Discussion

Friday, October 5th, 7-9 PM at The Book Cellar in Chicago for THE ANIMAL IN MAN LAUNCH EVENT!!!

What better way to celebrate this announcement than with some new character concept art? Fresh from the digital canvas of the super-talented Nic Morales, may I introduce you to Zariel, also called “Old Four Swords,” and I think you can easily see why. 

Zariel is a genetically engineered octopus, hailing from Peskora, the tropical archipelagian nation far to the west where vast numbers of aquatic species dwell. Each of the four swords he wields are a technological marvel, capable of cutting any material clean in half, no matter its molecular composition. There is, in fact, a moment or two in The Animal in Man Part Two: Ferocious Heart when the lone octopus literally brings about the collapse of a tower.

Do you like this art? Did you like Nic’s previous concept for Saghan? Would you like a chance to have a signed poster of this thing hanging up in your office? From now until October 5th, all you have to do is make an order of The Animal in Man: Violent Mind or show up for the launch event at The Book Cellar to enter in person for a chance to win these!

Find me (and the event) on facebook, Follow me on Twitter, Follow both The Animal in Man Part One and Two on Inkshares! 


Ready to have some fun? 

You’re looking at some initial Animal in Man cover designs!!! Somebody pinch me - - This is really happening, isn’t it?!? There are elements from all three of these that I really, really like. While #1 definitely captures the proportions of the animal-creatures I see in my head, Inkshares has wisely advised me against endorsing a cover that potentially forms images for readers. I couldn’t agree more. #2 is probably the closest runner-up. I really like the minimalist design, how the cover managed to take my story and form an icon from it. Pretty cool! But what’s it really saying? There’s a fox… Some swords… Hmm… Exactly. Not much. #3 is solid too, since it really accentuates a defining characteristic of the story’s hero, Maxan, a fox with mismatched gold and green eyes. (That’s important, I swear.) BUT… again, his eyes aren’t what the story’s all about.

Now this… This is what the story’s all about. 

May I present to you the desired direction, ladies and gentlemen, for The Animal in Man’s cover!! This one truly captures the sense of violence, danger, brutality, and darkness that Book I: Violent Mind is going for. It captures it so well, in fact, that I’m already dreaming of the cover variations for the rest of the series, Book II: Ferocious Heart and Book III: Undying Soul. Remember, my dear animals, this is not the final cover. Believe me when I say that you’ll be the first to know once that comes in. Thank you all, as always, for all the patience and support.

I’m starting a revolution. ANOTHER revolution, to be exact. Around the sun. And it begins today. Because today… is my birthday! Yes, that’s right! And I’d like you to know it’s totally OK if you forgot to get me something. Because it’s NOT TOO LATE! 

For my birthday, it would be really great if all those who’ve followed The Animal in Man could make a pre-order. What you’ll get is a SIGNED COPY on September 25th. But, at the very least, it’d still be pretty swell if you followed me and my book(s) on Inkshares, and then hit me up on facebook and twitter (@BulletTime000). And at the very, very-VERY least click Like on this reader update. (It kind of makes me feel special. :D)

You should know, I got YOU something too. Coming up in June, I’ll have new character concept art to share as well as promotional giveaways as the September 25th release date approaches. (Hint: by pre-ordering NOW, you’re eligible for the drawing. Just sayin’!) Stay tuned!

As always, THANKS to all the supporters of The Animal in Man.


I know what you’re thinking: Another update so soon? Well, this one has been a long time coming. Even the animals are talking about it...

 

That’s right! The team at Inkshares has informed me that production has really started ramping up for The Animal in Man I: Violent Heart, and the book will be hitting bookstore shelves on September 25th of this year! Granted I’ll need to keep my s**t together well enough to meet all the deadlines on my end, but I owe YOU - my supporters, my greatest strength through all this, the thing that’s kept me going - and I’ll get it done.

Friend me on facebook, look me up on Twitter, stay tuned to your email for more upcoming updates on book signing events in and around Chicago as that wonderful date draws near! And if you haven’t already, check out my new and improved promotional video for “The Animal in Man.”

 Check out the new Promotional Video I’m launching for The Animal in Man Saga

 At this point, I realized the old one was severely outdated. At this stage of the game it just wasn’t good enough. After all the writing, cutting, rewriting, recutting, and of course the finagling, mangling, and beautifying I’ve done to the story, I know I got something special here for you. It’s time to get this project out to a broader audience. Please hit that Share button and help me get the word out!

 Ultra-special thanks to Kyle Probst for shooting and compiling all this footage (and somehow making me appear presentable). And as ever, an outlandish heap of thanks to all you Animals out there, my greatest supporters. Some exciting news is forthcoming… (Perhaps with an ACTUAL DATE…?)

I have an announcement:

That’s right. The titles of all three parts of The Animal in Man saga have at last been decided. I painstakingly pondered all the meanings of all the words that reflect the style, atmosphere, and experience I’ve created with the story. And then, suddenly, I had it. What is a [hu]man? What are we, really? We are a mind, a body, and - perhaps - a soul.

What if we created a world where we could play at our most violent fantasies? What if we shaped the creatures there in our image? Would they not also be those three things? I asked myself these questions a lot while I was writing The Animal in Man, and when I dug up the old journal entries I’d made about it, I knew I’d found the titles I needed.

You can follow the Draft page for The Animal in Man II: Ferocious Heart RIGHT HERE! The second book is already 100% complete, minus the professional-grade editing and services Inkshares provides upon my successful future campaign. That’s where you, my dear animals, can play a part. Please please please click the link and follow the project now so you’ll be ready for the day it starts taking preorders. And of course, as always, thank you so much for your continued support.

