Monday, December 9, 2013

AN UPDATE ON THE ACADIA EVENT

It was after the release of my debut novel: THE EQUINOX and during my first season as a Winter Road Driver that a concept I was toying with began to come together. Pushing northward across frozen lakes I discussed the concept with my pal Brad and both of us spent hours discussing plot elements and characters. Well, actually, I rambled on and Brad listened politely. When I returned home to Ontario there were two novel ideas and so I wrote two separate prologues and  gave them to the two people whose opinion I value. 

   The first being my wife, Karen. I had to put her first because she's my wife and and I'm a heavy sleeper. Enough said. The second prologue went to Jim Steel. Both prologues opened up on two very separate novel ideas. The one I gave to Karen, simply called: 4,  was a opening to a psychological thriller. The second was a science fiction/horror called: Acadia Event. I planned on writing both of these books, but I wanted to get a feel for which one I should proceed by the reaction I got.

   Jim seemed pretty enthusiastic about ACADIA EVENT while Karen didn't get around to reading 4 until I was on a plane back to Alberta. I attribute that to the fact that she wanted to spend time with me and not my muse. The next day, in an email she told me that I had to write this book. That right from the get go, "4" grabbed her and pulled her in. "Dump that other monster thing your working on," she insisted. "This is the book!" Little did she know that I was already heavily invested in Acadia Event and three chapters had already been emailed out to Jim for review, besides that, I really wasn't in charge anymore. My muse had taken the wheel on this.

    At first I thought Acadia would be a smaller book than Equinox, but as I began to develop characters and find their voices I realized that my initial estimation was wrong. The first draft, which isn't quite done has already surpassed THE EQUINOX in length and unlike it's predecessor won't require the same paring down. This book is a lot tighter and I am happy with its progression, but its a grind pulling days that range between 12 and 16 hours, then finding the ability to open up that door and enter their world. Acadia will be finished at the end of this year, but it won't be ready to go to press until sometime in the Spring of 2014. 
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him into the public. --Winston Churchill 

   Writing a book is a magical endeavor, that is, until you have to abandon the creative process and focus on the mechanics of the story. That is where the real work begins. The line by line grind and polish which is necessary, but nonetheless a labor. So that is where I am with that. My plan is to finish the first draft before the end of the year, let it rest for a short period and go to work on my third novel 4. After a short rest, possibly a month to six weeks, I will go back with fresh eyes and a red pen. Then the real work begins. The format of the book is already in place as is the cover, so its really just about polishing. I am going to put the readied manuscript into the hands of a couple beta readers and once that is done it will be published. I hope those of you waiting for this book will forgive me for the slow down, but before you know it the monster will be flung out into the public.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PROJECTS

   Great Old Ones publishing is launching another anthology and although it is not set in stone yet, I may again be putting together their cover art and possibly contributing a story. The theme this time is creepy crawlies. A subject near and dear to my heart. My how art imitates life. I am reminded of a war I waged with cockroaches when I was the superintendent of a townhouse complex. Man, if only I had my camera back then.

   I am also going to be giving THE EQUINOX a facelift, with a new cover and a table of contents, as well a person of interest has agreed to write a foreword for the newly launched book. 

   So keep an eye out for that.

   Well that sums up, I hope this season finds you in a place with family and friends. Finally, a congratulatory message to both Philip Perron of Dark Discussions Fame and his significant other Joanna on the birth of their daughter Colette. 

All the best
MJ Preston


 

MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in 2014
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 RATED AS ONE OF THE 
BEST HORROR NOVELS TO HIT BOOKSHELVES IN THE LAST 10 YEARS!!

'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
Get your copy of The Equinox  
Sold in Hardcover and Trade Paperback
             

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We are Writers!


Philip Perron Melissa Gates and DB Poirer
Often misunderstood, sometimes introverted and unbalanced or starkly outgoing and popular. Art is often consumed with gluttony while being minimized as unimportant. Oh the perils of being an artist in such an uncaring and cold world. The truth about art, or the artist at least, is that it is the struggle that makes the art.
Today I sit behind my laptop listening to Tangerine Dream, sipping coffee well past its life cycle that has thickened and pour over the many photos from Anthocon. I should be working on my novel, but I'm distracted... That happens.

