A Quick, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD Launch Day Postmortem

So I posted this across my Social Media footprint a few moments ago, and I wanted to throw it up here, as well. As near as I can tell, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD is now live in all formats, both electronic and print. I’ve updated all the links on the WHERE TO BUY page, linkable via the main menu if you want to go and check it, and them out.

To everyone that has reached out to me, congratulated me, purchased a copy of either ENDWORLD – A Novel or CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD et cetera THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Those of you that picked one or both up, I hope you enjoy it/them. I ask only that you pass on your impressions as you read and finish it, i.e. review it! Indie publishing is not easy, and reviews are the lifeblood of an Indie author. The more reviews a book gets on Amazon, Barnes and Noble et al, good or bad the more recognizable it becomes. And if you have any questions, complaints et cetera reach out to me directly and I’ll get right back to you. Check out the HOW TO CONTACT ME page (also linkable via the main menu) if you’re interested.

That said? Thank you…. THANK YOU again. For supporting me and my dream all these years. I’ll have more news to announce soon, but for now? The hard part is done. And I guess I’d better get to writing HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD, huh?

Have a great evening, everyone.

F.

CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD – A Quick Hit

At approximately 1AM on April 23rd, 2019, six years to the date when I published ENDWORLD – A Novel, I finished reviewing all versions of the sequel, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD, and ordered my final proof of the paperback version. Assuming the print version looks the way it did in the previewer, it is done. The e-versions will be priced at $2.99 and should be available for preorder within the next 24 hours at all of your standard, online retailers. The print version will be $15.99 and will be available for the same as soon as I review the proof and click “publish.” The book will OFFICIALLY RELEASE across all platforms at 12AM, EST this Saturday, April 27th. Links to follow as soon as everything goes live but folks? It’s time. #CHILDRENOFENDWORLDishere

Good Evening, and Goodnight.

F.

CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD – Cover Reveal!

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening everyone! I hope you all had as spectacular a holiday as I did. I got to spend 90% of it with my minions, Cara and #NatNatBoo, and while I spent the better part of Thursday and Friday sick with either a Flu or Strep Throat, I… WE made up for it Saturday and Sunday. Playdates were had, candy was ingested (a LOT of it by everyone including me), gatherings were attended and… It was just downright awesome. I’ve spent so much of my recent life in a funk, trying to figure out the Why, the How… You know the litany. It was nice to finally just… Live. And enjoy.

And–in the midst of my revelry with my friends, their minions and mine on Saturday afternoon–I got a text. And that text? It was from my cover artist, Catalina. It was a picture. THE picture. You know the one of which I speak. I’ll talk about my reaction in a bit and a few other items but at this time? I see no reason to make you wait any longer. My friends, family and oft times casual readers? My “Social Media-Verse” as I often call you? With Cat’s blessing, I give you the cover to the forthcoming second book of The Endworld Series, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD:

You’ll likely see this image a lot over the next few weeks, months and–if I’m lucky–years. I’m not a soothsayer or a “philosophiser” as White Goodman once said. I have no idea what will happen once this book goes live… No idea how it will be received. But this cover? It is everything… EVERYTHING I wanted and then some and Cat? I know you’re reading this and if I haven’t told you enough at this point? You are amazing. Incredible. You saw my vision, sketched out on piece of yellow legal paper what feels like a lifetime ago and you made it breathe. Sing. F*ck… Whatever! It’s unbelievable. Folks? If you want to check out Cat’s other work, pay her a visit on her Instagram page HERE, or at @itssketchcat. Please!

When she and I first discussed this years ago–on a slow afternoon at good ol’ CareersUSA, long before first her and then I FINALLY “got out”–it was just that: A discussion. CHILDREN was still in the early stages then but I had… Ideas. This was one. There were others but over time, this was the one I always came back to. When I officially asked her back over Christmas of last year and she officially accepted though? I don’t know. Seeing this now, I feel like we were both put there, in that sh*tty little office under the proverbial thumb of a… Let’s be honest, here: Tyrant–for a reason. Kind of like with Amy my editor: We were meant to reconnect back in 2009-2010, right when I first started retooling Book One after a number of long and at times eventful years. Folks? Whether you believe in Providence or not I do. And to have people like Amy and, now Cat with me on this journey? It feels like just that: Providence. Partners, friends… Everything. And now? I’ll stop rambling. Because you’ve probably got questions.

