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.

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A Long Overdue Update

Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening or night, everyone. I know that it’s been a while and I hope that my absence hasn’t soured you on me or my writing. ‘Course, I haven’t been doing much writing lately. To recap? I started a new job back in early December of 2013 and have been focused primarily on that since. I’ve wanted to write… have even started a blog entry or two since, but nothing has made it past “draft” stage.

The situation with CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD is, unfortunately, a similar one. That book remains 280 or so pages to the good. I have about 100 or so left to write and hope to be doing so again in the very near future. But first, I need to read and revise what I’ve written. I’m relatively confident that the story is still “there” (and by “there,” I mean here in my head as I’m typing with Pink Floyd playing over my headphones, “The Voice” on the TV in front of me and my beloved wife Nicole sitting beside me). I just need to revisit what I’ve already composed. I’ve learned over the last however many years that I’ve been writing that consistency is the key. It needs to flow. Hopefully I’m through the first 280 plus and banging out the last 100 soon. I’ll be sure to let y’all know!

This isn’t going to be a long entry. I honestly don’t have a lot to report outside of what I just mentioned. But I would like to take a moment and bring you up to speed on the few, minor things that I have done since I last “stopped” by my website. So…

  • Pre-Christmas, I lowered the eBook price of ENDWORLD – A NOVEL from $3.99 to $1.99. I was only going to do this over the holidays, but New Year’s rolled around, I thought about it a bit and decided to leave it. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, this process–writing and publishing–has never been about money for me. It’s about creating something lasting that people, I hope, enjoy. So if a $1.99 price point makes the eBook more affordable to more people? So be it. I will keep it as such moving forward. That said, if you haven’t read it yet and you’re thinking about doing so, now’s a great time to pick it up! Check it out on Amazon for your Kindle, at Barnes and Noble (dot com) for your Nook, in the iBookstore for your iPad or iPhone… or just go to the “Where to Buy ENDWORLD – A NOVEL” tab of this website. And if you read it and loved it, recommend it to your friends, family, associates… whoever! In addition…
  • If you read and loved ENDWORLD – A NOVEL… heck, if you just liked it a lot or maybe just a little, please let me know about it. It’s been sitting at eight reviews on Amazon, two reviews on Barnes and Noble and a handful of reviews on Goodreads for as long as I can remember. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m very confident in what I wrote. I think it’s a good story (albeit a bit long in the tooth as one or two people have told me) and most everyone that I’ve spoken with feels the same. But the only way it’ll ever be recognized as more than just some random guy’s vain attempt at self-publication is if it gets exposure. And it’ll only get that with more reviews. So please… please post your thoughts on it where others can see them. And my earlier offer of one free eCopy for a review stands. If you want to take me up on it, comment here, email me (madchronicler@verizon.net), message me on FB (https://www.facebook.com/frankmarshauthor), “Tweet” me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/fmarshauthor), or just go to the “About Frank Marsh” tab of this website. You’ll see a whole myriad of ways that you can drop me a line. Thanks!

Ladies and gentlemen? Friends, Romans, countrymen and women? That’s all I’ve got to say tonight! Work comes early and I’ve got a few other things that I need to do before I tag and bag my day. Let me take a brief moment and thank you all again for your ongoing support of me and my writing. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that even now, almost a year after I first published ENDWORLD – A NOVEL, people are still buying it. I’ll not lie: It’s a total rush to look at my rankings on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other sites and occasionally see a spike in sales. I look forward to bringing you it’s sequel in the near future. Perhaps not as “near” as I originally envisioned, but I promise it won’t be 19 years.

CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD is coming. I vow it. And one thing that you should know about me? I keep my promises.

G’Night, all!

F.

Another “Quick Hit”

Every so often, you need to take a break. Take me: I’ve been writing pretty much non-stop in some way, shape or form for the last couple of years. It’s not that I mind… I don’t but it’s a lot. It’s a tough pace to keep up especially when you’re trying to balance it with two full time jobs–one that pays the bills and one, parenthood, that doesn’t. So last Friday night–at the same time that I completed page 263, Part Three of Children of Endworld–I decided to take a break. Not a long one: Maybe a week or two. However long it takes me to go back, read and revise what I’ve written and read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King which… unless something changes… should be sitting on my Kindle Fire when I wake up tomorrow morning. A sequel to The Shining? Yes, please. I promise to post a review either here, or over on “Random Musings” when I’m done.

