Ask a demon! by Ryan Hill

 

Welcome to the inaugural edition of ASK A DEMON. It's kind of like a Reddit Ask Me Anything, only with me. A demon. Well... ex-demon. For simplicity's sake, let's act like I'm still a full-fledged demon.

I'm Bartholomew, and I used to be - excuse me - I AM a demon. Been around for thousands of millennia, ruined plans, parties, virgins, all that jazz. Go to LinkedIn if you're looking for a resume, because if being around for thousands of millennia (and all that jazz) doesn't convince you of my credentials for handing out the greatest advice in the history of the known universe, then do me a favor. Ask someone to slap you across the face. As hard as they can. It doesn't matter who they are, just ask. After, LET THEM SLAP YOU, then tell them thanks from Bartholomew. If you need more proof of my credibility, read THE BOOK OF BART. It's about me. By me. For me. And you too, I guess, but mostly me.

Let's see who needs some of my tried and mostly true advice.

Lay Lady Layla asks:

Humans and demons have different skin, and you're always so disgustingly attractive, I have to know. What is your skin care routine?

Demons technically don't have skin. We did when we were angels, but that got messed up when all of us went to Hell. Demons have scales like a snake, but we don't molt. That would be the pits. The good news is demons can disguise our true from underneath human skin. Sort of like a Terminator, but easier to manage and higher quality. In terms of a skin care routine, I try to keep things simple.

Danielle Don't Tell asks:

What is the most unassuming way to get slated for Hell?

Assuming the most assuming way to get into Hell is to be the mastermind behind, say... the Holocaust? Probably saying something along the lines of, "I'd give anything for an hour alone with insert name of person you want five minutes alone with HERE," around the right demon. They'll set it up, but don't be surprised if that hour is spent in a broken elevator along with a screaming baby, a panicky woman who thinks all of you are about to die, a Diabetic in need of an insulin shot, and a man who's hungover and claustrophobic, all while you're stuck with a bladder that will explode at any moment. 

Just sayin'.

Juan John Silver asks:

What's the best way to get a cat out of a tree?

One could go up there and get the cat themselves, wait for the cat to get bored and come down, or call the fire department, but what's the fun in any of those? Instead, I propose stealing a car - the greasiest one available - and crashing it into the tree going at least 40 miles-per-hour. In theory, the force should throw the cat from the tree. And since cats always land on their feet, no harm no foul. Right?

Want your question answered by me? Send them to ryan@ryanhillwrites.com with ASK A DEMON in the subject line. Who knows? You might get lucky.

Until next time...

Bartholomew signing off

 

 

 

Shadow Fall Cover Reveal!!! by Ryan Hill

 

Happy Cover Reveal day! Blaze Publishing has another amazing design to share with the world today. We're revealing the cover to SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey. This YA sci-fi dystopian will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat as Maia is pitted against others in the ultimate game of survival. Join the Facebook Party tonight from 5-11pm EST, and mark your calendars for release day 11/22!

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The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive. The question is who?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

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Introducing... ASK A DEMON by Ryan Hill

Have you ever needed advice on something, but were too scared to ask your parents? Want to know the best way to get revenge on that bully who won't stop giving you noogies? Then you've come to the right place!

Bartholomew, that handsome, smooth, dastardly scoundrel of a demon (his words, not mine) has graciously decided to take some time away from his busy schedule of chasing virgins and corrupting souls to answer questions from YOU, for FREE. Normally, this kind of thing requires payment in the form of a Maserati or, oh, YOUR SOUL, but Bartholomew is doing this for free. He'd never admit it, but personally? I think his friend Samantha put him up to it in the hopes he might actually help someone. Can't say for sure, though. 

Send your questions to ryan@ryanhillwrites.com with the subject line ASK A DEMON, and maybe Bartholomew will answer your question!

In the meantime, you can follow Bartholomew's shenanigans in THE BOOK OF BART, with parts 2 and 3 coming 2017!

So my credit card number got stolen by Ryan Hill

Which is awesome. And a great way to start the weekend. Really. Not just saying that.

Someone, I don't know who, but let's call them Asscheeks McGillicutty, tried to charge $140 worth of mess at a Sears in Virginia to my credit card. Fortunately, the card company caught it.

But I still have to go through the hassle of re-entering that info at places where I pay bills, subscribe to things, etc. 

Clearly, if Asscheeks had met me, things would be different. They'd stand in awe of my classically handsome face. They'd laugh at my jokes until they wet themselves. Not much, just a drop or two. Enough to know they needed to get control of themselves.

I imagine Asscheeks has patchy hair on their head, and what is there looks like cobwebs... maybe even has a fly or two stuck in there. They're probably wearing an old, tattered Hulkamania tank-top that was purchased in 1997 at a garage sale. I'm guessing it was found under a pile of moldy towels someone tried to sell for a dollar. I bet Asscheeks, if Asscheeks is a male, has donated blood and whatnot to places all over the country, so... the future has that to look forward to. As for Asscheeks McGillicutty, I hope their future involves an infuriating bout of PokemonGO where all they find are level 12 Rattata that sends them into a rage that lasts so long, they don't notice the steamroller coming at them from a mile away, despite the driver yelling, "Move! I don't want you to get squished!" repeatedly for thirty minutes to no avail. 

Then, as quickly as Asscheeks McGillicutty entered my life, they were gone. Squished. Flattened like a pancake on the road.

Seems like a fair and just fate.

On Going From One Manuscript to Another by Ryan Hill

 

I've picked up on an interesting trend with my writing. Ever since I finished The Book of Bart - Verse 1 - the draft that was submitted to agents and publishers - I've had a tendency to bounce around from manuscript to manuscript for whatever reason. Sometimes it's from writer's block, others because my attention has been pulled elsewhere. The reasons vary, but the point is the same.

I struggle to stick with one manuscript from beginning to completion.

It's not a good or a bad thing, but it is a thing with me. Take my latest release, The Conch Shell of Doom. I wound up writing about 30k words, then abandoned the manuscript. My anxiety/depression had been gnawing at me the entire time I'd been writing (even before), and I'd had enough, so I dropped it and moved on to another book, one that was intended to be more commercial and the first of a trilogy called The Luminari Crown. I only made it 20k words into that one before the anxiety/depression got to me again, and I dropped that manuscript as well. 

