Halloween is just a few short days away, and everyone is getting their fix by watching scary movies and TV shows, reading horror books, decorating, and planning costume parties. If you enjoy the zombie genre, then you might want to give D.K. Neville’s newest novel, “World of the Damned,” a try. It is the first book in D.K. Neville’s new series, “The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs,” and is a good mixture of action, horror, and emotional drama. Unlike most zombie books/movies, the main character is just an average guy who knows nothing about violence and survival. Thomas Briggs and his sister, Mindy, must learn how to survive in a world swarming with the undead, and that often requires the use of brutal (and possibly inhumane) tactics. Their mission seems impossible: traveling from Seattle to Albuquerque to find their parents. They knew it would be dangerous wading through the hordes of zombies, but they had no idea just how horrifying their experience would be. Thomas is forced to change his ways if he wants to keep his sister alive, and his transformation is a drastic one. From benevolent architect to ruthless leader, Thomas Briggs offers the reader an interesting look at how we justify our actions. When there is no governing force in place, who decides how much is too much? How far would you go? World of the Damned sets the stage for the rest of The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs series, and D.K. Neville promises a hell of a ride. Check out the eBook on Amazon: World of the Damned, by D.K. Neville
Darkness calls upon us all, no matter what.
You might be an unfortunate individual with even more unfortunate luck coming your way. Or you could be a rich CEO, who owns two yachts and his own private jet. You could be the greatest scientific mind that the world has ever seen, solving complex formulas and successfully resolving the issues surrounding classical physics and modern quantum physics. Your work could bring about a huge change in how the smartest people in our world do business. You can already smell the Nobel prize. Even so–no matter the miraculous impacts that your decisions and interactions might have on those around you–we cannot forget that we are human. The proverbial timer is ticking down, no matter what your position within society might be. Man is on Earth for but a short while. And what happens when someone has shed their mortal coil? Everything about them disappears. Their brains turn off and every single part of their being is…gone. Well, “gone” as much as we can say with certainty. But there is something left. Something we often forget about. And that part is: Legacy.
Yes, the absolute goal no matter what you do in this life is to leave a legacy behind. Whether or not people will continue interacting with the leftover pieces of “you” (things you drew, painted, composed, sang, played, wrote, or something simple like a life philosophy that you helped others see and follow.) Whatever your medium for creative expansion might be, we have to acknowledge that it is something.
So again, the darkness always wins. No matter what we have done, or how many people we have changed for the better, we will still cease to exist at some point. Even if you believe in carrying on into the afterlife, it still doesn’t negate the fact that your reputation prior to death will continue to impact others for years to come (hopefully). Death itself doesn’t frighten me as much as it used to, but destroying a legacy does. I want to make a difference in the lives of the people who read my books/articles. I want people to promote my works even after I am long gone from this mortal realm. That, dear readers, is my idea of dying a happy death. For it comes to us all…we might as well feel good about the impact we have made upon others. The thoughts that never would have existed, had you not allowed them to see your work. Whether it’s music, or writing, or some other type of creative medium, someone, somewhere likes it and incorporates it into how they view the world around them. That is a true legacy, when you have done things in your lifetime that will cause others to still take an interest in your name. After all, we all seem to be on the same bus, nervously awaiting its final stop.
“Pale death with impartial tread, beats on the poor man’s cottage door and at the palaces of kings.” –Horace
I often dabble with several different storylines at the same time, even while actively writing my next book. It gives me perspective, as well as giving my mind a break from whatever it is that my mind is focused on. Think of it as a change in scenery. Anyway, I am frequently encouraged by others to write a romance novel. The excerpts below are from a romance novel that I plan to write in the near future (yes, you read that right–romance). My typical style is often action & adventure, dystopian, emotional dramas, and fantasy. This will be an attempt to write something I have never written before. Keep in mind that these are excerpts from a book that does not yet exist. I wrote them at random, whenever I felt the impulse to do so, and this is what I have so far. Check it out:
He saw her standing there, under the dim glow of the streetlight. She hadn’t seen him yet. David stared at her for a long while, his heart racing and his legs feeling weak. As much as he wanted to run up to her, he found that he was completely content just watching her. Her long, soft hair. The way she innocently stood with her hand behind the back of her neck, obviously in deep thought. What was she thinking about? Him, perhaps? A gentle smile spread across David’s face as he watched her gracefully walk across the street. Oh, how he longed to run up to her and wrap her up in his embrace! Lift her feet from the ground and spin her in circles and stare deeply into her eyes until they were both dizzy. Kiss her softly, hold her gently. But none of that could be. The Order would have none of it. She was the daughter of a senator, and he was the son of a factory worker. And even though they had had an intimate moment once long ago, it was still forbidden. Especially now that they were so much older. Running into her the other day had been the worst kind of punishment. Seeing her, remembering her, feeling that old familiar warmth inside his heart. And knowing it would all have to fade away without ever having her. Even if she wanted him, there was nothing either of them could do. David would be thrown in prison. If they happened to make love and The Order somehow found out, he would be exiled and left to wander the Great Divide and die of exposure. Such a horrible death he would face. But perhaps it was worth it? Was it worse than wandering though his life, safe from persecution but suffering from a stabbing pain in his heart?
