My Writing Process – Blog Tour

This is part of the My Writing Process Blog Tour, which allows authors to describe a bit about their fiction production methods taking place in a non-laboratory environment. The always-excellent Robyn Bachar posted her entry last week. You can find it here: http://therobyn.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-writing-process-blog-tour.html”


What am I working on?

Hmm. Right now I’m caught in a re-writing phase, which, while necessary, is neither exciting nor sexy. Rewriting/restructuring 9mm Blues, my Thorn Knights action novel with ghouls and urban warfare. Rewriting/restructuring Shadow Crew–the final book of the Blood Vice, Ghost Soldiers, vampire Karl Vance trilogy. And then there is my neglected Spanner Jack urban fantasy, the first four chapters of which can be read on this website (they are the only chapters that exist at this moment). I have another novel completed called A Thousand Ravens Dark…which contains high performance motorcycles, ravens, a manhunt, sonic weapons, and a snarky sidekick. But it needs more polishing. So, yeah, I’m staggering around as per usual.



How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The Zero Dog books are quirky and completely over-the-top. I mean, there’s a ninja riding a Vespa and a ghost pufferfish for heaven’s sake. The serious books I try to keep intense and suspenseful…which doesn’t really differ from the goals/books of other writers, but this paragraph required more text.


Why do I write what I do?

I love the idea of mixing technology with magic. Guns with swords. Monsters versus soldiers (i.e. chaos and bloodlust versus discipline and order). I find those types of dichotomies intriguing.


How does your writing process work?

An idea percolates for a time in my brain. Then it is either filed or lost because I didn’t have time to pursue it, or it clings like a baby monkey and cannot be dislodged. I promise myself I’ll outline the book, then I violate my promise and write the first chapter because I’m too excited not to start. After writing the first chapter, I promise I’ll outline the rest of the book…right after I finish chapter two. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. After the whole thing is done I sheepishly outline the book, then must rewrite the damn thing to fix structural issues that would’ve been resolved had I only outlined the book from the beginning.

There must be some type of 12 Step Program that could help me break this sad cycle. Unfortunately, most of those programs are in outline form…


Next week the tour continues with:


Devin Harnois Devin Harnois writes about the strange and fantastic, loves skulls, and lives in Minneapolis with a lazy cat and a wild imagination.

Selena Illyria Multi-Published Author, part vampire, part pixie, Selena Illyria was born with a need to write and enable. Her imagination takes her into the paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy genres and all sorts of mischief.

Quick update…on the lack of updates…

My apologies about the lack of a new chapter of Spanner Jack. I’ve been busy finishing Shadow Crew, the third book of the Nightfall Syndicate. I was trying to alternate between writing both stories, but it was difficult to escape the “tone” of Shadow Crew, which was bleeding into the other book’s prose a little. Also, I really needed to focus on finishing the trilogy if I have any hope of sending it off before the end of autumn.

Good news: I finished Shadow Crew. Now I’m tinkering with the draft, fixing a few rough edges.
More good news: I’ll be returning to writing Spanner Jack very soon.
Other news: I’ll be starting another Zero Dog book after Shadow Crew is off, for those of you who enjoy that series. Dark Ride Dogs should be going into edits soon. I’ll announce a release date as soon as I have one.

2013 Update

Just an update for those who are waiting for a new book to release. Status/series information is followed by some general writer babble.

2012 was a rough year. A year that included moving from one coast to the other and all the associated chaos that results from such a mad undertaking. Caution: Standard Writer’s Lament Ahead The day job eats a lot of time. Non-Standard Writer’s Lament: My cat must be hand-fed anchovies thrice daily while listening to Italian opera. (All right, that’s a lie. The cat also enjoys show tunes.)

I’m working on another draft of my much-delayed 9mm Blues (which has turned into my Keyser Söze book of rumors and misinformation), but the book will emerge better, faster, stronger for it. This book takes place in the Nightfall universe.

I finished another draft of Dark Ride Dogs. I’m currently re-reading it, tightening the prose, sharpening the dialogue, etc. This book takes place in the Zero Dog universe.

Meanwhile, I’m still pounding away at the final book of the Nightfall Syndicate trilogy. I admit I’ve been a little dismayed by the wall of “We’re sick of vampires” comments from readers across the net, though I completely understand the sentiment. However, I need to bring a final dramatic close to the story of Karl Vance and Maria Ricardi. This will be the last time I touch vampires–unless they show up in minor, limited roles within the Nightfall world–for a very long time. I don’t want to say forever…but yeah, probably forever unless there’s a sparkle-awesome idea that hits me. And it had better be one helluva idea.