In these photos I see typical writers. Pass them on the street and they are just people, no red carpet, no self indulgence, just folks you meet every day. They could be your brother, your father, sister or best friend. They travail over their work, playing out their stories in their minds. These psychological movies envelope their consciousness. What happens in the gray matter is surely only a
mixture of chemicals and synaptic pulses, but to the creator it is orgasmic.

Sorry, couldn't find a more appropriate word. Perhaps that is because it is what it is.
Author Kyle Rader
Orgasmic of an almost sexual nature.

Their struggle often entails a day job, pulling long hours away from their true passion, but necessary to pay the bills. They do not want red carpets or to be one of the beautiful people. Not at all. They just want to share this experience, to tell the tale that unfolds and to release it to the world. Their stories, like children are born and set out onto a world to which they hope they will be embraced, accepted, and even loved.

Today I poured over the many pictures of artists, like myself, who are sharing in a collective birthing of their passion. On one hand I am saddened that I could not share in this event, but that is overshadowed by the deep humbling I feel with a sense of pride at what is being displayed.

Sometimes the road is hard and it can be a struggle to carry on, but to see this... This fruition of hard work, that is the pay-off. 
I am in awe to be in your company and say with great glee.

We are Writers...


H.P. Lovecraft, T.G. Arsenault, Michael Bailey, Eric S. Brown, Judi Calhoun, Tracy L. Carbone, Karen Dent, Roxanne Dent, Jonathan Dubey, Allen Dusk, Melissa Gates, Marianne Halbert, David Hayes, Michael Hughes, Joe Knetter, Esther S. Leiper-Estabrooks, John McIlveen, Gregory L. Norris, Philip C. Perron, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, D. B. Poirier, James Pratt, M. J. Preston, Kyle Rader, Suzanne Robb, Gord Rollo, Lawrence Santoro, Brett A. Savory, B.E. Scully, Henry Snider, and Erin Thorne.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jars, Mummies and Hidden Secrets

Some months back I was approached by Dark Discussions host-founder Philip Perron about doing cover art and contributing a story for an upcoming anthology called Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification. Actually, that rather lengthy title hadn't been thought up yet. Phil just said that the theme was Canopic Jars and or Mummies, and maybe even some mummification. Initially I agreed to the cover art, but didn't commit to a story because I am hip deep in writing my new book and didn't think I could afford the time or distraction. Besides, what could I write about mummies that hadn't already been written? So I agreed to support the project artistically, which was being spearheaded by Great Old Ones Publishing and Phil suddenly became my conduit to two other gentlemen: DB Poirier and Gregory L. Norris.

     During my off time I did a couple of conceptual pieces, that I bounced off to Phil, who in turn bounced to Poirier and Norris. The initial drawings were rough, but as time went on they began to come together and suddenly a little piece of magic occurred. Art is a medium I often use when I write, but it is not the only medium. Either through art or photography or even music my muse  sometimes whispers and when this happens, it pays to listen. In this case, the cover I was putting together began to awaken a story that might be suitable for the Mummy Jar Anthology.

     I sent off a new cover and began thinking about my first book THE EQUINOX, but more specifically a character from the book. A Chicago Police Detective named Sean Woodman who made a brief appearance in the beginning and near the end of that book as a supporting character. I liked Sean Woodman, he was smart, tough and he would never find resolution to a string of serial murders that occurred on his watch. Woodman simply came into the story early on and turned up later on when another string of bizarre killings took place in a little town called Thomasville after the Chief of Police contacted him about a possible connection.

    I always wondered what had become of Woodman and suddenly as I stared into the piece which would become the front cover and another piece that would end up as the rear cover, my muse didn't just whisper, but began to rant. "Take him back to the Run-off. Run-off 31!" And so my fingers did their ritualistic drunken dance n the keyboard as the story spilled out and onto the page. I was done the piece in about three hours. I toiled over it for a day or two. Sent it to Writer Pal, R. James Steel. He sent it back and I gave it another going over. Then I forwarded it onto Phil, who in turn took it to the boys and they accepted it.

