Archive for December, 2009

Behold, the Opening Chapters of CURSE OF A DARK GOD

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 31st, 2009

For your reading pleasure, I have posted the current version of the first 12 chapters of Curse of a Dark God below. (And there was much rejoicing, yea.)

Read and enjoy!

CURSE OF A DARK GOD draft 3 chapters 1-12 reader 

Note: these are draft chapters and may change in the final version.

If you would like to be part of a test audience, please open the document and begin reading just as you would any book that you picked up because it looked interesting. Stop where you normally would. Then email me by clicking on the Contact John link under my photo up on the left. I’ll send you a couple of questions. Please make sure you don’t ask for the questions before you’ve given the bit above a go (I don’t want the questions to affect your reading). Also, don’t put any critique hat on. Just read as you normally would. :) The deadline for test audience responses is January 15th.

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Vote for Servant of a Dark God, American Idol Style

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 29th, 2009
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The Legend Award

I was informed today that Servant of a Dark God is on the Longlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy and the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut. I believe this means the Rapture is close at hand, folks. Or maybe it just means Cthulhu has taken over the North Pole. In either event, Hunger, Sugar, Talen, Hogan, Nettle, Legs, River, the Mother (and the kick butt Hag’s Teeth) can win an award for general awesomeness. They can because voting is open to the public.

Kind of Like American Idol

You may ask: Is this like getting the Nobel peace prize? No. You have to have actually done something like take out a group of speedy Somali pirates or write a fantasy novel. These awards are not given out as scratch away prizes at McDonalds (you can get them at Wendy’s). This is an award given to:

  • A full length novel published for the first time in the English language during the year of nomination (2009)
  • Traditional, Heroic, Epic, or High Fantasy and/or in the spirit of David Gemmell’s own work

The nominees were submitted by editors working within a commercial genre fiction publisher (kind of like Hollywood week at American Idol). All the nominations are then put on the award’s Longlist.  The public then votes for their favorite on the list. The poll opened December 26, 2009. Voting on the Longlist will close March 31, 2010. You’ll notice it is indeed a looong list. But you don’t have to have read all the novels. You just vote.

The top 5 novels with the most votes will be put on the award “Shortlist.” Then in April the public voting for the winner out of those five will begin, open to all.  See, American Idol, except you can’t vote two gajillion times for the same girl/guy just because of the her/his drool inducing factor. 

How to Vote

  1. View the list of Legend nominees here: http://gemmellaward.ning.com/page/legend-1
  2. Cast your vote by hovering over the Legend menu item as shown below; you’ll see a red Vote link; click it and select the book you want to vote forGemmellLegendAwardVoting
  3. View the list of Morningstar nominees here: http://gemmellaward.com/page/morningstar-1
  4. Cast your vote by hovering over the Morningstar menu item and clicking the red Vote link.

Who is David Gemmell?

David Gemmell was a British writer of heroic fantasy. I’ve pasted two of his covers below. You can read more about him here.

 

For those of you interested in LDS authors, nominate SERVANT for the Whitney

Now that you’ve done your part to restore world order in the fantasy genre, if you’re interested in LDS authors/fiction, you can also nominate the Sugar, Talen, Hunger and the gang for The Whitney Award.

This is an award for novels by LDS authors. It works in the opposite way of the Legend award. In this one, the public nominates novels by LDS authors they like. Then a “panel of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others” vote on the nominations. Of course, because I’m one of those Carrier Monkeys of Evil Mormons (a future post, folks), Servant of a Dark God is eligible.

To nominate Servant of a Dark God go here: http://www.whitneyawards.com/nominations.php 

Whew.  Be happy. I’ll keep you updated to let you know if SERVANT makes the short list for either of these.

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Merry Christmas!

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc., Zing  by John Brown on December 23rd, 2009
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Hope everyone who sees this has a wonderful holiday. I loved this song as a kid and still do. So instead of caroling in person, I’ll do it via a shamless commercial enterprise. Merry Cokemas.

Boom–And I’m A Dean Koontz Fanboy!

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 21st, 2009
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PIC03011So after finishing The Husband I wrote a letter to Dean Koontz. I never expected a reply. Today I got a package in the mail. I picked it up, thinking it was a book from Amazon. The sender was Mr. Dean Koontz. What? Dean Koontz?!

I opened it up. There was a form letter folded in half over a book. The part I read said:

At certain times of the year, I’m able to answer readers’ letters with a line or two, more personally than I am able to do right now. Currently I’m so overwhelmed by book and film deadlines that I’m going to have to resort to this less than satisfying form response.

I’m all, cool, a form letter and a book! He then talks about how he reads virtually all his letters even though he gets over 10,000 a year. Then he says he’s included a FAQ and his Useless News newsletter which talks about his latest books etc. The last part of the letter I could see was:

I hope you’ll understand why this less personal reply is necessary for the time being. And I hope

So I thought, hey. The man sent me a book. Holy cow. Talk about your customer service. Then I actually cut away the plastic wrapping and unfolded the letter and saw, despite his busyness, he had indeed written a note.

John–thanks for your great letter and kind words. Most of my career, I’ve been told–subtly and less than subtly–that my world view is that of a minority that won’t long–or much longer–sustain a large audience. Worldwide sales now are past 400 million copies. I tremble, wondering when it will all end! Congratulations on the TOR sale! From me to you, a book close to my heart.

Merry Christmas!

