Don’t. Miss. This.

7SDescent_cover7th Son: Descent is out in two days.

I remind you of this fact because, frankly, I know of no other author who pours his heart and soul into promoting his work as much as J.C. Hutchins. I manage to do about 1% of what he does, and it knocks me on my ass.

I’m beginning to suspect that the reason J.C. can write such awesome clone material is that he is intimately familiar with the procedure. There must be a few of him running around, brainstorming new ideas on how to knock it out of the park yet again.

The story is amazing. The book looks great. You need more of an appetizer? Okay, you can check out the first part of the book here.

Listen to the damn promo.

Get yourself over to his site and order the book. You can thank me later.

Lost Gods Now Shipping!

Lost Gods

Hey everyone, exciting news! After a summer of mucking about, I finally have Lost Gods ready as a print novel! You can get it here:

Purchase Lost Gods

The book is available from Lulu.com, one of the biggest and best Print on Demand sites on the Internet!  The price is $15.50, which I hope you will agree is worth it for my print debut! Some praise the book has received includes:

I can say that this story delivered a whole lot more punch than I was expecting, and did so in clever, unexpected, and thoroughly well-thought-out ways. For sheer “I-never-saw-that-coming” value, this is a winner.
Dan Rabarts

Very creative, fresh. Interesting innovative and compelling characters. I look forward to each new release. Keep it up!
Barry B.

This is a great story! Barry said it all so I will just thank you for writing a great story.
John A.

I gotta say… I really enjoyed this one… Original, interesting, all around entertaining. Keep it up…
Synaptic Jam

This is a really fun, funny, great book! Everyone should listen!
Dariclone

Lost Gods is a very fun listen. It is what I like to call entertainment in my ears. It is full of very creative, with fresh ideas, an interesting plot line and compelling characters. I would have liked to see a little bit more characters development and maybe a past for the characters. I wonder if the author has thought of a prequel. The story line was great through and Drew Beatty had has a good voice for the story.
The Lone Wolf

The gods live as shadows among us. Anansi is now a con artist. A scheme with fellow trickster Coyote becomes a desperate race against time.
Nobilis

Lost Gods, a new twist (or twisted) look at ancient and newish gods in a fun story about the end of the world. Well done, sir.
Thomas Reed

So, please head over to Lulu.com and pick up Lost Gods! If you order more than one copy you can even get a discount, and it’s never too early to think about Holiday gifts!

Random Fiction with Drew #3

Welcome to another instalment of Random Fiction with Drew, in which I share rough, unfinished pieces of stories with you.

Archibald reached out and twisted the doorknob open,wincing slightly at the pain it brought to his hands, twisted as they were with arthritis. The door opened to reveal a set of stairs, gloomy and forsaken looking, utilitarian grey paint covering wooden steps, rough handrail sicking out of the wall. There were no aesthetic touches here, only functionality, stairs leading down into an equally bland basement. It was a big open room, unfinished ceiling and walls exposing wooden beams, enclosing the space like a rib cage, or a clutching hand.

Archie shuffled forward to one end of the room where an old film projector stood on a dusty metal stand. The lens was pointed towards a white sheet that was hanging from rusting nails, making a crude screen.  He fumbled with a roll of  ancient looking 16 millimeter film,trying to carefully thread it through the projector’s sprockets, lining it up as best he could. He took a rag and wiped carefully at the lens, and flicked  the power button on.

The projector sprang to life, filling the room with the unmistakable click clack sound of the film racing through the machine. Light struck the sheet, and resolved into the image of a beautiful young woman, a woman obviously from another era. Her short dark hair was cut into a flapper era bob, and she was dressed to match her hair,in a beaded dress and hat. She was lounging in a garden, the rose bushes behind her would have been beautiful, if not for the fact that they, like her, were captured in black and white. She looked out of the screen, as though trying to find someone.

“I know you are there, Archie, step forward so I can see you,” she said.

Archie shuffled out from behind the glare of the projector, smoothing his hair as he did so.

“Hello Mary,” he said, still shy after all of these years.

“Your looking even older than usual, Archie. How long has it been?” Her image flicked and danced as a splice ran through its twisted path.