I took some time for myself, then sat down to read what I'd written of The Conch Shell of Doom. Without the anxiety clouding my judgment, I noticed that Conch Shell was pretty good, and worth finishing. In between then and now, I had both The Book of Bart and my zombie novel Dead New World published, forcing me to leave Conch Shell for a time. In between edits on Conch Shell, I started The Book of Bart - Verse 2, then had to leave it for more Conch Shell edits, and wound up starting a dark, young adult mystery novel. Earlier this week, I finished the first draft of Bart 2. It's okay if you're having trouble keeping up.

The playing of musical chairs with manuscripts has paid off in an unexpected way. So many writers - myself included - can get so deep into a story they can't see the forest for the trees. Leaving a manuscript to work on something else not only gives you breathing room and the chance to use creative muscles that may have atrophied on the previous work, but it gives you perspective.

Yes, it's difficult getting back into the flow of a manuscript this way, but after a couple of days, it feels like I never left. I also feel refreshed upon return, which brings new ideas that wouldn't have popped up if I hadn't moved to something else. Sure, some continuity issues can arise, especially with things from the beginning of the novel, but that's what editing is for; to smooth out the story and flesh out portions that need more exploration. 

I don't know that I'd recommend this method of writing, but it's been working for me the last few years. If you're stuck or feeling down about your work though, it may be just the ticket to helping the manuscript get back on track.

Enjoy!

Cover reveal! Case Maynard's The Surrendered by Ryan Hill

 

Happy Cover Reveal day! Blaze Publishing has another gorgeous design to share with the world today. We're revealing the cover to THE SURRENDERED by Case Maynard. This YA dystopian will definitely have your pulse pounding as a tax is placed on the financially devastated country's most valuable resource--the children. Join the Facebook Party tonight from 5-11pm EST, and mark your calendars for release day 9/20!



After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

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Coming soon! Paired with a dark prince in a murderous game of survival, Maia Graystone discovers the only thing more dangerous than the Emperor’s court is her conflicted heart. The YA Sci-fi Apocalyptic SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey releases in November, but you can sign up for review copies now.



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THE CONCH SHELL OF DOOM Release Day! Random Acts of Silliness! by Ryan Hill

 

It's here It's here IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!! 

The book with quite possibly the most RANDOM and SILLY title in this history of the written word is here!!!!! 

Witness the Awakening. Witness the tomfoolery. Witness the ridiculous that is... THE CONCH SHELL OF DOOM. Buy it here, won't you?

Not only that, but there's a contest going to win free stuff like signed books or a $20 Amazon gift card! Seriously. May 24, 2016, should just be called the gift that keeps on giving at this point. 

Contest ends June 3, 2016

  • One winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill
  • One winner will receive a signed copy of The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill
  • One winner will receive a signed copy of The Book of Bart by Ryan Hill
  • One winner will receive a signed copy of Dead New World by Ryan Hill

Time to announce the RANDOM ACTS OF SILLINESS winners!

Now, some of the suggestions I got were a bit much, or borderline iffy/legal. There were also a few ideas that required women's clothing. Regardless, everyone who entered a suggestion gets a FREE CONCH SHELL OF DOOM EBOOK! If you entered via ryanhillwrites.com, please contact me with your email so I can send you the ebook. As for the winners, YOU GET A FREE BOOK! YOU GET A FREE BOOK! AND YOU GET A FREE BOOK! (free signed paperback, that is). If you all could get me your mailing info, I'll get those books out to you as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who suggested a Random Act of Silliness!

Rank: 75,000

Act: Write an ode to my fans and leave it on my website. Barbara also suggested a dramatic reading of Magic Mike, but I had to be wearing a tutu. I'm not made of money you all! :)

Winner: barbara.hopkins39@*****.com
 

Rank: 50,000

Act: Do the "Time Warp"

Winner: Danielle from ryanhillwrites.com
 

Rank: 25,000

Act: Dye my hair

Winners: vampyrelady6606@*****.com, calden40@***.com 
 

Rank: 10,000

Act: Dance with a stranger

Winner: mq3377@***.com
 

Rank: 5,000

Act: Paint my body in either the cover or a character

Winner: doveknoll@*****.com
 

Rank: 1,000

Act: Cover myself in oatmeal and yogurt, then run around screaming about my book

Winner: majikalone@******.com
 

Rank: 100

Act: Create a Minecraft-inspired costume and wear it in public for 30 minutes.

Winner: Ginger from ryanhillwrites.com
 

Rank: No. 1 in any sub-category

Act: Dance to "Ring my Bell" in '70s garb, i.e. whatever is left of my Dad's wardrobe from that era ;)

Winner: artemis.lynn1966@*****.com

Introducing RANDOM ACTS OF SILLINESS by Ryan Hill

 

With the upcoming May 24 release of my third novel, The Conch Shell of Doom, I'm throwing almost all shame (what little remains, at least) out the window. I want this to be my best release yet. I want this release to make The Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show to seem like no big whoop. That may not happen - it almost certainly won't - but a guy can dream, right?

To help Conch Shell have a big release, I need your help to get the word out. But, I also want this to be fun for everybody. I want you all to feel like you're getting something out of it besides good karma. As such, if the book hits certain milestones in terms of Amazon ranking, you all can decide on a RANDOM ACT OF SILLINESS for me to do. I'm willing to do pretty much anything except risk life (definitely not) and limb (absolutely not) for this. Or something that will get me arrested. Or fired. You know, big, life-altering in a very bad way kind of stuff. 

These are the milestones I'm laying out. Some of these are for overall Amazon rank, others for reaching No. 1 in a sub-category.

Overall Amazon rank milestones:

No. 75,000
No. 50,000
No. 25,000
No. 10,000
No. 1,000
No. 100
No. 1

Sub-category rank milestones - there are three milestones:

No. 1 in one sub-cat
No. 1 in two
No. 1 in all three

The greater the milestone, the greater the act of silliness I'm willing to subject myself to. If I reach No. 75,000, for example, I could maybe do a dramatic reading of something. Fifty Shades of Grey, Shakespeare, The Big Bang Theory, anything. The sillier the better. If I crack the Top 100, maybe I'll dye my hair green. It all depends on what you suggest. 

