A Terrible Thing Happened Monday Night

Monday night, well 2 terrible things happened, but neither fully registered until morning.  I love Aislinn Cain and Nadine Daniels, but I feel trapped by both series most of the time.  Which is why the last several have all been difficult to write.

Anyway, as I lay in bed Monday night, trying to sleep but not able to because a book was floating around in my head that was not Ace or Nadine, I had this thought “I could kill Ace in Ritual Dreams.”

When I woke up Tuesday morning, I was in a ton of pain, because I am a forgetful moron sometimes.  I got up, walked around, and realized that my pajama pants felt heavy on the right side.  Reach my hand into the pocket that I never put anything into and pulled out two Triple A batteries that I had shoved in my pocket because I have this horrible fear of Kelly eating a battery and we were trying to watch a TV show that I had already paused because it turns out, I’m living on plain popcorn and had interrupted the show to make some.

After sitting in my gamer’s chair for a while, thinking about the batteries and how ridiculous that had been, I revisited the thought from the wee hours of the morning… When was the last time my excitement over a D&R novel kept me awake?  Well, that’s easy Fortified Dreams.  And Nadine?  Dysfunctional Proposal.

I realize every series writer goes through a time period where their books no longer inspire them with joy.  Some work through it, some don’t.  I decided to work through it.

And this means some changes to how I write and publish every year and not murdering either Nadine or Aislinn.  So in 2019 I will publish only 1 D&R novel.  And only 1 Dysfunctional Chronicle.  I’m going to try to make it so that they release the same month every year.  For example April 1 2019 and 2020 for Dysfunctional Chronicles.

Because I have had ideas floating around for a long time that are not yet books simply because I struggle to get the next Aislinn or Nadine book written.  I have ideas for books about ghosts and books about zombies and books about a goddess in the 21st century trying to make it as a normal person.  And books about serial killers that don’t fit into D&R.  And books about other crime stuff that also doesn’t fit into D&R or Dysfunctional.  And surprisingly a few historical fiction pieces.  Alternative history pieces.  Some paranormal like Natural Born Exorcist and some more in the here and now with people that can’t shoot fireballs from their hands at the behinds of ghouls.

And I’m sort of tired of ignoring these ideas because they don’t fit into my schedule when they would probably flow like Natural Born Exorcist did.  This means that while I’m reducing the amount of D&R and Dysfunctional I would publish every year to just one each, I would still be producing stuff and publishing and you never know, my Cain readers and Nadine lovers may still fall in love with some of the other stuff I’m putting out during the year.

Monday, after finishing Natural Born Exorcist on Sunday, I sat down at 4 pm and put 2,500 words on a book that will probably end up being titled Goddess Investigations or something similar in just an hour.  I stopped when J got home at 5.  And before 4, I had put around 100 words on Ritual Dreams for the entire day. I thought it might be because I was waiting to get the print copy of Natural Born Exorcist from Staples, but obviously that wasn’t the case…

I am constantly starting and stopping and then restarting Cain novels.  They don’t just flow into my brain like they used to.  And I think limiting them to one a year will help.  Hell, part of the problem with The Dysfunctional Mob was that it was just so dark, as dark as an Aislinn Cain novel.. which was a problem.  I think I need to shake that up more often.  Some of things that I liked about Natural Born Exorcist was that I was free to have Soleil talk to the reader, directly, like make comments to them about what was going on and how she felt about it.  There were no expectations of her because there wasn’t a book before it to set the tone for this one.  I was free to write it and her however I wanted.  And it just came like a flash flood, washing over me and sweeping me away into the story that had no expectations and no character traits that were set in stone.

So, more Ace and Nadine in the future, but expect other stuff too.  Maybe lots of other stuff depending on how well the writing goes…

And more Soleil.  I don’t know if I will write the next Nephilim Narrative this year or wait until next year.  I’ll have to see how it goes with Ritual Dreams.  Which I am still hoping to put out in 2018, but have no release date for.

I did start pre-orders on Natural Born Exorcist ($3.99 US, CA, & AU).  I’ll have the links for it tomorrow or the next day.

Recovery & Tumblers

I’m recovering from the injections in my back.  Pretty sure they injected molten lava into a few spots.  I did threaten to kill the doctor in a book, thankfully, he has a sense of humor.  These were the worst to date.  And even 24 hours later, I’m still feeling every bit of it.

So, until I feel like actually writing anything more than my name, I have a few things to show off…

For the record, those are not my hands…

There’s one more coming (not to mention some generic designs she made for me because I’m addicted to these tumblers) and I’m pretty sure she’s working on getting the first two ready for sale.

Dreams & Reality Top 10 Questions Answered

I get asked a lot of questions about the Dreams & Reality books.  I’ve decided to answer the top 10 to the best of my ability without giving away anything.

