Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Editpalooza--Week Four Report: The Final Showdown

August is over, and we are now inside of the release month for Harrowed, the first book in the Woodsview Murders series.

It's a little scary, but in the best way possible.

The last few weeks of prep on a book is like the climactic scene with the killer in a horror movie. It's the final showdown. There's no more messing around. Only one of you is getting out alive.

But unlike most horror movies, where the lone hero has to face off against unspeakable evil, I didn't come to this final conflict alone.

I brought a partner.

Jolene and I have been in hardcore editing mode for over a month now, and I have to say--this process is so much more fun with someone else. As I mentioned before, having a great collaborator like Jolene means never losing momentum on a project. That has carried over into the editing phase as well. One of us is always working on this book--there is always progress being made.

Our best tool for editing continues to be Skype, and as we head down the home stretch, any major changes to the book have come during our Skype sessions, so we can walk through them together. I honestly wish we had recorded this last session, as it was a fantastic example of how Jolene and I work together.

There was a particular scene in the middle of the book that just felt a bit meandering to both of us, and it didn't provide the tense moment we wanted it to. But the scene had a lasting impact on what came afterward. So, we couldn't just cut it--we needed to fix it. Over the course of two and a half hours, we talked through every angle of the scene, each throwing out ideas about how we could make it leaner and give it more punch at the same time. Once we had a vision for it, we actually rewrote the scene together and went through it all over again. When we were satisfied with it, we put the revamped scene into the main story and smoothed out the edges. The revised scene is so much better than the original, and it's at least five pages shorter. Most importantly though, it provided the scare we were looking for the first time around.

I really can't overstate how great it's been working with Jolene. This book is truly a team effort, and both the writing and editing processes have been a blast. We cannot wait to share Harrowed with everyone, and September 22nd is just around the corner. We also have some pretty cool stuff planned around the book's release and beyond, so stay tuned.

Oh--and in the meantime, add Harrowed on Goodreads and follow the #WoodsviewMurders hashtag on Twitter for more!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Celebrate H.P. Lovecraft's Birthday with the Parted Veil Series--And Get a FREE Story!

Today would have been the 125th birthday of Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft. Like many creators, Lovecraft's fame came mainly after his death, but today he is considered by many to be one of the two most influential horror writers of all time (Edgar Allan Poe being the other). Pretty much every modern horror writer, artist and filmmaker has been influenced in some way by Lovecraft, from Stephen King and Clive Barker to H.R. Giger and Guillermo Del Toro.

If you have not familiarized yourself with the works of H.P. Lovecraft, it's never been easier to do so. Thanks to public domain, you can find almost every single one of Lovecraft's works online. Open Culture has a great collection of his works, as does the H.P. Lovecraft Archive, which also features a comprehensive amount of information on his life and influence.

While he is most well-known for his Cthulhu Mythos, I have always been a bigger fan of his Dream Cycle stories. In fact, it's the Dream Cycle--and the Dreamlands in particular--that books two and three of my Parted Veil series are centered around.


In Lovecraft's Curse, a young woman named Fela Barton discovers that she has a direct connection to H.P. Lovecraft, and to the Dreamlands themselves. That connection brings danger, madness and unspeakable evil along with it. Lovecraft's Pupil continues Fela's story, as she learns more about her legacy and the scope of the danger she is facing.

So, in celebration of Lovecraft's birthday, if you purchase any of the Parted Veil books from either Amazon (digital) or Drive Thru Fiction (print/digital), I will send you s short story for FREE. The short story--Private Showing--tells the origin of a character that appears in all three of the books.

All you have to do is email me at brian@seebrianwrite.com with proof of purchase (your confirmation email), and I will send you a PDF of Private Showing.

And for those wondering about the first book in the series--Courting the King in Yellow--you do not have to read it to understand or enjoy books two and three. Courting the King in Yellow is very Robert Chambers-inspired, and while it connects to the overall series, it is a standalone story that is not directly continued in books two and three. If you're planning on following the whole series however--I'd check that out too.

The free story offer will run until the end of the month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Check Out the First THRASH IT OUT Video Hangout!

If you hadn't already heard, my friend and fellow writer Antony Johnston and I launched a heavy metal podcast called Thrash It Out a few weeks ago. The premise is simple--we listen to a metal album every week, and then we have an hour-plus long discussion about it. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't, but every album (and every track) is given its due--and then some. We discuss everything from the band's history, to the album production, to the times we've seen them live in concert.

The first four episodes of the show featured the Big Four--Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. In fact, our Megadeth episode just dropped today (you can listen to it right here).

The response to the show has been great so far, and we've been having some great discussions with listeners over Twitter and on our Patreon page. In fact, the video above features Antony and I answering questions that were submitted by our Patreon supporters. We talk about our favorite genres of metal, some of the best albums of the past couple years, and the first concerts we ever attended, among other things.

If you're digging the show and would like to support us on Pateron, just click here. You can also support us by leaving a review on iTunes if you like show, and that won't cost you a dime.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Editpalooza--Week Two Report

We're over halfway through August now, and we've got another full week of edits on Harrowed under our belts. As I talked about in last week's post, I'm writing Harrowed with the amazing Jolene Haley, and it's my first collaboration. So, I wanted to chronicle bits and pieces of the creative process, because it's been an absolute blast.

So, week one was all about making sure nothing in our story was broken. Once we finished that, we moved on to identifying what parts of the story needed tweaking. Jolene and I went through the book again, making comments and notes along the way, and coming up with a list of areas we thought needed some work.

This past Sunday, Jolene and I had another epic two-hour Skype session, where we went over the majority of the notes we'd made and talked through how to address them. Some were small fixes that we made right then and there, and some were bookmarked for more work later. Big or small, we were on the same page for everything. And that's what's been so great about working on this project together--we share the same vision for these characters and their story. It's actually pretty amazing how in sync our interpretations of these characters are. things that aren't even on the page, but come up in the conversation when we discuss why these characters are doing what they do.

If you haven't been following the #WoodsviewMurders hashtag on Twitter, then you may have missed the announcement of the Woodsview Case Files podcast.

That's right--we're putting together a podcast to coincide with the release of Harrowed in September. You can follow @WoodsviewFiles for more info as we get closer to launch, as we've got some fun stuff planned for the show.

One of the things we'll definitely be doing on the podcast is talking more about our creative process for this book and the series so far. If the two-hour Skype sessions are any indication, we'll have plenty to discuss come September.

But for now--back to edits.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's FIRST & GOAL for Laura Chapman in September!

Back in May, writer Laura Chapman joined me on the See Brian Write podcast to talk about her NaNoWriMo experience, as well as her books The Marrying Type and Hard Hats and Doormats.

We also talked a bit about a project she was working on at the time, and yesterday, that project was announced! Laura's new book First & Goal will be released on September 9th--here's the synopsis:

When Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). 

Embroiled in a world of lineups, stats, and trades, Harper’s quest to make nice topples when her competitive streak emerges. And her promise to herself that she’ll be a strong, independent woman and leave the drama and heartache behind is seriously tested when she catches the attention of her two biggest competitors: J.J., a local celebrity determined to win a fantasy championship, and Brook, the mild-mannered coach who seems too good to be true. Both threaten her resolve to remain single… and, more importantly, her chances at winning the prize pool. 

With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

You can find out more over at Laura's website, and you can add First & Goal on Goodreads right now.

You can also listen to the podcast episode in the player below!