Generally when I finish working on something I do a post-mortem on it. I’m not going to do that now on Children because… well, because I’m not done writing it yet, though I expect that the last 150-175 pages or so are going to be a lot easier to write then the last 100 were. I’e been actively working on the sequel to ENDWORLD – A Novel since mid-May, 2013. It is now late September of the same and I’ve written more in the last four months plus than I think I’ve ever written before. Not just Children but other stuff, as well, namely things like THIS and the things I’ve posted over on my personal blog. The last 100 pages ate up the two months and the plus of that time. It needed to for if it doesn’t work, then the entire series falls flat on its face before I even make it to Book Three which is, I’ll not lie, the one I am looking MOST forward to writing. So I took a lot of care with it. As for whether or not that care pays off? I leave that for you to decide. Coming soon. Stay tuned.

All that said, this really isn’t anything but a “Quick Hit,” i.e. a couple of brief bullet points that I feel the need to address, explain… whatever it is that I do when I’m not wiping butts or scraping hydraulic fluid out from underneath my fingernails (not in that order). So here goes:

  1. ENDWORLD – A Novel is still in need of reviews. It’s up to eight on Amazon (4.5 star average), two on Barnes and Noble (five star average) and three on Goodreads (also a five star average). I’ve got a couple in the can that I’m waiting for (if if you’re reading this right now you know who you are). Remember: 10 on Amazon is the proverbial point of critical demarcation, i.e. the point where the “powers that be” say, “Oh SNAP! This book has 10 reviews and they’re overwhelmingly positive. Lets give it a bump.” But it’s not just Amazon. Many third party reviewers won’t even look at your book unless it has 10 reviews/at least a four star average on Amazon. Please: If you read ENDWORLD and you liked it, take a minute or two to publish a review of it. Feel free to do so if you didn’t like it, too, though realistically? If you read it and hated it, you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right now. And if you hated it and you are? Darn, dude. You’re a glutton for punishment. And if you’re still interested in my open-ended deal–one e-copy for one review–let me know. I’d be happy to oblige.
  2. Children of Endworld is going to need Beta readers really, really soon as in within the next couple of months. A few people have already approached me and asked for a copy when I’m finished and those people get first dibs. But I generally like to have between 10 and 12 people reading and submitting feedback at a time. Those people need to have a sense of humor, as well, since generally, the Beta copy is not the final copy, i.e. it’s rough, and oft times sloppy though I pride myself on cleaning it up pre-handing it out. If you’re interested in being a Beta reader for Children please, let me know either here or via one of the ways given under the “About Frank Marsh” tab. I’ll put you on the list.
  3. Sometime between now and when I finally “go live” with Children–still looking at mid-2014–I will be publishing something else. My “secret” project that I’ve referenced but not given any details on. One or two people know about it and that’s as far as it’s going to go. All I will tell you, presently, is that it is both separate AND a part of The Endworld Series.  As for what that means? That’s the mystery that I look forward to unraveling for you in the near future. I’d love to do some sort of J J Abrams viral campaign for it but I don’t have the time or the resources to do so. Plus, I don’t know that people are as eagerly anticipatory of my secret project as they are of Star Wars Episode Seven. I wouldn’t ask them to be. Hell, I’m more ciked for Episode Seven than I am for it. But it’s going to be fun. I promise. Once I’m done Children I’m going to start prep’ing it. More to follow.
  4. So as to make your experiences both here and over on “Random Musings” more flawless (i.e. me, not cross-referencing one on the other and Hyper-linking/making you page between the two), I’ve started working on a new all-inclusive website. It’s not published yet so there’s no URL to give out but when it’s done? I promise that y’all here and over on my personal blog will be the first ones to know.
  5. This one is p’urty darned important (hence the BOLD print): I am taking the advice of a few of my contemporaries and altering my Twitter handle. Ever since I first joined the Twitterverse I have been “@madchronicler97.” While I’m always leery of change I understand that now that I’m… well, pseudo-public I need to be easier to find. My new, official Twitter handle moving forward is “@fmarshauthor” (linked for your convenience) and hopefully by the time I’m done today, that’s the one that’ll be on everything that bears my name and resemblance.  

