Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Here's the ORCHARD POINTE Cover!!!!!!


Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

This is really happening, you guys. Orchard Pointe is coming to life.

Look at that beautiful, beautiful cover. I can't stand how gorgeous it is. And I cannot stop starting at it. It's taken me a week to write this post.

*Deep Breath*

I'm gonna tell you what Orchard Pointe is all about in a minute, but first I want to tell you why it's so important to me, because there are a few reasons. Most importantly, this is the second series I've written with Jolene Haley, and that's huge for me. Jolene is not only an amazing writer, but we have become great friends over the past year, and the creative partnership we have is something I am thankful for every single day. She is so much fun to work with.

Each series we write is our way of sharing the things we love with our readers--the things that made us fans of horror, suspense and the supernatural. With Harrowed, we wrote a love letter to '80s slasher films. With Orchard Pointe, we are paying homage to the great Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer of Fear), as well as films like Something Wicked This Way Comes and shows like Twin Peaks and The X-Files. It's a much different series than The Woodsview Murders, and it's one in which the setting is just as much a main character as anyone else.

Which brings me to the second reason this series is so important to me. The setting of Orchard Pointe is inspired by the area of Maine that I have spent almost every summer of my life visiting. It is as much a part of me as my hometown and the place I've lived for the past sixteen years with my family. There is something magical about Maine, and for a lot of us New Englanders, the Wells, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach and Portland areas are a home away from home. That's certainly the case for me and my family, and my love for that area is woven into the fabric of Orchard Pointe. Those who have spent time in southern Maine will notice a lot of Orchard Pointe is inspired by places they've visited in real life. And for those that have never visited, my hope is that they will want to after spending some time in Orchard Pointe. This series is just getting started.


So, what about this story? Well, here's our book blurb:

Every town has its secrets. This town is made of them.

It’s been ten years since Hudson James stepped foot in the small beach town of Orchard Pointe. His parents are battling through a nasty divorce and he’s forced to spend the summer in Maine with extended family. But Hudson makes the most of it. He finds kindred spirits in his cousin Marley and her oddball friend Kit, and lands a security job at the amusement park he loved as a kid.

Oceanside Amusement Park was once the centerpiece of the beachfront tourist experience. But with attendance down and the park in need of an update, Orchard Pointe’s tricentennial celebration might be the last chance to turn things around. The town brings in a performance group all the way from their sister city of Monrive, France—Madame Chambers’ Coterie of Curiosities. From sideshow to burlesque acts, Madame Chambers and her eccentric group of performers mesmerize locals and tourists alike from the moment they arrive.

When a girl disappears from the park during Hudson’s very first shift, he feels responsible. When she turns up dead, Hudson can’t forgive himself. He vows to discover the truth about what happened and the more he digs, the more he’s certain that Madame Chambers and her Coterie aren’t what they seem.

Can Hudson stop the wave of darkness that has crashed down on Orchard Pointe, or will the undertow of secrets claim another victim?


The amazing Hang Le created our beautiful cover, and just like with Harrowed, she absolutely nailed the feeling Jolene and I were trying to evoke. I am continually blown away by her. You can check out more of her work over at her site, www.byhangle.com.

Orchard Pointe will be arriving on August 16th, and you can add it to your Goodreads list right now! You can also follow Jolene (@jolenehaley) and me (@SeeBrianWrite) on Twitter and join the discussion using the #OrchardPointe hashtag.

Oh, and before you go--check out the trailer I made for the book:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: Intrusive Thoughts (Volume One)


Woohoo!

I am super excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming short story collection, Intrusive Thoughts. The amazing Magali Fr├ęchette designed this cover, which really captures the feel I was looking for.

Intrusive Thoughts is a collection of short stories I've written over the past several years. There are seven stories in the collection, and this will be the first time any of them are collected in print. A few of the stories are from some blog anthologies I've been a part of over the years, a couple are loosely connected to the universes of books I've written, and the others are stories I had rattling around in my head for some time and really wanted to share.

One of the common themes that runs through these stories is that of familiar and places and everyday events being twisted into something terrifying. For the cover, I wanted to capture the feel of reality kind of shattering on the unsuspecting reader. I also wanted to work in a reference to my version of the Yellow Sign, which appears prominently in my Parted Veil series of books.

Magali is an wonderful cover designer, and she really nailed it. She's also an absolute dream to work with. At the last minute I found out that the book size I initially was planning on using wasn't available in the format I wanted, and Magali reformatted everything to the new specs before I could even finish hyperventilating. She's awesome.

Intrusive Thoughts will be released digitally and in print this August, and I'll have print copies with me at Connecticut Horror Fest on August 27th!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Editpalooza 2016: Orchard Pointe is Almost There!


Over the past month and a half, Jolene and I have been doing edits and rewrites on Orchard Pointe, and I'm happy to say we're almost there! 

This past week marked a major milestone, as we finished a significant rewrite of a supporting character's storyline that affected the last third of the book. 

I've mentioned before that edits and rewrites remind me of Jenga, where pulling one piece out can bring the entire structure crashing down. I think about that concept quite a bit when reading other people's work, watching movies, or even playing video games. In every creative project, there are things that are less than perfect, And through the revision and polishing process, choices always have to be made.

