For more J Edward Neill art, follow him on Instagram.
Or on Facebook.
For more paintings like these, go here.
For more, go here.
Tread lightly into ancient, forbidden realms.
Wander into the futures of apocalyptic worlds.
Know what it feels like to face the darkness alone.
Machina Obscurum contains twenty-two short tales by nine masters of fiction. Within these pages lie stories of men and monsters, of lonely souls and far-distant places. No matter what whets your appetite: sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or hard, dark realistic fiction, A Collection of Shadows has it all.
Contains stories by J Edward Neill, John McGuire, Chad Shonk, River Fairchild, Jennifer Clayton, Phil Elmore, Robert Jeffrey II, F Charles Murdock, & Roy Dodd.
Oh, art lovers…
I’ve packed all my paintings of queens, dark princesses, vampire beauties, and goddesses into a 2018 calendar.
It’s available over at Redbubble.
It’ll make a great gift for the art lover in your life.
…or just for yourself.
Grab yours today!
For more of my gothic art, go here.
Oops, I did it again.
Over six weeks during a rainy autumn, I collected hundreds of break-up stories from friends, strangers, Facebook pals, random people on Twitter & Instagram, and several tipsy folks at the local bar.
And then…just because…I cleaned the stories up and put them into this book:
Every story is true. Some are anonymous. For others, the storyteller’s name is proudly displayed.
Sample break-up stories from the book are here.
The original 101 Reasons to Break Up is here.
6:30 AM – Wake up, enjoy a light breakfast, read a few writers’ blogs, look up new art posted by my favorite artists
7:30 AM – Drive to the nearby forest trail, walk briskly for 90 minutes, return home feeling amazing
9:15 AM – Shower. Open all the windows in the house. Fire up a brooding soundtrack to get in the right mood for painting a masterpiece or writing the next great American novel
9:30 AM – Create for the next two hours. Spare not a single glance at fake news, real news, or anything resembling social media
11:30 AM – Drive to my favorite café. Sip a glass of wine while overlooking the vineyards of North GA.
1:00 PM – Return home. Glide through an hour of marketing, blogging, and prepping spirited press releases for my latest book
2:00 PM – Power through an invigorating workout on the back deck. It’ll hurt less because of the wine. The weather will be ideal…not the muggy, no breeze, mosquito-laden climate typical of Atlanta’s suburbs
3:00 PM – A second shower, a snack, and then two hours of writing, editing, and painting a masterful cover piece for my newest short story. The lights will be low, the incense powerful, and the atmosphere serene
5:00 PM – It’s date night. Dress in something light, but not too casual. Splash on a tiny drop of cologne.
5:15 PM – Hop in the car, launch a thrilling playlist of Hans Zimmer, Depeche Mode, and Slayer
5:45 PM – Arrive at one of my favorite spots downtown. It only took 30 minutes to get there. No traffic today!
6:00 PM – Sit down across from my beautiful, confident date. Sip red wine. Discuss anything but politics, religion, or the socio-economic ramifications of another major land war with North Korea
8:00 PM – Dessert at a nearby spot. A sip of scotch. A slice of cheesecake. Candles, music, the thrum of a busy restaurant…
8:30 PM – Arrive home, slip out into the evening with a fully-charged laptop and a glass of Balvenie scotch – minimum 17-year aged.
8:45 PM – While relaxing to the sounds of crickets, owls, and bats fluttering through the night, write for two hours. No mosquitoes tonight, only fireflies
10:00 PM – Relax in the basement with a movie, an enthralling video game, or a while spent strumming the guitar
11:00 PM – Finish a last sketch on which to base tomorrow’s new painting. Enjoy a gentle nightcap. Tumble into a bed with the ceiling fan on and the night’s breeze drifting through the wide-open windows
7:30 AM – Stagger out of bed, dress my son while he’s still half-asleep, shuttle him to Montessori school, return home in a daze.
