Two Bucks? Three Books!

Today I am proud to host bestselling sci-fi author, Craig Martelle, in my newsletter.

He’s been both an inspiration and a friend, and for the past year, he has given me some pointers along the way.

Today, 9/26, through Thursday, 9/28, we are running a multi-book promo together. Three books, for less than two dollars. It’s a steal.

Pick up Static for $0.99 (free for Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime customers). Click thumbnail to view on Amazon.

Elliot Glassman began the war. Halloran will end it.

In the aftermath of electromagnetic storms, civilization has fractured—savages rule the wilderness and pockets of survivors huddle together in camps trying to fend them off. Halloran, different and dangerous, leaves the peace and safety of his home to journey across the badlands, pulled towards someone he can feel and almost remember—and together they might just be able to save what remains of humanity.

And while you’re at it, Go ahead and scoot over to Free Trader by Craig Martelle

A cat and his human minions fight to bring peace to humanity! If you like Sci-Fi adventure, Andre Norton, or a little old-school RPG, then the Free Trader series is for you! From Sep 26-29, Free Trader 1 is Free and Free Trader 2 is only 99 cents. Start your journey today with the Free Trader (six books strong and growing).

Free Trader 1 – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CDFYFE6

Free Trader 2 – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CX7UPVQ

 

 

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The Date is Nigh

Hello Thalmannators (or whatever you want to call yourselves), September 15th is less than two weeks away. That means that in less than two weeks you will have a fantastic new book to add to your library, Static. This book has been near and dear to me

Kindle version 4-10

for over a decade, and I assure it has been worth the wait.

Many of my fans will have gotten an advance reading copy from me during the crowdfunding campaign, and some of you will have even read it… even so, please go ahead and pre-order a copy HERE for your Kindle device, or Kindle app, so that you can leave an official review of the book. If you are holding out for the paperback or even the coveted hardcover, then stay tuned as I will be releasing the print copies soon as well. In the mean time, if you have read it, please prepare a review, and if you haven’t, please pick it up today. A few bucks spent could make a load of difference in this author’s world.

As always,

Thank you for your support, and keep reading!  —M.D. Thalmann

 

Static on Kindle Scout

Do you have an Amazon account? Like to read? Want to help discover the next big thing?

If you were nodding your head while reading those questions, you gotta keep reading.

Kindle Scout ( #kindlescout ) is a program similar to the Amazon Pilots program, where you get to pick the next hit show. Right now, you can read the first 20 pages or so of my new novel and decide if you think Amazon should feature it. Each account (user) gets three nomination spots. You can add a book and remove it later if you find a different top 3. At the end of 30 days, if I have enough nominations still active, I’ll get an advance and contract directly with Amazon… it’s really that easy.

Even if you read my first 20 pages and think, Not my cup o’ tea,  you will be exposed to dozens more options that might resonate with you.

Try the program, CLICK HERE to see my campaign and navigate the portal from there.

Thanks in advance, and KEEP READING!!!

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Free Story for the Fans (That’s You) !

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my subscribers.

Whatever your plans, I hope they work out just as you’d imagined.

In the event you have any downtime, here is a free piece I wrote for an international flash fiction contest back in November 2016. It came in third overall (the judge was a Brit), and as far as I am concerned, is the best flash I have yet completed. And what’s more, I did it in totally free streaming audio for your earholes!

Click below for streaming audio, or you can read it like a savage just below the image. FYI, the image was the only prompt for the submission, so it shaped the voice of the story, which was fun and challenging.

At any rate, Enjoy!

AUDIO LINK

2016 Fall FFC - 2nd Image

 NOVEMBER LOG

I haven’t written anything in forever, and I don’t goddamn want to. It took ages to get my vidcap booted. This whole hab’s ripe for the junk heap, not just this old-ass sensory cap. Not like NASA can’t afford a new one.

Why am I writing? It’s November, according to the readout on my HUD, which hangs just outside my normal field of view. They’ll be expecting a report, but who gives a damn? Houston sent me here to put out fires, not be a goddamned secretary.

