I started a club!

Every kid wants to start a club, complete with a hidden clubhouse, their own rules and lots of secrets. That childlike fascination is part of what led me to create the fictional x0, a secret society for telepaths of all ages.

It was even more fun having my hero Alex found his own organization in z2. His group isn’t secret; it’s for anyone trying to understand the nature the time. He’s quite proud of his club, and I happen to know it will play a pivotal role in developing scientific philosophy about time travel. Of course, that’s because Alex, his club, and this particular future all live inside my head.

Last week, I crawled out of my own brain to fulfill a childhood fantasy in real life. I started a club, or, to be more precise, a Meetup group.

Now, I’m not a particularly social person, but I recognize that writing is an almost brutally solitary activity and contact with other writers helps maintain perspective and promote sanity. I’ve been in a lot of writer’s groups; some worked well and others were a waste of my time. Those that worked best for me consisted of a small group of people, all committed to writing and all willing to share their thought processes with others.

I liked one group I joined after arriving in the Asheville area, but found it difficult to attend, due to it’s location and time. It disbanded in December, and the original organizer on Meetup sent around a note basically saying “anyone at all want to pick this up?” I was in the process of deleting the email, sent to all 192 members, when something in the back of my head said “wait”.

For the price of a Meetup fee of $15/month, I could have my childhood wish. I could pick the location and time. I could make up the rules. Hell, I could even add a secret handshake if I wanted. I don’t think I want, but, you never know.

So for the last week, instead of blogging, I’ve been creating my own vision of a writers group. Everyone in it will be an active fiction writer with a work in progress. We’re going to meet in the daylight, at a coffee shop that is easy to get to, is affordable for all and has plenty of parking. We’re not going to charge money, critique each other’s work, have prompts or assignments or, God-forbid, homework, and we’re absolutely not going to have guest speakers. All those things are fine if you want them, they just don’t fit my vision.

Out of 192 members, near as I can tell all but a few dozen have turned off notifications and have no idea they ever belonged. Of those remaining, a handful are not so happy with my changes. A couple have quit. All well and good. That leaves me with a potential couple of dozen people out there, more than enough, and if this works as well as I hope it will, we’ll find others.

If you happen to live near Asheville, check out Write and Thrive for Fiction Writers, an outgrowth of the original Write and Thrive Salon. My new clubhouse is the Hopey and Company Coffee Shop in Black Mountain, and we meet the third the Saturday of the month at noon. If you are nearby and this sounds good to you, I’d love to see you there.

 

 

 

Shout Back

c3 cover very smallA big thanks to fellow indie author Michael Brookes, author of “The Cult of Me” and more, for his shout out for my new book c3. Check it out here.

Michael’s latest book, Faust 2.0, looks fascinating. Check it out here. I hope to run a more detailed feature on Michael’s new book soon.

 

 

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/