Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish my fans and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you eat until you burst.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Q&A With Burning Willow Press on 30 November

Have you read Hell Gate and wondered: How did he develop the idea for the novel? What concepts did he use to create the Hell Spawn? Are Lucifer and Lilith really based on his dogs? What type of sick person would kill off so many of his characters? Well, there's no need to keep on guessing.

On Thursday, 30 November, at 8PM EST Burning Willow Press will be hosting me on their Facebook page for a one hour Q&A event.

So drop on by and ask me about Hell Gate, the next books in the series (the sequel has already been submitted for review and I'm working on the third one), or about writing in general. I'm really looking forward to chatting with my fans. And no questions are off limits (except, of course, any pertaining to where we're the CIA is hiding the Roswell aliens). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hell Gate-Related Contest: Win a Copy of Bosch: The Complete Paintings

The Goodreads giveaway of Hell Gate is well underway. As promised earlier, for those readers who have already purchased a copy of the novel and want to get in on the excitement of a contest, I am offering something special.

I am giving away one print copy of Walter Bosing's Bosch: The Complete Paintings, which analyzes the art of Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch painter who specialized in depicting Hell in all its cruelty. Consider Bosing's book a primer for the rest of the Hell Gate saga. 

To enter, just follow these two simple steps:

1) Leave a review of Hell Gate on Amazon. It doesn't have to be long. Just give the novel an honest rating and a sentence or two stating why you liked it.

2) Go to my Facebook writer's page and leave me a private message letting me know that you have posted a review and the name it is under.

On 10 December, I will randomly pick a winner from those who have left a review on Amazon and will mail you a copy of Bosing's book on Bosch.

And remember, I plan on doing a Goodreads giveaway of the Kindle version of Hell Gate early in 2017 as well as run another contest to win a second copy of Bosing's book on Bosch. So keep checking back in, and good luck.   

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- Hell Spawn Concept Art

This week's photos are the most interesting of the series because it will be dealing with the concept art and ideas that went into developing the Hell Spawn. [WARNING: There are spoilers in this blog post, so if you have not read the book be forewarned.]

Are the Nachzehrer zombies? Not in the traditional sense. I liked the concept of hordes of shambling dead roaming through the French countryside and attacking the Hell Gaters en masse, but did not want to turn my book into a zombie apocalypse novel. So I created the Nachzehrer as the desiccated bodies of those condemned to Hell who come back to wander Earth because this is the realm they know. Yes, they eat human flesh, which is what makes them dangerous, but they do not have the other attributes of a zombie -- they are not rotting away, and being bitten by a Nachzehrer does not mean you will die and come back as one.

The idea for the pus zombies came from two separate sources. Scientists discovered that certain spores can infect insects, taking over their minds and compelling them to climb to an elevated position where those spores rupture through the host body. The spores then spread and infect other insects. I reasoned this was a much more gruesome and unique way of turning people into Nachzehrer than through biting. The video detailing how this process works can be seen at

The second idea behind the concept came from a website report of a young man in China suffering from a severe, untreated brain infection that ate through his skull and filled his cranium with pus.The photos of this poor man were so pathetic and disturbing the writer in me had to incorporate them into the pus zombies.

I think the use of giant insects is self-explanatory. If regular bugs are creepy and scary, then enlarging the demons to monstrous sizes makes them downright terrifying.

Some of my readers have asked where I got the idea of having the giant wasps in Falaise use Andre as an incubator for their eggs. This happens quite often in nature, albeit with cockroaches taking the place of humans. A video detailing how the process works can be found at

When I was developing the demons that would guard the portals, I came up with the concept of using Golem, the animated anthropomorphic protectors of Jewish ghettos. However, I wanted mine to be much more intimidating and powerful than the man-sized guardians from Hebrew folklore. To give the Golem a more gruesome appearance, I changed them from being created from inanimate material, such as stone, to being a compilation of human body parts. I stumbled across the above artwork while researching other demons and decided to adopt the basic body design for my own Golem, although those that appear in Hell Gate have significant differences.

The hand-held six-barreled GAU-17 minigun used by Sasha and Haneef. When I first saw this weapon I knew I had to work it into the novel  

Holding the GAU-17 minigun. And no, this is not who Sasha is based on. It's just a coincidence that the model is similar to my character.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate Has Begun

The Goodreads giveaway of Hell Gate has begun. Between now and 10 December, you can enter to win one of ten autographed copies of my novel (this giveaway is limited to participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom). All you have to do is click here and enter.

For those outside of the U.S./Canada/UK, I haven't forgotten about you. I'll be running another international giveaway of the Kindle version of the book in 2017, so keep your eyes out for that.

And for my readers who already purchased the book, I love you, too. In the next few days I'll have a special contest you can enter with a chance to win a cool Hell-related surprise.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway of Hell Gate 10 November - 10 December

The Goodreads' Hell Gate giveaway is scheduled for 10 November to 10 December 2016. I will be giving away ten autographed print editions of my novel to participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Click here for the link to the giveaway (although it will not go active for another three days).

I will be running another international giveaway of the Kindle version of the book in 2017, so keep your eyes out for that.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Photos Related to Hell Gate -- Paris

This week's photos are of the Hell Gaters' journey through Paris.

One of the station stops on the Paris Metro. I don't think I need to remind anyone what types of creepy crawlies the Hell Gaters run into down here.

Place de la Concorde, where the Hell Gaters emerge from the subway into a horde of Nachzehrer.

The Louvre, where the Hell Gaters head after escaping from the Place de la Concorde.

The view from the Louvre looking out over the Ile de la Cite. Notre Dame is visible in the upper center portion of the photo. The bridge they cross to get onto the island is in the foreground. The lava flow runs down the right side of the island.

The square in front of Notre Dame that is filled with Golem and Nachzehrer. The center and right portails on the front facade of the cathedral from which the lava flows are clearly visible.  

The interior of Notre Dame. The portal is located at the far end of the cathedral near the chancel. The lava flows down the center of the nave and the aisle on the right. The battle between Hell Gaters and Hell Spawn takes place along the left aisle.

A close-up of the chancel. The portal opened in front of the cross, destroying the choir on either side.

The spiral staircase leading up the bell tower where Sasha lures the Nachzehrer away.

The view of the square from the bell tower.