Apparently we’re starting the 99 cent sale on Haunting Obsession …and that’s fine by me. Now and for a limited time, download your choice of e-book: Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, for only 99 cents! Part of the Seventh Star Spring Fling!
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling has been going for several days now, in which a few titles at a time from the press’s catalog drop to 99 cents for a limited time. During those price drops, the press has hit some new bestseller highs. Michael West had his terrific haunted theater title Cinema of Shadows (click here to read my 9-Arjay Review) hit the top ten in horror.
Even more exciting, Michael was the editor of Vampires Don’t Sparkle, which also became a top ten bestseller…and that title includes my story Robot Vampire. I am now a contributor to a bestselling anthology! How cool is that?
As we head into next week, author peep Eric Garrison‘s book, Four ‘Til Late–the first book in his road ghost trilogy–gets the 99 cents treatment March 31-April 2, and my popular paranormal thriller, Haunting Obsession, goes on sale April 1-April 3. That’s all e-options, including Amazon and Nook, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, that’s the time!
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling continues through mid-April, with a Facebook event devoted to telling everyone about it. Click here to go there! There’s a lot more deals by terrific authors available. Thanks for your support and please spread the word!
The drive was smooth and the weather perfect (though I’m glad I remembered my sunscreen) for the Fourth Annual Author’s Fair at That Book Place! But enough about me, if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a novella to check out!
This weekend marks my third consecutive appearance at the annual Book Fair at That Book Place in Madison, Indiana. Pretty cool, given this is only the fourth annual event.
At the second annual event, I was honored to be one of perhaps 20 authors. This year, Frank Hall, the owner of That Book Place, is making room for more than 40 authors. Fortunately, he’s expanded his store to double its previous size, which means room for more books and more authors than ever!
The Annual Book Fair at That Book Place has turned into quite a mini-gathering of regional authors. This year, I know for sure, that Seventh Star Press will be well represented, with authorly buddies John F. Allen, Eric Garrison, and Michael West joining me, plus Selah Janel and the awesome Stephen Zimmer. I expect to see Ren Garcia, Matt Adams, Tony Acree, and….wow, I just looked at the guests list. Click here to check it out for yourself.
It’s no exaggeration that That Book Place has thousands of new and used books in an astronomical variety of genres. And Frank makes sure that indy (and Indy) and small press authors are well represented at That Book Place. That’s why we love him, and that’s why we gather up in force at his little shop every year. John Allen recently called it the “pre-season event” of the convention season, and I think that explains it well.
This year I’ll be bringing the always popular Haunting Obsession, and new since last year , my latest novel, Virtual Blue. Although it is out of print, I will have very limited copies of the Haunting Blue paperback on hand. All paperbacks are sold through That Book Place, and as always, Frank is offering a discount on all Fair merchandise.
Autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.
If the weather is as warm as predicted, there’s a very good chance that Blue, the main character in my series, will make an appearance! She doesn’t like the cold, but it looks like the weather will hold out.
Today Seventh Star launched the official book trailer to Virtual Blue, a collaborative effort with local fan and cosplayer Nikki Howard, who opened up and tapped her inner troubled punk girl. Thanks, Nikki, you are awesome! Special thanks to Eric Garrison for editing the pieces together for me so fast and efficiently.
So over the weekend I opened the two-story lounge where I will be hosting a big party over the next couple of weeks.
No, I didn’t rent a ballroom. There, obvious joke over.
Two of my stories are going live within a few days of each other and I’m super-stoked. The release dates are extremely fluid because Seventh Star is a sort of crunch mode after some unavoidable delays earlier this summer, and both of my books post Very Soon Now. We just don’t know….exactly when. So I said “what the heck” and decided to host an interactive party on Facebook.
Okay, it’s more like a virtual lounge. In fact, that’s what I call it, the R.J. Sullivan Two-Story Release Party Lounge. I’m so clever. Essentially it’s a temporary public group on Facebook where fans, friends and peers can drop in and out and see the latest news, play some trivia, and I’ll raffle for all sorts of prizes, thanks to my author buds.
Plus–its primary purpose–to make it easy for you to track the release of my new science fiction Singles novelette, the Fate of the Red Lotus, due out mid week. And of course, capping off with the long-anticipated follow-up in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer–Virtual Blue! We’ll have excerpts and art reveals before it goes live.
And with the convenience of being in a group, the update posts won’t scroll several pages off your feed in a couple of hours. So even if you can only check in once a day, you won’t miss any updates.
Oh no, you’re thinking, I can’t bear to hear RJ talk about himself for days and days. To which I say–FREE stuff! You love to read, don’t you? (Yes, RJ, why else would we be here, duh!) So I’ve asked several of my talented and generous author buds to help make it worth your while to stick around, including Eric Garrison,John F. Allen, Chantel Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Kat French, and James W. Kirk, and that’s just the folks I reached out to on short notice.
