A Turn From the Worst

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.

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In Appreciation of a Photograph

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.

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An American Pope by Paul Xylinides – A Review

BOOK | FICTION | LITERARY
AN AMERICAN POPE
PAUL XYLINIDES
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

A modernizing American has assumed the papal throne. One of His first acts is to select a seventeenth century priest for canonization. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints recoils in horror at the new pontiff’s choice. Against a backdrop of Vatican intrigue and infighting, a long-unsolved crime comes to the attention of a retired detective. The forces that contribute to it reach far back into the distant past. No one can truly fathom the life of the candidate for sainthood including the nun and priest who join forces to prepare the submission to Rome.

Amazon Book Description

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Sunday Songs to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance

So for the past two months I’ve been stuck within the tedious and grinding and painful first phase of the developmental process for my next book (while I can’t say the first phase is my favorite phase of the entire book development process — to me the entire process of developing a book is tedious and grinding and painful — I can at least say it is the least tedious and grinding and painful of them all) when it recently suddenly dawned upon me that I am not yet ready to let go of the last book I that tediously and grindingly and painfully developed…

Which of course is The Good Kill, thank you very much.

At first I tried to fight through the desire to not let it go but it wasn’t working…

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Goodreads, Goodreads… Wherefore Art Thou Goodreads?

You know, I’ve tried and I’ve tried…

I really have!

I have tried and I have tried to maintain a loving relationship with Goodreads.

I’ve done everything it’s asked me to do.

I’ve set up both a user and an Author account…

I’ve added all my books, both the ones I’ve written and (most of) the ones I’ve read…

I’ve sent out friend requests to other users who seem to have like literary tastes as I…

I’ve friended those who’ve requested the same of me…

But after nearly a decade of trying to find meaning and purpose in my relationship with Goodreads, all it’s ever shown me has been indifference and insurmountable complexities.

It and I just have never been able to click.

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NIGHT FILM – A Rapid Review

BOOK | FICTION | PSYCHOLOGICL THRILLER
NIGHT FILM
BY MARISHA PESSL

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

Night Film by Marisha Pessl is a haunting mystery with a complex, engrossing story and complex, intriguing characters, especially Stanislas Cordova, a creepy, reclusive cultish film director who I wish to the literary gods was a real person.


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Harrowed Insight

I was inspired to write my first novel Inside the Skin (formerly The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor) by life experiences I earned back in the late ’90s, early ’00s while working as a navy Equal Opportunity specialist, experiences the focus of which centered around the harassment, abuse, injury, and sometimes sadly even death as a result of the hatred for and confusion of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy which had recently been implemented throughout the military.

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THE GOOD KILL – A Storyline Checklist

Battle weary Navy SEAL    ✓ Fearless, kickass women    ✓ Corrupt corporate moguls    ✓ Conniving Russian agents    ✓ Ruthless ISIS terrorists    ✓ Cold-hearted pimps    ✓ Low-life sex traffickers    ✓ Evil henchmen    ✓ Traitorous scum    ✓ Dark Web hackers    ✓ Cool cars    ✓ Luxurious yachts    ✓ High-speed chases    ✓ Heartless violence    ✓ Brutal redemption    ✓ Love    ✓ Romance    ✓ Kittens         #mysteries #suspense #thrillers Continue reading THE GOOD KILL – A Storyline Checklist

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again: TREE OF SMOKE by Denis Johnson, a Review (of sorts)

As I sit and watch the surreal press conference between Trump and Putin after their so-called historic summit, where, after recently treating our allies like dog shit, Trump behaves like a sycophantic lapdog to a murderous dictator who wants nothing more than to destroy and subjugate the U.S. of America in retribution for how the U.S. of America destroyed and subjugated his beloved U.S.S.R., I am reminded of how I felt, or better yet, how my fuzzy, nightmarish memories leave me feeling from the surreal and tumultuous times in the U.S. of America during the late-Sixties through the mid-Seventies, you know, the era of national madness beginning with the Tet Offensive through the Watergate break-ins and subsequent hearings to Nixon’s humiliating yet palliative resignation and ending with America’s humiliating yet palliative retreat from South Vietnam.

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Love is the answer?

There’s a rather talkative pigheaded brute of a character in my WIP whose name is Rick, Happy, Henderson. Happy loves to philosophize and pontificate to…at?… his work partner about whatever the latest topic is he’s studying during night school as if he’s now a subject matter expert. He’s not of course and he always manages to maneuver whatever it is he’s rambling on about toward a general diatribe of how the weak with their Rule of Law and “societal norms” have managed to upend the universal natural order of might makes right, which, in the end, as he sees it, limits his ability to pick up chicks.

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