Best of ’16

When you’re a writer, you are constantly being asked, “Who’s your favourite author?” Or, “What is your favourite book?”

And being a huge book nerd, I love answering that question. For the sake of this post however, I will only answer one of those questions…sort of.

I’m going to go through and give you my five favourite books…of 2016. Now, to clarify, this does not mean the book was written/published in 2016, but rather, last year is when I read it.

Also, the order they appear below is not an indication of how much I liked one over the other, but rather, is a chronological listing of when I read them.

With that said, let’s get to it! Continue reading

Novel update

I guess I should give an update on my novel. It is the most asked question I get these days and so I figure it’s only fair to shed some light on where it’s at and where it’s going.

I started work on it a few years ago (or pretty damn close to), and it still has a ways to go. I did hit a big milestone back in late summer/early fall of last year when I finished the first draft. I was proud to have gotten that far, but I also knew that there was going to be a lot of work ahead of me.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but the cliff notes version is this: I kept changing what happens in the book. Because of those changes, huge sections of the novel which I had already written, became irrelevant to the story and were cut out. This indecisiveness has resulted in a patchwork collection of words that is a complete mess. Needless to say, I had become very discouraged.

It wasn’t until the end of last December (as in about a month ago!) that I finally came to terms with the story I am trying to tell. All decisions have been made. There is finally, once again, a clear direction. It’s time to start a new draft of the book (draft #4 for those keeping score). For this draft, I am just adding in those final elements I am missing and smoothing the edges on the other additions. From there, I will start cleaning it up heavily and preparing it for the editor.

…Just not right now.

For the immediate future, I thought it best to set the novel down for a couple months. I’ve been working on it in one way or another for years and I think it’ll help tremendously to come back for this 4th draft with a fresh mind.

That doesn’t mean I’m not writing anything, as I’m currently chugging away on the crime novella for Adventure Worlds Press that I mentioned in an earlier post a couple weeks ago. And more importantly, it doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the novel. I truly believe that it will be a scary book and can’t wait for everybody to read it! I just want to make sure it is everything I know it can be before I release it on the world.

-C

First Reading(s) of the Year!

One of my favourite parts of being an author is when I get the opportunity to do readings. For some, the mere thought of standing before a group of strangers and reading something aloud is terrifying. For me, it’s more a feeling of nervous excitement. It’s somewhat exhilarating when I’m standing before a room full of people, all of whom are there to hear me read something from one of my books.

So with that said, I’m rather excited to be doing not one, but two readings this week.

The first, which is tonight, is being hosted by local publisher Urban Farmhouse Press. Now you’re probably wondering why UFP is having me read when I am not published through them. Good question. You see, UFP are some great folks and have put together a monthly showcase featuring authors from a different local publisher (Windsor has several). And yep, you guessed, tonight is Adventure Worlds Press’ turn at bat.

My AWP partner in crime, Ben Van Dongen, will be reading as well. And since, as of this moment, Ben and I make up 100% of AWP’s authors, we’ve invited a couple friends to fill out the card. First is horror author, Mick Ridgewell. As well as historical fiction writer Dave Rocha.

As usual, besides readings, there will be signings and books for sale. Oh, and snacks, don’t forget the snacks.

More info here.

And if you want to learn more about just what the heck Urban Farmhouse Press is all about, go here.

The second reading, which will be this Saturday, takes place at the Goodwill Bookstore. Both Myself and Ben will be there, and as a special treat, we are going to be accompanied by new adult author, Jessica Gouin. What makes it so special is that it is Jessica’s first public reading (this is your chance hecklers!).

For the deets, click here.

I hope to see some of you at one (or both) events.

-C

Crime (and) Story

I was going to post an update about my novel, but found it too depressing, so instead I thought it would be fun to talk about the crime story I’m working on, and how my early writing process, as a whole, unfolds.

The above mentioned crime story is for an anthology. The book will have three stories, each in the 20 – 25K range, and will be written by myself and two other authors. I agreed to take part in the project before having any sort of idea as to what I was going to write about.m002060484_sc7

With a deadline looming, I got out the trusty note pad and started jotting. This marks the first step in the evolution of a story for me. I have about a hundred blank note books. You know the ones, those 80 page Hilroy’s we all remember from school. Every August I load up on the things when they are 10 cents each leading in the new school year. I like to get a nice mix of colours for the covers, but seem to lean towards red and green. Anyway, I crack one of those bad boys open and let my brain dribble all over the page. Continue reading

Coming Soon!

Hey everybody! So, I’ve been talking to my buddy Ben Van Dongen (see what he’s all about here) and although it pains me to admit it, he was actually right about something…for the first time…ever! I don’t update my site enough. So, with the confidence of a new year before me, you’ll be hearing from me a lot more often.