“Seven years Mary. Seven years.”

“So what do I owe this honour? Why did you bring me out of retirement like this?”

“Because, Mary, I think I might have figured out a way to get you out of there, if you want. You could have a life again.”

“What makes you think I don’t enjoy this life, the life you trapped me in so long ago?”

“The choice is yours.”

Mary thought carefully for a moment, and opened her mouth to respond. Before she could do so the film ran out, and her image was replaced with a pure white square of light, making Archie wince against its brightness. The end of the film clattered against the projector as it spun in a futile circle.

Archie flicked off the power, stopping the spin.

So, what do you think? How did Archie trap Mary on the film? Will she want to get out after such a long time? Is she really happy there?

A Story for the Kids

The Noble Adventures of TickleiaMy son has a small doll that he has had since birth, which we call the Tickle Fairy. Since he was a teeny tiny man we would use her long, soft hair to tickle him. It was one of the first things that ever made him laugh. As part of Tarquin’s birthday celebrations I wrote up a story about her that I told him one night while trying to coax him to sleep.

I have decided to release this story as a free to download, Creative Commons PDF. I hope you enjoy it. It’s not the second coming of J.R.R., but I had fun making it, and want to share it.

A word about the photos: As part of the project I had Tarquin take the pictures of the fairy and the dragon. A few of them were taken by me, but most were his shots.

Download it here.

Are you Infected?

infectedpblogo.gifLots of great Scott Sigler news today. First is the fact that his publisher is being awesome, and letting him give away PDFs of his new book, Infected for the next three days. If you want your own digital version, just click below:

http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/infected/downloads/infected_novel.pdf

As if that is not cool enough, J.C. Hutchins has an interview with the Master of Horror himself. Don’t miss this week’s UltraCreatives, with Scott Sigler! And of course, don’t forget to pick up the print version of Infected  through Amazon!

I totally stole the image from Podiobooks.com I hope they don’t mind. It was just too great not to use.

Looking Forward/Looking Back

Yes, New Year’s Eve, the typical night of reflection, when we think back to the year that was and hope to God that it was a good one. I was trying to think of one event that defined the year for me, one thing that stood above the rest. This year that would have to be the birth of my second son, Ephraim. He came a month early after a difficult labour, and he fought like hell every step of the way coming out. He was small, and had to be in an incubator for the first 24 hours of his life – nothing compared to some of the other babies I saw in the special care nursery, but it scared the shit out of me. That day is the defining day of 2007 for me: scary, stressful, but in the end, I had another perfect little son. A son who has grown to be larger than average, despite his tiny beginnings.

Professionally things were interesting for me as well. As a writer two very important things happened. I (with the help of my brother in law Sean) launched a Podiobook of my novel over at Podiobooks.com, and I had my first story accepted for print publication. Although these are small things compared to some, they were enjoyable on several levels: to see my rough draft of a novel collect several hundred listeners (I know, Sigler and Hutchins are not running scared, but it’s a start) is very exciting. Having an editor say “Yes, I like this story enough to include it in my publication and hope people pay for it” was also very cool. And that it was for my first and only “horror” story is pretty interesting as well. Getting my feet wet in the world of Podcasting has been exciting, and I hope to continue in the future.

For 2008 I have established some priorities for myself professionally. I hope to finish my second novel. I might even make it a Podiobook, and give it a big push. I hope to learn more about Social Media, and all of its repercussions across our lives, and to write write write. On that note, I’m off to tackle the book. All the best for the new year.

Issue #1 of Sci Phi Journal is available!

Sci Phi - The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy You may ask yourself, “Why should I care about Sci Phi Journal? What has it ever done for me?” Or, you may ask yourself “Why is Drew Beatty pimping some magazine? Doesn’t he usually just go on and on about his own writing and ideas like some sort of self-centered egotistical jerk?” Or, you may ask yourself “What can I do to make the world a better place?” Or, you may ask yourself “My God, what have I done?”

