Big Things!

No Light Tomorrow is coming soon (even sooner than I thought) and we’ve started sitting down (Ben and myself) to work out a promotional schedule for its release.

I’ve managed to do pretty well with my first book, The Space Between Houses, by making lots of connections and hitting up various events, and, most importantly, being available for any opportunity presented to me. It wasn’t easy though. Keeping motivated, doing research on events and staying prominent in the community becomes exhaustive. If it were just me pushing this next book, I would probably be looking at the same amount of success, but I’m not alone. Having a second person involved, who has as much interest in the book as I have, is going to pay off greatly.

The first thing up (for the public anyway) is the launch. Some of the ideas we’ve been throwing around lately have me super excited. I’ve been to a few book launches in the past few months and they have been…lacking. Some have been so poorly attended that once you removed the author’s family from the equation, there was only a few people there. Others had more people in attendance, but the launch itself was so painfully long and boring that the bulk of the crowd high-tailed it as soon as all the speeches and back-patting were over, blowing right past the table of books along the way. Now, it is still a bit early to reveal exactly what we have in store, but I can say that our launch is going to be a hell of a party, with some innovative ideas.

And that’s just the beginning!

We have an aggressive marketing campaign, lots of appearances and a book tour or two scheduled over the next six months.

Plus, besides all that, because of recent developments, we (again me and Ben) have finally decided to do something that we’d talked about for quite some time. This new endeavor will open doors for both us, as well as other talents in the community, and pave the way for any fringe work we produce in the future.

Like the title says, Big Things are on the horizon, so stay tuned!

 

Cover Contest!

No Light Tomorrow needs a book cover!

From June 17 – Aug 1, 2015, Authors Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen will be accepting submissions for the cover art for their newest book, No Light Tomorrow. No Light Tomorrow is a collection of five speculative tales. Space travel, strange visitors, technological nightmares, unexplainable phenomenon and new worlds await within its pages. To Enter:

  • Create an original and interesting image built around the name and ideas of the book. The artwork must be the property of the submitter.
  • Upload a clear picture of your cover art design and send to adventureworldsblog@gmail.com by the deadline date.

The winner will:

  • Have their cover published.
  • Receive explicit acknowledgement in the book.
  • Receive complimentary copies of No Light Tomorrow
  • Win $50 cash

By submitting any design for the cover of the book titled “No Light Tomorrow”, you automatically agree to the following. (Please don’t submit anything if you don’t agree).

  • I acknowledge that there may be many cover designs submitted, and that the final choice may be similar to that which I submitted.
  • I acknowledge that the final book cover may include concepts that appear similar to those that I submit.
  • I acknowledge and accept that if my design is chosen, the authors can use the design in any way in the promotion and sales of the book.
  • I acknowledge that my image (if selected) may be altered to better fit the needs of the cover.
  • I acknowledge that even if my image is selected, it may not end up being used as the final cover for the book. In this instance, I will still receive the cash prize of $50
  • I waive any claims that I may have against Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen with regard to the design I have submitted to illustrate the cover of the book “No Light Tomorrow”, including any claims of invasion of privacy, violation of right of publicity, libel or copyright infringement.

Hey, I’m Writing a Novel (pt. 3)

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone”

-Stephen Spielberg

Like my good friend Steve says, cell phones are not always the best thing in the world, and when it comes to writing horror, they are pretty much the worst.

Imagine if you will, what some of our favourite horror stories would look like with the simple addition of a cell phone.

Cujo.

“Hello, animal control? Yeah, this is Donna Trenton calling. So, listen, I’m at the Camber house…yeah, that’s them, and anyways, there’s a big ass dog running around out here. Oh, good! I was worried there for a minute. I’ll just stay in my car until you get here. Thanks.”

Nightmare on Elm St.

Tina: It was so scary, Nancy. He was all burned up and had knives for hands.

Nancy: Cray cray! Let me look that up.

Nancy googles it on her phone.

Nancy: Well, when I put in all that stuff, I got a bunch of newspaper articles about some creepy pedo that used to live around here. It says he disappeared or something when we were just little kids. Hold on, maybe my mom knows something.

Nancy texts her mom.