I’ve been musing over writing a spec-fic novel with a more sympathetic, likable main character that will have broader reader appeal than the criminals/assassins I’ve been writing about in the Nightfall world. (I believe Andrea the pyromancer from the Zero Dog universe is generally likable, but the over-the-top wackiness in those books doesn’t appeal to everyone.) But I need someone interesting, relatable but not cliche, and not so jaded–then all kinds of conflict and bad things will happen to them to see how they change/adapt. Aaaand that’s about as far as I’ve moved on that idea. I haven’t even decided if said character should be male or female.

I’m cheering for the 49ers against the Ravens today for two reasons. A great friend of mine loves the 49ers. The Ravens beat the Patriots. There may be a grudge involved, Baltimore. That’s all I’m saying. 😉

The Zero Dog War included in Explorations: The BN SciFi and Fantasy Blog’s list of Best Zombie Releases of 2012 (also a writing update)

Damn. That title is too long.

The Zero Dog War was mentioned in Explorations: The BN SciFi and Fantasy Blog’s list of Best Zombie Releases of 2012.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled. There’s a lot of great zombie fiction on that list.

Speaking of zombie fiction, my daughter-in-law and her husband bought me the first two graphic novels of The Walking Dead. I really enjoy the television show, so I’m eager to see if I love the graphic novels just as much (I likely will since I generally love the source material more than adaptations).

Other writing news. 9mm Blues may release this week. I really love this Urban Fantasy thriller…and I’m extremely excited to get it out to the reading public. It is packed with action, betrayals, ghouls, suspense, intense monster-fighting, more ghouls, and a young warrior learning what it means to be a hero. Anyway, when it goes live , I’ll update this blog with links and a blurb and so on. I’m terribly excited about it and can’t wait. I completed two novels in 2012…but the stars didn’t align and I wasn’t able to release any of them before the year ended. However, I should have at least three books out in 2013 (crossing fingers), including another book set in the Zero Dog world.

As for the zombie fiction list, click on this link to check it out.
http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Explorations-The-BN-SciFi-and/The-Best-Zombie-Fiction-Releases-of-2012/ba-p/1425992

Short Story in the Touched by Darkness Horror Anthology

 

Just a quick update.

A very short horror story of mine has been reprinted in the Touched by Darkness anthology. My story “Be Seeing You” has the dubious distinction of being the shortest story in the whole antho, but I think it has a rather creepy vibe. Also, I’ve been reading other stories in the anthology and they are very good. One of them has flesh-eating ponies. Flesh-eating ponies qualify as Must Read Status with me.

Anyway, before I get further distracted while rambling about flesh-eating ponies…the anthology has twelve great horror stories. If you enjoy horror/dark fiction, please consider giving it a glance.

 
 

Touched by Darkness
Twelve Tales of Evil, Inside and Out

“Attachment”
Dee Pratt
 
Betrayal can take your breath away.

Happily married Melanie never suspected that her husband of thirteen years could be hiding a dark secret…or how deep and cold her capacity for revenge really was.
 
 
“Masked”
Matthew Cherry
 
When longtime friends Oliver, Nelsen, and Harry stumble across a funny but disturbing set of horse head masks online, they can’t resist buying them for a practical joke to scare their friend Aaron. But the masks seem to share a dark connection with Aaron’s old house, and Oliver can’t seem to shake the compulsion to keep putting the mask on…
 
 
“Trust”
Peter Giglio
 
Who can you turn to when there’s no one left to trust?

Amy knows her best friend Caleb is “different,” but he’s always been there for her, ever since they were kids. But when she picks up an old man hitch hiking in a storm, she never expects Caleb to betray her quite so thoroughly…
 
 
“Teaching Man”
Nell DuVall”
 
The Devil comes calling on Halloween…
 
 
“Stew”
Patrick Anderson Jr.
 
Murder’s always a little hard to swallow.

Steve’s wife is due home any minute, and he’s been slaving away in the kitchen on a special dinner for a special night—a lovely, romantic evening for two…or one, if things go as planned…
 
 
“Black Habits”
Elson Meehan
 
Mother Superior has a terrible secret.

