Book Release – BLINK (and Free Stuff!)

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OK…so if you came here just for the free and discounted books, scroll to the bottom. If you’d rather read about my journey to get to this book’s release, read on.


the partyWow. Today’s the day, huh?

Blink is finally out there. Live, on people’s Kindles and being read. Makes me excited, but more than a little nervous as well.

Of course, I can’t claim all the emotion for this book — half belongs to my brother, Paul, and if he chooses to share them, this blog will be the first place they’ll go. But for today, here is a peek behind the scenes with me.

Last January was…a weird time. I was still less than six months out from going with my wife to get our son, and adjusting to life as an adoptive father. I really hadn’t written much in a long time. The Powers That Be and The Alien Chronicles had both released in early January with stories I’d written, but most of those words had been penned months earlier. I was in the doldrums. For sure.

Then over the course of a few weeks, I stumbled into a daily Facebook status serial of sorts. It was small at first, just a sentence or two, but over time it grew to 500 to 1,000 words — the kind of output I wanted as a writer. I decided one way or another, I’d take what I had and I’d throw it up on Amazon at some point. Probably a 10-20,000 word short story or novella. Kinda fun, but nothing major.

Then Paul messaged me. Turns out one of my secondary characters had sparked something. He went off and wrote a complete backstory and side story for Agent Smith. When he sent it my way, I gladly turned over my status updates to him for a while. It’s natural to feel like your own writing is trash and other people are better, but his storyline with Smith was a game-changer. It had something I didn’t have with my own story — my interest. My own storyline was fascinating, but Agent Smith had so many possibilities and he was such a realized character by the time out storylines converged, I knew we had to do something. Something important.

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We had to make Agent Smith the focus of the novel. Ultimately it meant tweaking a few things in the back half of the book, but it also meant a complete reworking of the beginning. We had to flip back and forth on chapters and provide a intro for Smith that would help establish him and his team in this world.

Ironically, the summer was the worst time for us. Both of us are teachers so it would seem as though we would have more time to focus on the book when we aren’t in the classroom, but more time at home meant more time with our kids and writing and editing Blink proved to be a difficult thing indeed. Once school was back in session, both of us were committed to finishing this and thankfully we did in October.

And with the completion of Blink, we believe we have the beginnings of a potentially long-running series. Like Clive Cussler with his Dirk Pitt (and now NUMA Files, Kurt Austin, and more) series or Lee Child with Jack Reacher. Agent Smith is tough, hard-nosed, bright, and resilient. He’s going to continue to be in stories, as soon as we figure out what those stories will be. (And in case you missed it, Paul and I wrote a one-off holiday short story with our favorite government employee — Agent Smith and the Naughty Elf, which is FREE for one more day.)

Paul and I write really well together. Like…REALLY well. For brothers born eight years apart and who actually didn’t really have much in common until we both got to adulthood, it’s kinda crazy how well our writing meshes. There was a little here and there that I had to smooth out of mine or his to transition, but I would say that I didn’t even touch 95% of his stuff in Blink. When he proposed adding to my story, I was all for it cuz it would save me time. Little did I know that would push us into a novel, and a fairly sizeable one as well. Less work? HA!

Over the past 12 months, this was a huge focus, along with my stories for The Z Chronicles, The Immortality Chronicles, Alt.History 102 and the forthcoming Illustrated Robot Chronicles. Those helped pace the novel in a strange way, giving me times to step away and refocus at regular intervals.

Now that Alt 102 and Blink are both out there and the edits for Illustrated Robot are still on their way, I need to plan my year. First and foremost — Dead Search, the third novel of my Dead Sleep series that I put off a year and a half ago. I need to re-immerse myself in that world and hopefully I’ll have something for readers sometime this summer.

