Well – here we go! Thanks to my friend Jeanie Grey (@jeaniegrey) for nominating me as part of her blog hop – very curious to see what gets nominated next, but for now, I’ve got some question to answer. Follow me please!
What am I working on?
Ugh, what am I not working on?! I work on too many things at once and too little on one thing!
But in, all seriousness, I’m currently focused on two serious book projects – one I came up with last summer (2013) and another that sprung to me in December and has grabbed most of my time. I would say both of them are about 60% into their manuscript phase (read: Literary limbo).
Killhaven (my main project) – a detective set in the dystopic ruins of the East Coast. America as we know it has fallen and turned into the nightmare warned of by Eisenhower: A corrupt, fascist military-industrial complex rules what is left with iron fist. Europe has fallen to a Neo-Soviet regime and millions of European refugees have flocked to America in despair. They work the worst jobs as second rank citizens in the poverty struck and criminal city of Killhaven, where no one is happy and none dare make a difference.
It’s there that Pierce Carter, a hardened and bitter private eye, does his job of chasing corpses that float around the Killhaven waters. Like all the others he lives in an unwanted reality he can’t escape, until one day a case makes Pierce realize that the only beautiful thing in his life is no longer there before he knew it ever existed.
Together with a refugee, a whaler named Jonas, he begins a journey to solve the case that will forever change everything.
Awakeners – Is a sci-fi set on the massive spaceship Aurora Quest, on which its passengers and crews are in deep cryosleep until their journey is over. Or so they hoped.
For Willow, and her fellow crew, the nightmare truly begins when they wake up and find that an alien pathogen has invaded the ship and the biosystems that are connected to the still sleeping passengers. Soon they find themselves facing a new breed of life, the Awakeners.
Together with a platoon of Marines the crew of the Aurora Quest must try to battle off a seemingly unbeatable organism that is hellbent on surviving and expanding.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I suppose I’m sort of a genre hopper, which shows in my work because I don’t strictly abide to the definition of a certain genre – I try to blend them into colorful and complex stories. Likewise I try to build strong characters who each have their own identity. I’m not just trying to write a cool story – I’m trying to write an experience you want to live and characters you’d want to meet.
Why do I write what I do?
I’m pretty sure if I didn’t my chest would burst open and all the stories inside of me would spray all over the floor. And I hate mopping the floor so I’d rather write it out before that happens.
In all honesty, writing is what heals me inside and keeps me alive. If I stopped writing I’d probably wither like a plant in industrial strength hydrochloric acid. Which is not as good as it sounds.
I write them because, like I said, I can’t keep it in and I want to share with others the joy of creating a world of your own. And if I can put a small message in there that might speak to some readers, that’d make me a very happy man.
How does my writing process work?
That’s a great question! I’m not sure if I actually know – a story often begins with a random scene in my head that I begin expanding on. Usually I know the start, a point in the middle and the ending of my story then I just add boiling water, salt and pepper…
I also tend to build strong “moods” that help me feel the story, I usually have maps full of dozens of relevant pictures as well as YouTube-videos and Soundscapes that match a scene and bring it to live as I write it. Does that count? I think it counts. Screw it.
Yes, I know – I keep coming and going. It’s how I roll and I pledge that I will make change! Somehow! Someday! Somewhere! Sometime! I swear! Don’t leave me…!
Anyway. This is about something entirely different! Do I have a treat for you! Seriously! Bear with me…
One of my closest writer friends is Gabi Daniels, who is not just a writer but also a successful and recognized book blogger. And such things come with a privilege! Now of course most of us would use such privileges for ourselves. But not Gabi, she’s a sharer and she’s decided to go ahead and celebrate her favorite genre with all of us:
(Click to visit!)
So lets go through the facts here just quickly – this isn’t some “Subscribe now for a newsletter from us and ten anonymous partners who might or might not call you, e-mail you and stalk you forever!”; This is all fun and hoping you will visit a great blog but above all read the work of a lot of great writers!
