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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Release Day for Knight and Dex!

It's here! Release day all paperback and e-book copies of Knight and Dex are available. I had so much fun writing this story. This one came to me in one shot. I started writing and the whole thing flowed. My editor, Terry, helped me crank it up to 11. I'm very proud of this book.

This series feels like something special. Not just to me, but those that have read it have left me some glowing reviews. This isn't just my mom putting my art on the refrigerator, although you may see a review from her. My reviewers are authors, critics and bloggers, a pretty tough to please crowd. I'm very proud that my books have been picked up by such a great bunch of people.

I'm currently working on book 3, Dex Machina and I'm really starting to believe I'm on to something. A world with it's own rules and characters that we all can really care about. It doesn't mean that I don't put them through hell, but I know they can take it. they're an interesting lot, tougher, smarter and certainly prettier than me. I also have it on good authority that if Rick O'Shea ever met me on the street, he'd coldcock me and lock me away in a cell in Plum Island. I deserve it.

The blog is a shameless plug for my book, so please check it out. Just a click over to Amazon to my author page, conveniently hyperlinked: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00QZ6PAGC There you will find the links to both books in print and e-book. Check out the book blurbs, what others think. I invite you to join in and have some fun!

My books are available for the Nook, iBooks, pretty much any platform out there.

Let me know what you think. Leave me a review. It can be as simple or as complex as you want. Tell me if you like it, hate it or anything in between. It's important that I hear back from you. I want to give you a great story. Let me know how I did. While things may not always go how you envision, hopefully, they take you someplace unexpected and thrilling.


Let's kick this party off! See you at Y-Knots for some burnt coffee and bad eggs!

Best always,

Mark Aberdeen

PS. Give my publisher TWB Press some love: www.TWBPress.com

I know they want to hear from you!


My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also!! They’re who I get them from. 

The release date of the e-book is Oct 31st. It’s a perfect day for the release. Cops, superheroes and the undead prowl the streets in my book. A little like Halloween night.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Let me know if you want an author signed copy. I have ways to get those to YOU!

Keep those reviews coming!!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook



You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com


Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Whatcha watching?

This blog is going to be a little different. I’m going to talk about things I’m currently watching and things I’m extremely excited about coming up.

The Walking Dead



Is it the best show on television? For me it’s in the DVR as my number 2 show (Game of Thrones takes the #1 slot). It's the top of my list for the fall. What can I say about it that millions of other people haven’t said? It’s creepy and scary and the make-up effects for the zombies continue to keep me in a state of awe. The continue to push the boundaries of practical effects. While the zombies are impressive, the story revolves around a small band of humans trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic world.

Often, their most dangerous situations come from other survivors in a complete and devastating breakdown of society. The story has moved on in locations from a camp just outside Atlanta to Hershel’s farm, to a prison, a brief stop at Terminus and on to Alexandria and with each location the danger keeps increasing. It’s a must watch for me. I'd pick a favorite character, or performance, but everyone brings their A game every week. It would be like asking which toe I've grown most attached? Answer, they all hurt when stubbed.

The Flash



You got me. If it involves superheroes I’m there from the old Batman series with Adam West, Wonder Woman with Linda Carter, The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno through the 90’s Flash with John Wesley Shipp, Mutant X and host of really terrible shows, then came Smallville and that was fun, but disappointing in the end. Then came Arrow and two seasons later, The Flash.

The Flash is what I’ve always hoped for in a superhero show. We have a great character in Barry Allen played by Grant Gustin and with him his rogues gallery of some of the best villains written for any superhero. Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Heatwave, the Reverse Flash, Professor Zoom, the Trickster. This show knows to have fun and put emotional weight on its characters. His support team is fantastic and they bring enough drama to keep Barry a little off balance and hold him up when he needs to be heroic. It’s a lovely show. They also brought in a personal favorite hero of mine, Firestorm! Although, part of me really missed the red and yellow costume of the character from the comics and the Hanna Barbara Superfriends cartoon.

Arrow



I know this is cheating. The Arrow kicked off bringing a new generation of superhero shows to TV. It launched the Flash and both shows are building to bring in a third called: The Legends of Tomorrow. They’re also having John Constantine stop by (another favorite canceled by NBC, Constantine. May your peacock feathers droop.) Arrow starts off with Oliver Queen, played by Stephen Amell, castaway on an island for five years. He’s rescued but he’s scarred, angry and has amazing skills with martial arts and a bow.

