Filtering by Category: Great Big World
It is with great pleasure that I am able to (finally) reveal the cover for Great Big World: The Trouble with Dr. Beamo! I held off on revealing it until I had the placement all set and was just about ready to print the sucker.
The artwork is by the talented Kelly A. Gould and it gives the reader the first look at one of the shadowy creeorks. There are only a few final touches to be made to the book itself and I'm hoping, Amazon willing, that it'll be ready and available for the holiday season! More info to come once you can finally get your eager hands on it. Thanks for your patience and thanks most of all to Kelly for the great job and putting up with my (endless) tweaks!
Time to pull the veil of secrecy off the characters in Great Big World! I dabbled in cartooning in school and have dusted those skills off again to bring my characters to life. We'll start with the villains of the piece, introduced in the Prologue that I posted a little while back: Dr. Beamo and Count Sugar Cain!
There's more to come, but I can't reveal ALL the characters, because then, well, you won't have to read the book.
Thanks for reading!
As you’ve no doubt noticed, spring is unofficially over and there has been no announcement as to when Great Big World will be available. Unfortunately, the book has been slightly delayed. Sometimes real life gets in the way and unravels our well-laid plans. Not to fear, though, I’m shooting for a release sometime this summer as the final plans are put in place—early fall at the latest. I’ll be posting some character cartoons I’m whipping up as well as some other little teasers in the ramp up to the release, which will initially be digital only before moving to print copies.
Hey, that’s how self-publishing goes. There are several little problems you can encounter that can seriously alter your plans. So why did I choose this path? Freedom, mostly. By self-publishing, my novels can be whatever I want them to be. I can tell the stories I’m passionate about without a publisher telling me to change this or that to make the work more “marketable.”
The other reason I chose to self-publish is because life’s too short. I didn’t want to waste a year or more of my life shopping my book around to literary agents who were disinterested because it’s not exactly like what’s selling right now. I did actually send it out to a sampling of agents and received several polite, but form letter responses. So, that was enough for me to determine I wasn’t going to waste my time when I should be writing. I have confidence that the book is good and I don’t need the gatekeepers of a shifting—some would say dying—industry snubbing me as they cling to relevance.
I realized that while financial success would be nice—if I was lucky enough to score a fat contract in the first place—I really just wanted to get the work out to readers. And if I want to write Great Big World and then shift over to the more adult Maxim Ultra and back again, I can. There won’t be a lawyer or editor hovering over me telling me to stick to my contract. Unless a book is a runaway hit, a lot of authors end up doing all their own promotion anyway, so why not do that with the freedom to do it my way? I don’t need an editor, thanks to the fantastic writing group I work with, so if I have editing and marketing covered, what do I need a publisher for? Of course, a publisher has a much longer reach than a single person, but you only gain the benefit of that reach if you’re one of “the chosen.” It’s maddening, but if a publisher wants to come along and offer me a distribution deal, I’m all ears.
So, that’s why I’ve chosen to self-publish. It will bring me the freedom I desire to steer my writing career where I want it to go, but it’s definitely exhausting work.
Thanks for reading!
In the coming weeks, I'll be unveiling more about my debut novel, Great Big World: The Trouble with Dr. Beamo. For now, here's a sneak peek of the book itself. Enjoy!
PROLOGUE: Enter Dr. Beamo
You're a failure, and in my eyes, you'll always be a failure. The words of Hector Sando’s father echoed in his mind.
“Well Father, you must be very proud of me now.”
Here he was, a man of superior intellect, lugging garbage bags for Mama Mia's restaurant. How humiliating could it get?
The remaining cloud cover of the evening's rain made the inky darkness of night murkier, obscuring the moon's light. A wood shed housed the dumpster, the only illumination provided by a dim yellow bulb that reflected eerily in the muddy puddles. He huffed and puffed, hefting the bags through the filthy, steaming water.
A pointy object poked through a bag, jabbing his leg with each step, forcing him to stop. Heaving a sigh, he wiped his prematurely bald head with a handkerchief and cleaned his thick, fogged glasses. The menial labor sapped his strength and it was only his second trip to the dumpster.
How had he ended up here?
He knew that answer, of course. Fate, and the conspiring of his enemies, had put him where he was. Despite having a gifted mind, Hector was not so gifted by fortune...unfortunately.
The sound of a family of five leaving the restaurant drew his attention. Putting his glasses back on, he was surprised that he recognized the father. Hector was sure he’d seen the man on the local news announcing a run for mayor in the fall.
