Category Archives: Books/Writing

Playlist for The Devil You Know

tdykcover_finalPopular music is an integral part of my newest book, The Devil You Know. A large number of songs, both old and new, are referred to in the novel, so I thought I’d create a playlist of sorts for people who’d like to inject an additional element into the story as they read: audio! Below is a YouTube link to each song, queued up to the referenced portion, if applicable, listed by Episode and Chapter. Enjoy!

Episode One:
Chapter 1:
Destiny’s Child, Say My Name https://youtu.be/sQgd6MccwZc
The Doors, Light My Fire https://youtu.be/LY1l8T2Lcl0

Episode Two:
Chapter 9:
Celine Dion, All By Myself https://youtu.be/NGrLb6W5YOM

Episode Four:
Chapter 17:
Maroon 5, Animals https://youtu.be/qpgTC9MDx1o
Jimi Hendrix, Foxy Lady https://youtu.be/lp0sUGlam6c
Robert Palmer, Simply Irresistible https://youtu.be/UrGw_cOgwa8

Episode Five:
Chapter 26:
The Commodores, Lady https://youtu.be/phNLASyPsUU

Episode Six:
Chapter 32:
Queen, Another One Bites the Dust https://youtu.be/rY0WxgSXdEE

Episode Eight:
Chapter 46:
Adele, Hello https://youtu.be/YQHsXMglC9A

Episode Nine:
Billy Joel, We Didn’t Start the Fire https://youtu.be/eFTLKWw542g
Chapter 58:
The Hooters, All You Zombies https://youtu.be/2LE0KpcP05I

Episode Ten:
Chapter 68:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I Won’t Back Down https://youtu.be/nvlTJrNJ5lA

MonsterCon and The Devil You Know

In honor of the Magic City MonsterCon (which I’m attending all weekend!) I’m doing the cover reveal for my newest writing project: The Devil You Know.

You can read the first four chapters of the book (what will comprise “Episode 1” in the final product) right now at Wattpad! Here’s a link: https://www.wattpad.com/user/TuckerAuthor

Two alien races vie for control of Earth amidst a human population decimated by a merciless plague, famine, and war.

Meanwhile, the denizens of Hell grow restless. The apocalypse they were supposed to instigate and revel in is happening without them…

Doing their best to create new lives in the aftermath of the chaos triggered by the aliens’ arrival, Abraham Black and Neri White come from backgrounds about as different as their last names would indicate. Yet, together, they may hold the key which allows humanity to remain the primary tenants of Earth. The question is: how much are they willing to give up to save the world? Their memories? Their lives? Their souls?

I’m describing this story as a Post-Apocalyptic, Epic, Suburban Fantasy… with Aliens. Yes, I think it’s going to be something unlike anything you’ve read before and I’m very excited about it. The story is more adult in nature than my previous works and it’s in the final stages of editing and rewrites and my goal is to have it available this winter, hopefully in time for the holidays.

So, without further ado, here is the cover:

tdykcover_v8

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and I hope to see some of you this weekend!

Dealing With the F-word

It’s that time again and I’m over on the Emblazoners blog talking about the F-word.

Failure!

Is there another F-word? 🙂

Pop over and have a read: http://emblazoners.com/dealing-with-the-f-word-failure/

In other news, The Devil You Know, my latest project that has taken far more time to complete than I’d hoped, has passed 115,000 words and I’m sincerely hoping the light at the end of the tunnel I see isn’t an oncoming train! The next few weeks are dedicated to getting this beast finished and out in the world.

To that end, I’m looking for a few beta readers. This is an adult read (language and violence) and, if you’re interested, please contact me for details. Thanks!

The Roller Coaster of Crowd Funding and Free Stuff!

Being a writer is often a lonely occupation.

I spend a great deal of time inside my own head. Too much time almost certainly. For me, writing stories mainly involves staring at a computer screen while my fingers peck away to fill the white space with darker pixels, punctuated by periods of gazing at a blank spot on the wall of my office while I ruminate on how best to continue the current scene or chapter. In the realm of spectator sports, it ranks just below watching grass grow or paint dry.