The list is growing. We’ll have lots of ebook giveaways–mainly because ebooks are so easy to handle in something like this, but don’t be surprised if some “actual” things may need to be boxed and mailed before it’s over. Wow, I have a way with words.
So why are you still reading this? The party’s already started and going on without you. Click here already!
What: The 7th Annual Paranormal Meet n Greet When: Saturday, August 10, Noon- 4 PM Where: The Historic Haunted Hannah House, 3801 Madison Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227 How Much: This event is 100% FREE! FREE for vendors and FREE for patrons! No registration required! Just show up!
Did we mention it’s free?
The 7th Annual Paranormal Meet n Greet is like an art festival across the lawn of a haunted house. Scratch that, it IS an art festival across the lawn of a haunted house. The event is set up primarily for local and regional ghost investigation groups to meet, network, exchange information, trade stories and otherwise hang out. Click here to join the Facebook event.
There will also be vendors of all sorts, and this will be the third annual appearance by the Indiana Horror Writers, with our huge selection of ghostly and ghastly tales to tempt you. I’ve been privileged to attend all three years of the IHW’s involvement with this, first as a new author promoting my first-ever novel, and now returning on the eve of my third book.
Last year it was the debut event of Haunting Obsession. And although I won’t be debuting anything new this year, I’ll [plenty of copies on-hand at the Indiana Horror Writer’s table, where we’ll have a LOT of new releases on tap between us.
Michael West will have a wide selection, including the just re-released Wide Game and the popular anthology Vampires Don’t Sparkle.
Eric Garrison is bringing the new edition of Four ’til Late, the first of his road ghosts trilogy.
John F. Allen makes his first appearance to this event as a published author with his urban fantasy The God Killers.
Crystal Leflar is bringing her own stories of horror and the supernatural as well as a variety of selections from Nighscape Press.
Kathy Watness is bringing a wide selection of anthologies that cover a range of the strange and fantastic.
Whether you prefer your scares ghostly or ghastly, you’ll find much to love at the Indiana Horror Writers tent. Hope to see you there!
The Hannah House is located at 3801 Madison Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227. It can easily be reached from 465 by exiting on the US31 North exit, also known as East Street. The third light down is National Ave – go right. The very next light is Madison Ave. The house sits on the corner of this intersection.
So this year, FandomFest in Louisville, KY, has, among other superstar guests, William Shatner, Stan Lee, Gillian Anderson, Colin Baker, Gene Simmons, some Walking Dead people, and others along those same lines.
Not that you care about that. You’re showing up to stalk me. It okay. I feel ya’, and I got ya’ covered.
I’ll be at the Seventh Star Table with…well, Seventh Star Authors, including my TCQ (The Corvus Quartet–Google Corvus Constellation) buddies, John F. Allen, Eric Garrison and Michael West. TCQ is a foursome of authors and friends who belong to the same publisher and all live in the Indianapolis area. We’ve combined our powers to brainstorm ideas, trade resources and in other ways support each other’s efforts for the greater good of the whole. Or something like that.
In any case, Seventh Star will have a strong presence again this year, and the regional author tract will include a full weekend of panels and opportunities to learn how we authors do our authorly thing so you future authors can figure out how you can become a future author also…but sooner. Or something like that. Yes, I get paid to do this, what’s your point?
When I’m not here, I’ll be at the Seventh Star author’s table hanging out with my TCQ peeps, plus other Seventh Star authors, such as D. A. Adams, Steven Shrewsbury, Selah Janel, and I imagine Ali Justice and Stephen Zimmer will be coming by, too. Okay, I might sneak away to get some food, check out the other awesome authors and publishers, and photo-bomb Stan Lee so it looks like he’s holding a copy of Haunting Obsession (if possible).
Bottom line, it’s going to be a great weekend! Don’t miss it!
Three authors are offering brand-new releases exclusive to this event first! When I say brand-new, I mean you can’t even purchase these books though normal retail or internet outlets for a few more days. I mean the first print run in still the mail to the authors and will get here just in time. Bookmama’s will be the very first place in the galaxy you can buy these books!!
Let’s break down the new stuff.
New voice John F. Allen will be offering the first book of the Ivory Blaque trilogy through Seventh Star, The God Killers, here BEFORE HIS OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH NEXT WEEK, featuring cover and interior art by Enggar Adirasa!
Eric Garrison will release Four ’til Late, the first book of his Ghost Roads Trilogy, with new cover and interior art by Bonnie Wasson!
Michael West is bringing the highly anticipated re-issue of The Wide Game, with new cover and interior art by Matthew Perry!
There will be author readings. And snacks. And temporary tattoos. A good time is guaranteed. Hope to see you there.
A complete listing of books available:
The God Killers by John F. Allen; Blue Spirit*, Four ’til Late, and Reality Check** by Eric Garrison; Haunting Blue*** (Limited copies!) and Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan; Cinema of Shadows, Poseidon’s Children, Spook House, The Wide Game, and Vampires Don’t Sparkle! (Limited copies!) by Michael West.
Books are $15 per title except Haunting Blue, $20.00. All titles are Seventh Star Press releases unless otherwise indicated.
Congratulations to my friend Eric Garrison on his two book publishing deals, one with Hydra Publications for his recently released science fiction dimension hopping thriller, Reality Check. The other for a multi-book deal with Seventh Star Press.
Shorty after Eric and I met, we discovered pretty fast that our writing shares much in common. We decided to embrace the similarities and write in a “shared world.”
So ignore all that, because Reality Check is something else entirely.
Reality Check is Eric’s genre-bending, dimension-hopping science fiction thriller, the first of a planned trilogy. You can meet Eric along with many other awesome authors *koff-koff me too koff-koff* at the That Book Place Book Fair, Saturday, March 16, the first place on the planet where Eric will appear, armed with the paperback of Reality Check.
“When a quantum supercomputer’s ‘reality simulator’ program causes temporary insanity in its beta-testers, Lee Green rolls up his sleeves and dives into a virtual world to debug the problem. Only he discovers that place is more real than anyone imagined.
He finds alternate versions of his friends in that mad science reality, their lives and relationships very different from those in the ‘real’ world. Quantum entanglements become romantic entanglements as he meets his love again in each new dimension.
Lee must save these other lives, decide which destiny is truly his, and what he’s willing to sacrifice to get there.”
For those that can’t make it, click here and here to see the book’s Amazon links.
There’s something both classical and yet new to this story. When it comes to science fiction, are you drawn more toward the classics or to the more modern stories? Which authors inspire you, particularly with this work?
I suppose if I had to pick just one of those, I guess I lean toward the classics. Even the modern authors I read, Stephen Baxter, John Varley, Dan Simmons… these guys write about spaceships and exploration and how humans change and still remain human.
Looking at my bookcases for science fiction authors, I see a lot of Asimov, Niven, Simmons, and Gibson. But if I think about the forces that formed Reality Check, I’d have to give credit to Robert Heinlein, Neal Stephenson, and John Varley. Whatever else you may say about Heinlein, he was the master of social science fiction… that “what if” being applied to how people adapt to technology and alien situations. Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, is the master of science fiction at breakneck, breathless pacing. I always strive to keep the momentum in my novels going. John Varley follows in Heinlein’s footsteps in his treatment of individuals and relationships in science fiction, but he’s also amazing at cranking things “up to eleven” in intensity, taking the story through twists and turns that make you afraid to put his books down.
I’m going to give a nod toward Jack Chalker too, since absolutely no one writes body swapping stories like he does. There, I said it, I love Jack Chalker’s novels. We all have to have guilty pleasures, right?
What work would you most directly compare this story to?
That’s a tough one. It’s part Matrix, part Quantum Leap and part Star Trek TOS: Mirror, Mirror. I take a techie geek from our world and put him in alternate worlds, where he finds his own life still intertwined with his friends’ in different ways, despite the changing backdrop and genre.
When you first discussed the concept of this story, what struck me was how difficult, potentially, keeping track of your plot points might be. Yet everything falls into place quite nicely. Discuss the approach you took to keeping the plot from getting away from you.
Without giving too much away, I think the symmetry of the story was what held it together. Sure, three characters across three-and-a-half worlds did get confusing. Those three became nine individuals, but despite local differences, each triplet has great similarity to his or her alternate counterparts. It could have gotten all sorts of crazy, dealing with three main worlds, each with its local crisis, and all those characters’ motivations, but in the end, I told the story in first person for a reason: This is Lee’s story. Seeing it all through his eyes, we follow just his thread through the warp and weave of the novel. Writing it that way, I could concentrate on his wants and feelings and actions, even as everything changed around him, including his own body.
Let me throw a couple of thoughts at you that occurred to me as I read your book, and get your response. Reality Check follows a protagonist, unsure of himself, unhappy with his life, who finds within himself hidden potential as his exterior environment radically shifts. Reality Check may be seen as a study on how our environment directly affects us as a determining factor on how much of our potential we can find within ourselves.