     Along with my piece there are also stories submitted by Gord Rollo, B.E. Scully some guy named HP Lovecraft and many many more. I have had a chance to read a few of these stories and have to say that there is some real treasures in this book. Who knew that there could be so many interesting variations on the Mummy tale.  Go out and grab a copy of this book, if not to read something by me, but to get a candy dish of different tales from which you can sample one at a time or gorge yourself completely. Either way, the fix will be a rush so check out the link at the end of this post.

      With that in mind, I'm going to borrow from B.E. Scully and post an excerpt from my story Run-off 31.  I say borrow, because Scully did the same thing in her blog, so I am openly admitting that this is not an original idea. Without further adieu here is an excerpt from Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification.
 


Run-off 31
by MJ Preston


1
     The bodies started turning up in late July. Before long, police began to think that this was not the work of one serial killer, but two, possibly even three. The only flaw in this thinking lay in the fact that every victim had been left with an identical incision from solar plexus to belly button. Some of the detectives called them the 'X Killings', because carved into each victims belly was an X that was not a symbol, but the end result of evisceration. The reason they speculated the killings couldn't possibly be committed by one perpetrator, the sheer number of victims. To date there were 44, and the dead weren't more than a day or two old when they began turning up. Now, into the end of August, meant only one thing, the killer or killers, were claiming a victim a day on average, with the odd double.

     Sean Woodman was not assigned to the case, he wasn't even a cop anymore, but he followed closely through the papers. It reminded of a case he'd worked back in his days as a Chicago Police Detective. A case that was never closed. He'd been young and cocky back then, but along with his damn-the-torpedoes attitude, he also had a talent for seeing things others missed. And with the exception of that one unsolved case, he'd cleared a lot of murders. Those cleared cases garnished a respect which would eventually pave the way to a door plate which read: Deputy Chief of Police. That was the end of the line for Woodman. He wasn't a cop anymore, just a PR man who practiced politics with the best of them. Truth was, he hated it. He missed the smell of an unsolved case and made it his business to poke his head in on a task force or two to get a whiff of that scent.

     At first they thought he was some crazy micro-manager from upstairs. But Woodman proved a great help to his fellow officers; and even better, he took zero credit. Word got around, and after a while the task force cops to start coming to him for insight. 

     Chief Jorgenson didn't like it when Woodman got down in the trenches with the troops. Woodman thought that dislike was born out of resent. Jorgenson had been an career pencil pusher and had no cred with the cops he commanded. Although Jorgenson disapproved, there was no real reason to put a halt to Woodman's actions. He balanced his position as Deputy Chief with an occasional task force consultation quite well. When a case cleared, the Chief did what any politician would do. He held a press conference – congratulated his officers, and basked unabashedly in their success.

     Then the unthinkable happened to Woodman. The unthinkable being, a car accident that resulted in the death of his wife Jesse. Then there was the trace amounts of alcohol in his bloodstream that hardly registered .04 on the breathalyzer. He hadn't blown enough to be charged, he wasn't legally drunk, but Jesse was gone and when word got out, the media hooked onto him like a pariah. They dogged him about the accident, and about how much he'd drank after someone leaked the blood alcohol tests. 

     His career ended in much the same way Jesse's life ended. Abrupt and without mercy. He found himself standing before the Mayor and Chief Jorgenson. On either side, like book ends, a Public Relations Bitch and the City Lawyer. Set neatly on a table before them, a stack of paper roughly an inch and a half thick. 

     That's the “The Big Fuck You”, he thought. Somewhere through that he heard the Mayor offering words of regret, and there was even a round of condolence. But was it was hollow, the papers on that table spoke more about what was at play than these four assholes put together. In the end he did the only thing he could do. He signed his resignation, took a handsome buyout and left them to pat each other on the back. That was the end of Sean Woodman's career in the Chicago Police Department. And though he was gone, he never forgot that one big case that got away. The one with the Indian named Blackbird and the bodies of women they found in the Chicago sewers. They had also been eviscerated, but the belly's of those girls had been torn open. They called the case Little Big Horn, because on the evening of the last murder there had been an exchange of fire which included the use of a cross bow. Considering that Daniel Blackbird had been of Native descent and was the one firing the arrows, the name stuck.  

