David Bruns Reviews The Immortality Chronicles

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We’re getting some AMAZING reviews in for The Immortality Chronicles, but one thing the authors featured in the book cannot do is review it ourselves through Amazon. I’ve been mentioning the past few weeks how I felt about many of the stories, and fellow author David Bruns has taken it upon himself to write up his own review of sorts.

So click on David’s face to be taken to his blog where he shares his thoughts on the book.

David author pic - cropped-minhttp://davidbruns.com/2015/09/the-immortality-chronicles/

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Meet The Immortals — D.K. Cassidy

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Thanks for visiting another entry in the author introductions for The Immortality ChroniclesWe’ve got quite a collection of Immortality-themed stories for you in the next edition of The Future Chronicles (on sale during preorder right now for just $2.99). Today we’re going to hear from Immortal author (not really immortal….I think?) D.K. Cassidy.

To read the previous author interviews, click on the names listed below:

Patricia Gilliam

John Gregory Hancock

Drew Avera

Gareth Foy

Like I mentioned already, today’s guest is D.K. Cassidy. She definitely paid homage to British sci-fi master Douglas Adams with her story Room 42. I loved the themes she addressed and how she portrayed the events in her story. By the end, I was left with some answers, but a lot more questions; in the end, that’s a welcome factor for a quality short story. She is a welcome addition to The Immortality Chronicles, so without anymore from me, here is her interview:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

My pen name is D.K. Cassidy. Books and writing have been a major part of my life since I was a small girl. I spent a lot of time in the public library, exploring the world and the universe one aisle at a time. I began to scribble my own stories in a notebook, never showing them to anyone. The stories were for me. Once I became an adult I realized I wanted to share my writing.

I enjoy writing in various genres including Magical Realism, Urban Gothic, Science Fiction and Literary Fiction. My goal? Messing with your mind by transforming the voices in my head into odd stories.

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband Mark, twin sons Aidan and Jared, and three cats.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

The proceeds of this anthology benefit First Book. To quote the website http://www.firstbook.org, their mission is “Putting new books in the hands of the children who need them most.

The Future Chronicles is an epic series of anthologies. When I had the opportunity to write for one, I cleared my schedule and dove in!

11938237_10207627063217233_880679122_nWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

My story is Room 42. It explores the subject of unintended immortality and its consequences. Not everyone wants to live forever.

How can we find out more about you and your writing?

Visit my website: www.dkcassidy.com

Sign up for my newsletter: www.dkcassidy.com/newsletter

Follow me on Amazon: D.K. Cassidy, Amazon Author Page

What’s next for you?

I’m currently building a world based on my short story collection, Spilt Milk. It’s been fun taking characters that were briefly introduced to the reader and fleshing out their backstory. A few of the characters intersect and affect each other’s lives, sometimes unknowingly. The genre of this collection is Dark Literary Fiction, and Magical Realism. The writing style is will remind you of The Twilight Zone, Shirley Jackson (author of the story, The Lottery), Neil Gaiman, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Anything else we need to know about you and your story?

The number 42 appears throughout my story. It’s a nod to Douglas Adams, the brilliant author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Chronicles Week! (with Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway!)

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Been radio silence around here for a couple months. Sorry about that…I’ll fill you in later. Suffice it to say this summer didn’t go exactly as planned on the writing front, but was still productive as well.

(Yes, yes…I’ll get to the Kindle Paperwhite giveaway in a bit…)

But while I haven’t been updating Ye Olde Blog at all this summer, I’m breaking that fast now for Chronicles Week.

Let me back up a bit. When I started writing, I credited a lot of the reasons why to one man — Hugh Howey. After reading his blog and WOOL, I was heartened by his approach and the success he had. Not success as in worldwide blockbuster multi-millionaire success, but rather just simply getting that book written and published success. I told anyone and everyone that it was due to Hugh Howey’s career that I had one as well.

