Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World I: Paris -- St. Mere Eglise and Falaise

This weeks photos are of St. Mere Eglise, from the first scene in Shattered World I: Paris, and Falaise where [SPOILER ALERT] the group is attacked by giant wasps.

This is an aerial view of the St. Mere Eglise town square where Jason is attacked by a horde of flesh eaters and soul vampires. The parking lot is to the right and the church where he makes his stand against the Demon Spawn is in the center left. In the upper left corner is the Airborne Museum commemorating the Normandy invasion.

"In the far corner of the parking lot sat St. Mere Eglise church, the one made famous when an American paratrooper got stuck on the belfry during the D-Day landings."

Falaise Castle, the castle owned by William the Conqueror, where the group holds up on the second night.

The main hall inside Falaise Castle where the group dined.

The town square of Falaise as seen from the hill where Falaise Castle is located. The church in the background is where the giant wasps made their nest.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World I: Paris -- Mont St. Michel

This weeks photos are of Mont St. Michel where the Demon Hunters are based.

First, let's begin with Mont St. Michel, the Normandy home for those refugees who survived the opening of the portal.

The causeway leading from the mainland to the island. In the book, this has been destroyed so that, when the bay is at high tide, there is no access to the city.

King's Gate -- the entrance into the walled city. Off to the left is Le Mere Poulard Hotel where the Protective Force lives.

"The only access to the structure passed between twin towers stretching over one hundred feet into the night sky that guarded a flight of steep stairs between the ancient walls of the Abbey and the outer defensive wall."

The stairway leading to the Abbey.

The Romanesque facade of the Abbey.

Inside the Abbey. Doc's office would to the right rear of this photograph.

The streets of Mont St. Michel leading from King's Gate to the Abbey.

The view from the terrace in front of the Abbey overlooking the bay.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Photos Related to Shattered World I: Paris -- Demon Spawn Concept Art

For those of you who have already read Shattered World I: Paris, by now you know that I have set the book in various locations around France. I have been fortunate to have visited the major locations in the novel, which inspired me to include them in the story. Having seen this places made them come alive for me while drafting the manuscript.

To bring Shattered World I: Paris alive for my readers, every Wednesday for the next four weeks I'll be posting blog spots with photos related to the locations described in the novel and/or concept art about the demons. Many of the photos I took myself. I hope you enjoy these.

This week's photos are the most interesting of the series because it will be dealing with the concept art and ideas that went into developing the Demon Spawn. [WARNING: There are spoilers in this blog post, so if you have not read the book be forewarned.]

Are the flesh eaters zombies? Not in the traditional sense. I liked the concept of hordes of shambling dead roaming through the French countryside and attacking the Demon Hunters en masse but did not want to turn my book into a zombie apocalypse novel. So I created the flesh eaters as the desiccated bodies of those condemned to Hell who come back to wander Earth because this is the realm they know. Yes, they eat human flesh, which is what makes them dangerous, but they do not have the other attributes of a zombie -- they are not rotting away and being bitten by a flesh eater does not mean you will die and come back as one.

The idea for the pus zombies came from two separate sources. Scientists discovered that certain spores can infect insects, taking over their minds and compelling them to climb to an elevated position where those spores rupture through the host body. The spores then spread and infect other insects. I reasoned this was a much more gruesome and unique way of turning people into flesh eaters than through biting. The video detailing how this process works can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCeyW9m0SXA.
 
The second idea behind the concept came from a website report of a young man in China suffering from a severe, untreated brain infection that ate through his skull and filled his cranium with pus.The photos of this poor man were so pathetic and disturbing the writer in me had to incorporate them into the pus zombies.

I think the use of giant insects is self-explanatory. If regular bugs are creepy and scary, then enlarging the demons to monstrous sizes makes them downright terrifying.

Some of my readers have asked where I got the idea of having the giant wasps in Falaise use Andre as an incubator for their eggs. This happens quite often in nature, albeit with cockroaches taking the place of humans. A video detailing how the process works can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovo_T0KqdYg.

When I was developing the demons that would guard the portals, I came up with the concept of using Golem, the animated anthropomorphic protectors of Jewish ghettos. However, I wanted mine to be much more intimidating and powerful than the man-sized guardians from Hebrew folklore. To give the Golem a more gruesome appearance, I changed them from being created from inanimate material, such as stone, to being a compilation of human body parts. I stumbled across the above artwork while researching other demons and decided to adopt the basic body design for my own Golem, although those that appear in Shattered World I: Paris have significant differences.

The hand-held six-barreled GAU-17 minigun used by Sasha and Haneef. When I first saw this weapon I knew I had to work it into the novel.

Holding the GAU-17 minigun. And no, this is not who Sasha is based on. It's just a coincidence that the model is similar to my character.



Sunday, February 9, 2020

I'll Be Attending Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza 13-15 March



I'll be attending the Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza from 13-15 March in Boxborough, Massachusetts and selling/signing copies of my books, including Shattered World I: Paris.

And a reminder, I am one of four writers hosting a post-apocalyptic panel at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord NH on 25 February from 6 to 7:30 PM and will be attending the second running of the Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds in Vermont on 25 and 26 April.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Shattered World I: Paris Is Now Available on Amazon


I am excited to announce that Shattered World I: Paris, the first book in my young adult post-apocalypse series, is now available on Amazon in both both paperback and Kindle versions.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

I'll Be Attending the Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo 25-26 April


I can now announce this: on 25 and 26 April I'll be attending the second running of the Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds in Vermont. I'll be selling/signing my books, including Shattered World I: Paris

I love the smaller conventions that are just starting out and aren't overwhelmed by big name celebrities. There is more chance to chat with fans and get to know each other better. I hope to see you there. 


Friday, January 31, 2020

I'll Be One of Four Writers Hosting a Post-Apocalypse Panel at Gibson's Bookstore in Concord NH on 25 February


On 25 February from 6 to 7:30 PM I'll be one of four writers hosting a post-apocalyptic panel at Gibson's Bookstore at 45 South Main Street in Concord NH. DJ Cooper (Dystopia: The beginning of the End), N.A. Broadley (Trail of Misery), and Chris Philbrook (Adrian's Undead Diaries), and myself will be signing our books and discussing topics such as your zombie apocalypse plan, where are you going to hunker down when the SHTF, and how prepared are you to survive the end of the world. 

Hopefully I'll see some of you there. Your lives may depend on it.