Excerpt #3: Hood, Book 1 of the American Rebirth Series

Excerpt #3: Hood, Book 1 of the American Rebirth Series

While I’m undergoing yet another round of professional editing (sweet, delicious feedback) I figure let’s keep this thing going with another excerpt!

While I am antsy to get this thing published and out there, I’m trying to remind myself to be patient. . . after all, It’s better to take longer but come up with a better product than just hurry the damn thing out there. So, deep breaths, writers, neither you or I can rush the growth process.


Hood, Book One of the American Rebirth Series

Excerpt #3

Kerry stared out the windshield of the truck at the broken bridge ahead of her. The sun was high in the sky and the wind rushed through the river valley. The empty road and tall grassy clearing past the bridge might as well have been miles away. The tall grass swept and swirled about in a graceful dance with the wind, and she wanted nothing more than to just be there on the solid earth with the overgrowth. Her hands clutched the wheel tight. Her mouth was dry and her eyes felt bleary from lack of sleep.
“Pull the truck in close,” Hood said from behind the guardrail atop the wall. Behind him was a straight drop to the riverbed, but he looked as though he didn’t notice or wasn’t worried. “Closer. Pull her all the way against the wall. We ain’t worried about the paint job.”
Kerry turned the wheel and then counter turned to slide the truck closer. The front left panel of the car scratched and squealed as the stone bridge dug into its side.
“That’s it, nice and tight.” Hood said. “We want to get as much leverage on this baby as we can.” He slapped the hood of the car with a metallic thud. To Kerry, the wall was one more thing trapping her inside the truck. She closed her eyes and exhaled. Sweat beaded on her forehead and made the steering wheel slick under her hands. This wasn’t what she had hoped for.

She kept seeing the image from her childhood play over and over in her head. Sitting in the back seat, her parents in the front seats. They crept through the intersection, and out the driver’s side window came the front grill of a truck. Glass exploded as the car flipped over and over, she slammed her eyes shut feeling herself spin in the air, slung out of her seatbelt, hitting the ceiling. She opened her eyes, numbly looking at her own shattered hand covered in blood as she lay on the ceiling of the up-side down car. Her heart started to race just conjuring the memory.
Between Whiskey trying to kill her and having no choice but to play chicken with her worst nightmare, maybe she should have just kept hiding in the darkness that night she saw them.

The Single Most Important Thing For Publishing Your Own Book

The Single Most Important Thing For Publishing Your Own Book

We all know that a lot goes into writing your own book. For those who want and choose to do such a thing, it feels about as strenuous and painstaking as childbirth (oh god please don’t hit me ladies).

I say to anyone who I talk to about this, write a book you’ll love, and write it so you’ll love it even if no one else ever reads it. At the end of the day, that’s what will give you satisfaction. But reality is, we want people to read it. We don’t live in the world alone, and we want to share our creation with others.

So then, we want to undergo the journey of [self] publishing.

For any new author (and lets face it, even an established author) who wants to publish and have success doing it, you need one thing:


There you have it, folks. Believe me, you have no idea what you’re doing wrong until you have someone help you. We all think we’re better writers than we actually are. We think (at first) people will love our stories as much as we do. Reality is, you have accept and learn from every single mistake and hiccup you make to become a better writer, and you have to hook, lure, entrap every reader with your words, your story, your characters (for fiction writers, anyway).

It is really, really, really hard to do all that on your own. If you can’t afford a professional editor, then at the very least, find a trusted person to honestly read and review your book to you who won’t pull any punches. But fair warning, they can never help you learn like a good professional editor can.

Trick is, finding a great professional editor. I was lucky enough to get one through my mother, who is a published author.

Thank god for her.