I can’t answer all of those questions for you. What I can do is tell you about a new magazine called Sci Phi, The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy. It’s a new and interesting venture from Jason Rennie, the man behind Darwin or Design. He is obviously a clever fellow, given the nature of his work. So clever, in fact, that he allowed me to record one of the stories.* You see, this isn’t the standard magazine. When you purchase it you get it in several electronic formats: Printable PDF, Microsoft Lit format, eReader, Mobipocket, Plaintext, Plucker and MP3 Audio. I recorded the Audio for a mind bending story called “The Losting Corridor”, available with this month’s issue. So, head on over to Sci Phi Journal, you might just make yourself a little bit smarter. And that’s a good thing.

Not that you aren’t smart already.

*So, yeah. I’m still being a self indulgent, egotistical jerk. And you thought I had grown? Sorry to disappoint.

A Special Story from the Failed Cities!

In addition to offering its listeners their regular story for the month of
December, Variant Frequencies has prepared a special holiday surprise for
fans of the two-time Parsec-nominated FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES, as well as
all those who’ve supported the podcast in the past year. We are proud to
present THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS, an exclusive 10,000-word
eChapbook written by Matt Wallace and produced by Variant Frequencies.

For the first time since concluding his groundbreaking podcast fiction saga,
Matt Wallace returns to the warped twin worlds he created with an all-new
Failed Cities story. Featuring the characters that drove the original audio
epic, and told, as always, in their own voices, THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A
DARKNESS brings this unique storytelling style to the page for the first
time, enhanced with original illustrations by Rick Stringer.

About THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS . . .

To some the number 99 represents the many names of God. But as a black
snowfall blankets the Failed Cities on Christmas Eve, the arrival of 99
mysterious steel chambers is the catalyst that sets a series of far from
blessed events in motion. From bullets and bata sticks to a life-and-death
hostage situation to high-speed battles up switchback mountain roads, eight
people become links in a deadly chain that will either tether innocent lives
to safety or strangle any hope for their future. And as each part of the
story unfolds, we learn that above all things, Christmas in the Failed
Cities is a feverishly struck balance between the constant threat of
violence and the briefest, most bittersweet moments of joy.

THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS by Matt Wallace is a freely distributed
.PDF produced and illustrated by Rick Stringer, and available exclusively
from Variant Frequencies. We’d like to encourage all our listeners to
download, print, enjoy, and pass along this unique piece of the Failed
Cities universe as a thank you for your continued support and enthusiastic
participation in our podcast.

And don’t forget to revisit THE FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES, collected in its
entirety on Podiobooks.com

Happy Holidays from the entire crew of Variant Frequencies!

Why NaNoWriMo Did Not Work For Me

I have been in a funk these past couple of weeks. I have been busy. Frankly, I am always busy. I’m one half of a team raising two boys, I’m in my third year teaching and once again I am teaching a brand new curriculum (science!), and all of the things that go along with life. Really, everyone is busy, everyone has about twenty thousand different things going at once – this isn’t some pity party. But, in the past couple of weeks, the business has increased. Report cards, parent teacher interview nights at work, and at home we were remake/remodeling a little bit to get the place ready for an interview my wife had with a day care agency. This has affected my writing output greatly. Now, I signed up for the National Write a Novel Month in October, thinking that this year I will really try to see if I could do it.

And I couldn’t. Wrote 28,000 words in November. Not bad. Not enough though. And for the past few days, I have been in a funk, watching November come to an end, like the last few ounces of bathwater, slowly trickling away. The days passed, and my word count did not increase. And that is when it hit me; NaNoWriMo is not for me.

For many of the people, it is more of a community activity. There are several events that take place during the month, writing sessions, movies, parties, things of that nature. Each and every one of this events was something I could not attend. The timing just wasn’t there. And, while it is interesting to get into conversations on the online forums, they really were not an effective way to make friends and influence people. They were very slow most of the time, and it always felt odd to me, being at the computer, wasting time while pages loaded, time I should have been writing.

And then, the days when I could write, well, there is nothing like a 50,000 word deadline hanging over your head to make 5,000 words in two days seem pitiful. Instead of enjoying watching the word count go up, I despaired. And grew frustrated. Lots of people writing this seem to do it for a lark, just for fun. Although I am not a serious novelist, I hope to be published some day. This just did not help. It was fun, and it pushed me for a while, but, in the end, it was not worth it.