Infection / Destruction / Hope

The 3rd and final Morningstar Saga book, SURVIVORS, is now available for pre-order here!

The Morningstar Saga
Register  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 3      1   2   3   Next
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #1 
New thread to keep from confusing people in the Survivors Progress Blog thread.
 
(If you don't know who I am, I'm the ghostwriter that finished the third Morningstar book.)
 
I'm now working on a new book, tentatively-titled Lords of Night. It feels pretty good, and I think you folks would like it. Well, the idea, at least.

It's a post-apocatyptic work. There will be zombies and other monsters, some indistinguishable from normal people, and an ancient evil, awakened from the dawn of humanity's history. 

As things sit now, I'm 25,000 words in. Work goes in cycles, depending on what I'm up to. It'll be slow until around the second week of April, when the pace will be picked well back up.
 
It will be coming from Permuted Press...sometime.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #2 
Slow going this past week as expected. Sitting at 30,000 this morning. Hopefully it's good stuff. I'll start posting snippets of it (like I did for Survivors) probably starting this weekend.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
InstigatorNine

Avatar / Picture

Carrier Chow
Registered:
Posts: 146
Reply with quote  #3 

I'm in for a copy. See it when it's done.

PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #4 

My name is Jack, and this is my story. I don't know if you'll ever get to read this, but if I don't set it down, it'll be lost for sure, and I wanted you to know who I was. Or rather, who I became.

 

Who I was is kind of boring. With that in mind, I'll skip those boring bits and jump ahead to when the world ended.

 

It was December twenty-first, 2012, and if you ever get to looking that up, you might laugh. I'd read all about it, and had been looking forward to a good day of chatting with my friends on the internet (you'll have to look that up, too) and watching the news, keeping an eye out for anything interesting out of Mexico. Instead, my mom dragged me to the Smithsonian, and I hated it. Not her. Never her. My mom's name was Anita, and I was her world. I knew it, too.

 

My mom raised me by herself (my dad died before I was even born) and practically killed herself to make sure I got everything I needed. And, in hindsight, I was pretty horrible to her. I asked for things I knew we couldn't afford, and when she worked a bunch of overtime to get them, I complained that she didn't spend enough time with me. I was, in other words, a little shithead. And I knew that. Didn't change the way I acted. I lied all the time, and I made trouble at school, just for attention.

 

She loved me so much, and more than once I caught her crying because it was so hard for her. Those nights, I crawled to her and held her and cried, too, and told her I was sorry I was such a bad boy.

 

Didn't change anything, though. I was still a shithead.

 

Anyway, that day when I was looking forward to witnessing the return of the Star People or something, I was instead at the museum. And I had to admit, it was pretty cool. The banner draped over the entrance to the exhibit said ATLANTIS FOUND in large letters, and there was all kinds of cool stuff on display. The first place we stopped was a glass case, where stood a mannequin wearing the powered exo-skeleton diving suit that they'd used to explore the site. I remember very clearly, as I looked at the suit, my irritation at being there kind of melted away. 

 

I was a thirteen-year-old boy, and Atlantis was still cool to me. So, I smiled and held my mom's hand and squeezed it as I looked at the suit, so she'd know that I appreciated her.

 

The suit was very cool. It was made of layers of Kevlar and some kind of mesh/weave stuff; I don't remember the particulars, and I don't imagine that they're important anymore. But the suit was powered, meaning that it made whoever wore it stronger than they were. The water pressure at the ocean floor were so strong, without that specific suit, no diver would have lasted more than a few seconds.

 

I looked back and saw my mom smiling, so I laughed with her and practically dragged her to the next exhibit, a diorama of the ocean floor and ruins, complete with a model of the exploration submarine.

 

Chills ran up and down my spine when I looked at the scaled-down ruins, and I knew something had changed. Mom smiled down at me still, though, so it was alright.

 

The ruins were covered in a mix of ancient Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Or, at least that's what I thought. When I read the card, it said the experts believed the language written there was the basis for those two languages. I remember getting very excited by this and dragging mom to the last exhibit, skipping all the other stuff and heading right for the mother lode: the Black Sarcophagus.

 

Right about then was when everything went to shit.


__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
Livy

Avatar / Picture

Trooper
Registered:
Posts: 572
Reply with quote  #5 
I like, but want more! 
__________________
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #6 

Closing his eyes, Jack went inside himself. He worked in there, closing off other senses. First the drone of the wheels on the freeway and the roar of wind began to die off, as if a giant hand had turned down the volume on the whole world. Then the acrid odor of acid burned vegetation slowly died off, and a grimace flickered on Jack's face. He hated it when the smell came back.