If you're interested in helping spread the word on May 24, sign up for my release day blitz, fill out your information (you don't need a blog to participate), and in the "Comments/Questions" box at the bottom, indicate your RANDOM ACT OF SILLINESS suggestion - just be sure to introduce your comment/question with RANDOM ACT OF SILLINESS

The ideas that are picked will win a signed paperback of The Conch Shell of DoomIf I somehow hit No. 1, ALL the winning ideas will receive SIGNED PAPERBACKS of ALL THREE OF MY BOOKS. That's pretty cool if you ask me, but since I wrote the books I may be a bit biased. 

Don't worry about assigning your idea to a milestone. I'll do that based on degree of difficulty and/or level of silliness. 

Thanks in advance for all of your help. If this goes well, I may make it a tradition for all future releases.

Enjoy!

Ryan

Interview time with ASLEEP's KRYSTAL WADE!!! by Ryan Hill

 

"Time to let all the kings know that the ACE is back." - Dr. Dre

That's an appropriate quote for author Krystal Wade, who's already rocked the casbah with CHARMING, the WILDE'S trilogy, and SHATTERED SECRETS. It's only appropriate she does it again with ASLEEP, a thrilling mash-up between SNOW WHITE and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (something I totally screwed up in the Q&A below).

Even more, Krystal doesn't just have a new novel out. Because that's child's play for her at this point. ASLEEP doesn't just signify another entry in the outstanding catalog that is the collected works of Krystal Wade, it's the debut entry in her OWN PUBLISHING HOUSE, Blaze Publishing! 

How effin' sweet is that? "Yeah, this book stuff is old hat. I think I'll step my game up a notch for no other reason than BECAUSE I CAN."

Ryan note: Krystal is my friend/kindred spirit/wise kemosabi, and she's flippin' sweet. If you don't know her, you're worse off for it.

Such a great/creepy cover!

Such a great/creepy cover!

"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He's understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they'll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

If you want to see more of ASLEEP, you can find the Ten Weeks of Teasers and other great content on the Blaze Publishing blog. Order your copy now!

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ON TO THE QUESTIONS!

Congratulations on ASLEEP! This is the first release under your own banner, Blaze Publishing. I won't ask about what it's like creating a publishing house, because we all know the answer: it's hard and a lot of work. What I will ask, though, is with ASLEEP, which you wrote, being the first novel coming out through Blaze, which you run, do you feel there's some sort of weird nepotism thing going on there?

Yep! We plan to have a whole lot of nepotism at Blaze. Because NEPOTISM! 

On a more serious note, there has to be a lot of additional pressure on you. Having a novel come out is pressure enough, but ASLEEP is also the first look the world gets at the quality of work Blaze Publishing will be releasing. To relieve some of the pressure you're feeling, I've provided canned, multiple choice answers for you. Choose the most appropriate.

A. So much pressure I've gone from drinking wine maybe once a month to downing shots of hard liquor day after day in the hopes of finding some relief from this headache.

B. It's a good thing this interview isn't being video-taped, because I've lost patches of hair, and the only extensions I could find came from discarded My Little Pony manes.

C. Pressure? I thrive on pressure. Don't worry about how much coffee I drink or how many cartons of cigarettes I smoke a day. That information is private and I will not share it, especially with you.

D. Huh? What? Sorry, this heroin is some good stuff.

ASLEEP is your second genre mash-up after the very cool CHARMING. A mix between SNOW WHITE and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is pretty crazy. Do you have a dartboard covered in potential genres to combine and whichever two genres the darts hit first become the framework for your next novel?

SLEEPING BEAUTY and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. But I forgive you. And your idea about the dart board is excellent. Maybe I'll try that in the future.

*Ryan note: That’s right, SLEEPING BEAUTY… I’m an idiot.

Since ASLEEP is very much about nightmares, what's one nightmare you've had that scared you to the point you were freaked out the next day?

I've had several nightmares like that. But the ones that usually have me crying when I wake up are when loved ones die in dreams. I once had a dream so vivid, so horrific about my daughter being kidnapped and then brutally murdered while we were on a skiing trip that I STILL get nervous right before every ski trip. 

I still have dreams where I think I forgot to write a term paper, or forgot to put on anything besides underwear (which isn't a bad dream. In fact, I and the ladies in said dream rather like it). Do you have any recurring dreams like that? 

I actually don't have recurring dreams all that often, and when I do, I usually forget them until the next time they pop up in my dreams. So, um, not sure.

Many readers may not be aware you have a chicken coop in your backyard. Do they ever wake you up at the butt crack o' dawn with their yelling? If so, how often do you feel the need to "make an example" of one of them? Do you worry they may break free and peck one of your fingers off? Also... HOW DO THEY TASTE? The chickens, not your fingers.

No cockadoodle dooing here. We have all hens, and we've never eaten them. We use them for eggs only.

Did anything influence your writing on ASLEEP? Watch any scary films, spooky TV shows, or read any terrifying books to help you get in the right frame of mind to write ASLEEP?

I'm always watching the spooky, the fantastical, the emotional on television or in movies. I don't think any particular show or book influenced me during the writing process, but clearly a couple stories mashed up influenced the book.

Are you currently writing anything else? If not, WHY? PEOPLE LIKE READING YOUR BOOKS, WADE. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. WHY AREN'T YOU GIVING THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT? That is, if you're not currently giving the people what they want.

I'm trying to give the people what they want! Come on! I do have a couple more books in process, but my focus right now is on publishing. I do hope to have one release next year, a mystery that mashes up BEFORE I FALL with FREQUENCY!

Let's play fill in the blank. Come up with your craziest genre mash-ups.

The Princess Bride meets Practical Magic in this tale of lust and revenge set amidst the Protestant Reformation.

Meet Joe Black meets Silence of the Lambs as two brothers, one Asian and one Russian, vie for the affections of a woman who runs a hot dog stand in 1980s New York City.