And to make it so much better Gabi used her privileges to bring more presents than Santa! If you enter you can win one of the five Amazon Gift Cards (including one worth twenty-five bucks!), she’s giving away 25+ e-Books (seriously!) and four signed(!!!) paperbacks! Yes, I sh#t you not! The authors – actually – signed their books and you can win one of ’em! And these aren’t just random authors – these are New York Times best-selling authors and some of THE most promising debut writers! If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, I will have to start taking you less serious. Seriously.
In fact, I found Gabi’s initiative so fantastic that I’m the guy that made the above displayed promotional picture. But not just that one picture – I might a couple more. I’ll tell you why, right here below.
There once was a Julie.
Well actually there still is a Julie. In fact there are a LOT of Julie’s in the world but this one is kind of unique! Her name is: Julie Hutchings.
Now I don’t know how many times I’ve said this before but because I have no life and no shame I will say again that I owe so much to both Julie and Kristen (Strassel) from DeadlyEverAfter.com (click to visit!) that I can hardly express it enough.
But more importantly, I was recently able to get my hands on Julie’s debut novel Running Home! (I might add that I also currently have Kristen’s novel – of which you will hear more soon as well!)
Now, of course, Julie has been somewhat of a mentor to me, whatever she tells I instantly consider a fact – not in the least because she’s a black belt and not afraid to use threatening language – so I was obviously aware of her writing abilities but it wasn’t until I read through Running Home that I was blown away. Simply put.
Thankfully I wasn’t alone, amongst many others, it was Gabi Daniels too who was absolutely raving about Running Home. And if anyone should know, being a book blogger with best-seller connections, it’s her.
Because of this she decided to give all of us the opportunity to get to know not just Julie but also her amazing debut novel: Running Home. And of course this worked perfect with the Paranormal week! So she cleverly combined the best of two worlds and went to work.
So when I found out that two of my favorite girls, Julie and Gabi, were working on something together – I just had to butt in bey cause… …What else am I going to do all day?
So I hit Gabi up and told her if she needed any help, seeking a way to present quotes from the book in an original manner she wanted to present them as capturing images. Being an art-director that is my perfect field of play and I set out to get the job done.
After scouring the internet for “Common Creative” and/or free photos I finally found just what I was looking for and combined them with the quotes that Gabi provided. If you read the book you will most likely recognize each and every location that I tried to represent. Here they are:
Now, I hope of course that these images and the quotes are getting you interested to buy the book – but there’s an alternative… Five copies are being given away for free as part of Gabi Daniels’ Paranormal Week! You can win your very own copy!
I also want to encourage you to go ahead and use one of these images on your blog post, promotion, review or what so ever about Running Home! The good people that made their photos Common Creative-material are awesome and it would be right for me to share them too. The only thing I ask is that you don’t further alter it and if you would be as kind as to refer to Gabi Daniels’ blog somewhere in your blog/Facebook post or Tweet.
So, in conclusion, I hope you will join Gabi’s Paranormal Week Giveaway ASAP and that you will read Running Home before it becomes the best seller it is destined to be! Why? Because you want to be able to say: “Oh, Running Home? I read it before everyone else. I even spoke to Julie Hutchings once… She’s nice, for a Bostonian of course.”
Oh, look! He kept his word! Part two!
Right, so… What happened? First I was here – writing like crazy and then suddenly it went quiet… …I had reasons.
It was not too long ago that I was receiving “some” (not much) government support because, like approx. 8+% of the nation, I could not find a job. I was either overqualified (usually) or didn’t have enough specific job experience. So no matter what way I turned they weren’t giving me a job! So I had to apply for support and I was given just enough to make it through each month.
So far so good, because lets face it – I could be in a cardboard box out on the street!