For obvious reasons, I can’t answer them all. Spoilers, sweeties… Spoilers. But ask them anyway. Check out my contact page, linkable in the above menu and reach out. I’ll do the best I can. Probably the most obvious one is: What the f*ck is a “Voodoo Tree?” Well? I can tell you that it’s a real thing. A real landmark in a real place. And if you remember Book One, you likely remember it. If you don’t, there’s no need to go back and reread the whole thing. Just check out the last chapter and the epilogue. It doesn’t appear until then. And whereas it does not have a ton of significance in ENDWORLD I promise you that it is crucial… Integral to not only CHILDREN, but HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD as well. And that? That’s about as far as I’m going to go into it. You’ll just have to check out CHILDREN in a week or so if you want to know more. A week or so? Yeah. That soon. I’ll touch on that more in a bit.

The other question that I’m guessing is running through your mind is why a hand drawn cover? There are two reasons for that and the first is that it simply looks better. Hand drawn equals art, and I am… We are all artists. Whether we write or draw, make music or sculpt, write Haikus or create comics we are what we are. And as such we support each other. If I can showcase another artist in the process of making my own art then I’m going to.

But the second reason? It’s a bit more vague. When I was a kid and I first started reading, I remember books like “The Hobbit” and “Bridge To Terabithia.” I remember reading them when I was my daughter Cara’s age and marvelling at the look of their covers. It was what drew me in. “Someone drew that” I would think to myself and I’d read on. This cover… Reminds me of what I felt like when I first discovered the written word decades ago. So it’s a callback. To my youth. To yours. And if there’s a cover that inspired you the way they did then and the way this one does for me now? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to reach out. Again, check out my contact page. I promise I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

And that? That’s pretty much it! I guess the only question remaining is WHEN? Damnit, Frank, when are you going to go live with the book? Well? I’d love to get it out there by next weekend. And I’m going to go for that. It could make for a long week but you deserve it. You’ve waited long enough. So more details to follow. Once I run everything through their final checks I’ll be able to lock down the publication date. And you will be the first people who know. I promise.

Thank you all for your time, support and… Well? Just thank you. Thank you again for everything. As my alter-ego the Madchronicler is fond of saying, booyakasha. Respect. Talk to you soon!

F.

A Cherry Blossom Blooms in ENDWORLD

There may be one or two people out there, wondering why yours truly–a writer of Dystopian Science Fiction–just changed his website header picture from the cover of his first book to a picture of, of all things, a Cherry Blossom. Well? The answer is twofold and relatively simple:

1. I discovered this morning that I had a Cherry Blossom in my backyard–hence the picture; not a stock shot but one that I took myself–when I woke up, home with a couple of sick minions to find it in full bloom. Cherry Blossoms are my favorite tree and had you told me, before I bought this house last September that it had one in it’s backyard? Yeah. I would have paid full asking to ensure I got it. Because…

2. Cherry Blossoms symbolize renewal. And the last half year has been all about that for me. New beginnings… Starting over… If you read my blog Random Musings you know the litany at this point. I’m not going to belabor you any more with my life story. But it really has been about endings and beginnings, which brings me to…

The significance of renewal to CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD and, more specifically, HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD. No spoiler alert (I promise) but I wrote CHILDREN whilst dealing with… Many of the issues that caused me to end up HERE, in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and not in Broomall where I resided and wrote for almost 13 years. You should know–and you will in a few weeks–that CHILDREN really is the end of one story and the beginning of another one. It reflects the transition that I am going through in my life presently. And ever since I moved here/started this new, oft times bizarre, many times quiet new life of mine I’ve been looking for signs. Omens. And to have this happen today? Well. If that’s not a GOOD omen then I don’t know what is.

So I tell you, my friends, family and oft time casual readers now that HEAVEN? It will have a Cherry Blossom in it. Blossoms perhaps. Both physically, and figuratively. Because renewal is something to embrace, not run from. Life changes. And if you don’t embrace the changes when they happen and make the best of them you run the risk of becoming bitter. No matter how hard it gets… No matter how difficult and different my life becomes I will always, ALWAYS embrace the changes.

Even in Endworld, folks, there is still and always will be beauty to be found. Physical. Emotional. And spiritual. Even in the darkest of days there will always be hope. Never forget that. I sure the hell won’t. I’ve got a Cherry Blossom in my backyard, now, to always remind me.