Field of Dreams meets Doc Hollywood as a humble, poor, illiterate man does whatever it takes to become the greatest dentist in all of South Dakota.

In haiku format, tell everyone why they should buy/read or buy/not read but definitely buy ASLEEP.

You should read Asleep.
It will give you the creeps.
And you will not sleep.

As always, a big thank you to Krystal for taking the time to answer my insane questions, and being an awesome friend/author!

You can follow/stalk Krystal on social media at Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook   Google+

See? Toldja she's got her own publishing house!

See? Toldja she's got her own publishing house!

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Love my parents by Ryan Hill

 

Last weekend, during the SNOWPOCALYPSE: 2016 EDITION, I took Hunter S. Gonzodog out, so she could do her business. The Gonzodog loves the snow, and ran into a wooded area near my apartment. While trying to keep my grip on the leash, I lost my phone in the pile of snow and leaves.

Gonzodog!

Gonzodog!

It took a little while to find the thing, and fortunately everything still worked. Not long after, I told both of my parents about what happened separately. Mind you, I live in Raleigh, NC, and my parents in Greensboro, NC, so one guess as to how I was talking to them.

Hint: It was with my phone!

Mom

Me: So I lost my phone in the leaves taking Hunter out.

Mom: Did you find it?

Me: I'm talking to you on it, aren't I?

Mom: Oh. Shut up.

Dad

Me: Did Mom tell you I lost my phone in the leaves earlier?

Dad: No. Did you find... oh.



On being 36-years-old by Ryan Hill

 

No joke, that title felt weird to write. It brings up so many thoughts. Where the time went, what to do with the time ahead of me, and the fact that in the grand scheme of things I'm not old, but hot damn. I'M 36.

Pretty much

Pretty much

Getting older is always something you worry about when you're younger. Twenty-somethings fret over every birthday, because it brings them one digit closer to the end-all, be-all that is thirty. Why? Because it's a number all of us have seared in our brains as TIME TO GET YO SHIT TOGETHER AND BE A REAL, ACTUAL ADULT. Heck, my mom cried when Dad turned 30.

Guess what? Being in your thirties really isn't that bad. At all. I prefer it to being in my twenties.

I was a friggin mess in my twenties. I was still trying to figure life, the universe, and everything out with little success. I didn't have a foothold in, well, anything. My early-to-mid twenties were mired in a haze of longing for my college days while trying to figure out the whole adult thing. My late twenties were more about trying to squeeze as much fun in before the big three-oh hit. I even wrote a manuscript about a guy reflecting on his life before he turns thirty. I can't say I was a mess about it, but some people are.

My thirtieth birthday turned out to be kind of a baptism by fire into "adulthood." I'd discovered someone stole my mail, taking checks intended to pay bills and counterfeiting them to buy stuff to the tune of $800.

Welcome to adulthood, Ryan! Here's a swift kick in the ass to get you started!

It really was kind of a harbinger of things to come. My thirties have by far been the most difficult decade of my life, but it's also been the most rewarding. I've become a published author. I still get to review movies, i.e. see them for free before everyone else and write about them. More than that, other things happen in your thirties that are pretty awesome.

Mainly, you stop giving a flying f--k about everything. By everything, I don't mean ev-er-y-thing, but everything that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. With some life experience under their belt, people settle into themselves in their thirties, and with that comes a level of comfort with who you are - some might even call it self esteem - that elevates you above worrying about whether someone thinks you're full of it, and other assorted items like that. Ya just don't care. And it's a wonderful thing. It builds up confidence, and makes dealing with all the B.S. that life throws at you that much easier to handle.

Granted, being in your thirties does have the drawback of OMGZ MY BODY WON'T STOP FALLING APART.

This part is actually worse for me, since I blew my back out six-years-ago doing too much weight on a Lat Row Machine. I've got two ruptured discs that irritate the Sciatica in my left leg. It's been awful. But enough about me.

I liken the physical deterioration in your thirties to a toy. When it's new, everything is strong and sturdy, but over time, wear and tear sets in. Some things don't work as well as they used to. That's kind of what your body is like in your thirties. It's not terrible, but you do notice the changes, which range from achy joints to inability to stay up late, less tolerance to extreme cold or heat, etc. Basically, if you blew out your knee at some point, that knee is going to remind you of it on an almost daily basis in thirties. Your hair also turns grey on a more steady basis, but that's kind of whatever. It doesn't bother me at all.

So to anyone afraid of turning 30, don't be. Like everything else, it's a mix of good and bad. Sure, it's different and your mortality starts coming into focus, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Then again, as someone who's never been married, has no kids, a spotty (at best) relationship record, I could be talking out of my ass.*

I pretty much always reserve the right to admit I'm talking out of my ass. If I'm wrong on something, so be it.

 

 

On Adapting THE BOOK OF BART For Film/TV by Ryan Hill

 

Fun fact: I originally wanted to be a screenwriter. After I finished grad school in 2004, I even moved out to Los Angeles in the hopes of making that dream a reality. Long story short, I came back to North Carolina after six months. I missed my family, friends, clean(ish) air, and a zillion other things. But I never lost the writing bug (obviously).

Last year, I got the idea to write a pilot script for The Book of Bart. I've always felt it would make a good show, something that could be a book-end to, say, Supernatural, so while I was in the middle of edits on the upcoming The Conch Shell of Doom, I set to work turning Bart into a 50-odd page pilot script. I'd written feature-length screenplays before, but not an adaptation.

For anyone out there considering adapting their novel, know that writing a script is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like writing a novel. They're different beasts with different rules. A novel can really dig into details and emotions, enveloping the reader in the soft, gentle sway of a tree branch in the wind. If that line were written in a script, the reader would toss it in the garbage and move on to the next script. With novels, that kind of writing is welcomed, and sometimes even praised. It can also mask potential deficiencies in plot or dialogue. 

Guess what?

SCRIPTS ARE ALL ABOUT PLOT AND DIALOGUE.

