The creation of Quiet Apocalypse

Quiet Apocalypse comes out on Friday. And, I’ve just got to say, this launch is nothing like any other launch I’ve ever done. That’s because Quiet Apocalypse is nothing like any book I’ve ever written before. So I thought it might be fun to take a look at the journey I went through writing this book. If you’re a writer, I hope you’ll learn something from the trip. If you’re just a fan, you might like a peek into the spaghetti bowl that is my brain. 

Quiet Apocalypse is probably the most indulgent book I’ve ever written. It’s a patchwork of things I wanted to write about all pulled together. 

It started with a short story about an apocalypse brought on when no one was able to have children anymore. I was raised Mormon, and one of the many wacky things they believe is that there’s a finite amount of souls in Heaven waiting to come to Earth. As a child, I interpreted that to mean that someday, people would just stop having babies. 

While I don’t believe this anymore, it’s always lurked around in the back of my brain. So I wanted to write about an apocalypse that came about because people just stopped being able to bear children. 

That short story didn’t pan out. It was rather dull, just a man sitting on a park bench thinking back over the horrors that had ensued since people stopped having kids. Eventually, I gave it up.

Sometime later, I realized I wanted to write something about witchcraft. Specifically, I wanted to write a story with a witch as the main character. I was about a year into my witchcraft journey at the time, and it was consuming much of my life. I also wanted to write a haunted house story. Something that had a similar vibe to The House Next Door or The House on Haunted Hill. Or Goosebumps, The Ghost Next Door.

So that’s where we got the start of Quiet Apocalypse. Sadie, a school nurse from a long line of witches, is given an ouija board by her aunt, and she accidentally lets a ghost loose in her apartment while she’s trying to cleanse it. 

Hilarity and horror were going to ensue.

But this wasn’t enough to fill a whole novella. It was barely a short story, and not a satisfying one. 

But of course, this is why we say no writing is ever wasted. I was muddling around, trying to think of something deeper to do with Sadie and her faithful dog, Sage. I loved her. I loved her quirky little apartment building, with the elderly landlord and his husband. I loved the found family feel the whole building had. 

I turned to my notebooks and found the fragments of my apocalypse story. It wasn’t workable on its own. But maybe I could still use that idea. The thought of a world going silent. A world without babies would then turn into a world without children. 

Then, we’d have a very quiet planet.

All of this blended to create the novella I’ve now brought into the world. And I think it turned out pretty well. See what you think on Friday.

Quiet Apocalypse is coming out on Friday the 13th! You can pre-order your copy now on Amazon or Smashwords

Announcing my latest book, Quiet Apocalypse

I’ve always called myself a speculative fiction writer because I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror. To that end, I’ve published a fantasy series and a science fiction series.

Now, it’s time for my horror debut.

On Friday, May 13th, I’ll be launching my first horror book, Quiet Apocalypse. 

The end of the world began with a winter storm.

Sadie’s quiet life is interrupted when a tree crushes the roof of her attic apartment. She’s forced to move to a smaller apartment in the building. Then, her aunt guilts her into clearing an ouija board of a particularly irritating spirit. 

But it wasn’t just the roof that was broken by the tree. There was something trapped within the building, waiting. Waiting to wake and bring about the end of the world. 

Not with screams, but with silence. 

This book is about demons, witchcraft, and a small community coming together to survive. It’s about the end of the world. 

You can preorder Quiet Apocalypse now on Smashwords or Amazon

I hope you all love Quiet Apocalypse. I know I say this every time, but I think this might be the best book I’ve written so far. And I’m sure it’ll scare the hell out of you.

Station Central, Episode Three

If you’re loving the story, you can now get the whole book on Smashwords.

Godfrey followed Akiko to a glass building not far from the loading docks. He glanced between her and Gene, wondering how far he’d get if he decided to run. He didn’t think it would be far enough. And he wouldn’t have put it past this woman to know just where Sennett and the others were, and detain them if he tried.

“Have you ever been to Station Central before, Councilman?” Akiko asked.

“No,” Godfrey said, as they walked past the front desk. The building’s main purpose seemed to be a tourist information center. The walls flashed with event information and activities. There was, according to the advertisements, levels for shopping, dining, museums. There was even a beach themed level, and an amusement park on the top floor.

“You should try Punchello’s for dinner one night, it’s my favorite,” she said. “My treat, I insist. Just tell them you’re there as my guest.”

