Series: Sons of Darkness Series, Book 1
Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Crime, Dark, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller,
Publisher: Damnation Books
When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what’s most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife’s murder, and become the type of killer he’s hunted for so many years?
Adam heard a few sounds of Velcro peeling from its straps. Suddenly, Black Mask shed the mystery and ambiguity of his head gear. He became another mystery altogether. What happened to this guy? He looked like he’d seen hell, escaped, and doctored his face to give everyone else on Earth a preview.
Black Mask obviously suffered from rosacea because his skin was inflamed, swollen, and the angriest shade of red Adam had ever seen. A jagged circular scar similar to a clock face ran from Black Mask’s forehead down his cheeks to his chin. A vertical scar ran straight down the middle of his forehead and along the bridge of his nose. Two horizontal scars extended from the side of his nose and curved upward toward the temples. Two additional scars extended outward at angles from just under his nose, across his lips and ended on either side of his chin. All of the scars connected to the outer circular one like spokes to resemble a starfish shape. Adam struggled not to have any reaction, but failed to keep the corner of his mouth from inching up into a grimace.
Black Mask smirked and put his right hand up to his face. He pretended to be admiring himself in the mirror. “It’s okay, Detective. Your reaction is fairly common and a lot more subdued than most. Of course, I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrors in your line of work.
“So, you want to know the tale of Heath Grim, do you?”
About the Author:
Joseph Spencer is the author of the Sons of Darkness series launched by his debut novel, Grim, on September 1, 2012. Work on his second book of the series, Wrage, is already underway and is expected to be released some time in 2013.
THE ROAD HERE
The Sons of Darkness is a series of paranormal crime thrillers following investigations into mysterious deaths in the central Illinois city of Prairieville. Home of the notorious serial killer, The Reaper, Prairieville has had a history of violence centered on an ongoing feud between the Marino and Black organized crime families. When bodies start showing up again at the abandoned Marino State Hospital, many fear the Reaper has returned. The people of Prairieville are about to find out their problems stem from a supernatural source which has lurked in secret for decades.
THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.
Joseph Spencer’s Pet Peeves about Publishing
Pet Peeves of the Publishing Industry
You’ve finished your masterpiece, and by the grace of the book gods it’s going to be published. You’re work is finished, right? Wrong!
Many first-time authors make the mistake of thinking the majority of the heavy lifting is finished with the book writing process. That may be the end of their comfort zone, but it’s only the beginning of their work load. There are several steps in the publishing process in which authors must participate to help make their novel a success.
Some publishers will refuse to accept future work from an author if they feel that author hasn’t made a good faith effort on aspects of the book outside of the writing. With that in mind, here’s a list of publishing industry no-nos to avoid:
1. Avoiding social media
Our world is shrinking because of the Web. Publishers expect their authors to be their own best supporter by utilizing social networking sites to build a following from family, friends, coworkers and other acquaintances who are likely to support their work. All prospective authors should begin making a network of contacts online through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Google+ and appropriate writers groups on Yahoo! or other sites. You may also want to create a separate Facebook account for each book so that you can encourage writer friends, family and others to Like you on Facebook and leave comments. A failure to utilize the free marketing on social networking sites will raise a red flag with publishers.
2. No online presence
One of the best ways an author can make a good first impression with readers is by creating an attractive Web site independent of their presence with their publisher and online retail outlets such as Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com. Your site should be your best sales pitch in convincing a stranger who has never heard of you to try your book. Your site should include photos of your book cover, yourself and perhaps candid shots of you with your spouse or pet or at a literary event. It should also include all there is to know about your book including character sketches, a synopsis, a video trailer, podcasts, an announcements area where you share your upcoming appearances and a place where your readers can write you to give you feedback. Publishers want to see you active on your site, and won’t take kindly to sloughing off on it.
3. Skimping on marketing materials
Publishers would like to see authors get creative with how they promote their work. There are a number of items authors can create cheaply as giveaways to help attract interest in their work. Putting your cover art and email address on business cards, post cards, bookmarks, notepads, pens, mugs and various other items that you offer at appearances for free can equal sales later on. Anything that gets your name in front of a prospective buyer is a good thing. Authors also can put together slick sell sheets, media kits and other handouts which can be mailed to reviewers, media, libraries and retailers on their home computers. Nothing gets you in the dog house with a publisher faster than failing to self promote.
4. Unwillingness to edit
Some authors are very temperamental about their material remaining how it’s written. In some cases, changes to the narrative may vastly alter their intended message or tone to the book. The fine line between artistic expression and deferring to marketing professionals is something in which each author must decide for themselves. Other authors loathe the editing process altogether and expect editors from the publishing house to bear the brunt of the work. A failure to make suggested changes or to completely rework passages may end up in a publishing deal collapsing.
5. Coming off cocky
Industry professionals hear book pitches all the time. Almost all of them claim to be the next bestseller or that the proposed novel is better than the novels already out in the marketplace. This is the wrong approach to take. Many agents and publishing houses view this type of approach on some level as if you’re telling them they don’t know how to judge talent and they made a mistake in representing/selling current clients and titles. Needless to say, you don’t want to insult the person you’re trying to win over to make your publishing dreams a reality.
Joe Spencer is the author of Grim, a paranormal crime thriller released by Damnation Books in September 2012. It’s the first in the planned Sons of Darkness series. His second book, Wrage, is due out in 2013. He can be reached at www.josephbspencer.com.
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Jan. 24th- Off the Page (Interview/Giveaway)
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