Scripts require the most sparse, bare-bones writing possible. Every single word matters. A script is meant to serve as a blueprint for a film or TV production. What's on the page is meant to be on the screen. If it can't be seen or heard, it shouldn't be in the script. Emotions, motive, all that stuff has to be left to the cast and crew for interpretation. Ever read a play, like Thornton Wilder's Our Town? There's the scene location, characters, and dialogue. That's it. Everything else is left to the director, actors, set designers, etc., to interpret as they see fit. A script is similar, though there's room for just enough description to paint a visual picture. 

The transition from book to screen is never seamless. Even films like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter have differences/departures from the books. The change in medium makes it impossible to stay 100 percent true to the source material because of length, a scene isn't visually compelling, or what works as a book doesn't necessarily work as a film. Some books just aren't meant to be adapted, while others are.

This one wasn't.

This one wasn't.

I knew going in that adapting Bart to a visual medium would be tricky. Much of the fun comes from Bart's narration, and only so much of that can survive before characters wind up standing in front of a camera, waiting for the voice over narration to finish so they can move on to the next thing. It became a balancing act of mixing the narration into a mix of voice over and dialogue. 

While I'm happy with the pilot for The Book of Bart, there's a lot of work left before it can even think about seeing the light of day. And that's fine. If nothing else, it was a learning experience, so onward and upward, and all that stuff. I'll share it one day, but today it's about the challenges of adapting one's work to a different medium.

John Irving won an Oscar for adapting his novel The Cider House Rules. Suzanne Collins wrote a draft of the first Hunger Games film. So adapting your work can be done, and done quite well. Just go into it knowing that by no means is it a cake walk, and good luck!

Wrapping up 2015, unwrapping 2016 by Ryan Hill

 

Whew. Thank goodness 2015 is pretty much over. It hasn't been the worst year I've ever had, but it wasn't far off. For some reason, my life plays out a lot like the Star Trek series. The even years are so, so much better than the odd ones. All years have both good and bad stuff, but those odd-numbered years tend to have more of the bad stuff. And 2015 was no exception.

I had to put my dog to sleep. I haven't really mentioned it online, but losing Maggie was the defining moment of 2015 for me. It became clear in late June something wasn't right with her, and shortly after I learned she had a tumor in her lung. The vet gave her three-to-five months (more like three), and my sweet baby made it a little over five. I won't get into the details of those last couple of weeks, only to say I made the decision to put her to sleep after learning she now had two tumors in her lungs and another in her liver that was raising the back half of her body higher than the front, making it nearly impossible for her to lie down.

It even looks like an In Memorium pic. Sorry.

It even looks like an In Memorium pic. Sorry.

I don't regret the decision, but that doesn't mean I don't miss the heck of my little girl. She was only 10, and Miniature Schnauzers can live to be 15-17. No, the only thing I regret is the time I won't get to spend with her.

To every cloud there is a silver lining.

And the silver lining in this came in the form of one Miss Hunter S. Gonzodog.

I'd always hoped to have a puppy for a couple of years, giving Maggie a chance to teach her a couple of tricks, but sadly things didn't work out that way. Such is life. Hunter is a super sweet pup, and I look forward to seeing which traits of Maggie's she takes on and which are completely her own.

I also didn't have a book released in 2015. Womp womp.

That stinks. A combination of things led to this: laziness, the day job, my horrific back (two ruptured discs and an irritated Sciatica), anxiety, etc. They all pretty much play into each other, creating this awful, giant beast of worthlessness, but I digress.  Let's move on to 2016.


I will have a book out in 2016, and another one or two in 2017.

I'm going the self-publishing route for 2016's release, The Conch Shell of Doom. I'm aiming for a mid-May release, just in time for UtopYA 2016.  I'm super proud of the book, which presented lots of new challenges that helped me grow as a writer. CSoD is also the craziest book I've written to date. I can't wait to share it with all of you.

The other two novels in the works are an untitled YA mystery set during Christmastime, and a sequel to The Book of Bart. The book is tentatively called The Unspoken Rule (or Bart of Darkness, depending on my mood), and it's going to be a lot of fun. Bart and Sam are in for one helluva run. Get it? Because Bart is a demon from Hell? 

Once the sequel is further along, the original will be forever known as The Book of Bart - Verse 1. The sequel? You guessed it. Verse 2. And so on and so forth, until the series ends. Which may be never. If I had more time, I'd write a novella or two each year, detailing Bart's escapades throughout history B.S. - Before Sam. Get it??? B.S.??? These jokes just write themselves... which explains why they're so awful. 

But I do have a humor award, so that makes it okay? If not, the Jensen Ackles gif should. At least for some of you.

My work as a film critic at Screen Invasion will continue in the new year, but I am on the lookout for a new outlet to write for. I love SI. LOVE THEM. SI has also proved to be a fantastic springboard for a lot of writers, and after two years with them, I feel like I'm ready to take the next step, regardless of if it's full-time, part-time, freelance, etc.

PS - It's okay. They know/support this. It's another reason why they rock.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Truer words have never been spoken.

I also hope to get my back fixed, or at least get it to a place where it doesn't drain the life out of me each day. Back pain like I have isn't like normal pain. There aren't really nerves involved (except for the Sciatic nerves, which one of my discs rubs up against and irritates), nor are muscles. It's more an empty, hollow pain, like someone reached into my lower back and yanked out the base of what held me together. Without it, the rest of the structure is overburdened and tires. It's awful. 

Let this be a lesson to you kids. Don't lift too much weights. Especially on back exercises, like a Lat Row. Don't do it.

Next year should be a good one in the world of Ryan, and I sincerely hope all of you have a great 2016!

Hugs and kisses,

Ryan

Interview with LINK author Summer Weir! by Ryan Hill

 

Apologies for being a day late on this, but anytime yours truly conducts an interview, it's always well worth the wait. Always. This time, my vic- I mean my interviewee is Link author Summer Weir!

About Link:

For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.

Or at least, it used to.

Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that's missing—her father.

Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.

If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves.

Dreamy, fluid, and beautiful, Link pairs the mystery of science fiction with the minor-key melody of a dark fantasy, creating a tale that is as human as it is out of this world. 

Available now from Amazon, and other retailers.