Unless you’re inside my head.

In there, the action flies at a blistering pace, with a multitude of permutations for each action by the characters playing out almost simultaneously until I settle on one with the most conflict/danger/insight/humor and the process starts anew. Have you ever read a book, or watched a movie, where something happened and you thought, “Man, it would have been so much cooler if they’d done _______”? That’s basically my creative process, for each and every scene. I don’t always get it right, but I examine a number of possibilities before deciding on any particular path for each story. It’s sort of like a choose-your-own-roller-coaster.

Recently, I signed up for another type of roller coaster: crowd funding. I’ve seen a number of other authors try this route to gain exposure and help with the expenses of publishing and promoting their books. One of my writer friends showed me a site called Inkshares.com, which is a new take on crowd funding, exclusively for books. Skeptical, I took a look at the long, steep uphill stretch of track before me and shuddered. The lonely introvert within me reigned supreme and I stepped away, giving it little thought after that.

Sword-LaserThen, the Sword & Laser stepped in. Now, if you’re a scifi/fantasy fan and haven’t heard of the Sword & Laser, let me direct you to their YouTube channel and Podcast. Oh, and they have a thriving GoodReads group as well. Tom and Veronica are smart and funny and do an amazing job of presenting scifi and fantasy books and authors to the world through their monthly book club, interviews, and news discussions. For the second time now on Inkshares, the Sword & Laser is sponsoring a contest where the winning book will be published and promoted in conjunction with the group, as well as the other top two of three receiving the full backing of Inkshares, regardless of the number of copies preordered. The contest runs until January 15, 2016.

Unlike my first foray, this time I’ve jumped into the front seat and thrown my arms up high, a look of glee mixed with sheer panic plastered on my face.

Here’s where you, dear reader, come in.

Having the opportunity of presenting my work to such an active and vibrant fan base as the Sword & Laser commands is amazing, to say the least. Achieving that goal requires pledges in the form of pre-orders for the book I’ve entered in the contest: The Devil You Know. Here’s the cover I’ve worked up, along with some “back cover” copy:

TDYKcover_v5

Two alien races vie for control of Earth amidst a human population decimated by a merciless plague, famine, and war.

Hell is not pleased and the denizens of the Underworld have decided it’s time to fight back.

Doing their best to create new lives in the aftermath of the chaos triggered by the aliens’ arrival, Abraham Black and Neri White are about as different as their last names would indicate. Yet, together, they may hold the key which allows humanity to remain the primary tenants of Earth. The question is: how much are they willing to give up to save the world? Their memories? Their lives? Their souls?

I’m describing it as post-apocalyptic, epic, suburban fantasy… with aliens.

You can read the first two chapters on the Inkshares site.

“How can I get my hands on this enormous slice of awesome?” You ask. Here’s how:

  1. Create an account on Inkshares.
  2. Once you’ve done that, Inkshares will gift you with $5.00 in credits you can use toward funding the project of your choice! (Sometimes the credits take a few minutes to a couple of hours to show up, so be patient)
  3. Click on The Devil You Know and pre-order an ebook for only $5.00 (after applying your credits) or a printed copy, shipped directly to you when it’s published, for only $10.00 more.
  4. Tweet or Share on Facebook the fact that you’ve just been a completely awesome person and done the above!

“Why do I need to do that last step if I did all the rest?” You wonder.

Because I’m sweetening the pot, that’s why! For every 10 new readers, you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a Print$10.oo Amazon gift card. (I’ve already given one away!) Yep, every time we hit another 10 readers, all the previous readers will have a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon card. So, the more you share and get the word out, the more chances you’ll have to get a little bonus for yourself! Additionally, if someone places an order based on your Inkshares recommendation, you’ll receive more credits to spend on other interesting works from the site. How cool is that? You get an amazing book, chances to win Amazon gift cards, and credits to get even more amazing books — all for just a $5.00 investment! They even accept Bitcoin if you happen to have some of those lying around.