I think this is a valid way to look at a theme in the story. Lee’s in the doldrums in his own life, but when he’s thrown into alternate versions of his life, he meets the challenges he finds there, doing more to fix those lives than than his own. Change is difficult, but it’s being put outside of our comfort zone that makes us grow and shine. Lee could have continued happily enough in his rut, but so could Bilbo have sat at home in his hole. And like Bilbo, Lee makes that first choice to step outside of himself to become so much more than he would have otherwise.
Try this one: A core theme in Reality Check seems to be that some people are destined to be together and will always find each other, no matter their life circumstance or position in life. With each reality shift, Lee continues to have a close relationship with his two best friends, even though the realities have little to nothing to do with each other geographically or, in many ways, the professions and organizations the three of them are associated with. (Dancing around spoilers). Do you embrace this destined viewpoint between individuals as a personal philosophy?
I think the idea of a soulmate is overused. I absolutely do not believe the “romantic” notion that there’s one true person for each of us in this world. I don’t see that concept as romantic, I see it as depressing. Only one person out of billions that really gets you? What if you pick wrong and meet your real soulmate later?
I prefer the idea of kindred spirits, in the sense that some people, you just know right off the bat, like you’ve met them before. Like we’re all just characters in some massively multiplayer online game, and we’ve played other games with the same folks another time. I do think we’re drawn to certain people, and I like to think that would be true no matter what universe.
Just to be contrary, I’ll relate that Reality Check doesn’t actually imply this. One of the Dionnes comes out and says that the only way the reality hopping works for Lee is because he’s swapping with people in other universes enough like him to be essentially who he is, despite all other factors. She goes on to say that the reason he’s surrounded by his closest friends, even in other universes, is because he can’t be who he is without those people as a part of his life.
But it’s really just a chicken-and-egg sort of thing. Can they travel between dimensions only because they are together, or would they be together in any universe? They’re simply not the same people without each other, so it doesn’t matter which is the real reason. We are who we are, in part, by who we choose as friends.
This is your fifth completed novel and your first venture into science fiction. Discuss your journey as a writer. Is this a novel you could have written at any point in that journey or did you have to build up to it? Why did you feel that now was the right time?
I wrote Reality Check for two main reasons. One, I had this idea, in some raw form, rattling around in my head for many years beforehand. It’s been sitting in my “Story Ideas” file in Google Docs all this time. It was going to be a short story, originally, but I couldn’t think of a plot to go with the concept that would fit that format. Two, I’d written four urban fantasy novels already, one trilogy and one spin-off, and I felt I wanted to stretch myself by writing all new characters and a different genre.
I really don’t think I could have written this as my first novel. It was a huge challenge. I quit writing it out of frustration halfway through the first draft. I did, I quit, I shouted I was done with it. I felt overwhelmed, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to end it. But some good friends told me the idea was too compelling to abandon, that I had to finish it. With that external motivation, I sat my butt down and redid the outline, in greater detail, and finished a rough draft. Which I got feedback on; I was right, the ending wasn’t very satisfying. So I made it a sort of false ending and kicked the plot back into gear toward a new goal, which ended up rewriting and expanding it quite a bit. Even that ending wasn’t quite satisfying, so I tweaked it until I was satisfied and added an Epilogue so the ending didn’t come to such an abrupt halt.
There’s no way I would have had the discipline and drive to retool, rewrite and polish this book before the time I wrote it. It took having the other four books under my belt to have the confidence to finish what I started, with a little help from my friends, and the patience that came with the experience I gained over time.
Because “it’s complicated,” can you discuss what’s coming up from Eric Garrison?
It really is complicated! Toward the end of last year, I had a choice of working on a sequel to my urban fantasy spin-off, Blue Spirit (which I’ve already started), or following up on the adventures of Lee, Dionne and Cecil with a Reality Check sequel. Mean Spirit or Sanity Check. But a few things happened. First, Reality Check got picked up by Hydra Publications, which meant spending quality time with an editor (shout out to Martha Swanson!) to further refine that work. Then, I pitched my self-published Road Ghosts trilogy to Seventh Star Press, and they’ve decided to pick it up and publish it, along with Blue Spirit, as part of a six book deal.
So, my first novel, Four ’til Late, will be my next novel to come out in late spring or early summer of 2013. It will be followed by Sinking Down, the second book in the trilogy in mid to late summer. Blue Spirit will come out right on that book’s heels, for complicated reasons… mainly so that it doesn’t have to stay out of print as long, but partly because its protagonist, Skye, is introduced in Sinking Down and doesn’t have a role in the third book in the Road Ghosts trilogy.
So that means I will be working on a sequel to Blue Spirit in order to have it come out by the end of the year or early next year. But I think it won’t be Mean Spirit; I’ve decided more has to happen between those two books, so my working title for Skye’s next adventure is Restless Spirit.