A Creepy New Tale About the Fountain of Youth- Maybe

A while back I really enjoyed a sort-of Urban Fantasy book called Markus, by an author I didn’t know, but share a publisher with. (Peace be upon Black Rose Writing.) I reached out to David Odle, and while nothing happened initially, he has a new book out and we arranged this interview. (Pro hint… if you want to get a response from an author, catch them in a pre-launch panic.)

This was a chance to talk to David about his newest effort, more of a horror/thriller thing called Kate’s Lake. Enjoy.

David, tell us about you.

Tell you about me? Whenever I’m asked this question, I always feel like there’s shockingly little to tell. Perhaps that’s why I write stories; to create fantastical characters who provide a vicarious escape into other worlds and interesting circumstances. But if it’s just me, my main love beyond family and friends (and craft beer), is simply a good story. Whether it’s a book, an article, a movie, or a TV show, a story well-told is what I find most satisfying.

I really enjoyed Markus, and was a bit surprised you shifted gears a bit. Tell me about Kate’s Lake.

I’m super-stoked about newest novel, Kate’s Lake, (released at the end of June)! I loved writing it and it may very well be the story that contains the most of my own personal characterization due to the military background of the character. The story is about a former Marine named Mick Smith, a recovering alcoholic and Iraqi combat veteran, who discovers what he believes may be the Fountain of Youth. While attending the funeral of an old friend, Mick’s dark past catches up with him as strange events spark a cascade of horrible circumstances that ultimately lead Mick to Kate’s Lake, where he discovers the horrific truth about its healing water.

You shifted away from Urban Fantasy a bit. I thought you’d be setting up a sequel to Markus, since the book ended as it did. What about this story attracted you?

Different than my debut novel, Markus, which is an Urban Fantasy, Kate’s Lake is a horror novel written in first person which allowed me to create Mick in my own image. The story is based loosely on one of my oldest friendships from the Marine Corps and was sparked one morning when I thought, what if I suddenly received a phone call that JT had died. Would I go to his funeral? And what if I decided to go and then learned that something strange was happening there. What if he wasn’t really dead? And the story began to unfold from there. I actually wrote the opening chapter several years before adding the story after it. 

The “what if” game has sent a lot of us in weird directions. It’s where Johnny Lycan came from after 3 historical novels. Who do you read?

My literary hero is Stephen King. I became hooked on books after reading Cujo when I was thirteen and from then on, I couldn’t get enough of Stephen King. I wanted to be just like him! But since then, I’ve grown more diverse and discovered a huge world of wonderful writers. Over the past year, I’ve really enjoyed Paul Tremblay, Alma Katsu, Brian Keene, Delia Owens, Pierce Brown, and Erik Larson (I love reading history). 

Besides ordering your books directly from Black Rose, where can people find your work and more about you?

Yes, I’m still learning to navigate this cyber-world, but I’m trying to establish multiple ways people can connect with me. Folks can find me at:

www.davidodle.com

Facebook – David Odle (@DavidOdleBooks)

Twitter – (@d.leroy1970)

Instagram – David Odle (@Odle.author)

Linkedin – David Odle

Not to crash the party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

A New Short Story: The Cutman and Why I Write About Boxing So Much

Today a new short story of mine was published at Storgy.com. The Cutman is the tale of a guy whose job is to put people together so they can be torn apart properly.

Yes, it’s another boxing story. It’s the third I’ve had published, after Bayamon, 1978 and The Towel. Fourth, if you include Los Angeles, 1952, a 2-part story about a date that takes place at a boxing match. What’s up with all the boxing love?

On one level, it’s simple: I love the sport. My grandfather was a silver medalist in the Canadian Golden Gloves, and fought half a dozen pro fights. My dad and I used to watch together, and he taught me to appreciate the lighter weight classes, as you’d expect from a guy who never really got past bantamweight himself.

A friend of mine once asked, “why do you like boxing so much? Your stories make it sound like it’s all blood and racism and toxic masculinity.” To which the correct answer is; “what’s your point?” If you’re looking for drama and high stakes, it’s a perfect crucible.