Later in the book….
Deeply into her eyes he stared, as if all the secrets to all the questions he had ever asked were hidden within. Inside himself he felt a strange sense of peace, and yet a giddy anxiety burned like hot embers alongside it. David was totally consumed by her. This was the first time they had held each other for many years. And yet, it was bittersweet. David was constantly reminded that their love was forbidden every time he looked down and saw the familiar Mark of Aristocracy tattooed on her left wrist. His smile suddenly faded as he gently brushed his thumb across her wrist, across the simple symbol that separated them more than any physical wall ever could. He looked back up to see the glimmer leave her eyes as well. She pursed her lips and looked down at David’s left wrist, at the Mark of Serfdom that was tattooed on it. She suddenly stepped away, bringing her hand to her mouth as she did so. David felt tears fill his eyes. He knew it would be best to just turn and leave each other. More than anything, he wanted her to be safe and happy. And yet… Both of them stepped into each other’s embrace once more, but they did not kiss. It wasn’t necessary. Together they felt complete and right and happy. They simply held each other tightly, as if they were the same soul and words didn’t need to be spoken. It dawned on David that the two of them had actually spoken very little since meeting again by happenstance just a few days prior. It was so strange. He didn’t feel the need to speak to her, not now. For now, all he wanted to do was hold her and feel her warmth, smell her hair and press his face against hers.
Like a tired and weary traveler, all we desire in life is a moment of rest. A quiet mind and unburdened heart, a destination that is actually within our reach and that rewards us with our desired outcome. But also like the exhausted traveler, we cannot expect those things to find their way to us on their own. We must walk that road to get where we want to go. Decisions must be made, motivation must be found. We cannot assume that comfortable refuge will greet us without striving for it.
We are all tired travelers, and life is but a rough and rocky road. Our destination always seems out of sight until we are nearly upon it. What lies at the end of the road is relatively unknown, no matter what our preconceived hopes may be. There is one thing that is certain, though: If we do not find the drive to continue–or if we do not dream of what we want that destination to be–we will surely never find out. We cannot simply hope that things will be as they should, or that some miraculous stroke of luck will ease our worldly pains. A vision must be had, and action must be taken. A calm state of mind and positive thoughts will only get us so far. Sure, it’s good to avoid melancholy feelings. But doing so will only perpetuate our current situation, and will do nothing to advance us down the road which we are traveling.
Our hopes and dreams are often mired and hard to find. The saying, “Everyone has a dream,” is not always true. For some of us, our destination in life is quite clear. For others, however, it seems nearly impossible to find where they want to be. This makes for a dark road to travel on, indeed, but something can always be done to reveal a promising pursuit. We merely need to explore the world we live in, think on the things we have learned, and always seek to expand our understanding of everything around us. Doing so will eventually reveal a destination, and it will also make inner peace easier to obtain. No matter what happens, one thing in life is certain: We are all suffering from the Human Condition, and we are all tired and weary travelers on a road of seemingly endless distance. Too often we fail to realize that there are many, many others on that road, even if we have differing destinations.
My newest book is now available to download on Amazon. The paperback is still scheduled to come out the first week of October. Check out the description for World of the Damned:
Thomas Briggs is an average person, unaccustomed to violence and deadly misfortune. That all changes when he embarks on a quest to find his parents in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Follow Thomas and his sister, Mindy, as they travel from Seattle to Albuquerque in search of their parents! Thomas is forced to change his ways if they have any hope of staying alive, no matter how much his sister disapproves. How far would you go to survive?