They wove through the crowd of people milling around, looking at displays and taking pictures, until they reached a quieter hallway. There, Godfrey saw doors with the names of what he assumed must have been other council members. Akiko led him right to the end of the hall, to a door with her own name. She entered, letting the two men in.

Inside, Godfrey saw a white, high polished chrome desk. The floor was a simple tile, and the walls displayed posters of classic movies and plays.

“Please take a seat,” Akiko said, gesturing to two padded chairs on one side of her desk. She settled herself on a backless chair on the other side.

Godfrey sat, Gene settling in next to him. “So,” Akiko tilted her head. “Station 86 sure has been through a lot, hasn’t it? First, eleven of the twelve council members are assassinated. Then, you had that problem with the AI dogs. Then there was that botched election issue. I understand your friend was off planet at the time, and she was nearly killed by a lose virus on Station 16?” Akiko shook her head. “Poor man, no wonder you wanted a vacation. I’m so sorry to spoil your first day here with this.”

“That’s not my concern, Councilwoman,” he said, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “My concern is that I’m not a councilman anymore. I’m a private citizen. As I’ve already told you, Station 86 decided to change how we’re governed. We held a free election, and we chose two Marshals to lead us, one from each political party.”

“Yes, but the problem with that is that elections aren’t legal on the stations,” Akiko said. “You’re the remaining Councilman, so you’re fully within your right to claim these two people as fellow council members. But a marshal is not an official title.”

“If you’d had an auditor at the time, they certainly would have told you that,” Gene said. “But I understand that you lost your last auditor. He was on the ship with Councilwoman Thorn?”

“Yes,” Godfrey said, “but I don’t understand how you peoplethink you’ve got any kind of right to tell Station 86 what we’re going to do with our people. We decided that we wanted to be governed differently. Why should that be any of your business?”

Akiko folded her hands on her desk. “Because with Earth silent, my council and I are now the political center for all of the stations. Therefore, it’s my job to assign a new auditor to Station 86. Gene here will go back with you when you go home.”

“It sounds like we’ve got a lot of work to do together, with eight council seats empty,” Gene said.

“Nine,” Godfrey said. “I am not a council member.”

“Mmm, sorry,” Gene said, “but a council member can’t resign with empty seats. You’ve got to stay until all twelve are full. It’s down in the constitution you agreed to when you became a station citizen.”

“And in the oath you agreed to when you became a council member,” Akiko said, nodding. “I’m afraid you’re stuck until the council’s full again.

“But, please don’t let that darken your vacation. Relax, have fun with your friends. We can worry about all this when it’s time for you to go home.”

“Alright,” Godfrey muttered. “Since I’m stuck as a councilman, I might as well act like one. What are you planning for the Hollow Suits?”

Akiko and Gene tensed. “I think that would be a matter best discussed later, when you haven’t just arrived” Akiko said. “In fact, I wonder if I could ask you a favor regarding that. We haven’t publicly spoken about the Hollow Suits yet. Would you mind not mentioning it?”

“Why haven’t you told the people who live here?” Godfrey asked.

“Because we’re trying not to start a panic,” Akiko chuckled. “We’re handling it, even as we speak. There’s no reason to worry the people on the station. Especially since they, like yourself, are on vacation.”

“But if these Hollows get on the station-,” Godfrey said, but was interrupted by a knock on the office door.

“I’m so sorry,” Akiko said, rising gracefully. She went to the door, and admitted a young man in a bright blue suit.

“Jeremy, what can I do for you?” she asked.

“Sorry, Councilwoman, but I thought you should see what Commander Tanner just sent to everyone on the station,” the young man said.

Godfrey remembered his wrist pad buzzing as Akiko had led him away. He looked down now, and played it. Gene did the same.

All citizens and visitors of Station Central, please be advised that known terrorist Jason Whitehall has escaped from police protection and is thought to be somewhere on the station. If you spot him, please contact authorities imminently. Whitehall is thought to be armed with illegal weaponry, and is suspected in the murder of May Conner.

Gene was looking at his own wrist pad, his other hand over his mouth.

“Um, wow,” Godfrey said. “What’s this all about? I thought your council didn’t want to cause a panic.”

“Tanner is not a council member,” Akiko snapped.

She turned, flashing her smile again. “I’ve kept you from your friends long enough. Forgive my interruption.”

She opened the door wider, and gave Godfrey a gentle inclination of her head. “Have a good day, Councilman.”

Godfrey realized that he wasn’t going to get anything further from the situation. His long trip was also catching up with him. He stood, and said, “Thank you, Councilwoman. I suppose I’ll be seeing you soon, Gene.”