And that’s pretty much it. Like I said, this is little more than a “Quick Hit.” I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you that continue to support me in this slightly insane undertaking of mine. I say this a lot but I feel like I need to say it again: All that I’ve achieved over the last year would not be possible were it not for the assistance of everyone from my wife, Nicole–who remains my biggest fan and free publicist–to my little ladies Cara and Natalie who… for the most part… sleep while daddy’s writing (though they don’t always sleep when I’m not). Furthermore to all my friends, family and contemporaries who continue to listen to me drone on and on about The Endworld Series and my every-evolving idea for William MacNuff’s universe despite the fact that they’ve been dealing with it and me for, in many cases, 20 years now. Yes, that’s right: It has now been 20 years since I started the first draft of what was then called just Endworld (I began it in August of 1993, as many of you already know whilst working in the dusky basement of a college). Back then the mere notion of actually publishing something other than an editorial in my school newspaper was, to me, completely “out there.” Not so much any longer. I’ve got to tell you: The reality is so. Much. Sweeter.

Happy reading, everyone. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you pre-order your copy of Doctor Sleep, the long-awaited sequel to one of my all time favorite books The Shining. Not that Stephen King needs my help but the least I can do is give him a shout-out since he is one of, if not the main reason why I started writing in the first place. And stay tuned for more as I get closer and closer to being done the next book in The Endworld Series…

The first book of which, ENDWORLD – A Novel is available NOW in either e-copy or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and any number of other outlets. Links to buy under the “Where to Buy” tab on this website. Looking for a good, autumn read? Grab a steaming cup of hot apple cider and a slice of pumpkin pie, curl up under a blanket or two by the fire and give it a look. Take care!

F,

On The Endworld Series, Music and the Creative Process

As of 10:00 AM today, Children of Endworld is 194 pages “to the good.” After countless days revising, re-revising and tweaking the last 40 pages (roughly two weeks worth to be approximate) I am ready to write what is arguably one of, if not the biggest scene in the series. It’s already “dialogued,” I just need to fill in the blanks. I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll simply say to those of you that finished the first book and are awaiting the second that the motivation of one of the main “baddies” is about to be revealed. That’s it, though. No spoilers. Sorry.

I’m not going to lie: I’m pumped up. I’ve got a three day weekend coming up (Happy Labor Day, BTW) and while I don’t envision having ample time to write–my wife is working so I will be alone with the kiddies much of the time–I don’t have to worry about pesky things like my own job, et al. I can stay up late; I can write during naps. Save for a trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods to pick up shin pads and knee socks for my oldest who is starting “petite soccer” in two weeks, a date with my Alma mater (“we are… PENN STATE!”), a bag of Tostitos and queso dip tomorrow afternoon at High Noon and a Phillies game on Monday night, my schedule is wide open. I figure I’ve got about 25-30 pages in me over the next three days. That’ll get me to the end of “la gran escena.” Can I do it? Only if I stop writing this blog entry, which I will do shortly. But before I do…

I’ve written about inspiration a lot here and over on “Random Musings,” but amazingly? I’ve never written a word about music, and how it inspires my creative process. Save for personal experience which has been, and always will be the most crucial aspect of writing “por mi,” music is the most important. When I write, I generally envision the scene that I am writing transpiring with a soundtrack. Often, that soundtrack is instrumental: I wrote most of ENDWORLD – A Novel while listening to the “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack and I’ve written much of Children while listening to the “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises” soundtracks (Hans Zimmer, Chris Nolan’s “go to” guy is my favorite theatrical composer; sorry, John Williams). But occasionally the process… my muse requires something more, i.e. something with words. The scene that I am about to write is no exception.