Me with former Super Featherweight champ Cornelius Boza Edwards

But there’s a more”writerly” answer. Each of my short stories is a writing exercise of a kind. Can I capture this moment, or this kind of action, or compress this scene into a specific period of time? Boxing is perfect for these little word experiments. Each round is exactly 3 minutes. You can compress a lot of action into that time period. There are a finite number of characters, which for short stories is great.

You’ll find choreographing the fight scenes has benefitted both Acre’s Orphans, and my upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. Practice makes…. well, better.

I hope you enjoy The Cutman. I am proud of it. Of course, you can find my other short stories here on my site, if you haven’t discovered them already.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November.

Johnny Lycan is Available for Pre-Order

‘Utterly original, beguiling in every sense of the word and as funny as hell – Turmel’s wit and visionary prowess is a force to be reckoned with; not since American Werewolf In London has the werewolf genre had it so good!’

Ross Jeffery – author of Juniper & Tethered

I’m very pleased that my new novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk, is now available for pre-order through my publisher, Black Rose Writing.

It starts like nothing you’ve ever read from me, and I’m betting you’ll enjoy it:

“The Russian tasted like borscht and cheap cigarettes. Well, his blood did. It’s not like I actually ate him—I wasn’t that far gone. But with that much blood flying around, some of it got into my mouth, and as nasty as it tasted, I licked my lips and felt it fuel my anger.”

Official publication date is November 19, but you can order your paperback copy now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November.

Cover Reveal: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk

While there are far more consequential things going on in the world, I have news: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk has a cover. If you WERE to judge the book by the cover, you might think this book is pretty cool.

Johnny Lupul is riding high. He’s got a PI license, a concealed carry permit, his first big payday and a monster of a secret. After rescuing a bookie’s daughter from Russian mobsters, the newly-minted PI catches the attention of a rich, mysterious client.

At first, it’s easy money. After all, magic isn’t real and those “occult” objects have to be fakes. But while chasing an Egyptian relic, an obsessed enemy from his past emerges. Johnny learns that the world is much stranger—and more dangerous—than he ever suspected.

Being a werewolf may be the most normal thing he has to face on this case.

This baby is out November 19 from Black Rose Writing, preorders available soon.

Raphael in Rome with Stephanie Storey

I know nothing about painting, I really don’t. I envy people who can paint, draw and sculpt, but those aren’t skills I possess. While I find the Renaissance fascinating as history, I’m embarrassed by how little I really know about the key players. That’s where Stephanie Storey comes in.

I met Stephanie at the 2019 Las Vegas Writers Conference and we’ve remained in contact ever since. Her first novel, “Oil and Marble: a Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo.” was terrific, and she has just released “Raphael, a Painter in Rome.” Read it, seriously.

Stephanie, what should people know about you?

I’m an art nerd and television producer out in Hollywood, which means, yes, I write about art history, but hopefully in an entertaining way. I was born and raised in Arkansas, but after living in Los Angeles for nearly twenty years, my husband — an actor and Emmy-winning comedy writer — and I travel the world full-time, well, not during the global pandemic. We are currently sheltering in place by a lake in Arkansas, which is the perfect spot from which to write my next novel and host a talk show from my living room. That’s right, Covid-19 has apparently pushed me to launch my own chat show where I connect virtually with some of my favorite writers to talk about their passions, process, and what makes their work relevant to your life today. At least this time, I really like the host. 

What’s your new novel about?

My newest novel is entitled Raphael, Painter in Rome, which hopefully tells you that it’s about Raphael the Renaissance painter not the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle. These are the years when the young, brilliant painter of perfection Raphael was decorating the pope’s private rooms while Michelangelo was just down the hall painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, as they went head-to-head in the deadly halls of the Vatican to see which of them would become the greatest painter. This period in history–full of war, conspiring cardinals, and dangerous love affairs–is traditionally told from Michelangelo’s perspective, but I let Raphael tell the story of these events in his own voice, as he asks himself: “Is there a version of this story where I get to be the hero or does Michelangelo–and his miraculous ceiling–end the victor every time?”

What is it about that story that so fascinates you?

