there is a religious aspect to the book that some may get a bit standoffish about…however you are reading a book about a saint and expecting no religion theology to be shown would be a bit foolish.

....Tommy’s discoveries and his journey as he tracks down this demon is compelling and keeps you interested to following him down that dark alley.

So, yeah, this has been awesome.

I think it's time to get on board with the best thing that I've ever written.

I can promise you that you won't regret it.

Purchase Hell Spawn here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Catholic Greek: Doctor Hans Schantz on The Brave and the Bold

The Catholic Greek: Doctor Hans Schantz on The Brave and the Bold 11/08 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:

Host Declan Finn will bring on Doctor Hans G. Scantz to discuss his new alternate history, paranoid thriller, The Brave and the Bold, book three of The Hidden Truth series. Dr. Hans G. Schantz is a physicist, an inventor, and a co-founder and CTO of Q-Track Corporation, a supplier of indoor location systems. He wrote the science fiction thriller, The Hidden Truth, a textbook, The Art and Science of Ultrawideband Antennas, and a short history on The Biographies of John Charles Fremont. Hans lives in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, and two sets of twins.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

#GunControlNow -- indeed

To all those people who insist that law abiding citizens should disarm themselves for "everyone's safety..."

Go screw yourselves.
Report: 92 Percent of Mass Shootings Since 2009 Occurred in Gun-Free Zones
On October 9, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a revised report showing that 92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones.
The CPRC report was released in response to an Everytown for Gun Safety study claiming only 14% of mass public shootings took place in gun-free zones. Everytown actually claimed 86% of such incidents occurred in places where guns were allowed.

CPRC showed that the 86% claim rests on Everytown’s “inclusion of attacks in private homes” and “numerous errors in identifying whether citizens can defend themselves.” For example, Everytown “[ignores] rules that prevent general citizens from carrying guns [for self-defense]” in certain cities, and they fail to recognize that “allowing police to carry guns is not the same thing as letting civilians defend themselves.”

So Everytown might count an attack in a public area in Los Angeles as a mass shooting where guns are allowed because certain guns are allowed in the city with a permit. However, they miss the fact that L.A. County issues a minuscule number of concealed carry permits, and many of the ones that are issued are granted only “to wealthy [political] donors.”

Using the same numerical standard that Everytown used–four or more people killed–but taking all rules and regulations against firearm possession into account, CPRC showed that only 8% of mass public shootings occurred in places where citizens could have guns for self defense
And the next a-hole who says "gun owners need to take one for the team . . ."
"Nation Firearms Act of '34
Federal Firearms Act of '38
Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Assistance Act of '67
Gun Control Act of '68
Firearms Owners Protection Act of '86 (sic)
Gun Free Zones Act of '90
Brady handgun Violence Act
Clinton Gun Ban (has since sunset)"
And that's not all of the infringements we've "taken for the team." And you're not happy yet.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

My New Editor

I had a very odd 36 hour period during the last day or two of my honeymoon.

Driving back from DragonCon, we made a stop in Virginia. We had dinner with friends, and probably would have had more meals with more friends if we had planned in advance. Anyway, one of those friends were the Wrights. We had seen them at the wedding, but if you can imagine socializing at a wedding, you can understand why seeing them again so soon after wasn't out of the line of reasoning.

Anyway, on the way out, I mentioned RavenCon, since it was the nearest Convention I knew of in their area. If I recall correctly, there were already plans to do a Superversive meetup at RavenCon, perhaps even a booth. Which is cool, of course. My publisher resides in Alabama and drove to LibertyCon the year before. Maybe the Newquists could drive up to RavenCon?

Jagi said she'd talk to Russell the next day. It was one of the last exchanges we had when we were on the way out the door. Literally, the door was open for a good three minutes as we had this conversation.

The next morning, on our way up I-95, Russell messages me. I figure it had to do with RavenCon.

It wasn't.

Russell had found someone to be my own personal editor. Why, you ask? Well, my writing speed is such that it's been a running gag around the other authors of Silver Empires. I had even mentioned during one conversation that I had "a 13 book Space Opera series outlined, and three novels already drafted ....I'm sorry, did I say 3? I mean 5. I forgot that I had drafted the other two."

.... Sometime after that conversation, where I dropped two hundred thousands words of Space opera on my publishers, the running gag expanded.

So, you can understand why they hired an editor just for me.

And yes, the Space Opera is going to be the thing after Saint Tommy is over. All five -six books should be out by April, if I have my guess correct.

But you can imagine what editing all this stuff would feel like.

