Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monster War Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Elizabeth Steen, Raymond Stone and Tina Wright - you've each won a signed copy of The Monster War! Your copies are set aside and will be going in the mail on Monday. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who entered and I hope you all got a chance to go out and see Godzilla. Loved it myself, flaws and all.


Monday, May 26, 2014

My Grandfather

On Memorial Day I always think of my grandfather, Carl Cram. I remember being just a little boy, sitting in the garage at his feet, smelling the combination of engine oil, sawdust and hot tar from the sun outside. He'd sit in his chair in the cool dark, drinking beer and eating pickled pigs feet (often offered, never tried). If I was very lucky, he'd tell me stories. Funny and gross stories, like the time his plane bombed a whale thinking it was an enemy submarine. Exciting stories, like when they lost both engines and had to turn back, but the nose landing gear wouldn't deploy so he had to get into the nose cone and crank it out by hand while the tarmac rushed up at him. Sad stories, like losing his best friend.

I remember a lot of things about Grampy - the feel of his unshaved whiskers on my cheek, the smell of Old Spice, his love of Star Trek - but those moments in the garage, hearing tales of when he was young and had to go to war - those come back to me often, and never more than today.

For my grandfather. For all those who served. Thank you. You are remembered.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Signed Copies of Monster War Giveaway!

Today, Godzilla makes his ponderous, destructive way back into theaters. In celebration of his return, I'm giving away 3 signed copies of The Monster War! This is a Goodreads giveaway, so it's being run through their site. Here's the link:

This isn't connected in any way to the Godzilla film - I'm just excited to see the big guy back in theaters and wanted to do something to share that.

The Monster War does have giant monsters in it, though! And giant insects. And one giant girlfriend. And some zombies.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Couple of Photos

From a place called Fort Popham on the Maine coast. Used to live nearby and could sneak off for an hour or two.

Monday, May 5, 2014

First Chapter From the New Book

Work is progressing on the new book, tentatively titled In Darkness. It's a full-on horror story this time around. It's going slower than I'd like, but that's always the case with writing for me. Anyway, I thought I'd share the very first scene in its first-draft state. Hope you enjoy.

Spring 1981

It had been three days since the boys had disappeared, vanished off the river like morning mist, and Maggie Gray was giving up. She stood on the sand at the town rec area wearing her husband’s old red and black hunting coat, her arms wrapped so tightly around herself that it might as well have been a straitjacket. She wondered why people said ‘giving up’ like it was easy, like it was a relief. As if it was a relaxing of effort instead of the lifting up of a burden.

The sun had already gone down behind the ridge on the other side of the river, and everything was turning to shades of gray. The water was smooth, black in the low light. Volunteers were shadows, hauling canoes out of the water, making sounds on the sand like snakes through dry grass.

“We’ll try again in the morning, Maggie. Don’t lose hope.” Hands reached out to touch her, looking to comfort and be comforted. She stood straight, still, eyes on the water. People waited in uncomfortable silence and then moved on.

Hope. She almost spit. Hope was an ice cube, held in warm hands. Hope hurt to grasp and dwindled the longer you tried to keep it. She’d had enough of hope. She was ready to let it go.

The boys were dead. Both her boys. This thought had appeared the first night, when they’d found the canoe. The little, battered Old Town the boys had gotten for Christmas. It had been found miles downstream, at the Little Salmon dam. Cooler and paddles still in it. The cooler had been full of fiddleheads. That was when she’d first had the thought that maybe the boys weren’t just lost. Maybe something bad had happened. The idea had been nothing more than a little sprout then, but now its roots had spread all through her mind and she found it difficult to think anything else past its insistent repetition. 

Dead. Both of them. Her boys. Dead.

There was another world on the other side of that thought. She had the idea that once it had worked its way through her entire mind, once it had become real, that the world would somehow tilt even further on its axis. That the sun would fade, grow cold and distant. That the air itself would smell and taste different, like ashes maybe, or camphor. That somehow everything would grow dim. 

She hadn’t gotten there yet, hadn’t crossed that Rubicon. She was tired, though. So tired. Of holding herself upright and strong. Standing on the shore of the river every day like she was a beacon, like she could call them out of wherever they were by her presence alone. Standing until her spine felt like a red hot wire and the cramps ran up and down her legs like wolf spiders on old lumber. She was tired of hoping.