Do you know that I have a Spotify account? Do you? Do you know what Spotify is? Spotify is a relatively new, streaming music service like Pandora and Slacker Radio that allows the user–in this case, me–to create playlists, filled with songs so long as those songs are available, or “shared” by the artists that wrote them. I have many playlists but only two that are public. Those playlists are aptly named “If ENDWORLD Had A Soundtrack” and “If CHILDREN Had A Soundtrack.” If you have a Spotify account–and if you don’t, I highly suggest it–you can view them both. Just look me up and you’ll see them on my profile. They are filled with songs that have inspired the writing of certain scenes in both books both now, and over the course of the last almost 20 years. Some are relatively obvious–“Machinehead” by Bush, “Welcome To The Machine” by Pink Floyd and “Heroes” by David Bowie–but others are not. Have you ever heard of the band Stabbing Westward? Their song “The Thing I Hate” could be the theme song for the entire Endworld Series. It’s not–the series doesn’t exactly have an overarching theme song–but it could be.

Believe it or not (and if you know me, you likely believe it), both books have a theme song, at least in my mind. Heaven and Endworld does, too, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. ENDWORLD – A Novel has two: “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal for the original version and “Victory Dance” by My Morning Jacket for the rewritten, now published version. You’ve likely heard the former (“Batman Forever,” anyone?), but have you ever heard the latter? For those of you that haven’t, here it is in all it’s glory:

I can envision it playing over the closing credits if ENDWORLD – A Novel ever becomes a movie, hopefully scored by Hans Zimmer and produced by Chris Nolan (I’d never want him to direct it; it’s not cerebral enough a project for him). The lyrics (viewable HERE if you couldn’t gauge them from the video) fit the story perfectly. By comparison, Children also has two theme songs but they’re relatively new additions. The original never had one. Those songs? Well, here’s the first one:

Mind you, you can’t see inside my head but trust me when I tell you that the lyrics to “Fix You,” viewable HERE are poignant, and God awful relevant to Children and what happens in it. And I’m not even a Coldplay fan. I promise that you’ll understand soon enough, hopefully some time next year if I can follow through on my promise to publish it by then, but I’d argue that the book’s other theme song, “From Yesterday” by 30 Seconds to Mars is even more relevant. For your viewing pleasure:

Believe it or not, that’s the short video for “From Yesterday.” The extended video is almost 30 minutes long and I wouldn’t dare subject you to that. If you can’t make them out, HERE ARE the lyrics. I love 30 Seconds to Mars. Many of their songs appear on my Spotify playlists, both public and private.

A quick parenthetical aside: As a writer who draws heavily upon music as inspiration, having a good, go to website like http://www.lyricsfreak.com is a must. Often I hear a song, and I love the tune/think it would fit perfectly with a scene I am writing or planning to write. But pre-acknowledging it as inspirational I always check out the lyrics. Case in point: I first heard the new Bruno Mars tune, “Gorilla” on the VMAs the other night and I thought the tune perfectly fit the mood of Children. Upon looking up the lyrics I realized how incredibly wrong I was. Incidentally, “Gorilla” is not on the “If CHILDREN Had A Soundtrack” playlist. And if you’re curious about the lyrics, HERE you go. You can now laugh along with me. End parenthetical aside.

Back to the scene I am about to write: It’s intense. It had better be if I’m calling it “arguably one of, if not the biggest scene in the series.” And an intense scene requires an intense song. I’ve thought long and hard about the soundtrack to “la gran escena por Children” and have come up with a dozen possibilities, ranging from “Silverf*ck” by the Smashing Pumpkins to “Master Of Puppets” by Metallica. If I could merge the above, two songs/bands with Rage Against the Machine, The Prodigy and Hans Zimmer I’d be golden. But I can’t. So I needed something that embodied both the tone, and the theme of the scene. And finally, after weeks upon weeks of searching, I found it. And here it is:

Lyrics HERE. Incidentally, I never knew much about Fall Out Boy pre-hearing this song for the first time. I knew that one of their members had once been married to the lesser Simpson sister, but that was about it. Since, I have discovered that their music–specifically “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”–is very apropos to the world of the Endworld Series. They are now, at least in my mind, most certainly greater than the backdrop against which the failed marriage of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz played out. I could even envision them writing a song or two for it if the series ever attains movie or television adaption status.