10.  Will we ever meet Gabriel’s wendigo?  – Yep, I have something special planned for that book.  Expect it to be more like Fortified Dreams than any of the other books in the series.

9.  Did you intentionally name Fiona’s sister and Aislinn sister the same thing? – Yes again.  Bella lives, Isabella died – there are many parallels between Ace & Fiona, this is just one of them.  As Fiona continues to develop, you’ll notice many more.

8.  Lucas is appearing in fewer and fewer scenes, are you about to kill him off?  – No, I love Lucas and he isn’t about to die.  He is dealing with some very important stuff at home that he is keeping secret from the group and it will come to light eventually.  Remember, Aislinn hates dealing with distractions and Lucas is currently not at the top of his game, so she has taken a step back, not me.

7.  Will we figure out the story behind Turkish Jack? How does Gabriel know him?  Is he the wendigo?  – No, Turkish Jack is not Gabriel’s wendigo.  He is important though and his story will be released to some degree in Flawless Dreams.  However, he will have a starring story in the Reality books, so I’m not going to give too much away on him.

6.  Is Aislinn a sociopath or a psychopath, sometimes I’m not sure? – Aislinn is both, a hybrid created by her childhood.  Genetically speaking, she should be a psychopath.  Unfortunately, her time with Callow did some damage to her already questionable emotional state that made her incapable of empathy or sympathy.  She has trouble with the ideal that “she survived, why don’t others?”    While she doesn’t see if, if not for Callow, she would be a psychopath, probably a serial killer.  Her time with him changed her significantly, but she does not understand that because of her age.

5.  How many books do you plan to write in this series?  – Including the Reality books?  Um, many.  I have no set numbers for either the Dreams or Reality books.  I will write them until I run out of ideas.

4.  Is Apex going to become a main character? – Only temporarily, while he and the SCTU work on a common goal the two will ignore the obvious conflicts of interest to figure out how to slay the dragon they can’t find.

3.  Does Caleb have a crush on Aislinn? – Yes and he knows she doesn’t return the sentiment, although, he does hope to change her mind.

2.  Will Aislinn and Malachi ever be a couple? – Not in this lifetime or any other.  Sorry, they just aren’t compatible.  Malachi believes they are, but he isn’t driven by love to believe them suited.  However, don’t tell Malachi that; he is convinced that he loves her.

1. Will Aislinn ever stop being asexual? – Nope.  Sorry.  There will never be a love interest for Aislinn Cain.  Romantic love is beyond her understanding.  The love she feels for her friends and family already overwhelms her, adding a romance to that would probably lead to a mental breakdown from which she wouldn’t recover.  I will give away a little bit though… If she were to ever fall in love, it would be with someone like Gabriel or Xavier, broken but not in the same way she is.  However, don’t get your hopes up about either of those unions either.  Her personality has some fluidity, but her understanding of love and sex are rock solid.

Feel free to ask anything I didn’t answer!

More Aislinn Cain & the SCTU to Come

Even though I’m a little behind schedule with Innocent Dreams (it should have gone to the editor no later than 8/14), I assure you, there are plenty more Dreams & Reality books to come.

There has always been an open-endedness to Gabriel’s wendigo.  I have let the readers use their imagination on who or what it really was.  Eventually, that will have to end and the story will have to come out.  I have the plot.  I even have most of it thought out.  It just isn’t written yet.

There is a new super villain.  Ace & the SCTU do not know his identity, but if you’ve read Fortified Dreams, you do.  He will have to be caught.  I can’t leave that in limbo.

The series lacks a “cultural killer” and that deficit needs to be corrected and will be, with Ritual Dreams.  

I promise, the Apex storyline is going somewhere as is Aislinn’s mother (does anyone know her name?!?).

The Reality books will no longer focus on Malachi… He just doesn’t work as a main character.  However, I’ve had a new idea for them and they are about to come into existence, giving a different perspective as well as introducing some of those serial killers readers only have a few lines about in other books.

Plus so many more things that I can’t talk about yet.  We are looking at a dozen or more books in the series left to write and that’s just the ones in my head.  I will have new thoughts by the time I get these written.

It’s why I bought the computer I bought.  Computer issues have now delayed the release of 7 books (not all D&R books) in recent years.  So, when I ordered my customized Dell, I made sure that I bought one that would not be obsolete in a few years and it has a great warranty with next day repairs.  I love to write and I needed something that I could put all my books on and work without worry that I’ll have another 2 week delay (or longer).  Because I want to get everything out to the readers as fast as I possibly can so I can write more of them.

Interesting Comments & Questions

I get a lot of questions in a week or a two because I try to make myself available to all my readers across multiple platforms.  However lately, they’ve been getting a little different and because my better judgment flew the coop, I’ve decided to compile some of them.

