I thought I would try something a little different today. If you like it, maybe we'll do more in the future. If not, we can pretend this never happened! So, I present to you, a countdown post of 5 dangers that Luke and Renee Walker face in my novel, Death Can Wait. If you've already read then skip to the ending because you obviously know it all! Show off!
First, and foremost, they face the terrible danger of drowning. During the course of their story, Luke and Renee are thrown overboard into the stormy, violent ocean. If you've ever accidentally inhaled a lung full of water and gasped for nearly five minutes, certain you were going to die, you know exactly how terrifying this is. Drowning has to be one of the worst ways a person could meet their end. Luckily, for Luke and Renee, they are washed up on an island. That luck doesn't last for very long, however.
Number 4: DEHYDRATION
I bet you thought number four was going to be murder, right? Why would you think that? Did you read the book? If so, why are you reading this? Well, the very real threat of dehydration doesn't take long to set in. If you washed up on a, seemingly, deserted island without any water, it wouldn't take long for fear to set in. One of your first priorities in this situation is to find some. An island in the middle of the ocean is not guaranteed to have water and no, you can't drink from the ocean. In that case, there are things one can do to collect water from either rain or morning dew. Unfortunately, for Luke and Renee, they don't know these things.
Number 3: INFECTION
Nope, still not murder. What kind of sick thoughts must you have floating around in that head of yours? An infection in the wild could mean certain death if you don't have any skills to address that wound. Of course, as you've probably guessed, Luke and Renee don't have said skills. It wouldn't take much. If you were climbing a tree in search of coconuts to drink from and fell, breaking a leg, bone protruding from the wound, you could be at risk of infection. A lot of minor injuries could get infected and become life threatening. With no idea if rescue will ever come, they are forced to take chances and deal with the consequences.
Number 2: STARVATION
I know, I know, you were hoping for murder. Well, murder would be the last thing on your mind when stuck on an island with no hope of getting food. There's no McDonald's in the wild, no delivery service. You have to learn to adapt, catch food to survive. No, Luke and Renee do not have the expertise to create snare traps or craft bows from splintered wood. But, desperate enough, people have the tendency to become crafty. One thing an island should be abundant with? Fish. One must figure out how to catch them. It might be the one shimmering ray of hope for Luke and Renee.
Number 1: MURDER
Here you go. Here's the one you've been waiting for. Strange that you've been wanting murder as badly as you seem to. That could be problem, but I won't judge. Now, murder might not be a common threat when marooned on an island. Just hope you never wash up on Isla de Lobos, the island Luke and Renee, unluckily, wash up on in Death Can Wait. There is a colony of men who inhabit the island, loving the freedom from government and outsiders. They prey on neighboring countries, raiding ships for supplies. Luke and Renee are seen as a threat and they want them dead. With no skills, no plan, and no rescue, Luke and Renee fight for their lives!
You can pick up your copy of Death Can Wait today. The eBook is on sale from now until October 31st for .99¢. Or, if you prefer paperback, you can grab your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Mobile online store or even Books a Million! Get your copy today and let me know if there are any other dangers they face that you would have added to this list!
**Warning, this post contains spoilers for To the Wolves**
There's a wonderful app out there called Charity Miles which allows you to earn money for your favorite charities for merely walking. I've been a part of it for a little while now and it's pretty great.
Now, I've started my own team called IndieAuthorsForCharity. You can easily join this team and help raise money for great charities like Habitat for Humanity or Stand up to Cancer. All you need to do is download the app by visiting the app store or going to www.charitymiles.org. After you download the app, join my team. Again, that team name is IndieAuthorsForCharity. Share this blog with your friends and family and use #indieauthorsforcharity on social media. Let's make a difference!
I've always enjoyed reading books like Lord of the Rings or watching movies like all of the Marvel movies. These have really inspired me to create worlds of my own. What I always admired about them was the universe that was created, how all of the individual stories were connected to each other in some way. At the very least, they all happen in the same universe and I have always found that interesting.
I think Stephen King is one of the biggest examples of this, in literature at least. Many of his books make reference to other characters or other stories. 11/22/63 references Pennywise the clown, The Dead Zone mentions the massacre at Carrie's school, or The Shop, which is a shady government sector that shows up in several of his novels.
I grew up reading Mr. King's work and drew a lot of influence from him, although I write in a completely different genre. The idea of a shared universe among one's creations always inspired and intrigued me. Because of this, I decided that all of my books would exist in the same universe as each other.
Which brings me to my point about my latest novel, Death Can Wait. There is a reference to my first novel, To the Wolves. I won't tell you what it is, you'll have to read the books to find it. More surprising, however, is that it makes a reference to a future novel. Again, I won't spoil it but it's a story that I've been working on for a little while now and hoping to get out there soon. For those of you who have read Death Can Wait, or will read it, I will give you a hint. It's a character introduced somewhere near the end of the book. He will be getting his own series.
My hope is that my readers enjoy these books and also have fun finding the little Easter eggs I leave in them. A sort of connect the dots, if you will. I know I always have fun reading a book and seeing the reference to others.
What do you think? Do you want to find those references? Have you found them already? Let me know in the comments below! And remember, Death Can Wait is on sale from now until October 31st, 2016 for $.99 as an e-book. Pick yours up today! As always, thanks for reading!