I’ve been obsessed with a guy by the name of Michelangelo for about twenty-five years, ever since I studied art in Italy as an undergraduate. I traveled to Florence and saw the David for the first time and then went down to Rome to see his Pieta and the Sistine, and my life was changed. I eventually set out on a pilgrimage to see every Michelangelo on public display in the world. But always, in the back of my head, lurked his most serious rival, Raphael. Raphael who was handsome and charming and beloved–the opposite of Michelangelo in so many ways. I knew I wanted to write a novel about their rivalry during the Sistine years, but the more I dug into the story, the more Raphael kept talking. He, frankly, wouldn’t shut up. So eventually I had no choice but to throw out Michelangelo’s point-of-view and let Raphael tell his own version of events. Now, Raphael doesn’t only rival Michelangelo as a painter in my mind, but in my heart, too. 

I love the fact that the e-book has links to the actual artwork you’re talking about which really brings it to life. What’s your favorite part of the book?

You ask impossible questions, Wayne! I can’t pick just one! But I’ll highlight the one that I keep reading at my events (virtual for now!): It’s when Raphael and Michelangelo meet face to face for the first time. Raphael has snuck into Florence’s city hall and is trying to get a glimpse of Michelangelo’s designs for a fresco he is about to put up on the wall. Michelangelo is a paranoid recluse who doesn’t let anyone look at his work before it’s finished, so when he catches Raphael spying, Michelangelo climbs the scaffolding to take a marble hammer to Raphael’s head… I love this scene because it’s the first time Raphael sees Michelangelo’s drawings, and he’s shaken as much by the sculptor’s talent on paper as by his temper. I also love seeing Michelangelo through Raphael’s eyes because we not only get to see the disheveled stinky sculptor of history, but also a man consumed by passion and drive and desperation… to me it’s a beautiful portrait of Michelangelo that only a guy with the heart of Raphael could capture. But also, at this moment, when he’s faced with the dynamism of Michelangelo’s personality and art, Raphael has a chance to expose what drives him: a desire to bend the world toward beauty.

Where can people learn more about the wonder that is you, and see your new author talk show?

My website is StephanieStorey.com where you can learn about the history behind the novels, brush up on your writing skills, or find a museum to visit (once museums are open again). You can also see my talk show “Storey Time” where I interview other authors on my Team Storey YouTube Channel. Or you can find me on GoodreadsBookbubBarnes and NobleAmazonTwitter, FacebookInstagram, or search for my book recommendations on BookShop.org which supports local, independent bookstores!

By the way, since Stephanie has such fabulous taste, here’s what she said about my upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk:

Turmel offers a refreshingly modern take on werewolves, while leading readers on a blood-thumping, high-stakes ride through the underbelly of Chicago. I never thought I would look forward to the company of a werewolf, but Johnny Lycan’s quick wit and gruff candor made me think, “Now, there’s a hairy mythical creature with whom I’d like to sit down and have a beer.

Stephanie Storey, author, Raphael, Painter in Rome.

Sign up for my newsletter using the form on the left hand side of the page and get secret free stuff plus the first look at my upcoming book Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk. Of course, you can find all my novels on my Amazon author page.

The Steel Dragon and a Vegas Publisher- Michael Anderle

One of the most surprising things about living in Las Vegas is the depth of writing talent that spends at least part of their year here. I was surprised, when reading a new series called Steel Dragon, to learn that it’s co-author and head of LMBPN Publishing is a Vegas-ite. (Still looking for the right word. I’m guessing Las Vegan is wrong, it sounds like a Mexican vegetarian taco stand)

Another surprising thing since jumping deep into the Urban Fantasy waters is that the business model is different from most other publishing–this is all about series and shorter books. Given that, I thought I should learn a bit more about Michael and his work…

You are a busy dude. I really enjoyed the first Steel Dragon book and the series is getting stronger as it goes (I’m 3/4 of the way through book 3.) What’s your deal?

I’m both an author, CEO of LMBPN Publishing, and creator of the indie author group 20Booksto50k(R). My first series did amazingly well and now LMBPN has over 700 titles out, with over 200 audio titles produced by LMBPN and about 300 or so licensed to other audio companies. One of our stories is presently being shopped for possible video consideration. We typically release the equivalent of about 24-28 60,000 word titles a month.

