Let's get to it.
First up: my second novel, The Wilderness Within, is available for pre-order! It will be published October 6th...and you're not going to want to miss it. Just click on the >>> Trepidatio/JournalStone <<< link to order your copy; the Amazon link will be up soon. You get a free digital version of the novel if you order straight from the publisher, always a good thing.
Here's the back cover copy, then I'll give you a wee bit more info.
"The forest is alive.
While visiting fellow writer, Frank Harlan Marshall, Derek Gray senses a palpable dread within Frank’s house and the forest that surrounds it; a subtle, malignant sentience. What should be a joyous event, as they await the surprise arrival of a long-lost friend, comedian “Dizzy Izzy” Haberstein, is fraught with unease Derek does not understand.
Derek’s confusion is upended by the chance meeting with musician Alethea, formerly of Dark Angel Asylum, a band that dropped out of sight once the leader, Aleister Blut, ended up in an insane asylum. As their relationship blossoms, Derek’s disorientation at the hands of the forest manifests as his world turns sideways…and one of Frank’s fictional creations—a murderous monster named Average Joe—gains foothold in the surreal, psychological terrain.
As the worlds of reality and fantasy meld, what transpires bounds from deeply profound to pure madness."
Sounds intriguing, eh? Well, this is only the foundation upon which layers of story unfold. There are questions of reality, fantasy, and what exactly the sentient forest's intentions are. There's elements of philosophical nuance mixed with the passion of love and the power of friendship, and whether we truly know anybody besides ourselves. There's nods to the arts of writing and music, and even comedy, what with a comedian as one of the five, well, six main characters. (Why is JC being uncertain about how many characters are in this tale? You'll see...)
In essence, there's a lot going on, unfolding as a slow burn with escalating dread and disorientation, before all bets are off...and where it ends up is like nothing you've ever read.
A friend who read an early incarnation of the tale said, "It's like Nightmare on Elm Street as crossed with Solaris."
Yeah, well, there is some odd sense in that, I suppose, haha...
If you enjoy my writing, or writing that's willing to stretch into places not often explored, I think you'll dig this ride. A ride that is as far away thematically from my previous novel, the Bram Stoker Award finalist, Riding the Centipede, as can be, yet still caters to the willingness to go to unexpected places, as that one did, in its own way. I mean, c'mon, I want to continue to grow as a writer and would get bored settling into formula fiction. Admit it, you'd get bored, too!
I'll be posting again soon!
Here's the Amazing cover art.