Monday, October 8, 2012

Something Stirs In The Darkness...

It's been a long time since I posted on this blog, but I haven't forgotten about the few subscribers or what started here.

Dark Arts: Rising has made a big impression wherever it appeared. Every few months, in some corner of the internet, a group of people discover this short, and it gets resurrected again. For a while I wasn't sure what I'd be doing with this material.

I thought I might write a solid prequel book, or pen another seven chapters this year and close it out with another seven the next. My obligation to finish Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework took the focus, so not much happened at all with Dark Arts. The first chapter of a prequel starring Maxwell did materialize and it was received with surprising enthusiasm, which tells me that Dark Arts has incredible potential.

For now, I'm taking these seven chapters back into development, so they've been removed from the site. I'll be editing what already exists, most likely releasing it through a Premium Amazon service to see how it does there. I'll decide what happens with the Dark Arts stories sometime after that.

The challenge with Dark Arts is twofold:
I need to find the time to write something new.
I have to decide which story to tell.

I'd like to thank the tens of thousands who downloaded and enjoyed this seven chapter test, and the hundreds who reviewed it on all the sites that picked it up. I've heard you, and am amazed at how many times I've been summoned back to this story.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Horror Adventure Novel

Before I dig in to my Easter blog post, I'll give everyone the update on the Spinward Fringe books. Both of the books I"m working on right now - Spinward Fringe: Expendable Few (the novella), and Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework - are finally going smashingly well. I wrote a ton of material for Broadcast 7, including two previous drafts. A lot of it was tossed out so I could deliver a denser, tighter book plot wise. I'm near the end.

The novella, Expendable Few, is almost finished. It's really helping me develop the ending of Broadcast 7 while delivering a type of story that is vastly different from the existing Spinward Fringe series. Test readers will see chapters by the end of the month.

Now, on to the topic I planned to bring up here. The Horror Adventure Novel. That's what the Dark Arts novel will be. I've written three and a half Spinward Fringe books in a row, without a break, so Dark Arts will be a very good palette cleanser between Broadcast 7 and Broadcast 8. The reasons why the Dark Arts novel is being written are few:

1) Horror Adventure novels seem sort of rare. I remember the choose your own adventure books from my youth, and there's H.P. Lovecraft. I'm sure there are others, but in a market awash with Young Adult, soft horror, I don't see much. Oh, and before someone asks: no, Dark Arts will not be a 'Choose Your Own Adventure'

2) I love the idea behind Dark Arts, and there are some compelling characters living in my head that don't want to exist in any other world.

3) The Dark Arts experimental short has its own dedicated fans. I have received emails form people who actually accused me of having the finished novelized version, or extra chapters. They made it perfectly clear that I MUST release them, or something might happen to my house pets, I might even get something nasty in the mail. Thankfully, I don't have any house pets at the moment. Sadly, I don't have a completed novel or finished extra chapters to release to the public either.

4) Even though the experiment was completely unedited, the major complaint about the short was that it was.... too short. That tells me that there was some content in there that was worthwhile to someone other than myself.

So, it's time to approach this book seriously, and write a one shot horror adventure novel. By the time I'm done, I'll be able to approach Broadcast 8 with a clear head.

I know I'll enjoy writing the Dark Arts novel. Writing the experimental short was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to finishing Broadcast 7, then taking a break in a different world.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dark Arts: A Year Later

A year ago I made Dark Arts: Rising available for free through Smashwords. They distributed it to other eBook resellers, like Barnes and Noble. The reaction to the story there has been largely positive, and after downloads numbering in the thousands, there's one common criticism.

It's too short.

When this short novella was first presented here, it was an experiment. As a result it didn't get extensive editing, and it was only as long as it had to be to present the core concepts and characters. In all honesty, I didn't have time to write this as a full sized novel or trilogy because I was in the middle of writing the Spinward Fringe series.

The same fate has befallen the yet unreleased Sons of Brightwill, which sits half written on my hard drive. Spinward Fringe, and the hundreds of readers who follow that series, took priority. I don't have any regrets, I love writing in that universe and entertaining people.

Back to what's going on with Dark Arts. I wrote that experiment because there were characters, settings and events that I wanted to put down, the fact that I did so in a short cropped manner is really a result of time constraints. 2010 belongs to Spinward Fringe, then I'll be taking a break for a few months. During that break I'll be working on a new Dark Arts project, in which you'll find the characters already introduced. I'll either be expanding what I have into a full novel, or writing something new before or after the events that take place in Dark Arts: Rising.

I can tell you one thing for sure: When I'm finished, the people who are looking for more will get their wish granted in abundance. Ever since I finished the Dark Arts: Rising short I've been looking forward to getting back to it.

I'd like to thank the readers who took the time to enjoy this short, and for reviewing, emailing, and generally making your thoughts on it known. You've spoken, and I've heard you.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Fringe To Fright: The Dark Arts Experiment

Two months ago I finished an edit of Dark Arts: Rising, the first part of a potential horror serial that was based on the concept of a dark resurrection changing the world. It was a short, 15,000 word piece that presented a fantastic creative challenge. Horror.

Horror writing has always been my kryptonite. I'll confess: in my twenties I wrote two very bad, very long horror novels. I even tried writing one by hand to see if I could somehow change my style for the better by avoiding typing. I got a stack of double spaced hand written pages four hundred deep that will never see the light of day. A crime against Bic pens and ruled paper.