Meet Sarovek. Knight. Monitor. A hunter. A killer. A noble daughter of a powerful house of Corvidia, the kingdom of sky-dwellers. If you’ve read chapter one of “The Animal in Man” then you know Sarovek leads the attack against the hyena the story’s hero Maxan had been shadowing through the streets and alleyways of Crosswall. 

“A Corvidian knight in plates of polished armor plunged from the skies. Her legs and lower talons led her way, the tips of her hawk wings trailing high behind her, a long spear gripped tight, angled at the clustered hyenas. She fell like a meteor, inches from where the fox crouched on the walkway, then flapped her wings outward at the last possible instant to break her fall. The blast of air sent immense clouds of dirt rolling away. The knight’s spear sank through a hyena’s back and deep into the ground, an explosion of blood changed the dirt to mud.”

Sarovek is quite the badass. I believe she perfectly embodies the type of book I wanted to write. Her character, her choices, her choices all provide the type of experience I wanted to craft for my readers. I grew up reading action-packed stories of warriors gritting their teeth and swinging swords and narrowly escaping grave dangers with their lives. Sarovek may not be a barbarian, but she’s just as ferocious a fighter as Conan. She may not be a drow ranger, but she’s just as stoic as Drizzt.

If you haven’t heard of “The Animal in Man”... If you haven’t had the chance to really dive in and see what makes it so special, then go check it out. Spend a little time in my world.

I have some very, very exciting news to share with everyone coming up in the next update. Stay tuned, My Dear Animals! And as always, thank you for your support and patience!

(Immense thanks to artist Ellinsworth for his amazing sketch of Sarovek! Visit his portfolio for more awesome artwork!)

I got some numbers for you. 

Do you know what this means?!?! I FINISHED EDITING MY NOVEL!!! It was quite a slog for me. I’m not one of those writers that can easily overlook the minutiae in order to focus on the bigger picture. My editor gave me some great notes calling for some big sweeping changes and clarifications, but even still, if I saw something on the page that bothered me (and gosh was there a LOT that bothered me), I had to change it. Staring at pages like these was how I spent what little free time I had for the past four months:


Look at all those revisions!!! Just to be clear, this is not the end of the editing process. It’s back with the Editor / Head of Story at Inkshares, Matt Harry, who’ll look over the changes and make further suggestions. (Hopefully I cleared the higher hurdles the first time around the track and the next lap is easier.) From there, somebody’s gotta clean up my terrible, awful, hideous, redundant word choice… Cover design conversations with the artist… Where is this all going, you ask?! Well, it means it will still be a wait. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a 2018 release, but I can’t say for sure.

In the meantime, I literally don’t know what to do with myself any more. If I’m not working on something, I’m getting ANTSY. While I wait for the Inkshares wheel to turn another notch in Animal in Man’s production track, I’ll be putting more words down for my next novel “The White Shadow”, which you can read the first few chapters of HERE. (I added a chapter to my website since the previous time posting about it, and I’m eleven chapters beyond that point in the writing.) I might even be putting up an Inkshares draft page for the book soon. Who knows.

To all of my supporters, all of you who’ve hung in there this long and longer: Thank you.

I forgot!! How could I…?!

A little over a month ago, I was featured on the Geek Questioner Podcast, Episode #66: Joseph Asphahani & The Replicant Vampire. (You simply CANNOT get a better title for a podcast, if you ask me.) I had a blast geeking out with host Charlie Hoover, covering my latest obsessions like getting to play Dungeons & Dragons after a decade-long hiatus, making ill-advised cosplay-like purchases of Blade Runner 2049 trenchcoats, and the glory that is the animated Castlevania series on Netflix. (Click here for a link to subscribe on their iTunes page.)

And of course, we discuss The Animal in Man a whole lot! Tune in for a teaser about how the story starts in what seems a typical Fantasy world, makes a hissing-grinding stop at Steampunk along the way, and ultimately rockets to the edge of the stratosphere as Sci-Fi.

I have a tendency to disappear sometimes. Actually, to escape. And at times escape so thoroughly that it’s like I can feel the whole Earth turning beneath me, forgetting it’s left me behind. ...but then I snap out of it, and I realize it’s really just my fault. I’ve been quiet a little too long. This reader update is long, long overdue.

As of this writing, The Animal in Man has sold 495 copies. As of months and months ago, that number was practically the same. I realized today I would very much like to see 500, and I’m asking all of those who have followed the novel recently to make a pre-order and help me achieve that goal. Of course, I’ve also been working on my sales pitch:

The Animal in Man is like Lord of the Flies, but instead of asking whether young men beguiled by the beast inside can ever be human again, the story asks if there’s something human already in every beast. Instead of stumbling, terrified, through a jungle of fear, they are born in a world of constant violence, perhaps designed that way by its creator. Are we so very different, I wonder. 

The original description I typed years ago when I first launched the inkshares page are still true, perhaps more than ever before: The Animal in Man “is our story. The story of mankind." But if words alone aren’t enough to earn your pre-order, then consider these images.

When you read The Animal in Man, what you’ll see first is this:



But it’s really all about this:



It’s about why anyone would ever think violence could be the answer. It’s about my belief that all of us at some point in our life have heard that whisper inside our hearts that says this it might just be. 

Is it?

Notable Readers

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Thad Woodman
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Kelsey Rae Barthel
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Janna Grace
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Matthew Isaac Sobin
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Tony Valdez
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Brian Guthrie
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Peter Ryan
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Amanda Orneck
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Billy O’Keefe
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Dave Barrett
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Craig A. Munro
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John Robin
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Byron Gillan
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Michael Sebby
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Thomas J. Arnold
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Jamison Stone
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JF Dubeau
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Vincent Lim
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Jason Pomerance
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Rick Heinz