A few last things before we get to the free and cheap stuff…

I have a heartfelt thank you for Samuel Peralta. His commissioning of short stories in The Future Chronicles kept me writing in so many ways. The work on this book wasn’t just done by me and Paul; Ellen Campbell killed it on the editing, Adam Hall put out a fantastic cover, and Therin Knite put up with a lot from me on the formatting. Thank you to each of you.


BUT…with the release of Blink at just 99 cents for a limited time, I’ve decided to have a sale on my books and short stories. Everything I have control over has been priced down to 99 cents or even Free for the next few days. All the links below are Free/Discounted titles for the next few days.

FREE

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99 CENTS

ALT-History-102-eBook (1)

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Thanks for reading! Enjoy the freebies and cheap reads!

Meet the Immortals — ALL the Interviews!

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Today is the launch day for The Immortality Chronicles

(That means you should be reading the book, by the way…)

Not convinced?

A few reviews:

“WOW….All these authors created an awesome collection of stories of the possibilities of living forever…All of these authors were amazing! There wasn’t any story I didn’t love.” 

“This book was really good. There were so many interesting takes on the theme of immortality, and they all had a different spin on it. Every story kept me immersed to the end, I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down.” 

“This anthology is ambitious in its reach and rich in its delivery.”

“If you haven’t read any of the FC series yet, I highly recommend starting with this one. You won’t be disappointed.”

……

BUT maybe you’ve already had a chance to read it….maybe you are waiting until Labor Day…maybe you still aren’t convinced…maybe you want a break. If you haven’t yet caught each of the author interviews for the anthology, this is Union Station of a sort for that. Following this, I’ll post the pictures of each of the interviewees. Click on the picture to be taken to their interview. Thanks for reading and as one of my old friends used to say, “Live Long and Prosper!”


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Patricia Gilliam

John Gregory Hancock

John Gregory Hancock

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Drew Avera

D.K. Cassidy

D.K. Cassidy

Thomas Robins

Thomas Robins

Gareth Foy

Gareth Foy

E.E. Giorgi

E.E. Giorgi

Harlow C. Fallon

Harlow C. Fallon

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David Bruns

D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease

Paul B. Kohler

Paul B. Kohler

Will Swardstrom

Will Swardstrom

Meet The Immortals — Will Swardstrom

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Hey look, it’s my turn! I’ve taken time and used this space to interview each of the other eleven authors featured in The Immortality Chronicles. I thought it only fair that I got to cap the interview series today.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Immortality Chronicles for just $2.99 for a limited time. To check out the other author interviews, just click on their names: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns, D. Robert Pease & Paul B. Kohler.

And now…me!

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Okay…okay. I’ve asked this question of enough people at this point, I should have this down pat. I’m…24601. Shoot. That’s not right.

Okay…my name is Will Swardstrom. I’m a husband, father of two, high school history teacher, and author. Since 2013, I’ve written two novels and a couple handfuls of novellas and short stories. I enjoy teaching for my day job, so there isn’t a huge rush to quit and focus entirely on writing, but perhaps one day… Until that day, I’ll continue to find a balance between my two careers.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I was on board with The Immortality Chronicles from the get go. Chronicles curator Samuel Peralta approached me about a volume that would act as a vehicle to foster charity donations and he chose Immortality for that. I’d done a previous anthology with my LOOW writing group, so he worked with me early on that side of the book. Eventually I was able to write my own story to help benefit First Book and contribute my third Chronicles story (I’ve also appeared in Alien and Z).

Also, now that I’ve read the entire collection, I’m thrilled to be sharing page space with these immensely talented men and women. Each time I get a story in a Future Chronicles anthology, I am just in awe of the words that surround my story on all sides, from the Foreword to the final acknowledgements, each book is a work of art.

11936983_10207733939815640_650787208_nWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

My contribution to The Immortality Chronicles is a story called The Control. It spans much of human recorded history going back to ancient Egypt. I guess I started with the idea that aliens were behind the construction of the pyramids and the other monuments scattered around the Old Kingdom upwards of 5,000 years ago. From there my protagonist goes through history, always alive, but not always living. Not when your life is under someone else’s control. 