This is the first book in my new series, The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs. Sound cool? Check out the eBook on Amazon! Here’s the link: D.K. Neville’s “World of the Damned”
We often think about the things that inspire us. Whether we’re working to accomplish a goal or simply trying to get through life, the people, things, and ideas that inspire us are usually foremost in our thoughts. But what about the inspiration that we invoke in others? It seems that we rarely think about that, or we have already concluded that we aren’t an inspiration for others. Don’t let the latter be true.
It doesn’t take great feats to be an inspiration, so what does it take? Well, let’s take a closer look at the things that inspire us. For me, my inspiration is derived from two things: people and ideas. My grandfather is constantly a great inspiration, and he wasn’t some famous author or philosopher. He was just a man–a very important man, to me–who had conviction and determination. My grandfather was also simple. He didn’t complicate things, and he didn’t partake in dozens of different activities. He was raised on a farm at the tail-end of the Great Depression. He served in the Army during WWII, and was part of the Occupation of Japan. He managed a quarry for many years. Those are the things he did in life. However, he had a great many qualities that I revere. I won’t get into that, but I want to make my point clear: My grandfather was no one famous, yet he is nonetheless a great source of inspiration for me, even in death. Would he have ever thought that he might be someone else’s inspiration? No, probably not. That wasn’t his way.
Other individuals who inspire me are indeed famous: Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Stephen King, Thomas Jefferson, Plato, Epicurus… the list is a lengthy one, and I turn to each of these individuals for inspiration depending on the circumstances. Ideas–or subjects–that inspire me are many, as well, but these are probably the most frequent ones: philosophy, cosmology, history, and physics.
For me, my main purpose is to inspire others. I write because I enjoy the thought of inspiring someone else, whether my work inspires an idea, or a pursuit, or even one positive action. Obviously, not everyone’s primary goal is to inspire those around them, and that’s okay. Just remember, however, that you will always have an impact on the world around you. Bearing that in mind, it is my wish that every individual does what he or she can to be a positive inspiration for others. The butterfly effect is subtle, yet extremely powerful and complex. We stumble through life affecting outcomes that we will never truly realize. That being said, I want you to try something that might be a little different from how you generally perceive your day: Allow the general idea of inspiration to be more present in your mind. Let it come forward in your thoughts, and try to envision how your actions affect the world around you. Think about how much good you can do, simply by demonstrating qualities that others might look up to. What sort of creation might you affect? A beautiful painting, perhaps? A wonderful piece of literature? Even if you indirectly affect just a part of someone’s creation, I think that is cause to be proud. And although we may never know exactly what or whom we inspired, we can at least take comfort in the idea that we are doing all we can to be that inspiration, to light that flame of creativity or well-being.
“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” –Socrates
My newest book, World of the Damned, will be available for download from Amazon on Friday, Sept. 26th. This is an exciting time for me, because I have been really anticipating this book’s release. I’ve gotten a lot of really positive feedback about it, and I can’t wait to see what my readers think of it. The paperback is still slotted to come out the first week of October. Until then, let me give another brief “behind the scenes” look at World of the Damned.
It was difficult for me to finish writing this book, for a couple of reasons. One of them was that I didn’t want to stop writing about Thomas Briggs’ adventure, even though I knew full well that I would have to cut it short in order to create a good series. Another reason is that I invested an incredible amount of time and energy in this book, more so than anything else I have ever written. It’s my longest book to date, and it contains a larger number of important characters. There is one reason, however, that made it slightly easier to finish writing: I couldn’t wait to start on the second book. As I said before in my article, Inside, “The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs”, World of the Damned is merely a stepping stone to an even greater and more elaborate storyline. It is an explanation for Thomas’s transformation from a benevolent man to a more ruthless individual, and I don’t think that should be taken lightly. It’s entirely necessary to fully explore Thomas’s psychology, and although the transition certainly isn’t complete by the end of World of the Damned, I think it gives the reader a sufficient understanding of what Thomas is heading toward. The deeper plot is revealed in the next book of the series, Shadow Walker, which I have already started writing.
Hopefully my readers will relate to Thomas Briggs. Furthermore, I hope that they sympathize with him. Thomas isn’t intended to be an obvious hero who unequivocally does no wrong… He is intended to be a realistic representation of what any normal person might be, given the same circumstances. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my article, and I sincerely hope you check out World of the Damned!