I crawl into the bath to get some relief from my aching back, though technically it’s not my back. I am having a hard time adjusting to the new body. The tits are nice, but there’s only so much fun you can have rubbing your own body and looking in the hollo-reflector, tits or not. This frame wasn’t designed to dig in the hard packed blue-gray rock that make the moon’s glow so iconic. It’s like NASA isn’t even trying to disqualify candidates anymore. Too much PC bullshit happening back on brown soil.

The tiller is broken, otherwise it wouldn’t matter. I hate this fucking job. NASA keeps sending up lackeys, and they keep frying out in the first lunar cycle. No matter what kind of training they throw at the diggers, nothing prepares them for living on the little white ball when it’s so black you can feel the weight of light years’ of vacuum pressing down on you. So, they send me to clean it all up. They tell the poor fried motherfucker to calm the hell down and put on the vidcap and that they can call home, that it will all be butterflies and cotton-candy, or whatever the fuck. Then they hijack the poor bastards’ cortex and wipe it. Plant me inside.

I go out to keep the tiller working and make sure the place is tip-top (ha) for the next transfer. I only ever get a short break before I’m called in to jockey a new meat-puppet for the rest of the rotation.

I light a smoke, knowing the alarms will start firing before I’ve exhaled my first drag. It’s one of the few comforts NASA allows me, and one of the few reasons I do this shit job. I don’t have lungs of my own any longer, they were removed. Cancer. Shit sucked. I got a loaner pair from some frat boy douchebag that wrapped his Italian sports car around a Doric column outside a government building. The transplant didn’t take, so I smoke once in a blue moon… literally.

Somewhere back on Earth, my body’s hooked to respirators and other apparatuses that keep my brain supplied with enough oxygen and fatty acids to keep me driving the puppets who mine the ore, but I haven’t been on a walk in Earth Gravity in ages. Last time I tried, I bounce-hopped like a dumbshit and took a tumble.

I silence the atmo sensor alarm and suck down another harsh and wonderful pull from the smoke, not quite enjoying the dizzy feeling. She must not’ve been a smoker. The next one’ll be better, once the skinsuit builds a tolerance.

Anyway, the report.

Sector 16, log: November twelve 2079. What was your message, NASA? Its been purged from the log. Today, before I boarded the rover, there was a message-waiting indicator at the main terminal. I was ready to go EVA, so I left it. Those fucking gloves anyway. When I got back, the message was gone. Please advise.

EVA: It took a week to get the drift dug out and retrieve the tiller. The chains missing several links. I can make it work, but well need a new chain and auger bits at resupply. Habs only functioning at 78 percent and Solar-One was sabotaged by candidate Alvarez before the wipe. Apparently, she was harvesting the fuel cells, but for what, I don’t know. Cant find em. Probably need to send up a new rod while you’re at it. And let’s put someone on the boat that can at least carry 200 pounds. I don’t want to convert that to kilos, you nerds figure it out.

Kirk out.

I get out and dry my new tits off a little longer than I should. I flick the butt into the tub and leave it for the reclaimer, a big no-no for which I’ve been reprimanded twice already, but when it breaks, I’m the one who cleans the septic anyway, so fuck it.

I power down and uncouple the vidcap, and rub my face, her face, with the damp towel.

An alarm sounds at the main console. A response from NASA so soon? Impossible. No time to boot the ancient vidcap again, I race to the terminal, careful not to skid on the thin aluminum flooring as I round the corners.

It’s not from NASA. There are no headers. Instead, there’s a crude graphic of the hourglass from Windows ‘98 draining binary sand in the ultra-high-definition that can only be brought to you in 16 bits. I’m stupid and curious, so I click the hourglass before the sands can run out. It asks for my security clearance. I offer it, thinking maybe it’s NASA after all.

Go for operation? [Y/N], it says.

I don’t have time to think, but I do anyway. Alvarez may have been hysterical and destroyed Solar-One, but she was also a brilliant coder.

I touch nothing, hoping It’ll go away.

A spontaneous [Y] appears in the command prompt, and suddenly I know where that fucking fuel cell is. The whole place glows bright orange and then… [SIGNAL LOST]

 

✤✤✤

 

“Thanks for your service, Lieutenant.”

“Anytime,” my artificial larynx buzzes.

“I’m glad the relay worked, or we’d have no idea what happened up there. Get some rest. We’ll get you reassigned tomorrow.”

“Somewhere with atmo.”

“Roger that.”

“On your way out, tell the nurse I’d like to be moved by the window… just for a little while.”

<END>

 

Keystroke Medium – Live with M.D. Thalmann

Hello Thalmannators,

Happy Monday. I had a live interview /broadcast with Keystroke Medium today and wanted to share it with you all.

They are a group dedicated to discussing the craft, indie authors, and all things sci-fi. We had some fun and I managed not to look like a (total) fool.

Please take a gander and let me know what you think as we discuss the origins of The 13 Lives of a Television Repairman, and the upcoming novel, Static, which is my biggest achievement to date.

Click here for interview

Eleven years later

Today marks a milestone in my life, career, and personal journey.First day of writing.jpg

I finished Static today, just now. I thought I was done yesterday, but I had to go in and add one more little… and that is the LAST TIME!

I’ve sealed the record. I am so proud of this book because it is the one thing I always wanted to write. The spark that ignited a fire in me that has grown in size and strength each year.

When I met my wife I was discouraged from writing, and going through my early-life crisis: I was newly sober and had just turned 30 a few weeks prior. I hadn’t written in ages. This “book,” Static, was four years old and had turned into a giant turd that I couldn’t wrap my head around. I had it in a box. All I did was go to rock shows looking for chicks and on mountain biking adventures with my buddies. My roommate and I, the writers, never wrote anymore. We were broken writing machines. When my wife and I moved in together, I unpacked a few boxes and came across the original draft I had abandoned so long ago. I decided I was ready to finish it (I WAS NOT). This came as quite the shock to my brand new spouse, to whom I had never mentioned that I was a writer.

She has endured the pain of my absence and frustration as I have now completed my fourth book (3 novels and a novella).

Now I have a publisher, and some validation of the time I have otherwise squandered at a keyboard, or with a pencil and comp-book. It’s all starting to come together.

Anyway, I tried to finish this book right after we got married in 2011, and I still had no idea how to structure it. My cousin, inspiration to self-publish, and overused editing resource, Brandon Beam, politely informed me that “This is not a book. It’s a long-winded outline masquerading as a book. You should pick up some books on the craft if you want to make a go at this. Since you like King, I suggest ‘On Writing.'”

And that was it. I got the book by King, read it, took it seriously, followed the single writing prompt in the back of the book and turned it into a 60-page story. It was the first piece of fiction I had yet finished… And it was GOOD.

That motivated me. I studied more, I researched and interviewed with homicide detectives and then I wrote m first novel. 90K words of my thoughts laid out in a comprehensible fashion. And it was pretty good, too!

I couldn’t fucking believe it. I kept going, another novel, this one my tour de force, The 13 Lives of a Television Repair Man. This one wasn’t “pretty good” it was damned good if I do say so myself and it brought me to another level in my confidence and journey. I gained the skills I needed to call this thing more than a hobby.

Fast forward – I was 40 pages in on a new novel, a western I am writing for my dad, and I went to my drawer to get some pencils, and there it was… the last draft of static. I thumbed through it. I had no idea how to make it work but realized it was either going to happen, or I was going to need to burn it and erase all the files. I put that western away (sorry Dad) and went to work on my flagship novel.

Turns out I had to scrap the whole thing anyway… the original draft was written in first person limited perspective. It was clunky and weird and I had to start over, but I have invested again… I read the original, one chapter at a time, then re-wrote it from memory in third person perspective… eventually, I went off script and just started winging it. I followed my cousin’s advice, which was that my book wasn’t a book, but an outline. I only ended up keeping the last chapter in its entirety and a few random scenes that I was able to salvage from the original.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the re-envisioned work I have so long hoped to bring the world, Static-Redux.

low res STRETCH.jpg

Please read before hitting “delete”

Hello to all my supporters,

The time is upon us for my new book to go through the tedious process of cover design revisions and audiobook production. As you can see, $330.00 of the goal has already been met. With your help, either sharing the link/email and/or contributing anything you can.