F.

A Long Overdue, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD Update

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening everyone! It’s been quite some time since I last posted on this site, much less maintained or even looked at it. What can I say? Life, writing, a bit more life, work and oh yeah! Did I mention life? You’re laughing on the inside, I know, sarcasm fully intended? Or not. Whatever your preference. Whatever the case, here I am! I’m back, a bit older and wiser but still me. If you really really want to know what I’ve been up to, you can pop over to my blog, Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman Version 2.0, linkable HERE and see. I’ll not lie: It’s not all pretty. So read at your own peril.

Despite 101 life changes in the last five years I never stopped working on Book Two of The Endworld Series, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD, and while it took me a bit longer than I expected to finish it, finish it I did, and now, I can officially confirm that not only is CHILDREN done, but it is formatted and one cover short of publication! More info to follow, including a cover reveal and GO LIVE date(s) but for the moment, I can and would love to show you a sampling of what the interior is going to look like, both in print and on Kindle, Nook, iBooks… Whatever your chosen platform. I’ll follow up with everything else in real time.

A quick note: I opted to format it myself this go ’round. This is not a knock in any way, shape or form on Damonza, who did a nice job formatting ENDWORLD six plus years ago and continues to do good work too date. But my strategy this time, due to a number of factors including the aforementioned life changes was less outsourcing. Which meant assuming more of the front end work myself. I’ve yet to run it through the Createspace, Kindle and Nook/iBooks emulators (the latter via Smashwords as before) but all signs point to it being 100% compatible. So I’m hopeful.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll see when it’s available. The first is a collage of pages from the beginning of the print version. Don’t worry: There are no spoilers. As always, I welcome your feedback.

I did my best to match fonts, sizes and content so as to make the transition from ENDWORLD to this as smooth as possible. The same is true for the eBook version.

Thoughts? Issues? Please share them. So as to avoid spoilers there is only so much I can show you but I will tell you that I’ve added a couple of surprises, even in the early going, and the only people that know about them are the ones that they’re about.

All that said, there really isn’t a ton more to address at this point. Once I have the cover in hand you’ll see it (I love a cover reveal!), and once I run the finished product through the aforementioned emulators I’ll be able to give you the long overdue GO LIVE date(s).

In preparation for re-embarking on my journey as an author, albeit a self-published one I have ALSO relaunched this website. A new layout, new content, new links… The whole shebang! I invite you to explore, comment, critique etc.. It is a work in progress… I’m not even 100% sold on the new layout yet but a new book means a pseudo-new look but, similar to what I did with the formatting of CHILDREN in that it’s different, but not too different.

And that? That’s it! If you were expecting something longer, and more drawn out I apologize. This isn’t Random Musings. I look forward to providing you with additional updates soon! Thanks as before and always for your encouragement and support. Have a great day, night… Whenever you’re reading this! Booyakasha. Respect.

F.

ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!

Hello again, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying these last, waning days of the Summer and are looking forward to a long, holiday weekend filled with family, friends, beaches, barbecues and all around good times! Soon our focus will be shifting from milkshakes and peaches to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and apples (though you can’t really tell tonight; up here in southeastern Pennsylvania it’s hot and humid). While I love the Fall (and will likely write more about it in subsequent days, weeks and months), that is not the reason why I’m writing this tonight. I am writing this tonight for another, much more important reason. And that reason?

ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE! It went “live” as I’d hoped, and can now be ordered from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore, Createspace, Smashwords, Kobo… you name it! Here are the links as they exist right now. I will continue to add to this list on the tab labeled “Where to Purchase ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition” as they become available but as of this moment, here’s what’s up:

  • Amazon: Purchasable as an on-demand paperback HERE for $15.99 and as a download for your Kindle HERE for $3.99.
  • Barnes and Noble: Purchasable as a download for your Nook HERE for $3.99.
  • iBookstore: Purchasable as a download for your iPad, iPod or Mac HERE for $3.99.
  • Createspace: Purchasable as an on-demand paperback HERE for $15.99.
  • Smashwords: Purchasable as an .epub, .mobi, .pdf, for online reading or even as a .txt file (go figure) HERE for $3.99.
  • Kobo: Purchasable an a download for your Kobo or Sony eReader HERE for $3.99.

As I mentioned in my previous update, all proceeds from the sale of this special edition of Book One of the Endworld Series–which includes a special forward, “WHAT IS THE SHANE CAMPAIGN,” and the Prologue and first two chapters of Book Two of the Endworld Series, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD–will go towards four year old Shane Lee and his ongoing battle with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare form of brain Cancer that affects only children. As I have mentioned previously and will mention again, DIPG is uber-resistant to Chemotherapy and as of right now has no cure.

The key words in that last paragraph are “as of right now.” “As of right now” there are doctors and researchers all over the world attempting to find a cure and the more we contribute to their cause… the more we give of ourselves the more chance that one day soon, VERY soon they will find a way, and children like Shane can continue to live long and fruitful lives well beyond the timeframe initially imposed upon them.  I said it before and I’ll say it again: There HAS TO be a way. I pray to MY God (that pesky Christian one; you can pray to whatever deity you believe in) for it every night before I close my eyes. For Shane. For every other child that has ever heroically battled it. Not just DIPG, but other, debilitating conditions, as well. All of the Pediatric Brain Stem and Spinal Cord Cancers. Leukemia. Lymphoma. Soft Tissue Sarcoma. There are honestly too many to mention and that? That is heartbreaking.

You see, as a parent of two beautiful daughters, both of whom are close to Shane’s age this is personal. It gets me RIGHT HERE (point emphatically to my heart). While this idea–inspired once again by a couple of Shane’s teachers and supported in totality by my wonderful wife, Nicole–is not a cure or a solution it is… a contribution. It’s a little something that I can do outside of pray and give which I will continue to do moving forward.

Additionally, in doing this I can give you, my wonderful readers something as well. This edition of ENDWORLD – A Novel? It is all me. It’s very personal… very near and dear to my heart, mind and soul much like Shane’s fight is. I re-formatted both the paperback and the e-copy myself (and wow was it tough) and admittedly? I am more pleased with the result than I was with the original. That is nothing against Damonza and the job that he and his team did last Spring. And the cover/paperback wrap is mostly unchanged save for the addition of The Shane Campaign logo. But the internals flow better now. I’ll be curious to hear if you feel the same way as you delve deeper and deeper into it. Let me know! You know how to reach me (and if you don’t, check out the “About Frank Marsh” tab).

And that? That’s it! The long and short of it, so to speak. A couple of other notes that I’d like to “tack on” before ending this update. The first? Tomorrow night at Sky Zone in Glen Mills, PA, there is an event being held for Shane Lee (Called “Let’s Jump For Joy,” information can be found HERE). If you are in the area between 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM, I urge you to stop by. Buy a ticket (or three if you have little’uns like me) and bounce, bounce bounce! Sky Zone will be donating a portion of the ticket sales. Additionally, if you haven’t yet done so and are on Facebook (as I assume most of you reading this are), check out the page for The Shane Campaign. It is run by Shane’s aunt and she has been doing an incredible job of keeping us all updated on Shane’s progress and his adventures (of which there have been many). You can also check out Shane’s Youcaring site HERE. If you don’t want to buy ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition that’s cool. But consider giving to this cause independently. And most importantly? Keep Shane, his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. They all need them!

I’ll leave it at that, everyone. Thank you for your time and continued support! I have nothing but love for ALL of you. G’night!

F.

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ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening, everyone. I guess it all depends on when you are reading this. I know that it’s been some time since I posted anything to this website. Usually when I do it’s something about ENDWORLD – A Novel, or the ongoing saga of completing the sequel, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD. I’ve even written a bit about the planned third novel in The Endworld Series, HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD. I’ve written about reviews, both negative and positive; I’ve written about sales and the like. But this update is not about any of those things. Far from it, actually. “To everything in turn, there is a season” and there will be time to update you on them in the future. At this moment, though? This is about something much more important. That said?

I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to someone you may or may not have heard of. The adorable little guy pictured below? His name is Shane Lee:

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Shane attends school with my daughters Cara and Natalie. He is four years old, loves to eat ice cream, loves his family and is undeniably bright, super-energetic and curious about everything.

On June 23, 2014 Shane was diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare form of brain cancer that is super-resistant to chemotherapy and only affects children. According to The Cure Starts Now, less than 10% of DIPG children live longer than 18 months from the time of their diagnosis. Survival is even more rare: To date, there have been no known survivors. Symptoms of DIPG include double vision, the inability to close one’s eyelids completely, dropping one side of the face and difficulty chewing and swallowing. Unfortunately these symptoms usually worsen rapidly because the tumor is rapidly growing.