That is all,

Evan Pickering

Excerpt from my new book: Hood

After two years worth of writing, Months worth of editing and hack-sawing more than half of the book and then rewriting the whole dang thing again, I’m happy to present a snippit from my new book: Hood, Book One of the American Rebirth Series.
As any writer will tell you, even a finished book still feels like it needs editing. So I’m going to forego my endless need to tweak and just toss it up. Here goes:

With a click light filled the room, so bright Hood had to turn his face and jam his eyes shut.
“You’re getting full of yourself,” came the hoarse voice of the old sheriff.
The idea that the sheriff had Hood’s life in his hands was a dark seed in his mind. He needed to buy some time, find out why he was here, why he was still alive.
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Hood answered at length. The yellow floodlight nailed to the wall still shined in his eyes, but he adjusted enough to be able to see that they were in an portable arch-shaped metal warehouse.
“Of course I’m right.” the old man said, pacing in front of him. “Sneaking through my land, stealing from me and thinking you’d just run back home unmolested. You and your self-righteousness. I swear, I can smell your naiveté on the wind.”
Hood licked his lips and kept silent. The old man leaned in close to Hood. His breath smelled like old cigarettes. His bald, middle aged face was worn and weary around blue eyes. It was a look of disappointment, the look of a vulture flying over picked bones. His search was over.
“You know what it is that did you in,” the sheriff said with a smile and focused eyes. “It’s pride. The same pride that god saw in us when he smote us down.”
Hood smirked, his head leaned forward with his brow keeping the light out of his eyes.
“Granted, I’ve never read the good book cover to cover, but I’m pretty sure you don’t qualify as the godly type.”

The sheriff swung his pistol at Hood’s face. The handle connected with his eyebrow, his head snapping back from the blow. The pain seared, his head feeling numb. The worn barrel of the sheriff’s pistol hovered in front of Hood’s right eye. Inside the barrel was darkness.

A tight frown quivered on The sheriff’s face. “You don’t talk to me about godliness. You’re just a mongrel slinking around this hell on earth.”
Hood breathed in slowly, closing his eyes. Despite being provoked the Sheriff still hadn’t shot him. Gotta keep him talking.

The End of the World! Apocalyptic Beginnings for Your Story

When creating your post-apocalyptic story, there’s generally two ways to go: Either have it be unknown, a catastrophic disaster that your characters will never discover, or have it be revealed or known all along.

For those writing the latter, its good to think about your options. Which catastrophe that befalls the earth has a pretty serious impact on how your post-apocalyptic world is shaped, and how your characters live in it.

Also, for those simply curious about the end of the world, this is some terrifying fodder to knock around your noggin if you’re the worrying type.

1. Nuclear Falloutnuclear-mushroom-cloud

There is generally estimated to be about 17,300 nuclear weapons currently functioning in the world. The majority of them belong to the U.S. and Russia, but a decent amount is distributed among smaller countries. Truthfully, it wouldn’t take all that many to start a nuclear winter and truly disrupt the planet’s fragile environment.

2. Meteoric impact


It really can be any celestial body hurtling through space, but meteoric has a nice ring to it. It has been recently revealed that we are about ten times more likely to be hit by an asteroid than we previously thought. They might not necessarily all be apocalyptic, but it only takes one moderately big one.

3. Climate change

An inconvenient truth indeed. Though it is still under some speculation to what degree the natural fluctuation of temperatures of earth are, its clear we are having an adverse effect on the environment. It usually takes a long time, but the earth will slide into frozen cycles and very warm cycles without our help. It is inevitable that the environment of the planet will one day be blasted away by solar winds when the magnetic field of the earth dissipates as the core goes cold (like mars). For those of you who want to write futuristic apocalyptic stories, some things to think about!

4. Economic/Social collapse


Perhaps the more subtle of ends, a social collapse is certainly very possible. As we expunge the natural resources from the planet and do not replenish them, eventually economies could collapse and chaos could stem and lead to governmental collapses. For all those who are effected by the sagging global economy, this one can sometimes feel close to home.

5. Infectious Diseases

Gasp! Hard to believe in the era of modern medicine, but we don’t know what we don’t know. And for all our knowledge STDs like HIV/AIDS has still befuddled us. Certainly in human civilization many diseases have been pretty rough on the population, and we all know how globalization has made the ole continental barriers meaningless. The bubonic plague killed somewhere between 75 and 200 million people in the 14th century, and there were no planes to fly around in back then.


These are probably the most prominent if you’re looking for a basis of realism in your writing. I know what all you George Romero fans may be thinking: what about the zombies?! While I quite enjoy the zomb-pocalypse I would rather file it as a rather specific subgenre, and to be honest, if this is your thing, you don’t need to be reading my blog to decide on the impetus of your story. (Insert winkyface here)

Hope you enjoyed your journey down terrifying lane with me! And remember: keep calm and stock up your [character’s] storehouse.