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
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.
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”
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!
Since there has been so much excitement over my new book, World of the Damned, I decided to write an article about The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs series as a whole. I think my readers will gain valuable insight from it, and hopefully it will serve to get their gears of imagination turning.
Admittedly, zombies are not my favorite thing in the world. Sure, I really like the zombie apocalypse genre, but I am extremely selective about what zombie media I read and watch. Mostly, I think, because I am almost always left wanting. Not wanting for more story, or even entertainment, but wanting for more depth. So many zombie books and movies are just about hacking apart the undead, going from one fortified position to another. They seem to lack the most fundamental element of the whole thing: the human mind. This is probably why I like The Walking Dead TV series so much, because they do a wonderful job of looking into the human condition and the drama that would exist in such a survival scenario. It’s about more than killing zombies, which is so one-dimensional to me. I wanted to do the same, but with a different spin on it. I knew I could never make a better story…just a different one. I wanted to explore the human mind just a little bit deeper. I wanted to start with a character who had no relationship with violent behavior, someone whose life before the apocalypse represented something closer to most of our own lives. Thus, Thomas Briggs was born. A 32-year-old architect living in Seattle, with a completely uneventful past. He had never killed anyone, never had a life of crime, never even been in a real fight. Thomas ended up being the perfect candidate for my fictional experiment. I think it goes without saying that anyone who is tossed into an undead apocalypse will eventually resort to more brutal behavior (especially someone who is forced to assume a leadership role). I believe that is true regardless of the tendencies of the person in question. This is what I wanted to explore, and it ended up opening a door to an even grander adventure.
Following Thomas’s journey throughout World of the Damned was eye-opening for me. I found myself thinking about what I would do in a certain situation, then being forced to assume a completely different personality in order to portray Thomas accurately. After all, I am a former soldier and deputy sheriff. Violence and unfortunate experiences are, admittedly, not unfamiliar to me. As a result, I quickly realized that I would need to “get into character” a little more than normal. This was a completely different experience for me, considering the type of character that James Vance was in my previous book, The Fall. For those of you who have read The Fall, you understand exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, let me put it like this: Vance was cold and calculating. He was a former special forces operator, a solitary individual, a killing machine. Thomas, on the other hand, is not. At least, he isn’t throughout the beginning of World of the Damned. And that, specifically, is what the book is about. The transformation from benevolent architect to ruthless leader is a dramatic one, and I wanted to portray it in a realistic way. The reader will not always agree with his decisions, or continue thinking he’s “the good guy”. There might be some points where the reader is left asking, “What the hell, Thomas?”
I wanted Thomas Briggs to be more than just a character in a book. I wanted him to represent the majority of my readers. He needed to be a character that people could easily identify with. Most of all, he needed to be a character that forced readers to ask themselves, “Would I do something that brutal?” Given the right circumstances, we are all capable of violence, of sheer ruthlessness. I didn’t want Thomas to be predictable, because I don’t think any of us would be if we were thrown into a similar situation. We would be lost and confused. Thomas Briggs doesn’t want to be a leader. He wants to get himself and his sister Mindy to New Mexico, so they can hopefully find their parents. However, just like our own lives, unexpected events will occur. Some avoidable, some not. Those events help shape Thomas into his new skin. They force him to assume the role of both leader and protector, neither of which he has any experience with. And when that happens–when we are forced into positions we are not ready for–we make mistakes. We go too far, or not far enough, and things get broken in the process. Alternatively, we have Thomas’s sister, Mindy. She is the other half of the coin. Mindy is a nurse, and as such is very caring and compassionate. While both siblings are peaceful by nature, Mindy remains that way. Her brother takes on the role of protector, and assumes most of the decision making. Mindy’s views on everything that’s happening around them vary from Thomas’s, and she is not nearly as ready to resort to brutal means. Thomas must respond to her disapproval carefully, not wanting to lose the support of the only blood relative who he knows for certain is still alive. Mindy represents the stabilizer, a symbol of everything that the world should be.
Hopefully this will encourage you to read World of the Damned when it comes out in the next few weeks. I am eager to see what my readers think about it, and also how much of themselves they see in Thomas Briggs. It’s going to be an exciting series, and World of the Damned is really just a stepping stone to the main story. Be sure to stick around for the coming books in The Chronicles of Thomas Briggs series, and thanks for reading. As always, be inspired!
First off, I would like to thank you for taking the time to check out my website and read this post. Life is crazy and full of important things to do, so kudos to you for finding the time. Please note that this website is still under construction. I plan to write posts on a regular basis, so please check back for new content.
Why do we read? We never ask ourselves that question, yet many of us seem to have a very healthy obsession with literature. Even as a writer, it took a long time for me to stumble upon this seemingly odd inquiry. Why do we enjoy cracking open a book and reading its contents? Why do we take so much pleasure in reading about the misfortune (or good fortune) of a particular character? Whether your genre of choice is fantasy, or science fiction, or horror, or any other, there is a single fact that applies to all of them: You desire more. So again, the question is: Why? The answer to that question might be different for us all, and perhaps for some of us there is no single answer. For me, however, there is. While it is true that I have always been a writer, I still had not published (or even attempted to publish) a book until recently. I dabbled in a lot of things, trying to find my niche like every other human being on the planet. I’ve had many hobbies that I have tried out, some of which I still have. But regardless of whatever it was that I was doing for enjoyment, one simple fact always remained: I wanted to inspire.
When we are very young, we are mostly self-serving. We don’t think about anyone else’s needs, and this is completely natural; our minds have not yet developed enough to fully comprehend the desires of others. As we grow, however, that (hopefully) changes. We begin to see that the other people around us are just like ourselves, constantly seeking to please their wants and wishes. There is a fundamental difference that might exist, though, between certain types of people. Most people want nothing more than to succeed–to provide a better life for themselves and their families–and there are a couple of ways one can do that. A person can work hard, do great things, and perhaps even change the world in the process. Then there are those like me, who want only to inspire those people. It is my hope–nay, my dream–to inspire those who read my work, and encourage them to do great things of their own. Sure, I have goals and wishes, and it is my full intention to pursue those things and succeed. But my main focus is to light the spark of inspiration inside of another. That is why I write, that is why I read. I read to gain knowledge, to be entertained, to become inspired myself. And by doing so, I sincerely hope that I can inspire another in turn.
Whether you are young or old, reader or author, never forget to follow the yearning inside you. The yearning that impels you to be a physicist, or architect, or chemist, or car mechanic. Perhaps that yearning drives you to be the next great inspiration for another. All pursuits are good and noble, and all are needed.