Dark Arts: Rising has more potential and I'm happy to announce that, for better or worse, it's available for free at Smashwords for every kind of eBook reader you could imagine and on its very own blog page. If you're noticing this story late, then you're sort of lucky. Everyone else had to read it piece by piece as I released it over the last seven weeks. Something about serializing this work in particular was a lot of fun.

The story is set in 1996 and begins with a dark resurrection conducted by one, Zachary Ellison. Maxwell, a grumpy British occultist, has been on his trail for years and is one of the last members of a secret society. He does his best to counter the damage Zachary has done to the barrier between the spirit and corporeal worlds while trying to lay the ground work for a re-ignition of the occultist secret society charged with protecting the general populace from what goes wailing and rending in the dark.

If you enjoy reading this ditty and want more, show your support by posting a review on Smashwords or donating whatever you think its worth. It was a blast and total change of pace to write and it didn't slow down work on Spinward Fringe much at all.


[Have you read Dark Arts Rising already? What did you think?]

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Dark Arts Rising Soundtrack and More Info

It should come as no surprise to my regular readers that I listen to music while I write. The Dark Arts are no different, in fact I listen to more music if anything.

Dark Arts Rising takes place in 1996, and the soundtrack includes a few radio hits from that year as well as a number of tracks that came out between 1994-1996 and made an impact on either the top 40 or the metal charts. There are also a couple other, older tracks mixed in for colour.

It's a strange feeling to research a time you lived in. The reminders of what life was like back then with the Internet just starting,and texting reduced to short pager messages are pretty interesting. It was only thirteen years ago but life has changed technologically. Picking and choosing which features of the year to include in the story just so it felt like 1996 was a lot of fun, and if the response to the Dark Arts is positive, I look forward to continuing to look back into the recent past.

Dark Arts Rising begins tomorrow and for seven weeks there will be a new segment every seven days. It's a copyrighted, free to read project. Instead of charging money up front for the work in its entirety you can read the story as it's posted and pay whatever you think it's worth afterwards. If there is enough support I'll write more in the future. Dark Arts Rising is a completed work divided into seven sections.

So, enjoy the soundtrack, support the bands you enjoy and I'll see you back here tomorrow when Dark Arts Rising launches!


[What do you think of the business model behind the Dark Arts? Leave a comment!]

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who Is L.S. Randolph?

Who is L.S. Randolph?

The short answer is, he's Randolph Lalonde, an independent author who lives in Ontario. Canada. He's also the best selling science fiction author on the owned EBook website (for seven months and counting). That sounds impressive, sure, but in truth he's still a new author and Mobipocket isn't a very big site.

Randolph Lalonde writes full time, focusing much of his efforts on the Spinward Fringe space opera series of books. For more information and a quick bio you can check out the Wikipedia page.

Why take a pseudonym if you're only going to go public with it?

Many authors take a pseudonym for many reasons. In this case the name Randolph Lalonde is starting to become known for Science Fiction that's suitable for young adults up to adult readers. It's all rated PG-14 and thankfully many readers enjoy it a great deal. It's also important to mention that publishers and agents find it awkward when one author's name is attached to more than one genre. There are a lot of reasons behind that and I won't bore you with them.

A pseudonym can afford some creative freedom and that's the most important reason behind it in this case. I'd rather write horror unfettered by expectations set in my other work. Let's face it, horror is nothing without the terrible things that the genre tends to visit upon the characters trapped in the genre.

What kind of horror does L.S. Randolph write?

The first project is Dark Arts Rising. It's a supernatural / horror tale that begins with a series of terrible events. There's bloodshed in the first dozen or so words and the whole tale begins with a victim. Not typically what you'd see in the science fiction from Randolph Lalonde.

The second project may be RAGE³ (Rage Cubed), which follows the story of a serial killer from a unique perspective. It's looking like this novel will take a very, very long time to write and is well divorced from the Dark Arts Rising project. No hocus, no pocus, no supernatural aspects at all, just good old torture, murder, human evil and the chase involved in finding a way to stop it. Again, not exactly the kind of story you'd expect under the name of Randolph Lalonde.

Will there be other horror/supernatural projects? I have no idea. With enough support Dark Arts could be an ongoing series and considering someone's already donated a small but respectable amount in good faith that could be likely. I'm still writing Spinward Fringe full time, but there's nothing saying that another book or short story idea won't come along and you'll find yet another title attached to the name; L.S. Randolph (which is really Randolph S Lalonde lightly scrambled).


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dark Arts To Begin July 7, 2009

After getting the thumbs up from my editor and test readers, the Dark Arts series is set to begin on July 7, my birthday gift to myself. Dark Arts is a horror series that will be available here for free (later to appear in EBook formats).

The first installment, called simply RISING is divided into seven parts that will be released every Tuesday.

Here's a general description:

Dark Arts is a supernatural horror series that focuses on members of a mysterious society of occultists who use any means to maintain the divide between the spirit and material worlds.The Dark Arts series is written in distinct plot cycles and offered for free. The success and continuation of the Dark Arts series depends on donations from the readers.

RISING tells a story about two characters; Zachary who has been possessing one mortal after another as he seeks the secrets of true resurrection and Maxwell who bears the responsibility of destroying Zachary and preventing him from accomplishing his goals. The surly British occultist has been led to the place where Zachary was first killed as a mortal and has to take the opportunity to further the goals of the society while there is still time.

RISING is a complete plot cycle, adapted into prose from a concept for a television series. If enough readers demand more after finishing RISING I'll gladly provide.

What's happening with Spinward Fringe? I'm working on Spinward Fringe Rogue Element right now, actually, no worries!


[Have you read Supernatural Horror before? Whose your favourite author or series?]