Tag Archive: JukePop Serials


I’m Furious!

Ever since I was little I’ve always been into superheroes. I don’t remember what age I was, but I do remember that I always loved watching the Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men cartoons. I was never a HUGE comic book geek like I am now, but I did at least make an attempt of getting my hands on a few books each month.

When I started writing, I was always focused on the regular story format since I was just getting my feet wet. Comic books and graphic novels have always been something that have come and gone in cycles with me, and it wasn’t until about 2008 that I had the idea of writing something with superheroes in it. I was instantly excited about the idea and started composing a “bible” for the series with character profiles, possible storylines, backstories and the like. The only thing I enjoy more about writing an actual story is planning it out. I remember that at first I wanted to have heroes who were something along the lines of environmentalists who would stop the efforts of oil companies, tree logging and slaughterhouses. Basically they were doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, which is a concept that I’m completely enamored with (this is also the time where I was really in to philosophy and psychology).

This idea didn’t quite have the scope that I wanted my story to have, so back to the writing board I went. Eventually I settled on one idea that really struck a chord with me (which unfortunately I can’t share here since it would spoil the series that I’m working on for it now). This was it. My first novel-length project. It was like trying a drug for the first time and being completely strung out, straight-up jonesed. I had the idea of making each novel into a season like a TV show and each chapter was an episode, which is something that’s become quite common now. (If this sounds like a format that you would enjoy, check out the serial stories on JukePop Serials, something for everyone there) I incorporated my love of music, TV shows and comic books into this project. It was a time in my life that I’ll never forget.

As I got close to the end of my first novel, it occurred to me that Adam Kensie, Bisset Torres, Giorgio Quintero, Leo Kennington, Noir and Detective Perry West had backstories that I HAD to tell. And that’s how my first novel then became the second novel in my planned series…and is now actually the fourth novel in the series.

At first I went with the name Fury Us as a play on words, but now it’s simply Furious. The first season/novel is titled Thus Spoke, from Thus Spoke ZarathustraThe first season is about Adam, Leo, Bisset, Giorgio, and other people around the world having their Alpha-Omega genes activated and gaining superhuman abilities. While everyone has an A-O gene, a person can go their entire life without it activating. There’s no way of telling how, if, or when this particular gene will activate. It could happen the next time you sneeze, the next time you go into REM sleep, when you turn 80, as you’re crossing the street or even when you die. The story is set in Dominion City and it’s in this city that we find Detective West who feels that he is terribly unprepared to protect his city from criminals who can burn through handcuffs, brush off bullets and out-fly or outrun a patrol car going full speed. Noir is a vigilante who believes that all criminals are infected and can never be rehabilitated, so he does the city “a favor” by taking criminals out, even those that have been released from jail or have sought treatment for their mental illnesses. Our vigilante soon discovers that he can copy the abilities of A-Os by injecting their blood into himself, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for him…mainly new possibilities of mayhem.

The first novel can best be described as a coming-of-a-new-age story where characters who are in their late twenties and early thirties are basically going through puberty for the second time, only this time there’s no biology book to tell them what to expect or what’s normal and what’s not normal. They have to decide for themselves who they are now and how to readjust their lives around their powers in addition to re-imagining themselves into humans first and superpowered Alpha-Omegas later. I feel like/hope fans of the new Battlestar Galactica tv show, the author Charlie Huston, comic book/graphic novels written in prose and fans of contemporary sci-fi and speculative fiction will enjoy it most.

I’ve actually finished the second novel, Ye Mighty, and am in the process of editing it. I’m looking for beta readers for the completed Thus Spoke, so if you’d like to check out the full project send me an email at mercurialnature85@gmail.com. Looking forward to sharing it and hearing feedback!

So what were some of your first writing projects about? Did they become something more or just experiments?

Next Post: “And Ain’t I A Woman?” Writing female characters as a male author

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New Year, New Chances

There’s a sense of healing, a sense of redemption and a sense of reflection when we arrive at the beginning and the end of a year. It’s almost like reaching the end of a chapter of a book and pausing for a moment to reflect on what we’ve read up until this point before continuing on. What is it exactly that makes us wait until the end of the year to be the most reflective and to start to change and rearrange the way that we live our lives? Why not do it in the middle of the week, the middle of the month or in the middle of spring? Perhaps there’s something about 365 days of trying our best to stick to a new commitment. Perhaps when the ball drops in Times Square we drop our bad habits and hang-ups along with it. Whatever it is, I say journey onward toward the new year, toward the new you.