TO THE INTERVIEW!

Congratulations on having your first novel published! Do you feel kinda like you got away with something? When you're alone in your car, sitting in traffic, do you laugh to yourself and say, "Suckers!" out loud? 

Thank you! It is pretty amazing to think that I actually wrote a book, finished it, and someone loved it enough to publish it. I'm not sure that it feels like getting away with something... and if I WAS trying to get away with something I wouldn't be sitting in traffic waiting to get caught.

Link has a nice, meaty plot. Pitch it to me in one sentence. Example: Batman & Robin meets Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Ready? GO!

A Wrinkle in Time with a Stargate twist. Boom. 


You and your family have moved around quite a bit, correct? Is this because you're light on your feet and whenever a stiff breeze comes along you get carried away to somewhere else? Are you worried you may get dropped off somewhere like the Sudan, or the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

Yes, we have. And you know, there may be something to that 'stiff breeze' theory. But it's more like I get settled somewhere and get an itch to be somewhere else, to experience another adventure (though Sudan and the middle of the Pacific Ocean are not on that list). After living out of the country more recently, we're super excited to be back in the states, and I reckon we'll be planted in Texas for a while. And yes, I just said 'reckon'.

Ryan note: I've lived in North Carolina almost my entire life and make it a point not to use words like "reckon" when speaking. Just saying.

Link is your first published novel. How many manuscripts did you write before Link? Do you feel bad about leaving those other manuscripts behind, because you probably should.

I have absolutely no other manuscripts that would be jealously plotting my demise. Link is my first, my last, my everything... okay not my last, but it definitely holds a special place in my heart. And now that you mention it, I guess I should feel like I got away with something, having my first manuscript published and all. 

Link has a black hole in it. What are your feelings on black holes? Wouldn't people get crushed by the intense gravity in black holes? Or do they pull a Matthew McConaughey and visit their daughter throughout the years via the back side of a bookcase?

Black holes are such an amazing phenomenon. Used to be, scientists thought nothing could escape the gravitational pull of a black hole once an object made it to the event horizon. But the premise of Link is that some starlight can escape and in doing so creates a portal for travel.

More recently, however, world renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has confirmed Link's theories, describing this escaping light as a "hologram." I know some of this science-y mumbo jumbo can be hard to swallow, so think of it in terms of less Matthew McConaughey popping through bookcases and more Captain Kirk "Beam me up, Scotty."

Is there radiation in a black hole? Was there concern that your MC may go through a black hole and come out the other side with no hair? That'd definitely be a concern for me. 

I understand your concern, as traditional science would tells us black holes do emit traceable amounts of radiation. However, if you're traveling in the protection of starlight (which I'd recommend), rest assured, you'll lose no hair in the process.

Why Link? What was so special about this story that it grabbed you by the throat and choked you until you turned purple and then you finally gave in and agreed to write it? What influenced it? Psychedelic drugs is an acceptable answer, by the way.

When I started writing Link, I envisioned two characters connected in some way, maybe through dreams, or alternate realities, or something. I quickly realized all of these concepts were becoming really common in young adult books (maybe that's where psychadelic drugs come in). There was a point where I even stopped writing until I figured out what I could do to make LINK stand out. One day I stumbled across as NASA video, and somehow all of the pieces fell into place. My ideas clicked as I watched this video again and again--it was perfect for what I was trying to do with the plot and story. Check out the NASA video that inspired the theories behind Link

Does Link have a character in it named Zelda? If not, why? 

It should. It really should. There's no excuse for this. 

What are you working on now? Link II: A Zelda to the Past?

Ha! Now I really want to play Zelda (the Super Nintendo version, best ever). Anyway, I'm currently working on Link sequels, Lost and Light. I'm the slowest writer in the history of writers, but I'm halfway done with book two. I also have the final book in the series mapped out, so I just need to dig in and write!

In haiku format, explain why people should not only go out and buy Link, but read it. Also, do you care if they read it after they've bought it? 

I'm soooo much better at limericks, but here goes nothing:

The book is unique
it might even make you think
the stars will guide you.

Eh? Eh? Guess I should stick to limericks. And I guess you don't HAVE to read it if you buy it, I can't make anyone do that, nor would I if I could. Free will and what not. But I'd hope that if you buy Link, no matter where it falls on your TBR, you'll make your way around to it. It's out of this world!

Thanks for having me, Ryan! Always a pleasure.

Well. Seems Summer escaped my clutches relatively unscathed. Congrats?

About Summer Wier

Summer Wier is an MBA toting accountant, undercover writer, and all around jack-of-all-trades. Link is her debut novel and the first in The Shadow of Light series. She has three short stories appearing in Fairly Twisted Tales for A Horribly Ever After and co-authors the Splinter web serial. When she’s not digging through spreadsheets or playing mom, you can find her reading/writing, cooking, or dreaming of the mountains in Montana.

Check out more of YA author Summer Wier on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Wait! There's more! Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway!!


New Month, Same Goals by Ryan Hill

 

It's a new month, which means there's got to be one or two people out there interested in what I have to say, right Mom and Dad? Mom? Dad? Anyone?

*crickets*

Pfft. Like my parents read my stuff anyway. And I'm 100% okay with that. I meant it. Really. I STILL LOVE YOU TWO. NO HATE AT ALL.

New Month

September should be a fun month. I finally get to meet my little niece Jo, college football starts (Go Wolfpack!), fantasy football also begins, and the otherworldly, non-climate change* induced armpit of heat and humidity known as summer goes away. 

sarcasm

Same Goals

My goal(s) are the same they have been for the past few years. Have enough success to where I can write novels full-time, then go from there. 

To get more specific, I'm still shopping around my latest manuscript, The Conch Shell of Doom, to agents in the literary world. Some of you may think that's an absurd title for a novel, and to that I say OF COURSE IT IS. Some of you may also think nobody worth their salt would be interested in a novel with such an absurd title, and to that I say SHUT UP MAYBE SOMEBODY WILL.

Anyone who knows me knows that a novel called The Conch Shell of Doom is right up my alley. It's a fun, paranormal, Goonies-style romp. It will see the light of day, that much I can promise. I'm just not sure how.