Ma do you know a guy named freddy kruger????

OMG I haven’t heard that name in years. Me and the other parents killed him 🙂

Thx TTYL

Nancy: Yeah, our parents totally killed him. I guess he found a way into our dreams. Hold on, I’m gonna look up dream therapy.

The Blair Witch Project

“I threw that fucking map into the river!”

“No worries, my phone has GPS.”

That’s just a few. But basically, every classic horror story would be radically different if they had cell phones in them. Part of what makes horror stories great is that nothing is convenient for the protagonist. And if there is one thing that cell phones are, is convenient. The other thing cell phones are, is plentiful. You can’t throw a stone these days without hitting a person talking/texting/surfing/tweeting/snap-chatting/etc. on a cell phone.

While planning my novel, I quickly realized that the story wouldn’t work if there was even one operational cell phone (seriously, the story would end at chapter 2!). Luckily, there was already a plot point in place that could easily explain why the cell phones in the story would be rendered useless.

Still though, this whole cell phone thing had weighed on my mind so much that I even considered (for a short time) changing the time period of the novel to take place in the 80’s. It would be very easy to do and wouldn’t change the overall story that much. But, on the flipside, having it set thirty years ago wouldn’t do anything to serve the novel either (other than not having to deal with modern technology). So, after a bit of consideration, as well as getting the opinion of fellow writer Ben Van Dongen (who is hard a work on his own debut novel. Check out his trials and tribulations here: https://benwltp.wordpress.com/ ) I decided to just deal with the damn things, because the fact is, we can’t put the cellular genie back into the bottle.

Novel: Untitled

Word count: 11400

Chapters: 10

Hey, I’m Writing a Novel! (pt. 1)

“The night was…sultry?”

For anybody who’s seen the amazing black comedy, Throw Momma from the Train, you know how hard it can be for a writer to get the first line of a story just right. In the movie, Larry Donner (played by Billy Crystal) can’t get past that single sentence.

Now that several projects are behind me (The Space Between Houses, which is available now, and the horror/sci-fi collection with fellow writer, Ben Van Dongen ( https://benwltp.wordpress.com/ ), is coming soon), I can finally get back to that pesky novel I’ve been planning.

Last year at this time I was committed to writing it. I even went so far as to line up some volunteers to read over each chapter as I finished them (never turn down free edits). But ultimately, due to time constraints, the novel was shelved.

In the year since I last attempted writing it, a lot has changed for me. Besides those above mentioned projects, I’ve met tons of really talented writers and have learned a lot about the craft from them. With this new found knowledge tucked away in my pocket, I’m once again climbing out onto the ledge of novel writing and hoping like hell I don’t fall off.

The time away from the book hasn’t been wasted though, I did manage to keep the story in my head and spent the time further developing it. It’s safe to say that at this point I’ve planned, plotted and researched everything I possibly can to get this thing going.

Now I’m at that crucial moment of committing those ever important opening lines to the screen. Unlike Larry from Throw Mamma however, I’m not nearly as hung-up on that first sentence. In fact, the moment I’ve been anticipating writing the most since last year has been the first chapter. Being a big fan of the hook, I think I have a doozy of one to open my story with. Hopefully I’m right. Only time will tell though.

Over the next year, I’m going to keep you guys posted on my progress (hopefully bi-weekly updates). This includes the ups and downs and all the in-betweens of the novel writing process. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get an inside look at the entire shebang. From the first draft to the final edits and beyond.

Novel: Untitled (I got lots of time to come up with something)

Words so far: 0 (Although I’m shooting for a nice number between 60 and 70 thousand)

Chapters so far: 0 (I’m thinking about 60 when all is said and done)

 

Finders is here! (finally)

Back several months ago, fellow Adventure Worlds writer, Ben Van Dongen, had an idea for a web comic. We talked about it for a bit and eventually came up with Finders. Ben handling most of the scripting, and me, the art.

It took way longer than it should have to actually produce it (my fault), but we did it. Finders 001 first appeared in the Adventure Worlds zine and is now available to all right here: http://adventureworldsblog.com/2014/09/15/finders-001/

So read it and marvel at the fact his this tiny little thing took like four months to make lol.