I always ask myself:

Will this change make the story better?
If I change this, what else does it affect? Does it break anything?
How much of the story will need to be rewritten to accommodate this change? 
How does this affect the book's deadline? Is it worth delaying the book for?

There are plenty of other questions as well, but those are some of the biggies. I'm sure all creators have similar lists of questions.

Anyway, the reason I blathered on about that is to provide context for the rewrite Jolene and I just completed. A couple weeks ago, we were discussing the arc of a supporting character. And it became clear through our discussion that the character in question kind of faded in the last third of the book. Jolene had some great ideas about ways we could make it better, and we talked about the aforementioned questions of what it would take to do that. In the end, we decided that not only would the story be better for the changes, but the changes were worth it, and if we stayed on track, they could be made in our current revision schedule.

So, we did it. And looking back now, it was absolutely the right choice. The story is stronger for it, and the book feels more complete. We have also left the character in a place that we can explore in future stories, which is always a good thing.

With that rewrite out of the way, we are now in the final stages of edits for Orchard Pointe. We'll be talking a lot more about it as we get closer to release, and keep your eyes peeled for a cover reveal soon!



Monday, June 20, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Pizza My Heart


ISN'T IT DELICIOUS?!!

Last month, I told you about a new pizza-themed fiction anthology I was going to be a part of--A Pizza My Heart. Well today, I am happy to share with you the amazing cover that Haley Crosby designed for this project. I think you'll agree, it's mouth wateringly good.

If you missed my last post, here's the info on this fantastic project, which was put together by my amazing writing partner, Jolene Haley.


Book Genre: YA fiction anthology
Book release date: November 12, 2016 (National Pizza with the Works except Anchovies Day)


A Pizza My Heart Blurb

Gooey cheese and warm pepperoni, with a side of kissing and murder.

A Pizza My Heart is a quirky and fun anthology that crosses all genres. Fifteen extraordinary authors have united to tell stories of mystery, mayhem, romance, danger, deceit…and pizza.

Sometimes spicy, sometimes cheesy, but always delicious, A Pizza My Heart invites you to explore life, happiness, and the pursuit of pizza.


Stories Include:

A Slice of Adventure by Maria Carvalho
Between Slices by Andy Grieser
Fresh, Hot, and Deadly by Rena Olsen
KissingDancingPizzaMURDER by Darci Cole
Kneadful Things by Jenna Lehne
Love Pizza No. 9 by Vanessa Rodriguez
Madame Miraval’s Pizza Place by Kelly deVos
Password Is… by Jolene Haley
Pizza by Emily Simon
Pizza Buddy by Brian LeTendre
Pizzamergency by Brett Jonas
Survival Pizza by Rebecca Waddell
The Last Stop at the End of the World by Jamie Adams
The Pizza Guy by Jessi Shakarian
Where There’s Pizza by Jasmine Brown

About the Publisher

Established in 2014, Hocus Pocus & Co. loves to bring unique voices and stories to fruition.

Join the book buzz using hashtag #Pizzathology

Friday, June 17, 2016

Stryper Rocks The Chance

My love of '80s rock and metal is well documented, from the Thrash it Out podcast I do with Antony Johnston, to the Liner Notes segments that have been featured on Secret Identity for years. I went to high school from '88 to '92, so I grew up in the MTV era and was a teenager during the height of the hair metal movement.

The past ten years have seen a real resurgence of the bands I grew up listening to, and many of them are putting out music today that stands alongside the best stuff they've ever done. A lot of them are also touring again, and are just as great live as they were back in the day.


Stryper is an interesting band because many people dismissed them for their Christian themes and lyrics. As a kid who went to Catholic school through sixth grade, Stryper was the one metal band that my parents actually didn't mind me listening to. And listen to them I did. Stryper was among my favorite bands, and still is to this day. 

Sadly though, I didn't get to see them live when I was a kid, because I was always too young to get into the venues they played at. The first time I actually saw them in concert was in 2009, and they were amazing. 


So it was with great anticipation that I drove down to Poughkeepsie, New York this past Saturday with my pal Matt and my nine-year old son to see Stryper play at The Chance Theater, a venue that has hosted everyone from the Police to Twisted Sister to David Bowie.

Matt is the host of the Stryper podcast, and he interviewed both lead singer Michael Sweet and Guitarist Oz fox before the show. We got to tag along, which meant my son got to not only meet the guys, but to hang out on the tour bus for a bit. It will probably take him a few years to realize how amazing that moment actually was, but he was psyched to meet the band and hang out for a bit before the show.


After a few opening bands, Stryper took the stage and ripped through 22 songs that featured a great mix of old and new, as well as a few covers. I am a huge fan of The Yellow and Black Attack album, and they played three cuts from that one--"You Know What to Do," "Loud 'n' Clear" and "C'mon Rock." Of course they also played hits like "Soldiers Under Command," In God We Trust" and "To Hell With the Devil," a song for which they invited 15-year old Mariah Formica up on stage to sing lead vocals for. She was amazing. You can watch the video of that performance right here.


All in all, the show was great, the night was great, and the memory of sharing it with my son is one I will cherish forever. If you get a chance to see Stryper live, take it.