I'm also hard at work on an UNTITLED YA MANUSCRIPT, which is a non-funny, non-silly, dark story with one of the most original titles in the history of books. Yes, I mostly write silly books, but I also like to stretch my writer muscles and dive into areas that are new or unfamiliar to me - in this case, a female POV. The story revolves around an 18-year-old teen girl who visits her brother's killer in jail, only to come away wondering if the wrong person was convicted. Scandalous! 

Work also continues on the TV pilot script for The Book of Bart, which I'm co-writing with my friend Josh Lanier, a writer for the Charlotte sketch comedy group Robot Johnson. I'm still a little over halfway through with The Unspoken Rule: The Book of Bart Verse 2, but it's currently on the back-burner while I expand my writing horizons. Not to worry! Once my Untitled novel is finished, Verse 2 is next on the docket.

 

 

INTERVIEW: Drew Hayes, Author of UNDEATH AND TAXES by Ryan Hill

 

Drew Hayes is a dirty bastard. Wait. That's a lie. He's actually really nice, and from what I've noticed, his hygiene is up to snuff. So he's not literally a dirty bastard. Figuratively, however, that's another story all-together.

See, Drew is one of those rare folk who get to call writing stories their career. My brain even grumbled "dirty bastard" as I typed that last sentence. Regardless, Drew is a great guy and is back with Undeath and Taxes, the follow-up to his ridiculously fun The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant. 

To celebrate the occasion, Drew subjected himself to the rigorous and potentially soul-crushing grind that is... a Q&A with Ryan.

Enjoy!

Where does Undeath and Taxes pick up? How much time has passed since the original? 

It’s been a few months. They are successfully out of Holiday Alley (Halloween to New Year) where the first one took place.

Why a Fred sequel? What made you want to return to this world? Where are Fred, Krystal, and Albert now?

The why is easy, I had fun the first time and had some ideas for where I wanted things to go. That’s pretty much all it takes for a sequel, though the fact that it was so well received doesn’t hurt either. As for where they are, more or less still in the same places. Not much has changed, save for Fred expanding both his business and his specialization by becoming a Certified Public Parahuman Accountant.

You have an awfully unique/awesome release day ritual. Care to share it?

Sure! I start the day with a $5 bottle of champagne (because I do well enough to pay the bills, but I ain’t on the Times Bestseller List or anything). Then I hop onto social media and answer questions pretty much all day. Of course, I know the part you’re really asking about is the fact that I have a shot every time I get a 5-star review on launch day. It’s my way of celebrating, and cheers-ing the speed/beta readers who liked the book enough to hop on and get things started on a positive note. Luckily, not many people can get through a book on launch day, which is probably why this tradition hasn’t killed me yet.

How similar is your writing style to your release day ritual? I'd imagine they're almost one and the same.

Like my mother told me when I tried to enter the workforce with an English degree, “You’re in for some disappointment.” Shockingly enough, I actually very rarely drink when I’m working. Hemingway might have been able to write drunk and edit sober, but he’s also a legend for a reason. For me, it’s hard to get into the zone when I’m buzzed, so I tend to only write when sober. This is also why the great bulk of my work gets done in the morning, freeing me up for beers at lunch.

With the title Undeath and Taxes, I'd imagine there's a bit more accounting in the sequel. Is there? Did you study accounting? Did you just Google accounting for dummies for Fred? WHAT IS YOUR FASCINATION WITH ACCOUNTING, MAN????

I never studied accounting, although I did work for a stock brokerage at one point, so I know a fair bit about investments and types of retirement accounts. As for why it keeps sticking around, well, it’s what Fred is great at. He might be a cowardly vampire with severe fear of confrontation, but he is one hell of an accountant.

The first Fred had a very episodic, serialized format where it told one big story, but it was almost like a TV show where you could pick it up at the start of any episode and know what was going on. Is Undeath like that?

Yes indeed, it’s another five novellas that combine to form one whole story. I’m not sure I’d ever use this method for any other book I write, but for some reason it just seems to fit well with Fred. A sole plot with a sprawling lead-up would demand an action-packed, high-paced conclusion. With the smaller stories, I can have smaller pay-offs, or sometimes show there was no real threat in the first place, and it works because there hasn’t been as much build-up.

Time for a little vamp on vamp, mano e mano action. How would Fred fare in a Kumite style tournament against these other vampires? Also, if you weren't aware, Kumite is an underground fighting tournament that was popularized in the 1988 Jean-Claude Van Damme classic Bloodsport. Also, if you didn't know that, shame on you and a pox on your house.

Fred vs Literary Dracula

Fred helps Dracula register his castle as a historic landmark, shows him how to use it as a proper deduction on his taxes, and saves the older vampire a ton of money. They are cool.

Fred vs Gary Oldman Dracula

Same as Lit. Dracula. Money is money.

Fred vs the entire Cullen clan and whiny Taylor Lautner from Twilight

Fred calls Krystal to let her know there’s a bunch of dipshits having supernatural fights out in the open. Two days later, there are nothing but smoking husks and we’re all saved from getting dragged to any more movies.

Ryan note: Oh, if this were actually the case

Fred vs Jim Carrey in Once Bitten

Fred gets Jim Carrey clear of the older vampire who is feeding on him, ideally into rehab. Then he finds the woman doing the feeding and helps her find a nice psychologist to deal with these “virgin-hunting” issues that have plagued her for so long.

Ryan note: I see what you did there Drew, and I like it. For more "virgin-hunting," check out my AWARD-WINNING novel THE BOOK OF BART. #shamelessplug

Fred vs Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn

Yeah… if Fred sets foot in that world, he’s pretty much dead. But like, permanently, this time.

Fred vs Eric Northman from True Blood

Fred offers to do freelance accounting at a sharp discount, which as a business man Eric can’t turn down. Fred then telecommutes as often as possible, steering clear of all the fucking, staking, and general chaos of that world. Also he makes sure to send a nice bottle of scotch for Christmas, just like with all his high-end clients.