Accused by her parents of unchaste behavior, Tsula Montenegro is sent to the convent to put aside her whoreishness. But the nuns have something much darker in store. The convent and its herd of miniature ponies are both falling into ruin, and Mother Superior has been providing an alternative feed to the herd…
 
 
“Evelyn Thayer”
Ronn E. Taylor
 
Revenge is a dish best served with wheat toast and coffee…

When Marget Smalls sets her seductress’s eye on Evelyn Thayer’s husband, Evelyn isn’t about to about to look the other way. Instead, she invites Margret to breakfast…
 
 
“The Dead Hate the Living”
Thomas Gueli
 
Unfortunately, death isn’t the final resting place.

When a man awakens on a cold, steel table, unable to move, speak, or breathe, he learns a terrible truth. He’s dead. And he’s being prepped for an autopsy. But it is what happens after the autopsy that makes him realize just how painful death can be…and the dead are hungry.
 
 
“In My Lady’s Chamber”
Catherine Cavendish
 
Upstairs, Downstairs, and in My Lady’s Chamber…

As soon as Lydia sees Goose Green Farm, she knows something’s wrong. Why would John bring her to a derelict farmhouse miles from anywhere in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors? Refusing her pleas to go home, she can see that something is happening to him. As they enter the house, he seems possessed by a sinister presence that draws him to it and threatens his very existence. A terrified Lydia knows she will have to do whatever she can to rescue him from the clutches of a spirit who is hell-bent on revenge.
 
 
“We Shadows Have Offended”
K.W. Taylor
 
After the death of a mutual friend, Sam, Bill, and Roger can no longer hide from the memories of what they all did that day… the day they killed the little girl.  The little girl who wasn’t a little girl. Now it’s back, and it’s looking for them, leaving death and destruction in its wake, hell-bent on revenge. Can Sam summon the strength and courage to make a sacrifice that will save his friends and family?
 
 
“Dreaming, Not Sleeping”
Julia Kavan
 
Her nightmares were simply too good to resist.

A woman is tempted away from the safety of her husband’s arms by a skillful nighttime visitor. But they both find nothing is what it seems…
 
 
“Be Seeing You”
Keith Melton
 
“She’d been dead for two hours when she smiled at me…”
 
 

* * *

 
For those of you who are now staring at the screen and thinking: “I’m waiting for the sequel to Ghost Soldiers and/or Zero Dogs and/or for 9mm Blues to release and you have the gall to mention your piddly little 1800 word horror short story? A pox on you, Melton! May your flesh be consumed by rabid ponies!” …or something similar, I apologize. I’m rewriting Dark Ride Dogs and writing the final Nightfall Syndicate book, so there is hope.

The moment I finish, I’ll update this blog before running riot through the streets in desperate celebration.

Oh, and here are links in case you’re interested in Touched by Darkness.
Touched by Darkness at Amazon
Touched by Darkness at Barnes and Noble
Touched by Darkness at Omnilit
Kobo
Sony

Dark Ride Dogs finished…and a Good Review for Ghost Soldiers!

Writing update:

I finished a 2nd draft of a Zero Dog novel. It’s called Dark Ride Dogs. Hopefully it will release in late 2012.

Dark Ride Dogs pits those crazy Zero Dog mercenaries against homicidal redcaps and murderous ghost clowns, all with a creepy carnival flavor and tons of wild humor. It’s currently off with a few beta readers who were kind enough to agree to read it. I’ve never used beta readers before, but I want this book to be good–no, really good–so I’m pulling out all the stops. I toned some stuff down (the military hardware name-dropping for example) and tried to add a little more heart to the book (along with all the fighting and explosions and fire and werewolf shenanigans). We’ll see.

And…a great review for Ghost Soldiers:

“Keith Melton has written a masterful book (and series) that shatters all the stereotypes of good and evil, right and wrong. All of the characters are complex and intricately-drawn, and the reader is sucked into all the shades of black and gray that envelops their lives. Mr. Melton is a storyteller of the highest order and his writing is sharp, vivid and engrossing. The “warning” of the book reads: “Explicit language and intense, violent content. Assassinations, betrayals, paranormal warfare, explosions, gangland slayings, chaos, calamity, rampant pandemonium and an occasional fiery explosion.” I would humbly add to that – sucks you in and will not let go. This book is a must-read!”– Bitten By Books

Bitten By Books Review of Ghost Soldiers

 

There aren’t any flying robot monkey sharks in Dark Ride Dogs… and that’s a damn shame.