10:00 AM – Stagger out of bed a second time, drink a quart of water to rehydrate after too much scotch last night. What happened between 8-10 this morning? No fucking idea
10:05 AM – No coffee for me. Can’t stand the stuff. Heat up some frozen Eggo waffles and whip up three mimosas. Consume it all within 10 minutes
10:20 AM – Look at Facebook
10:21 AM – Review yesterday’s book sales. Grumble about Amazon’s KU (Kindle Unlimited) pages read algorithms
10:22 AM – Review yesterday’s art sales. Realize I haven’t sold a goddamn thing…and that there’s a reason artists are poor
10:23 AM – Avoid my Twitter account like the fucking plague
10:25 – Write for 90 minutes. It’s shit and I’m still tired. I’m pretty much editing the stuff I wrote last night.
Noon – My laptop powers down unexpectedly. Rather than crush it into powder Office Space style, I throw on some shorts and head to the forest for a run
12:45 PM – The second part of my run hurts like a motherfucker. I drank too many mimosas. I power through it anyway, but I look like haggard hell to other runners on the trail
1:30 PM – Head to the
café bar for lunch. Consider the smoked salmon and risotto, but ultimately decide on steak and scotch. Glance around the bar looking for interesting people/beautiful women to chat up, then realize I’m alone
1:45 PM – Check my phone compulsively while eating. Nope…still haven’t sold any art, though someone just reported my latest graphite sketch to Facebook for containing nudity
2:30 PM – Return home. Sit in a stupor for 15 minutes while deciding whether to paint, draw, write, or play nine consecutive hours of Witcher 3
2:45 PM – Paint for an hour. Spill watercolors on the floor. My blind cat wanders between my ankles, causing me to smudge the eyeball which I’ve slaved 30 minutes to perfect. Shout at the cat. She’s pretty much deaf. She wanders off with a self-satisfied meow
4:00 PM – Check Facebook for the 20th time today. Consider posting a grand plea for book reviews, realizing I’d be wealthy as fuck if just a fraction of my readers slapped down a few stars. Decide against the plea. Realize that everyone in the industry is already bitching about the subject without any success
4:01 PM – Sit down to edit. Get distracted by articles in which other authors talk about being distracted
4:30 PM- Realize I have to pick up my son in 30 minutes. Plow through a 15-minute workout, then drive to get junior
5:00 PM – Pick up my son. Ask him if he’d like to paint, draw, play baseball, or take a long walk. He decides on an hour-long discussion about Play-Doh, a commentary regarding Bowser from the Super Mario Bros. series, and a firm but polite request to drink two gallons of chocolate milk
5:30 – Give in. Pour him the chocolate milk. Respond to his inquiries about latest painting. “What is that?” he asks. “A demonic woman ready to wage eternal war on humanity,” I answer. “Cool,” he says. “Why are her boobs so big?”
6:00 PM – Squeeze a 15-minute workout, a shower for me, a bath for junior, 30 minutes of homework, two additional after-school snacks, a play-by-play of every scene from every Zelda game ever made, seven hugs, 3 minutes of backyard baseball, and 4 minutes of painting…all into one hour
7:00 PM – Dinner should take an hour, right? Wrong. It takes two. At least there’s wine.
9:00 PM – Put junior to bed. Ask him if he wants me to read something other than Ul De Rico’s Rainbow Goblins. He doesn’t. We read it again
10:00 PM – Stagger downstairs in the gloom. Turn on the music. Try to sit on the patio, but get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Girl calls. Sorry, no date tonight. Check book sales. Learn that British people read…Americans don’t. Check Facebook. Enjoy the deep discussions of my art…but despair in zero painting sales for the day
10:15 PM – Finish a bottle of cheap scotch. Write for three hours while tipsy. Avoid the internet only because I know I’ll say something stupid if I post during the late, late hour
1:15 AM – Consider wandering up to bed. Decide to write for another hour. Would consider writing while in bed, but junior snores like a motherfucker
2:15 AM – Fall asleep while playing video games
3:00 AM – Who needs sleep, anyway?
* * *
I want to tell you this is all hyperbole.
But it isn’t. Go here if you don’t believe me.
This is a series of articles collectively titled A Thought for Every Thursday.
Each one contains quick, light questions about modern morality, simple philosophy, and human relationships.
Here. Get some…
The Thought for Every Thursday series is inspired by the Coffee Table Philosophy series of books, which can be browsed here.