The laughter of the prospective mayor's three chattering children ground in his soul like a handful of searing coals. His hand automatically moved to his head. It had always been a source of derision for him. Seeing the three boys sent his mind tumbling into the past, when his classmates taunted him with the moniker, Captain Big Head.
It wasn’t a terribly clever nickname, for his head was rather large. Some said it was abnormally large, but not for Hector, as it was the only head he'd ever known. Hot tears would sting his eyes as he ran home from the bullies, but he would find no comfort there either. The memory left a burning hole in the pit of his stomach.
He unclenched his shaking hands as he reached for his bags, but stopped when he felt a creeping shiver up his shoulders. He was being watched. His moron of a boss wasn’t yelling at him, so he looked around to see who, or what, was giving him the creeps.
“It never goes away, does it? The sting of rejection?”
Hector whirled around. “Wh-who's there?” His voice sounded higher and squeakier than usual. He peered into the shed for the owner of the voice, seeing nothing but shadows. Then, a man stepped into the light.
“Relax, my friend, I am not here to harm you.” The stranger was tall, his voice a quiet whisper. His long dark hair was brushed back from his face.
“Are…are you wearing a cape?”
The stranger chuckled. “It is a cloak.”
“Oh.” Squirming under the stranger’s stare, his nose wrinkled against the smell of rotting garbage. “What do you want from me?”
The stranger studied him for several moments, causing him to fidget. “I am in need of your services.”
“Me? I'm just a nobody at a cheesy Italian restaurant.”
“Oh, we both know that's not the case, Mr. Sando.”
“H-how do you know my name?”
“I know most everything about you. I know the humiliation of your childhood. I know of your false friends in school, who promised you friendship, but betrayed you.”
Who was this man—some kind of psychic? He certainly looked the part.
“I know how your teachers repressed your genius, confining you within their established methods of instruction.”
Was this a former classmate come back to haunt him? “I wouldn't say they were exactly fair to me, no.”
“I know how nothing you ever did was good enough for your professor father, though poor marks in school would be an understandable disappointment for a parent who was also an educator.”
A lump formed in his throat. “He was never happy with anything I did.”
“No, he wasn’t. You retreated from the endless loop of rejection, didn’t you? Immersing yourself in comic books, you drew inspiration from them to create the engine of your revenge. Isn't that so, Dr. Beamo?”
Hector’s eyes widened, taking in the stranger's appearance again. The dark mysteriousness, sinister voice, eccentric taste in clothing—could it be? Another real-life supervillain like himself? “How do you know that name? Who are you?”
“Your name travels in very high circles, Doctor. You are a certified and licensed professional, of course?”
Hector bowed his head, shuffling his feet. “Well, not exactly.”
The stranger’s laugh was deep and ominous. His voice quickly returned to the quiet, unnerving whisper. “Peace, Doctor; that was my attempt at humor.”
The stranger's stab at comedy wasn't amusing. Despite his reassurance, it felt like he was laughing at Hector. How had he learned so much about him? How on Earth did he know of Dr. Beamo? If he knew the truth, there was no need to act like weak Hector Sando in the stranger’s presence. Of course, it wasn’t completely an act. “I asked you a question.”
The stranger peered around the area. “What a miserable existence you’ve carved out for yourself.”
“Enough!” Wincing at his high-pitched voice, he reached into his back pocket, producing a handheld beam. He pointed it at the stranger. “Who are you?”
The stranger chuckled again. “Is that a mobile phone or one of your famous beams? Not very intimidating, is it?”
“It will do well enough to fry you if I don't start getting some answers.”
“That would be...unwise, Doctor.”
Hector held fast, but his aim wavered. He sensed the stranger was a kindred spirit, but his difficult nature was taxing.
Bowing his head, the stranger smiled tightly. “Very well. Your efforts to bankroll your scientific endeavors have not gone unnoticed, Doctor. No one knows your true identity, of course. That took some doing on my part.”
“I was so careful, though!”
“Whenever you have a secret, Doctor, someone is going to uncover it.”
“Who are you, then?”
“My name is Count Sugar Cain.”
“Never heard of you.”
“I have...been away for some time. Tell me, Doctor, are you happy with your current station in life?”
“No, of course not!”
“Do you wish you could abandon this life and be recognized for who you truly are?”
“Are you prepared to grasp your destiny and make all the commoners who have stepped on you and laughed at you pay for their insolence?”
A wave of pure bliss surged through him. “Yes! Yes!”
The count's eyes gleamed as he grinned. “Then my good Dr. Beamo, step with me into the darkness.”