I am frustrated.
I haven’t been posting this summer because of family issues with my daughter’s health. But, she is doing very, very well and it is time for me to re-engage the creative side of my brain.
I haven’t been negligent of my writing. I am finishing up the final edit for “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” and it will be available hopefully by late October. It will not be available in the usual traditional sense but you will be able to purchase it through bookstores, Amazone, B&N, etc. Now that I am no longer beholden to my previous publisher, I have much more freedom to tell the story the way I want to.
For instance, my previous two books suffered from the word limit demon (pardon the pun). I had to constrain my story to fit 75000 words. That required cutting major story elements and, in some cases, entire characters to fit the required word limit. While I don’t plan on going all Harry Potter on my readers and make the next books 700+ words, I have extended the upcoming book from 75000 to 90000 words.
I am back in the world of self-publishing and it is much different from the first time I self-published back in 2006. Self-publishing has gained in reputation since then. To give you an example, I ran my dilemma by Michael Hyatt back in February. If you don’t know who Michael Hyatt is, go to his website. He was former CEO of Thomas Nelson and has launched his own brand teaching authors how to communicate and how to build a platform for their work. I met him at the first annual Platform conference. Michael took one look at my previous two books in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles and quickly, confidently without hesitation told me to self-publish. This came from a man who was once the CEO of one of the largest Christian publishers in the world!
For a while, I pursued traditional publishing for the third book and met with half-hearted response. I don’t want to disparage my previous traditional publisher, but I think today’s tp’s don’t know how to effectively market Christian speculative fiction. Michael Hyatt made the comment this is the fastest growing sub-genre in Christian publishing. I have discussed problems with this genre in previous posts, the least being that bookstores don’t know where to put these books — Christian publishing or secular publishing areas.
So, it is up to those of us who write such books to decide if we cave in to the poor sales and poor marketing and little recognition or do we press on and continue to write the books God has placed on our hearts and minds. Authors such as Greg Mitchell, Mike Duran, Mike Dellosso, Marc Schooley, Linda Rios Brook, and Conlan Brown write speculative fiction and their works are fantastic, awe inspiring, moving, and wildly imaginative. Their books should be flying off the shelves. Instead, like me, they are struggling with balancing day jobs and writing supernatural thrilling stories that are trying to break their way out of our brains onto the written page.
Here is my plea. Check out the Christian speculative fiction market. But some books. Buy lots of books. Support your favorite Christian speculative fiction author and I’m not just talking about the giants such as Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti or Tosca Lee. Look for us little guys and gals who are struggling and promise to give you a good story — a great read that is wildly imaginative, thrilling, and yet, ultimately redemptive.
Give us a chance!
Buy one of our books as summer comes to a close and then post a review on Amazon or on your blog or your website. Help us flood American readers with the kind of thrilling supernatural stories the world is craving but with a different twist — a Christian worldview. Do that, and we will go a long way to changing the world’s attitudes — changing the world’s perception of reality — and showing the world the light and love of Christ!
For years, one of my favorite authors was Dean Koontz. He had this uncanny ability to scare the pookie out of me (whatever that is) and yet create endearing characters who ultimately had a moment of redemption. But, after several years, I abandoned Dean Koontz. I guess I just got tired of horror novels. That is until I started writing horror novels!
Well, in his latest book, Mike Dellosso has managed to capture that feeling for me again in “Frantic”. The main character is a man named Manny Toogood. Manny Toogood! You got to love that name! And, poor Manny has a cursed life filled with tragedy after tragedy currently working at gas station when a car pulls up with a burly man in the front and a damaged soul in the back seat.
The girl that looks out at him from the back seat leaves him a simple note, “He’s going to kill me.” And so, Manny, convinced his curse has caught up with perfect strangers ignores the curse and decides to help the young girl. The story takes off at this point and never relents. It is one unending “frantic” event after another.
I don’t want to spoil the story, but Manny not only grapples with this young woman and her brother’s predicament, he also has to deal with painful flashbacks to his abusive father and the death of his mother. He blames himself for every bad thing that has happened in his life as well as every bad thing that happens to those who are around him. What Mike Dellosso does so well with Manny is take him through these trials as he helps the young woman and her brother and begins to show him that he is not cursed. In fact, he is a hero.
The story is openly supernatural with the young boy showing signs of his “gift”. Miracles take place at the hands of this young boy who has faith. But, evil is closing in not only from the young woman’s stepfather but from an external threat that frankly I didn’t see coming. Let’s just say that those who stop to help out may not be who or what Manny thinks they are. Trust nobody!
And here, in this simmering sub plot Mike Dellosso delivers the goods. What should have been a simple chase and elude story takes on deeper and more troubling revelations as Manny and his two friends fall into the hands of an evil group of individuals.
This is a great book and a great story! I couldn’t put it down. But, beware. The body count climbs with each chapter and the young woman’s stepfather is one of the most evil killers I’ve read about in recent years because he thinks he is listening to the voice of God.
Great job, Mike. A book I highly recommend to anyone who has enjoyed Mike’s books in the past or who want to try something new and exciting in the realm of supernatural thrillers.