So, this message about the new editor sounded like fun. "Why?" we asked Russell (I drove, my wife typed). "Who was it?"

"Would Jagi be Okay?"

I didn't crash the car while going "YYYEEEESSSS" but it was a near run thing.

But, no. I've worked with Jagi on four novels already -- two novels of the space opera, and two of Saint Tommy, NYPD (Hell Spawn and Death Cult). You know how nice it is for someone who gets what you're trying to do, and informs you of how to do it better? And without being either pedantic or obnoxious? It's awesome.

It's "Here, let me inform you of how to do this in two sentences with an example" versus "Here, let me talk down to you about what I read in this book once and go on for paragraphs about something that doesn't even apply to you. And if you don't see how it applies to you, then you're difficult to work with and a whiner."

Yes, I've had the latter happen.

Obviously, Jagi's talents comes from years of experience. This isn't something that comes merely from reading books on editing and writing. This comes from having written books, and having edited a lot of other people's work.

Granted, I'm relatively certain that she wants to declare war on my use of commas. But if that's the biggest problem we have? I'll take it.

See how her work turns out with the release of Hell Spawn.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Early Reviews of Hell Spawn

More data is in on Hell Spawn, and whether or not it may just be the best thing that I've ever written.

Seriously, people, when reading, contemplate whether or not it gets a Dragon Award, because none of the reviews have changed my mind about how awesome it is. In fact, I probably underestimated it.

Over on Goodreads, for example, a Kickstarter patron turned in his review already.
a mystery that progressively morphs into a supernatural thriller and horror.... The action is both awesomely over the top like the pulp action thriller it is and it’s still quite plausible.... Another enjoyable part of the novel is how it presents Catholic horror which is quite distinct to the say Lovecraft Stephen King type horror. Mind you, though the authour pays homage to the first and dismantles the second.... I really enjoyed the novel and allowed me to be a part of Tommy’s adventures. The humour is great and I laughed at certain scenes and dialogue.It was worth funding this series with my beer money and I definitely look forward to the next batch of books. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series even at the time of this review they’re not yet available. The readers won’t be disappointed. 
Also at Goodreads.

It is hard to imagine a first-person central book about a saint, but the author pulls it off. The author knows hidden details that bring real verisimilitude to his descriptions of policing, living in New York, and being a Catholic. The book pulls you in from the first few pages and keeps holding you page after page (I read it in less than 36 hours). The story is satisfying even though there are hints of more to come (the Kickstarter promises a trilogy). The fight scenes are particularly excellent. Finn is able to make them exciting, detailed, and believable all at once. The book does drag when it gets too political, but that is a minor problem. When I see Catholicism portrayed on television, it now pales before the understanding in this book, and that is a rare, wonderful thing.
Meanwhile, over at Jim McCoy's Blog... okay, you really should just read the entire review. He's already advocating for Hell Spawn for his horror pick at the Dragon Awards next year.

Some of the better lines from the review, however (and they were all good)
I have to hand it to Declan Finn. I really didn't think you could do much to make a homicide detective's day worse.

....when a demon comes out to play, it gets ugly. Like, double plus ungood ugly. Like, this thing is eviller than evil ugly. Like, I'm cackling evilly remembering how evil this thing was ugle. It's a good time.

I'd be careful with Hell Spawn though. It almost caused me to stay home from work because I couldn't put it down....Seriously though, don't start this one twenty minutes before you need to be somewhere. Hell Spawn starts off fast and accelerates continuously. Finn has redefined the term "page turner" here. It almost felt like the pages were turning themselves and I was just watching.

....Finn has a much better sense of how to write a plot than most Eighties slasher movie writers, but he's got them beat for gore as well. A lot of what happens in the tome is sick, twisted, disturbing and awesome.

....Finn lives in New York. The book takes place in New York. I've never been to New York (I know, I'm working on it) but having read Hell Spawn I almost feel like I have been.

....Oh, and if you're wondering: Hell Spawn is the current front runner for my Dragon Award nomination for Best Horror Novel next year. That is, unless Finn beats himself with the sequel to this master piece which is due out in Mid-December, just in time for my birthday.
I think he liked it.

And, a comment from someone on Facebook (name withheld because I didn't ask his permission, and he's probably going to do his own review on Amazon.)
It was very evocative. I felt like I understood what it was like to be a policeman living in New York, to be a Catholic, and even to be touched by God. When I watch Daredevil season 3, I feel like I am seeing a pale shadow of Catholicism by comparison. Consumed the whole book in 36 hours.
You, too, can preorder the book that is gaining reviews so awesome, even I'm surprised. Just click here.