Fred vs vampire Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)

Movie world, that’s a tough one. Probably get killed in the background of a scene unceremoniously. Now if it were the TV show, I think we could make a strong case for Fred becoming the first vampire Watcher.

In haiku format, tell everyone why they need to go out and buy Undeath and Taxes. Also, do you care what people do with your books after they've been purchased? What if someone bought one of your books and just pooped on it? This can be for paperback or e-book.

Despite what you think
Paperwork can save the day
Although fangs help too

I would heartily recommend against using an e-book to wipe, as those Kindles are bulky, hard, and do not flush worth a damn.

About Undeath & Taxes:

After discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an Undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected--he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters and their respective financial needs. 

Said monsters are, unfortunately, still spectacular at pulling Fred into trouble, though. And despite merely wanting to stick with simple paperwork, Fred once again finds he is going to have to deal with enchanted weaponry, government agents, possessed houses, and one enigmatic dragon’s interest. In the parahuman world, any business can turn deadly, even one as mundane as accounting.

Buy Undeath & Taxes Today!


Author Bio:

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

See Drew talk about himself in first person on his website and twitter.

#UtopYA2015! by Ryan Hill

 

Greetings!

Some exciting stuff going on the next couple of weeks. HOW EXCITING, you ask? Hoooooo boy. I wish I could say I won the lottery, but it's pretty exciting nonetheless.

Tomorrow, well technically starting tonight, since I'll be making the first part of the 8+ hour drive tonight with a layover at my parents' house, I'm on my way to UtopYA2015 in Nashville!


It's going to be a blast. At least, it better be. Otherwise, somebody's car is getting keyed. But I'm pretty confident it's going to be amazing, so everyone should be safe from my keys o' doom. I'll be signing books on Friday, giving out sweet, soap-based swag (brain soap, Doctor Who Tardis soap), candy, and I'm even having a contest where you can win some pretty nifty Doctor Who items!

Anyone who signs up for my newsletter at UtopYA will receive one free entry into the contest, and an extra five entries will be given to those who buy one of my books (ten extra entries if both are purchased). Winners will be chosen using a random number generator online, and will have the option of picking one of these prizes:

A Doctor Who (10th Doctor) Mr. Potato Head

Doctor Who exploding TARDIS mug

A Dalek

he giveaway will only be happening Friday, since that's the day I'm signing books. If you're in or around Nashville, come on down!

But the exciting news doesn't end there!

Both THE BOOK OF BART and DEAD NEW WORLD have been selected by Amazon to be Kindle Daily Deals! This has the potential to be HUGE. Like... win the lottery huge.

Sooooo many new sets of eyeballs will see my books for the first time, and there's all kinds of potential to crack the Kindle Marketplace Top 100, and maybe even more than that! However, I'm going to need your help do this.

I've got a Thunderclap campaign set up for BART, and need at least 100 people to sign up in order for the campaign to take place. All you have to do is go to the campaign page, sign up, and Thunderclap will send out the message for you.

How flippin' easy is that? Plus, you're helping someone, which has to feel good. Doubly so since it's me you're helping. 

Volunteer for THE BOOK OF BART's Thunderclap here

 

COVER REVEAL - UNDEATH AND TAXES by Drew Hayes!!! by Ryan Hill

 

After discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an Undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected--he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters and their respective financial needs. 

Said monsters are, unfortunately, still spectacular at pulling Fred into trouble, though. And despite merely wanting to stick with simple paperwork, Fred once again finds he is going to have to deal with enchanted weaponry, government agents, possessed houses, and one enigmatic dragon’s interest. In the parahuman world, any business can turn deadly, even one as mundane as accounting.

 

Add Undeath & Taxes on goodreads


Author Bio:

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

See Drew talk about himself in first person on his website and twitter.

THE BOOK OF BART won a humor award!!! by Ryan Hill

 

So, remember (or not; the point is I REMEMBER) how THE BOOK OF BART was named a finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards - Humor category? Guess what? Another contest, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, a fine institution with a superior sense of humor to the USA Best Book Awards, has named THE BOOK OF BART as Best Humor/Comedy novel in their 2015 awards!!!!!

Yes, everyone's favorite well-dressed demon is also the funniest demon... at least according to the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. And that's just for 2015. Next year it could be something completely different. Who knows with these things? 

 

Regardless, thanks so much to the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for recognizing THE BOOK OF BART!!!


The Six Stages of Reading George R.R. Martin's A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series by Ryan Hill

 

One doesn't simply sit down to read George R.R. Martin's mammoth A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series. It's an investment in time. LOTS of time. YEARS even. For anyone who reads a lot, each entry in the series (five and counting) is so friggin long, they're the equivalent of three to four "normal length" books. That's not to say the books aren't fantastic, they just require you to give up years of your life to finish them.

So, while you're reading the books, partly for enjoyment and partly because you refuse to let the GAME OF THRONES TV show never, ever, ever rip your heart and your guts out at the same time again, that pile of books sitting on the book shelf waiting to be read only grows larger, adding to the anxiety that your life is spinning out of control because these books are so time-consuming and you'll never reach a point where you can read a book not written by George R.R. Martin in this lifetime. 

Now...

Stage One: Excitement

That's right! Screw you, HBO! You're not going to pull another Red Wedding on THIS guy. I'll already know what's happened! LET'S DO THIS

Stage Two: The crushing blow of reality

Okay, been reading A GAME OF THRONES for a few weeks now, and... shit. Over 600 pages to go. This is really good and all, but damn.

Stage Three: Depression

Three months in. Still 400 pages to go. Most of my relationships never lasted this long. Body shutting down. Tell Mom I love her.

Stage Four: Hope

Only 200 pages to go! Heads are getting lopped off left and right! I can see the finish line!

 

Stage Five: Triumph

Oh yeah! Just finished a 900 page book! It's Miller Time!

One down... wait.

No.

No...

Four to go? At least the ones that have come out? So, after knocking out 900 pages, there's still 4,000 more to go? I WILL NEVER CATCH UP TO THIS DAMN SHOW. 

Stage six: Complete and utter defeat

Just... go on without me. Try to remember the good things we shared. I'm not getting out of Westeros with my head attached to my body.