Now, I realize for many folks even $5.00 can seem like a lot to spend on someone you may not even know or have read before. Believe me, I’ve been there. Rest assured, you aren’t tossing your money away on nothing. If the project doesn’t reach the top three in the contest and isn’t funded, you’ll get your money back and you might have even won a gift card along the way.

Being the lonely, introverted writer type I referenced at the beginning of this post, it’s extremely hard for me to ask others for help. I don’t like doing it. My anticipation at realizing a dream, however, has overridden my fears of reaching out and asking for this assistance. I can’t do this alone. So, please, if you can sacrifice that double mocha latte, or a Happy Meal, on fulfilling a dream, I’ll be forever grateful. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Books Aren’t Worth the Paper They’re Printed On

Got your attention?

I’m a writer. How could I possibly, truthfully express the sentiment in that headline? Well, let me tell you a story…

My mother is an avid reader, mostly of thrillers and mysteries, and she had a number of bookshelves, stocked with her favorites from over the years. Recently, she had the carpet replaced in her home and, rather than going to the trouble of reshelving most of those books when the new carpet was in and she could return her furniture to the rooms, she decided to sell the majority of those books to a used book store.

About three years ago, she made the reluctant plunge to ebooks. I say reluctant because she didn’t think she’d stick with it initially. Now, you’d have to pry her kindle from her cold, dead fingers. She’s discovered dozens of Indie authors (it helped that her son is one of them) and spends far, far less money on reading material than she used to, all the while enjoying the activity just as much as she ever did, perhaps more.

dreamstimefree_122041The paper books from her dusty shelves, which included pristine, hardback copies of Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, and Jonathan Kellerman best sellers, didn’t hold the nostalgic value they once had. She had no interest in rereading them, so it made sense to take them to a used book store and get a few bucks for them.

Billings, Montana isn’t a huge town by most standards, but we have a number of used book stores. We stopped by one on our way to lunch, thinking to drop the books off, quickly collect a few dollars, and hopefully pay for our meal with the “windfall.” Our visit was indeed quick, but not for the reason we supposed.

“We’re not buying any books,” the clerk explained. “In fact, we’re having a big sale right now to try to pare down our inventory.”

Hm. Okay. No big deal, we thought. We’ll just try another store.

We accumulated strikes two and three faster than Casey from the Mudville Nine.

Resigned to not being able to pay for our lunch, we visited the library after we’d eaten, seeking to donate the books.

“Could you bring them by when we have our big book sale in the winter?” the lady at the front desk asked. “We really wouldn’t have any place to store them until then.”

The library doesn’t want books? It’s not like these were outdated software manuals. Tom freaking Clancy!

We ended up dropping them off at our local GoodWill. The attendant took them with a slight frown on her face.

Being a relatively well informed writer who’s steeped in ebooks, I knew the digital world has been gaining ground on the world of dead trees, but this experience really drove the point home. I remember buying and trading used books as a kid — and as an adult — for many years. Proprietors were always happy to see me come in with a box of books, because they knew I’d be trading them for more reading material and they’d generate some churn in their inventory. Now? Those stores wouldn’t even take books in trade, because their shelves were already packed to overflowing.

And people wonder why the big publishers are doing everything they can to keep ebook prices as high as possible. Their businesses are built on paper. When anyone can publish a book in electronic form and have it appear on the virtual shelves of the largest bookseller on the planet, right next to Tom freaking Clancy, where is the incentive to spend years playing the agent-to-acquisition-to-publication lottery? Especially when the payout for that particular lottery is getting smaller and smaller with each passing day.

Before long, paper books will be a novelty item, only sought out by collectors, much like vinyl records are today. Vinyl aficionados claim digital is too clean. They like to hear the hisses and pops that records produce. I suspect the same sort of folks probably like ink smudges on their fingers from printed pages as well.

Personally, words carry the same impact for me, whether displayed on a screen or paper. A good story carries me off to another world, regardless of the medium in which it’s presented.

Books are worth much more than mere paper and ink.