Release Day!

Release day for BEYOND MY DYING MIND is finally here, and on World Book Day nonetheless! I didn’t plan that, but it feels like a happy coincidence.

Much Gratitude

I’d just like to thank everyone who supported me throughout the writing process. Thank you to my wonderful editor Amy McNulty and my awesome formatter Kelly Hashway. Thanks also to my team of early beta readers whose opinions helped push this book in the right direction.

What to Expect From Here

The next book I plan to work on is one of my favorites. I started writing it back in 2013, but inspiration kept leading me in other directions. It’s not a sequel but rather another standalone that loosely ties in with BEYOND MY DYING MIND. More info on this project coming soon!

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Beyond My Dying Mind: A Life of Struggle and a Chance to Make Things Right

Hello world. It’s happening. I have a book on Amazon again.

Wanting Off This Rock but Wondering if the Next Rock Might be Worse

The book stars Noland Randall and Jasmine North, both in their early thirties before death, and both losers in their own eyes. Now, in some in-between realm where souls often end up post-suicide, they can see the happiness they would’ve found had they kept going.

One of the factors that’s kept me breathing during the darkest times in my life is the belief that killing one’s physical body doesn’t end anything. I could never get past the idea that I’d wake up in some twisted realm like Spine Desert, the opening location in the book. Or worse, that my death would force the burden of suffering onto others, both the people left behind, and perhaps a new existence too, reincarnated into a world like this one carrying similar negative patterns and traits.

Social Anxiety | I’d Rather Jump from a Moving Vehicle than Interact with You

The living Jasmine suffers from crippling social anxiety. If you’ve experienced it, you will relate to the waves of dread rolling over your body. The thumping heartbeat. The shaking hands and trembling knees. The way it feels to see yourself become a master in the art of avoiding people, leveling up your game every time you make a successful dodge. For the living Jasmine, this was her everyday life.

There’s more waiting out there for Jasmine, but she can’t see it. She’s spent so long isolated in a prison of her own creation that she’s lost the exit door. Because of her anxiety and PTSD, she thinks there’s no hope of ever having friends or being a healthy person again. Whether Noland can manipulate the course of life on Earth enough to change that in time, the story will tell.

If the Most Amazing Person was Standing in Front of You, Would You Feel Good Enough for Them?

This book tells a story of longing for someone who feels out of reach. I’ve known that feeling. I’ve asked myself the above question and gotten no in response. It showed me what I still needed to work on. Healing is a process, and there are no quick fixes, but life is bursting with abundant potential, even if we can’t always see it. That’s the overall message I hope comes across in this book.

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BEYOND MY DYING MIND, a time travel fantasy available on Amazon.

“A compelling read with well-crafted characters, thoughtful dialogue, and a deeply moving central theme that is well executed by the author.” – Amazon Customer

“This book was incredible… seriously this is one of the best stories I’ve read in a very long time.” – M.E.A. 

“I love the reality of the problems the characters faces. It’s a perfect combination of real life problems with a fun and dark fantasy world.” – Brandi

“I absolutely loved this book. It’s a unique concept with some truly heartwarming moments. Once I started reading, I found I couldn’t stop until I had finished the whole story!” – Steph

More reviews are available on Goodreads.

BMDM_COVER_FINAL VERSION

Creating Original Creatures: Inspiring Monster Lore from Around the World

One of the hardest parts of writing creature fiction is coming up with original ideas. It doesn’t matter whether your monsters are located in the physical or spirit realm—making frightening entities that people haven’t already seen is tough. From things that mimic every form of insect, to gigantic, shapeless alien blobs, it probably exists out there somewhere.

There’s nothing wrong with creating a new story featuring classic monsters. As a long-time zombie fan, I know I’ll never get sick of reading or watching that genre. But if you’re like me, and you’re looking to create an original cast of horrifying creatures for your next book or film, you’re going to need to think outside the box to make your monsters different.

