23 April, L A.S. (2017)
The Devil and the Doctor is now available!
Good afternoon and happy Spring, ladies and gentlemen!!
Today I’m proud to announce the release of my first novel, entitled The Devil and the Doctor (Book One of the Malcolm Leeds Chronicles). Click the cover above to be redirected to the Amazon link, and please have a look at my publisher’s website, at Dark Moon Press.com. The book is available in paperback from both Amazon and Dark Moon Press, with a Kindle version coming soon!
I’m ecstatic to finally have this story in print. It has been a long time in coming: I’ve gone through multiple major rewrites and countless hours of “Is it good enough??” anxieties in getting this story out of my head and on paper for you all. I don’t think my uncertainties and stresses have been any different than what the vast majority of first-time novelists experience, and I’m proud as Hell to have run that gauntlet! I’ve learned a lot about the novel writing process, and I feel a greater sense of confidence in writing the next entry in the Malcolm Leeds series, and other novels. I arrived at this goal through a great deal of support and encouragement from friends and family, as well as painstakingly cultivated self-discipline. I’ve also been inspired by colleagues, heroes, and other favorite authors of mine, who kept my light of hope and creativity burning bright even when my outlook fizzled and went dim. A great book can be one of the greatest friends of a struggling writer.
So, what is The Devil and the Doctor about?
This novel is a supernatural horror thriller set in contemporary times. It follows the quest of the rough yet good-hearted young man, Malcolm Leeds, to rescue the people important to him and save the world. Though on the surface, Mr. Leeds he may appear to be a basic backwoods exterminator/animal relocator, he holds within himself a dark and mysterious power of transformation, carried through the ages since legendary times. Malcolm struggles not only against the external threats of a doomsday cult and its various monstrosities but also to maintain the proper balance of his own dual nature and find a sense of purpose.
An intense opening scene of violence and tragedy leads him and his lover Alleena on a journey out of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and up to the cursed little town of Newbrooke, New York. There, Malcolm and his companions face dire supernatural threats in a community overtaken by the designs of a twisted scientist and prophet. Leeds will have to find who is ally and who is foe, fight hard, and embrace his own nature in order to overcome peril and save humanity from cosmic doom.
Why did I write this particular story?
After dabbling in writing during my childhood, I grew increasingly committed to it during my freshman year of college onward. I’ve loved reading my entire life, and wanted to contribute something of my own to the world’s fiction library. I’d written numerous short stories (mostly horror, and many more than the ones that have seen publication,) with the plan of sooner-or-later writing a novel. Short stories are wonderful in their own way, but I didn’t feel like I’d ever be “complete” as a writer unless I wrote at least one, and preferably dozens, of novels. I had ideas for stories and characters and monsters fluttering around my head, and it was time to bring them to life.
This particular story came about in the following way. First, I knew I wanted to write a horror book, because Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft are some of my biggest inspirations and I want to master that genre the best I can. Second, I wanted to write something fast-paced with a lot of action, because I was most confident I could make something like that fun to write and read at my current level of ability, so, I added the modifier of “thriller” to my book’s genre classification, and brought myself to this supernatural thriller horror set-up.
I had the idea of a Jersey Devil-based protagonist floating around my head for months before I started on the opening scene and the wider planning. I’m a big superhero fan, so I had some inspiration from transforming characters such as the Incredible Hulk, as well as of course werewolves.
For the bad guys: I’d actually come up with the bare basics of our lead villain of Dr. Benedict Holt back in my The Night in Newbrooke Infirmary story back in Right Behind You, and wanted to build on that foundation. I adore Lovecraftian monsters and cultists and have always found the whole concept and reoccurring practice of religious fanaticism to be frightening and fascinating. I slipped in some survival horror video game inspiration (namely Resident Evil and Silent Hill) with the monsters and setting, (Lovecraft’s fictional New England locales also being an inspiration) and, voila.
I see a lot of potential for sequels featuring the Malcolm Leeds character and other supernatural baddies, and I’m confident that both the complexity and the “tightness” of my writing will grow stronger with each subsequent entry in the series.
Who will like this book?
Tough question. A bit hard for me to say, since I (like most other writers) find it tough to judge the quality of my own work, but I can tell you who I wrote The Devil and the Doctor for.
It’s a book for people who like stories about ghosts, ghouls, and monsters (human and otherwise) doing what they do best. It’s a book for people who like a lot of “Bang bang shoot ’em up,” ticking time bombs, car chases, and one-liners. It’s a book for people who are looking for something entertaining, violent, and fun to read on an airplane or in a coffee shop or on their lunch break. It’s a book for people who are looking for a new action-packed franchise that follows a powerful but incomplete protagonist across encounters with various supernatural horrors in strange and diverse locales.
I hope all that gives you an idea if this book is for you!
Speaking of: want a free copy?
Well, it’s not really free, there is one catch. (There always is, isn’t there?)
I will give the first five people who write to me at email@example.com with “BOOK REVIEW” in the subject line (and a small personal introduction in the message text) a copy of the novel, in exchange for giving it a timely read, and an honest review on Amazon, a share on Facebook, and a review on your on blog. If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry about that last requirement. I naturally love publicity on other people’s blogs, but I get not everyone has one. The Amazon and Facebook are definitely required, however.
I’m not expecting all or any of the five recipients to write a glowingly 100% positive, five/five star review, (if that’s your real opinion then of course go for it!) but I do ask that if you outright DON’T like the book, (beyond just “I liked it overall but aspect X and aspect Y sucked a bit”) that you please refrain from posting a review. Though I still appreciate your reading. 🙂
The purpose here is to get my work out there to new audiences who will enjoy it, and I’m never going to apologize for that.
I got a couple short stories I’m working on, like always. Some of ’em you’ll see in magazines, some on here, some maybe in a new anthology.
I have a couple novella ideas I’m toying with, but I’ve decided that I’ll next slam my hot and throbbing creative energy into a sequel to The Devil and the Doctor.
Without giving away too much, (especially since it’s still in the early planning stages,) the second entry in the series will lend a lot more focus to Malcolm’s adopted father, John Delaware, and his backstory during his time in the U.S. Navy. The story will take place in a heavily aquatic and tropical setting, and see the return and further development of old friends and foes from Book One, as well as further development of Malcolm’s character and situation since the strange events in Newbrooke. Expect to see a lot of “Horrors of the dark oceanic depths.”
Thank you for reading, and keep on being great. I appreciate each and every one of you who reads and shares my stories.