It took a few extra days, but I can now confirm that the Greater Evil paperbacks are available for sale.
It's Tuesday, the day when books enter the world of readers so that may be enjoyed, judged, and then nicely arranged on the shelf in the reader's sorting of choice.
Today is a special Tuesday for me because I have a book that's going off to join the crowd of other fictional adventures. *sniffles* Why, just a year ago this little book was a mess of notes and rage, then it came together, made up its mind about what it wanted to be, and now it's ready to go off on its own. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU, BOOK!
The Greater Evil, the sequel to the apocalyptic dark fantasy Death's Good Intentions, is now on sale in a variety of ebook formats. You may choose from a few favorites like Kindle, Nook, GooglePlay, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Greater Evil is not yet available in paperback but that should be rectified by the end of the week. I'll keep you updated!
For the next week, Book 1: Death's Good Intentions will remain free across the most popular ebook formats before getting a price bump. So if you want to grab them both at the cheapest price ever, now's the time!
I do hope you enjoy this book. Please tell me what you think in a review! And remember, the story doesn't end here. I'm hard at work on Book 3, currently titled Behold Star Wormwood, which promises to be the strangest entry of the story so far.
I have a book coming out on Tuesday. It’s a dark fantasy political thriller. Huh what? If that wasn’t a thing before then it is now! Listen: the book has a scene where a demon kills a couple dudes and sticks one guy’s decapitated head in the hollowed out torso of the other dude. The book also has a political prison, the smothering of the first amendment, and a look at how evil convinces us it is a force of good by suggesting that it’s doing all of this with our best interests at heart. So yeah, a dark fantasy political thriller. Can you dig it?
When I wrote the first draft of The Greater Evil, I knew it was my most obviously political book. I hadn’t exactly gone into it with that intention, but when you make the Antichrist the President of the United States politics are going to figure into the story somehow. That’s a given.
But that’s not to say that my other books haven’t been political. (I’ve come to think of Brain Mold as a horror story about the American health care system.) All art is political, on some level or another. The suggestion that art shouldn’t be political is in fact a political statement, because what you’re really saying is that you don’t want art that has a viewpoint contrary to your own.
The majority of The Greater Evil was written before the crazy 2016 election year. And since that time, I’ve detected some strange similarities between the dystopia I dreamed up for my book and the world we seem to be hurtling towards today. None of it was intentional. It was not meant to be a commentary on the happenings of today but rather a vision about how evil (disguised as something upstanding and just) would seek to obtain power through law and order. There’s that blah-blah disclaimer at the start of the book about how all similarities to real people are coincidental and I feel the need to stress that fact (which is kind of sad, if you think about it). My book’s villain President Carpenter is not based on any individual either living or dead. I threw bits of good and bad history into a pot, added my imagination, and the resulting stew is the character. The men who are aligned with Carpenter and those who oppose him are not based on anyone or anything, either.
Unintentional or not, the book has some extra purpose to it now beyond telling a story about monsters and madmen. It’s now my fictional stone to throw at the idiotic giants who loom over us all. And I’m more than okay with that. Because ya know what? I am freaking the freak out about what is happening in the world today.
I believe we should help each other, I believe we should practice basic human decency, and I believe that we’re stronger and wiser when we bring different voices into the conversation. The current US administration represents the opposite of those beliefs. I alternate between anger and terror whenever I think about how they’re handling world affairs. (You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for less reserved reviews of their job performance.)
I’ve heard that celebrities shouldn’t talk politics. Well, I think that’s bull. They’re people, too, and in America our people are allowed to share their opinions. Now, I am not a celebrity, but I am writing fiction for your entertainment, so I guess some of that ‘shut up’ advice applies to me, too. But I’m not listening. I think it’s important to speak out for what you believe in, especially in times of darkness and uncertainty. Not everyone wants to hear it—some will vehemently disagree with you and even those on your “side” are not always open to further discussion on all subjects. (Speaking personally, I’ve made more friends while discussing the issues over the past year than I have lost because we did not agree.) And anyway, I cannot be one of those people who switches it off, pretends not to see the corruption and hypocrisy, and says nothing about the maddening absurdity of it all. I may lose some potential readers for being outspoken. Hell, I may gain some readers. I don’t know, but it can’t be helped either way.
I respect those who speak their mind and I gravitate towards those who inspire me. I don’t really take away anything from those who remain silent. So, I speak up when I can, I get angry when I can’t help it, and I stand up when I find the courage. I’m trying to do some good in my own way.
Art is political. So are artists. I had briefly considered changing pieces of the book so as not to draw any direct connections to our world today, but I wrote these things because I was afraid of them then, and I’m even more afraid of them now. The Greater Evil has a little something to say. And so do I. We’re not changing to make one part of the readership happy, because they probably weren’t going to like the book in the first place.