Created over two nights in the dead of autumn.
With many glasses of wine.
And hours of melancholic music.
For more, try this.
A few weeks ago I got super sarcastic with my list of alternative movie blurbs.
Now that I’ve made fun of everyone else’s artistic work, it’s time I turn the cannon on myself.
Here’s everything I’ve ever written, but with smartass descriptions.
I’d love to say these were all jokes and that none of these descriptions are accurate.
But let’s not kid ourselves…
(Nov 1, 2017 update!!! – I’ve now used the new Amazon KDP service extensively. My commentary regarding my personal experience appears at the bottom of this article.)
* * *
Authors who use Amazon’s Createspace or KDP services might want to take a look at the new option recently released.
Apparently Amazon has decided to consolidate some of their print-by-demand services by offering softcover book sales via KDP.
What does it mean? Situation: not quite certain
Right now the KDP softcover print option is in beta mode, meaning Amazon is testing its viability. But if it takes off, and if it expands print services to include non-standard book trim sizes, (right now it doesn’t) one wonders if the shift in focus away from Createspace will benefit authors. Will KDP-like marketing services (similar to Kindle Countdown) be made available? Does Amazon have additional marketing services in mind?
Here’s the basics straight from Amazon’s help page:
Move Your CreateSpace Paperback to KDP (Beta):
Moving your CreateSpace paperback to KDP will consolidate your paperback and eBook publishing on a single website. You will receive combined royalty payments for the marketplaces you sell your eBooks and paperbacks to. You do not need to do anything extra – your current account settings, payment information and tax details do not need updates. With KDP, you can distribute to Japan in addition to the US and European marketplaces. We also offer a multilingual user interface and customer support in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese.Although KDP doesn’t yet offer author copies, proof copies, or expanded distribution, we will be adding those features in the future.KDP’s print features won’t affect any existing CreateSpace titles unless you choose to republish them on KDP. It’s up to you whether you want to start publishing new paperbacks on KDP.
|Distribution to Amazon.com (US)||Yes||Yes|
|Distribution to Europe (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es)||Yes||Yes|
|Distribution to Japan (Amazon.co.jp)||Yes||No|
|Order physical proof copies||Not yet||Yes|
|Order wholesale author copies||Not yet||Yes|
|Expanded distribution to bookstores and non-Amazon websites||Not yet||Yes|
Once you’re redirected back to KDP, you’ll want to enter the same book details (publication date, trim size, paper type, cover finish) and upload the same manuscript and cover files you used to publish on CreateSpace. KDP’s print specifications are similar to CreateSpace, except we don’t support custom CreateSpace trim sizes. See the trim sizes KDP supports
With our Online Previewer, you can proofread your paperback manuscript online or download it to view offline.
After you publish your CreateSpace book on KDP, we’ll automatically remove your CreateSpace paperback from sale, and your KDP sales will be tracked in your KDP sales and royalty reports. You can still access historical sales reports on CreateSpace but you will not need to take any additional action there.
In most circumstances, if you used a CreateSpace template to format your cover or manuscript file, you can reuse the same files to publish your CreateSpace paperback on KDP. See exceptions where you’ll need to edit your Cover files and Manuscript files below. If you paid for a CreateSpace cover or interior service, contact CreateSpace customer support to get your files.
If Online Previewer finds errors in your uploaded files, you’ll want to correct the formatting and reupload the files. Troubleshooting tips follow below, and you can also see our KDP Print Publishing Guidelines for detailed help with formatting errors.
Some older CreateSpace cover templates include white space around the edges that trigger errors on KDP’s Online Previewer. If you used a CreateSpace template to create your cover, make sure it matches your book’s intended trim size and remove any extra white space. Learn more about KDP’s cover size requirements.
KDP does not support custom CreateSpace trim sizes. If you used a CreateSpace interior template to create your manuscript file, make sure it’s in a trim size that KDP supports. If not, reset the trim size and reformat your manuscript file to match your new trim size.
I’m intrigued (and maybe a little bit hopeful) about this move.