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

Well, right here is a great place to start! Up above there are links for many of my books and stories (although I have been terrible at updating this site in the past year or so.) Ultimately to check out my current works, visit my Amazon page HERE. I’m fairly active on Facebook and I can guarantee there aren’t any other Will Swardstrom’s out there. Just search and find me. I’m also on Twitter, but I am a terrible tweeter.

What’s next for you?

Oh boy. Here we go.

My brother, Paul, and I are co-authoring a book. I started it on a whim and he asked to help out and now it may be the best longform fiction I’ve been a part of. We’ve got nearly 83,000 words as of the start of September and I have a goal to finish it by the end of the month.

After that, I’ve got a few short stories to write and/or finish. One I can’t really talk about quite yet, but I can mention the story I have planned for the Alt.History 102 volume coming up. My deadline for that is November with a publication date of early 2016. My working title is “Requiem for an Austrian Princess.” (I’ll leave it there for now and reveal more details later.

In terms of anything else, we’ll just have to see what time allows for. I’m always up for something new, but I gotta make sure I take care of the day job, too.

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

I was really drawn to The Immortality Chronicles by the epic tale of Gilgamesh. An ancient Sumerian story — in fact, the oldest story we have on record — that tells about Gilgamesh as a king in the Sumerian city of Uruk. Gilgamesh is a great king, mighty and powerful, but he has flaws. Eventually those flaws attract the gods who send him a friend, Enkidu. The two have a great bromance and go on epic adventures, but Enkidu eventually dies and much of the blame can be laid at the feet of Gilgamesh. In order to avoid Enkidu’s fate, he embarks on a search for immortality. The journey is long and tough, but he eventually learns man cannot become immortal, but immortality happens for those who live full and complete lives, allowing others to remember their deeds long after their mortal death.

How can we become immortal? Ultimately we can search for man-made ways — faster than light travel, gene therapy, freezing your body, etc. — but the true way to achieve eternal life isn’t found there.

Meet The Immortals — Paul B. Kohler

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We’re nearing the end of the author interviews for The Immortality ChroniclesWe’ve gone through ten interviews so far and Paul B. Kohler is the final one before I share my own thoughts tomorrow. I’ve known Paul for a while now, enjoying his Linear Shift stories back during their first weeks being released into the wild. He’s full of some vivid and wonderful story ideas and we certainly get a doozy with his story in this anthology.

If you missed a previous interview, check them out with the following links: Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns & D. Robert Pease. Don’t forget, The Immortality Chronicles is just $2.99 through Launch Day (Sept. 4!).

Thankfully I was able to get Paul’s interview in and he chipped in a wonderful photo of himself with his exceptional responses. Enjoy the following (along with that photo):

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

Hmm. What can I say that I haven’t already said on the umpteen bio’s scattered around the internets? I am Paul B. Kohler. I hail from Littleton, Colorado, and I enjoy long walks on the beach… oh wait… I think I’ve used that one on another kind of website. Ok, seriously though, my name is Paul, and I am a late comer to the writer party. I’m in my mid 40’s, and only started taking my writing seriously a few years ago. I’ve always had the desire to write fiction, and have been inspired by the likes of Stephen King, but never took the leap until 2013. Maybe someday I could even call myself a full time writer, but until that magical day happens, I’ll keep my day job in architecture.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

I am writing for the Immortality Chronicles, because the entire Future Chronicles authorship is awesome, and I am beyond honored to be included in a volume. Samuel really figured things out correctly when he started putting together these fabulous anthologies. I can only hope that I get tapped on the shoulder again for another future chronicle.

11223824_10207875057263614_6072123625252704075_oWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles? 

My contribution to The Immortality Chronicles is titled Rememorations. It is a story about a man who buys into Immortality, but didn’t pay too much attention to the fine print, per se. After a certain amount of time, his mind became full of memories, and he had to have an additional “procedure” to make room for new ones. The hardest part was deciding which memories to eliminate. Once the decision is made, unknown consequences take over.