 

The tongue in his mouth became another clump of meat, and he hurried, trying to deaden his sense of touch to kill that sensation before he retched. Gradually, the thousand tactile things that the brain processed every second drifted away, and Jack was glad for the belt holding him in place.

 

With all five senses dormant, the sixth one opened up.

 

The world reappeared to Jack, a bleak landscape that wasn't too far removed from the everyday thing. And he was glad they were so far away—wait.

 

Ah, no, thought Jack.

 

Then he was in the grip of it; a memory, carried by an ethereal wind and attracted to his psychic antenna. For a second, images in Jack's third eye were jumbled as somebody's last memory overwrote what was Now.

 

###

 

Her name was Tuppence, and she had moved to West Virginia for a change.

 

"Get away!" she screamed, grabbing everything she could get a hold of in her living room and chucking it at her husband. "Just get away from me!" The lamp struck Billy square in the face, peeling away the skin there that was so soft.

 

It was soft because Tuppence had buried Billy in the rose garden two days earlier. The change from the move wasn't enough, and she thought the family would be better without Billy, and she was right. And then this.

 

Billy rolled his empty eyes at her. There was no intelligence in those eyes, no avarice, no revenge. Just a blind hunger. For her.

 

Tuppence turned and tried to run, but tripped over the goddamn coffee table that Billy's mom had given them. Tupp hadn't even wanted the thing, and there it was, underfoot and in the way.

 

Typical.

 

Cold, mushy hands gripped her ankles and pulled her backwards, no matter that she was grabbing at the shag carpet hard enough to break all her nails. With an inhuman strength, Billy pulled her to him and flopped down on her, his fetid, rancid breath cold on her cheek. He struggled to turn her over.

 

I thought I was through with this?

 

And then, one set of closed teeth on her larynx later, she was.

 

###

 

Jack shook his head as he came out of his Third Eye trance and tried not to throw up the slim breakfast he'd eaten before writing in the journal.

 

Those were the worst, the memories that weren't his. He grimaced and spat, feeling as if he was covered in a thin layer of grit. The smell was one thing, the wakening skin quite another. Idly, Jack wished there was someone that could teach him about his gift. Unfortunately, New Age mystics and Native American shamans were pretty tough to come by these days.

 

A laugh barked out of his mouth. Everything was hard to come by, these days. Everything but mushrooms and rats. He checked his pack; the plastic-wrapped block of rat jerky was still a pretty good size. He sat back and thought a bit as he scanned the skies for trouble.


__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #7 
An update for this eleventh day of April.
 
The first three chapters of Lords of Night are complete (though, I may go over them again and re-chapter out to five or so) and the book is sitting at 33,000 words, 150 pages in standard manuscript format. I would say I'm 33% complete with the story.
 
Onward! Listening to as I write (albums):
 
G//Z/R - Ohmwork
Prong - Rude Awakening
Bruce Dickinson - Chemical Wedding
Danzig - 6:66 Satan's Child
Black Label Society - Order of the Black
Anthrax - Stomp 442
Mushroomhead - Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children
White Zombie - Astro Creep 2000
Static-X - Machine

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
ZombieHunter

Avatar / Picture

MODERATOR
Registered:
Posts: 3,120
Reply with quote  #8 
Keep up the good work, my man.
__________________
Men get arrested, dogs get put down.
Bucsfanp7

Carrier Chow
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #9 
Freakin' A Spectre....I wish I had been warned you were such a tease  
just read the last 2 posts (4/3 & 4/10)..can't wait to read more. Definitely want a copy when it's out. 
Keep up the good work!





P.S. and PLEASE hurry!!! 

__________________
we ARE friends, but when the zombies come, I'm trippin' your ass...
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #10 
I post snippets every Sunday.
 
Anyone know any demolitions experts? I have questions about how much of what it will take to blow something up, but cold-calling around and asking will eventually get me a visit from Homeland Security, I think.
 
Any help would be most appreciated.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #11 
Good gravy, it's almost Friday already!
 
Been working everyday on the book, and I'm really looking forward to reaching a point where I can invite beta readers to start...well, reading.
 
I'm afraid I painted myself into a something of corner. And Permuted, too. I can't promote Survivors anywhere but here (where I don't need to) and since I announced Lords of Night here, I can't promote it anywhere else. CURSES.
 
Anyway, 40% through.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #12 
45% complete. AND! More writing music. (Any recommendations of music in the same vein?)
 