My job councilor was a pretty okay guy, he had a tendency of repeating himself a little often, but he was generally mild mannered and considerate to arguments and questions I had. But not everyone was…
…Scared yet? Excellent. One day a letter dropped into the mail slide of the door – I thought it was one of the regular letters that informs you of whatever subject it is that social services feels necessary or perhaps it would be a request for a regular specification of my bills. In this case it was a hand-signed, personally delivered note from a “fraud team” demanding I would show face the next day, bring all personal documents and bills and be interviewed. Now, I had done nothing wrong – this much I knew – but apparently they were not convinced. So, slightly weak in the knees, I faced my impending doom and went over to their office the next morning.
I was met by a stern looking and acting gentleman, after we shook hands he took me to what can only be described as an interrogation room – complete with protective glass wall – and sat me down on one side. He explained to me that “technically” this was just a regular check for fraud but he did have some questions for me. Gulp.
I was asked over forty questions – Did I play any sports? No. Did I club, party, smoke or do drugs? Nope. Was I in a committed relationship with anyone? Neither.
Then came the bills – I had to clarify each and every expense that surpassed about fifty Euros. Properly.
Next I had to explain myself why I had “multiple” internet identities – why did I use the name Bobby if my birth name was Marnix? I politely explained that my second name is (occasionally) shortened to Bobby and that my mom – and a number of others – have called me Bobby since I was just a few years old. Last but not least, since I was trying to build a career as a writer, it was pretty smart to use a different name so not everybody could find me instantly and always. Aha! So I was making money! …No… I was “trying” to build a career – with some success – but not making any money out of it. At least certainly not while receiving support.
As such I also showed my website and explained how I had delayed my self-publishing efforts to avoid any suspicions of fraud or otherwise.
As the interview continued the inspector, who even identified himself with a special badge and pass, gradually warmed up. I had plausible, valid explanations for everything, I was cooperative and polite. As we neared the end of our interview/investigation he suddenly said: “Oh… So I guess you just live really carefully then?” To which I simply replied: “Of course!”.
I was then asked to sign the document, under oath I may add, which I politely did. To my surprise the investigator smiled at me, seemingly more relieved than I was, and said he was pleasantly surprised that I was not involved with fraud. He had thought otherwise. Oh and then he wished me good luck with my writing career and finishing my third book! I thought that was kind of sympathetic.
Needless to say I was very relieved – a few days later I met with my regular job councilor who was understanding to my stress-level of the interview but informed me that, unfortunately, I was going to have “speed things up” or I would be put to work instead of being allowed to find a job of my choosing. I may add that I had been working hard, very hard, to find a job. In the six or so months I was given support I must have gathered over a hundred job applications – all turned down.
If I was going to be put to work I would be forced to take whatever job would come my way – usually heavy cleaning (medical waste) or something like being a “street guard”; the latter being usually young men on bicycles doing policing work without being police and often ending up being battered, stabbed or otherwise victimized by the local, colored characters. Not exactly what I was hoping for, certainly not just after being interrogated on fraud-suspicions. So I set to work and, with the help of a contact person at a job agency, managed to find a job after weeks of looking. Frantically.
So… …Here we are, weeks later, I’ve got a job now and I’m going through intense training. It’s been pretty tough the past period of time but I’m back now. I have forgotten none of you and missed all of you. I’ll still be pretty busy for a little over a week or so, after that I’ll (if everything goes according to plan) have enough time for a complete comeback. I look forward to that. I’ve missed this.
I hope this story didn’t bore your brains out and that you understand where I’ve been. I was busy trying to get my life back on track, it’s been tough but I think I’m getting there. Now just for that one dream to come true completely. Hopefully I’ll make it there with the help of you, my author friends and readers, as well as my creative, disturbing mind. I’ve already started off with The Zombie Project (#TheZombieProject) and I hope you’ve read it and enjoyed it, I certainly did writing it. I’m back. I’m home.
Thank you for reading.
Just a small and quick update on things. First of all the coop with Lindsay Pate is going great, we’re looking forward to posting the first chapter(s) online soon so stay tuned. It’s going to be great!