While I still credit Hugh a lot, I’ve taken my own course in the past year. And what a year it’s been in my life. Exactly a year ago this week, I arrived home after flying to Africa with my wife to adopt our four (now five) year old son. If you’re familiar at all with international adoption, you know that the transition isn’t always smooth. Our son has been a blessing on our lives, but my writing schedule took a huge hit. I went from being able to write hundreds or thousands of words a day to dozens. Maybe.

So it was a huge boon when I worked up the courage to introduce myself to Samuel Peralta.

robot chSam is the publisher and curator of The Future Chronicles. A year ago at this time he’d only published the first of the series — The Robot Chronicles. I nabbed an early copy and wrote up a review for it and honestly included it in my best-of-the-year list. I saw some of the authors he’d included in that volume and knew I was as qualified as some of them. I asked about being considered for a future anthology and he graciously read my novella Ant Apocalypse. A few weeks after returning from Africa (and writing virtually nothing the whole time), Sam got in touch with me and offered me a spot in The Alien Chronicles.

I will honestly tell you my heart skipped a beat when I read the message that Sunday afternoon (yes, I can tell you exactly where I was) and I had to read it a couple times before I would believe it.

I knew the quality of story the Chronicles called for, so I took a personal day off teaching and wrote all day. The worst part of that? I ended up scrapping the entire story I spent the day on and went a different direction. But I needed that time to convince myself the first story wasn’t as good as the story I ended up writing — Uncle Allen.

(Hold on, the Paperwhite giveaway is down a bit, hang in there…)

alien chWhen The Alien Chronicles released in early January 2015, my story was one cited in a number of reviews as a favorite, and I reached a bigger audience in that month than I had in the previous year and a half I’d been publishing put together.

The Chronicles allowed me to keep writing, but adjust my new life around quality stories with a larger audience thanks to the dozen writers featured in each volume. Being put alongside writers like Hugh Howey(!), Jen Wells, B.V. Larsen, W.J. Davies, Ann Christy, and… (I could literally go on all day…) has elevated my stories and pushed me to write even better than I did before. The relationships I’ve developed in the past few months have shown me the different ways to be an author in today’s new publishing system and Samuel Peralta is a true visionary with goals for the Future Chronicles for multiple anthologies down the road. I’m as thankful for Peralta and the universes he has had a hand in creating as I am for Hugh Howey at the start of my career.

the-z-chroncilesUncle Allen led to Z Ball (my editor says its my best yet) in The Z Chronicles and I’m one of the few veteran voices to be featured in The Immortality Chronicles (now up for preorder — get your copy now!)

With all that said, it’s CHRONICLES WEEK! All the authors behind the current Chronicles books (so far we’ve had Robot, Telepath, Alien, A.I., Dragon, Z, and Alt.History 101) plus the half-dozen or so planned in the next eight to nine months are showcasing the Future Chronicles anthologies. If you haven’t yet read a Chronicles book, there is a special edition due out in a month, entitled (appropriately enough) The Future Chronicles. It will feature ten stories which have previously appeared in Chronicles books and five NEW stories, as well as a Foreword by Hugh Howey himself(!). It’s up for preorder right now for just 99 cents.

And in honor of the celebration, The Future Chronicles authors are giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. Wait, there’s more! Not only will you get a brand new Kindle Paperwhite, this amazing machine will be pre-loaded with all the Chronicles titles already released. Each of these books have hit #1 in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Anthology list and you want to win this thing. Visit here to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway (GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for all who entered!)

Still here? 

uncle allenOkay…visit The Future Chronicles this week and check out all the amazing books there. If you want a taste, my Alien Chronicles story, Uncle Allen is FREE this week only. Check it out as a taste of the collection.

Anthology Awesomeness!

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Whoa…time got away from me and I forgot to update you guys over here. In the span of one week in the beginning of 2015, I have two stories in two separate anthologies to tell you about. Let’s start with The Powers That Be.

