The Gore and The Takers

Yes, I am evil.  Why do you ask?

Yes, I am evil. Why do you ask?

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the early readers of The Gore.  You’ve been way too kind, and I appreciate every word.  Perhaps the kindest comment yet is that I seem to be getting increasingly evil  with each book in the series (Thanks Thom Millman).  After listening to cuts of the audio book for The Takers, I totally agree.  I’ve done some horrible things to Oz, and things just keep getting worse for the kid.  But, that’s my job.

Speaking of The Takers audio book, it’s coming along nicely.  John Anthony Davis (or as I call him, JAD) has been great to work with.  I’ve lived with these characters for so long, I know their voices better than most the people in my life.  JAD has been patient with me when I’ve asked him to be ‘more redneck’ on a couple of the cuts. He’s doing such a great job I’ve gotten chills listening to the story.  As I’ve told him, it’s not my writing, it’s his voice.  This is an entirely different world for me, and it’s really a lot of fun.

I’ll have a bio of JAD later in the week.  We’re not ready to release the book yet, but we’re getting there.   I’ll also be doing a write up on my experience with ACX.  Once again, the Amazon family has found a way to give authors even more control over their own careers.

Is the underground warehouse in The Gore a real thing?

Throw in rows of shelves packed with supplies and you almost have the underground warehouse from The Gore!

Throw in rows of shelves packed with supplies and you almost have the underground warehouse from The Gore!

If you’ve read The Gore, you may have noticed I sent the crew underground again.  Let’s face it. We all know monsters hangout in caves and tunnels.  Anyway, I made up a secret government system of subterranean warehouses connected by an equally secret government subway system that covers the entire country.  Turns out, there actually are large underground caverns that were built by the government.   I knew that some existed, but to what extent I had no idea.  Now a guy in California is buying up some abandoned underground dwellings built by the military and turning them into resorts and shelters for the pending apocalypse.  The company is called Vivos. No word on whether or not the caverns will be connected by a subway system or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Check out this story about the resort/shelter on Yahoo! Developer: Kan. caverns could preserve human race

The Takers Audio book and The Gore print version

John Anthony Davis is the narrator for the upcoming audio version of The Takers, and it is coming along nicely.  Any hang ups in the process have been my doing because for some stupid reason I decided to do the Audio book in the middle of finishing up The Gore.  Not smart.  Anyway, John has sent me a few clips, and they are fantastic.  I got unexpectedly emotional listening to his read.  It really hit me when Oz is begging Mrs. Chalmers not leave him alone.  Very powerful stuff.  I think you’ll all be pleased or as they say around here “Y’all will be pleased!”

To answer the question about the print version of The Gore, yes there will be one and soon.  I’ll have more info on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

The Gore so far and update on The Tree Readers

Thanks for the great comments!

Thanks for the great comments!

I just wanted to post a quick update on The Gore.  Sales are going well for an indie guy like me.  I don’t have actual numbers to make an adequate comparison, but I think it’s doing better out of the gate than any of the other books that followed The Takers.  That tells me that Oz has picked up some loyal readers over the years, and I’m extremely appreciative of their support.  I would also like to thank those who have sent me feedback via email, Facebook, this blog, and Amazon.  Your comments have been encouraging and well-received.  Thank you!

On to the next R.W. Ridley book.  My plans are to finish The Tree Readers.  I’m not posting chapters on Wattpad as often as I had been the last six weeks or so for one simple reason.  I caught up to the point where I had stopped working on the story before I got sidetracked by a couple of other projects (including books 5 & 6 of the Oz Chronicles).  I had 78,000 words in my pocket when I started uploading to Wattpad, and I added a few more chapters as time permitted and the inspiration hit.  Now that The Gore is out of the nest, I’ve been putting more time into adding new chapters to The Tree Readers, and the word count now stands at a little over 100,000 words, and I’m probably about two-thirds of the way done.  This figures to be the longest book I’ve ever written, and I’m purposely structuring it with short chapters that average around 1,000 words (In fact, as it stands now, I have exactly 100 chapters). And it is hardcore science fiction with some fantasy elements thrown in for good measure. I think Alan Dean Foster’s influence may be shining through on this one.  I am not a “message” writer, not purposely at any rate.  What I have found is that “messages” usually find their way into stories organically, and that is definitely happening with The Tree Readers.  It’s hard not to examine the state of humanity when an alien race has made it their mission to exterminate humans.  Are we worth saving?  What purpose do we serve in the universe?  As the writer, I can’t help but address those questions.  It’s possible I won’t like the answer.

That’s it.  Again thank you all for your continued support of Oz and the gang.

BTW – I’ll have an update on The Takers audio book soon.  Stay tuned!

Superman and Oz

When is the Oz Chronicles not the Oz Chronicles?  When you compare my Oz Chronicles to the legendary L. Frank Baum’s Oz Chronicles.  I’ve been asked on a number of occasions if I was influenced by Baum’s work.  My answer is not intentionally.  I’m not blind to the similarities.  In some cases, they are starkly similar, but my experience with Baum’s series begins and ends the Wizard of Oz film.  As a kid growing up in the 70’s, I saw the movie every holiday season for years, but I was not aware that there were other stories featuring Oz.  When I settled on the name “The Oz Chronicles” after deciding The Takers would be the first in a series, I had no idea that Baum had already created an Oz Chronicles series of books.  I was just naming the series after the main character in my story.

Believe it or not, Superman is probably more of an influence behind my Oz Chronicles than L. Frank Baum’s books.  I devoured comic books as a kid and Superman was my go to superhero.  I loved the Fantastic Four (particularly Thing) and the Hulk, but Superman was always the first new comic book I would look for at the newsstand.  I’ve always said that to me the story of Oz Griffin is at its core a superhero’s origin story.  Thanks to the Délons, he even has the ability to call up superhuman strength, although he has to become something he hates in order to do so.

If I had a pot of gold, after I publish the seventh and final book, I would hire an illustrator and editor to release the series in comic book form.  I would even consider putting together a team to release comic books that extend beyond the seven books.  I don’t have the resources or expertise to do it on my own, so don’t look for it anytime soon.

However you can look forward to the new Superman movie this month.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes extended featurette about the summer blockbuster film.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

The Gore is live

Book Six is live!

Book Six is live!

That’s an odd way to put it for a book about dead things, but these are the publishing times we live in.  The Gore: Books Six of the Oz Chronicles is live in the Kindle store.  I uploaded about 11:00 pm last night, and I made my last change to the manuscript at 10:50 pm last night.  That is the great and horrible thing about the ebook format.  You can fix and screw things up literally just hours before the rest of the world has access to it.

I kept the cover as is, and I entered a very brief description.  The cover could change somewhat over the next few weeks, and the description will certainly change.

There is just one more installment of the Oz Chronicles left to write. In a lot of ways, writing a series is a foolish undertaking, and I wouldn’t recommend it to beginning writers.  There is a lot on the line with each new book.  You have to tear down and rebuild character archetypes, and you have to find someway to be both consistent and unpredictable. It can wreak havoc on your sleeping habits.

Stay tuned for information on the print version.

How to be a real man

As I do some last minute tinkering on the Kindle file for The Gore, here is a video featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, the iconic Captain Picard of Star Trek Next Generation, responding to a question he received from a young woman at Comicpalooza in Texas.  It’s worth watching if you want to know what it takes to be a decent human being and a real man.