I also won a query-review yesterday by author Katie Teller, which should be very useful once I start hitting the queries hard over the coming period of time!
I was also added on author Gabi Daniel’s shortlist (Click!) of short stories she couldn’t get out of her head – even better was the fact that her list is so great that – another blog – picked up on it and also posted her list. I’m featuring on “best authors” shortlists on two websites! Damn, I must be getting good at this!
So that’s my updates for today – I plan writing a few short stories for you all as soon as I have some more time again, which hopefully will be soon and looking forward to initiating my next phase of taking of the world.
After having been given the opportunity to read the books as part of preview she fell in love with the books, characters and series altogether! In fact she loved it so much that she will be dedicating a whole week to the books and the author (Bobby Salomons) on her website.
She’s written two complete (p)reviews, will be doing an interview and then some, curious to what she thinks? Here’s some excerpts:
On “Amongst the Dead”:
The world created in “Amongst the Dead” is amazing. I read all but the last 10 pages of the first novel in one night. It was past midnight when I finally sat the novel down and went to bed. I woke up early the next day and finished the last 10 pages. It was so amazing. I felt like I was walking around (in safety) with the characters.
I am so happy to read a novel that portrayed woman with such physical strength, and from a male author. Kudos, Mr. Salomons.
Using a rating scale one to ten, I give it an eleven. Yes, an eleven, I rate this novel higher than the scale for a few reasons. The first reason, I have never been able to read an apocalyptic or zombie novel. To tell the truth I can’t even watch movies like this. The simple fact that I couldn’t stop reading is of HUGE importance. Second, I’ve actually reread this novel, rereading a zombie novel (in my case) is an amazing fact. Finally, I have started to watch some zombie movies and I’m looking forward to watching a particular zombie movie. My family is greatly confused and impressed by this change and offer praise to the genius who caused the change.
On “Land of the Rising Dead”:
Fumi is a young girl whose father is chief of police. Like all young girls, she’s hanging with the wrong boy, a bad boy of course. He takes her to a club, which is the beginning of Fumi’s bad day. Zombies attack! We watch her grow as we move through the novel. She was a typical girl but by the end, I’m so happy to see she is a strong woman. She knows what’s right and has the mental and emotional strength to do it. As in the “Amongst the Dead” preview, I really appreciate this, especially from a male author.
Fumi, girl; I hope you learned your lesson and no more bad boys!
I’ve never been to Japan, but I felt like I was there. Bobby takes his world building very seriously. He researches until he feels like he’s actually there and this comes out in his writing. I love the later end of the book, where we meet Mitsuya – an old fisherman. His customs are portrayed beautifully. I felt like I understood them. His small antique fishing village reads like poetry, the description is impressive.
I think girls should read this novel because women are portrayed in such a good light. There is no mention of sexual content in this novel. The females all stand up and fight when the time is right. Fumi is a young girl and she has her phobias and backs away from the killing, but when she’s needed she does what has to be done, and she does it as well as the men. This is something I think all of our young girls need to learn. Being beautiful and smart is good adding in strength makes a woman even better. Ladies, if we are all serious with ourselves there are enough times we want to be strong. This aspect of the novel is so good. I really loved it. I’ve asked my teenage daughter to read them.
Curious yet? Be sure to visit her website at: mariwells.wordpress.com not just for the upcoming D2D-week but for a range of interesting articles, stories and much, much more! For more info on D2D visit the website at: www.d2d-books.com
Thank you, Mari for being such a great fan! Every writer should have one like you!
– Team SLM
Over at Writing Upside Down, a website owned and run by fellow author Danielle Tauscher, there’s a nifty little writing challenge – based on one picture she asked a range of authors – including Bobby – to write a short story that ranged anywhere from one-hundred to one-thousand words.
Bobby chose to write a small piece of poetry instead of his usual (scary) stories – curious yet? Go over to Writing Upside Down and check it out! We sure hope you’ll leave a comment here and there!
I Am The Tree (Click!) by Bobby Salomons.