     Scott Emmett showed up on his doorstep with a case file thicker than a city phone book. He liked Emmett, but he was adamant that his days as a cop were over. Emmett was the son-in- law of his partner and best friend, Brad Rosedale. Coincidentally, Rosedale had been a part of that forgotten case as well. Unlike Woodman, Brad moved on. In fact he moved all the way on down to Tennessee; somewhere between Nashville and Memphis with his third wife. 

      “I can't do this Scott. In fact if Jorgenson found out you were on my doorstep you could find yourself in deep shit. You could lose your job.”

      “Well, normally I'd say fuck Jorgenson, but to be honest, he sanctioned this visit,” Emmett replied. 
     “Don Jorgenson told you to come see me?”

     “Yeah.”

     Woodman laughed, not because it was funny, but because he couldn't believe the bastard would have the nerve. “Nothing personal Scott, but you can tell Jorgenson to could go fuck himself.”

      “We need your help Sean.”

      “Why should I care? I'm not a cop anymore.”

      “The last one was a 10 year-old girl.” 
      “Jesus Christ.” Woodman sighed and pushed open the screen door. 


***

END EXCERPT

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 If you want to check out this story and others, grab yourself a copy of the book Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification on Amazon.com 


 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Support of the Arts

by Mj Preston


One of the toughest things about breaking out as a new author is getting people to notice you; especially if you're an independent. Since getting into this gig I have learned a thing or two about human nature. We as humans love to take, but we have a harder time giving.
     I am speaking of course of the importance of giving reviews. I'm not getting up on a soapbox to lecture people about how I'm a starving artist and I have it so bad and if it wasn't for you people holding back on your wonderful reviews of my book I'd be living on the same street as James Cameron and Francis Ford Coppola.
     Although, let's face it, that would be kind of cool.
     Recently, in the spirit of thanks, I offered up three of my books exclusively to Dark Discussions members as a way of saying “thanks” to the group for all the support I've received on my debut novel: THE EQUINOX. I'm not like Stephen King or Tom Clancy
or even JK Rowling. I didn't get the break that allowed me to hand back the keys to my big rig and walk away. I'm a pretty realistic guy, I'm 48 years old, I have one book in publication and working overtime to get second book out that has a working title of Acadia Event. While doing this I have to balance a life just like you, I pull long hours, sometimes as long as 16 per day, I work away from home, and I make sacrifices to take care of my family. I'm not bitching, don't get me wrong, I'm relatively content. Of course I'd like to be home, maybe spend more time with my lady, work in my study to write, instead of over the steering wheel of a truck.
      But all in all, I'm not walking around tripping over my lip crying out, “I could have been a contender.”
      Not everyone can be Stephen King. And heck, who wants to be Stephen King anyway, he's one gangly looking bugger aint he? I kid of course, I would have loved to have the ability to get up in the morning and go to work in my office banging away on my keyboard for four or five hours. Because it really is a high when you get to do this. And from a personal standpoint, when someone reads your work and is happily able to escape for a few hours that is better than any paycheck.
     Something that was mentioned on the Dark Discussions Podcast really hit home with me. I think it was host Eric Webster, who gave a bit of insight on the directors of a film called Resolution: He stated, and this is not verbatim, that if you want to see these guys make more films you got to get out and watch their movies. Not download them in torrents or bootleg copies, but spend a few bucks to support an up-and-coming artist. The other thing you have to do is spread the word. This is where reviews come in and this is what helps an artist get to that next level so they're not sacrificing their art in order to eat..
     I will probably work outside the writing trade for the rest of my life, I don't see any movie deals on the horizon and I don't know how many books I have left my system. Two more for sure, but maybe more. I do know that I love this art and it brings me great pleasure. I also know that until I can't see a monitor I will write for
the rest of my life. The most precious commodity I have at my fingertips is time. For me, time yields the greatest value, beyond fame or fortune. Now while it may be too late for me to hand in the keys to my big rig and say to my boss, “Catch you later alligator.” There are many up-and-coming young artists out there who need your support, so that they can do what it is that they were intended to do. Be it music, painting, photography, film direction, acting and on and on it goes...
     Talented people bring us day-to-day pleasure and help us escape our own worlds if not for a few pages or notes as we join them in their world. So I'm going to ask you please, support the arts. If you read a book by somebody that you like, scribble out a few words about that book and post it where that book is being sold. Better yet, go to your public library and request that book be ordered in. The same goes for music, movies, photographers and painters. It really is a waste for somebody to set aside their gift because they can't support themselves. Not only for them, but for all of us.
     With that said, I'll take a second to tell you little bit about what's going on with me. Right now I am working on my new novel, astime allows I'm trying to get the first draft down on paper before summers end. If the Gods shine on me it should be in print by Christmas. 
     After Acadia Event I have a third novel to follow simply called: 4 – and yes,  I am not lost on the fact that my third novel is called 4. My photo book is two thirds done. But I really want to finish the Acadia Event, so it has priority over everything. 
     In addition to that I was sanctioned by Great Old Ones Publishing to contribute a story to an upcoming anthology and I have also had the pleasure of doing the cover art. Those two bits are done, I'm looking forward to the final cut.
     That's it for me but I'm not done yet, I want to bring two short tales to your attention. They're both by an author that I met through Dark Discussions.  That author's name is Gord Rollo. The two stories in question are Crowley's Window and Peeler.
     Rollo has a very distinctive style and weaves a tale masterfully. I enjoyed both of these stories; my only bitch about them is that they were a little too short and I was forced to leave Rollo's macabre world before I was ready. But we don't pick where the story ends and in the case of these two shorts they ended exactly where they were supposed to. 
     Gord Rollo has a number of books in publication that can be purchased on Amazon.com. His e-books are fairly inexpensive so be sure to check him out and once your finished, do him a solid and leave a review.

     Okay, time to set this aside and head North.

     Mj Preston


MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in late 2013
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 RATED AS ONE OF THE 
BEST HORROR NOVELS TO HIT BOOKSHELVES IN THE LAST 10 YEARS!!
'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
Get your copy of The Equinox  
Sold in Hardcover and Trade Paperback
Click on the books below for more details
                      

Thursday, July 4, 2013

THE DEAD DON'T SPEAK

by MJ Preston

I have been reading since I was kid. I started out with comic books, moved up to novels written by the likes of Stephen King, Frank Herbert, Robert R McCammon and then there were scores of other writers, outside the realm of horror. To name a few, Frederick Forsyth and Tom Clancy who took me for a ride withThe Dogs of War or into the trenches of World War 3 with Red Storm Rising. My appetite for reading was not limited to fiction either, I grew very interested in true crime, historical events and I am an incurable news junkie. What am saying here? Well, I like reading, I don't get to do it nearly enough, but I try to do it as often as possible and if I can't settle back with a book, I'll plug in an audio book.

So, as hard as this might be to believe, I have a confession to make. Up until last year I had never read a single book by Dean Koontz. It wasn't because I had heard anything negative about Koontz, I just hadn't discovered him. Last year, I purchased an old book by him called: Lightening, which was a cool time travel bit in which Nazi's were trying to change the future. I followed this up with a book called: The Voice of the Night which he penned under the name Brian Coffey. The second book wasn't quite as good as the first, but Koontz has an interesting approach to story telling. I might not have picked up another book by Koontz, there are so many out there by so many capable authors and time seems to be the only thing holding me back from indulging in my favorite indulgence.


Six months ago, in a second hand store with my wife, who was clearly looking for something she could afford on my starving artists wages, I picked up a book another Koontz book for a quarter. I figured I'd grab the dog eared paperback and sit in the car while she toiled over the treasure trove of shit other people didn't want in their home. If the book was a dud I'd be out a quarter, if it wasn't I drag it along with me to any place I'd be happy to wait. 

Sitting down in the driver seat, setting it to recline, I thumbed open the paperback and was introduced to the main character who, in the first person, said, “My name is Odd Thomas.”


By the second paragraph, I was hooked and knew that when my wife came out I would have to grudgingly put the book down. 

As I quickly found out, Odd Thomas was a 20-Something Fry Cook slinging hash browns and pancakes in the Peco Mundo Grill, which was set somewhere on the California Coast. As Odd revealed himself, he made mention of his dysfunctional parents, with whom he is estranged – his adopted family, comprised of father figure, Chief Wyatt Porter, and his mentor, Little Ozzie, a morbidly obese and successful mystery writer who tells Odd to keep the tone of the story is telling you light. Most notably, Odd speaks of his love, Stormy Llewellyn with whom he is destined to spend the rest of his life. Once settling into the world of Odd Thomas, his family and friends I also discovered one other thing. Odd sees the dead,e and he attempts to help them to pass from this world to the next. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that many of those who come to Odd Thomas for help are often the victims of violent circumstances. In the opening of the first book, he is visited by the ghost of a brutally murdered girl and sets out to catch her killer. That is where the story opens, but doesn't end when he is successful in catching her killer.

In fact, it is only an introduction to the world of Odd Thomas who in the first book of the same name. Along with the victims of violent crimes, Odd often finds himself in the company of Elvis Presley's ghost, who has not moved on to the next world for reasons Odd has yet to understand. Oh yeah, one other thing. Odd also sees apparitions known as: Bodachs which he speculates are either demons or time travelers that feed off massive loss of life with horrific drama.



Anton Yelchin cast as Odd Thomas
I'm not going to spoil the books for you. I will tell you that I have read five of the Odd Thomas Books: Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Hours, and Odd Apocalypse. And I'm not finished, there are more books to read and now a motion picture adaption of the first book. I can also confess that the humor and light tone of these books are a pleasant escape told completely in the first person. Odd Thomas, is a selfless individual who manages to stay upbeat and positive in the face of an adverse and cynical world. His only conceit is his greatest talent and I am paraphrasing here as he declares, “No one makes fluffier pancakes than me. So light and fluffy. they almost float of the plate.” Koontz delivers this likeable young man who has faces murder, mayhem, torture, heart wrenching loss, but still he carries on. 

Unlike you or I, Odd does not fear death, because he knows what waits for him, Odd continues his quest to give justice those who cannot demand it because as he puts it.



The dead don't speak.

M



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Building the Perfect Beast

by MJ Preston

This brings me to the 3rd installment of the MAY MONSTER blog hop and to the end of my blog regarding digital art. My present writing project is a horror novel which is under the working title: ACADIA EVENT. I say working title, because I haven't pledged myself fully to this title. It may not change between now and publication, but I can't guarantee it won't. I am taking a "wait and see" approach because given the opportunity to go back and rename my debut novel I think I would have definitely gone with another title. That aside, I think I should warn you up front that I'm not going to tell you what the new novel is about. Instead I am going to post some artwork here and allow you to draw your own conclusions.  
     And with that said here you go. I present to you a monolithic piece awash in emerald green and super nova blue detonating from my minds eye and tunneling straight into your cerebral cortex.

Artwork for ACADIA EVENT is an ongoing process that happens chapter by chapter.
     When I started Acadia I decided to use the same approach I did with 'The Equinox'.  which is to create virtual storyboards and use them to mold the things I see in my minds eye as I approach writing each new chapter.

     In writing the new book I was left to consider what the new monster(s) would look like and I began churning out ideas. An early picture had the creature looking somewhat like a conehead and though I liked it and it remains in an early promotional piece, it would not stay the same as it evolved.

    In the first drafts it stood upright, with an exoskeleton and primitive claws that could pluck out an eye or better yet an internal organ to feast upon. But the more I learned about this creature and how it would eventually operate I thought it best to both change how it walked and give it the ability of something that had higher intelligence. 

As you can see in the following pictures the creature carries itself in a dog-like stance, but it also has a human characteristic in that it has opposing thumbs. In the following three picks you can actually see a minor evolution taking place.
The end result of this exercise is not only to solidify how this monster, but how it will act as it bounds across the pages of my new novel taking victims as it does.
      I came up with a name for the creature as well. I call it a Skentophyte as to what that actually means; you'll have to read the book when it comes in the latter part of 2013. In addition to the wiley fellow you see on the left there is another creature that is involved with the Skentophytes, but I'll hold onto that tidbit until the book is ready. With that said, I aam going to stop rampling before I give something else away and just post a bunch of artwork and let it do my talking.
     Just a quick note to let those know who frequent this page I will be doing a bit of traveling over the next day or so. Given that, I may miss a blog or two and I ask your forgiveness in advance.  

     Thanks for the feedback and kind words. Be sure to check out all the other cool blogs during this weeks MAY MONSTER MADNESS and kudos to the founders. Okay, enough of my yammering. 








  

  

MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in late 2013
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 RATED AS ONE OF THE 
BEST HORROR NOVELS TO HIT BOOKSHELVES IN THE LAST 10 YEARS!!
'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
Get your copy of The Equinox  
Sold in Hardcover and Trade Paperback
Click on the books below for more details
                      


(Submissions close in 7d 2h 30m)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Welcome to the City of the Dead

The Stranger known as: the 4th Horseman carries with him a darkness.
by MJ Preston

Along with generating a pile of Equinox art I also start creating work for a pictorial I was going to call: The 4th Horseman. The concept was simple enough. A stranger carrying a bag walks into a city and unleashes something that changes city into a hell on earth. Not a new concept by any means. Author Richard Matheson gave us 'I am Legend' which spawned three films adaptions: The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971) and I am Legend (2007). Along with Matheson's influential novel, the film Resident Evil (2002) used biological disaster caused by an evil corporation to turn people in Racoon City into cannibalistic zombies. It also went on to become a major franchise and set into motion an epidemic of zombie movies. Including the critically acclaimed HBO series 'The Walking Dead' based on the Graphic Novel originally penned by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore in 2003.
After the 4th Horseman arrives things change drastically.
     Over saturation and the fact that I don't think my Artistic ability is anywhere near the caliber of illustrators like Tony Moore forced me to face reality. So after a flurry of creativity I got back to writing and abandon the idea of doing a graphic novel. At least in this particular genre. But that is not  to say that I am completely out. I have looked at a few other concepts, including adding illustrations to books. And that is because I truly love this medium of work. It is a lot of fun.
In the City of the Dead law enforcement is a must.

      The one thing I did get from this exercise was the inspiration for a couple of new books. No, not books about the City of the Dead, but characters were spawned  from these ideas.  

     Even though 'The 4th Horseman' concept has been shelved my third novel, still in its infancy, was inspired by some of what came from this exercise. My latest project, Acadia Event also has a character who would have been originally cast in 'The 4th Horseman Graphic Novel'. So all is not lost in the fall of an idea. And I still hold onto some of these pictures with an almost freakish sentiment.
After the event that uleashed change the switchman still works the railroad. 

     Although not all writers use art to spur on their creative side I believe that what you see here on this page is the inner working of my minds eye. How that comes to be is really not all that complicated. I get a visual inside my head, pictures begin to form, and from that I begin to build the characters, places and the events that connect them. I can't speak for other writers, but assume that they have a similar experience when they go down that rabbit hole.
What waits down darkened corridors is anyone's guess.
 

     After a computer crash last year, I lost the bulk of the pictures I'd generated in my week long frenzy, but I did manage to salvage a few. I still look back on this fondly and think to myself. Maybe there is still something there. 

    Who knows. I hang onto everything, even pieces that have been excised from my writing because they didn't work. In my den, office, workspace, I have the original draft manuscript for The Equinox which telephone book sized hulk of paper riddled with post-it notes and red ink. Sometimes I'll pick it up and leaf through it and look at what was taken out. Taken out for good reason by the way. Even that which was tried and did not make the cut is still part of me and the process. 
 
    Well, that about sums it up for this blog entry. Next I'll show of some of my artwork in regard to my latest project with the working title: 'ACADIA EVENT'

     I must say that I have really had fun with this Blog Hop thing that a co-host Mike from The Dark Discussions Podcast passed along. His blog is: Unnatural Selections. I suggest you check him out along with all the other folks participating in this May Monster Madness Blog Hop [See details below]

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MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in late 2013
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 RATED AS ONE OF THE 
BEST HORROR NOVELS TO HIT BOOKSHELVES IN THE LAST 10 YEARS!!
'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
Get your copy of The Equinox  
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MAY MONSTER MADNESS BLOG HOP!

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