For most authors, What’s your book about?” is a simple question. For you not so much…

Which one?  LOL  Let’s go with Steel Dragons.  This book is a collaboration between Kevin McLaughlin and myself. We decided to consider what would have happened in the present day if a shapeshifting super-government of dragons ran Earth. While the dragons didn’t get into the fiddly-bits of human politics (the United States Government still exists for example), they do scheme amongst themselves and have to deal with the occasional uprising of powerful humans who seek to overthrow their power.  In comes a unique dragon, born as a human…
This is a unique story, what is it that appealed to you? Besides, you know, dragons.

In this story, our main character slowly learns about her powers and how they help her protect her ‘people.’  As a dragon (which is new to her) she has an overwhelming sense of being protective and it makes her go a tad berserk upon occasion.  She must learn how to deal with the extra emotions while growing up in the SWAT job right out of Law Enforcement college. She is getting an extra leg up, and no one in her group knows why, yet.

It is a unique take on the tropes to be sure. Who are you reading?

I enjoy John Conroe (I recently interviewed him for our podcast – fanboy moment). Others outside of LMBPN include John Ringo (some series), Dakota Krout, C.R. Daems, Christopher G. Nuttall, Laurence E. Dahners, David Weber, Elliot Kay and many many others.

I look forward to attending 20 Books in November. Where can we learn more about you and your work?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Anderle/e/B017J2WANQ 

LMBPN: http://www.lmbpn.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LMBPNPublishing/ Kurtherian Gambit: https://www.facebook.com/TheKurtherianGambitBooks/

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

A Modern Soldier in Ancient Rome- Jackie Anders

When you write historical fiction AND fantasy, as I do, finding others who mix the two is always fun. Add to that Jackie Anders is also a Black Rose author (Black Rose will be publishing my new novel in November,) and I knew I had to speak to her.

Jackie, welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere.

I am glad to be featured on this blog! I am a mother of three, teacher, writers’ podcast co-host, and an author. So why am I an author? I have always loved to write. However, my journey began when I was five. I began by writing music and lyrics. After a few years of staying up until two in the morning reading books, I decided to start writing books instead of music. My first book was Phoenix: Field of Mars that I queried for over a year until I finally got a publishing contract with it releasing in Dec. 2018. Now, I have Phoenix 2: By the Sword which released in Feb. 2020 and Arion Rising that released in Sept. 2019.

What is Phoenix: Field of Mars and the rest of the series about?

Phoenix: Field of Mars and Phoenix: By the Sword are the first two books in the Phoenix Trilogy. Phoenix begins with a young career woman that expectantly falls into a U.N. Special Ops mission that takes her from 2018 to First Century Ancient Rome. After learning her new reality, she discovers that the team’s mission is to stop a biochemical scientist from unleashing a deadly virus on the unsuspecting 1st Century people in order to change history.

As Kyla encounters hostility and strife on her journey, she is surprisingly protected by the team’s leader, Capt. Christopher Eriksen. Even though Eriksen has many internal struggles from what he’s seen and done, he inspires her to trust in something bigger than herself. But as Kyla and the team race to stop the impending genocide, Kyla’s biggest fear is no longer the known threat. It is the not knowing if she will ever be able to get back home.

What is it about the story or the magic system that appealed to you? Why this story?

The huge appeal in my stories is ‘hope’! Yes, I have adventure, action, historical fiction, romance, military, and spiritual undertones, but overall my stories about hope!

Who are the authors who influenced you and who do you like to read?

If you enjoyed the Twilight Zone, then you know who Richard Matheson is. He was one of my favorites. One of his novels became a movie, I Am Legend. I also enjoy Ayn Rand, H. G. Wells, Diana Galbadon, and Francine Rivers.

Where can we learn more about everything you’re up to?

I am on Twitter: @jandersbooks,  Instagram: jandersbooks,  Website: jandersbooks.com, Facebook: Jackie Anders – Author, and Goodreads: Jackie Anders

You can also tune into our writer’s podcast that I co-host called By the Moonlight Writers Podcast!

