Life In Monochrome

The official web presence of Todd Keisling, author of the Monochrome Trilogy and Ugly Little Things.

ULT#5: THE OTHER LAND EXPRESS is now available for pre-order!

The Other Land Express
On sale April 7th.

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

“Everything you are now will never be again.”

Somewhere between the lonely highways of America’s heartland lies a place that shouldn’t exist. A place where the sky is tinged purple and strange flora sprouts from gray sands. A place welcoming the lost and promising opportunity.

For Gregory Simmons, that opportunity is paramount, but like all things in his short life, nothing comes easy–or free.

On the run from his abusive father, Gregory finds himself stranded in a Midwestern bus depot with a stranger who calls himself John Doe. “I’m a genuine Nobody,” he tells Gregory. “I help other Nobodies get from here to there.” John Doe has a proposition for Gregory, one that will send him on a midnight bus ride across reality and straight into the heart of the mysterious Other Lands.

Check your bags and climb aboard The Other Land Express, the latest entry in Todd Keisling’s bestselling Kindle series, Ugly Little Things.

My Sunday Soundtrack: “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” by Queens of the Stone Age

Like Clockwork

I first heard this song . . . Summer 2013, I think? Must’ve been. The album hadn’t been out for long before that. That was a bad summer, at the height of some health problems–both physical and mental–when I was putting myself under undue pressure to make a plot for Monochrome #3 work. This song reminds me so much of Donovan Candle and his state of mind near the end of what’s planned. Now to just find the right words, assemble them in the right order, and finish that draft once and for all . . .

I highly recommend the album …Like Clockwork. It’s probably my favorite Queens album, next to Songs for the Deaf, of course.

More soon.

TK

ULT #5 Announcement

 ULT #5: THE OTHER LAND EXPRESS launches on April 7th, and will be available for pre-order next week.

The Other Land Express

“Everything you are now will never be again.”

Somewhere between the lonely highways of America’s heartland lies a place that shouldn’t exist. A place where the sky is tinged purple and strange flora sprouts from gray sands. A place welcoming the lost and promising opportunity.

For Gregory Simmons, that opportunity is paramount, but like all things in his short life, nothing comes easy—or free.

On the run from his abusive father, Gregory finds himself stranded in a Midwestern bus depot with a stranger who calls himself John Doe. “I’m a genuine Nobody,” he tells Gregory. “I help other Nobodies get from here to there.” John Doe has a proposition for Gregory, one that will send him on a midnight bus ride across reality and straight into the heart of the mysterious Other Lands.

Check your bags and climb aboard The Other Land Express, the latest entry in Todd Keisling’s bestselling Kindle series, Ugly Little Things.

 

My Sunday Soundtrack: “The Sparrow” by Mastodon

TheHunter

I discovered this song while browsing Spotify last week, and it’s been on my mind ever since. First, some backstory: A few days ago I finished a particularly troublesome portion of Book 3 that I began almost two years ago. It’s the beginning of the book (I know, I know . . .), a prologue which I thought was going to be something else entirely, and in terms of the trilogy’s chronology, it predates ALT by about 800 years. It sets up the events of Book 3 (which is what a prologue should do), but more importantly, it dropkicks everything you know about Aleister Dullington out the window. I put a lot of pressure on myself to nail that prologue, mainly because I needed it to prove that the direction I’ve chosen for the final book is the right one.

1,200 words later, I can say with certainty that I made the right call. After I finished it, this song started playing on Spotify:

“Pursue happiness with diligence.”

That’s the song’s only lyric. I can’t tell you how it relates to our friend Mr. Dullington without spoiling everything, but hearing the song in that moment after finally crossing a barrier that’s stood in my way for two years was strangely satisfying and ethereal. So now I’m sharing it with you.

I hope you all had a great weekend.

More soon,

TK

On Discomfort: An Exercise

corroded

I completely forgot to post about this! Sam van Zweden, editor for the writing forum Writers Bloc, contacted me back in January about contributing a writing prompt. So I did . . . and forgot to share it with you here. I know, I’m a horrible person, but I’m trying to make up for it today by sharing the link with you.

My prompt was all about discomfort and how you can use it to push your boundaries. In other words, what makes you uncomfortable? What makes you squirm? What frightens you? I’m sure a bunch of things come to mind. Take those things, collect them into a jar, and study them. Try to understand why they make you uncomfortable. Once you understand them, use them in your fiction.

So tell me, folks: What makes you uncomfortable?

TK

My Sunday Soundtrack: “Technically, Missing” by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

gonegirl

I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things with the final Monochrome novel, and nothing helps me more than the work of Mr. Reznor & Mr. Ross. I also got around to watching the film adaptation of Gone Girl this weekend, and . . . well, you can connect the dots. The score for this film is excellent, possibly the most refined of the duo’s three scores so far (although The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s score remains my favorite), and this track is one of the standouts.

You can purchase this score direct from the artist (and I recommend you do so–they deserve it).

More soon.

TK

A Recent Decision

I AM DONOVAN CANDLE

Hey, folks. Sorry it’s been a while. Most of my time these last few weeks has been dominated by looking for a house to purchase. I know, right? I feel so adult.  Anyway, all of this research into mortgages, first-time home buyer programs, foreclosures, short sales, PMI, M-I, and the like hasn’t left much time to work on much of anything. However, I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday (which now seems incredibly obvious) that I need to share with you.

Back in January, I shared with you my White Board of Woe, outlining my goals for the first quarter of 2015:

Whiteboard of Woe - Q12015

This is the Year of Getting Shit Done, after all. To date, I’ve accomplished (or made progress on) five of the eight goals listed on the board. The largest goal of them all is probably the most important one to me, and that’s writing 10k words of the final Monochrome novel by the end of March. To date, I’ve not even touched it yet–and that needs to change.

So yesterday I made a decision to put future releases of the ULT series on hold so I can focus entirely on my third novel. Like I said, it seems obvious, but until yesterday I thought I was a superhuman being who could bend and manipulate time to his will.

Let me clarify: The next two ULT releases are still happening. ULT #5 is edited and is ready for formatting. ULT #6 is still in the editing stages, but is on track for an early summer release. Erica’s going to start working on covers for both next week. All of the other stories I had in the works will remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future until I can make some serious progress with Monochrome #3.

Right now, my goal is to have the last book on sale by the end of 2016. Next year is a special year for the series. It’s the tenth anniversary of ALT’s inception, and I’ll also be as old as Mr. Candle is in the storyline. This is an aggressive timeline but I think it can be done. I have to try, anyway.

So that’s my plan. My updates may be sporadic, as I hope to be spending most of my free time working on the novel. Oh, and there’s the whole “buying a house” thing, too.

As always, thanks for your patience and readership.

TK

Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers: BLOODY VALENTINE EDITION!

THIS IS HAPPENING TONIGHT!
THIS IS HAPPENING TONIGHT!

Oh yes. The Geeky Writer Gang™ is kicking off their first broadcast of the year, and we want YOU to be there!

Join us on Friday, February 13th at 8 PM as we go live on YouTube. We’ll talk about our latest works-in-progress, upcoming releases, and other uncomfortable topics such as “Worst Valentine’s Day Ever” and “Who’s Tied Up in Eryk’s Basement?”

As with past iterations, links to the broadcast will be posted here on the Facebook event page a few minutes before we go live. You can tune into YouTube to catch our antics and ask any questions you might have right on the event page.

We hope you’ll consider joining us!

(Oh, and by the way–I’ll be giving away a couple of Kindle copies of ULT: VOLUME ONE during the broadcast, so if you want to win, you need to join the event and participate!)

TK