Life In Monochrome

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

My Sunday Soundtrack: Tweaker’s “Call the Time Eternity”

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If you’ve followed me for a while, you already know that music is an integral part of my creative process. I have eclectic tastes, and when I find something I like, I usually try to share it whenever possible. Hence this post. “Sunday Soundtrack” is something I hope to do, well, every Sunday. I’ll post a song (or a playlist) here for your enjoyment. Feel free to discuss it in the comments, or simply kick back and let it be the soundtrack to your day. And before anyone asks: No, I’m not getting any sort of referral fee for posting these links. I’m doing it because I want to spread the word.

First up: Tweaker‘s third album, Call the Time Eternity.

I was a huge Tweaker fan in college, even going so far as to write a novella about the album 2 AM Wake-Up Call, but in recent years I lost track of Mr. Vrenna’s exploits. Fast forward to last weekend. I discovered they’d released a third album three years ago. It was like Christmas.

If you like what you hear, I strongly encourage you to purchase the album: DirectAmazon | iTunes

More soon!

TK

“One Fantastic Bundle.”

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PRE-ORDER RIGHT NOW. OR ELSE.

 

I woke up this morning and found a new review for the forthcoming ULT collection that’s too good not to share. Here’s an excerpt:

This is a delectable collection of short horror stories all in one fantastic bundle.

I took my time to read each and every one of the stories and it stood out to me how different each one was. I liked this, sometimes in short story collections you find all the stories a bit the same, a bit bland. Not here, Todd delivers up a mixed bag of horror fantastically.

It’s hard to rate a collection book as often you like some stories over others, but overall this book is easily a 4 star review for me. And I highly recommend it to horror lovers and those who are keen to delve in to horror for their first time. This is a good place to start.

Read the whole review here. Also check out Maxine’s standalone review of THE HARBINGER while you’re at it.

Yeah. It’s going to be a good day.

TK

Righting the Ship: 2014 Sales Recap

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About 15 months ago, I wrote a post titled “S.O.S.” in which I detailed just how poorly my books were selling. A lot of writers chimed in, both publicly and privately, to offer suggestions and feedback. The aftermath of that post led to my decision to release the stories I’d been working on as individual titles in an attempt to grow my catalog and reach more readers.

The first story went on sale on January 3rd, 2014. This post will discuss the year of sales data that followed that first on-sale date. In other words, this is a “business” post. If you’re just here for the fiction, my feelings won’t be hurt if you skip over this.

(more…)

Five Tens with Glenn Rolfe at iHorror

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Glenn Rolfe (whose latest novella ABRAM’S BRIDGE is pretty fucking great) put a gun to my head, gave me five topics, and told me to come up with ten favorites for each one. Here’s an example:

Ten Favorite Books That Would Surprise My Fans

Although I do maintain a steady diet of horror fiction, my tastes do go beyond the bounds of the genre. Here are ten books that fans of the Monochrome and Ugly Little Things may find surprising:

  • The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
  •  The Stranger – Albert Camus
  •  The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
  •  Shadow Without a Name – Ignacio Padilla
  •  The Summer Son – Craig Lancaster
  •  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
  •  44, The Mysterious Stranger – Mark Twain
  •  City of Light, City of Dark – Avi & Brian Floca
  •  The Cheese Monkeys – Chip Kidd
  •  Neuromancer – William Gibson

Check out the full article over at iHorror.

TK

Wagging the Fox: An Interview

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Gef Fox, curator of the dark fiction review blog Wag the Fox, cornered me a few weeks ago for an interview of sorts. He asked me all sorts of things, including my favorite dirty limerick (which I’m sure he now regrets). Here’s an excerpt:

Gef: Along with your short fiction, there are the novels in your Monochrome Trilogy. How much of a gear shift is it for you to go from one to the other?
Todd: There’s a drastic difference between my novels and short fiction. The Monochrome novels are way more complex than the stories in the ULT series. Conceptually, the Monochrome novels are more “literary” in scope. The things a typical horror fan looks for—the gore, suspense, dread, et al.—are in there, but with a bigger subtext. The ULT stories are more direct, and so far have proven to be far more gory, disturbing, and violent.
Shifting between the two has proven challenging. After completing my last novel, I feared that every “short” idea I had would balloon into another novel; now that I’m gearing up to work on the last Monochrome novel, I’m having a more difficult time piecing together the smaller facets of the plot because I’ve spent the last year thinking in the confines of shorter fiction.
Going from one to the other requires a completely change of approach. It’s kind of like looking at one of those “Magic Eye” images. You have to stare at it for a long time before the full picture comes into focus, and the way you do it once isn’t necessarily the way you’ll do it for subsequent viewings.
TK

2015: The Year of Getting Shit Done

We’re only twelve days into the year and I’m already behind on things. I guess I was behind on things before today, but whatever—the point is that I’m behind schedule on so many things, it’s not even funny.

Last year I wrote so much and yet accomplished so little in terms of new fiction. I currently have seven WIPs that are destined for release as ULT stories at some point. Every single one of them has stalled out somewhere in the process, either from my own malaise or complete lack of interest. There are days when the words are there; there are other days when you have to go digging for them. Lately it seems like all the words are buried—or worse, the stories themselves are buried, and I haven’t the desire to break out my shovel and pickax.

As my pal Mercedes says from time to time, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

I now dub 2015 the “Year of Getting Shit Done.”

Goals vs. Resolutions

Maybe it’s just semantics, but the word “resolution” carries with it an eye-rolling quality that I want to avoid. I need to be as positive as possible right now, so instead of “resolution,” I’m going to say I have “Goals.”

To demonstrate that I’m serious, I’ve written these goals on the Whiteboard of Woe:

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In other news, I have atrocious handwriting.

 

Ambitious much?

Definitely. I don’t know how possible some of these are—10k down on NONENTITY seems insane to me right now—but goddammit, I have to try. I’m tired of being stagnant, and the only way I know to keep myself motivated is to set deadlines.

So . . . I’m setting a deadline of March 31st for everything listed above, and I intend to provide monthly updates on where things stand—starting with the 2014 sales recap this Friday.

SO IT IS WRITTEN!

TK

P.S. Yes, the website looks different. We ran into some issues yesterday with the old theme, so I’ll be tweaking things in the coming days. If something looks weird or isn’t displaying properly, that’s probably why. I’ll write more about it later. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the new format!

ULT: VOLUME ONE is now available for pre-order!

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“Wait, wasn’t this already available for pre-order?”

You’re thinking of the limited edition hardcover. This is the Kindle edition, which goes on sale February 3rd and is available now for pre-order on Amazon. The book is also ready to be added on Goodreads.

This collection contains the following content:

  • A foreword written by Anthony J. Rapino, author of Welcome to Moon Hill.
  • The first four ULT entries: Radio Free Nowhere, When Karen Met Her Mountain, Saving Granny from the Devil, and The Harbinger.
  • An excerpt from the final Monochrome novel, NONENTITY.

Check it out!

TK

To the Future!

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Greetings, folks.

I’d planned to write a 2014 recap, but time got away from me this week and now it’s New Year’s Eve. Instead, I think I’ll forego the recap and get right to the point:

2014 was an awesome year, and I owe it to you for making it so. Thank you!

I’ll post a proper recap later (probably this weekend), but for now, I wish you all a safe and happy new year!

To the future,

TK