Cover3Back in early 2014, I was privileged to be in my first anthology — WOOL Gathering. All the stories were centered around Hugh Howey’s WOOL Universe and were penned by authors who had all previously written WOOL stories. It was a fantastic collection that I will forever be proud of. One of the best parts is that all the proceeds will go towards the National Novel Writing Month Young Authors program.

So, the authors of LOOW (the League of Original Woolwriters or perhaps the Loofah of Obstinate Wetness) have brought forth another charity anthology — The Powers That Be. It’s already been for sale for a few days and been holding steady on the Kindle Science Fiction Anthology sales charts. Nine stories, all centered around superpowers. Authors are: Ann Christy, WJ Davies, Samuel Peralta, Logan Thomas Snyder, Carol Davis, Thomas Robins, David Adams, Paul K. Swardstrom, and myself. And, I was able to cajole Ernie Lindsey into penning a wonderful Foreword to the book. All great stories, confirmed by the outstanding reviews we’ve received so far.

My story is called “To Sacrifice A King,” and deals with the oft-overlooked role of superhero sidekick. A touch of humor, a smattering of pop culture superhero references, and a question: do powers really make a hero?

For a limited time, just 99 cents and all proceeds for this book will go towards the Sickle Cell Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. The price will go up soon, so get your copy before it’s too late.

alien chrThe next book to tell you about is The Alien Chronicles. Throughout the back half of 2014, I watched a few independent anthologies get published — From the Indie Side, Synchronic, The Robot Chronicles & The Telepath Chronicles. After reading the first three and absolutely loving The Robot Chronicles (enough for it to make my top 18 list of 2014), I approached Samuel Peralta about joining in a future installment. He looked over my meager qualifications and invited me to join The Alien Chronicles.

To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. But I was also incredibly nervous. These anthologies are showcasing some amazing independent publishing talent and I was going to put my stuff up against theirs and say it’s on the same level. I worked hard to put out the best story I could — ultimately drawing back to my roots visiting my grandmother’s farm growing up. My story is called “Uncle Allen,” and has about the same vibe of my short story Ant Apocalypse.

But check out the list of authors joining me: Hugh Freakin’ Howey, B.V. Larson, Jennifer Foehner Wells (her Fluency was on my Top 18 List, too!), Daniel Arenson, Blair Babylon, Annie Bellet, Peter Cawdron (I love that dude), my good friend and writer WJ Davies, Patrice Fitzgerald, Autumn Kalquist, Moira Katson, Samuel Peralta, Geoffrey Wakeling, and Nicholas Wilson. Foreword by my pal Stefan Bolz. Holy Smokes. Edited by the incredible David Gatewood with a cover by the incomparable Jason Gurley and you have about a perfect package. People are going to love this book.

It’s up for pre-order right now and will officially be for sale on Friday, so pick up your copy and get to reading. Between these two books, you can read 24 stories for less than the cost of a Value Meal at McDonald’s. Amazing value for some amazing stories.

Coming Soon – The Powers That Be

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Earlier this year, I was in an anthology entitled WOOL Gathering. I am lucky enough to be in a writer’s group called LOOW. We have all published stories set in Hugh Howey’s WOOL Universe and have stayed connected even as most of us have moved on to writing our own brand of fiction. WOOL Gathering served as a nice collection of short stories set in (and around) the silos and all the proceeds went towards the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program.

Cover3We wanted to keep writing together, so we planned another anthology — this time with the theme of superpowers, which will be called The Powers That Be. There are nine fantastic stories inside with most of the same authors who wrote for our first collection and a few new faces as well. On the right is the cover, designed by LOOW member David Adams.