Although, considering the huge issues with Amazon’s reporting of page-reads via the Kindle Unlimited program, maybe I shouldn’t be so optimistic.
What do you think?
* * *
November 1st update!!
Over the last several months, I’ve moved about half of my paperback titles over to the KDP system. I did this as a trial run to gauge KDP’s effectiveness for in-print titles.
My findings are as follows:
While it’s possible a wild coincidence may be to blame for three high-selling titles to fall off the map completely at the exact same time they were moved to KDP, I’m just not buying it. At this time, I’d recommend against authors (new or established) using the KDP print system. Stick with Createspace for now. It’s clunkier and has its issues, but buying wholesale is invaluable, as is not risking a meaningless sales-plummet.
KDP Softcover Grade – D
* * *
Author of sci-fi hit A Door Never Dreamed Of
Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy
Author of sci-fi hit A Door Never Dreamed Of
Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy
A thousand years from today, nearly all of humanity is jacked-In.
We sleep, connected to machines, dreaming our lives away.
For most people, it’s the perfect life.
But for the few who never jacked-In, it’s exile.
Abandoned, persecuted, and betrayed, the Outs plot their vengeance across the centuries.
And when they open the Door, only one way of life will survive…
Buy A Door Never Dreamed Of here.
And learn more about my other titles here.
Thank you for reading,
Here’s ten artists who’ve shined a powerful light on me (and my walls.) They’re in no particular order.
Allen Williams, master of graphite powder, lord of charcoal, is among the most interesting illustrators and conceptual artists I’ve ever stumbled upon. He’s done film work, but the works I’m struck by are his weird, ghoulish drawings, posted regularly for sale right here.
My absolute favorite piece by Allen? This monster here – The Lotus King.
Back in my days of playing Magic the Gathering, I discovered the best part of the game is the card art. A host of excellent illustrators toils to create some pretty fascinating monsters, angels, and otherworldly entities, all for players’ enjoyment. RK Post’s art is likely my favorite. His sometimes harsh, often dark images bring MtG to life.
And one of my favorite RK Magic cards is:
If RK Post is my favorite MtG illustrator, Terese Nielsen is a close, close second. She blends strong realism with wild, barely controlled elements, and I love it. Angels, goddesses, beautiful women, strong men, powerful animals…she’s a master of them all.
Sometimes one stumbles upon an artist whose concepts and execution demand immediate attention. Bastien is one such person. Based in France, he specializes in women, often mixing them with mechanical and/or fantastical elements. His themes are often dark and tormented (my favorite) and his execution when blending realism and the abstract is stunning.
I have several DeHarme prints on my walls. Just sayin’.
Enough of my gushing. Go look at his portfolio right here. And yes, some of his work is NSFW.
Sadly, the lord of the Xenomorphs has passed to the next world. Thankfully his creations remain. Surely most people have watched the Alien movies, and yet H.R. (Hans Ruedi) Giger created far more than just a few creepy extraterrestrials. His mastery of biomechanical, necromantic paintings, sculpture, and other media are unparalleled.
I first discovered Giger’s work (Meister und Margeritha) on the cover of a Danzig album.
A selection of Giger’s art books is here.
It’s true. I accidentally discovered Jeremy Mann years ago while Facebook stalking a mutual fan. Whatever. Simply put, Mann’s oil paintings and photography are stunning. He specializes in portrait work and breathtaking cityscapes, sometimes blending his subject matter with a dark edge. Like most of my favorite artists, he walks the line between utter realism and abstract fantasy. Just look at his women here (NSFW.) And his unbelievably haunting cityscapes, implying rain and twilight, are here.
It’s worth mentioning Mann prefers not to sell prints. You’ll have to hit up one of his galleries or buy one of his premium (and personalized) art books if you really, really want to be a fan.
It’s probable that during the creation of the Lord of the Rings movies, Peter Jackson could not have chosen a better illustrator than John Howe (and Alan Lee.) John’s sketches, landscapes, and character work captured LOTR’s theme in a way perhaps no other could match.
His website is a bit clunky. Doesn’t matter. Check it out anyway.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that John Howe is also an experienced and talented swordsman. He believes the best way to understand objects and motion is to hold, use, and touch the object to be drawn or painted. I tend to agree. Completely.
