Wednesday, August 29, 2012


We're just about a week away from the release of the FADING LIGHT anthology. Here is the last snippet of artwork from a little sketch Mr Tim Holtrop did for me after reading my FINAL RIGHTS short story which will be featured in the e-bonus book of FADING LIGHT.

Instead of putting a little chunk of the short story within, let me tell you about how the tale FINAL RIGHTS came about (after I found out about the anthology and what the "theme" was)...

I heard from a famous author (Stephen King perhaps) to WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.

I know Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born and raised there, though I no longer live within the city limits, the days I had spent there sank in and sank in deep. I lived and breathed the area as we lived only about a mile from downtown GR. Even during its dog days back in the late 70's/early 80's, before it really got cookin' to where it is today, I felt a kinship with the place, a love that will never die.

I mean, what better place to grow up than in the 2nd largest city in Michigan. Yeah, large city, but hardly a stones throw away from where I grew up there was John Ball Park and woodland to adventure within.

Er...anyway, will move on from the life story...

I have always enjoyed placing my story setting in Grand Rapids. Mind you, the stories have always been overrun with villians, or battlin' military men and their machines of war, things blowing up, fighting along the Pearl Street bridge over the swift running Grand River.

Heck, I even wrote some Fantasy tales within with sword and sorcery elements.

In FINAL RIGHTS, a world darkened by post-nuclear blight is on the verge of collapsing totally. Once great cities have become bastions for any who have survived and can get INSIDE. On the dreary and darkened landscape, outside the brightly lit cities, all manner of beast and dying dregs of humanity creep and crawl and wait for those sheltered within those city walls to come out.

Specialist Clint Johnsson is a young marksman who works within the city militia keeping the gates guarded and any outsiders from getting too close to getting in. His family has all succumb to cancer which he himself fights. He has a lone surviving family member in New Holland, a sister and her young son, who live in that city along the lake shore. After a fierce battle defending the (Grand Rapids) city entrance which puts him in the hospital, Clint finds out the city of New Holland is about to GO DARK, lose its power as its wind turbines have been critically damaged. When the lights go out, the darkness will sweep in. Considering he is pretty banged up, and cancer prognosis has become more dire, he isn't going to see his sister and her little boy lost to the darkness. He hops the lone steam engine that is heading out to New Holland to gather as many people as they can make runs before the lake shore city blinks out. BIG chaos erupts along the way to New Holland--chaos and fury that is huge, all teeth and claws, and can knock a big steam engine off its track. Clint is heading to his own dark demise, but he won't fade to black without...

You'll have to buy the book, get a copy of the e-bonus piece with my tale and a few other very talented writers, and see how FINAL RIGHTS turns out.

And now...the Holtrop sketch snippet...

The train whistle blew shrill amidst the dull landscape. Specialist Clint Johnsson tensed and exhaled slowly. 
Crosshairs centered on the steel glint. One painful sluggish heartbeat.