Dean

Duuuuude! And it wasn’t some admin either. The last paragraph of the letter says:

For what it’s worth, the signature below is mine. I don’t use legions of monkeys trained to forge my name, in part because they don’t seem quite smart enough to learn what’s wanted of them; and although dolphins are no doubt smart enough, they don’t have hands.

The signature is in blue ink. The same hand as the note. By this time I was totally geeking out.

Dean Koontz. He’s like one of the top 10 most popular novelests in the world. I LOVE his stuff. Then I opened the book. He’d signed it.

To John–WOOF. Dean Koontz 12-18-09

At that moment I was in total fanboy heaven. And I don’t do fanboy or any of that other wussy stuff.

I sent my letter on December 14th. 2 days down. 2 or 3 days back. That means he read it almost the day he got it. What a class act. And I was expecting nothing. I only sent my original letter because I truly appreciated his books and had to let him know.

So I guess one of the next books I’ll be reading is his A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog. I expect it will be great.

BTW, here’s the text of my letter.

Dear Mr. Koontz,

I just finished reading The Good Guy. Thank you. Loved the interaction between Tim and Linda. And the reveals of their back stories. Loved Mary and Pete. Loved the situation. Krait was interesting and horrible. But the thing that put me over the top was the ending. [SPOILERS DELETED] I finished and said, “Yes!”

Thanks for the thousands of hours you’ve put into writing that have allowed you to deliver these kinds of stories and characters who are interesting, funny, and, despite some flaws, deep down good. I appreciate your view of the world, a place where great evil can exist, but also people like Mary, Tim, and Pete.

Thanks for stories that entice me to be more. The Husband enticed me to be that kind of man for my wife. The Good Guy enticed me to be a man of courage. Odd Thomas, on the other hand, has inspired me to make heavenly light and fluffy pancakes. I know you’re not sermonizing, but that’s probably why the tales move me the way they do.

I’m a new author; my debut from Tor (an imprint of Macmillan) just came out this October. I’m working like a madman to learn the craft and produce. And it’s wonderful to be able to see someone like you at the top of his game, writing these kinds of stories and sharing these kinds of characters. I hope, when I get to the end of my career (big or small), that I will have been able to deliver suspense, laughs, and goodness as you have.

Sincerely,

John Brown

And now I hope I can not only be the kind of author that delivers stories like Koontz, but also one who isn’t one whit behind in graciousness with my readers.

A few years ago I was going on and on about a couple of authors whose work I love. It drove Nellie nuts. But she finally got over the eye-rolling stage. At least I thought she’d put it aside. However, on that Christmas she gave me a 4×6 inch piece of material that looks like a Persian rug with votive candles and the names of those favorite authors on little cards that had been folded in half, tent style. She thought that was the best joke ever. Yeah, until she caught me praying in the basement. (Actually, I never prayed, dang it! Why does it take me seven years to think up these comebacks?!)

Of course, when I rushed back up stairs after having opened today’s package, she sighed. “I guess this means I gotta make a card for Koontz now, doesn’t it.” 

Oh, yeah. Votives for the man.

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The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Posted in John's Reviews - books, movies, whatever  by John Brown on December 14th, 2009
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Good_Guy_Dean_KoontzSo let’s say you’re in a bar and a guy shows up, mistakes you for someone he was meeting, and you play along. Just for fun. You’ll let him know his mistake sooner or later. But then he slides a manila envelope to you and says, “Half of it is there. Ten thousand. You’ll get the rest when she’s gone.”

Would you say, “Sorry, dude. I’m not your hit man”? A woman’s life is on the line.

In Dean Koontz’s The Good Guy, Tim Carrier is too astonished to react. The man leaves. Carrier opens the envelope. There’s ten thousand in cash and a 5×7 of the woman. She’s Linda Paquette who lives in Laguna Beach.

A few minutes later the actual killer shows up. Makes the same mistake. What do you do?

Carrier plays along, tells the man that he’s decided not to go through with it and to take the ten thousand as a “kill fee.” The man leaves. Carrier goes to alert the woman. But very soon the killer and those who hired him realize the mistake. And now they’re after both Carrier and the original target.

The Good Guy was a wonderful story of action and suspense. It’s also a love story. Koontz portrays a deadly and frightening killer. But he also includes lots of banter between Carrier and Paquette. Both have secrets which are interesting to learn. And then at the end of the book, when you think it’s all about a kill, Koontz twists it. Then he twists it again. I loved this story and enjoyed the characters immensely. But the book went beyond mere entertainment. It’s a book that also makes you think about how you live.  

I should be working hard on draft 3 of Curse of a Dark God. But every now and again I need a break. I’m glad I took this one with Koontz.

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Final scheduled Dark God event–Bountiful, UT

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 10th, 2009
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This Saturday is the FINAL scheduled book event for Servant of a Dark God. If you’ve been wanting to chat, have me sign your book, or get a signed book for someone for Christmas, this is the one to come to. Bring friends and family who are interested. We’ll have a good time. And if you don’t want to come for me, come for the B&N bookseller whose name is Shasta Way. Now, that’s a name!

Saturday,
December 12
4 pm – 6 pm
Meet public, discuss book, signing–Brown Bountiful, UT Barnes & Noble
Gateway Shopping Plaza (just off 500 S. exit and I-15)
340 South 500 West
West Bountiful, UT 84087
(801) 299-8255

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