With all of that said, I do hope you enjoy the book. It’s dark, weird, and sometimes a little too familiar, but it also features unlikely heroes who choose to resist when the world would rather they remain silent. I’m proud of the novel. It’s my most mature, thoughtful, and angry piece of fiction so far… But of course it still features a few monsters. Because, hey... it’s me.
Unless dust bunnies are self-aware and feeling inspired, art is not created in a vacuum. Though I take pride in coming up with original ideas, I also must acknowledge that the things which I’ve enjoyed or learned from have a part to play in the things I create. Example: I would’ve never written In the Shadow of Extinction had I never seen a Godzilla movie before.
Today I mean to show some love to the primary influences for The Greater Evil and how they helped shape my book into what it is.
Picking up about a year after the finale of Death’s Good Intentions, The Greater Evil tells the story of the Antichrist sitting in a position of power in the American government. Most the public believes him to be a hero, while a small resistance group who knows the awful truth strikes out at him from the shadows. Though all my books are political on some level, The Greater Evil is my most expressly political work. It’s a book with monsters and madmen – my favorite ingredients for fiction – but it’s also a book about how evil, disguising itself as law & order, can twist our world into a dystopia to the tune of roaring applause.
I’ve always been fascinated by the French Resistance fighters. The idea of a country changing what it stands for and turning on its people is a frightening concept. That some brave French fought back is inspiring. I love the Jean-Pierre Melville film Army of Shadows, which tells a story about this particular subject. I’ve watched the film many times and continue to take inspiration from it. How the ends justify the means… until they don’t… and how the most threatening thing to the Resistance were its own members cracking under pressure and turning on their friends. It’s a masterpiece. I took some inspiration from Army of Shadows both in terms of how a welcoming city became a scary place and how a group of people fought from the shadows at powers far bigger than them.
My introduction to dark fantasy probably began with reading the Hellblazer comics. Even now, Hellblazer remains a favorite comic of mine, and I return to it often. In addition to Hellblazer’s John Constantine, I’m also fond of Hellboy. Constantine and Hellboy are some of the most unlikely of heroes you’re ever gonna find – Constantine is a rogue magician and an asshole while Hellboy is a demon who was born to end the world in some fashion. And despite their dark pasts and uncertain destinies, they’re exactly who you’d want in a fight against a horde of the damned. Death’s Good Intentions hero Trey Decarr, the man also known as Death, was born out of this idea. He’s more of a jokester than Constantine and more human than Hellboy, but the inspiration is there. Decarr has been chosen to be Death, the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, but he turns against that destiny and chooses to do his own thing. I think Hellboy and the Hellblazer could relate.
John Carpenter remains a major influence on all my work. Escape from New York, which turned Manhattan into a maximum security prison, was a film I watched more than once while writing this book. The idea of taking an American city that we celebrate and turning it into an 80’s freakshow is very cool. And while I never turn any US city into a crazy prison in The Greater Evil, I found inspiration in the idea of wanted men and women navigating a hostile America with the walls closing in.
Also Mortal Kombat. Yeah, what? I like video games and Mortal Kombat is an old favorite. Fun fact: a good portion of the first half of The Greater Evil was the backbone for a Mortal Kombat screenplay that popped into my head one day. And I knew that writing a screenplay adaptation I had no rights to write made no sense, so I repurposed some of the story for my Death’s Good Intentions sequel. And it worked because, like Mortal Kombat, The Greater Evil is a dark fantasy full of powered individuals fighting an end of the world sort of conflict. The most obvious hint of the original concept in The Greater Evil is that the evil sorcerer Vasco learns a new spell for shapeshifting. Like Shang Tsung? Yes, like Shang Tsung.
The Greater Evil also shares some… unsettling similarities to the things we’re seeing in the news today. I’ll talk more about that in the coming days. But for now, let me just say this: Trump was not an influence on this book. The great majority of The Greater Evil was written before the 2016 election year. I didn’t base my characters on any real life figures and the fight I fictionalize was not meant to resemble the fight we find ourselves in today. The novel accidentally has something to say about 2017. That wasn’t intentional. It just sort of turned out that way.
This time next week, The Greater Evil will be available for your ebook doodads that Star Trek totally told us would be a thing someday. It should also be available in paperback on the same day, but there’s a chance that it might take an extra 24-48 hours.
Please consider pre-ordering it at your favorite online bookseller!
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
Blog notice: mostly this blog is for sharing my thoughts and talking about my books. From time to time I will also comment on books, films, music, sports, and/or videogames. During these times I may use images of the creative works under discussion. I'm posting the images under the "fair use" allowance, for purposes such as criticism, comments, reporting, teaching, and research. If you have any issue with images used on this blog, please contact me and the images will be removed.
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