Please at least give it a read and see if you feel good about getting on board.

Thank you for your time.

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/static-redux-cover-design-and-audiobook-project/embedded/9857744

2016, and Careless Whisper

​As the year comes to a close and I begin to tire of the argument across social media touting 2016 the “worst year ever”, I finally fired up a my word processor to pen a blog post commemorating this year. I’m not sure what it was that triggered the desire to write about something as trivial as the concept that a YEAR can be inherently BAD or have an AGENDA, but I got a little emotional when George Michael croaked.

Why am I cynical about the angry 2016 monster everyone keeps blabbing on about?

First off, it was one of the best years of my life. I’m sure many others had a good year, too. 2016 presented tremendous success and windfalls in my writing career, I got into the best physical shape of my life (then gained 30 lbs with my wife’s last pregnancy), my oldest got accepted to the school that we had hoped for, my middle child finally admitted that I am the funniest daddy in the world, and I got to meet my son.  That’s not to say it was a perfect year… I also had an aunt pass away who has had a far deeper impact in my life and the lives of my wife and children than any cultural pop icon could ever hope to achieve. I also lost an uncle who was one of the largest supporters of my writing, but I don’t blame the calendar for their deaths, either.

So why did I finally get worked up?

None of those wonderful things that’ve happened to me change that fact that this year has seen a barrage of celebrity deaths, which amplify our own fears and thoughts of mortality.

Celebrity deaths are just human deaths, really, which happen almost constantly, but the celebrity death seems to have a profound impact on some of us—carrying an emotional cachet that the old man down the block just doesn’t seem to carry.

None of these magnified deaths have seemed to affect me much, until I decided to play a George Michael tribute playlist whilst cleaning the house the day after his passing, and then the cumulative weight of them came down on me while loading the dishes. One of my favorite all time songs, Careless Whisper, which has brought tears to my eye on numerous occasions due to the universal emotions the powerful song evokes, pulled me over the precipice once more.

Not because George Michael had died, that’s tragic in and of itself, especially at his age, but because I now felt that a part of my childhood has died as well.

When we lose an artist, or someone who’s impacted millions the reason it affects people on a personal level isn’t for what that person was to them, but what they represent: something beautiful and powerful in our shared history. Their unique contributions have been magnified and discussed and shared with so many other facets of our mutual existence that they become a part of our culture, or a piece of the backdrop for a time in our lives. Though the music or art, or even film lives on, that piece of time is now marred in some way.

I’ve had this desire to write in my mind since the tears came, but the dishes needed doing, and then the garage had to be cleaned maniacally. Before I could sit down to my rickety old Neo word processor and finally vomit these letters in a somewhat purposeful succession, Carrie Fisher had also passed… a day later she had been joined by her mother, who, in true Star Wars fashion, became the light as well. It is a poetically tragic turn of events, both beautiful and harrowing.

With me being a certifiable Star Wars junkie, this should have been the hardest of all for me to take, and it has certainly left a mark, but still I find myself most caught up my George Michael. Also Prince. Perhaps it’s because while actors are a conduit to display the soul of others, so you see their talent but not necessarily themselves, musicians broadcast their soul, baring it all for the world to judge.

What it is about the loss of someone exceptional that leaves an irreplaceable piece of the universe void?

It’s us. You and me. We make them special in our history and then we have to face our own mortality when they pass. Have to accept the fact that death is imminent and that no level of fame and fortune bears immunity from this haunting notion. If anything, it brings us closer to the fabulously well to do, rather than farther apart.

As we usher in the New Year, I do hope that we don’t lose anymore brilliant souls, but we will… we do every day… most of the time it just doesn’t make the papers.

This is how time, and life works… death and loss must occur in order to pass the torch to the next generation of valuable contributors. As I mentioned, people die every day, and people are born just as often. Each of them has something wonderful to offer this world, even if it never becomes a Grammy winning album, Pulitzer Prize winning novel (fingers crossed), or Oscar nominated movie.

I guess what I am trying to say is: Happy New Year … 

… keep in mind that time is a useless construct created by man to give rationality to our limited perception of the dimensions we understand life to be.

Cheers, 

M. D. Thalmann