This year I plan on being a better me. I know that I’m capable of doing so much more in my life if I simply stop being afraid of what may happen and stop being lazy. If current events have taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know when or how we’ll be snatched away from the grip of life. I don’t want to die knowing that I could have made more of an effort to become published, more of an effort to write more, more of an effort to really explore the ideas buzzing in my head throughout the day. How many great stories and great authors have remained in the shadows of obscurity all because they were afraid to put themselves and their work out there or too lazy to truly apply themselves to their writing? I don’t want that to be said about me, and I don’t want to go to bed thinking that I wasted another day.

This year I want to work on having more of my stories published while continuing to blog and build up an audience. I also plan on continuing my search for an agent even though I’m still on the fence about becoming traditionally published. If my agent can’t get me a book deal, then maybe she or he can at least help me start my career through another medium. I would like to write comic book scripts, TV/movie scripts and video game scripts. Maybe the agent who can’t find me a book publisher will be able to find me a TV show to write for.

I’m almost finished with the final chapter of my novel and I’m ready to devote more time to my serial story Dark on the Rock over at JukePop Serials. I’m really excited about where the story is going. To think it originally started out as just an experiment. Hopefully it will help with my exposure and efforts to build a platform.

I think it’s best if I quantify my goals rather than simply state them. That way I’ll have a bullseye to aim for rather than a target. Hitting a target is easy, but hitting the bullseye requires work. (Feel free to use that quote as long as you credit me. 🙂 ) I’m going to have at least six short stories published and send out ten to 15 query letters to agents. The first draft of my novel will be finished by January 15th and I’m going to devote more time to Dark on the Rock. I also want to do more with my freelance writing. It’s always nice to have a job you like, and even better to have a job that you like and that you’re good at doing.

Alright, another 365-day long journey has begun…well less now that it’s the third, but you know what I mean.

What are your writing goals for 2013 and why do you think it is that most people wait until the new year to make major changes in their lives as opposed to starting the next day/week/month?

Why I Write What I Write

 

I don’t remember exactly when it was that I fell in love with fiction and fantasy. But I do remember there was an allure in exploring possibilities and impossibilities. Maybe it was growing up in Alabama where nothing ever happened that drove me to immerse myself in worlds where adventure was a part of everyday life, magic occurred as naturally as the wind and traveling in a spaceship was a standard practice. Reality was too bland, too boring for me, and reading was an escape from that. But reading fantasy was like dreaming while still awake. I guess fantasy and sci-fi were my Inception.

I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I’ve always been a daydreamer. I think you’d probably have to visit me in a psychiatric ward if it weren’t for a creative outlet like writing. And maybe that’s all that writers, artists, poets and other creative types are, functioning psychotics. Rather than allowing our insanity to consume us and drive us insane, we channel it and work with it to creative something…more, something beyond what we see and experience in everyday life.

I know that the world we live in holds much splendor and wonder, but sometimes all of that magnificence needs to be magnified times a thousand. I don’t want to travel in an airplane, I want to lift my arms and fly under my own will. I don’t want to simply travel to different states and nations, I want to travel to different dimensions. I want to live in the worlds I see in games like Final Fantasy, see what it would be like to have actual superpowers and have a vampire for a roommate.

For a while now I’ve been on a superhero kick. There’s just something about exploring the idea of how having superpowers changes who you are, either in a small way or a big way. Would the world be a better place if Captain America really existed? How different would the world be if it had a Captain Japan or a Captain Africa? What if the Avengers were villains instead of heroes? What if there was one person with the power to solve all of the world’s problems but they decided not to? I hope to write comic book scripts as well as novels someday, and maybe even a video game script or two. Even though I’m not up to date on the latest happenings in the comic book/graphic novel world, I’ll always be a proud comic book nerd.

When it comes to fantasy, I’m enamored with the idea of creating a new world, new rules, new races, new technology and new ideas. I believe that fantasy and sci-fi are the purest forms of creation. The genres force authors to dig deep, unravel thoughts and ideas that they’ve had since they were old enough to comprehend in order to make manifest a new universe where those thoughts and ideas don’t mean a thing. I have one idea for a fantasy story that’s been in my head for years. I dabble with it every now and then, and I’m just now starting to feel “old” enough to make an honest effort of writing it. If I do, I think I’ll have to pull  a George R.R. Martin and spend a few years on it.

