Life In Monochrome

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

WORLD PREMIERE: Eryk Pruitt’s HASHTAG Book Trailer!

My good friend (and fellow Geeky Writer) Reverend Eryk Pruitt has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks, and to build some hype for its release, he’s put together a hard-boiled book trailer. CHECK IT OUT:

Here’s a little more about HASHTAG:

A twisted and sinister crime story with characters and a world you’ll be clawing for more of from the author of DIRTBAGS.

The repercussions are felt across the American South when a pizza joint in sleepy Lake Castor, Virginia is robbed and the manager, Odie Shanks, is kidnapped. The kidnapping is the talk of the town, but it’s what people don’t know that threatens to rip asunder societal norms. Odie chases dreams of Hollywood stardom and an explosive social media presence while his partner in crime, Jake Armstrong, pursues his own vengeful agenda.

In the meantime, corrupt and lazy Deputy Roy Rains has a hard-luck time of covering up the crime in order to preserve his way of life.

And college student Melinda Kendall has hit the highway in a stolen ride with nothing but a .22 and limited options, on the run from her drug dealer boyfriend, the Mississippi State Police and the media, trying to escape some bad choices by making even more bad choices.

All three are on a collision course from hell in this crime story that reads like a blood-spattered road map of the American South.

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HASHTAG is available now for pre-order on Amazon, and goes on sale May 26th. Mark your calendars!

TK

In which I unearth ancient history:

With settlement on my house fast approaching, this weekend was officially classified as “crunch time” for packing. Naturally I waited until the last minute to pack up my office, because reasons. Anyway, I unearthed two ancient artifacts.

The first:

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

I wrote most of ALT’s first draft by hand on legal tablets during lulls at my old law firm job. Then I’d type it all into Word at night. I don’t write like that much anymore–output from my brain to the keyboard is simply faster–but it’s a method that I’d recommend any writer do at least once. I’ve got several other tablets like this one, all filled with various scribblings, some ALT, some not. I posted this on Facebook yesterday and my friend Nikki told me they’d be worth a fortune some day. I doubt it, but hey, you never know. I just like to hang on to things like this because I like to look back and see how far I’ve come.

Oh, here’s that second artifact. This is my old student ID, circa 2004:

Yes, my first name is Robert. Don't tell anyone.
Yes, my first name is Robert. Don’t tell anyone.

The Keisling Scowl isn’t a new thing, folks. I’ve been perfecting it since I was an infant.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to post again before the move. Hope you all had a great weekend.

TK

P.S. Call your mother and wish her a happy Mothers Day.

Chaotic silence.

I'VE LOST MY FUCKING MIND.
I’VE LOST MY FUCKING MIND.

My life is pure chaos right now. I’m sorry for the silence.

Today marks one week until settlement on my new home. I’m scatterbrained and nervous and excited all at the same time.
I’m slightly behind schedule on packing. I’m a little behind schedule on the release of ULT #6 (looking like late June, folks). I’m 100% behind schedule on Monochrome #3.

All of my free time is going to house-related things that require my attention. I have zero time for writing, and I’m getting that creative itch. I can’t scratch it and it’s driving me insane. Just a couple more weeks and then, if I’m lucky, things will settle down a little bit.

I’ll try to update here in the interim, but if I can’t, you probably won’t see any activity here until later in the month.

Oh! Before I forget: The next Geeky Writers broadcast is happening on May 26th in support of Eryk’s forthcoming novel HASHTAG. You’ll also get to see my new office then. I can’t wait.

Until then, if you need to reach me, use the Contact form here on my site—or send me a message on FB or Twitter. Links to my accounts are in the sidebar.

I think that’s all for now. See you folks on the flipside.

TK

A Work in Progress: NONENTITY

Glenn Rolfe, author of the recently released BOOM TOWN, tagged me on Facebook earlier this week to participate in this “work in progress” blog tour. Since I’m hesitant to show you any bits of ULT #6 (which just wrapped up preliminary edits), I’ve decided to show you something else. Something you’ve all probably been waiting for. Here’s the (completely unedited) prologue for NONENTITY, the final Monochrome novel. Naturally, this is all subject to change, and though it goes without saying, it’s copyrighted (C) 2015 by Todd Keisling (e.g. Yours Truly).

So, here goes. This one’s for you folks. And Glenn, of course.

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In which I talk about one of my favorite novels:

secret_show

About a month ago, Sam van Zweden at Writers’ Bloc approached me about contributing an article for the site. The topic was “The Book That…” in which I had to fill in the blank. So I chose to write about Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show because . . . well, you’ll see. Here’s a snippet:

Some readers don’t care for Secret Show, saying it’s all over the place and hard to pin down, and I think that’s a fair argument. However, I also think the reason it’s hard to pin down is why it succeeds. The story is all over the place, with a cast of bizarre characters both endearing and sinister, jumping from one decade to the next, one locale to the next, always hinting at some unseen evil waiting to cross over into our reality but never quite showing the reader what they look like or explaining what they intend to do—and it works. It’s epic in scope, its characters come alive on the page, it offers something to a wide number of readers regardless of their genre preferences—and it does sowithout compromising its vision.

