Conversations in the Abyss

BrookesOne of the great joys of writing novels is getting to know others who are doing the same, particularly when you enjoy their ideas. I featured author Michael Brookes here on my blog for y1 with his first novel “The Cult of Me”, a 5 star rated supernatural thriller.  I am happy to get to interview him on this blog as he releases his second novel.

Conversations in the Abyss

Stealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth. But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind. There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.

Michael answers a few questions about his new book:

Me:  You’ve created a fascinating and powerful character in your two novels. Will there be more stories about him or do you have another protagonist in mind next? Him: He’ll be featuring in the final book of the trilogy (The Last True Demon), beyond that I don’t know yet. I guess it depends on how the final book ends!
Me: You also have a book of short stories, about 2500 words each. I find writing short stories very different from writing a novel. Do you see one as more your medium, or do you enjoy doing some of both? Him:I enjoy both, although I approach each differently. With short stories I tend to just take an idea and just dive in. With novels I’m much more methodical. I won’t start writing until I have it all planned out. I also enjoy writing drabbles, these are 100 word stories. It’s a fun challenge fitting a story into so few words.
Me: I noticed some nice praise already for Conversations in the Abyss in online reviews. Congratulations. Readers mentioned that they hadn’t read the first book and felt that they didn’t need to.  What’s your take on this.  Is the second book better appreciated by those who have read the first? Him: I intentionally wrote the book so it could be read without having read the first book, however you will understand a lot more having read the first book as well. You can read the first after the second as a kind of prequel as well.

Buy now from Amazon:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BCP08JU/

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCP08JU/

About Michael Brookes: Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.

Other Books by Michael Brookes

The Cult of Me

For too long he dwelt apart, watched those who passed him by. With his unique abilities he entered their minds and inflicted terrible suffering upon them. They didn’t even know who he was. The game has lasted for years, but now the game has become stale. On an impulse he decides to make a final and very public last stand. After surrendering himself to the police he enacts his plan to seize the prison for his final bloody act. 

There he discovers that he’s not as unique as he once thought.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cult-Third-Path-ebook/dp/B008O7ZVXW/

An Odd Quartet: A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words) to thrill and chill.

The Yellow Lady: Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it’s not always treasure to be found.

This Empty Place: At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.

Forced Entry: Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.

The Reluctant Demon:A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.

http://www.amazon.com/An-Odd-Quartet-ebook/dp/B009QJMMPC/

 

Normal people

We have a 6 ft by 9 ft ledge in our house that sits over our front door and can only be accessed through an upstairs closet. It’s a small room, really, open on one side to the entry way and totally useless.  I’ve filled it with plants.  One day my son asked me “What would normal people do with a space like that?”

Not Normal

Not Normal

I’ve now had the privilege of having a few dozen complete strangers read and review my three novels.  Seeing my stories work, or not, through their eyes has been one of the most exciting things in my life.  I cannot begin to tell you what a growing experience this writing thing has been.  Sometimes a particular comment in a review overwhelms me, but none has more than the offhand remark of av0415 in her review of x0 on Library Thing.

“It’s quite different from normal books.” That’s just what she said.  “Normal books.”

It seems that with each novel I write, I have some sort of new personal confidence crisis.  I’m about 1/6 of the way into c3 (cee cubed), the fourth novel in this collection, and I am having my crisis already.  This one has to do with my writing style being too inaccessible. I change points of view too often and jump around too much and my last novel z2 took this even further than the first two books. I need to write more like everybody else.

So thank you, so very much, av0415 whoever you are. Thank you for reminding me of my son’s question long ago.  For although my son apologized quickly for any implied insult, he was astute enough to know how inwardly pleased I really was. Yes, I am happy that I don’t decorate like everyone else. Or dress or think or live in a way that is too easily described as normal.  And although I do want my books to be read and enjoyed by many, I am not trying to write them to be read and enjoyed by all. I need to remember that.

These aren’t normal books.  They aren’t written by a normal person. It’s okay. If your particular lack of normal has a common wavelength with mine, then you might enjoy these non-normal tales and that would be great.  But if you don’t, it’s fine too. We’re all not normal in our own way.

Free today!

and tomorrow…..

z2 is having its free promo at Amazon.com Saturday and Sunday March 16 and 17.  You can grab a free kindle copy just by clicking here.

I don’t like name calling either ….

troll….and so when somebody I like calls somebody I don’t like a nasty name, I try to reverse the roles. I mean, how would I feel if Justice Scalia, who has never impressed me as a supreme court justice or a human, called Rachel Maddow (who I adore) a troll.  I’d be, upset, right? People should not call people names.

So I was relieved to discover that troll has a meaning other than being a pejorative way of calling somebody a short, dumb and mean creature. A troll literally trolls the internet, seeking to cause random harm and discomfort by posting offensive remarks. Rachel thought that Judge Scalia took a similar approach in his comments from the bench, liking to stir up controversy.  Well, that would explain some of the man’s offhand remarks.

Whether you like Rachel or Judge Scalia or neither (hard to like both I think) you might enjoy this interview with Rachel on the Daily Show. (Posted by the Huffington Post.) She got to listen to some of the supreme court discussion on repealing the Voter Right’s Act.  This effort interests me because it sounds so very much like something my z2 villain Tina Johnson and her friends would like to accomplish.  Is this effort spearheaded by hate groups?  Or just appreciated by them?  I suspect the latter but think it is a question worth asking.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/01/rachel-maddow-scalia-jon-stewart_n_2789126.html

Time and hate

Z2 JH3 - CopyAfter you finish writing a book, you find yourself spending an amazing amount of time writing about what the book is about. This place wants a 500 word description.  That ad must be 80 words or less.  Nope, only 200 characters allowed here and spaces count.  It is an annoying process that results in sub-optimum word choices and bad phrasing.

But it has forced me to distill down to few words what each of my books truly concerns, and that is a worthwhile exercise. Just today a friend helped me realize that z2 is, more than anything, about time and hate, and about what time does to hate. (You can read her review of the book on Amazon.com here.)

Time can funnel hatred into a concentrate that is far more lethal than the original emotion, or time can allow hatred to evaporate into the vapor that it always was.  The first process is scary, the second is uplifting. Case in point.  According to PoliceOne.com, the police chief from Montgomery Alabama recently apologized to U.S. Representative John Lewis who was among the freedom riders in 1961 who were beaten during the civil rights movement while police did nothing to help them.

light clockUnlike the recent scandal in British Columbia wherein BC Premier Christy Clark’s staff cynically suggested that she could get some political quick wins by apologizing to previously wronged ethnic groups, presumably Police Chief Kevin Murphy had nothing to gain from his apology other than, in his own words, doing the the right thing.

z2 is also about hope. Hope that Kevin Murphy was sincere.  Hope that leaders in BC might one day apologize for past wrongs because it is the right thing to do.  Hope that we all will be a little better, with time.