The new Green Arrow (Yay!) quests to fight corruption in his city under the guise of the Arrow. His tactics are brutal and get the attention of the police and Detective Lance, played by the awesome Paul Blackthorne. Ollie is soon wanted for murder, pursued by both police and a host of bad guys who want him dead. Luckily, Ollie is not without friends and family Thea, Diggle, Felicity, Laurel and later on Canary, Roy Harper, Ray Palmer and his frenemy Malcom Merlyn. This show like The Flash are a gateway to expanded DC Universe and these shows have the secret sauce that movie Universe doesn’t seem to share.

Drunk History





I threw you with this one. This show makes me laugh like no other. The premise is pretty simple. Derek Waters hops from city to city and meets up with comedians they get smashed and tell stories of historical significance. Meanwhile, reenactors play out the stories is the most hilarious way possible by lip-synching to the words of the drunken comedian often with hilarious results. The true brilliance of the show is behind the drunken slurs, cursing, anachronisms, goofy costumes and actor that in no way resemble the figures they portray; the history is pretty accurate. This show is fun and charming and I never thought I’d say that about the annoying drunk in the bar. This show is brilliant.

Sleepy Hollow



Speaking of history, I love how this show weaves history with the supernatural into one part buddy cop show, one part supernatural mystery and one part history lesson. There’s nothing about this show that should work. Except the two leads Ichabod Crane played by Tom Mison, and Abbie Mills played by Nicole Beharie are completely charming and have amazing chemistry. The headless horseman in season 1 was truly terrifying, season 2 slumped for me, but it had a good payoff, Season three has them back on track in pursuit of a new deadly threat. This one is pretty mysterious and by episode four I have no sense of what her end game is and neither do the characters, they barely know who she is. It really feel like I’m along for the ride in this season and that’s fun. Abbie and Ichabod are exploring their friendship and I like that theirs is partnership that doesn’t try too hard to veer into romantic entanglements. The opening credits rank right up among my favorites such as Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, Black Sails and The Walking Dead. I really like shows that open with haunting music and stunning visuals. I actively choose this show over the Blacklist as they compete for the same timeslot.


The Blacklist



I only have one thing to say about The Blacklist, James Spader. His Raymond “Red” Reddington may be the most intriguing character on TV. I’m enthralled by the performance, his interest in Lizzy and what scared him so much that he turned himself in to the FBI? He’s the ultimate operator/underworld figure. The supporting cast is competent and there are some standout performances most notably, Liz’s husband, Tom Keen played by Ryan Eggold. His dark and shady nature in the guise of someone who seemed so normal was an amazing twist. Megan Boone who plays Elizabeth Keen holds her own against Spader as they dive deeper into more dangerous waters of this shadow world. I came into this show late and binge watched the first season to get caught up. This one is a marvel.

iZombie



This show rocks my world. It’s funny, irreverent, and glib with snappy dialog. I’m completely in love with Rose McIver’s Olive Moore. Not stalkerish, but there’s no scenario that I wouldn’t let her nibble on my brain. In her world, a zombie is created by contact with another zombie, the show uses a scratch rather than the more traditional bite, but they’ve explored contraction of the zombie virus through sexual contact. The ultimate STD. The virus turns the skin and hair completely white, that goodness for hair dye and tanning spray.

Liv had to give up her old life complete with fiancé and job as doctor and became a coroner, which gave her easy access to brains. Zombie still need to eat brains, but in this case to keep them from becoming scary monsters. She consults with the police department on cases as a psychic and this is great cover, because the brains she eats (in delightful and tasty ways) gives her visions and personality traits of the murder victims. She helps the police solve the crimes. There’s lots going on the background of the story that is building to something truly big in the undead circles. This one’s a keeper.

Doctor Who



A fifty year old show that never fails to entertain and surprise. This new incarnation with Peter Capaldi feel like a throwback to my earliest experiences with the show back in the 70s with Tom Baker and John Pertwee, but with modern storytelling. I’m in love every time I hear the whoosh-thunk sound of the Tardis, the whirl of a sonic screwdriver, the raspy exclamations of a Dalek and when that iconic theme music in its remixed format with every incarnation of the of the most beloved time-traveler put to the screen.

That’s my current list. What am I looking forward to?

1. The Expanse – A space opera that is being likened to Battlestar Galactica in terms of tone and scope. Really looking forward to some hard sci-fi.

