SSgt Blake “Gibs” Gibson is probably one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. Well, “written” may be putting it strongly. He’s basically just an amalgam of some good friends who picked up a rifle and served.
If you’re ever about to tell one of them, “thanks”, do make sure you’re not being a dick when you do it.
“Easy,” George said. “Gibs is a Marine Veteran. He tends to look out for people. We know this about him. We’ve all benefited from this attitude many times over, lest any of us forget. It’s a little disingenuous to start complaining when the very attitude that makes him such an asset in our group gets directed at some strangers in need.”
“Yes, George, that’s all well and good but the fact remains,” Edgar interrupted. He turned his attention back to me and said, “First off, thank you for your service-“
“Don’t…you…even…try to start in with that line,” I said.
“I beg your pardon?” he asked, genuinely confused.
“That ‘thank you for your service’ bullshit. It’s what a Vet usually hears right before he’s told that he’s basically wrong and irrelevant. If someone’s gonna tell me I’m full of shit, I want to hear it outright. I don’t want to be buttered up with that line. You know how many times I heard that line right before someone told me in the same breath that I was full of shit and didn’t know what the hell I was talking about? I’ll give you a hint: it’s like a big, old, sloppy blowjob in your basic, garden variety porn. It’s foreplay, Edgar, and you’ve just told me that you like it rough.”
This morning sees the manuscript at 73K words and my very rough guesstimate is that I’m about halfway through, give or take. The outline, strictly followed, calls it 50% of the way there, but I’ve had additional ideas while in the process of writing that I’ve jotted down. I may include them or not, depending on relevance to the story and how they effect the flow. It’s looking good, though. I’m happy with how things are progressing and the pacing feels right.
You can grab a copy of the first book in the series by clicking the cover below if you need to catch up. Feel free to crack open the free preview and see if this is a story you’d like to dive into. I’m well aware that some people are resistant to starting a series that isn’t yet finished but I can fairly promise you that this one is getting finished. I’ve had the whole series (three books) mapped out from the start; there’s not really any point where I’m running into writer’s block here. I know what the whole story is; I just need the time to write it out. The whole series will be done by early to mid next year. I’m pushing hard to have the second book complete towards the end of August.
“Maybe he would kill her in her sleep.”
A few paragraphs in and this sucker is on my GET IT list. Click the book for a preview. You’ll see what I mean.
A lovely 5-star was left for me this morning on Amazon:
“Love Joshua Gayou’s style. Clear, concise, believeable and sets the hook from the beginning. Love Billy and Jakes relationship and cant wait to see how Amanda’s path crosses theirs. Sure hope Mr Gayou has sequel ready for publishing. Really looking forward to the whole series.“
I can’t describe how gratifying it is to hear feedback like this. Above all, I set out to entertain when I started writing this series. Hearing from folks that this has been accomplished makes my whole day; there is simply no other way to describe it.
As I’ve said before, I’m aware of how much content across diverse media platforms is out there competing for your attention. Everyone’s time is limited and I take yours very seriously. Chief among my concerns is writing something into which you’ll feel good investing money, time, and energy.
Should you be interested in picking up a copy of the book, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo in ebook and paperback formats (click here for various purchase links). You can also preview the book and decide if it’s the kind of thing you want to dive into from any of these sites or just click the picture of the book on the right bar of this site.
Should you be interested in discussion or asking questions about this book or any other things in general, you’ll find numerous methods of contacting me here on this site as well. I’d love to hear from you.
Author Dean M. Cole is doing a really cool thing that I wasn’t even aware was a doable practice in this game; a virtual blog tour! He’s going to be feature alongside the narrators of his latest book, Solitude: R. C. Bray and Julia Whelan. This looks like it’s going to be a really cool feature for a guy who is already drumming up a lot of buzz in the independent and audio markets.
For those of you who run your own book blog, this is your chance to get in on the action (CLICK HERE). There are a number of dates open in which you can submit to host these folks over at your site. This is a good thing for everyone involved; it means traffic for them and it definitely means new traffic for you.
For all of you lovelies out there who don’t dig on Amazon or Kobo but partake of the B&N Nook…ocity? Nookitude? Nookchuckus?
I don’t know where I just went, there. Anyway, if you have a Nook, you too can come escape into my little slice of unheaven. Enjoy and thank you all.
Progress on Commune Book Two is banging along at a fantastic pace! I’m already one third of the way finished (or maybe a little less depending on what the total length ends up being; it feels like it may be a bit longer than the first book right now). It would be really friggin’ cool if I had it ready to publish around the time the production of Book One’s audio book is finished.
In the meantime, the first book calls out to all you fans of the post apocalypse genre. For any who enjoy dreaming about how you would fair in a total societal breakdown or who wonder about your chances of surviving a world suddenly made lawless and hostile; for any preppers who fancy themselves ready for the day the lights go out; for any military (either active service or veterans) who would view the situation as just another day at the office: this series of books is my little love letter to all of you (kiss!). Click the image of the book cover for a free preview! You can grab a copy in both ebook and paperback formats.
Apocalypse, Dying Earth, Survival, Shit-Hits-The-Fan, or whatever else you want to call it; I’ve been a fan of this genre for a long time, now, and it would seem I’m not alone. Strangely, it seems to still be lacking an official sub-genre category listing on the big sites like Amazon, Kobo, and so on but, you know…changing databases is HARD.
I did not realize that my first book was going to be placed in this setting (I actually didn’t have any idea that I was going to write my first book until I started banging away at the keyboard), nor did it occur to me that my first effort would end up being a series a books (go big or go home, right?). I had just finished listening to a string of them and the genre seemed well occupied. Did I really have anything worthwhile to add?
Over time while reading or listening to these works from other authors or watching the visual analog on TV (Walking Dead, anyone?), it became apparent to me that the answer was “yes”. In each of these offerings, I noticed that there were always points where the story began to scratch the surface of topics or plots that really began to interest me without really exploring in the way that I would have liked. There was always this teasing going on where they would walk right up to the edge of an idea and then back away. In some cases, this was totally understandable because the things that interested me didn’t necessarily dovetail with the story that the author (or scriptwriter) wanted to tell. In the worst cases, it was deeply frustrating; I felt that there were a lot of missed opportunities along the way when the characters weren’t just making outright stupid decisions (Walking Dead, anyone???).
I resisted the urge to set the Commune story in an apocalypse landscape but, after a lot of deliberation, I just found that the environment was really the most conducive to what I wanted to do. There were a lot of ideas and concepts that I wanted to explore, covering topics in the areas of primitive survival, small group dynamics, human adaptability, the price of humanity, and the impact of and coping with loss. It’s true that many of these are explored in other stories but I just felt that I had more to say on the matter. An apocalypse in which the human population has taken a significant hit (such that there are no more governments anywhere) gave me the sandbox I wanted.
Additionally, there is a bit of wish fulfillment that I believe we all experience when reading these stories. There is a base understanding that, in such a situation, everyone is reset back to zero. Put another way: your past history, mistakes, regrets, and transgressions are wiped away. You have the ultimate chance to start over. In debt up to your eyeballs? Not anymore! Trapped in a dead-end job or can’t get hired at all? Doesn’t matter now! Are you locked in a loveless marriage? Here’s your chance for a little fresh romance! Have you ever wanted to live in a mansion? Go find one and move in!
All of this can be yours; you need only survive the end of the world.
I love this idea of a mass, societal reset. I’m drawn to the idea that the criminal could find redemption or that the common accountant might grow into a skilled survivor. I’m compelled by this idea that people could get the chance at a do-over if only some agent would step in and erase society along with all of the rules, limitations, and boundaries that seem to hold so many people pinned firmly in place.
The genre gives me an incredible, nearly limitless workshop in which to go about the business of developing characters, which is really what this is all about. They can be built up and empowered or dragged through the mud and tortured pitilessly.
My own personal workshop; and I have a freshly sharpened set of chisels.