When you order a pizza, it’s usually the size of a dinner plate and you eat it with a knife and fork. Unless you get a pre-made pie on a per slice basis, most pizzas are made to order. The crust is thin, chewy and tossed by hand. By far the most popular flavor is the Margherita, a simple pie that uses nothing but cheese, tomatoes and a fresh sprig of basil. The cheese in particular is always fresh, so it has a very distinct flavor as opposed to buying franchised pizzas back home. Pair it with some house wine (vino de la casa) or beer (called birra in Italian).
This place was virtually empty when I visited it last year. Too bad though, because I think it’s quite simply the best museum in the city. It’s a little hard to get to, but it’s worth the trip.
40 massive rooms and so few visitors meant that I was pretty much by myself. There are also very lovely grounds within the museum where you can just sit down and rest in relative peace and quiet. Do not miss this!
Since I’m a writer who writes without a plan, I made a lot of changes from my original concept on writing Book 1 of the Wrath of the Old Gods series. If you haven’t read The Glooming yet, you might not want to read any of these entries!
Patrick Gyle’s original name was Blake Rockatansky and vice versa– yes, I was in sort of my Mad Max mode when I made up the name for him. I ultimately changed it to make it a little less convoluted. Patrick Gyle was supposed to be the leader of the black ops team in the museum, but I switched their names at the last minute.
Patrick Gyle was supposed to die in Chapter 1- yes, I had originally planned for poor old Gyle to get killed at the end of the first chapter. But later on as I kept writing, I realized I needed to have a character in that region who would act as a focal point to the story so I kept bringing him back for another chapter hoping to kill him off at the end. But then it just snowballed until he made it to the end of the book! He just wouldn’t die!
The chapters regarding the racism was written as tongue in cheek- yes, there were some complaints about some of the very nasty racists in a few of the chapters, but I had never planned on intentionally making a big deal out of it. I wrote those chapters with an eye for comedy, albeit more black comedy than slapstick!
Ilya was supposed to end up in Sweden and find Thor’s hammer- yes, at one point I actually wrote a chapter that Ilya had escaped from Baba Yaga’s hut and into the snow stormed lands of Sweden, right near the base of the mountain where the giants attacked the UN research team. I decided against that plotline simply because it seemed to turn a post-apocalyptic novel into a superhero book.
The Mexican drug lord was supposed to die- yes, the Aztec demons were supposed to tear his guts out at the end of the chapter. I don’t know why I decided to make it look like an ambiguous end for him with the possibility that he might still be alive, but it all worked out since he does return in Book 3!
The original cover artwork of the book looked like this:
Yes, that’s right … asteroids!
Larry was supposed to be a nice guy- yes, I had originally planned for Larry and Tara to be sort of a older man, younger teen team that would end up fighting evil skinwalkers in the southwest. The end result sure turned out differently!
The main villain of the book was supposed to be Tlaloc, the Aztec Rain God- yes, you can clearly sense the rains in New York when Valerie stumbles upon the Aztec cult in Manhattan. But in the end, I just couldn’t find a plausible way to bring all the characters together for a final battle in Mexico.
All the characters were supposed to meet each other just before the climax- yes, I had originally planned for like a gathering of superheroes like The Fellowship of the Ring or Marvel’s The Avengers, but there was just no way any of them could have plausibly ended up meeting up in such a short time.
The whole book was written in less than 8 weeks- yes, when I am inspired I could write quite a lot of words in a short time. My original plan was to publish the book sometime in early 2016, around March, but it ended up going live in December of 2015.
I hope you enjoyed this little bit of trivia, Book 3 of Wrath of the Old Gods will be going live soon!
I gotta say, the folks at DDD (Deranged Doctor Design) have really outdone themselves on the cover of the newest Wrath of the Old Gods book. The designers are consummate professionals and if you ever need a great book cover, head over to their site and request a date, but do it a few months in advance because they are swamped with work. I will be using them for the entire series run so I plan to be with them for a long, long time.
Canticum Tenebris (Latin for Dark Song) will be released in a few days, first in preorder, then it will go wide on all channels. Watch for it!
I wrote this up as a complete stand-alone novel so one doesn’t need to read the other books in the Wrath of the Old Gods series in order to understand it. So unless I get a multi-million dollar publishing contract that says otherwise, the e-book version will remain free. I’ve included a number of Easter eggs that readers of the entire series will notice since some of the characters depicted in this book will appear in the other books as well. The storyline is also tighter, since there’s only one protagonist, unlike the main books, which have multiple main characters.
All in all, I had a great time writing it, took me only two weeks to finish it too. I seem to write faster when I put a book together in first person than when I do something in third person. I hope you all enjoy it. The sequel (which will be Book 2.5 in the overall series) will be written soon and will probably be released sometime this year.
My newest novel is completed and will be available on pre-order on Amazon in a few days with the official release date on December 18th. I am switching genres slightly, this time it’s the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic books and I pulled out all the stops. At over 120,000 words this is the longest manuscript I have ever completed. Multiple main characters, lots of action and touches on everything from war, horror, politics, mythology, religion, immigration, gods, demons and what it means to be human. I hope it can find an audience so I can finish writing the rest.
People have asked me where I got the idea to writing The Opener from. I’m afraid that’s a rather open-ended question since writers get their ideas from everywhere and everything. But if you really want to know I’ve actually thought about writing it for over ten years now and it stems from my experiences of meeting people while hanging out in bars and pubs after work.
Even though most of the people who work as expatriates are the types who crave new experiences, every once in awhile everyone gets homesick and would want to be in an environment that they are familiar with and be with people that they can identify with as well. It’s no secret therefore that one of the places where an American, an Aussie, a European, a Brit or an Irishman can be like his old self would be at a bar. In practically every part of the world these days there are a number of bars and pubs that cater to the expatriate foreigner.
And it’s at these bars is where you meet all sorts of people. Life in the Third World tends to be less hustle and bustle so that gives anyone who earns a decent wage plenty of time to kill. And what better place to waste your time than being in familiar surroundings and having the same drink that you’ve grown up with? There’s a reason why traditional English and Irish pubs are built the way they are: from the dark wooden paneling to the (rather expensive since they are imported) Guinness stouts and the full English breakfasts available anytime during the day (or night), these little things give a person a comfort level that can somehow temper the anxieties of living in an alien world.
There were two men in particular that I met over the years and they eventually opened up to me as to what it was that they were doing for a living. One guy I had bumped into over consecutive weekends just sitting at the bar and watching one of the soccer matches and we both ended up cheering for the same team. When I met him a third time, we started to talk casually about our names and basic information about each other but he didn’t really say anything about the line of work he was in until months later when we both got so drunk that it sort of just came spewing out of his alcohol-laced mouth.
I didn’t see him again for a few months after that. But one day, out of the blue, he just sat down beside me and started to talk about his experiences being in a boiler room. At that time I didn’t even know what the term meant. As the months rolled by he would entertain me with stories of how he was able to swindle a few saps here and there and I gradually got the whole picture on how the “company” that he was working for operated. After knowing and hanging around with him for a few years at that bar, I was able to earn a bit of his trust and that was the time that finally revealed to me the inner workings as well as the slang that people from their industry would be using at work. It was almost like a subculture; each of them belonged to a hidden network, in which offices would open and close depending on whether the firm was raided by the police or if the owner had decided to just board everything up due to lack of revenue or that he would sometimes just get too greedy and decided to keep all the profits for himself.