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

Living Forever is the Best Revenge- Craig Zerf

I have had my share of people who don’t like my work, but the idea of turning that negative feedback into a 7-book series has never ocurred to me. That is, until I discovered Craig Zerf’s work. The first of his works I read was Dead Declan, which is a concept so bonkers I had to read more. Here he talks to me about his popular “Forever Man,” series.

So what’s your deal? Your personal story is unique.

I grew up in South Africa. Got married there, had a son, left and moved to England almost twenty years ago. I only started to write when I got to the UK. And, because I have always been a huge fantasy fan, that’s the genre I went for.

How did you settle on fantasy and where did The Forever Man come from?

My first series, Plob, was an attempt at humour. It was okay, I suppose. You always look back at your first books and say, I could have done better. But it got me started and, for one brief week, it actually topped the charts in both the UK and Germany and was voted the year’s best read by BBC Radio 4 listeners.  It was around this time I learned an important lesson… there are some seriously strange folk out there!

I had one, fan? Stalker? Arch enemy? Not sure what to call them. They purchased and read every one of my books and then proceeded to give them one-star reviews with comments like… This one is even worse than the last. Finally, they left a review that simply read ‘Every day I scour the obituaries for Craig Zerf’s name in the vain hope that he has died. Even if I live forever, I will never recover the time I have wasted reading his books.

It was then that I came up with the idea of writing a series where the main character is immortal. I know it’s been done before. Dracula, various mages and fae types. But I wanted to portray a normal man, a reluctant hero, who gets gifted, or cursed, with immortality and supernatural powers.

How would he react? Would he be good? Bad? Indifferent?

What if it turned out that the very world was in trouble and he was the only one who could save it? What would he do?

I called the series The Forever Man and it’s been described as a genre-bending fantasy series with post-apocalyptic heroes, battles against mythical creatures, and wild temporal jumps.

Writing a whole series to piss off one critic seems extreme, but it worked. How would you sum up The Foreverman in a couple of lines?

I suppose one could say, Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max and Game of Thrones. It’s available on Kindle, paperback and audio. There are six books at the moment but I’m ready to release seven and eight in a couple of weeks.

What writers influenced you?

Obviously, whatever I write has been influenced by my favorite authors. My early reads, when I was five, six, seven years old, were Enid Blyton books. Especially the Magic Faraway Tree.

Next stage, and I’m talking nine or ten here, were books like Biggles, Willard Price and the Hardy Boys.

As I hit my teens I graduated to Wilbur Smith (I love his earlier novels. Gritty, over the top, verging on heroic fantasy). And I discovered David Eddings. The Belgariad. Well…talk about life-changing. This was proper fantasy. Epic stuff.

After that came David Gemmell. To this day, David remains my favorite author. Clearly, Terry Pratchett also has to be taken into account.

And, finally, Michael Marshall. His books like Only Forward, and Spares are proper modern classics. He is truly one of the writers that I stand in awe of. Genius.

Where can people learn more about your work?

The best place to see all my work is my Amazon Author Page.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

It’s Official: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is Coming November 19

The Russian tasted like borscht and cheap cigarettes. Well, his blood did. It’s not like I actually ate him—I wasn’t that far gone. But with that much blood flying around, some of it got into my mouth and as nasty as it tasted, I licked my lips and felt it fuel my anger.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk Chapter 1

Intrigued?

I hope so, because that’s how my new book opens and I’m thrilled to announce that my latest novel is coming November 19th from the good folks at Black Rose Writing.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is an urban fantasy detective thriller. Okay, that’s a fancy way of saying the lead character is a Chicago PI with a concealed carry permit, a rich new client, and a case that gets so weird being a werewolf is the most normal thing he has to deal with.

Yes, you heard it. Johnny Lupul has issues. The book is exciting, scary, funny, and there may or may not be werewolf sex.

It might not be historical fiction, but it’s full of the same exciting action, unique plots, and humor in dark places you’re used to if you’ve enjoyed my other work. Come join me. I promise it won’t be dull.

Do you like free reading? Of course you do, so listen up.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!