Monster Concepts: More than Just Design

It’s natural to start out by focusing on the physical design of your monsters, which is important. However, it’s often the other details about a monster that make it unique.

Some questions to ask:

  1. Why do your monsters do what they do?

Are they on a non-discriminatory path of destruction or going after certain entities? Is there a sentiment behind their actions, such as revenge, or are they driven by something more primal, like hunger? Are they individual entities capable of making their own decisions. Or, are they mindless drones?

  1. Where are your monsters from?

There are many places that monsters can originate from. Outer space. A giant crack in the ground. A gateway to hell. A scientific experiment gone wrong. If you’re looking for innovative possibilities for your monsters, consider giving them a unique origin. Any of the things I just listed still have new possibilities within them.

For example, aliens don’t necessarily need the “conquer and steal resources” motivation you see in a lot of stories. Is there another reason they are here? Think outside the box.

  1. How Do They Communicate?

Communication is another big factor that sets monsters apart. Look at the difference between the Anne Rice vampires and those found in the 30 Days of Night comics. The former are eloquent, well-spoken, and glamorous beings. They can go unnoticed or even pass as human in the right situation. The latter vampires are much more monstrous, and while they can also communicate, it comes off in a different way.

Another example: That iconic scene in the original Independence Day when the alien manipulates Dr. Okun’s vocal chords to communicate. That was a good example of using communication in an innovative way. Since the aliens did not communicate to mankind throughout most of the story, it made that scene even more powerful.

Finding Inspiration: Monster Legends

I’ve always loved reading about monster lore from around the world. Everyone knows about Bigfoot and Chupacabra, so I did some research and came up with three less-popular monsters to provide you some inspiration.

  1. Manticore

The Manticore is a creature from Persian mythology that seems to have a lot of variations. The general features include the head of a human with a lion-like body, the tail of a scorpion and rows of razor-sharp teeth. Legend has it that the Manticore uses its

venomous tail to paralyze its victims before devouring them whole. Some describe the tail as something that can shoot venomous spikes at enemies as well as function as a stabbing device.

The Manticore story dates way back to a dude named Ctesias, who was a Greek historian in 5th century BC. His detailed descriptions of the creature inspired Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder to include it in his book Naturalis Historia, which was super popular throughout the Middle Ages. According to Pliny the Elder, the Manticore could also mimic human speech—which ups the creepy factor by a lot if you ask me. I’ve always loved monsters that could lure people out into the dark woods by mimicking human voices. So wicked!

  1. Hungry Ghost (Preta)

The legend of Hungry Ghosts, also known as Preta in Sanskrit, originates from ancient India. It is believed that pretas are spiritual entities stuck in a hellish existence in which they feel a constant level of insatiable hunger, often for something disgusting, such as decaying flesh.

They have mummified skin, swollen bellies, and thin limbs due to starvation. Their necks are slender, and their mouths are too small to eat normally. Some pretas are said to be able to eat but not gain fullness and others can’t eat at all due to their deformed mouths. They must endure this terrible suffering due to acts of cruelty or betrayal that they may have carried out in past lives.

  1. Mongolian Death Worm 

mongoliandeathwormabsractI was happy to discover a monster I’d never heard of. Then I realized the Mongolian Death Worm is such a well-known thing that Sean Patrick Flannery made a movie about it in 2010.

Legend has it that the worms, which hide out in the most isolated regions of the Gobi desert, are between two and five feet long and can kill a human via touch with its poisonous skin. It can also shoot corrosive venom from its mouth and electrocute victims from a distance.

In 1920, the Mongolian Death Worm was featured in the book On the Trail of Ancient Man by Roy Chapman Andrews. He described it as “so poisonous that merely touching it means instant death.” How he developed this theory is unclear, and unfortunately, no one has gathered any real evidence of the Mongolian Death Worm’s existence. Nonetheless, many locals stand by the legend.

Check out BEYOND MY DYING MIND, a time-travel fantasy novella.