Indigenous - self-titled album
Flybanger - Head Trip to Nowhere
Powerman 5000 - Tonight the Stars Revolt
Down - NOLA
Faith No More - Angel Dust
Halford - Resurrection
Corrosion of Corformity - In the Arms of God
Iommi - self-titled album

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #13 
Ah, the sweet, sweet weekend. I watched a couple episodes of Bones yesterday, and today, I think, is movie day. What am I going to watch?
 
Ong Bak 2? No . . . maybe Banlieu 13.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #14 
Watched Banlieu 13 (District B13 in English) and wasn't disappointed. the parcour guy was bad-ass, and the blonde guy (one of the big/small blonde guy pair from Jet Li's Kiss of the Dragon) was an ass-kicker, definitely.
 
And now, a Sunday Snippet!
 
Five-Oh caught the handle of his stuck knife and yanked it from the creature's neck, then drove it back across in a wicked backhand slash, fully separating the head from the dried-up torso. Zero stomped on the skull of the thing he had knocked the legs out from under, then turned and crushed the face of another with the back of the machete blade. Five-Oh swung his knives together and took the head of the last creature, the turned on Zero.
 
"What is your issue, boy?"
 
Zero stepped back. "What now?"
 
Five-Oh pointed at the machete. "There's a sharp edge on that thing for a reason. Fucking use it. Last time you just smashed bone with the blunt side, you didn't get the job done and we almost lost Sandman."
 
Zero held up the machete. "This ain't high-quality metal, man. It doesn't hold an edge for more than five minutes. You're right though. I should have used the edge," he grinned. "This is Rook's. Mine's in the truck."
 
Snapping his mouth shut, Five-Oh turned from Zero and stormed back to the campsite. The Ranger, who was going from corpse to corpse and smashing their skulls with the hammer end of the camp axe, whistled.
 
"You know how to push his buttons, friend."
 
Zero laughed.
 
"It's probably the only thing I'm good at."

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #15 
It's Wednesday and about halfway between snippets, so I figured it was a good time for a progress update. I'm over 50,000 words in, and I'm just about halfway done with the story I want to tell, so that clocks in just right, I think.
 
Things are progressing nicely, and I even got a little taste of the threatened Canterbury Tales-style business in there (sorry, none of it is in verse, I'm afraid) and there will be more to follow as other members of the Team get their stories told.
 
And, I gave my first beta-reader the first 25,000 words on Friday, and on Monday he was begging for the rest of what I had, which I am going to take as a good sign. And so should you all.
 
As a side note, I found a beautiful picture of the Pleiades star cluster (you can see a very small version of it as my new avatar) and thought it would make a very nice book cover, but no matter what I do to it, no matter what font I try or in what combination, any addition takes away from the breathtaking qualities of the picture.
 
I appreciate the support, and hope that both Survivors and Lords of Night holds up to people's expectations.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
insane55

Carrier Chow
Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #16 
I am glad you are writing the last book, and I look forward to your current work here. I don't want to spoil it for myself so I have just been reading the updates and not the snippets. Keep up the good work.
Bucsfanp7

Carrier Chow
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #17 
@ PotentialSpectre, I will gladly be your 2nd...or 15th beta-reader if you need one  

*Possible Stupid Question Alert* 
Just how many words will it take before you turn in your manuscript for publishing?? 

I guess what I'm asking is; any idea when Lords of Night might be released? I realize it may be WAY to early to even guess-timate, just taking a shot here

Keep up the good work!

__________________
we ARE friends, but when the zombies come, I'm trippin' your ass...
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucsfanp7
Just how many words will it take before you turn in your manuscript for publishing?? 
 
I guess what I'm asking is; any idea when Lords of Night might be released?
 
 
A standard manuscript for a novel is between 75K and 110K words, I think. I'm aiming somewhere in-between (I'm at 60K now) hopefully on the high side. And after I hand it in to the publisher, I have no idea how long everything else (reading, editing, layout, cover, etc) might take. As soon as I know, you can bet that everyone here will know.
 
And now, a Sunday snippet, from Jack's journal.
 
 

After seeing the utter ruin that the capitol had become, I kind of got lost, a little bit. I can imagine that I wasn't the only one to feel that way. Walking corpses, people with control over them? And their sadistic streaks . . . the way the blonde Locust Woman had shrieked with laughter after duping the soldier, it stuck with me. The only advantage I had was that I knew what the Locust People were.

 

Kind of.