Getting ahead of myself a bit? Maybe. I have no idea if the Endworld Series will or will not one day play out on the big, or even the small screen. But there’s nothing wrong with speculating a little bit. it’s healthy. And it motivates me the way music and my personal life inspires me. When I think about the future and I consider the possibility that the Endworld Series could, one day, be up on the big or down on the small screen I get even more pumped up. I write like a man possessed and describe it in words they way I’d “block” it, IRL. Producers beware: If this thing that I’m doing takes off one day, I’m going to want to be involved in it the same way that George R R Martin is involved in “Game of Thrones” on HBO. You have been warned.

I could write more on this topic… a heck of a lot more but that would be me, stalling and I do not want to stall any longer. “La gran escena por Children” needs my attention and I hate making my muse wait. Those of you that know the story, what do you think of my theme song choices? Do you know of any others that would “fit” the Endworld Series better? And fellow writers (I know that there are a lot of you out there): Do you utilize music in the same fashion that I do? If so, what kinds of music inspire you? And are you on Spotify? If so, look me up. I’d love to see.

In closing, I’ve decided to share one more song with you. I mentioned it earlier and it deserves it’s place in this blog entry. Please, listen and hopefully enjoy. I give you “The Thing I Hate” by Stabbing Westward:

I guess they never made a video for it. Oh well. I kinda’ like it better this way.

Everyone have a great holiday weekend.

F.

An Update on CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD and a Heartfelt Thank You

Hello, friends. Happy August 13th. I hope your respective summers are going well. Mine has been… interesting, to say the least. Writing has happened in spurts and fits, and as of this morning, the sequel to my debut, ENDWORLD – A Novel is 181 pages “to the good.” The process has slowed down a bit in the last few weeks due to a few, extenuating circumstances and to the fact that the portion of CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD that I am currently writing is, arguably, the toughest portion of any of the books to write. I knew this going in and was prepared for this section to take a while but once I’m through it? I have a feeling that the rest will come pretty quickly. I’m still shooting for an end of year finish and a 2014 publication. Not to mention my as-of-yet unrevealed mystery project which I hope will appear sometime between now, and then. But I’m not going to tell you about that one yet. All I’ll say is this: It’s different, but it is related to The Endworld Series. Curious? Stay tuned.

So that’s the latest on the sequel and my other undertakings. My editor already has the first two parts of CHILDREN and is reviewing them, currently. Optimally, I’ll be able to publish a preview sometime within the next few weeks or months, i.e. the Prologue, and maybe the first chapter but we’ll see. No promises. But I’d love to give those of you that have read and enjoyed ENDWORLD – A Novel a taste of what’s ahead for William. Which is the other reason why I’m writing this little update, today.

I know I’ve been somewhat persistent in my requests for reviews over the last few months. I think I’ve explicated my reasons for that pretty extensively. In short? Reviews = Visibility. And I am pleased to report that as of today, ENDWORLD – A Novel is up to 13 total reviews over multiple platforms. Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to publish their feedback, good or bad. Thankfully, the bulk of it has been good. If you’re wondering what people are saying, here’s a little sampling:

Engaging and entertaining. In his freshman novel debut Frank has a well written and captivating story. I would disagree with another review that said he spent too much time on certain parts and that descriptions were too lengthy. I felt that the sections that were slightly more descriptive were there to give the reader a fuller and more vivid mental picture of what was happening and did just that. I enjoyed the book very much and from the end of chapter one was hooked and had a hard time putting it down every night to go to sleep and looked forward to reading more the next day. As an avid reader I can often times predict the ending before I even get there. I was pleasantly surprised several times with interesting plot twists. I enjoyed the adventures of William McNuff and Maria Markinson and look forward to hopefully new adventures down the road.

Great Story – Hope to see it on the Big Screen! While not the typical genre of book I tend to read, Endworld – A Novel by Frank Marsh roped me in with a story that builds like a crescendo. The images are well detailed and I can easily see this turning into a Big Screen action/love thriller reminiscent of the Terminator days of my youth. These characters are dear to my heart, and I can’t wait until the next book is released. It’s a highly recommended read for someone looking to escape life for a while with a mental adventure! Congratulations, Mr. Marsh! Keep the story coming!

Great Book! Fantastic book! It really draws you in and you can’t wait to find out what happens. I had to stop myself numerous times from reading ahead (a big weakness I have with a great read!). Good first published book from this author. I can’t wait for the next book (and the rest of the series) to be written!