“Yeah, of course,” Gene said, but he wasn’t looking up. He was looking at his wrist pad still, his brows furrowed.

Station Central, Episode Two

You can preorder Station Central right now on Smashwords.


Sennett had rarely traveled off station with April. In fact, she’d very rarely traveled off station at all in her life. And after her experience traveling to Station Central, she doubted that she ever would again. April was miserable. She didn’t want to sleep, didn’t want to read or watch anything on her tiny wrist pad, the virtual screen almost everyone wore. She complained that her seeming cuffs, which made her look like a full Earthian child, irritated her. She was deprived of her normal routine. She fussed with Bailey. She pestered Sennett and Mason to go to the bathroom, go down to see the dining room and little on board shop. She wanted to do anything but sit still in her seat, which is really all Sennett wanted from her.

“Mommy, my wrists hurt again,” she whined, rubbing at the purple cuff with bunnies. “Why do I have to wear this?”

Sennett sighed. It had seemed like a simple decision, making April wear her seeming bracelet that hid her actual image while they were off Station 86. While it was no longer a secret that she was half Khloe, half Earthian, she didn’t feel like April needed that kind of attention while they were on vacation. It was hard, though, seeing her true face hidden. She looked so much like Lo without her seeming.

“Please don’t mess with it,” Sennett sighed. She rummaged around in her bag. “I have some lotion here, just hold on.”

“Attention, Passengers,” a pleasant voice floated over the sound system. “We will be arriving at Station Central in ten minutes. Please take this time to scan your area and be sure that all your personal belongings are accounted for. Your luggage will be sent separately to the hotel you registered with at the start of your flight. Thank you for flying with Station Direct, have a wonderful day.”

“Come on, let’s get your stuff together,” Sennett said. She looked into the travel bag she’d stuffed Bailey into, checking on him. He wagged his tail pleasantly.

Liam stood up, stretching out. “Been awhile since I flew commercial. I didn’t miss it.”

“No kidding,” Godfrey muttered.

They all headed down the aisle, and towards the exit of the ship. Sennett kept hold of April’s hand, as the crowd moved slowly onto the loading bay.

“No one go wandering off once we get out of here,” Liam said. “I ain’t been to Station Central in a while, but the last time I was here it was crowded as hell.”

“We get crowds on Station 86 too, you know,” Mason replied.

Liam shook his head. “Not like this, you don’t.”

Sennett was inclined to scoff at him, as they joined the line for the door. But as they headed out into the main level, she saw what he meant.

People were packed into the level, shoulder to shoulder. They were shouting to be heard by people standing right next to them. Children were whining and crying. Thousands of screens, from wrist pads to large ones mounted on food and shopping stalls were flashing and crackling their audio.

“It’s too loud,” April said, putting her hands over her ears.

“Come here,” Sennett replied, picking April up and putting her on her hip. She looked around, marveling at how bright it was. The ceiling was blue, with strange white things floating across it. Every stall had, in addition to their mounted screens, a bright flashing marquee to display their wares above the heads of the crowd.

“What are those things?” Mason asked, looking straight up at the ceiling.

“They’re clouds,” Godfrey chuckled, looking up as well. “That looks like the sky on Earth. I’ll be damned.”

“Let’s not gawk, boys,” Sennett said. “Come on, I want to check in to the hotel and get something to eat.”

“Me too. I’ve never needed a cup of Klav more in my life,” Liam muttered.

The crowd was so thick that they were having trouble moving through it. Sennett tried to lead the way, and found that she had to almost shove some of the people to get them to move.

“It’s weird,” Mason said, “I’m used to seeing a little more diversity in a crowd, aren’t you guys?”

Sennett looked around. He was right, she saw very few Khloe, Ma’Sheed or Toth people around them.

“Not every station can be the station of First Contact,” Godfrey said.

“No,” Sennett said, “guess not.”

Then she noticed someone in a black uniform. The patch on the woman’s arm was familiar, but she couldn’t remember why. It didn’t look like the Station Central symbol, a single star ringed by ninety-nine others.

“What symbol is that?” Sennett asked.

“Which one?” Godfrey replied.

“That one,” she said, looking back towards the soldier. But she was already lost in the crowd.

“Where did she go?” Sennett whispered.

“What’s wrong?” Godfrey asked.

“I think I’m seeing things,” she replied. “I thought I saw someone wearing the same uniform as the soldiers who came to clean house on Station 16.”

“What? Where?” he asked.

“No, don’t freak out,” she said. “I’m just, I guess I’m not as over that as I thought I was.”

Godfrey turned to her, giving her a searching look. Finally, he put his arm around her shoulder. “That’s what we’re here for, for you to finally get a chance to relax.”

“Yeah,” she said, glancing around them still.

April looked around them as well. “Someone’s calling for Mr. Godfrey,” she said.

“Can’t be,” Godfrey said. “I don’t know anyone here.”

But Sennett could hear someone calling, “Councilman Anders!” She turned, looking behind them.

“We should really keep moving,” Liam said, putting a hand on her arm.

“Wait,” Sennett said.

A man dressed in a well-cut suit was waiving at them. He was a large man, a bit paunchy, with pale skin and almond eyes. He wore a silver pin on his lapel, with a single star over an interconnected S and C.

“I think that man might know you, even if you don’t know him,” she said.

“That’s usually not good,” Godfrey muttered.

The man saw them stop, and hurried up to them. “Councilman Anders,” he said, adjusting his tie. “Good to finally meet you. I’m Gene Tao. One moment, please, my mother’s just catching up.”

“Sorry, but why do I want to talk to your mother?” Godfrey asked.

Gene looked confused. “Well, because she’s Akiko Tao, Chief councilwoman of Station Central. She’s sent you several messages.”

“Ah, now I remember,” Godfrey muttered.

“Godfrey, what’s going on?” Sennett asked.

Before he could answer, they were joined by Akiko Tao. She looked very much like her son, slightly heavy with thick, dark hair and pale skin. She was shorter, though, the top of her head reaching Sennett’s nose. Her makeup was immaculate, and she wore a gentle smile.

“Councilman,” she said, her voice deep and smooth. “It’s so good to finally meet you. If you’d told me you were going to visit Station Central, I would have sent a ship for you.”

“Councilwoman Tao,” Godfrey said, reaching to shake her hand. “I’m afraid you might be working under old information. I’m not a councilman anymore. Station 86 doesn’t have a council at all. That’s why I referred you to Marshal Joy Wheatly when you contacted me.”

Akiko’s smile never wavered. “Yes, I did receive that message. I expressed concern at the time, I believe.”

“You did, yes. However, I’m not in any position to speak to your concerns. If you have questions about Station 86, please feel free to contact one of our Marshals.”

“Perhaps,” she said, glancing around them, “this is a discussion that should be had in private, away from Station Central visitors. Would you join me in my office, please?”

“No, thank you,” Godfrey snapped.

“Please,” she laughed, taking his arm. “It seems clear to me that we have some things to discuss.”

“I think you need to let go of him now,” Liam said, stepping forward.

“I’m okay,” Godfrey said, pulling his arm away from her. “Fine, I’ll come talk to you.”

“Godfrey,” Sennett said.

“I’m fine,” he said, “It’s just a talk. I’ll meet you at the hotel.”

“Glad to meet you all,” Akiko said, before turning to leave. Gene and Godfrey followed, vanishing quickly into the crowd.

“What the hell is all that about?” Mason asked.

“I don’t know,” Sennett said.

“This ain’t good,” Liam said, looking down at his wrist com. “Sen, did you just get something?”

She looked down at her own pad. He was right, she’d received a security notification. She opened it.

There was a picture of a young man in a suit and tie, it looked like an employee photo. Underneath, the message read. All citizens and visitors of Station Central, please be advised that known terrorist Jason Whitehall has escaped from police protection and is thought to be somewhere on the station. If you spot him, please contact authorities imminently. Whitehall is thought to be armed with illegal weaponry, and is suspected in the murder of May Conner.

“We try to go on vacation. Godfrey’s grabbed by the local politicians and a terrorist is on the lose,” Mason muttered.

“Yeah,” Sennett said. “That sounds about normal.”

Station Central is coming to Smashwords

We’re coming close to the end of the year. And what a hell of a year it’s been. 

Some good things have happened, of course. Including a bevy of great new books. Man, some really good books came out this year. Mexican Gothic, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Savage Legion. I put out a book of my own, Falling From Grace.

Now, I don’t have another book to put out this year. I’m working on a few, but nothing’s quite ready yet. However, I do have some exciting news.

Station Central, the last book of the Station 86 series, will be available on Smashwords as of November 27th. That’s Black Friday for those of you not in America.

As always, there will be some events and promotions over the next few weeks. Watch here and follow me on Twitter to learn when special sales prices will be available. I might even give away a few copies.

That’s it for now. Hope you’re as excited as I am. I loved writing Station Central, and I can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to read it on any platform. 

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