This brings me to my first hurdle though. What the hell am I going to talk about? Ben’s blog focuses on various events and things from his life, but that’s not really my speed. Not that I think he is wrong to spend time on such topics, it’s more that I personally don’t like writing about that stuff. Because of that, I’m going to keep things as work related as possible around here. Basically, I’ll be giving updates, info on events and books and talking to and or about other authors and their work.

Since this is the first post of the year, and telling everybody your plans for the next 365 days is the cool thing to do, I will spill the beans a bit about what I have coming (fingers crossed) this year. Continue reading

Big News

So, while plugging away on my novel, something crazy happened. I’ve become a full fledged publisher!

The very short version goes like this. After reaching out to publisher Mirror World Publishing to see if they’d have any interest in releasing the illustrated edition of my second book, No Light Tomorrow, I was asked if I could meet with the owner.

She had something bigger than just publishing the book in mind, and instead asked me (and other Adventure Worlds owner Ben Van Dongen) if I would be interested in turning Adventure Worlds Press into an imprint of Mirror World. As an Imprint, we would focus on horror and hard sci-fi (two things Mirror World does not deal in) as well as other fringe projects.

Of course we agreed and the rest is history. To hear Ben’s take on the even, hit up his blog right here: https://benwltp.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/how-to-become-an-imprint/ and to see what Mirror World had to say about the whole thing, click this bad boy right here: https://mirrorworldpublishing.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/introducing-our-new-imprint-adventure-worlds-press/

The first book out under the Adventure Worlds Press imprint is, you guessed it, No Light Tomorrow Illustrated Edition. But we are already planning out 2017 and there should be some fun books coming soon!

AWP cropped logo

 

Driving Through Time

By Christian Laforet

Grant hammered the gas pedal. Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway heading towards Manitoba. The broken yellow line stretched out in front of him like an endless snake—a beast with no head. Aware of the cell phone sitting on the passenger seat, every few seconds he would tap the screen with his finger. The time appeared in bold—7:46 p.m., EST. That was not set in stone though. Soon he would pass into the Central Standard Time Zone and the numbers on his phone would flip back exactly one hour.

The sweat, breaking out along his forehead for the last thirty minutes, felt cold and abrasive on his skin. He wiped it away with his sleeve, but knew it would come back.

Flying past a sign announcing the upcoming border, Grant reminisced again about what his Grandpa told him when he was a kid. Continue reading

Digital Death (Pt. 6)

Level 6: The last Boss!

We’ve made it all the way to present day (approximately). I’m happy to report that there are now more horror games than ever. It’s like everybody finally realized that the horror genre is ripe for the picking when it comes to video games. So…fuck yeah!

Alright, before I get super current, I need to go back a few years for this first one. The game came out on the PS3, but I didn’t play it until just recently on the PS4.

The Last of Us (2013)

I’m about to say something that may cause people to roll their eyes, but I don’t give a squirt. The Last of Us is as good a story, both in acting and content, as any movie I have ever seen. Never, in all my years of gaming, have I been so emotionally involved in the characters I was playing as. Joel and Ellie’s (the above mentioned characters) story is touching, chilling, tragic, loving, and everything in-between. Continue reading

Digital Death (Pt. 5)

Level 5: Where we start at the depths of the ocean, move on to the farthest stars and end in…Twin Peaks???

Hi there! Welcome back to my stroll down memory lane. Last time I was a major downer, this time, high on life (and drugs!) I’m all smiles. So, like I said, the first half of the 2000’s were fairly light on the scary stuff for me, but I finally got my shit together, picked up a Xbox 360, and got my horror on!

Sometime in 2005/06 I started hearing of this next game. I had made some new friends thank to returning to school. What’s that? Oh, I was in animation. Yeah, yeah, it was pretty awesome. Huh? Did I graduate? Um, well you see…don’t judge me!!

Bioshock (2007)

I hadn’t really played much in the way of first person shooters (FPS) since the Doom days. That game messed me up that badly. So when a pal of mine got all excited about this little game called Bioshock, I was somewhat lukewarm. Sure, the gameplay footage looked seven shades of rad, but still, it was a FPS. Continue reading

Digital Death (Pt. 4)

Level 4: Japanese people are weird and why are the Russians always up to no good?

Remember how I mentioned that 1999 was the greatest year ever? Yeah, well 2000 was a giant pile of shit. Pretty much everything good from the previous year was torn away to be replaced with cruel, mocking reminders of what I had lost. Don’t worry, you can put away the world’s smallest violin, this hasn’t devolved into a pity party. I just have to set up where my head was at in the early 00’s and why for a solid few years I had all but moved away from horror (which included horror video games).

Instead, I threw on my wizard cloak, grabbed my phaser (set to sexy!) and got my geek on. Because of this, all my time went to things like the Dragonlance books, and JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games for those who have a life). The real world was scary enough, I didn’t need to add to it with video games.

That said, there was one exception during this sad horror-less period in my life…

Onimusha: Warlords (2001) Continue reading