With one novel, Clive Barker broke all the rules I was taught to follow, and in the process, taught me an important lesson: There are no set rules when it comes to storytelling.

You can read the full article here.

TK

My Sunday Soundtrack: “Sing Along” by The Charlie Darwins

The Charlie Darwins

Full disclosure: This is my friend Gerald’s band. He asked me to write a blurb for it last year (which I did), but then the album was delayed due to various issues. The good news? It’s now available on iTunes, and I recommend you all check it out. Here’s what I had to say about it:

I discovered the music of Sonic Youth, The Pixies, and Nirvana at a time when that era was already fading, and I’ve always felt I was born about five years too late because of it. The first time I heard The Charlie Darwins, I was taken back to that point of discovery in my youth when every song had something new to say. Their own words sum up how I feel about their music: “It’s in my system / Now I know I need it.”

Those lyrics are taken from the song “Sing Along.” Here’s the video:

TK

A Birthday Request

For a lot of people, today’s a religious holiday. For me, it happens to be my 32nd birthday. I’m now as old as Donovan Candle was in ALT (which is kind of funny to me because I was 23 when I wrote that story), but I digress.

Anyway, back on point: I have a request! I have a story coming out in a couple of days. It’s called THE OTHER LAND EXPRESS, the fifth entry in the UGLY LITTLE THINGS series. And I want you to tell your friends about it. A purchase/pre-order is nice, too, but I won’t twist your arm over $1.99.  The book is available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. It’s also got a nice little page on Goodreads.

 

The Other Land Express

What I’m asking is that you share it, tweet it, blog it, do whatever you like to do when it comes to spreading the word about such things. My life has been crazy these last few weeks and I admittedly haven’t had much time to focus on this sort of thing, so . . . yeah. Any help you can throw my way in that respect is greatly appreciated. If you’ve already read the story, please leave a review. If you are a book reviewer and are interested in reviewing the story, please contact me!

So there it is. I’ll stop begging now and go enjoy my birthday. Have a good one, folks.

TK

Straight from Anthony Rapino’s Laboratory…

PRE-ORDER NOW!
One, two, Freddy’s crawling to you . . .

Most of you probably know that my good friend (and fellow Geeky Writer) Anthony J. Rapino is a man of many talents. Not only is he an amazing writer, conductor of the Love Train, and owner of a “Free Hugs” van, he’s also an accomplished sculptor!

Today, he’s unveiling his latest creation: A sculpture of creepy, gooey Freddy Krueger in dream-baby form. They go on sale at 5 PM EST today and will be limited to a quantity of 30. These are hand-crafted and painted, folks. I’ve purchased some of Tony’s smaller sculptures (such as his Leslie Vernon mask, Slag figurine, and Trick ‘R Treat lollipop), and I can vouch for the quality and detail he puts into each one of his creations.

You can watch a more in-depth video of the sculpture here:

If you’re a fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, you shouldn’t pass this up. Or else Mr. Rapino will haunt your dreams. And trust me, you don’t want that to happen. His hair is . . . dangerous. Ravenous, even.

TK

Q2 2015: Where We Go From Here

Toddthulhu

I suppose it’s been a while since I wrote a real update, so . . .

It’s April 1st. I promise this post isn’t full of gags. A few months ago I declared this the Year of Getting Shit Done. Many things have changed since that declaration, and I’ll get to them. First, let me go over what was accomplished from the Whiteboard of Woe.

• ULT: Volume One was released on 2/3/15 as planned.
• Edits for ULT #5 are complete. The story is due for release next week on 4/7/15 and is available now for pre-order in a number of outlets.
• The “next” Geeky Writers broadcast happened on 2/13/15.
• 2014 Sales Recap was posted on 1/16/15. It was a pretty good year.

Here’s what’s still in progress:

• My secret project with Anthony Rapino is still in progress, mainly due to conflicting schedules, illnesses, video games, and semester grading. It’s also something we don’t want to rush, so this one’s going to carry over into Q2.
• The secret Geeky Writers project is almost done, and should be ready in time for our next broadcast in May. Stay tuned.
• 10k words for Monochrome #3 was actually closer to 2k (I know, I know . . .), but it’s better than no words at all.
• Edits for ULT#6. Tentative release is in June.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, ULT #6 will be the last entry in that series for a while. I need to get back into the swing of working on that novel. It’s been painful due to multiple distractions and commitments, but I’m getting there.

Aside from that, I’ve had a LOT of things going on. The biggest is . . . I’m buying a house! How crazy is that? This means I’ll probably be MIA for about a week around the middle of May; it also means I’ll have a nicer office with natural light. I’m pretty excited about that.

The move will be disruptive, so the second quarter will be a little scattered in terms of what I want to accomplish, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Here’s what’s on tap for the next three months:

• Throw down a lot of words on Monochrome #3. A LOT.
• Organize the next Geeky Writers broadcast (late May).
• Finish secret Geeky Writers project.
• Work on secret project w/ Rapino.
• Complete ULT#6 edits (release in June).
• Buy House. Move into House. Dig hole in basement for victims.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Don’t forget ULT#5 drops next week!

Until then,

TK