  • Do you practice these kills before you write about them to make sure it works? – Regarding the D&R novels and the answer is no, I don’t want to go to prison.
  • Is Nadine related to Jeff Daniels? – Regarding The Dysfunctional Chronicles.  I’m guessing since Jeff Daniels is a real person and Nadine Daniels is a fictional one, they are in no way related.
  • Do you worry that a serial killer will read your book and hunt you down to make you a statistic? – Regarding D&R novels.  I didn’t until this exact moment.  You don’t know where I live, right?
  • Am I going to enjoy this book? – Regarding Dark Cotillion.  Beats me.  Do you like long, rambling, urban fantasy novels with lots of backstory and demons?  If you answered yes!, you might enjoy it…  But I’m not going to guarantee it.
  • Why didn’t Sean and her have an affair? – Regarding the short story series in Tales to Read Before the End of the World.  Because then I wouldn’t have had the plot arc for the short story series.
  • I liked this short story, but it was too short.  What motivated the cat to hide in the closet?  How’d he get trapped once inside?  Why can’t the 12 year old grow up and go investigate?  Who leaves a 12 year old boy home alone? – Regarding flash fiction piece After Dark in Terrorific Tales.  This is not Schrodinger’s Cat.  It’s a normal pet cat.  It went into the closet because cats do that, there was no motivation.  And cats get trapped in things all the time; rooms, closets, jars, etc.  They are genetically predisposed to being stuck in things.  Why is leaving a 12 year old boy home alone a problem?  And why do you expect him to man up and check out creepy noises?
  • You have names wrong; Anubis was the Greek God of Love.  Astros was the Egyptian God of Death.  – Regarding the Brenna Strachan series.  I’m fairly certain that Astros is a baseball team in Houston and Eros was the Greek God of Love.
  • I feel bad for the lady that faked her vacation.  Does she have a GoFundMe page that I can donate to and help her have a real vacation? – Regarding a short story in Tales to Read Before the End of the World.  No, she doesn’t, it’s fiction.  Note to Self: Maybe I should set her up a GoFundMe page, I could use a vacation.
  • Why do your characters throw up when they have a migraine?  Why can’t they get diarrhea? – Regarding Aislinn Cain’s migraines in the D&R novels.  If I had to take a wild stab in the dark, I’d say it’s because vomit is easier to clean up and I don’t want to write scenes where Cain needs to change clothes because of anal leakage.
  • Why is there so much blood? – Regarding Fortified Dreams.  Because there are approximately 100 serial killers not to mention cops and other people in it.  I can’t have all 100 serial killers be stranglers.  Besides, this is book 11… they’ve all had blood in them.
  • Your characters shouldn’t smoke cigarettes, it promotes bad habits and poor health.  They should do something else, like smoke pot or drink cups of tea. – Regarding D&R.  Well, if they smoked pot, which is not legal in every state, they might go to jail and they probably wouldn’t catch as many serial killers.  With regards to drinking cups of tea, it’s really hard to sit down and brew a pot of tea when you’re staking out a house waiting for signs that you have a serial killer on your hands.  Also, Aislinn would break a ton of cups using them as weapons.  Plus, none of my characters should be role models.
  • I don’t remember hearing about this on the news.  Do you have the article? – Regarding Tortured Dreams.  Nope, because it’s fiction.
  • Asexual is the same as bisexual so why doesn’t Aislinn have a girlfriend/boyfriend? – Regarding D&R.  Because asexual is pretty much the antonym of bisexual, not the synonym.  I think you have the definition of asexual confused with something else.

Ok, back to work or something like it.




Innocent Dreams – Realizations

While working on Innocent Dreams I have realized two things:

  1. I have a very hard time writing about child killers.
  2. Aislinn Cain should never ever be put in charge of a case, especially when her underlings are Caleb Green, Xavier Reece, and one other (but that’s a surprise for the book).  I gave her just a smidge of authority and she’s annoying the crap out of the FBI.  Telling people exactly what she thinks all the time, which is sooo not polite.  And the three men she’s working with are just letting her do it.

Of course, some of her very dark humor has come out as a result.  Caleb and Xavier keep making comments that they aren’t telling her what she can and cannot do.  And poor Gabriel is on the opposite side of the country hoping that he doesn’t have to answer a lot of questions to the controlling board of the SCTU by the time they wrap up their case in California and join the others in Maryland.

Not Going Anywhere – A Clarification

In the famous and loving words of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t Panic.  Aislinn Cain and Nadine Daniels aren’t going away any time soon.

I have a great deal of time invested in these two main characters and all the supporting cast as well.  I wrote my first Cain novel at 18… I’m now 35, almost 36… That means she has been in my life for more than half of it.  Lucas, Xavier, Gabriel, Alejandro, Christian Hunter, and Malachi Blake were all involved from the very first novel.  Some rolls have changed from the first weirdly timid novel to now, but they existed.  Originally, Aislinn was a sexual being and Alejandro and Christian were both love interests, but I took that out for various reasons and made them assholes instead.  In the end, it worked better that way.  They have made great assholes to compliment Aislinn’s evolving personality.

As for Nadine, I wrote the original version of her story when I was 22.  And it existed as a stand-alone novel for many years.  Then I was threatened with death if there wasn’t a sequel (and the threats were ironically from mothers and mother-in-laws).  Now, there are actually five of them and there will be more.  The problem with writing a Daniels’ novella is that I need my best friend.  She makes me funny.  I’m mostly a dark, silent, brooding type.  I don’t do this on purpose, it just happens.  However, my bestie brings out the worst in my sense of humor, which translates into giggle-fits, and then into a Dysfunctional Chronicle.  Sadly, I haven’t spent a lot of one-on-one time with her lately, life has gotten in the way, but I’m working on fixing that and when I do, I’ll end up with enough funny for two or three novellas.

Now, as the author, I know Nadine doesn’t have the following that Aislinn does.  However, I also know that writing a Dysfunctional Chronicle is therapeutic.  Even I have to tear myself away from the darkness that revolves around Aislinn Cain.  A person can only kill so many fictional characters in gruesome and grotesque ways before they have to fall asleep watching videos of puppies.  People rarely die in a Daniels’ novella and when they do, it is morbidly entertaining simply because Nadine’s life is dysfunctionally entertaining (for example, Nadine’s father died after winning the lottery, which saved her mother from an expensive divorce that she was expecting to leave her penniless and saved Nadine and her brothers, mostly Nadine, from having to live with her penniless mother for eternity… It’s bad enough that Melina lives close enough to visit).

My post the other day about there being 11 D&R novels and wondering if I would know when they were finished was more of a question that authors ask themselves.  Will we know when readers get bored with a series?  And when we figure it out, will we have the guts to pull the plug?  In the past, that has been decided by publishing houses when sales of a series plummeted.  Indies don’t have someone to tap them on the shoulder and show them the door.  We could write a series indefinitely, oblivious to the fact that the readers are no longer interested.  We have to figure it out on our own and hope that we get it right.

Fortified Dreams – My Thoughts

We’re taking a break today from the killers.  I’m going to do something I rarely do and give my thoughts on Fortified Dreams.  I don’t normally do this, but what the hell, might as well…

This was the most difficult book I have ever written in the Dreams & Reality series. It is complex and at times, a little confusing. New good guys get introduced. New bad guys crop up. Plus, most of it happens in the space of a single day, spent inside the Fortress… which means a lot of serial killers, mass murderers, and spree killers to fill up twenty or so normal Dreams novels.

There are also some new background tidbits given. Conspiracies are a central theme of the book. The reader will begin to realize just how complicated creating the SCTU & VCU really was. And that some things have been in the works for decades.

Also, there is the return of Patterson. Aislinn Cain and Malachi Blake can’t enter the Fortress without running into Patterson Clachan, what kind of world would that be? Plus, the readers will finally get a good glimpse of Eric Clachan. After all, he killed for one sister, he would definitely stand by his other sister’s side as she and the SCTU/VCU attempted to take back control from the prisoners.

However, what I’m most excited about is the revelation of Fiona’s character. She has been one that has had to grow on Aislinn and readers. Now, the readers will fully understand why she is sometimes antagonistic of Aislinn.

This is my favorite book to date. I hope the readers enjoy it just as much (and as usual, some questions will be answered, some will not… There are more Dreams novels to come and I can’t give away all the secrets at one time).

Sale & Making Progress

I’m finally making progress with The Dysfunctional Beginning, it required someone to give me a different perspective.

Innocent Dreams is being churned out at an amazing pace.

Fortified Dreams is with the betas and I’m anxiously awaiting feedback.  I will totally admit that I am more worried about this book than any of the previous.  It’s dark, sinister, and has a ton of characters, most of them serial killers.  While it wasn’t hard to write, I’m hoping it’s a crowd pleasure.

Legacies Awakened has purpose and a handful of chapters on it.  The Death Demon Trilogy is going to be darker than The Strachan Series.  And it required me to have a cup of tea with Satan to write the beginning (those on Facebook will get the joke).

Due to my stroke of luck in the writing department, I have decided to put some books on sale for the month of April:

  • Tortured Dreams & Elysium Dreams are both still free.
  • Mercurial Dreams, Explosive Dreams, & Cannibal Dreams are $0.99

Fortified Dreams Release Information

Fortified Dreams officially has a release date: 16 June 2016.  I will probably start pre-orders 1 May 2016.

It went to the beta readers yesterday, hopefully I haven’t gone off track with it.  It is the longest Dreams & Reality novel to date with lots of serial killers the readers have never met and some quality sibling time.

Innocent Dreams will follow it and release sometime this fall.