You've somehow stumbled upon the page of Dan DeWitt, genre-hopping author of the zombie thriller ORPHEUS, the Norse mythology adventure ODINSONS, and the horror short-story collection UNDERNEATH. There's lots more where those came from, so stick around.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New post over at coffeeshopdaily!

The devil's in too much detail.


The virtual book tour, and why I'm looking to do one.

Before the days of e-publishing, the words "book tour" to an author meant, among other things, gas, lots of mileage, and possibly appearances with little to no turnout. All of this was done to support their print book.

This still happens to some extent, but ebook authors have devised a new form of book tour, one that is much less time-consuming, embraces technology, and is free: the virtual book tour.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Vanishing on 7th Street": What the heck went wrong?

I had high hopes for "Vanishing on 7th Street." My interest was initially piqued when I heard comparisons of the film to the video game "Alan Wake," which is one of my favorite games in recent memory. The game follows the eponymous main character as he searches for his wife through a living darkness and uses light as a weapon in both typical (flashlight) and creative (flashbang grenades!) ways. "Vanishing" follows four people as they fight to survive against a living darkness using light as a survival tool, so I was in.

There are some nice elements to the movie. The visual effects, particularly the shadow people, are pretty good. The general atmosphere is creepy. There's really a feeling of impending doom as the shadows continue to close, and the survivors' sole sanctuary, day, literally keeps getting shorter.

The four leads do a generally respectable job carrying a movie in which the rules keep changing, several plot points that seem relevant in the beginning are abandoned, and the end gives you no payoff or explanation whatsoever. The director wanted to make the movie deliberately vague...has that ever worked out well?

Where it really falls apart for me is the characters' lack of preparation. For me, it's infuriating.

*spoilers ahead*

Incompetech.com: For all of your royalty-free music needs

I posted this before on the old blog, but people are actually starting to read this one, so I thought it was worth another mention. If you have a project (film, podcast, etc.) and you need some free musical scores, check out Incompetech. I'm going to craft a book trailer for Orpheus, and the right music is critical. You can search by genre or, get this, "feel." I searched under the "eerie" feel, sampled some of the tracks, and found the perfect score. All of the guy's work is free, though donations are appreciated.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My self-publishing journey: the first week.

Here's what's happened since I put Underneath up on Smashwords (everything is on Smashwords only, as I'm still awaiting approval to the premium catalog so I can get on the big distributors):

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The joy of horror.

If you asked me if I write across genres, I'd say yes. Even though I'm not completely sure if that means a) writing a novel in one genre, then another novel in a different genre, etc. or b) writing a novel with strong elements of multiple genres within it. From what I can gather, the rest of the world is confused about this, too. Either way, yes, I write across genres.

My first novel is a zombie thriller. My second, a fantasy based in the world of Norse mythology. My third, historical fiction (and horror). I'm planning a YA series sometime in the future. Most of all, I'm seriously considering a series of linked novels that will enable me to write in whatever genre I feel like writing at any given time. Horror, western, noir, war, pirate...you name it.*

Taking all of that into consideration, writing horror rules over everything else.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's time! "Underneath" is available for download!

Underneath: Short Tales of Horror and the Supernatural is now available at Smashwords! It also features a robust 17,000 word preview of Orpheus, my zombie thriller due for release in July. Best of all, it's free!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Short Story Preview Winner: "Dead After Dying"

People who watched Donnie and me together as little kids often commented to my parents that we were closer than brothers. When I got old enough to hear those stories related to me, I understood that they were right. I have...had...a relative who fit the biological definition of a brother, but Donnie and I were much closer than that. We had a motto between us. More like a vow, really. I know that's something that kids just do, and then forget about as life takes hold, but we meant it.

"Beyond the end." We'd always be there for each other, no matter what. The end of school, a relationship, even death itself, we truly believed with the innocence of children...none of those things would keep us apart.

And we held to that vow. Even as those walking nightmares turned our town into a slaughterhouse and ate (or worse, turned) everyone we loved, we held to that vow. I was there with Donnie, holding his hand, telling him that we wouldn't be apart long, as the blood, too much blood, pooled beneath both of us on the frigid tile floor of the restaurant kitchen. I was there to help him along to the next step, whatever that might be, and I closed his pale blue eyes after he was gone.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nine tips for new writers that make me the worst writer alive.

Not "worst" as in "putting out slop," rather "worst" as in "not doing it the way everyone says it should be done." There are a lot of rules out there for new writers. There are a lot of writing "do's" (dealing with getting writing done, as opposed to style) that seem to keep rearing their ugly heads time and again. I just put the following list together from memory and 10 minutes of looking at articles about top tips for new writers (my thoughts in italics):

1) Outline before you begin. I tried outlining once. Once. It felt too much like work. Then, as soon as the story I'd written dictated a major change, the outline was toast. Not good. I'm 100% discovery writer now, and it's a blast.