At the time of his diagnosis, Shane was given a timeline of anywhere between six and 15 months. He has since been enduring radiation which he just completed yesterday. His family, teachers and friends hope and pray that Shane’s resilience and zest for life will cause him to defy the statistics and live a long and fruitful life. Everyone that cares about him hopes that his passionate tenacity, stubbornness, courageousness, humor and bright personality will help him through the trying days and months ahead.

When I first heard about Shane’s plight, my reaction was the same as anyone’s would be: Why? How is it even remotely feasible that someone so young and innocent could be diagnosed with such an invasive condition? A few years ago, another friend of mine’s child lost his battle with Pediatric Cancer so admittedly? This, and the close proximity to my daughters hit double hard. “Not again,” I kept saying to myself over and over again, “it’s not fair.” Said reaction quickly segued into another: Determination. I knew I needed to help, but how? Via donation? Sure. Via prayer? Most definitely. But it didn’t feel like enough. So I continued to rack my brain for an answer and eventually, with the help of a couple of Shane’s teachers and the ongoing support of my wonderful wife, I came up with an answer. The only answer, really.

That said (you can skip the drum roll), I give you:

ENDWORLD Shane Campaign Paperback Wrap

 

What is it? Quite simply put, ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition it is a special edition of my 19 year labor of love; my debut novel. Not a “Director’s Cut” for the content of the original manuscript is unchanged. What it is is a newly created, newly formatted version that includes a Forward–“What is the Shane Campaign?”–and as an extra added bonus, the Prologue and the first two chapters of CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD. Here are a couple of additional shots of the interior. SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet read ENDWORLD – A Novel, feel free to avert your eyes from the second picture as it is the first page of the excerpt:

Prologue from ENDWORLD - A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition

 

Excerpt from ENDWORLD - A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition

I will be going live with it very soon, likely in conjunction with a fundraiser that I, my girls and others will be attending on August 28 at Sky Zone in Glen Mills, PA, Let’s Jump for Joy! Once I do, all of the proceeds from ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition–which will sell in eBook for $3.99 and in on-demand paperback for $15.99–will go toward Shane Lee’s fight. He’s a lot like William MacNuff. Not a grizzled revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but an innocent faced with seemingly insurmountable odds against him. And he is trying like hell to beat the system and find his way to his own, proverbial “Free Caymen.”

You see, Shane, his family, teachers and friends all believe the same thing: That saying “there is no cure” is not and never will be acceptable. Whether you believe in God, a god or some other deity or deities… hell, whether you believe in nothing save for the randomness of the universe you… I cannot concede that the governing bodies of the All would allow any child or anyone to be struck down before he or she has had the opportunity to experience life. There has to be a way. And if raising money to donate to this cause gets us even a step or two closer to finding a cure, not just for Shane but for anyone that is afflicted with DIPG than gul’darnit, I am going to try. And I urge you too, as well.

If you choose to buy ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition–and I certainly hope that you will; I’m probably going to buy one or two myself–then you, too, will be doing your part to help find a cure. But you don’t have to start or stop there. Please take a moment and check out the youcaring.com fundraiser page for Shane, linkable HERE. His family has also set up a Facebook page with a number of helpful links to check out, linkable HERE. Knowledge is power. The more people that know about this and contribute, the more chance that we will find a cure and Shane will be able to continue enjoying the great gift of life. Continue eating ice cream. Continue spending time with his family for many, many years to come.

Please, show your support. I understand that not everyone can afford to shell out $3.99 or $15.99 to buy a book they may have already read, even though it does contain the first 30 or 40 pages of the almost-completed sequel (nudge, nudge). If you cannot, then in lieu of monetary assistance please pray for Shane and his family. Light a candle at Church this Sunday or say a prayer in Synagogue. Show your support in whatever capacity you can. He and his loved ones deserve it!

And that? That’s my pitch. I am in the process of finalizing the formatting for both the eBook edition and the paperback edition, presently. I will inundate you I MEAN update you (ha, ha) with more information, i.e. links and such as they become available. Please, get the word out. Let your friends, family, Facebookverse, Twitterverse and subjective reality on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence know. And in closing:

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Thank you all for your time and ongoing support. Best Wishes, F.