Ethan McCormick, a Miami Police officer, was born in my mind when I was a teenager. It all started in an English class. My teacher, Ms. Thompson, gave us all a short story assignment. I had been writing horror stories since I was a young kid so I was a little excited about the project. Instead of writing in my particular genre, I branched out with a thriller story.
In the story, Ethan's sister, Valerie, is taken hostage by a drug dealer who is seeking revenge on Ethan for crippling his business. Ethan is relatively new on the force but already making waves. He is overcome by his emotions and charges into the building, taking on the hostage taker head on. I won't spoil the outcome for you here. Perhaps I will provide a copy of the short story in a future McCormick novel. Let me know if you would like that.
I had fun writing the story but didn't think much else of it. At this point in my life, writing was only a hobby. I never thought of doing it professionally. That changed when my teacher, who I credit with the actual start of my writing career, told me how much she enjoyed the story.
That sparked something in me and I started pursuing creative writing classes and even talked with a published author. I got very excited about the whole thing and started writing even more short stories. Starting to focus more on Ethan McCormick, I wrote more stories involving him. I even played with the idea of killing the character off in one of those stories. Luckily, I didn't do that and eventually the thought of a full novel based on this character came to mind.
It took me a very long time to finish that novel and come up with a proper plot. It went through so many re-writes, so many plot changes, that the final product was unrecognizable to the "original."
Because of all of these short stories I wrote, I felt like I really got to know this character. He was a character I had been working on for many years and had developed a whole family and life for. In my novel, To the Wolves, there are characters present that existed because of later stories. Most of these McCormick stories will never see publication, but I love having parts of them worked into my novel. Fun fact, Ethan's last name was taken from my math teacher in 8th grade. That fact is pretty funny when you consider the fact that math was always my least favorite subject in school. What does that mean? Not a clue.
I thought it would be fun to share an experience of mine that ended up bleeding over into my writing in my latest novel. If you're not aware, I am an avid camper and hiker. I love spending my time outdoors. For my recent birthday, my wife and I went on a 4 day camping trip. The campground we went to boasted it was one of the only places in Florida to clearly see the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Being from Florida, it's not really a sight I had ever seen and is truly on my bucket list.
Naturally, we swept off to the campground. When we camp, we don't bring an RV or stay in a cabin. I love tent camping. Of course, I don't hike into the middle of the woods with only a backpack, tent, and canned food. We reserve campsites, bring our tent and other gear, and set up for the weekend. I believe the term is "car camping" but I don't like it. It's not exactly "roughing it" but I believe it's closer to nature than an RV.
Naturally, I brought my laptop so that I could sit in the middle of nature and work some more on my book. I was actually in the editing process of Death Can Wait by this time. In the morning, I would get up before the sun, watch it rise, and then get a bit of writing in. It was fantastic.
On the first day, we purchased firewood from the park rangers that morning and went off about our day. We went on a hike, enjoyed a nice lunch, and played a few games. After watching the sunset, darkness began to roll in. So, I got to work building a fire. I should tell you, I'm pretty good at these things. I've been camping most of my life. When I was younger I was in the cub scouts and then the boy scouts when I got older. Lighting a fire is pretty easy, though I wasn't necessarily doing it from scratch.
For some reason, the fire just wouldn't catch. I had to sit there and nurse it to keep it going. Our first meal was to be cooked over the fire, so if I couldn't get it lit we wouldn't have a nice meal. Pressure was on. I think the wood we purchased from the ranger was a bit wet, having been left out in a couple Florida rain showers. There would be a lot of smoke but no fire. I was getting a bit frustrated. Something so simple, to me, was becoming too difficult. I was tempted to drive out to the nearest Wal-Mart and buy a fire starter log, though it was about an hour drive.
Finally, I stood up and ventured away from the campsite and gathered up some dead palm fronds, leaves, and other kindling. I had already used a bit in the fire to get it started, mind you. In my frustration, I tossed a handful into the dwindling flames and it roared to life. You would have thought I had doused it in lighter fluid.
I stood back for a moment and then laughed at my own stupidity. I couldn't believe i didn't think of it sooner, it seemed so obvious. I continued doing this until the fire burned hot enough to scorch the damp logs and finally light. We enjoyed a wonderful meal that night and the fire burned bright all night.
The next morning, after watching the sunset, I picked up my laptop and began to edit. There is a scene in my book, I will refrain from spoilers, in which Renee and Luke are forced to start a fire from scratch. I felt I had made it difficult and believable enough, but decided to throw in my own real life experience in there.
If you've already read the book and remember the scene I'm talking about, let me know in the comments. If you haven't, you can pick up the e-book with most major retailers. Prefer paperback? It's available too! You can find it on Amazon. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!
I thought I would take an opportunity to reach out to you and see what kind of content you would like to see from my social media pages or even from this blog. What kind of insight would you like to see? Would you like to see vlogs? Maybe more trailers for my books? Anything you can think of, let me know. I am always looking for ways to engage my readers and keep them entertained!
I am a self-published horror/thriller author. I love reading, writing, and taking long walks through scary parts of the forest. I'm learning new tricks everyday to become a better author and occasionally will share those tips with you. Otherwise, you can read book reviews, info about my writing, and personal stories about my adventures in nature.