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

I write a blog… sometimes. OK, Most of the time, but only sometimes. You can find my ramblings at www.paul-kohler.net, where I try and keep an up to date progress section for anything in my writing queue.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I am mid-way through writing a 7 part serialized novel, titled The Borrowed Souls. The first part, self-titled Borrowed Souls originally published in early 2014 as a stand-alone short story. Since I wrote that piece, my mind would not stop thinking of the possibilities of that world. So, after I finished my last novel, Linear Shift, I began working on new episodes. I recently retitled the first part to The Soul Collector: Borrowed Souls: Book 1 and republished it. The second of 7 episodes is currently available on pre-order, and is titled Regretful Absolution: Borrowed Souls: Book 2. It will publish live on Tuesday, September 8th. I have the third installment ready to go as well, and is scheduled to publish on Tuesday, September 29th. Beyond that, a new episode will publish every three weeks – like clockwork.

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

I think I’ve talked enough about myself and my stories for the moment. I would like to first thank Will for opening his blog to all the writers of the Immortality Chronicles. I’ve been following along with each of the interviews, and can only say that I am humbled to be included with such great talent. The act of writing a book is no easy task for any of us. Between the first spark of inspiration to the umpteenth rewrite along the way, hundreds of hours are involved. Some of us can do it more quickly than others, but that doesn’t at all diminish the effort involved. As I am relatively green in this exciting new world, I am most likely spending more time than the others, because I want things to be as “right” as possible. Beyond the authors involved, there is Samuel (Peralta). Even though he doesn’t have a story in this volume, I would almost guarantee he is has put in double the amount of effort than any single author involved. Please keep that in mind when you buy fiction. The small amount of money we ask is a mere pittance to the value you get. To help sweeten the pot for involved, please consider leaving a review where you purchased the book. Reviews help other potential readers decide whether or not to take a chance on an unknown title.

Meet The Immortals — E.E. Giorgi

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I’m thrilled to share book space with E.E. Giorgi, who is a Future Chronicles veteran like myself. I’ve loved her work so far from her story in The Telepath Chronicles to Akaela. (…and now that I’m talking about her, I realized I owe her a review for her outstanding book Gene Cards…)

The Immortality Chronicles drops on Friday, Sept. 4 featuring stories by Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns, Paul B. Kohler, D. Robert Pease, and myself. The anthology is curated by Samuel Peralta and edited by Carol Davis. Until launch day, you can get the collection for just $2.99.

And here are a few words from E.E. Giorgi:

11796327_10153423837640170_1900403244562143189_nWho are you?

My name is E.E. Giorgi and I am a scientist, a photographer, and a writer. I write thrillers with a scientific premise and dystopian YA. I also write non-fiction articles about genetics and epigenetics for the general public.

Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?

The topic has always fascinated me. Our lives have only one certainty: death. It’s the one thing that we dread the most, both for us and for our loved ones, and yet, as hard as we try, there’s no way to escape from our destiny. But how would life be without death? The first time I entertained the notion was when I read the Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges. He writes:

There is nothing remarkable about being immortal; with the exception of mankind, all creatures are immortal, for they know nothing of death. What is divine, terrible, and incomprehensible is to know oneself immortal.

So, immortality may not exist, but it is a philosophical concept that leaves us baffled. Death makes us vulnerable. It humbles us, it makes every day special and unique because there’s no repetition. And yet, we live everyday thinking that we are immortal, because if we didn’t, what would be the purpose of living?

I’m really grateful to Samuel Peralta for allowing me to explore all these themes and be part of this remarkable anthology.

giorgiWhat did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?

Blurb: “A mercenary returns to his home after almost losing his life in the war he fought for another country. The technology that saved him gave him a curse, one that he willingly accepted so that he could see, for one more time, his true love.”