2. Legends of Tomorrow – A spin-off of Flash and Arrow that’s bring characters from both shows together in and expanded DC Universe show. This is a must see!

3. Into the Badlands – A post-apocalyptic show where there are no more guns and I’m purposely trying to not learn anything about it. I want to be surprised. I
really hope, I’m surprised.

4. Supergirl – Same show runner as Flash and Arrow, different network. Crossovers? I hope so! Really looking forward to this one.

5. Sherlock – Can’t wait for the next series to start. The upcoming Christmas episode is set in Victorian times. Can’t wait!

What are you watching? Let me know in the comments below.



My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also!! They’re who I get them from. 

The release date of the e-book is Oct 31st. It’s a perfect day for the release. Cops, superheroes and the undead prowl the streets in my book. A little like Halloween night.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Let me know if you want an author signed copy. I have ways to get those to YOU!

Keep those reviews coming!!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook



You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com


Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The reviews are in..ish.

I'm excited! Truly. I'm getting feedback on my newest book Knight and Dex and they're very positive! Surprised? Me too! This series has been a labor of love for me and my editor. He's off touring the country trying to shake it off. He doesn't know it yet, but book 3, Dex Machina, is more than just an outline. Mine is an evil laugh. It's still going to be some time and things went on hold while I'm studying my ass off for a low voltage license. Priorities.

In the meantime, I was happy to see some reviews up on Amazon and I'm also seeing a little love for book 1, Dex Territory. To all those that are reading and to those leaving me feedback, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Reviews are incredibly important. they don't have to be elaborate, or even glowing. Honest feedback is what most writers are after. We, I, authors understand that not everyone is going to like what you wrote. That's ok. What's important is I have your money, just kidding! But, it's true.



So you're probably asking, Mark how do I write a review? That's a good question. It can be as simple as, I love/like/loathe/hate this book. As an author what I'm hoping to get from a reviewing is: I love/like/loathe/hate this book and here's why... The why is what I'm after, if the reader likes something, I'll probably continue to do that. There are things I'm going to do that the reader may not like, they can tell me why, but I'll probably continue to do those things too. I may not give you everything you want, but I'll give you a complete story and hopefully a thrilling one at that. Let me know if I did my job. It's as plain and simple as that. My writing the next book is completely dependent on how this one performs. I certainly want to tell the tale. Big things are in store for New London, the STF and Rick O'Shea and if he had one iota of an idea what I have in store for him, he'd arrest me and beat me half to death on the way to the Plum Island Ultramax prison.

Stories are filled with near misses. The interesting stuff happens when people fail, when something important comes undone, or an expected result does something unexpected. This is called the plot. If there are no obstacles, there's nothing to overcome. The harder the character has to work, the more interesting the story becomes, with few exceptions. My stories are insanely hard on my main character. Imagine a regular guy going up against the Justice League, even Aquaman would grind him to chum and feed him to the fishes. While my world doesn't have a justice league, it's no less dangerous to a mere mortal. That's fun to write.



Mostly, the elements in the story are there for a reason and writing a book a very much a balancing act. The characters have to remain true to who they are, but they're people and have lives and backgrounds even if the reader doesn't get to know the full extent of them. As a writer my characters have full lives in my head. Like most people they're complex and filled with contradictions, but at the core, they are who they are.

The POV characters are going through a change. The story starts with the change and ends when it's complete. This is character movement, or character growth. It's an important story telling element. Static characters can be interesting as background characters. These characters can often help show movement. I have a fantasy book that I had been toying with for a long time. It's never really gelled for me. I realized that my POV characters LeGarde and L'Orange didn't change, or grow and they're really not supposed to. They do great deeds, but never learn anything from them. They kibitz and are infuriatingly verbose and they're often faced with impossible situations to which they treat in the most cavalier and blasé of fashions and it's really funny, but because they are who they are, they're probably not going to be my main character in the story. Although, they will probably get featured vignettes. If you go back a few blog posts. I have one of their stories posted. It's just a simple meeting gone very awry.

I didn't mean to turn this post into a writing lesson, but it's freeform, so tough it out, Daisy. Its what's on my mind as my thoughts turn toward my next project. Protagonists and antagonists, both characters are moving and against each other. It's up to the writer if they move in straight lines, or through proxies, but the climax of the story is the resolution. It's when the story has built up to the point to which the action only has one choice and that is to resolve. Remember, the antagonist has something to gain too. Unless you're telling a character vs environment story like Any Weir's The Martian, where Mark Watney faces off against Mars, or The Grey, where John Ottway faces off against the wilderness, but I digress.



I just can't help myself to see James Franco in pain.

It's not often that people are good and evil just be so, there are reasons and every character, or person, is the hero of their own story. While we root for the hero, the heroes didn't do so well in The Empire Strikes Back. They escaped, but Darth Vader won. The climax was one of the greatest reveals in cinematic history. The climax wasn't the fight between Luke and Vader, it was the moment when Vader had Luke backed up on the array and *spoilers* they had a father/son chat. If you're like me it still gives you chills even though you've seen it countless times. I also think to myself,
'Luke is whiny little bitch and always has been.'
If he didn't have a lucky shot in A New Hope... Team Solo.



I should be throwing some other authors at you soon. I've been putting together deep, probing questions and devising torture methods to get my fellow authors to give up their writing secrets and talk about their books. Most crack, when I ask, do you want to do this? That part has been a little disappointing, but they've got cool stuff going on and I want to share it. I'm going to kick that off in November.

Keep those reviews coming!!

My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also!! They’re who I get them from. 

The release date of the e-book is Oct 31st. It’s a perfect day for the release. Cops, superheroes and the undead prowl the streets in my book. A little like Halloween night.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Let me know if you want an author signed copy. I have ways to get those to YOU!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com
Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo



Monday, October 5, 2015

Life, NaNoWriMo and New Release!!

I’ve been a little distracted lately by life. I’d been writing solidly for the better part of two years, pumped out two novels and about halfway through my third and I ran out of gas. I’ve taken a little bit of a break from writing and went out to live a little, did some projects on my house, caught some baseball games and some football (I’m from New England and I make no apologies for who I root for), dusted off my inner cook and ate good food, reconnected with my wife (who I widowed while writing my second book) and we had to deal with the death of a family member. Unfortunately, that’s life too.

Life can be a full time job and as a writer those life moments are all fodder for story. I’m not saying that a story needs all the minutia of daily life, but a well-formed character has it and it affects them. My main character in the Dex Territory series, Rick O’Shea, is in constant need of sleep, he eats crappy food, he get hurt a lot, he deals with a past that haunts him, he has relationship problems, his superiors hate him, he has friends and girlfriend that complicate his life, he clings on to this ideal of being a cop that he learned from his dad, but feels he always comes up short even when he does remarkable things. He’s sometimes short on temper, makes bad decisions and has no respect for authority...yet, he cares about those around him, he tried really hard to do the right things, sometimes he does absolutely the wrong thing for the right reason. He masks pain with humor. He’s a mess and those always make the best characters, because it’s real. It’s life. These last couple of months as we build up to the release of Knight and Dex were a reminder of that. It was time to recharge.

Now, there’s recharging your batteries and losing interest in the work. This was definitely the former. I dive headlong back into writing in time NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Last year was the first year I missed in the last ten because, I was getting ready to release Dex Territory and my publisher and I were in edit mode. This year I have half a novel written and my goal is to turn out my first draft of Dex Machina. I haven’t quite told my wife that she’s about to be widowed again for a month, but November is a good month to write. (I think she knows and it’s a busy time of year for her, so she’ll be safely tucked out of the way of a grumpy writer). The weather turns crappy, work slows down, Thanksgiving in in there, which usually gives me some extra time as I usually take that week off. There’s also something to be said for having a goal and sharing it with thousands of people. Honestly, I don’t know how big NaNoWriMo is these days and it doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is I have a local group and we share our progress, encourage each other and build this great sense of comradery in what is by necessity a very lonely profession. At least during the creative process. Truly, no one else can write the words.

But this year, while in the midst of my furious flurry of creative cursive I hope to enlist some other writers to take up blog slack with some interviews. These guys are up and comers like me and learn about their project and why they should be followed with zeal. I’m lining them up now and creating a list of probing questions sure to break them...I mean, um, get to know them. I hope to put out one or two a month and I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also!! They’re who I get them from. 

The release date of the e-book is Oct 31st. It’s a perfect day for the release. Cops, superheroes and the undead prowl the streets in my book. A little like Halloween night.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Let me know if you want an author signed copy. I have ways to get those to YOU!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com
Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian

Last year I read a lot of books. There were some outstanding reads. I was happy to see a New Dresden files book by Jim Butcher, Skin Game. Kevin Hearne is always ready with a great outing from his Iron Druid Chronicles his book Shattered was a lot of fun. Cherie Priest surprised the hell out me with Maplecroft. If you were to tell me that a story told in letters and dispatches about Lizzy Borden and Cthulhu mythos would knock my socks off; I'd say prove it. Proof wasn't necessary. It happened. I also read Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman and I make no secret of my man-crush on him. He doesn't know how to disappoint. Don't believe me? read American Gods and let's talk about it. I was also introduced to a plethora of new authors with some incredible stories, but the best book I read in 2014 was the Martian by Andy Weir.

Now this is a first time author and nothing about this book should work. It changes perspectives, most of the book the main character, Mark Watney, is alone, it's very technical (and I'm a lover of science and an engineer and I've written technical manuals on DC power. DC Power = boring) mostly technical = put me to sleep. What made this book so compelling was the humanity and the use of humor. Andy Weir takes time to explain why these technical things are important in the ultimate story of survival in the most inhospitable place within human reach. The book also doesn't stray from what technically possible in a very near future, maybe even today. I read the book once. I put it down for a day and then read it all over again. I then listened to it on audio and it was the best audiobook I've ever listened to and I thrive on audiobooks in my hour and change commute in Atlanta traffic twice a day. It keeps me from road raging...sometimes.

I mention this because today I saw the movie adaption of the Martian and I couldn't be happier. Yes, they adapted the book and left chunks out. Sadly, we never learned what a pirate-ninja was, kilowatt hour per sol. We missed a couple of the disasters and the movie didn't open with book's first sentence, "I'm pretty much fucked." I've since only found one first sentence to rival it in the book Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." I lean toward the Martian's just because of the precision of the word, fucked. (from my writing you'll know I'm in love with swearing) I can't think of a more compelling first sentence to a book, ever. Your mileage may vary.

Without spoilers, Mark Watney (played brilliantly by Matt Damon) in an accident is left on Mars with the crew believing he's dead. Not so much. He awakes to find that the crew launched without him and left him stranded. No one knows he's alive, he has no way to communicate and he's living in a habitat (hab) that's designed to last thirty one days. He's got figure out how to survive for four years until the next manned mission to the planet lands 3200 kilometers away on a lifeless, airless wasteland.

NASA learns of his survival and they have to figure out how to keep Watney alive. Amazing performances by Jeff Daniels as the bureaucratic head of NASA Teddy Sanders, Sean Bean as the flight control Mitch Henderson and especially Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, Kristen Wiig, Mackenzie Davis and Donald Glover all give outstanding if clipped performances. I know some things have got to give in any movie adapted from a book and the movie clocks in at the fastest 2 hours 20 minutes I've ever seen. thankfully, the story remains in tact and most importantly, the characters.

The flight crew of the Hermes is lead by the always welcome Jessica Chastain as Melissa Lewis, veterans Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen and Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck. I don't think there's anything that Michael Peña can't make better and his character's, Rick Martinez, witty banter with Watney gives an emotional kick that would be lost in overly dramatic dialog. These guys have been around each other and developed a shorthand. I can't recommend the book, or the movie enough. I plant as many stars, thumbs, tomatoes, etc. as I can on this movie.

It's not often that book, or movie hits me on an emotional level, Jim Butcher did it to me Changes and he's a bastard for doing it (I've told him so. He was delighted) and The Martian does it for an entirely different reason that I won't spoil, but it brought me to tears and I'm not afraid to write that it did. Go shed a few of your own.

My new book is Knight and Dex and it's available now in paperback and will be released in e-book on Oct 31st, everywhere.

Detective Rick O’Shea is an ordinary cop in an extraordinary world of superheroes and super-villains. In this sequel to “Dex Territory,” the New London Police Department and the Superhuman Task Force are inundated with government surplus military equipment, a much-needed godsend when a series of murders leads to an invasion of Dex-morph zombies. With the President due to tour the operation, Rick, Talon, Pink Panther, and Duke must unravel a sinister plot hatched by the Chessman, defeat the undefeatable zombies, and rescue a little girl before the entire Dex community gets blamed for the assassination of the leader of the free world.

Both of my books are on sale and I offer signed copies in my store on Amazon.com. copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aag/main/ref=olp_merch_name_3?ie=UTF8&asin=1936991985&isAmazonFulfilled=0&seller=A3HIOTJ4J68988

Please find me at:
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com
Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks