Anyway, even though the romance noir novel RAINY SEASON is my latest belle of the ball, I thought I would give my last brainchild a little love by trying out for the first time one of those newfangled KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEALS.
Which means, beginning right now, you can purchase that dark, violent, thriller of a tome for a mere $0.99.
A former Navy SEAL turned vigilante hitman already in the crosshairs of corrupt Russian agents finds himself in even deeper trouble after rescuing a sex trafficking victim against her will just as she is about to be delivered into the hands of an unscrupulous corporate mogul, an impetuous and dangerous man who will not be denied his purchase. . .
Falling in love is the last thing a mysterious American expatriate in Tokyo is looking to do, especially with an alluring jazz club singer shrouded in vague mysteries of her own…
Tokyo during rainy season, when the sun rarely shines and the days are hot, wet, and long, is the perfect place for a man like Rich, a man who has traveled the world trying to outrun the memories of a bitter past.
Settled now, Rich spends his Tokyo days mostly in reflection out on his apartment’s balcony. There he leans against the railing, smokes his cigarettes, and watches the rain as it falls upon a sea of umbrellas flowing by on the sidewalk below.
But he spends his nights at The Low Point, a mostly unknown, cozy little jazz club where he is left alone to smoke, write in his journal, and drink Japanese whiskey… a lot of it.
With Tokyo, the largest metropolis in the world, Rich has become, if not happy, then at least content within his self-imposed seclusion.
That is until Miko is hired on to perform at the club. With her comes beauty, grace, an incredible singing voice, and a large following that turns the once obscure jazz club into the it place to be.
I present to you a little insight to the historical hometown hood of my youth…
The Hubbard House was an Underground Railroad terminus station which sets on a hill overlooking Lake Erie. It was instrumental in helping countless fellow humans find escape from the incomprehensible wretchedness of slavery.
It also sets right across the street from where my old high school used to be.
Unfortunately, during my time growing up in my hometown hood of Ashtabula, Ohio, I didn’t know much about the house, only that it had some vague association with slavery.
I didn’t know because back in my time the history of slavery was barely taught in school. And that which was taught about it, was glossed conveniently over… like the whitewashing of rotted wood.
My real education of slavery didn’t begin until 1977 when the landmark television miniseries ROOTS aired, a story which of course is based on Alex Haley’s hugely important book about his family’s history.
No, during my time the house was abandoned and run down and assumed haunted.
While my old high school has since been torn down, fortunately the community of Ashtabula came together to save the Hubbard House from a similar fate and worked to restore it so that it is now a beautiful and important national landmark of which I’m very proud.
“Not again. I couldn’t believe it. I felt helpless and I had to do something,” Yves Dharamraj has said. “We’ve all seen the scenes from Minneapolis, from New York, from everywhere. Normally, I would’ve gloved and masked up, and marched down Broadway with my fellow protesters crying out against police brutality and racism.
“But, instead, I took up Anthony McGill’s #TakeTwoKnees call-to-action for musicians to record themselves and post it online.”
With the heartbroken shards of a shattered past lodged deep within his soul, falling in love is the last thing a mysterious American expatriate in Tokyo is looking to do, especially with an alluring jazz club singer shrouded in vague mysteries of her own…
It’s my profound pleasure to introduce to my latest brain child…
So, I was thick into the development of the follow-up novel to THE GOOD KILL (any guesses what follow-up title will be?) when of a sudden it seemed like End Times had finally started to throw down with the Covid-19 pandemic and cult daddy trump’s horrific death-inducing response to it.
With the Killian Lebon storyline as dark and violent as it is, and with all the research into the real-life examples of darkness and violence it takes to bring it out fictionally, I just thought it best for my mental stability to shelve all the pretend mayhem for a while seeing how there was far too much of it going on within our apocalyptic twilight zone of a reality.
But of course I could not not write so I immediately began looking internally for a story that would be able to transport me away to a better place.
Except for THE GOOD KILL, of which I contracted out to Extended Imagery, for better or worse, you decide, I’ve created all my book covers, including the one for my latest novella RAINY SEASON.
It’s a fun process creating book covers, one that allows me to escape the writing process tedium for a while and become creative through other mediums. I like to create the cover early on in the story development process so I can refer to it for inspiration similar to the way I refer to the logline.
The covers I created are mostly designed around photographs I took, except for HOW NOT TO DIE, which you’ll see if you look closely, is designed around a photograph of me in a hospital bed flashing my middle finger in defiance as I’m being treated for heart failure, which was the result of a freak side effect of the chemo drug I was taking at the time (I was speedily switched to a different drug which has yet to cause my heart to fail, fingers crossed), and except for HERCULES GONE MAD, which is designed from a drawing of mine.
Anyway, these kinds of posts are always a bit self indulgent, but if you’re like me (and god help you if you are), you too like to know how the sausage is made when it comes to an author’s creative process.
I’m both old and old school when it comes to writing. First drafts are were always done with pen and paper.
Mostly because I love the physical act of writing, the feel of pen in hand, the feel of ink flowing on the paper.
But also because if I try to write the first draft on the computer I never make it out of the first chapter seeing that I’m one of those edit-as-you-go guys. I have too many folders with forgotten novels with unfinished first drafts that I attempted to write on the computer.
Writing the first draft by hand allows for limited editing — a line through here, a line through there maybe — and because of this, I enjoy a more immersive, free flowing writing experience…
One that actually results in finished novels.
How ’bout that?
But there is a catch.
My handwriting is garbage.
Which means draft two is pure and absolute torture when it comes to typing it up into the computer. Oftentimes it takes longer to type up the second draft than it did writing out the first.
Which brings me to my novel approach to first drafts, an approach that saves me months in novel development…
It’s always magical to be able to throw an asshole’s words back in his face… especially when he is an outspoken representative of so many other assholes.
While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime,” he said. “And I don’t think there’s anyone in any of those pictures … (who wouldn’t) accept it as part of the price of getting from a repressed regime to freedom.
We’re doing just fine on our own, thank you very much…
The Russian government has stepped up efforts to inflame racial tensions in the United States as part of its bid to influence November’s presidential election, including trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups and to stoke anger among African-Americans, according to seven American officials briefed on recent intelligence.