Book Club Alert! Endworld by Frank Marsh – Book CLUB readers ALERT! A fresh new author offers plenty to discuss in this fast paced novel, from saving humanity to the gentle curiosity of young love. Not just a lesson of the trusted zippo lighter but the parallel of the deceitful friend. Young William and Maria leave their safe controlled homes to explore another existence without the Robotic Administration. Is Freeworld One just a fantasy, or could it really exist? A good meaty book for summer reading. Five Stars in my log!

Great Book. This book is a wonderfully written coming of age story about William and Maria’s journey from a machine controlled life. Their journey has many twists and turns. It is an exciting story! A must read!!!

There are more, and I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone that has taken the time to tell me their thoughts, either publicly or privately. My appreciation to you, you, you and YOU cannot be measured. The fact that so many people have purchased and read ENDWORLD – A Novel or are in the process of reading it, currently, is really all the reward I require. As I’ve said before, I was never in this to make money. If I make money doing what I love doing terrific. But the sheer fact that I am doing it is incredible. It’s a dream come true. That’s due largely in part to you, All of you that have supported me. And I promise you that I will continue to do it, come what may. Pinky swear.

All that said, I’d still love to hear from more of you so if you haven’t gotten back to me or published a review, yet, please do. If you’re still interested in a free copy in exchange for an honest review get in touch with me via any of the ways listed in the “About Frank Marsh” section. Email, FB, Twitter DM… or just here in the “Comments” section. That offer is a standing one. Always.

Remember, ENDWORLD – A Novel is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, in the iBookstore and on various other platforms, both electronic and traditional (in paperback). Links to all can be found under the “Where to Buy” tab on this website. If you’re still looking for a good, summer read (heck, I’m going on vacation this weekend and am looking for something to “dig into”) I urge you to pick it up. Not because I wrote it. Well, maybe a little bit. No. Pick it up because you’re looking to get lost in a good story. Twelve out of 13 people can’t be wrong, right?

Happy reading, everyone. Have a great rest of your summer!

F.

An Update on CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD and My First Author Interview

Hello, everyone. I know that it’s been a while since I last posted an update here on the ENDWORLD site (though “Random Musings” has been pretty hopping these last couple of weeks; cruise on over and check it out if you don’t believe me). This one isn’t going to be a long one. I just wanted to drop by real quick, and let you know what I’ve been up to in case you’re curious.

First, a CHILDREN update. CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD just broke the 150 page mark, typed today, and is by my best reckoning a shade under half done. Understand that when I say “half done” I don’t mean that it’s only going to be 300 pages long. It’s not. I expect that it’ll be at least as long as ENDWORLD was, perhaps longer (the final draft of ENDWORLD clocked in at 412 pages typed). But Parts One and Two are both done, and I’ve only planned four parts. Henceforth my “half done” comment. Section-wise, it is. Story-wise, it’s about 40% complete.

I’ll not lie to you: A lot has happened already in the narrative and a lot more is poised to happen. CHILDREN is, believe it or not, a  meatier story than its predecessor. I’ve a lot to tell to set up the third and final book in THE ENDWORLD SERIES and in order to keep it moving, I’ve really shored it up. I have to. If I don’t, it’s going to balloon into a 1000 page epic a la Robert Jordan’s WINTER’S HEART, filled with pages upon pages of description and very little action. I love description (in case you can’t tell), but I also love reading, and I know as an avid reader that nothing takes you out of a story quicker than over-describing something. I’ll concede that there’s a good deal of that in ENDWORLD. But in CHILDREN? I’ve gone to great pains to eliminate it.

I should tell you that I feel a great deal more confident about this book, likely because I’m no longer a self-publishing virgin. I’ve gotten my feet wet: I’ve listened to a handful of critiques and praises. I’ve re-read ENDWORLD with all in mind and I see where it fails, and where it succeeds. In short? ENDWORLD is most certainly a Freshman Novel. CHILDREN is more refined. Is it better? I think that remains to be seen. The sheer emotion that went into ENDWORLD, coupled with the fact that it’s the first book that I ever published will always keep it at the height of my esteem. But structurally, I do think CHILDREN is better. IMO, of course. I honestly don’t know. It remains a mystery, and will until such time as I finish it, get copies into the hands of my Beta Readers and get their feedback. Stay tuned.