The second half of LOTR’s dynamic art duo is Alan Lee. He’s a master of watercolor paintings, often depicting surreal landscapes with incredible detail. His creation of faerie-like forest scenes, with writhing branches and strange, ethereal colors, is particularly inspiring. Alan not only worked as an illustrator for the movies, but also has his hands in several Tolkien-related art books, all of which are worth every penny.
Chase Alan’s fascinating art on Facebook.
An interesting bio of Alan appears here.
I count myself lucky to have found (again by accident) Marcela’s art via Facebook. Marcela is a photo-illustrator specializing in digital recreations of stunning photos. While I don’t typically adore digital art, for Marcela (and a few others) I make exceptions. Her work, especially her women and surreal natural scenes, provide elegance and eye-candy all art-lovers can likely appreciate.
You need to check Marcela’s website here. Especially the stunning piece ‘Hydroponic.’ Thank me later. 🙂
Lady Makepeace is a humble dweller of the central Georgian woodlands, and just so happens to be my personal favorite cover artist. Yeah…I’m a fanboy; her painting Autumn Waters hangs right next to my favorite art pieces at home. She’s an illustrator, using both digital and traditional media to portray mythical creatures, magical birds, wondrous woodlands, and the occasional terrifying sci-fi monstrosity.
Her website is here.
Amanda has created stunning cover work for several of my novels, including:
My own not-nearly-as-amazing-as-the-ten-artists-above art can be found here.
During a blazing hot summer, I interviewed nearly four-hundred people.
At bars, on the street, via Facebook.
I took their 101 funniest, weirdest, and most off-the-wall break-up stories…
…and slammed them all into this book:
Read it. Laugh at it. Review the hell out of it.
Here’s nine sample break-ups.
Now available for just $0.99.
Whoa, whoa, whoa…
Amazon’s got a new Fire tablet coming out on October 11th. And it looks stunning.
As an author and a reader- and a recent convert to using e-readers– it’s fair to say I’m excited. Amazon has always offered killer price points for their tablets, and the new Fire HD10 appears to be no exception.
Let’s break it down:
The display, battery life, and sound quality are things we’re pretty much used to from the Fire series. I’d hesitate to call them special. (Although I paid a lot less for my latest Fire than I did back in the day for my similarly-powered iPad.)
The HD10 is all about the ‘Always-Listening Alexa’ feature. A voice-commanded tablet is like using a remote control…but without the remote. And the 10.1″ display means comfortable viewing at a distance even while you’re busy at home. For someone like me who has trouble sitting still for long periods, using Alexa to boss around my less-expensive-than-other-tablets tablet is a deal-maker. Honestly, I need everything in my house to be Alexa-powered – my cat, my six-year old son, my wine…all of it.
Alas, I’ll stick to my tablet for now.
The price is what sells the HD10. The base model 32GB version is only $149.00 (Compare that to Apple’s mini iPad 4, which clocks in at $349.00.) Buyers can step it up to 64GB for $189.00, while both are expandable to 256GB using a microSD card.
More memory. More shows. Mo’ freedom.
You can pre-order the HD10 here.
The official release date is October 11th. Hopefully it’s still available, unlike my much-desired Nintendo Switch, which I still haven’t been able to buy at a reasonable price.
Anyway, I think it’s worth checking out.
And once you get yours, you’ll need something to e-read. I’ve got you covered.
When in doubt, emulate H.R. Giger.
At least…that’s what I say.
Recently, sculptor Tahina Morrison carved out a beautiful woman and paired her with a face hugger.
And then tasked me with the not-so-easy job of painting a terrifying background.
As ever, I do her bidding…
18″ x 24″
Thanks for stopping by. More paintings are soon to come.
If you like Perfect Organism, you might also like these.
For my latest round of short stories, I’ve decided to sketch my own cover art.
It’s a challenge.
…and I love it.
This next piece is a sequel to this.
Here’s a quick progression:
Nadya, the Deathless – a character in the novel Hollow Empire.
Thanks for stopping by. More paintings are soon to come.
Prints are available here.
If you like these, you might also like these.
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