Here is a list of the stories to be included in the collection:

  • Cassie Dreams of Flying by Carol Davis
  • Lucky Chance by Wes Davies
  • Repose by Thomas Robins
  • Who Will Save Supergirl? by David Adams
  • Yankari by Ann Christy
  • Hotbox Runner by Paul K. Swardstrom & Will Swardstrom
  • We’re Coming For You by Logan Thomas Snyder
  • Faster by Samuel Peralta
  • To Sacrifice A King by Will Swardstrom

In addition to a great line-up of stories, Ernie Lindsey (author of the amazing book Super) agreed to write the foreword. If you like stories about superheroes and those gifted with powers, this is the collection for you.

But, by far the best thing about this book is where the money is going. Just like with WOOL Gathering, we’ve agreed to send the proceeds to someplace else besides our pockets. After recently adopting our son, my wife and I have spent more than enough time at the hospital to see what amazing work the doctors, nurses, and support staff do on a daily basis. Even more than that, the children who visit the or even live at the hospital are heroes in my book for their courage and will to fight on.

With that in mind, we’ve agreed to donate the proceeds to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, specifically the Sickle Cell Clinic to help the patients and families cope and live with this disease.

The book is currently out for formatting, but once it is back from that, we should have a release date soon. I’m really excited for people to read this book and for the hospital to see some much needed money to help people cope with Sickle Cell Anemia.

What Grinds My Gears? Lawns.

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You know what really grinds my gears?

Lawns.

You know what I’m talking about. The green space outside your house. Thanks to societal norms, we feel the need to tend our lawn — water it, fertilize it, mow it. We take better care of our lawns than we do developing countries.

If you happen to live in an apartment or are too young to worry about mowing a lawn, thank your lucky stars.

Now, there is a certain calmness that I’ve learned to enjoy from going out each week and mowing my lawn, so I can’t say I despise the entirety of the lawn care business, but overall I think as a society, we are obsessed with the wrong things and our lawns are more of a symptom of our apathy than anything else.

Don’t you want people to like how your house looks? 

Here’s a better question — who cares? I mean, it’s my house and I should decide how it looks, right? Now, I’m not saying I want to just let weeds take over or anything, but that’s kind of how I think about it. Part of my reasoning may be based on the fact that my house is the second to last lot on a dead-end road and very few people see it, so I hate to “get all dressed up” for company that never shows up.

What’s the big deal with lawn care? 

The big deal is that we as Americans spend an ABSURD amount of money on lawn care. According to the book American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn by Ted Steinberg, Americans will spend 150 hours on their lawn each year; North America spends over $40 billion on lawn care each year, more than the continent spends on foreign aid; and 30% of the water used on the East Coast goes towards the watering of lawns. In fact, the book mentions a golf course in Tampa, Florida that uses 178,800 gallons of water each day — enough water to meet the needs of 2,200 people.

So you’re like — stats from 2005? Those are so outdated. I agree. How about these figures from a Mental Floss article in 2012? The figure is still hovering at 2012 and that figure is care of Bloomberg. I suppose in light of the other figures on that site, the lawn care amount may be reasonable, but like I said, the numbers are just a symptom of the upside-down society we live in.

This guy. Seriously?

This guy. Seriously?

 

I see the Scott’s Lawn Care commercials on TV frequently (which tends to happen when you leave ESPN and their continuous run of baseball coverage on). While they are catchy, I find myself upset sometimes.

I suppose maybe I’m a little more aware of the rest of the world than some, but there are some serious starvation issues happening RIGHT NOW in South Sudan. I don’t want to sound like your mom with leftover brussel sprouts or asparagus on your plate, but there are literally starving people in Africa. If you didn’t water your lawn this week, would that really help?

Probably not, to be honest.

But…the more we were aware and the more we ignored the Scott’s Lawn dude, the more money we might have to send money and aid to areas in the world where fresh water is a serious problem.

How Elitist must we look to developing countries around the world? They don’t have enough potable water to drink in a day…yet we use it to brush our teeth, take 30 minute showers, wash our dishes, wash our clothes, and often times water our lawns. That if we turn up our noses at water that “doesn’t taste quite right.”

Yes, this is about lawns, but it is about so much more.

ws_infographics_outdoorWould you believe that the average American household uses 320 gallons of water each day? And 30 percent of that is used outside. (My math isn’t exceptional, but I come up with 96 gallons used outdoors by each family each day).

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it is believed approximately half of that water is wasted, whether due to evaporation, wind, runoff, or just inefficient methods of irrigation.

Ultimately, I know I’m not going to change a lot of minds. In fact, I just mowed my lawn yesterday and this afternoon and I’ll do it again next week. But, when it comes down to making it perfect or whether to save my money to give towards worthy charities, I’ll think twice for sure. It would be great practice for us all to do so. There are millions of people who cannot afford to feed their families, let alone give them safe drinking water. We take that water and feed it to grass — which has NO nutritional value. It might even be better if local municipalities would allow and encourage their residents to replace their ornamental lawns with more beneficial plants like corn, soybeans or wheat.

End rant. Thanks for listening.

 

Silo Charity Anthology Announcement!

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I haven’t released anything new for your Kindle in a little while and the next thing with my name on it will also have a bunch of other names as well – and it’s all for charity!

Back last summer, after I’d written The Veil, I joined a group of writers who had also written WOOL fan-fiction stories. This has been one of the best things for me – a group that I can talk to about my writing, voicing frustrations, and bouncing ideas off of. The group itself has changed a little since I first became a member, but we’ve done a great job of supporting each other and pushing each other.

All of us can directly tie our success to Hugh Howey and his WOOL universe. As a tribute to Hugh and a way to give back, we’ve decided to team up to release an anthology of WOOL short stories. All of the profits will go towards the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program as we try to help the younger versions of ourselves to get writing before they get to our age and wonder what happened to their dreams. Just kidding…sort of.

Between us, we have 20 separate titles set in one or another of Hugh Howey’s silos (including a few omnibus titles) and I am ridiculously honored to share pages with them. In fact, I have just two Silo stories out – a pittance compared to a few of my comrades.

Joining me in this anthology will be: Ann Christy, Carol Davis, W.J. Davies, Thomas Robins, and Fredric Shernoff.

In case you aren’t familiar with all of them, here are their Silo works:

ImageAnn Christy’s Silo 49 series has garnered a lot of attention. Again, finding a nod to a silo from WOOL, Ann took Silo 49 and ran with it, creating a rich world full of memorable characters. She recently released the third book called Silo 49: Dark Til Dawn.

ImageCarol Davis has six books set in the silos –two silo horror stories – They Kill and They Feed and four other (including the omnibus) in the Rebel State series. The Rebel State books are fairly unique among WOOL stories in that they begin at the beginning – right after humanity was forced underground. The omnibus takes the first three books and puts them together and the title also hints at more on the way: Silo Saga: Rebel State: The Year One Trilogy.

ImageW.J. Davies is really the WOOL fanfiction pioneer among our group. While he wasn’t the first to use Hugh Howey’s silos for himself, his books really were the first to gain popularity and probably helped inspire Kindle Worlds in the first place. His books The Runner, The Diver, and The Watcher are all combined into the Silo Submerged Trilogy. A fantastic look into Silo 35 and into the outside world, Davies crafted a fine story.

ImageThomas Robins is the author of a collection of Silo poetry and three separate Silo stories – The Pawn, The Bishop, and The Rook, his latest, published in December.

ImageFredric Shernoff holds the distinction of having the first Silo story included in Kindle Worlds with his book Angels of the Earth. You can find the great little detective story here.

ImageAnd then, of course, I’ve written two Silo stories – The Veil and the follow-up Behind The Veil, that I published in November.

Almost all of us have also written outside of the Silo as well…and some pretty fine work as well. I’m totally stoked to be included in an anthology with such a great set of authors. The as-of-yet unnamed anthology is scheduled for mid-February. Once we have a title, a cover, and the particulars on each of the stories, I’ll write up another blog post, letting everyone know where and when they can get it.