But enough about CHILDREN. I don’t want to ruminate on it, I just want to write it. Onto other things. Actually, really just one other thing. I have a few other things potentially in the pipeline, but I don’t want to write about them, now. I need to wait and see how they pan out, first. I promise you that when they do, though, you reading this will be among the first to know.

This week, I am being featured in an author interview spot on Ryan Schneider’s website (www.ryanschneiderauthor.com). “10 Questions with Science Fiction Writer Frank Marsh.” If you’re interested in checking it out, you can link it HERE. This is actually my first official author interview, and I’m grateful to Ryan for choosing to feature me and my feelings on the Oxford Comma (among other things; I promise it’s not an interview on Phonics; the questions are actually pretty nifty). Check it out if you have a few moments. And check out his latest novel EYE CANDY, available exclusively via Amazon.com! Now available in e-format and in paperback! It’s good. And I’m not just saying that because he’s doing me a solid. It is a damn fine book. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.

And that’s all she err… he, as in me… I wrote. I guess. Back to William’s story. If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of ENDWORLD – A Novel I urge you to do so. Don’t wait for me to finish CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD. I promise I’ll be done it soon enough. Scout’s honor: I’m not going to George R R Martin you. Publication next Spring is looking mighty feasible right about now, God willing. Check out the “Where to Buy” tab on this website for links to where it’s available. Read it, enjoy it, review it (I can’t stress that enough; reviews = legitimacy) and experience the book that people are calling “a good meaty book for summer reading,” “five stars in my log,” “well written and captivating,” “it really draws you in” and ” from the end of chapter one was hooked, and had a hard time putting it down every night to go to sleep.” What are you waiting for?

Happy reading, everyone.

F.

On Being Stuck

So I’m stuck. Not physically stuck in anything, but mentally and proverbially stuck. CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD is 58 pages to the good as of this AM. That’s the good news. The bad? It was 58 pages to the good last Thursday, as well. Why? Because I’m stuck.

It’s not Writer’s Block. I know all about that. I went through a prolonged period of it in the early to mid-2000s. It was my choice to begin blogging in 2008 that actually broke it. The ideas are there but for some reason, I’m having difficulty writing them down. Under normal circumstances, I’d simply write. And rewrite. And rewrite again until I got it right. But now? Now, I can’t do it. Thankfully, I think I know why.

Those of you reading this that know me know how involved I get in the things I undertake. Example: Writing a novel. If you’ve never done it or never tried to do it let me clue you in on a little secret: It’s tough. Damn tough. As my soon-to-be four year old daughter Cara said upon paging through ENDWORLD – A Novel, “that’s a lot of words, Daddy.” And it is. It’s the creative equivalent of training for a 5K. It’s not just the sheer volume of words that you have to string together, though. It’s holding your readers captive, i.e. keeping them interested. It’s stringing your words together in a way that makes sense not just grammatically, but contextually, as well. But potentially more than anything else, writing a novel takes something that doesn’t exist in William MacNuff’s world and something that oft times is at a premium in mine. That “something?”

Time. 

I’m stuck because I know that as soon as I begin the next chapter I am “pot committed,” i.e. CHILDREN will become the same center of my universe that ENDWORLD was for over a year. Slow afternoons at work when I’m not fulfilling my obligations as both an Inside Salesman and an Office Manager. Nights and weekends when I’m not fulfilling my obligations as both a husband and a father. It will become more than a passing distraction that I can pick up and drop on a dime. The process of creating, or in this case recreating William and Maria’s world has always been an overriding factor in both my professional and personal life. And once I go “all in” like I’m about to? Well, I can’t be 100% sure but per the giddiness that I’m feeling in my stomach, right now, this time > Last time. That’s how psyched I am about what’s already transpired, and what’s about to.

It happened during the rewriting of ENDWORLD, as well, I just wasn’t incredibly vocal about it, i.e. I never blogged about it. It occurred, ironically enough, near the end of Part One in a scene that those of you that have read the book likely know very well and those of you that don’t? Well, if you ever do get around to reading it I promise you that you will. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a game changer. It involves the early and unexpected exit of one character and the introduction of another.

The scene that I’m stuck on? It doesn’t involve anything that crucial. I don’t George R R Martin one of my primaries, though I can’t say that one or two supplemental characters won’t feel the proverbial headman’s ax on the nape of their neck by it’s end. Honestly? I only plan big deaths when I write, i.e. deaths that involve main characters. I never plan the demises of the lesser ones. I let the process of writing tell me when someone’s time is up and then I find the most meaningful, and occasionally gruesome way of doing it. Yep. That’s me. I never said that I was perfectly balanced as an author, though I pride myself on being so as a husband, father, friend and family member.

No. The scene that I am poised to write is an action sequence. I’ve written multiple ones pre-this moment in my brief career as a published, albeit self-published author (I’ve got to say, I never get tired of writing “published”) but said sequence? It’s the line in the sand. Once I cross it, it’s “game on.” There will be occasional breaks in the action. There always are, but as anyone that does this knows there comes a point where you simply can’t turn back. Apparently, said point is proportionately the same for me regardless of what I’m writing. Or so it seems after two novels, one completed and one not. Fifty eight-60 pages appears to be my creative Point of No Return.

It was easier “back in the day.” Back in the day, I was an oft times single college student working full-time in my spare time for CVSStress Pharmacy. Outside of that my obligations were few and far between. Plus, I was a lot more… capable of “burning the candle at both ends” than I am now. I’ll let you in on another little secret: There’s a big difference between 20 and 37 going on 38 (in case you didn’t know it) much less 37 going on 38 with a younger child–Natalie–that is just now getting her Toddler Molars in. I’m not going to ruminate on sleepless nights, herein. If you want to read about them, you can check out In Which I Blog Backwards, an entry written over at “Random Musings” by that Madchronicler guy, AKA me yesterday.

What I am going to ruminate on is how different things are now. That’s not a bad thing. I prefer that which inspires me now to that which inspired me then. But I’m not going to lie: Sometimes, I miss being able to just go. Get home, retire to my domicile, turn on my old 286 HP with the monochrome screen, light a cigarette, crack a beer, maybe take a couple of hits off a joint and start writing. That’s part of being a writer. It’s what we all want: To be alone with our characters as we “find” their story. I’d write most nights until I passed out at my computer. The original version of CHILDREN–version 1.0–was written in six months. Let me repeat that: Six months. That’s nothing if you’re talking about a 150 page novella or even a short, 200-225 page novel. But a 400+ page one? That’s impressive. Borderline insane, actually. But that was me, back then.

Now? Now, I’m as much a product of my situation as I was then. The only thing that’s changed about me other than the amount of gray in my hair and my beard and the extra sag to my midsection is… well? My situation and my tolerance for “burning the candle at both ends,” i.e. unless I get between six and seven hours of sleep on a given night I can’t remotely function the following day without a lot of caffeine.

Most nights presently I leave work, pick up my girls, go home, make dinner, get them ready for bed, get them in bed, clean up, and maybe get the chance to sit down in front of my Samsung I5 Laptop with the LED screen for an hour or two before I pass out. I still have no idea how I managed to write ENDWORLD in a little over a year, considering I took a six week long break in the middle because of health issues (bloody migraines; thank God they’re gone, now). But I did it. Hopefully CHILDREN will follow a similar path of evolution. I’m still shooting for May, 2014. I’ve even got a cover in mind. But that = Putting the proverbial cart before the horse. First the story. Thereafter I’ll make it look pretty.

You’re probably reading this and thinking to yourselves Christ, Frank. Get on with it already. You’ve spend the last X-amount of time “ruminating” on something you should just do. You’re probably right. And something tells me that tonight, or maybe tomorrow night I’ll pick up where I left off and write the aforementioned scene. And then it’ll be “game on.” I probably could have written it and not this but do you know what? I need to be true to myself. True to the process. And some days? Some days you just can’t. Call it creative erectile dysfunction or something less graphic. Some days the words elude you, despite how vivid your ideas are.

In short? Some days you’re just stuck. That’s the curse of the part time author. You’re not suffering from Writer’s Block or a deteriorating grasp of the English Language. You’re suffering from something much less malignant than even time, or an absence thereof. That “something?”

Life. 

Happy reading, all.

F.