 

I knew they weren't normal, that was for sure. I didn't have any kind of litmus test to see if someone was a carrier or what, but I figured that I would just stay away from everyone, until they showed they were okay. Clean.

 

A part of me insisted that I had a responsibility to spread the word about the Locust People, so that everyone would know. That felt too big a burden for a thirteen-year-old, so I rebelled against the idea. I would run, I would hide, I would get away from everywhere that had people, live or dead.

 

I struck out north from D.C. after stealing a road atlas from a burned-out gas station. It was alright, because I didn't have to go in to get one. They were all over the parking lot.

 

Mom had always lamented the amount of time I had spent in front of a computer, but as it turned out, I knew a lot of things that helped me make it through. I knew how to pop a combination lock with a cut-open soda can. I knew how to rig up a water catch, which didn't last too long, by the way; about a week after things went to hell, the blackness started to move into the sky and tainted the rain.

 

Still, moisture from the air was alright, and it was starting to warm up, too. Everywhere was humid, so I had plenty to drink. (In my bag I kept a small container of Country Time lemonade mix. And Tang.)

 

The internet hadn't taught me how to hotwire a car, and I thought that was probably a mistake anyway. I'd never driven anything, and with the way the roads were, trying might be suicide. And I saw something that week that soured me on cars, anyway.

 

I woke up one day to roaring motors. I turned over on the roof I'd been sleeping on and looked down into the street to see a station wagon careening down the street. On top of it stood a man in a butcher's apron and paper hat, gleefully stabbing a pitchfork into the roof of the car. There were gunshots, sudden holes appearing between the butcher's feet as lead punched holes in his borrowed body.

 

It just made him laugh harder.

 

All this happened in seconds. The butcher raised the pitchfork high, then stabbed it clean through the roof, handle and all, forcing it down into the driver. The car swerved at once, sending the butcher flying and screaming laughter, and the station wagon smeared itself against the stone façade of the public works building across the street.

 

The Locust Man (had to be) picked himself up and tried to dust himself off, only to find his arms didn't work as they were supposed to. Wet and glistening bones protruded from his left forearm, and the right arm hung at a funny angle.

 

This only served to further amuse the butcher, as his head came back and he roared with laughter, which turned into choking sounds. The butcher fell to his knees and the choking sounds became screams, which halted mid-breath as the locust tore itself free of its host, splitting the skull cleanly down the middle of the cheek, and from eye orbit all the way back. As the locust fought to free itself from tendrils of grey and black viscera, the passenger door of the station wagon flew open and a woman fell out.

 

With a snap, the locust shot away from the last messy organic bits that held it to the butcher and made a beeline for the woman. There was a brief struggle (the locust was much bigger than the ones I had seen in the museum) a new Locust Woman was born. She spared one look into the station wagon before turning to saunter away.

 

Later that night, I went down to look. There were two bodies in the car, a man in the driver's seat, and a child in a rear-facing car seat. I remember, that night I wept tears of relief that the toddler had been killed in the car crash, and I didn't have to hear what a Locust Woman would have done to it.


__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
Livy

Avatar / Picture

Trooper
Registered:
Posts: 572
Reply with quote  #19 
Really looking forward to reading this! 
__________________
Bucsfanp7

Carrier Chow
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #20 
can hardly wait until you finish teasing us Spectre... each snippet is better than the last...this is TORTURE, but in a good way I guess keep us beggin' and on the edge of our seats...

Keep up the good work

But PLEASE hurry!! LOL

__________________
we ARE friends, but when the zombies come, I'm trippin' your ass...
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #21 
Hey, thanks for the encouragement! I'm at 67K and pushing, pushing.
 
I think there will be an announcement from Permuted sometime about the book, and the cat will finally be out of the bag and I can relax about it.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #22 
Hey.

CLICK HERE.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PermutedPress

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 453
Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PotentialSpectre
Hey.

CLICK HERE.

Yes, everyone really should.  Mysteries are revealed.  

__________________
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #24 

71K. Trying to really shake things up the back third of the book.


__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
PotentialSpectre

Avatar / Picture

Ghost Writer
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #25 
76K. Research is fun.
 
There are ten cemeteries within three and a half miles of the Theater District in New York City. Nine within five miles of where I used to live in Chicago. Eight within four miles of where my sister lives. Five within ten miles of my parents' house, and they live in the middle of nowhere. Five more within five miles of where I live.
 
We are surrounded by the dead.

__________________
SAD WINGS of DESTINY... the Abyss gazes back. (On sale at Amazon & BN.com)
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation: