A Promise is A Promise…Book 3 is Done

A Promise is A Promise…Book 3 is Done

A promise is a promise. I said I’d get the book done by the end of this week. And even if I came screeching up to the deadline…

American Rebirth, Book 3 of the American Rebirth series is finally finished.

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It’s hard to believe this day has come…

I’m submitting it to Amazon tonight. It might take a few days, but soon it will be live for sale. I’ll push it out to all the other distributors in the next few days.

I feel kind of numb, floaty, like nothing really make sense yet. It hasn’t hit me, and it probably won’t for awhile.

Like all writers, I am currently in that manic state of excitement to get it out, and fear that it somehow isn’t ready or isn’t good enough. But I must kick that feeling in the face, and trust the work I and others have done to help make this book what it is.

And it is time.

For all you readers who waited patiently, thank you. I really can’t wait for you all to read it.

And if you really want to make me happy, leave a review when you’re done. Whatever you think of it. Even if it’s just a bunch of stabby emojis.

Now I [try and] rest.

-Evan Pickering

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It’s Done…

It’s Done…

As of last night, around midnight…

…The draft of American Rebirth is done.

It’s about 90,200 words. That’s sure to change after editing.

I don’t know if all the feels have hit me yet. I don’t think the full high will come until this shit is done and launched. But still, for me… I just gotta take a minute and say something.

I’m truly proud of this series.

It hasn’t always been easy. It’s been mostly NOT easy, to be honest. But seeing the ending of this book, and well this arc of the series (I have a feeling i’ll be writing more stories in the American Rebirth universe.) it’s a hard feeling to put into words.

All three of these books are strongly connected, all a part of one complete narrative about who we are as individuals, as a race, and what the fuck it is to make of this thing we call existence. I’ve always loved post-apoc because it lays that bare. There’s nothing but survival and the things that really matter.

All the garbage priorities we lay on top of our lives living in a functioning civilization gets stripped away. The people at the end of the world, or at least, the people who face the collapse of great civilizations, like those in the dark ages, have to face the reality of what actually matters:

Who are we to ourselves? who are we to each other? Both as strangers, as loved ones, and as enemies?

I wanted to do a lot of things with this series, but ultimately, that’s the biggest picture. I can say having finished book 3, I feel I’ve answered that. In my way.

I really can’t wait for you all to read it.

What’s next: I have to edit it. I’ll give it to a few close beta readers I trust. Then I do one more pass, and then it’s live.

We’re almost there.

-Evan Pickering

Excitement

Excitement

Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for getting excited about something.

Those of you who follow me know that Book 3 has taken longer than I planned to get done. I’ve been working at it diligently, but at times the writing is slow, and I refuse to force it. I want this book to be face-meltingly awesome for readers of the first two books in the series. There’s something necessary for that.

Excitement.

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Someone somewhere once said if you’re not excited about what you’re writing, there’s no chance your readers are going to be. I firmly believe that.

Sometimes you have to embrace there are natural highs and lows to writing. When I feel I’m in sort of a lull, the writing slows down a lot. Because if I’m not excited, then what the hell is the point?

Well, I’m pretty fucking excited about what I’ve got going now. I had a few lightbulbs go off that I think will amp up the intensity of the plot recently, and I think looking back on the book as a whole, it’s moving in a pretty fucking cool direction.

I’m channeling that excitement into more writing. I want to get my ass in front of the keyboard more lately so I can bring this thing to life. After all, it’s about damn time.

I can’t wait to share it with all of you when its done.

Hard at work in the wastelands,

Evan P.

SHORT STORY: A Lover and A Fighter

SHORT STORY: A Lover and A Fighter

A lover and a fighter. That’s all a man is.

Our world gets destroyed all the time.

Shattered by our choices, the choices of others, or things completely out of our control.

As I drove my car down the broken, empty road, I realized the truth. As a man, I am fueled and driven by only two impulses. The need to love, to build a family, and the need to fight for something.

That one day a year ago, the love I had for so many years was gone. Shattered by so many choices and things outside our control. I thought I would be with her for the rest of my life. I knew what kind of ring she wanted. But as hard as we fought for each other it wasn’t enough. Our love had died. Like our world is now, I was broken and fighting to mend into something that resembled myself.

All I could do then was fight. Not wanton, hateful conflict, or violence for its own sake. I needed to fight for something, some cause, something meaningful. But I had nothing to fight for. I had no hobbies, no passions, I felt no fire inside me though I knew I wanted one. I had been one half of a whole, but she was gone. Now I was just alive.

Memories are your enemy.

As it would happen, the world was really destroyed not long after. It didn’t take long. I’m not exactly sure how it happened. Supposedly The oceans died and crops everywhere failed and food suddenly became a precious resource. In a few months the whole world tore itself apart in hunger. Civilization in all its majesty undone by the most primal of impulses: feed.

I had my cause to fight. It wasn’t a complicated one, but it made me feel alive. I woke up every day with purpose. I was empty no more. I fought to survive, to protect the people around me. They were good people. I only knew one of them before the end of civilization–My neighbor, Keith. He always wore the same hat both before the world ended and after. Black baseball cap with the Red Sox logo. At least he’s consistent. Pretty funny too. He’s a glue guy. Keeps smiles on the faces of everyone when we’re venturing forth under the hot sun, into unknown territory hoping to find friendly faces instead of hateful ones.

These are the kind of thoughts that make me reach for my AR-15 propped up against the driver’s side door just to feel the smooth metal body, just to know it’s there. I don’t like firing it. I don’t like that it is a part of my life. But knowing its there to keep me alive, so that I can use it to keep the others alive when necessary, that’s a feeling I can’t be without.

I had fired it too many times two days ago. We lost Angela in the fighting. Only ten feet from the truck. God, it’s the kind of thing that will drive you crazy.

I don’t know why they opened fire on us, even. Not like we have any food. Not like we wanted to fight them. Unless they wanted us for food. If so, then Angela… No, I can’t think about that. That way lies madness. Only thing we have is what’s in front of us.

But of all the things I’ve seen, there’s one thing I can’t shake. One memory that will not escape me. If it is even a memory, or some ghost of my mind. At this point, I don’t even know anymore. We were passing through this refugee town. We didn’t even stop. We’ve seen them before. Groups of starving people, no will left to fight and nowhere to go. They roam in packs and scavenge for food like old world hunter-gatherers. We drove through the crowd of people who rose to clamor at our truck, but were smart enough not to step in front. Most survivors didn’t think twice of running over someone in their way.

I looked out the driver’s side window and in the crowd I swear I saw her face. I think it was her. It looked like her. Tired, but steely eyed and surviving. At the time I thought it was just someone that looked like her. I didn’t even stop the truck. How could I? But I think… I think it was her. I think I saw the recognition in her eyes when she saw me. But she made no move. She just stared.

We drove on. We still drive on. Every day I feel the urge to turn around and go back. I want to find her. But there is no going back.

Memories are my enemy.

Lover and a fighter. That’s all I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passion.

Passion.

What makes a book great?

What makes anything great, really?

There’s a lot of different reasons, with varying degrees of validity. Books, for example, are good when the writing skill comes through in the prose, the storycrafting elements are well executed, and the content of the story is tantalizing, thought provoking, draws you in and makes you actively wonder what will happen next.

But ultimately, what really makes a book, or anything, great, is the passion you can feel in it.

 

Passion is visible, feel-able, through solid wall and open sky from miles away. And I don’t mean specifically romantic passion. Sure, it can be that too, but in this case I mean the internal passion that is not self-serving. It’s not about wanting. It’s about that which means so much that you feel compelled to share it because you don’t know what else to do.

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You can tell the difference between a well-written book and a well-written book that comes from a fire inside the writer. A book that the writer felt in his or her blood, one that screamed in his or her mind to come out, one that grips the heart of the reader in its fist–That book leaves the reader shaken in the best way, thinking about their life and what they love. And hopefully, it ignites passion in those readers.

Passion can be a limited resource. A precious gem, something that can be poured out and take shape, or can wane and be lost, formless and ethereal. It can be given, inspired, which is an act of love and beauty.

Passion is one of the greatest things in life. It’s dangerous, it can be scary, it can consume us in its immolating fire and trigger fear of loss or failure. But still, it is worth it. Passion can take so many forms, and should never be taken for granted, should be hunted and treasured and fought for.

Sometimes I’m writing a story, and I know it’s good, but something feels missing. And I have to step back, and take some time. What was it that burned inside me so much that I took the years to write this series? What was that which boiled my blood and kept me up at night, that surged adrenaline through me just at the thought of the reader taking in the words? That is what I want. That’s what I must continue to write.

That’s the way I want to keep trying to live.

Evan

Fellow Author Shoutout-Craig Martelle

Fellow Author Shoutout-Craig Martelle

Just chatted with my fellow author buddy Craig Martelle today. He started publishing books around the same time I did last year. We started chatting as fellow burgeoning authors and I could tell he was a pretty cool guy.

What I didn’t know, is that he was a writing machine.

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I published two books last year. Pretty good for my standards and writing speeds.

Craig published 20 since then. TWENTY!? I am in awe. Seriously, that is incredible. Want to make a name for yourself self publishing? This is how you do it kids. You write. and write. and write. and write. and write more.

I won’t lie. I’m jealous of that production! Congrats Craig that’s awesome. I’m my dreams I’m that prolific 😀

-Evan Pickering

 

We get to live.

We get to live.

These are turbulent times for many of us. Regardless of which side of the election you’ve been on, it has been a tiring process. I’ve been thinking about life, the greater experience, what it means to be on opposite sides, whether we are ever ‘enemies’ or only just people on opposite sides of a divide.

I got to sit and talk about life, and philosophy, and existence with my lifelong friend Eastin today after class. It was something I think I sorely needed–I think we can all stand to take some time, and talk about all that is, all that could be, all that might or might not be true. There’s so much to be grateful for, there’s so much to question and to contemplate.

Let’s not forget that. Let’s not forget to put down the phones and turn off the screens and talk, not contentiously, not to ‘win’, but just talk.

It is of fundamental human importance.

Here was a thought I had today:

We get to live; express ourselves; chase dreams and love people; fight and make peace and keep searching for something in this wild world. What could possibly be more beautiful than that?

I love you all.

Evan