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but the story was inspired by a real person. I write about her at the end of my story. 🙂

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

Check out my blog (http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.com/), my book page in particular (http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.com/p/books.html) and sign up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/SPCvT).

What’s next for you?

I’m finishing book 2 in the Mayake Chronicles, a YA dystopian series I launched last May. I have two more books in this series that I will publish in 2016, together with the sequel of my futuristic thriller Gene Cards. And, hopefully, a couple more stories in the Future Chronicles. 🙂

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

My most selling book is Chimeras, an award-winning detective thriller with a genetic premise, and a sample of my work is in the anthology Lady Lilith and Other Stories, which features my first Future Chronicle story, The Elm Tree (appeared in The Telepath Chronicles. I also have a book set in the Apocalypse Weird world, titled Immunity, a thriller whose premise spurs from my work on viruses.

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.

Buy My Books! (If you want to, that is…)

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I’m a terrible promoter. There are a lot of indie authors out there who have no shame in sticking their books in your face and daring you to buy their books or unfriend them. I hope I’m not one of those people — I really try hard not to be. But, I’ll put out the plea here for a few days — buy my books!

I’ve put each of my eligible books up for a Kindle Countdown Deal, meaning their normal price above $2.99 will be 99 cents for the next week. You can pick up Dead SleepDead Sight, and Baking With Swords all for just 99 cents each — combined you can get them for less than the price of a Coke at the movie theatre.


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DEAD SLEEP (Dead Sleep #1)

What would you do if you could see your future?
For smalltown newspaper reporter Jackson Ellis, the answer is: nothing. Jackson wants to chart his own course – not allow his visions to influence his life. That all changes when he “meets” Kristina Walsh. He sees a future with her – a love that’s destined to be.
The trouble is, she’s lying in a casket in the local funeral home.
Dead?
That’s what it looks like to the world, but Kristina’s got a secret.
Kristina has a troubled and complicated past of her own. For over a decade, a shadowy organization called The Company has controlled her, and once they discover she’s alive and out of their grasp, they’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
In this debut novel from the best-selling author of the Silo Saga story “The Veil,” Jack and Kristina wage a desperate battle for her freedom – a journey of self-discovery, love and what it means to be human.


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DEAD SIGHT (Dead Sleep #2)

Darkness has overtaken the path…
Once, Jack could see the future. Using that amazing ability, he saved the woman he never knew he loved from a fate she didn’t deserve.
Now, that sight has vanished. He and Kristina are flying blind. The only option? To reach South Dakota and search out the last living link to Jack’s past and discover their shared destiny. They won’t rely on Jack’s vision, but instead will put their faith in a man dead for over 70 years.
Together, they’ll find that even in their weakest moments, they’ve never been stronger. They’ll discover that the secrets they uncovered in Dead Sleep are not the end of the story.
The second book in the Dead Sleep trilogy reunites the reader with Jack and Kristina, propelling them upon a perilous journey even deeper into the stunning world created by Will Swardstrom.
Bonds will be tested. Love will be lost. When faced with an impossible choice, what will Jack choose?


Concept 3BAKING WITH SWORDS: A Short Story Collection

Three stories from two brothers and a sister: Will Swardstrom, Paul K. Swardstrom, and Betsy Baker. Each story with its own unique perspective and genre. The only thread connecting them being family ties between the three authors.

The Price of Greatness by Paul K. Swardstrom
What drives a man? Is it simply being a good person, being a family man, or that single dream of greatness that runs through us all? What if we could have the chance to go back? What is the price of greatness?

Flutter by Betsy Baker
Treasure these moments…children change so fast. What would one mother do when the changes her daughter is going through aren’t so…normal?

A Whimper by Will Swardstrom
At a certain point, human evolution and technology merge, but at what cost? How far will we go before the end is the inevitable conclusion?

EACH of these titles is just 99 cents through next Wednesday. Pick up your copies and tell your friends. And I’ll try not to shove them in your face from here on out.