As much as I love brazen, in-your-face fantasy and fiction, I also love the subtle nuances of a fiction or thriller. These are the kinds of stories that can keep me up at night wondering if the events and characters pressed between the pages of a book could actually exist. Movies like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy make us believe that there could be a real life Bruce Wayne out there somewhere. While  characters like the Joker and Bane may not exist, the characteristics of those characters most certainly do. That is the type of fiction that I hold closest to my heart, the kind that really makes you sit down and examine your life, the world you live in and how you fit in it.

Fiction, sometimes it’s closer to the truth than reality itself.

Take care out there.

What are some of your favorite genres and why? 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my serial DARK ON THE ROCK on JukePop Serials! Vote for it if you like it, and be sure to check back this Friday for Episode Three.

Cover Girl…Guy…Person

I finally got around to uploading a cover to my story, DARK ON THE ROCK, on JukePop Serials. Took a while to get it just right, but I think it looks quite excellent! Maybe I should look into become a graphic designer on the side.

Whaddaya think?

 

The premise of DARK ON THE ROCK is: They were designed to assassinate the A-Squad, a team of superheroes who took them in and gave them a new home. New country. New mission. Same four super soldiers. Will the B-Squad save our world or quietly bring about its destruction?

Check it out, comment and vote here. I’ll be updating every Friday, so make sure you check back and tell your friends and family if you like what you see!

Take care out there.

 

Writers not only have to be writers, but business people as well if we’re serious about making  a career out of our passion. We spend time learning about the publishing industry, how to market ourselves, where to find the best critique group for our level of skill, finding agents and more. All of this can be very exciting and fresh, but it can also make us forget why we set out to become a published author in the first place.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been slacking in my writing. I’ve still been working on my writing career, I just haven’t been working on the very thing that will support that career: my writing. I’ve been reading articles, trying to find software to create my own cover for my JukePop Serials story (any suggestions would be welcome) and writing to pay the bills.

Last night I had a small mental breakdown. I was reading an article about how poor publishing is worse than not being published at all. I realize that we need to know what we may be getting in to it before we get in to it and I appreciate the knowledge. But one thing I didn’t appreciate was the way it made me feel, like attempting to become a published author is one of the most risky and foolish decisions a person could choose to do with their life. In the time it takes to write a novel, find an agent, find a publisher, get a book deal and finally see your book on shelves is roughly the same amount of time it takes to finish medical school or earn a PhD. I realize that becoming a medical doctor takes time and money where becoming a published author only takes time and luck. But sometimes it seems as though it’s smarter and less painful to simply follow a different passion, a more sensible passion.

So why do writers do it? Why do we put ourselves through the rejection, pain, setbacks and pitfalls of the journey to authorhood?  Why do we keep faith in our hearts that one day we’ll join the ranks of other successful authors even though we know what’s waiting for us out there? Why?

I asked myself all of these questions last night, wondering if maybe I should focus on another career goal and put writing on the back burner for a few years. At 27 I feel as if I should stop dreaming and wake up and join the real world. But then I remembered how blessed I am. I remembered when I first discovered that I loved to write. I remembered how there is nothing more in this world I’d rather do then tell stories, explore, examine and imagine.

I remembered the magic of writing.    

I don’t want to look at my life ten years from now and wish that I’d kept pursing my first passion. Something could happen tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. But I won’t be there to experience that something if I don’t keep going and keep believing that whatever or Whoever brought me this far isn’t done with me yet, that my journey could be nothing like the horror stories I’ve read. Times are different, my path is different and my circumstances may not be the same.

Almost anyone can be a doctor, graphic designer, business owner or any other practical job. And I’m not demeaning those occupations whatsoever. But not everyone can be a writer, world weaver, yarn spinner, storyteller. Or journey is a different one, with different obstacles and frustrations. And there’s also a different joy and satisfaction associated with what we do. I believe that writing is  the closest I’ll come to finding out what it’s like to bring life into this world.

So not only will I stay in the game, I’ll do my damndest to change the game and win the game. And I hope to see you at the finish line.

Take care out there.

“Dark on the Rock” is alive and kicking on JukePop Serials! If you’re a fan of superheroes, sci-fi, super soldiers and young adult stories, I’ve got your fix!  You can check out the first part of Episode/Chapter/Chapisode One here. If you like it, please vote at the bottom of the page! The more votes I get the more chances I have of appearing in the monthly Top 30 Serials, basically the equivalent of a bestseller list. You can also check out the 111 other serials they have through their home page to see if anything else tickles your literary fancy. Feel free to comment and leave your ideas for future installments. I just might include them! And give you credit, of course.

I plan on updating twice a month with 2,500-3,000 word installments. The story will be similar to a TV show with recaps, previews and seasons. It really does feel like having the pilot of a TV show picked up. I’m overjoyed, but there’s also that feeling of, “Oh, crap, now I actually have to go through with the thing!” But I really am looking forward to this journey, and I hope it’s one you’ll take with me.

Thank you in advance, guys.

Take care out there.

P.S. Look for a regular blog post tomorrow. I apologize for not posting one earlier this week, but I was tied up with work. If anyone would like to support me financially for a few months/years/rest of my life, I shan’t gainsay you.      

Progress Report

 

I think now is a good time to update you on what’s going on with my writing…that and I don’t have an insightful idea for a blog. Hopefully I’ll get a few ideas in the coming days.

I just found out today that two of my flash fiction submissions were accepted by Super Flash Fiction. While I had submitted three, only two were accepted due to the fact that one was hard to follow. Their decision was perfectly understandable and one that was shared by my writers group. I wanted to show the direct aftermath of a superhero slug fest since that’s something I feel we rarely get to see in comic book. They always cut to a few days or a few hours after and gloss over the smoking rubble, sustained injuries and the immediate psychological effects the battle may have had on the characters. I think I’ll post it up here so you guys can read over it. Feel free to comment!

I’m supremely excited about “Dark on the Rock” being accepted to JukePop Serials. I’ve always loved the serial format of a TV show, and it’s one that I’ve blended into my writing style, so I’m eager to see how this new project turns out. With this and my superhero flash fiction, I may be getting calls or e-mails from Marvel, DC, BOOM! or another comic book company…or maybe even Joss Whedon himself to co-write The Avengers sequel!

I’m almost done with my query letter and I’ve got a list of agents to ship it off to. This is something that I’ve been dragging my feet on for a while. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the publishing business and I’m not sure if I still want to pursue traditional publishing. On the other hand, I’m not sure if I have a strong enough platform and enough insider knowledge to make a go at self-publishing. There’s just a deluge of self-published work out there, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to really stand out from the good authors and the not-so-good authors. But I think that if I express these concerns with an agent I’ll be fine. At the very least I can be content with the knowledge that  someone, or several someones, feel that I’m qualified enough to represent. Not that I need anyone’s approval, but still, publishing is a business and a business that requires a certain skill.

Still working on wrapping up my second novel. I’ve got a bit of the next to last chapter to finish up and a rough idea of how I want the final chapter/episode to be. Unbelievable to think that I’ve written one novel let alone that I’m about to finish another…and have mostly written the third seeing as I originally started with that one a few years ago. Ah, life.

So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot going on. I’ve come a long way, and know that I’m not ready to lay down in contentment yet, I don’t think I ever will be. I believe there’s always another step to take, another mile to go. It’s strange to think that I’m actually becoming a published writer with a query letter and almost two complete novels under my belt. We spend our lives dreaming, and when those dreams start to become reality it’s like they weren’t really dreams at all, just a skill we didn’t know we possessed. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for me…and for you, too.

Take care out there.

Serial Killer…Kinda

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going serial!

I recently learned that my series DARK ON THE ROCK will be featured on JukePop Serials’ website very soon! If you’re a fan of superheroes or sci-fi, you won’t want to miss it! Even if you aren’t you still shouldn’t miss it. One of the great things about JukePop is that readers can not only vote for their favorite stories, they can also leave comments for the writer, which may have an impact on future installations/episodes.

Here is a small preview of what’s in store for you, and I’ll be sure to update as soon as JukePop launches. I’m really looking forward to this! Hopefully it’ll open some doors for me.

Take care out there.