Horror DNA has published a thoughtful and mostly positive review of Cursed by Christ. The reviewer said it has an “exciting breathless pace weaving an amazing tale full of mystery and some well-plotted out twists” but nevertheless found it slow in parts. Valid criticism! I’m glad someone finally gave this trunk novel some analysis. There are also some mixed reviews on Goodreads, but altogether it’s still managing almost 4 out of 5 stars.
While I’ve had high hopes for it, Cursed by Christ has always been my “learning” novel. It taught me how to write a novel during college, and lately it’s taught me how to self-produce an audiobook. It’s been a good experience.
A little bit of family news: for the second year in a row, the Warner family has won the grand prize for the Traipse/WQSV Treasure Hunt!
For six weeks, the Traipse app developers hid a weather-proof container somewhere in the Augusta County/Staunton/Waynesboro, VA area. They released clues about its location on WQSV radio, social media, and through their Traipse scavenger hunt touring app. Unlocking each clue usually meant traveling to some location to solve a puzzle.
The Warners and three other teams found the container hidden beneath a fishing pier at a Waynesboro public park (and we found it first). Traipse awarded us some cash and swag from its sponsors. This year’s hunt was different from last year’s in that there could be multiple winners. Congratulations to the other finalists.
I encourage everyone to download the Traipse app and enjoy a fun way to take walking tours. They’ve already rigged up several towns and are looking to do more.
The Warners at last night’s party and awards ceremony.
This morning, I had a great time as a guest of Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, VA, where I gave a presentation about audiobook production. After all, audiobooks are about all I’ve been doing for the past year! Thanks to Dave Simms for setting it up. Here’s a snap Dave took of the class; I’m the guy at the end of the arrow:
I played them bloopers from the production of the Cursed by Christ and Empire of the Goddess audiobooks, and discussed what I’ve learned the hard way about best practices. One lucky
guinea pig student even got to use my audio rig to record some narration. Using a projector so they could see what I was doing, I showed them how to edit the narration in the Audacity sound program. Fun time all around.
Thunderstorm Books now has the hardcover edition in stock, with shipping to begin today! The Black Voltage edition is limited to only 52 signed copies. Order yours at the Thunderstorm website.
Also enjoy the first chapter audio sample:
The News Leader published my letter to the editor this morning. The text is below.
We need a free press; our president’s attacks are sickening
I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with you, News Leader. Sometimes, you’re biased and salacious. You occasionally abuse grammar and punctuation, and your photo captions can be so bad they should be a drinking game. I’ve been testy with your reporters for their coverage of me personally. I’ve even criticized your treatment of your employees. I call out B.S. when I see it.
I’ve always respected you, however. I’m still a subscriber. On the balance, you’re a good newspaper. Good people work there. Staunton needs you. I respect your role in society, because the News Leader calls out B.S. when it sees it.
So when there was a mass shooting in an Annapolis newsroom last week, I was greatly saddened, not only for the pointless loss of life, but for the assault it represented on our American freedoms. I hoped someone in government would feel the same way. Someone like the U.S. president.
He started well, offering the ever-worthless “thoughts and prayers” to the victims. But then, only two days later, he asked me and others on Facebook to take his Media Accountability Survey. Because you know, journalists write “fake” news. They’re the enemy of the people.
Where is the moral leadership? President Trump’s hypocrisy, callousness and tone-deaf timing sicken me. I hope it sickens others, because it’s past time we took a hard look at what we stand for as Americans. It’s not this, and it’s not him.
I’m proud to announce another novel sale, Empire of the Goddess to Thunderstorm Books. It will come out this fall as a limited edition hardcover.
For more information, please click below:
I have an acting role somewhere in this online movie/game. Have fun!
The period for free listening of Cursed by Christ will end July 2nd. So check out the book information page to follow the links to YouTube, and hear what you’ve been missing. After that, the only way you’ll find it is through the various retailers or your public library.
Based on reader reactions, I feel I should point out something I’d assumed would be obvious. Cursed by Christ is a Southern Gothic horror novel set during the Civil War. Its title concerns the main character’s belief she is being punished. Whether she actually is or not is up to you, the reader, to figure out.
Some have wrongly assumed, without reading it, that this book is a commentary on their religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re really interested in my views on Christianity, then the next (as yet unannounced) novel coming out this year should be more thought provoking. If anything, Cursed by Christ is more an evaluation of the dehumanizing effects of racism, but whether it succeeds there is again up to you to decide.